For a country that gave birth to one-day cricket in the 1960s, England should have had a far better record on limited overs cricket’s biggest stage the World Cup.
On Monday, at the Adelaide Oval, on the best batting pitch in Australia, Eoin Morgan’s team failed to chase down Bangladesh’s 275. English cricket lovers have reached a stage where their three final appearances (1979, 1987 and 1992) mean nothing and rightly so, because they’ve just ceased to be a force. England failed to thrive even when the 1999 World Cup was held in their country. This is their sixth shambolic World Cup in succession.
The nine-wicket loss to Sri Lanka on March 1 was a shocker and showed the bowling in poor light after England scored 309. Pace spearhead James Anderson, with due credit to his sublime Test match skills, bagged just four wickets in five matches at an average of 56.75. The mercurial Stuart Broad was even worse three wickets at 78.66.
England’s domestic cricket season runs from April to September which encompasses a lot of cricket over all three formats. Yet, their failures and foibles in the shortened form of the game forever show up. There is a feeling among their supporters and detractors that they don’t respect it enough. While there is no way to check respect in a science laboratory, the fact is that the most aversion and cynicism to tournaments like the Indian Premier League come from England.
The Kevin Pietersen problem has been overbearing and somehow it’s like a ghost who refuses to leave a nightmare street. Also, the reappointment of coach Peter Moores has provided no reason to believe that it’s been a master move. The selectors are culpable as well because they waited till December for Test captain Alastair Cook to prove he’s not a one-day player when most former England players could see that four years ago. That Ben Stokes, a destructive player, could not make the World Cup 15 was shocking.
English cricket is dented and destroyed at all corners. It’s time to build a new vessel that will not drown in a highly competitive sea.
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