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Champions Trophy: Nasser Hussain slams Eoin Morgan for blaming pitch

Former England captain Nasser Hussain insists blaming pitch for England's shocking 8-wicket loss to Pakistan at Cardiff is discourteous to the opponentFormer England captain Nasser Hussain insists blaming pitch for England's shocking 8-wicket loss to Pakistan at Cardiff is discourteous to the opponent

England players sport a dejected look after their eight-wicket defeat to Pakistan in the first semi-final on Wednesday. Pic/Getty ImagesEngland players sport a dejected look after their eight-wicket defeat to Pakistan in the first semi-final on Wednesday. Pic/Getty Images

Nasser Hussain said it was "disrespectful" to Pakistan to blame England's shock eight-wicket Champions Trophy semi-final defeat on a used Cardiff pitch.

England, previously the only unbeaten team left in the eight-strong ODI tournament and huge favourites to defeat Pakistan, were bowled out for just 211 in Cardiff on Wednesday. Pakistan, who suffered a 124-run thrashing by arch-rivals India in their opening group game, then cruised to victory with a mammoth 77 balls to spare.

Nasser Hussain
Nasser Hussain

The pitch played more like a sub-continental surface than a British one and England captain Eoin Morgan said afterwards: "Coming from Edgbaston, it was obviously a big jump in pace and bounce and too much of an ask for us to adjust to really." Morgan added, Pakistan were more comfortable because "they played two days ago on it (during their win over Sri Lanka in a virtual quarter-final). But legendary Pakistan fast bowler Waqar Younis said blaming the pitch was a "lame excuse and former England captain Hussain agreed.

"There will be a lot of talk about the Cardiff pitch after Pakistan dumped England out of the Champions Trophy. But that won't wash with me," Hussain wrote in his Daily Mail column. "It's disrespectful to Pakistan, who played brilliantly and made the best of the conditions."

Meanwhile, Hussain lamented England's "timid play", which he said was in marked contrast to the way they had revived their ODI fortunes since a woeful first-round exit at the 2015 World Cup. "Their coach Trevor Bayliss has always asked for them to play smart cricket, not just gung-ho cricket. This was anything but smart. In fact, it was timid," Hussain rued.

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