September 15, 2007

S Rajesh and Andrew McGlashan at the 2007 ICC World Twenty20

A day of sporting humiliation for England

Andrew McGlashan
Newspaper headlines after South Africa rout England at the rugby World cup, September 15,2007
 © Andrew McGlashan


Friday wasn't a great day to be an Englishman in South Africa. Firstly the cricketers were hammered by Australia then the rugby team failed to score a point against the Springboks in their World Cup match. The only surprise was that South Africa's points tally didn't pass the half-century.

After the rout at Newlands was complete the question was whether it was worth watching another English sporting humiliation, to use a word Kevin Pietersen likes to throw around now and again. If England had really had a chance in France, sitting among the locals would have been a great evening, but with a hammering predicted from every corner the choice was a hotel bar near the cricket ground, which at least provided the balance of a fair few English folk.

The India-Pakistan Twenty20 match was on the screen in the build-up to the rugby, but 20 minutes before the game was due to start the barman asked for a show of hands. Unsurprisingly the rugby vote won, with a couple of a people even threatening to walk out if the channel wasn't changed.

SABC, the national free-to-air broadcaster, wasn't shy in showing where its allegiances lay as the four studio presenters sat proudly in their Springboks tops. You can't really imagine the same happening on Sky Sports, let alone the BBC.

It wasn't long before South Africa broke England apart with a breakaway try and when Mike Catt missed an attempted drop goal with the score at 10-0 there was a collective sigh of resignation from the England supporters. Half-time came and it was 20-0, not quite a cricket score but bad enough, and it was time to cut the losses.

Waiting for a taxi outside the hotel another English journalist walked past and said the India-Pakistan match had ended in a tie and been decided by a bowl-out. I knew we should have kept the cricket on.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Andrew McGlashan
Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.

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