London: England and Wales Cricket Board chief Paul Downton is standing behind under-fire coach Peter Moores in the aftermath of England's embarrassing World Cup exit.
Peter Moores. Pic/AFP
Moores' men crashed out of the tournament in the group stages on Monday as a humiliating 15-run defeat to Bangladesh saw England hit a new low in a woeful World Cup campaign that has included four defeats in five matches.
Moores' tactics and team selection have been widely criticised since he was appointed for his second spell as England head coach 11 months ago, but Downton insists the former Lancashire coach remains the right man for the job. "I have every faith in Peter Moores," Downton told Sky Sports. "Part of the reason for appointing Peter Moores was he is a very experienced coach.
"Whoever took this job was going to have a really difficult job. "We had a side that broke up in Australia, we had to introduce new players and part of dealing with it - which was obviously going to be pressurised - was that experience. "We're very early into an appointment. Much as we'd like to change things instantly, it takes time.
"Look at New Zealand and where they were with their one-day cricket two years ago - it takes time to bring things through. "We had a very successful team between 2009 and 2013, we have to rebuild again. "There are no shortcuts. We have to back our players, invest in them and in time we will be back there again."
Time to develop
One criticism regularly levelled at England is they lack the aggression and flexibility to compete with the top sides, but Downton says the players need more time to develop. "We've tried to be much more aggressive," Downton said. "What has struck me has been how much influence T20 is having on one-day cricket and a lot of our players don't play much T20 cricket so that is clearly something we have to look at.
"The big message from this World Cup has been you have to attack, you have to look to get wickets and you attack with the bat. "We have a talented bunch of players but they're very inexperienced." England's World Cup misery adds to a disappointing 12 months that includes just one series victory in six across all formats under Moores.
"It's hugely disappointing, I feel very sorry for the fans who have travelled and the fans who have followed it on the TV because they've clearly under-performed," Downton said. "This is not just about this tournament, this goes back to 1992. It goes wider than this group of players, it goes back to a domestic structure, and putting an emphasis in this country more on Test cricket than one-day cricket and that has to change."
Former England captain Nasser Hussain believes it is England's players who must take responsibility for the team's failures. "There have been some mistakes made in this tournament but every time we have the same thing. David Lloyd, Ashley Giles, Duncan Fletcher - the moment we're knocked out, the coach goes," Hussain said. "First of all, the players need to look at themselves and take responsibility."
Andrew Strauss tasted World Cup disappointment as England captain in 2011 and he conceded the current generation just aren't up to the required standard. "The truth is we're not good enough," Strauss said. "From one to 11, we haven't got the players that can compete with a top team. "We couldn't compete with Bangladesh, and certainly can't compete with Australia, South Africa and these teams."
Exiled England batsman Kevin Pietersen, a long-time critic of Moores, tweeted: "I CANNOT BELIVE THIS! I JUST CANNOT! But, well done Bangladesh! You deserved it!. "DO NOT SAY WE HAVEN'T PRIORITISED ODI CRICKET! We played a back to back Ashes to make sure England played 6 months of ODI's before this WC!"