English cricket January 25, 2007

Giving one-dayers the cold shoulder

Andrew Miller
44

Andrew Miller

When did the English fall out of love with one-day cricket? They did, after all, invent the game. It started with county cricket's Gillette Cup in 1963, it continued with the inaugural one-day international against Australia in January 1971, and then they hosted three consecutive World Cups from 1975 to 1983. In the last four years they've even pioneered the Twenty20 version of the game.

And yet, a Cricinfo poll at the end of 2006 showed that, among British fans, more than 90% rated England's defense of the Ashes more important than a successful World Cup, an imbalance that was borne out by those most visible and vocal of supporters, the Barmy Army. More than 1700 fans signed up for the Army's official Test tours. For the one-dayers, however, there were a mere seven.

It wasn't always like this. In fact, there was a time, not so long ago, when England's Test side was in the doldrums, but they were arguably the best one-day team in the world. Such a claim might cause loud spluttering noises in the West Indies, India, Australia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan - the five countries that have laid their mitts on the only prize that counts. But between 1979 and 1992, England did finish as runners-up in three tournaments out of four, which does hint at the sort of consistency that is so lacking from the modern-day side.

Consider, in particular, the side that finished second to Pakistan on that balmy Melbourne night in March 1992. That, quite plausibly, was the greatest England one-day line-up that has ever been compiled, and undoubtedly a contender for the top ten of all time. There was the captain, Graham Gooch, a hard-bitten disciplinarian at the peak of his world-class powers. There was Graeme Hick, as imposing in one-day cricket as he was disappointing in Tests; there was Neil Fairbrother, England's original nurdler, a forebear of the Bevan-Hussey school of finishing.

There was Alec Stewart, worth his place for his strokeplay alone but utterly invaluable as a wicketkeeper and second-in-command to Gooch. There was Allan Lamb, as bristling a middle-order batsman as has ever existed, and a man who once stole an ODI for England by slamming Bruce Reid for 18 in the final over. And propping up the lower-middle order there was a quartet of genuine allround talent in Chris Lewis, Phil DeFreitas, Dermot Reeve and Derek Pringle.

It's the sort of multi-dimensional line-up that Duncan Fletcher has spent seven fruitless years trying to emulate. Even the No. 11, the job-a-day left-arm spinner, Richard Illingworth, had four first-class centuries to his name. Oh yeah, and then there was whatsitsname ... you know, thingummy ... that bloke who opened the batting and chipped in when needed with his portly medium-pacers. When the mighty Ian Botham is the weak link in your eleven, then you know you've got it sussed.

Mind you, England don't even bother to cover their backs anymore. These days, their cricketers are entirely out on a limb in one-day cricket. Compared to other nations, they don't play enough internationals (although given the current slumber Down Under, it can also be said that they play far too many) and they don't get enough situational experience with their counties either. Kevin Pietersen, an ever-present in the England team last summer, played two one-day matches for Hampshire in the first week of May, and was never seen on the South Coast again.

Back in the early 1990s, the difference wasn't nearly so marked. By the 1992 World Cup only one player, Allan Border, had amassed more than 200 one-day caps. In yesterday's ODI at Cuttack, on the other hand, there were three Indians, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly, with almost 1000 caps between them. The England team that was defeated at Adelaide this week, by way of comparison, had mustered 416.

It can't be right for a senior international team to sulk and point to inexperience every time they get defeated, but then again, does any fan of the game really want to see England play 250 ODIs in the next four years, just so that Flintoff's cap count compares more favourably with Ajit Agarkar's?

Besides, if the lesson of 1992 is anything to go by, the hard yards are irrelevant in one-day cricket. All it takes is a single flash of inspiration to win a World Cup. If Pietersen and Flintoff are primed by the time the team touch down in the Caribbean, anything could happen. But, let's face it, it is a huge, huge if.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nick Cardinez on January 31, 2007, 22:49 GMT

    Please, one day cricket is not real cricket, it is a different form of the game. Why it is being debated it is difficult to understand. REAL cricket is TEST MATCH cricket. Nothing is wrong with one day as entertainment or 20-20. Test cricket for intents and purposes is 5 days so that it takes the time limit out of the game. It is true artistry to build a big innings or to craft a dismissal of a batsman. That is "cricket." The over limit on one day games brings a different artistry. But as a bowler, getting a batsman out because he has to slog is no feather in his cap. And a batsman being relieved because his nightmare is over when his predator has finished his 10 overs, is contrary to the spirit of the antagonism that is "cricket." You bat until they they get you out and you bowl until you are fatigued and then replaced. And 20-20, that after all is, you guessed it ...BASEBALL

  • Nooru on January 30, 2007, 19:05 GMT

    Hang on everyone.Lets put this column to rest.Andrew, the fact is that english ODI cricket is left behind the rest and the english board , team , media etc. just cannot digest this fact.All this talk about ashes being more important than WC is just a lame excuse , an underlying fear of english ODI team of being thrashed in limited overs cricket.Proof : Harmison retiring from ODI!!!Unbelievable.P.S. Why there are no flashes of brilliance from Eng team?.

  • Aditya on January 28, 2007, 22:04 GMT

    Tariq...don't forget that India has at least on three occasions been bowled out for scores around 100 and has come back to win the match...one of them was against your team Pakistan in Sharjah, another one was against New Zealand in a test match, and there was one against the West Indies somewhere...and there probably have been many more which I can't remember what's more, your characterization of Indians as "mere mortals" as compared to Pakistan is extremely lame and self-satisfying. It's nice to be proud of your country, but when you take it out on others it's just mindless zealotry.

  • Aaron on January 28, 2007, 2:31 GMT

    Hang on, the 92 English team wasn't that good (sure good by England standards). The author seems to dismiss the losses to NZ and Zim in the round robin however NZ went through that series almost unbeaten and were set to win the semi againt Pak until an incredible innings by Inzamam turned the game. Eng weren't even the second best team in that world cup

  • Gary on January 28, 2007, 2:20 GMT

    What on earth can Andrew mean by England being a "senior" international team? This adjective doesn't ring true - neither for the average age, or the performance of this current lot. It's not difficult to think of plenty of more appropriate adjectives...

  • Arthur on January 27, 2007, 12:46 GMT

    England should relax for the rest of the CB series and the World Cup. Everyone expects them to lose, so why not just try and enjoy it (unless Strauss, Flintoff etc are having some Astle moments, then they should just not play).

    Surely it's fun for England to play in this (unimportant frankly) CB series and the World Cup. England are rank underdogs, so they should just enjoy it, and there may be a change from 1996 and 1999 England when England were shamblolic and nervous.

    There is too much one-day cricket; but as they make lots of cash....

  • Andrew on January 27, 2007, 10:32 GMT

    The real question is not "Why is ENG losing?" The question is "Why are they losing SO badly?"

    Yesterday's disgrace followed another score against NZ barely scraping into 3 figures, and they scored at 3 an over on an Adelaide Oval pitch barely bouncing up to waist height. Associate countries would put on a better contest than that debacle.

  • Asad on January 26, 2007, 21:31 GMT

    Its just an easy story to make up "Our team is not interested in ODI cricket so It doesn't win ODIs. I think the English board and their coach should abandon this policy of ignoring defeats in ODIs. If you can not win a match whether its an ODI or a test match, that means there is something missing from your team, and it doesn't have what it needs to be a good team. English cricket is paying for it policy of ignoring the limited version of the game. An Australian tour is the ultimate test with the tests following a long ODI series, and if you are not winning then the losses keep piling up and make you in bunch of individuals with no motivation left to play. It will take them a while to get their confidence back.

  • Billy on January 26, 2007, 21:17 GMT

    dear mr manish. there are lots of if´s and but´s in cricket. what if Lance Klusner hadn´t lost his mind in 99 cup, or what if Pollock had done some mathematic homewrok in 2003? At teh end of the day the only things counts is, who prevails. like they say "A defeat is an orphan, and a victory has a lot of "fathers".

  • Umair Murtaza on January 26, 2007, 20:06 GMT

    What England are currently going through is really sad, even heart breaking. Andrew is kind by saying Fletcher is trying since the past 7 years...., what England really need is a new coach with can bring out ruthless agression in them and dispel their fear of loosing altogether. A coach like Greg Chappell or even Bob Woolmer can do wonders for them than the apolegetic and defensive Duncan Fletcher. Flintoff needs someone to bring out the spark in him , otherwise he is increasingly and alaramingly becoming a spent force.

  • Nick Cardinez on January 31, 2007, 22:49 GMT

    Please, one day cricket is not real cricket, it is a different form of the game. Why it is being debated it is difficult to understand. REAL cricket is TEST MATCH cricket. Nothing is wrong with one day as entertainment or 20-20. Test cricket for intents and purposes is 5 days so that it takes the time limit out of the game. It is true artistry to build a big innings or to craft a dismissal of a batsman. That is "cricket." The over limit on one day games brings a different artistry. But as a bowler, getting a batsman out because he has to slog is no feather in his cap. And a batsman being relieved because his nightmare is over when his predator has finished his 10 overs, is contrary to the spirit of the antagonism that is "cricket." You bat until they they get you out and you bowl until you are fatigued and then replaced. And 20-20, that after all is, you guessed it ...BASEBALL

  • Nooru on January 30, 2007, 19:05 GMT

    Hang on everyone.Lets put this column to rest.Andrew, the fact is that english ODI cricket is left behind the rest and the english board , team , media etc. just cannot digest this fact.All this talk about ashes being more important than WC is just a lame excuse , an underlying fear of english ODI team of being thrashed in limited overs cricket.Proof : Harmison retiring from ODI!!!Unbelievable.P.S. Why there are no flashes of brilliance from Eng team?.

  • Aditya on January 28, 2007, 22:04 GMT

    Tariq...don't forget that India has at least on three occasions been bowled out for scores around 100 and has come back to win the match...one of them was against your team Pakistan in Sharjah, another one was against New Zealand in a test match, and there was one against the West Indies somewhere...and there probably have been many more which I can't remember what's more, your characterization of Indians as "mere mortals" as compared to Pakistan is extremely lame and self-satisfying. It's nice to be proud of your country, but when you take it out on others it's just mindless zealotry.

  • Aaron on January 28, 2007, 2:31 GMT

    Hang on, the 92 English team wasn't that good (sure good by England standards). The author seems to dismiss the losses to NZ and Zim in the round robin however NZ went through that series almost unbeaten and were set to win the semi againt Pak until an incredible innings by Inzamam turned the game. Eng weren't even the second best team in that world cup

  • Gary on January 28, 2007, 2:20 GMT

    What on earth can Andrew mean by England being a "senior" international team? This adjective doesn't ring true - neither for the average age, or the performance of this current lot. It's not difficult to think of plenty of more appropriate adjectives...

  • Arthur on January 27, 2007, 12:46 GMT

    England should relax for the rest of the CB series and the World Cup. Everyone expects them to lose, so why not just try and enjoy it (unless Strauss, Flintoff etc are having some Astle moments, then they should just not play).

    Surely it's fun for England to play in this (unimportant frankly) CB series and the World Cup. England are rank underdogs, so they should just enjoy it, and there may be a change from 1996 and 1999 England when England were shamblolic and nervous.

    There is too much one-day cricket; but as they make lots of cash....

  • Andrew on January 27, 2007, 10:32 GMT

    The real question is not "Why is ENG losing?" The question is "Why are they losing SO badly?"

    Yesterday's disgrace followed another score against NZ barely scraping into 3 figures, and they scored at 3 an over on an Adelaide Oval pitch barely bouncing up to waist height. Associate countries would put on a better contest than that debacle.

  • Asad on January 26, 2007, 21:31 GMT

    Its just an easy story to make up "Our team is not interested in ODI cricket so It doesn't win ODIs. I think the English board and their coach should abandon this policy of ignoring defeats in ODIs. If you can not win a match whether its an ODI or a test match, that means there is something missing from your team, and it doesn't have what it needs to be a good team. English cricket is paying for it policy of ignoring the limited version of the game. An Australian tour is the ultimate test with the tests following a long ODI series, and if you are not winning then the losses keep piling up and make you in bunch of individuals with no motivation left to play. It will take them a while to get their confidence back.

  • Billy on January 26, 2007, 21:17 GMT

    dear mr manish. there are lots of if´s and but´s in cricket. what if Lance Klusner hadn´t lost his mind in 99 cup, or what if Pollock had done some mathematic homewrok in 2003? At teh end of the day the only things counts is, who prevails. like they say "A defeat is an orphan, and a victory has a lot of "fathers".

  • Umair Murtaza on January 26, 2007, 20:06 GMT

    What England are currently going through is really sad, even heart breaking. Andrew is kind by saying Fletcher is trying since the past 7 years...., what England really need is a new coach with can bring out ruthless agression in them and dispel their fear of loosing altogether. A coach like Greg Chappell or even Bob Woolmer can do wonders for them than the apolegetic and defensive Duncan Fletcher. Flintoff needs someone to bring out the spark in him , otherwise he is increasingly and alaramingly becoming a spent force.

  • Sanjay Khanna on January 26, 2007, 18:28 GMT

    Yeah Andrew, its a big IF.Cricket is however a game of iffs and butts and I can't see England getting theirs kicked any harder than now. Don't forget that [a] Vaughan will be back to lead them [b] KP will be back [c] The grounds in the West Indies are nice and small ]d] The wickets are far less bouncy [e] All the other teams don't play like the Aussies [f] Aussie luck will surely run out. See what happens - all of you may be in for a surprise.

  • Ravikumar on January 26, 2007, 17:38 GMT

    there has always been something wrong with the way that England plays ODIs. They are too defensive n they are just happy to finish the match and let it take its own course rather than destroying the opponent. This 15 could save england for the WC, but knowing the selectors, it may not happen. The Sqaud - Strauss, Loye, Hick, KP, Freddy, Colly, Darlymple, Prior, Monty, Lewis, Anderson. Reserves - Bell, Ramps, Plunkett n Broad

  • SK on January 26, 2007, 15:28 GMT

    If England are indeed giving one-dayers the cold shoulder, they'll be better off quitting one-day internationals altogether instead of being repeatedly humiliated by all and sundry, leaving writers like Andrew at a loss for words (remember bull generator!) and forcing them to seek inspiration from the past! Although England were compatively better at one day cricket in the 80s and 90s, they were never the best one day team. In fact, England is the only major cricketing nation never to have one a major one-day tournament apart from some insignificant victory at Sharjah! So, there has not been such a fall from great heights as the author seems to claim. Also, it's amusing to note that Andrew considers DeFreitas, Dermot Reeve and Derek Pringle as genuine all-round talent. If they are genuine all-rounders, then the "dibbly-dobbly" kiwi trio of Gavin Larsen, Chris Harris and Rod Latham are all-time great all rounders!! Besides, stalwarts like Gooch, Lamb, Botham et al were well past their prime in the 90s. So, the 1992 WC team surely cannot be the best-ever England team!

  • Ashish on January 26, 2007, 15:27 GMT

    The title bears arrogance on part of the English people. If England were in fact winning Tests, it makes a good reason. However they are not blowing away opposition in Tests either, are they? The age-old ploy of sticking to excuses rather than try to overcome the difficulties (which India is guilty of doing many times too) is why England are having such a dismal run in ODIs.

  • Abdul Baseer on January 26, 2007, 11:17 GMT

    Mr. Manish, it's another IF. You better argue like this to strengthen your point: what if Wasim had got an injury in the semi-final? I hope you get the point and don't confuse the facts and the IFs.

  • tariq ali on January 26, 2007, 10:27 GMT

    Manish - whats that - typical Indian jealousy. LOL!

    Infact I couldn't agree more, thats why Pakistans win was and still is the greatest comeback win of all time in the history of the world cup.

    To be rock bottom after that 74 all out would have been soul destroying for mere mortals like the English and Indians. But for Imrans Cornerer Tigers, it made them legends.

    Thank you for agreeing with my assessment!

  • Vinay Mehra on January 26, 2007, 9:44 GMT

    When was the last time England had an inspiration and won a ODI series? It will honest of England to admit that they ignore anything to do with ODIs. No point going through the motions. In fact, English cricket only lives from one ashes series to the next, ignoring everything in between.

  • Jon on January 26, 2007, 9:32 GMT

    Scars of 1992 world cup..... what a joke..... that's nearly 15 years ago.... The sooner the English media stop talking about the relevance of 'emotional scars' and instead talk about how hopelessly outplayed and pathetic they have been.... without making excuses about the players who are not playing... the better it will be for everyone.

    Andy Roddick's press conference after a sobering defeat to Federer is an example to Flintoff/Vaughan and co about how to own up to a disappointing performance. Good on ya Andy.

  • Jag on January 26, 2007, 9:24 GMT

    I just got back from the cinemas wondering if I'd ever see something as lame as Epic Movie. And then I saw the latest England scorecard... Andrew Flintoff: Having a good blend of characters in the dressing room doesn't mean you have a group that can win a cricket game.

  • Peter on January 26, 2007, 7:35 GMT

    If you look into the pages of history England might have been a very good one day side. The current team (both test and one day) have been very poor this summer and they should apologise to the cricket world for their ineptitude.

  • Sundhar Ram Srinivasan on January 26, 2007, 2:40 GMT

    Andrew, at some level I pity you. It is indeed a tough job, you have. Every single column you have to manufacture something good about England. Anyway, if you look at history the best one-day team is also the best test team. England, after 1992 (and barring Ashes 05) were never good, forget great.

  • The OC on January 25, 2007, 22:56 GMT

    You're basically right. I don't think England were ever quite the best, but we used to be a strong ODI side. But why do you shy away from the conclusion your article naturally comes to? England's early 90s finalists may not have played that many internationals but they had plenty of EXPERIENCE through playing domestic one-dayers. No longer. Central contracts helped make England into a fine Test side (until the recent tailspin) but we totally ignored one-day cricket. We must ensure that we make time in our home Test and county schedules to allow our internationals to continue playing one-day cricket even after they are contracted. Not just 20-20. ANd not just 40, 55 or 60 overs either. Over 50 overs.

  • manish on January 25, 2007, 15:21 GMT

    Mr. Tariq. Lets face some hard facts.Pakistan would not have been in the 1992 WC finals had it not rained after England had bowled them out for less than 75 at Adelaide.Itsw always better to see both sides of the coin.

  • manish on January 25, 2007, 15:15 GMT

    I totally agree with Andrew.England used to be a good one day side.Even recently, they made it to the finals of the Champions Trophy after a thumping victory over the aussies in the semis.If they have their full strength team at their disposal, even today, England can surprise quite a few people in the ODIs.

  • rob d on January 25, 2007, 15:13 GMT

    and since 92 hick has done the same week in week out. hes 40 yes, but who would count against him doing better than strauss, bell, colly etc on his own. hes probably as fit and mobile as them, and never dropped a catch, and bowls tidy offspin. just what england need at 3.

  • Tariq Ali on January 25, 2007, 13:57 GMT

    Ah what a great reminder. 1992, the final year of my degree in Leicester and the late nights sitting up watching one of the best world cups in history. This article brings back memories of the greatest and unlikeliest comeback in cricket history by Imran's Cornered Tigers.

    Yes I am proud to say I miserably failed the infamous Tebbitt test and recall lots of England fans walking around university wearing their cricket tops thinking they already were world champions! Oh how sweet it was to wear my top the day after the final and for most of the remainder of my university life.

    The game was over when the greatest ball of all time delivered the world cup, when Wasim Akram removed the South African Lambie's off stump. Yes Englands Pieterson of the day was gone and so was Englands chance of winning the world cup.

    Why do the Aussies and Poms alone see Warney's legbreak as the ball of the century? Wasims unplayable ball on the biggest stage in the biggest game one can play in cricket, is far far superior than Warnes removal of the hapless Gatting in a non entity of a match that only a few people watch. Who in the world besides these two nations actually care for or watch the Ashes? I am not belittling 'Bowling Shane', but the World cup final is the biggest stage in cricket and what Wasim did to poor Lambie was simply the Greatest Ball ever.

    As for the state of England's one day cricket - well it is the worst it has ever been. The sooner Fletcher is removed the better. Since he has taken over it has been even worse than the 1999 world cup debacle. Sack him now!

    But all hail the great Wasim Akram's removal of Lamb and Lewis as a true genius producing the match winning intervention to win the 1992 world cup. Ah those were the days!

  • Amit on January 25, 2007, 13:41 GMT

    I feel the start of England's present one-day slide was when it won the 2005 Ashes. That brought to the fore, the long-lost ambition of Ashes retention. Before that series if you see, England indeed played a lot better in One dayers. But after that series, the players just were not interested anymore in the shorter version and then there was this cyclic effect of being disillusioned by repeated defeats thereon. Aside from this, lets not make Ajit Agarkar the butt of jokes every time. The bloke deserves some consideration especially after what he did yesterday.

  • Aditya on January 25, 2007, 13:39 GMT

    Who said the hard yards are irrelevant? The current Australian dominance of one-day cricket didn't exactly come about through "flashes of brilliance", but was created through a system of doing the hard yards. What is always needed in one-day cricket, or any form of cricket for that matter, is fitness of your players (both physical and mental), proper planning, and most importantly, gelling together as a team. The current England one-day side have been found wanting in all three departments.

  • Brass Monkey on January 25, 2007, 13:33 GMT

    Reply to Dave: The tub-thumper from Australia. I understand your superiority complex about the large discrepancy between Australia and England, you've gone great guns 'since the invention of Shane Warne' but lets not kid ourselves, there've been plenty that would've made the Aus team, even in the current series. However I will not respond further - I will not merit such a one-eyed comment with an itinery of players who would.

  • Pete on January 25, 2007, 13:27 GMT

    For England to compete in the world cup, it's their batting that needs an overhaul. At the moment, they rely on two people, KP and Freddie, to up the tempo and get them to big totals. When one of those is injured, it leaves just one person to do this, and when he fails the team gets bowled out for just over 100 chasing 211. They play too many guys who are good batsmen, but you never really think they will tear you apart. Strauss, Bell, Collingwood, Joyce, Vaughan, Nixon, Dalrymple, they'll all just push the ball along the ground and hit the balls to fielders but never look to dominate. That's what the truly great sides do, they dominate with they're batting. They need some big hitting guys in the middle or to open so KP and Freddie are under less presure to score the fast runs, because if they don't score many, then already small totals become smaller.

  • Varasidhi Jagadeesan on January 25, 2007, 13:06 GMT

    If the 1992 team was the best England had put up then I'm sorry to say that England has a long way to go before becoming an accomplished one day side. The '92 team had many bits 'n pieces players with only Ian Botham as a proven matchwinner and as you had rightly said way past his prime. That he eventually ended up being England's highest wicket taker in that competition speaks volumes. The rest of the bowlers were at best steady as at county level.

  • Bilal on January 25, 2007, 13:05 GMT

    I agree with you on this article only to the extent that a World Cup FINAL can be won with a single moment of brilliance by one individual. But that's about it. How England are going to reach that final to bask in the glory of a single moment of brilliance is a whole other story. Yes, Wasim Akram might have bowled two gems to dismiss Lamb and Lewis, but let us not forget that that Final was a walk in the park compared to the mammoth semi final that Pakistan had just played against New Zealand (arguably the best team in the tournament). And that semi final required several flashes of inspiration, most notably from the veteran Miandad and the rookie Inzamam. By your argument, Bangladesh could win the world cup final with show of sheer brilliance by one individual.....IF they reach the world cup final to begin with.

  • pamthree on January 25, 2007, 12:59 GMT

    "All it takes is a single flash of inspiration to win a World Cup" - thats true indeed to win a world cup final match. But u need to win the semi-final match to come to the final.Ok another flash of brilliance there. But u need win quarters to come to semis. Another flash of brilliance in quarters. Then u need to win the league matches to come to the quarters. Seems we have too much flashes there must be a better word for it - CONSISTENCY that it.

  • jonathan on January 25, 2007, 12:47 GMT

    the real point is that they dont play enough, even in the glory of the 2005 ashes, players were allowed to rest between games. the real practice is in the middle, not in the nets. cricket is about a mental attitude, and being able to maintain it all day long. exploited by ponting in brisbane, keeping the english in field for as long as possible- it put them uncomfortable. the mcgrath 5-0 predictions are all about attitude, every game is there to win. the english have forgotten that, if they ever had it.

  • Miraz on January 25, 2007, 12:37 GMT

    Andrew, you must do some more research to find out other glorious moments of England one day team. You know, this will be required to write another fine article after world cup humiliation.

  • Fahad Ahmed on January 25, 2007, 12:20 GMT

    England may be a solid one day side on paer having the likes of KP,Strauss flintoff. and..guess wht the list isnt growing ne more..unlikne other teams who have player whom ucan call them one day specialist like symonds hussy or afridi..well soem may doubted my last choice .I think the misery for England will continue in the one day arena as for one reason wht i belive is they have lost the passion for playing one day and winning a one day match.The 2 balls bowled by wasim didnt change the future for england cricket .It is england that has to be blame for losing the lust for winning a match.I agree that experince do make a difference but if a key figure like hoggard making statements "Ashes is more imp than WC" then the cricket is in real trouble.They have lot of talent but forgive me a player making a debut at an age of 34..u cannot expect him to playe 300ODIs.If they want to come out of the delimma they r in they have to set free them selves from rotten fletcher policies and select players on marit.Be passionate aboout cricket rather then flying home in the middle of a tour in tears that wont help.Other countries talk abt player burnout but their players have the will to play and win.I think then need another 4 yrs to learn these lessons.

  • Donovan on January 25, 2007, 12:09 GMT

    I agree with all the comments. I do not recall England ever being the best in ODIs. The only player from this current English team who most probably will make the Aussie team is Pieterson, and also since Warne has retired, Monty may make the squad. Clearly though your analysis is a good indicator of what could be wrong with English cricket. You are not honest in your appraisal of how good are your team and what their limitations are? All is not lost though, in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, in my opinion, England was the only team to nearly beat Australia. Every other team that came up against Australia were steamrollered. England scared Australia and with a little bit of luck (or brilliance depends how you want to frame it) could have beaten Australia in the group matches. Finally, I don't think that Shane Warne's brilliance won Australia the World Cup in 1999. Rather, luck played a huge role and South Africa froze twice with a win staring them in their face. Remember the final group match, with Gibbs dropping Steve Waugh and the run-out in the semi-final. Deal with it you won the Ashes with Australia having a semi-fit McGrath and a host of their batsmen being out of form. Simon Jones showed that the Australian juggernaut could not handle reverse swing. With no Simon Jones and a fit McGrath, plus Hussey, you had no answer. Why would you think that would just change just because you ar enow playing ODIs. New Zealand have been one of the best ODI teams for over 5 years. Give them respect and learn as opposed to thinking that if you just focussed on ODIs you will be the best, since you never have been the best in ODIs ever before!

  • fontaine on January 25, 2007, 12:01 GMT

    As to your specific question Andrew on why the one day game has been given the cold shoulder?

    Why should the general english fan care about the one day game when England's matches are unavailable to the vast majority since the ECB granted live broadcast rights to Sky over BBC/Channel 4?

    The same treatment was given to the Test format until England came up big and actually won the Ashes. When the current generation of cricket fans in England can't watch the bloody sport unless they're connected to Sky then there's no connection an average fan can feel to the cricket team and the sport in general.

  • Parkaboy on January 25, 2007, 11:49 GMT

    So yeah, Eng were rather better at ODI cricket once upon a time!! But the game was less of a thrash back then, and Eng’s decline has surely co-incided with “disciplined bowling” yielding a less frequent path to victory. Nowadays, you have to either hit over the top regularly and/or be incisive with the ball (plus field expertly) to stand a chance of winning often. And Eng are pretty average at all three most of the time (and down right hopeless in terms of the batting lately).

  • Bahnz on January 25, 2007, 11:01 GMT

    England may have been a solid one day side back in the 80's and early 90's, but they certainly weren't the best. The West Indies were the best side of the early eighties. Australia began to emerge as their successors in the late 80's, and Pakistan proved they had more natural talent than both (although lacking any discipline or consistency). The two best teams in 1992 were Pakistan, who timed their run to perfection, and New Zealand, who mixed home advantage with canny strategy to win 7 out of their 8 pool games. England have certainly gotten far worse since the days of 1992, but the fall has not been from nearly as high a pinacle as you suggest.

  • Bob on January 25, 2007, 11:00 GMT

    England dont have a chance even if the opposition was struck by lightning! Face it...English Sport is in the doldrums..the cricket, the football, the rugby...the only bright spark is andy murray and hes scottish. I cant see England doing well in this world cup when theirs opposition like a rejuvenated Pakistan, South Africa's pace attack, Australia at its peak and West Indies who have been blowing India & Australia away recently. Pakistan at 10/1...seems a good bet!

  • partha on January 25, 2007, 10:59 GMT

    Yes, you are right. The world cup finals have been won by sheer brilliance of few individuals. The stunning catch of kapil in 1983, The salvo of waugh in 87, the genius of akram in 1992, The master tactics of Aravinda de silva in 96, Shane warne in 99, Ricky ponting in 2003, Richards in 79 and Clive lyod in 75. Except the australian teams, all other teams won by few individual brilliant performances. Australia always played as a team, it cannot be said for other teams. If Flintoff and KEV fire in world cup, anything is possible.

  • Dave on January 25, 2007, 10:40 GMT

    Ah, the good old Wisden school of cricket appreciation. Every English loss is someone else's fault, every New Zealand win is an accident. I suppose if it wasn't for ifs, England would win every match they played by at least a couple of innings. Try this one: "if any English player since the invention of Shane Warne could get into an Australian first choice eleven, we could start talking about the foundation for a great team".

  • Badeye on January 25, 2007, 10:06 GMT

    So Australia's unbeaten run in the last world cup was down to one flash of brilliance? What a strange ending to an otherwise fine article!

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  • Badeye on January 25, 2007, 10:06 GMT

    So Australia's unbeaten run in the last world cup was down to one flash of brilliance? What a strange ending to an otherwise fine article!

  • Dave on January 25, 2007, 10:40 GMT

    Ah, the good old Wisden school of cricket appreciation. Every English loss is someone else's fault, every New Zealand win is an accident. I suppose if it wasn't for ifs, England would win every match they played by at least a couple of innings. Try this one: "if any English player since the invention of Shane Warne could get into an Australian first choice eleven, we could start talking about the foundation for a great team".

  • partha on January 25, 2007, 10:59 GMT

    Yes, you are right. The world cup finals have been won by sheer brilliance of few individuals. The stunning catch of kapil in 1983, The salvo of waugh in 87, the genius of akram in 1992, The master tactics of Aravinda de silva in 96, Shane warne in 99, Ricky ponting in 2003, Richards in 79 and Clive lyod in 75. Except the australian teams, all other teams won by few individual brilliant performances. Australia always played as a team, it cannot be said for other teams. If Flintoff and KEV fire in world cup, anything is possible.

  • Bob on January 25, 2007, 11:00 GMT

    England dont have a chance even if the opposition was struck by lightning! Face it...English Sport is in the doldrums..the cricket, the football, the rugby...the only bright spark is andy murray and hes scottish. I cant see England doing well in this world cup when theirs opposition like a rejuvenated Pakistan, South Africa's pace attack, Australia at its peak and West Indies who have been blowing India & Australia away recently. Pakistan at 10/1...seems a good bet!

  • Bahnz on January 25, 2007, 11:01 GMT

    England may have been a solid one day side back in the 80's and early 90's, but they certainly weren't the best. The West Indies were the best side of the early eighties. Australia began to emerge as their successors in the late 80's, and Pakistan proved they had more natural talent than both (although lacking any discipline or consistency). The two best teams in 1992 were Pakistan, who timed their run to perfection, and New Zealand, who mixed home advantage with canny strategy to win 7 out of their 8 pool games. England have certainly gotten far worse since the days of 1992, but the fall has not been from nearly as high a pinacle as you suggest.

  • Parkaboy on January 25, 2007, 11:49 GMT

    So yeah, Eng were rather better at ODI cricket once upon a time!! But the game was less of a thrash back then, and Eng’s decline has surely co-incided with “disciplined bowling” yielding a less frequent path to victory. Nowadays, you have to either hit over the top regularly and/or be incisive with the ball (plus field expertly) to stand a chance of winning often. And Eng are pretty average at all three most of the time (and down right hopeless in terms of the batting lately).

  • fontaine on January 25, 2007, 12:01 GMT

    As to your specific question Andrew on why the one day game has been given the cold shoulder?

    Why should the general english fan care about the one day game when England's matches are unavailable to the vast majority since the ECB granted live broadcast rights to Sky over BBC/Channel 4?

    The same treatment was given to the Test format until England came up big and actually won the Ashes. When the current generation of cricket fans in England can't watch the bloody sport unless they're connected to Sky then there's no connection an average fan can feel to the cricket team and the sport in general.

  • Donovan on January 25, 2007, 12:09 GMT

    I agree with all the comments. I do not recall England ever being the best in ODIs. The only player from this current English team who most probably will make the Aussie team is Pieterson, and also since Warne has retired, Monty may make the squad. Clearly though your analysis is a good indicator of what could be wrong with English cricket. You are not honest in your appraisal of how good are your team and what their limitations are? All is not lost though, in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, in my opinion, England was the only team to nearly beat Australia. Every other team that came up against Australia were steamrollered. England scared Australia and with a little bit of luck (or brilliance depends how you want to frame it) could have beaten Australia in the group matches. Finally, I don't think that Shane Warne's brilliance won Australia the World Cup in 1999. Rather, luck played a huge role and South Africa froze twice with a win staring them in their face. Remember the final group match, with Gibbs dropping Steve Waugh and the run-out in the semi-final. Deal with it you won the Ashes with Australia having a semi-fit McGrath and a host of their batsmen being out of form. Simon Jones showed that the Australian juggernaut could not handle reverse swing. With no Simon Jones and a fit McGrath, plus Hussey, you had no answer. Why would you think that would just change just because you ar enow playing ODIs. New Zealand have been one of the best ODI teams for over 5 years. Give them respect and learn as opposed to thinking that if you just focussed on ODIs you will be the best, since you never have been the best in ODIs ever before!

  • Fahad Ahmed on January 25, 2007, 12:20 GMT

    England may be a solid one day side on paer having the likes of KP,Strauss flintoff. and..guess wht the list isnt growing ne more..unlikne other teams who have player whom ucan call them one day specialist like symonds hussy or afridi..well soem may doubted my last choice .I think the misery for England will continue in the one day arena as for one reason wht i belive is they have lost the passion for playing one day and winning a one day match.The 2 balls bowled by wasim didnt change the future for england cricket .It is england that has to be blame for losing the lust for winning a match.I agree that experince do make a difference but if a key figure like hoggard making statements "Ashes is more imp than WC" then the cricket is in real trouble.They have lot of talent but forgive me a player making a debut at an age of 34..u cannot expect him to playe 300ODIs.If they want to come out of the delimma they r in they have to set free them selves from rotten fletcher policies and select players on marit.Be passionate aboout cricket rather then flying home in the middle of a tour in tears that wont help.Other countries talk abt player burnout but their players have the will to play and win.I think then need another 4 yrs to learn these lessons.

  • Miraz on January 25, 2007, 12:37 GMT

    Andrew, you must do some more research to find out other glorious moments of England one day team. You know, this will be required to write another fine article after world cup humiliation.