England v Netherlands, ICC World Twenty20, Lord's June 5, 2009

England produce the perfect capitulation

England got exactly what they deserved against Netherlands, as they dared to treat a global tournament as a side-show
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What gracious, accommodating, spare-no-blushes hosts England have turned out to be. What a sensational tournament they have just set in motion. Forget the IPL, with its glitz and gaudiness, and beyond-the-boundary's-edge entertainment. All England could do to rescue an evening as dank as their dressing-room was provide a cricketing contest that required no hyperbole. That's exactly what they came up with, conjuring up a humiliation that might even bump Gordon Brown's own meltdown off the front pages of the morning papers. England are dead in the drizzle. Their tournament, however, is soaring through the clouds.

How the game needed a night like this. A perfect capitulation from a host team that, in the accidental admission of the captain Paul Collingwood, took a punt with its selection and fielded a weakened team in anticipation of "a big year ahead of us". What an absurd approach. Not even the prospect of hosting a World Cup - a World Cup! - could shake England out of their arrogant assumption that there's only one contest that counts this summer. Bring on the Ashes? Not on this evidence. Keep them as far away from this contaminated attitude as possible.

The most damning statistic on a sorry evening for the hosts was the sixes count - the most basic indicator of 20-over competence. The Dutch cleared the ropes on four glorious occasions - the pinch-hitting Darron Reekers managed it twice in the first three overs alone - as they followed the orders of their captain, Jeroen Smits, to go down swinging and see what they could do. "I'd rather be 80 all out than 130 for 5," he declared, an attitude that transcended the gulf in status between the sides. The margin of Netherlands' victory was far, far greater than that scampered final run. Victory went to the team that wanted it most, and England, shamefully, barely seemed to want it at all.

"It's pretty hard to take, you call them sides the minnow sides, but today they've thoroughly deserved their victory," said Collingwood. "When you get 160-odd on the board you think you've got enough, but they played with plenty freedom and belief, and they ran better than us between the wickets. The boys are devastated in the dressing-room, but we've got to bounce back, and play a hell of a lot better on Sunday."

Ah yes, Sunday - the real start to England's campaign. Pakistan are the opponents, a daunting team at the best of times, but England may not even get the opportunity to put this debacle behind them. The forecast for the weekend is nigh on apocalyptic, and a wash-out would mean their sorriest World Cup exit yet - yes, worse even than 1999, when they did at least manage to get their opening ceremony underway. But that looming rain-band is all the more reason to question the bewildering complacency England showed in selection, with their two cockiest performers, Kevin Pietersen and Graeme Swann, left on the sidelines to nurse injuries that surely would not have prevented them playing at, say, Cardiff on July 8.

Pietersen's absence was the most unforgivable decision, and when quizzed about his fitness, Collingwood's flustered response spoke volumes. "He woke up this morning very, very sore. It was a surprise to him, and more of a surprise to the rest of us, to be honest. We hope he'll be fit for Sunday, but we're obviously not going to take any major risks, simple as that. He's involved in a big year ahead of us, but this is a must-win game on Sunday, and if he's fit he's playing."

So which is it, Paul? Does Pietersen play through the pain to rescue a World Cup campaign, or does he sit on the sidelines and nurse that Achilles until the Ashes? Even in their hour of desperation, this team cannot bring itself to focus on the present. Too many non-events against a supine West Indies side allowed them to believe they were over the traumas of the past year. And yet, the first side they played this summer who really wanted to beat them was Scotland at Trent Bridge on Wednesday, and - had it not been for Pietersen's soothing half-century - that is almost certainly what Scotland would have done.

If the Dutch took heart from that effort, tonight they added extra soul to create a simple but effective cocktail that left England punch-drunk. "Tonight's performance has surprised a lot of us," said Collingwood. "I thought they were well planned, they stuck to their strengths, and their batting did surprise us. Every time we got a wicket we thought, right, we're on top of them here, but every batsman seemed to score boundaries from ball one. That kind of freedom doesn't come easy. All the players went out and played with that kind of belief, and put us right on the back foot."

Are you serious, Paul? What on earth did England think would happen? Did they honestly believe the Dutch would rock up to what is effectively their home World Cup, and do nothing more than go through the motions? No, there's only one side in the world who would be that deluded. England projected their own misguided prejudices onto their opponents, and found a reflection that was nothing like their preconceptions.

"We played brave cricket tonight," said the Man of the Match, Tom de Grooth, unwittingly echoing Collingwood's pre-series declaration, but doing so in a voice that carried the strength of his convictions. His captain, meanwhile, remained cheekily grounded in his assessment. "I think we played okay," said Smits. "Batting-wise we played up to our capabilities 99%, but in fielding and bowling, there's still room for improvement. We played okay and we're looking forward to our next opposition, that is Pakistan."

England are unlikely to be looking forward to Pakistan with quite the same relish. All their thoughts have turned to sackcloth (and Ashes), and Collingwood, one senses, cannot offload his captaincy burden quickly enough. He was handed the job reluctantly when Andrew Strauss decided to distance himself from this campaign, in what seems in hindsight to have been the shrewdest dereliction of duty imaginable. His orders at the handover would have been simple - maintain our momentum if you can, but at least return my team with some shred of its dignity remaining.

Whoops. Strauss may not be able to lift the ball in the air without picking out long-on, but at least he has a grasp of basic tactics, and can maintain a diplomatic straight face when events go against his men. Sadly for Collingwood, a decent man but a hopeless leader, he has fallen short in every regard. As lugubrious in the build-up as Mike Atherton in his Captain Grumpy heyday, his failure both on and off the field tonight was absolute.

Collingwood's worst decision by far was his reliance on Adil Rashid in those decisive middle overs. Who better to turn to in a crisis than a debutant legspinner, in the rain, with short boundaries? It wasn't that Rashid bowled badly - he did alright in the circumstances, leaking his runs at nine an over. It was that he was bowling at all.

"We were taking a bit of a gamble with Adil today," said Collingwood. "He's not played a lot but we thought that exposure would do him the world of good. Graeme Swann, he knows what he's all about with his offspin and the experience he brings, but a legspinner in Twenty20 cricket is certainly a wicket-taker. I guess we took a bit of a punt on Adil, he bowled exceptionally the other night, and he's certainly a player for the future. Why not put him into a game like this?"

As soon as he said this, Collingwood tried to cram the words back into his mouth, but it was no good, his foot was already wedged firmly in place. "I probably used the wrong word there, if I could take that back I would," he said. "We all know what Adil can do, we've seen what he does in training and he's shown what he can do. We took a gamble on his experience, not on the skills he can produce."

So it's official. This tournament, a global tournament, a direct descendant of the same World Cup that England have failed to win even once in its 34-year history, is nothing more than a knockabout to fill in time and ascertain form before the Ashes begin. Somebody save us from this monstrous delusion. The world is moving forward but England are looking back. And now even the minnows are biting at their heels.

As the long-forgotten Alesha Dixon might have put it, had she been permitted to sing in the rain, "the boys done nothing". On Sunday, if the fates have any decency, England's World Cup journey will come to an end after a pitiful three days. And the teams that actually want to be here will carry their tournament for them.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • rajhazarie on June 9, 2009, 2:30 GMT

    the english are fooling themselves as usual...the are diggint their graves for the ashes as they will be wallopped by the aussies as it has been for a long time except in 2005.....be afraid england...be afraid..aussi may look weak now but they are gonna crush u horribly...sweet dreams....england

  • scritty on June 7, 2009, 19:39 GMT

    Yes. ECB looking for 2 2020 trophy's next season.

    ECB are NOT the public. It is folly.Not only are they overcooking the pudding. They've poured paraffin on it and thrown it into a volcano

    Still as I write we have absolutely THRASHED Pakistan, the runners up in the last 2020.

    In a way I hope we win this tin-pot trophy, then England can retire from all 2020 without it looking like sour grapes.

    Boring game really. Pakistan never even looked like they were interested in winning. But then after hundrends of 2020 over 7 years they are all pretty boring now

  • Hasan-Shahid on June 7, 2009, 19:19 GMT

    I see people are discussing whether it is the World Cup or not, I think these people are more arrogant than the English cricketers! Andrew - man, you deserve some thanks for writing this column. personally I also think that these english management, cricketers got some serious attitude problems. Simply they cant rate anything higher than the Ashes and I think that is their biggest problem. No matter who is the opponent is- an international match is a serious one and you have to take it that way. It is the time to wake up you conservative Britons.

  • PottedLambShanks on June 7, 2009, 18:34 GMT

    Andrew, was Saturday the best day of your life?

  • Abhishek_T on June 7, 2009, 16:43 GMT

    yeah the English people are bored of T20, and noone cares about it in England. No wonder ECB is looking to have two T20 cups from next season.

  • Optimistix on June 7, 2009, 16:19 GMT

    The funniest thing is this "We only take the Ashes seriously" business - all because England won in 2005. What about the rest of the Ashes series in the last 20 years?

    It is no coincidence that the team which won in 2005 had been doing well for a while, against all-comers. Winning as many matches as possible, regardless of the format or opponents, is the best formula for success, even in the Ashes. The records of the two teams over the last 20 years, against each other as well as the rest of the world, tell their own story.

  • dragqueen1 on June 7, 2009, 16:19 GMT

    perhaps if England want to experiment against the leading associates nations perhaps they should play them more often, lets be blunt they have 3 in their backyard and they can barely manage to acknowledge their existence(well apart from nicking their players that is).

  • idontknowidontcare on June 7, 2009, 15:59 GMT

    The Dutch would have probably beaten England at Test Cricket as well (or at least "escaped" with a draw), given that England consider only Australia and West Indies as meaningful opponets.

  • faraz_baig on June 7, 2009, 13:29 GMT

    Hi, I strongly DISAGREE with Andrew Miller here. I am HIGHLY surprised what has lead him to believe this is a true "World Championship". Surely this T20 is the most agricultural form ever, very "gimmicky" and its even difficult to call it "CRICKET". Wouldn't it be 'terrible' to see if top players are injured for the Ashes. Isn't Test Cricket the "real" stuff? Cricket stands apart from rest of the sports and need not follow other sports where theres a need for world cups. Cricket "world champion" would be a team that wins at home and abroad(TEST MATCHES) over a period of time. A world champion can't be determined in a span of just 20 days, I would bet on 1460 days of Test Cricket(4 yrs) to determine a "World Champion" England are right in their tactics to be fresh for the "real" stuff and keep away from the "gimmicky" stuff

  • Kalim_Golandaz on June 7, 2009, 12:15 GMT

    England have invented Twenty/20 ???? Then what have we been playing for the past 30 years in Dubai & Sharjah. Same rules, same format i.e. 20 overs a side and similar scores. Ah yes ....we didn't have those dancing girls and no free hits. Offcourse America was discovered by either Christopher Columbus or Amerigo Vespucci and all those millions of Dark skinned Red Indians were...ummm...not humans.

  • rajhazarie on June 9, 2009, 2:30 GMT

    the english are fooling themselves as usual...the are diggint their graves for the ashes as they will be wallopped by the aussies as it has been for a long time except in 2005.....be afraid england...be afraid..aussi may look weak now but they are gonna crush u horribly...sweet dreams....england

  • scritty on June 7, 2009, 19:39 GMT

    Yes. ECB looking for 2 2020 trophy's next season.

    ECB are NOT the public. It is folly.Not only are they overcooking the pudding. They've poured paraffin on it and thrown it into a volcano

    Still as I write we have absolutely THRASHED Pakistan, the runners up in the last 2020.

    In a way I hope we win this tin-pot trophy, then England can retire from all 2020 without it looking like sour grapes.

    Boring game really. Pakistan never even looked like they were interested in winning. But then after hundrends of 2020 over 7 years they are all pretty boring now

  • Hasan-Shahid on June 7, 2009, 19:19 GMT

    I see people are discussing whether it is the World Cup or not, I think these people are more arrogant than the English cricketers! Andrew - man, you deserve some thanks for writing this column. personally I also think that these english management, cricketers got some serious attitude problems. Simply they cant rate anything higher than the Ashes and I think that is their biggest problem. No matter who is the opponent is- an international match is a serious one and you have to take it that way. It is the time to wake up you conservative Britons.

  • PottedLambShanks on June 7, 2009, 18:34 GMT

    Andrew, was Saturday the best day of your life?

  • Abhishek_T on June 7, 2009, 16:43 GMT

    yeah the English people are bored of T20, and noone cares about it in England. No wonder ECB is looking to have two T20 cups from next season.

  • Optimistix on June 7, 2009, 16:19 GMT

    The funniest thing is this "We only take the Ashes seriously" business - all because England won in 2005. What about the rest of the Ashes series in the last 20 years?

    It is no coincidence that the team which won in 2005 had been doing well for a while, against all-comers. Winning as many matches as possible, regardless of the format or opponents, is the best formula for success, even in the Ashes. The records of the two teams over the last 20 years, against each other as well as the rest of the world, tell their own story.

  • dragqueen1 on June 7, 2009, 16:19 GMT

    perhaps if England want to experiment against the leading associates nations perhaps they should play them more often, lets be blunt they have 3 in their backyard and they can barely manage to acknowledge their existence(well apart from nicking their players that is).

  • idontknowidontcare on June 7, 2009, 15:59 GMT

    The Dutch would have probably beaten England at Test Cricket as well (or at least "escaped" with a draw), given that England consider only Australia and West Indies as meaningful opponets.

  • faraz_baig on June 7, 2009, 13:29 GMT

    Hi, I strongly DISAGREE with Andrew Miller here. I am HIGHLY surprised what has lead him to believe this is a true "World Championship". Surely this T20 is the most agricultural form ever, very "gimmicky" and its even difficult to call it "CRICKET". Wouldn't it be 'terrible' to see if top players are injured for the Ashes. Isn't Test Cricket the "real" stuff? Cricket stands apart from rest of the sports and need not follow other sports where theres a need for world cups. Cricket "world champion" would be a team that wins at home and abroad(TEST MATCHES) over a period of time. A world champion can't be determined in a span of just 20 days, I would bet on 1460 days of Test Cricket(4 yrs) to determine a "World Champion" England are right in their tactics to be fresh for the "real" stuff and keep away from the "gimmicky" stuff

  • Kalim_Golandaz on June 7, 2009, 12:15 GMT

    England have invented Twenty/20 ???? Then what have we been playing for the past 30 years in Dubai & Sharjah. Same rules, same format i.e. 20 overs a side and similar scores. Ah yes ....we didn't have those dancing girls and no free hits. Offcourse America was discovered by either Christopher Columbus or Amerigo Vespucci and all those millions of Dark skinned Red Indians were...ummm...not humans.

  • nitinmenon on June 7, 2009, 11:54 GMT

    I think as professionals, it is important that the players turn up with their best effort when they go out on field. Having long term vision is good, and England may have only Ashes on their minds, but it is important that when they are participating in a tournament, they should do what is best for that tournament. Thats what they are being paid for.

  • uknsaunders on June 7, 2009, 10:43 GMT

    As others have said, this format makes result less predictable. The longer the format the more likely the stronger side will win. Aussies are the best in the world at 50 overs and test matches with good reason. In 20/20 one good knock (de groot 49 in 30 balls) and a few guys chipping in, can get you to 160 on your day. Scotland could've turned New Zealand over, and the Windies thrashed Aussies thanks to gayle coming off. England aren't a good international 20/20 side and when a few big guns are carrying injuries and can't play, they struggle. That said, any england side ought to be able to beat the Netherlands with the resources and player pool available. I think Flower and co expected England to do a professional job and they didn't, I certainly don't think it was a mark of disrespect to the Dutch or the competition. Would you risk your best batter getting badly injured for a 20/20 with 7 one-dayers and 5 tests in the next 12 weeks against the best side in the world?

  • scritty on June 7, 2009, 8:47 GMT

    Over and over again I see people write "It's a world cup" (implying that England should treat it as such) I hate to rain on anyone's parade but; It's NOT a World Cup. Quite specifically it's called "World Twenty20". No"cup" involved in the title.

    This is no accident. It was quite deliberately NOT given World Cup status by the ICC (and at the time, before they won it, the main National Board that opposed it being A World Cup was the BCCI)

    This is not a world cup, India have NOT WON A WORLD CUP IN T20.

    There IS no World Cup T20, probably never will be, and this is, in large, at the insistance of the BCCI 2 years ago.

    This is a cobbled together format and pretty meaningless. No-one in England cares, very few in Australia care. If you DO then fine, lovely care away. But don't criticise us for not caring. England invented T20, have had it 7 years for full domestic competitions. None of the regular England players even play it! Most cricket watchers here are bored of it.

  • crooked_hyeena on June 7, 2009, 6:53 GMT

    heard some english experts sayin dont wanna name must be shame for them..... england can win the world cup but must be vary of south africa lolzzzz and yeah they want to beat aussies in ashes... need a reminder guys u have lost to holland now can u beat aussies poor pommies.

    ( Why fight for a ash when u have a gold ..)

  • angs on June 7, 2009, 5:14 GMT

    I remember Paul Collingwood....saying to the media that they were easing into this tournament with supreme confidence...they may as well ease out of this tournament with supreme disgrace!!

  • skks on June 7, 2009, 2:52 GMT

    I saw a few comments blaming the T20 format for England's failure, talk about sour grapes - aren't the English supposed to have invented this format ?

  • idontknowidontcare on June 7, 2009, 2:36 GMT

    Well, did Collingwood say something about being "clinical" after the series against WI, in which the latter were least interested, if at all? England can be "clinical" all they like against a sulking WI, and I am not sure for how long even that would remain true.

    My suggestion is for England to ignore the Ashes altogether, and concentrate on these "small" tournaments, so that they may have at least something to show, because they are going to lose the Ashes 5-0 anyway.

  • Hawk793 on June 7, 2009, 2:27 GMT

    stop trying to pass the buck no matter who England put on the field they should of won the fact remains England is not as good as England thinks beating a West Indian side who clearly did not want to play and disadvantage due to that ridiculous weather and got complacent ...face it you are not that Good point blank

  • kkartic on June 7, 2009, 1:38 GMT

    In hindsight, the Ashes which England won back in 2005 probably did more damage than good.It gave England the misplaced belief that they were good enough to win it and didnt realise that it was a fluke and that they should not waste their time thinking about it. And the worst part is the arrogance, the thought that they are right and everyone else is wrong....

  • Nampally on June 7, 2009, 1:23 GMT

    20/20 format has very little room for errors and missed chances. Had England held their chances they would have won with even a grossly weakened team. Broad dropped a C & B chance and a runout on the last ball of the match. Even if he had not overthrown that ball the game would have been tied with another chance for England to win. Every match in 20/20 gives both team an equal chance for victory.If England had not dropped KP, Swann, Mescarenhas & Shah, they would have won easily well before the last over.The team selectors of the Netherland match need some talking to. Even now England has a good chance of beating Pakistan which may ensure a place in last 8. But they must play their best game in batting, bowling and fielding to win. Netherland may lose to Pakistan by a big margin which will ensure 3 teams tied. Run average becomes the critical point which England can turn it in their favour tonorrow by winning convincingly against Pakistan. So all is not lost but a good lesson learnt.

  • Crick_skills on June 6, 2009, 23:53 GMT

    Thank you for your Column Andrew. I am glad you wrote about this. As a fan of cricket game, it think its quite insulting of the world CUP tournament and the fans of cricket all over the world, the way ECB has treated this tournament so far.

    What an inaugural ceremony! Ohh yeah its not ASHES !! ( For god sake... it is the world cup tournament of the most popular version of the game!). I also noticed the lack of advertisement of the world cup and ECB'S decision to give people time to rest for ASHES ( God help their thinking !)

    I totally agree with Adam Gilchrist. In the current increasingly fast life and from tough competition from other sports, T20 can be a brand ambassador of the the Cricket all over the world. But ECB has failed to advertise this beautiful and entertaining version of the game....... so far. But i am hopeful the game will win the battle over the mentality !!

  • jamrith on June 6, 2009, 22:47 GMT

    There is no need to get so excited, T20 is a format where any team can win on its day. That statement sounds trite, but the shorter the game the more valid it becomes--- see how the Scots batted in 7 overs on 6/6. So, England and Australia lost but that is no need to get so pessimistic and down in the mouth. It is only a game, as Western commentators and players like to keep reminding rabid sub-continental fans !!

  • UriGagarin on June 6, 2009, 22:23 GMT

    Can't disagree with the sentiment here. England just don't take anything seriously except the Ashes . Well yeah , its the most important cricketing competition we have but it shouldn't be to the exclusion of all others.

    To really be a successful team we have to treat every game as its the crucial final session of the Ashes . The comments from the Collingwood suggest that really don't have the mentality to treat every game as though their lives depend on it. Doesn't help that the few players we chose that know how to play 20/20 have been mostly sitting on the sidelines (again), or brought in at the wrong time. I wonder, if instead of castigating the team we should be looking at adding a specialised 20/20 selector, someone who understands it , cos quite frankly we continue to make these team selections and its killing us. 20/20 is all about flexibility, thinking on your feet , for bowler and batsmen and Captain, and England achieve 1 out of the 3 at best in a game .

  • gripusa on June 6, 2009, 22:05 GMT

    perfect article and complete description of my feelings, please for GOD sake any form of cricket is important as long as its formal. I just simply dont understand our administrations that after losing out from any team they always come with a statement "hay we are preparing for Ashes" and if we dont care for T20 what the hell we are concern about and why we keep saying "Its a must win game". Look at the culutures and mark my words , sooner T20 will be the most popular form of the cricket in the world (although personaly i still prefer Test Cricket) but as a cricket fan any form of the national cricket is important for me.

  • mmfashir on June 6, 2009, 22:00 GMT

    Well Cricket is always an unpredictable game.But now for England it's predictable,that they are going to loose the match before game start's. Forget Ashes.Englishmen No where near Aussies,though Australian cricket in it's worst era. If I am a person who is responsible for English cricket,surely will reshuffle the team from top to bottom.Even Brain wash the English players. The gretast problem in England Cricket is they Are not consistent performers & Not talented in the industry. Injuries ?? How often we hear from English cricketers.Are they Playing for the country? or for money? Indeed they are not playing for their country.Just think for a minute. Am i wrong??? Give one chance for myself to come to UK.I ll make the difference.

  • pprozac on June 6, 2009, 21:58 GMT

    Interesting to see the different reactions and comments here. Coments here from India fans are to be expected-brought up on the hype of the IPL.T20 is the rgeatest thing ever! I actually find it funny that they are offended that England are not taking this cup seriously In England T20 is seen for what it is-trivial, harmless fun with no long term meaning or imprint. T20 on an English county level is on its way down. Modi and his rogues will devalue the IPL further by proposing two tournaments a year. Let's see if T20 is aorund in ten years time-test cricket will.

  • sickleinmybrain on June 6, 2009, 21:44 GMT

    Yes, 20/20 doesn't require any skill at all!

    McCullum Showed no skill in hitting 158* at all did he...?

    Stupid england... Well done Netherlands

  • Clunk1 on June 6, 2009, 21:40 GMT

    At the end of the day, it's only England. Who cares?

  • philvic on June 6, 2009, 21:23 GMT

    Gilchrist, Haydn and Warne are good examples of former great cricketers cashing in at the end of their careers. I am pretty sure they know its all rubbish - Gilchrist said as much before the IPL contract floated past his nose. 20/20 is a terrible advert for cricket.

  • Venn on June 6, 2009, 20:59 GMT

    For godsakes England should stop talking about ASHES all the time. No body cares for ur ashes....even the aussies who win it all the time worry abt it only a few days before it starts unlike England who tend to dream, eat n drink ashes and eventually suck at it like a bunch of school kids. Even a week before this T20 they were worried abt ASHES line up and all that stuff....and they absolutely deserve to lose this one today and i'll be more than happy if they lose the next one and get knocked out of the tournament. I hope the English foucs on the present rather than worrying about something irrelevant which they are not good at anyways.

  • mmoosa on June 6, 2009, 20:10 GMT

    20 over cricket is intense,unpredictable and fun.To imply that the skill level is reduced or lucky slogging is not rubbish,its absolute rubbish and some change! Try hitting a Lee,Murali,etc takes extreme levels of skill,ability practise. Ask Gilchrist,Hayden,Warne,etc what the IPL meant to them is to send a shiver up the spine to all doubters and naysayers. Unless they are dismissed as liars-in which case all cricket is phony! NOT!

  • Abhishek_T on June 6, 2009, 20:05 GMT

    Hey tick,

    I hope you are watching India vs Bangladesh. This is the difference between India and England, unlike England we treat a world cup as the world cup. The loss against Bangladesh in 2007 was more of an exception and India routinely makes it past the league stage in World Cups unlike the Poms. 2 Finals and a championship in last three world cups (T20 and ODI's) is not too shabby. I don't really care about The Ashes (btw it is more of an embarrassment for English than an actual rivalry), and you know what the Aussies are going to humiliate the English again.

  • shamz7 on June 6, 2009, 20:03 GMT

    excellent excellent article, England base everything they do on the ashes, not only does this mess themselves up but it is quite insulting to the teams they play in the mean time and has come back to bite them. Great victory for the Netherlands

  • Batesout_LUFC on June 6, 2009, 19:00 GMT

    look at the end of the day 20/20 was only created to raise money and attract big clouds if we lost a full 1 day international to Holland then i would be worried. take 2 of indias best players out of their side and a couple of decent players that should of played then im sure they wouldnt have sailed past the dutch

  • WTF-eh on June 6, 2009, 18:57 GMT

    Stop doing them chemicals, dear Andrew - they're getting to ya. Paul Collingwood - A decent man? Ask Vettori. A "captain" who claims a run-out on an opponent who's fallen from a collision is the worst possible bottom-feeder. People like him should be kicked out of the game for it's own good.

  • scritty on June 6, 2009, 18:00 GMT

    What people are forgetting is that England have had 7 years of 2020.

    Not just the odd game, but full domestic competitions, each county playing game after game..year after year.

    Most of the world was scornful of it less than 2 years ago...when we were in our 5th FULL YEAR.

    The truth..It's dull. 6's have lost their value, people are bored of slow / low pitches deliberately made to support defensive bowling - teams with no bowling attack at all - just 3 dibbly dobblers and 2 spinners. A batsman scores a 6..it used to be "WOW ..Look at that" now it "Oh..another one..yawn"

    I think in 5 years time the rest of the world will come to see 2020 as we are now in the UK..dull. There is no real competition between bat and ball. Wickets are almost meaningless when sides bat down to number 9 or 10 in a 20 over game.

    We DO care more about the Ashes, and in 10 years time it will seem laughable to think we shouldn't have.

    Bye Bye Twenty20 !!

  • NorwegianCricketer on June 6, 2009, 17:46 GMT

    I think it is good for this great game that Netherland won. Should some nations have the right to win because they are full members of ICC? I read there are some sore losers (most likely brits) who blame the 20/20 format that England lost.

  • Graduated_Cheetah on June 6, 2009, 17:17 GMT

    Excellent Article ... Makes the England Team look ridiculous n truly unprofessional ... An just look at how Aussies ended up against West Indies...

    Come on these two countries should not participate in T20 World Cup if they find Ashes too dear and a much bigger event ...

  • CricFan78 on June 6, 2009, 16:49 GMT

    Patrick Clarke how about blaming your average English team? That chip on your shoulder against IPL is clearly shining.

  • Loiterer on June 6, 2009, 15:12 GMT

    This was a brilliantly funny article. Wonderful writing, and comic timing. Good stuff, Andrew Miller.

  • Fruho on June 6, 2009, 13:45 GMT

    True One of the most upfront, frank, and honest articles I have ever read on Cricinfo

  • Mitch_cricket on June 6, 2009, 13:39 GMT

    england: world cup < the ashes.. phew!!

  • The_Wog on June 6, 2009, 13:32 GMT

    My highlight was Broad trying the Jonty Rhodes flying runout, falling short, and jolting the ball loose just 2 inches from the stumps! Cost the match - if he makes the RO, NED needs 2 to tie off the last and Broad just walks to the bowler's end stumps instead of throws. Instead, there's me screaming in joy and waking the neighbours at 6am.

    (BTW with AUS 3-2 I don't know that we should be lauding Ponting's non-IPL preparation. I can't see what's intrinsically wrong with playing T20 as a warm-up to the T20WC.)

  • number-09 on June 6, 2009, 13:30 GMT

    vswami

    Apparently when West Indies defeated England in the West-Indies it was still nothing. I am sure it would be more apt to say both sides are nothing sides. The better of the two nothing sides won on their home turf. England will get trounced in the ashes?, so they say but I do not think so. This england side is better than the one that lost last time.

  • Patrick_Clarke on June 6, 2009, 13:08 GMT

    Re: cricket_please. Where and how did Pietersen and Flintoff get their injuries? I rest my case.

  • philvic on June 6, 2009, 12:53 GMT

    Says more about 20/20 than about England - It is not a fit format for professional cricket so it will produce ludicrous results.

  • anku6 on June 6, 2009, 12:39 GMT

    LOL! What kind of Third World country is England ? It just shows the poor state of affairs under Mr. Clarke. ECB has taken a complete nose dive. Wrong priorities (like the Stanford T20 and the Ashes) India on the other hand showed twice how T20 could be managed. ICC made a great mistake in allocating ICC T20 World cup to UK. England has become a laughing stock of he world. I am worried about the Olympics now.

  • maddy7869 on June 6, 2009, 12:06 GMT

    I would like to suggest to England is try and be a bit more realistic in trying to assess where they are in terms of there form, they do like to blow there own trumpet way too much and this has always contributed to there own downfall, they needed to be given a reality check which they have now had in the worst possible way and now would need to rise from the deths of sorrow to salvage some pride but I think its way too late now, as Pakistan wont give England a walk in the park but would make sure England are out of the tournament for good....

  • vak1962 on June 6, 2009, 12:00 GMT

    To me, English players still look like playing Test Match Cricket. I am sorry to say this, but though I love to watch sporting cricket talent from England, they are too conservative and orthodox that T20 looks like blasphemy to their approach. Even, Kevin and Freddie are stylish and hard-working but T20 requires bashers and those who can uninhibitively dive to stall the flowing runs from the opposition. Hence, I wasn't shocked to hear Paul addressing the press about his concern for the ashes ahead. Well, we should leave it at that.

    I would still pray for miracles so that the hosts get another opporutnity, here.

  • 68704 on June 6, 2009, 11:41 GMT

    I can understand your anguish and am appalled at the English performance.Last time around Australia lost to Zimbabwe and ponting sid something very relevant, he said the game should be respected. i remember England similarly made a mess of the cricket world cup in the west Indies, saying that there were more worried about the ashes and we all know what happened then.But Flintoff and pietersen had no business to be at the IPL and the ECB had no business to permit them. England deserves whatever they are getting. Ramanujam Sridhar

  • ttk_2007 on June 6, 2009, 11:28 GMT

    Am feeling sorry for the brits. But guess what, it is their nature to glorify, has caused their downfall. In reality other than Pietersen they do not have single player to play t20. Next, the brit media always talks/hypes about ashes, when, truth is, most of the time it was one sided ( Aussies). Come on brits grow up, stop hyping ur game and players. Concentrate on your game.

  • AlexDackard on June 6, 2009, 11:16 GMT

    Great Result!!! Hope for many more of such upsets, may be few years down the line we can have a T20 cup winner from one of the associate members of ICC.Tell you what T20 is a hope for cricket in a long time that this game can be truly globalized, and at last we can have more than just handful competitive nations. Cheers for the little guys of cricket.

  • OOZZ on June 6, 2009, 11:09 GMT

    I can see a few comments from English fans that may sound like sour grapes to the untrained ear. But, they will be quick to assure you that it is not true and they are all genuine lovers of "proper" cricket. Gimme a break. Simon w - in any sport, the better side does not always win. The side that plays better on the day wins.

  • cricket_please on June 6, 2009, 10:50 GMT

    @Patrick_Clarke: If you thinkk blowing 4 over in IPL is responsible for England loss, well what else I can say about the sorry state of minds of English fans like you.

  • mubujk on June 6, 2009, 10:42 GMT

    England need to take every form of cricket important. Having played more the 750 test matches, they feel that they understand cricket better then else. Thats why they never win a World Cup and also they are way behind in the race of ASHES.... England need to improve and respect Cricket in true manner... I still cannot get the idea of making 4 debut in World Cup match. You must have your senior played in your side, whether playing with Ireland or Australia...

  • raghavanviv on June 6, 2009, 10:34 GMT

    It never fails to amaze me how naive England really are. After not winning a single major world tournament, they are on the brink of an early exit here. The main problem lies with the ridiculous and downright stupid notion that the be all and end all of world cricket is the ashes. They have never paid enough respect to other series and tournaments and this is the reason why they deserved to lose last night, and all credit to holland for playing with the hunger to win. England will not win the ashes this year and it is stupid for them to think they can after wins against a poor WI. In my opinion, they should do a comedy show as they are the biggest joke in world sport.

  • Gazzypops on June 6, 2009, 10:31 GMT

    To be fair to England, I think what really threw them was that they weren't playing the West Indies.

  • andrew-schulz on June 6, 2009, 10:22 GMT

    Yes we need to take every form of cricket seriously and not treat it lighty. But the stupid way this tournament is run makes it difficult. The system makes it more akin to a scissors/paper/rock event than a cricket event. And then there's the prospect of rain....

  • Patrick_Clarke on June 6, 2009, 10:21 GMT

    The greed of Pietersen and Flintoff in putting their bank balance ahead of playing for England, and the spinelessness of the ECB in allowing it when permitting them to go to the IPL has come home to roost. This humiliation was deserved and they are the real guilty parties, not those doing their best but not being good enough on the night.

    Contrast this with the decisiveness of Australia in sending Andrew Symonds home from this tournament and the leadership shown by Ricky Ponting and the other leading Australian players in declining to play in the IPL and giving priority to playing for Australia and preparing properly for it.

  • ram17 on June 6, 2009, 10:21 GMT

    it is interesting to note that in cricket the shocking moments are displayed on the knees - misbah and broad - are the two defining moments!

  • simon_w on June 6, 2009, 10:01 GMT

    This was a less-than-astute performance from England, for sure, but as all the commentators have (rightly) been saying in the build up to this tournament, Twenty20 is a bit of a lottery, and any team can beat any other on a given day. Technique and skill are not usually the deciding factor. I don't think we expected to see such dramatic proof of that in the first game, but that's all it was - proof that Twenty20 is great entertainment, but not great cricket, and that the better side does not always win.

  • ArgumentativeKings on June 6, 2009, 9:29 GMT

    Awesome article dude! I can understand ur feelings and de pride u carry for ur country! Sorry sign anyways!

  • suni_kumar on June 6, 2009, 9:22 GMT

    nice one andrew,. well said.. england has never been a team to watch for in any tournament and same here, the sooner england goes out of the t20 the better, typical english team, visible apathy, fantastic performance by dutch, some one questioned "does he mean ashes pale in comparison to T20", no, everything has it's own importance, and need to give due respect, otherwise this is what happens..

  • uglyhunK on June 6, 2009, 9:10 GMT

    Lazys0d1990 - dude, wake up.....see the world around u. Nobody is demeaning ashes. The problem with English cricket is they don't care about other forms or for that matter other test series. Hopeless bunch of losers.

  • tfjones1978 on June 6, 2009, 9:00 GMT

    I think the amusing thing is that even if England lose their next match, they will still auto qualify for next years World T20, whereas Netherlands still have to qualify.

    I believe that the ICC should: * Expand next years World T20 to 14 Teams (2x7, Semis & Final). * Teams that Qualify for this World T20 Super 8's should qualify for next years World T20. * Expand next years World T20 Qualifiers to 12 Teams (2x6), being Teams finishing 9-12 in this T20, Zimbarbwe and Top 7 Associate ODI teams that are not already listed. Top 3 teams from each group would qualify.

    My guess is the 8 Auto Qualifiers would be: Aust, SA, Ind, Pak, NZ, SRL, BANG & NETH.

    My guess is the 12 World T20 Q's would be: Teams 9-12: Eng, WI, IRL & Scot. (Zimb) 7 Assoc's: Canada, Kenya, Afghan, UAE, Namibia, USA & Bermuda.

    This would give an incentive for ALL teams to perform in the World T20's, as well as giving more matches for each team in the World T20 (why have 4 warms?)

    Why have a cozy club?

  • SuhasSwamy on June 6, 2009, 8:23 GMT

    Great Article Andrew! Paul, you must be kidding me. Based on beating the west indies you are assuming you have a chance at the ashes! Australia with 8 men on the feild will beat England 5-Nil along with a first round exit from the world cup. 34 years and England havent won a world cup. Ask England how to screw up a game you invented and were good at. Sleep tight Paul and dream well, thats the only place you can win the ashes and may be a world cup in 2020..

  • johnbidd on June 6, 2009, 8:16 GMT

    Peter Roebuck will be happy anyway! Along with the change in results between the first year's IPL and this year's (ie the last 2 teams first time around getting to the final this year, and last year's finalists not making the finals) just goes to show any 20/20 game is a toss-up. As another Aussie, happy to see England lose, but not taking any Ashes comfort from it.

  • Muqs on June 6, 2009, 8:12 GMT

    It was one of the awful performance by the English team ever. I am from Bangladesh,since we dont expect much from our own team so everyone in our country has another favorite team.In this way i dont know how england became my favorite since year 2000(successful year for them), since then i have been a loyal fan to england.However at times england team upsets me just like all other fans they have.I wont go into their perception abt ashes n non-ashes events,rather i would like to say what they can do against pak,first kick-out key,morgan n adil,bring in kp,swann n napier, and then wait for pakistan to make mistake.I dnt think england is capable of beating england but i am sure pakistan is capable defeating themselves.Keep ur fingers crossed n wait pakistan to do something bad to themselves which they r very much capable of doin.I wish bad luck to pakistan so that they can help themselves to make an early exit and allow england to reach the super8.

  • bonaku on June 6, 2009, 8:11 GMT

    a master piece from Andrew... but unfortunately for ECB and england, they play only ashes... and remaining all the matches are just games to practice. That is their attitude...for last 30 or more years and it will be like that for a while...

  • Red_Hawk on June 6, 2009, 8:02 GMT

    Well its sad how people can equate/outweigh the importance of the Twenty20 World Cup to the Ashes. Pathetic really..

    Kudos to the Netherlands for their belief, England just switched off, they need to make a statement against Pakistan in their next game.

  • Theena on June 6, 2009, 7:47 GMT

    Lazys0d1990, I think what Miller is implying is that English cricket's perennial obsession with the Ashes as the only cricket series that matters needs re-examining. It has come to a point where English cricket is really not taken seriously anymore.

  • Theena on June 6, 2009, 7:44 GMT

    I love reading Andrew Miller's post-match reports when he is this pissed off.

  • adityalsr on June 6, 2009, 7:35 GMT

    india were n the same position in 2007 carribean world cup

  • sandeep1978 on June 6, 2009, 7:32 GMT

    Me thinks, which is not very often, that england should only play the ASHES from now on as thats will spare them a lot of embarressment and a lot of their countrymen their valuable time...

  • adam_clone on June 6, 2009, 7:10 GMT

    On most days, I would've supported the minnows, against biggies. I am from the US, but by jeez, I badly wanted England to win today, the only reason being them the hosts. I'm just a supporter of the game, and the hosts bombing out in the first round doesn't really help the game, now, does it ? And all the Ashes talk, I'm like a toad waiting for'em rains. Who doesn't want to see how true those claims about Australia now being a weaker side truly is. I've always supported England in the Ashes. But seeing the English team's attitude today, I'm seriously re-considering supporting them. If a professional side considers a World Cup a joke, there is seriously some caning due. What is the logic behind sending Key as low as he was down the order, and why werent Dimitri and Swann in the squad ? What were the roles defined for Owais, Paulie and Key ? Play ping pong ? The rookie spinner, even after having been taken apart already, still being sent in, after the game went critical ??? Oh Lord !

  • Lennon_Marx on June 6, 2009, 7:08 GMT

    i think in the end if you asked the vast majority of players and even spectators in England and even perhaps Australia whether they'd prefer a good showing in a twenty20 series or the Ashes they'd still say the Ashes overwhelmingly. it's easy to get caught up in the hype that surrounds this shortened form of the game in other parts of the world but in England test cricket (and especially against Australia) is still the primary form of the game. As such I think it's perfectly fair to have sat Pietersen, one of the most important cogs for winning back the urn if their was to be the slightest chance that he might be a risk of reinjuring his achilles- it's a no brainer for the selectors-if the world cup were in England or Egypt. I agree however though with the analysis of Swann's absence although once you pick the legspinner I think you have to bowl him in the middle overs regardless of the situation, else Wright and collingwood would bowl 4 each- I doubt if results would have differed.

  • omairhameed on June 6, 2009, 7:05 GMT

    "England shud practise with a bowl and & little water in it,not a bat & a ball.keep Ashes in ur mind & cry over the burnt..." if that's how importance is given ashes... To all Englishmen...How important is the Worldcup for you??? is it that you gave ashes so much importance that the country which has the cricket birth marked to their name hasn't won ever... Or is it that you like( or better say try) defeating the top of the table team to give yourself satisfaction that we have won the worldcup... England grow up with moulded mind not with the same old thougths... and when u have talent let it rule the cricketing world... Ashes is respectfully important but worldcup is far more important than the Ashes... this is how it is...get it right "Think Tanks"

  • Bilal_S on June 6, 2009, 6:58 GMT

    Ha ha, good one Andrew.

    I think it is very true that England seem to take this contest too lightly, and, by focusing so rigidly on the Ashes, they put too much pressure on themselves.

    Unlike the last Twenty20, this one is going to mean something to the winning side. Twenty20 has grown in status rapidly and we all know now that it is here to stay.

    I cannot fully blame England for downplaying it though, as it is clear that their players are not suited to the format. Maybe it's a bit of a chicken n egg situation - I say that they try not to take it seriously because they cannot adjust to it, others would say they cannot adjust to it because they don't take it seriously.

    Either way, hopefully this loss will serve to awaken them into recognising the fast changing face of cricket, and to stop hiding being excuses. England cannot continue using their entire international calender as practice games for an Ashes series they will again, almost certainly, lose.

  • henchart on June 6, 2009, 6:57 GMT

    One swallow does not make a summer but Poms have been made to swallow their pride .Ashes are not the be all and end all of cricket as people like BoB Willis ,Paul Allott believe.T 20 is the order of the day and not a trivial slugfest .Bottom line is that Poms are at bottom be it Test ,One -day or T20.They wont accept it though.

  • liaqathussain on June 6, 2009, 6:49 GMT

    i wish n pray the stupid icc support to build dutch cricket,,after what the acheive last night thy deserve more help,, and england need to get the head out of the .... n stop talking abt the ashes 24/7 ,, i dont see the aussies talking about the ashes all the time,, play what is now, not what is to come,, forget the ashes becuase the world doesnt care that much,,

  • Edmond on June 6, 2009, 6:49 GMT

    England cricketers & their administrators are probably even more arrogant than the boys down-under, but can you blame them. Every time they win, they just thrashed the WI, the media blows their trumpet! (but completely over the top) Their egos' are boosted and over massaged and they end up believing they are the best! Hey, in cricket confidence and positive thinking is everything and if you don't have it you're dead-in-the-water, but this just stinks of utter arrogance.

    If England are only focussed on the Ashes, then they should not have fielded a single of the Ashes players in this tournament - what have they achieved by fielding a less than their full strength side? nothing, in fact they have simply eroded the confidence of fantastic bowlers like Broad & his fellow Ashes mates.

    Like most things in life, it is all or nothing - not some half-baked commitment!

    In truth I don't think England's best team would have beaten the Dutch yesterday!

  • Kiwi-Muncher on June 6, 2009, 6:49 GMT

    Oh dear oh dear, my sides are splitting, lets rest our best players against the rabble and save them for the hard games, we dont want to disturb all that cotton wool. Is it less than twelve months since the Poms were all going to become automatic millionaires, playing some two bit side from some Islands somewhere? My my what a balls up, Andy Flowers must be looking for a rock to climb under, one wonders what Mr Buchanon would have done in a similar position. Does PLAY YOUR BEST TEAMS AT ALL TIMES RING A BELL, good riddance to bad rubbish, let the games commence, Lordy lordy I have stomach cramps from laugh so much what an absolute joke. Oh and one other thing what a great effort from the Netherlands team, I hope the champers and beers flowed freely, I just hope Roy wasnt in the dressing room full of beer, oh that is right he is on a plane outta there, great start to this little Tourny

  • pragmatist on June 6, 2009, 6:40 GMT

    Spot on Mr Miller. England's attitude to this competition stinks. However, credit to the Dutch, and we should also concede that in T20, any team can win. What a great format for the smaller sides. England lost this in their selection, and in the second half of their innings. Where was Dimi? Where in fact was Napier? Rashid was an eccentric pick, and I hope this great potential Test match talent isn't damaged by this. And Collingwood as reluctant captain - this is what happens if you give someone a job who doesn't really want it. Sad to say but the sooner England "go home" and leave this tournament to those who want to be there, the better.

  • InTheDeep on June 6, 2009, 6:37 GMT

    Being an Aussie, I'm the last man to stick up for the English team, but the competition last night was much closer than some believe. If England had succeeded in running out at least one of the many Dutch batsmen who gave them such golden opportunities, the result may have gone the other way. What it showed me was that the English may practice hitting the stumps in the nets, but when they get the chance to do it - under pressure - they fall apart miserably. I haven't seen such terrible misses in a long time - and one or two of them were from very close range. But all credit to the Dutch. What a courageous effort. It was the best combination of a cool mental strategy and outright courage that I've seen in a "lesser" opponent in a long time. The other teams in the competition had better look out. The Dutch are going to be the dam busters in this tournament!

  • kaiser1 on June 6, 2009, 6:35 GMT

    Well I watched the whole match live sitting in Hong Kong with enthusiasm as i'm cricket crazy like many. I feel for Englishmen, but their management and execution of plans was poor and their mis-fielding at crucial times let them down. It was a nail biter till the end and i enjoyed the usual uncertainty of fluctuating situations of the cricket that is often linked with it. What i guess is that Andrew Strauss should have played T20 as he is the perfect opening batsman and his aggression that he shows in Test matches and one dayers is enough for a batsman to be in a T2o Team. Thanks and good luck.

  • AncientAstronaut on June 6, 2009, 6:17 GMT

    Uh, oh! England has done it again. They're not very good at one day cricket, are they? The Ashes have been a huge distraction for them. I really hope that the Dutch beat the Pakistanis too. That'd be fun!

  • venkatakshay on June 6, 2009, 6:16 GMT

    Fully agree with the views of Mr Miller. England never seem to think beyond Ashes, even if their record in the Ashes has been unflattering for the last two decades.If their performance against the Dutch is anything to go by, then this record is unlikely to change.

  • caesarfer on June 6, 2009, 6:00 GMT

    To LaLazy0d1990,

    I dont believe that, after having read Mr. Miller's article, he is suggesting there is a difference in significance between the T20 world cup and the ashes.

    Firstly, it is a "world" cup. This means England are representing their country on a world stage watched by millions of people around the world.

    Secondly, I believe that Australia are the only team that can bring England back down to the ground when it comes to the Ashes. They can do this by showing England every now and then that the ashes are great to play in and win, but it is not their holy grail.

    Gone are the tea sipping gentlemen days. Gone are the days of smug gesticulation at all other tournaments apart from the ashes. We are in 2009 where the world wants tough, quick, entertaining cricket.- And England have yet to come to the party.

  • Copernicus on June 6, 2009, 5:55 GMT

    Calm down mate. England played lazy cricket and deserved to be embarassed by an eager Dutch outfit, that's for sure, but you seem to be suggesting that this trivial slogfest is more or just as important as the Ashes. Twenty20 as a format has only been around for a few years, while the Ashes have a long and prestigious history dating back for over a century....while it's wrong to treat any international tournament with England's aloofness I think they are right in concentrating on the far more important Ashes.

  • dagbo on June 6, 2009, 5:38 GMT

    A wonderful game. So happy I have tickets for Tuesday's game - Holland v Pakistan (oh, and NZ v SA). The England cricket team are now on par for me with the England football team...great to watch sometimes and they never fail to disappoint in the most embarrassing and enjoyable way. Long may they continue to have no focus but Australia :-)

  • r1m2 on June 6, 2009, 5:34 GMT

    Over the years I've gotten fairly used to an Andrew Miller article. This one though did not read like one. A pleasant surprise. At any rate, England has some serious problems with their thinking. The simplest one is, they do not think about how they won the last Ashes. The last Ashes was won, on the strength of the immense confidence they gained over the several tests and odi series that England managed to perform respectably. I believe they were unbeaten in 7 straight tests series going into the 2005 Ashes. That is what won them the crunch game. And since then, England has once again fallen back to old ways of playing every series with the next Ashes on their mind. So, I am going to just go ahead and predict a 5-0 whopping of England in the coming Ashes, and you should not be surprised if I am right on this prediction. This is what the history and common sense tells us.

  • Mycolour on June 6, 2009, 5:18 GMT

    Oh Andrew...Dont get upset...

    this things happens in cricket.

  • destro262 on June 6, 2009, 5:15 GMT

    Yes Lazys0d1990,

    Its not a suggestion from Andrews. Ashes does pale in front of a tournament which has many teams competing vigorously. Even the Australians are not bothered about Ashes anymore. They haven't really been challenged by England anyway. They treat playing a test series in India a far more tougher and more challenging experience and they are focused in securing their name in the T20 world cup. So again yes, Ashes is definitely not bigger than the T20 world cup. Besides, its not like England is going to present a challenge to Australia.

  • hari.pes100 on June 6, 2009, 5:07 GMT

    In reply to Lazys0d1990 yes Ashes pales in comparision with T20 worldcup because its a WORLDCUP, not a test series between two countries which is won by one side for majority of last 20 years. Since i am from India I can tell you majority of us will follow the ashes scores but will watch every match T20 Worldcup live even if it is between Ireland vs Scotland since its a freakin WORLDCUP.

  • first_slip on June 6, 2009, 5:07 GMT

    i heard All the Media talking about India ,Australia,SA and England r the 4 best teams in the tournament, Far as i know about cricket (which is Lot) SA and England Never going to win world tournament that India , Australia ,Srilanka and Pakistan are playing, if SA and England wont to win a world cup they have to they better play with others, and Netherlands proved us again that England not a good cricket side..

  • fair-road on June 6, 2009, 5:05 GMT

    what an article...! incredible writing..! I have read a few articles of andrew and he is one of the best writers in terms of the punch and impact he creates... Although England can hold Ashes dear to their heart, they probably should not neglect other global tournaments as andrew points out. If they were not interested, then why participate in it at all..? and then why act as hosts..? when every other team is moving forward with T20, only england is not...T20 today is like what 1-day was 30yrs back...

  • angs on June 6, 2009, 5:04 GMT

    I was reading the other comments posted here....I couldn't agree more with wanderer1...nicely said...its absolutely right...the talk of the ASHES series began right after the poms were beaten 5-zip by australa in the 2006-07 version....the it would be easier the next time for them with australia without McGrath, Warne etc;....the poms never talked about the next series awaiting them...they always talked about the ashes which was 2 years away...I suppose this Ashes fixation started during the 2005 series where england narrowly won 2-1....had geraint jones dropped kasprowizc in the sesond test and ball went for 4...all this talk would not be there...and how can they think so much nw...they continuously lost the Ahses for 16 staright years and they think with a narrow victory in 2005...they can win again...the poms are better off thinking of beating teams in their league...and then think of winninig the ashes!!

  • kirankerai on June 6, 2009, 4:52 GMT

    It was a great and only helps cricket as a whole as more people will get attracted to this format. But this also reminds us that test cricket must also survive for the skill to be shown in the hardest. But also t-20 is now going to stay and this defends it creation.

  • kirankerai on June 6, 2009, 4:52 GMT

    It was a great and only helps cricket as a whole as more people will get attracted to this format. But this also reminds us that test cricket must also survive for the skill to be shown in the hardest. But also t-20 is now going to stay and this defends it creation.

  • angs on June 6, 2009, 4:51 GMT

    I certainly would agree with Andrew's article...the english seem to be fixated with the Ashes as the main focus this summer....but they are going into the series with a loss to the Netherlands!!!....great preparation to start things off...whatever the format of the game...a loss is aloss and that too the Netherlands...I always thoght the english would lose to the dutch in football...anyone who reads todays newspapers without the knowledge of yesterdays match...would think it would have been a football match that was played last night....Andrew has hit the nail on the head...how much ever the english focus on the Ashes...they are going into the Ashes witha losing streak...and how can they be labelled as favorites by some...I dont think they will even come close to winning a single test!!

  • billybob67 on June 6, 2009, 4:51 GMT

    They may focus on winning the Ashes too much but they aren't going to beat Australia anytime soon playing like last night. Well done the Dutch, much better team on the night.

  • NaveenRao on June 6, 2009, 4:49 GMT

    Even when they play against other test playing nations which are much better than them, they think it as of a sort of nets for the ashes preparation. I believe Michael Vaughan did a great disservice to the English Cricket by winning the 2005 ashes just at the time when they were starting to accept the fact that Aussies are much better than them and there is no hope in hell about winning it. They were starting to look beyond ashes. However with that win, Vaughan managed to pull the English cricket by atleast 15 years. I hope that they lose the ashes 5-0, not because I like Aussies but because for the well being of the English cricket.

  • bsguddu on June 6, 2009, 4:41 GMT

    the main main diffrence between the two r the sixes nethirlends hitting 4 & eng. 00000

  • vikramg on June 6, 2009, 4:40 GMT

    what a bashing!!the team would be far more devastated reading this rather than their match loss

  • LukeTheDuke on June 6, 2009, 4:40 GMT

    I can't see whts the fuss is about, as a true cricket lover I dont give and will never give importance to any 20-20 tournament, even when it is a world cup... so as a captain if I have to make sure that my best player is available for one of the most prestigious TEST series of all time, I will never risk him.

    As Mathew hoggard once said, he will rather take 5 wickets to win a Ashes than the world cup and I am with him. Any thing for test matches..

  • KHI_Boy on June 6, 2009, 4:38 GMT

    Andrew, when I read the article I thought you were harsh on England. But I ended up agreeing with you that in the end, England probably weren't focused enough and became complacent.

  • tick on June 6, 2009, 4:34 GMT

    You know England failed today just because they were over confident,nothing more.This happened to all teams,Aussies and India were beaten by bangladesh,Pak by ireland etc. And for Abishek T, pray SON that India in their same over confident are not beaten by minnows in the ''most easiest'' group of world cup.pray son pray for so called all mighty India and remember 2007 world cupand don't worry about Pakistan they are used to this

  • Venn on June 6, 2009, 4:32 GMT

    For godsakes England should stop talking about ASHES all the time. No body cares for ur ashes....even the aussies who win it all the time worry abt it only a few days before it starts unlike England who tend to dream, eat n drink ashes and eventually suck at it like a bunch of school kids. Even a week before this T20 they were worried abt ASHES line up and all that stuff....and they absolutely deserve to lose this one today and i'll be more than happy if they lose the next one and get knocked out of the tournament. I hope the English foucs on the present rather than worrying about something irrelevant which they are not good at anyways.

  • Margin_of_Safety on June 6, 2009, 4:28 GMT

    Forget about beating the Aussies....learn how to beat the Dutch first!

  • Arsh on June 6, 2009, 4:16 GMT

    Well England played like a Test team in the last 10 overs so atleast their Ashes preparations are on target

  • SirBrianClose on June 6, 2009, 4:14 GMT

    England's hopeless complacency is obviously ripe for ridicule, but Test Cricket is real cricket. The Twenty/20 World Cup is fun and exciting, but nowhere near as important as Tests. Having said that, England's fixation on the Ashes means they tend to freeze on the big occasion and get hammered, which is very likely to happen this summer.

  • china_cricket on June 6, 2009, 3:49 GMT

    Dead right Mr. Miller.This IS a world cup.

    Abi..having been a regular visitor here ( China's TV coverage is scant to say the least) I can assure you that ALL cricketing governing bodies have come under the cosh over the years. To suggest Cricinfo is biased towards one or against another is absurd and quite frankly, offensive. And no, I am not a staff member. If you are offended by apparent discrimination or prejudicial bias against a nation, then look at your own words above and you may then want to look up the word "hypocrite".

    Twenty20 is a fresh and entertaining version of the game and HAS woken up the "purists" up to its potential and long may it continue. But the truth is, IPL DOES have its rotten moments: Bogus time outs? ( no-one's fooled by that) Boundaries you can spit over from the popping crease? Sponsorship and media restrictions that simply make you wanna puke? These are real issues in cricket, and need addressing.

    Enjoy the cup! Keep racism out of EVERYWHERE

  • Blood_cricket on June 6, 2009, 3:34 GMT

    I feel sorry for the English. They still live in an era that unfortunately for them is totally out of phase with reality.

  • padhu on June 6, 2009, 3:33 GMT

    I dont understand why this loss of England is made so big. It is understandable that in this game of T20 Cricket one or two overs could change the course of the game. One needs to understand that whatever the outcome of the T20 is it has to be taken in the right spirit. England is a good team and Holland is a team that is learning a lot quickly. Its always good to see more and more healthy cricket instead of just playing with a brand of Minnows. We all need to realise that it would never be predictable how T20 will pan out and who will win it.

  • thebarmyarmy on June 6, 2009, 3:31 GMT

    England are out of the cup? Hardly. Beating Pakistan means we are through :)

  • DeepPoint on June 6, 2009, 3:26 GMT

    I agree with the comments. For too long England have been guilty of looking ahead, taking opponents for granted and pretending that the only contest that counted was the Ashes - and if that were the case, then their record of winning only 1 of the last ten Ashes is even more woeful. Good on the Dutch but England made a royal mess of things, no doubt at all. Collingwood a decent man? Wasnt he the guy who refused to call back a NZ player who was run out after a collision? Decency has nothing to do with today. England took the game lightly and paid the price. I hope there is a full game on Sunday and Pakistan show them up as well. Every other country is mighty thrilled about the World Cup, England remain clueless. The team animal should be an ostrich.

  • hicksy99 on June 6, 2009, 3:26 GMT

    Couldn't have put it better myself Andrew. With regards to Adil Rashid, Collingwood, prior to the game against Scotland explained how Rashid had been picked on his form in domestic 20/20 competition. 6 wickets in 7 games and struggling to earn a place within Yorkshire's competitive 20/20 side hardly sets a precedence for someone who had been picked on merit. Dimi Mascarenhas exclusion was a pivotal mistake and the inclusion of Robert Key to bat at 3 only to be dropped to number 6 behind Owais Shah was a complete and utter waste of time. Why "rest" KP, bring in a replacement, who hadnt featured in any warm up games through a concern over form, give the impression that he was a straight swap in the scorecard, only to be subsequently shoved down the order. Shah did nothing to convince me otherwise that he could have done any better than Rob Key batting at 3. Big problems fo England, Strauss as full Capitano, South Africa to win the ICC T20 World cup 09. Safe. x

  • NumberXI on June 6, 2009, 3:13 GMT

    England is overly Ashes centric - they live in the past Ashes (2005) and dream of the next one, while forgetting to live in the present. In a way this is a fair result for a board and team who have never seen past their own contradictions - criticism of the IPL while continuing with the pompous, self-assured belief that people are just waiting to dump tons of money on English cricket, the insistence that Test cricket is the real, real, REAL thing while failing to turn in half-decent performances in a form of cricket that they pretty much invented, and the belief that beating a disinterested West Indies meant revival, while coming unstuck against a focused non-regular team like the Netherlands.

    I disagree with the contention that Strauss was guilty of "dereliction of duty" when it was the ECB which, in its twisted, inexplicable "wisdom" chose not to include him among the list of World T20 probables at a time when he was captain of the Test and ODI teams.

  • SaiKripa on June 6, 2009, 3:12 GMT

    This is the best article I have read from Andrew Miller(AM) - full of anger and passion. The selectors or the think thank responsible for selection of the final X1 have to quit. It reminds me of India's defeat at the hands of a decent Bangladesh team in 2007 WC. Poor captaincy and team selection by Dravid then and even worse captaincy and selection by Collingwood yesterday. I still think England will make it to Super 8. Best wishes to them!!!! Let me reiterate - great article from AM

  • worldaudience on June 6, 2009, 3:00 GMT

    U summed it up brilliantly , Did u see the body language of England cricketers???They looked in total awe and shock. The truth is they cannot handle pressure.How on earth one could miss 3 run outs and a catch in last 6 balls?The match was lost way before though.The captaincy of Collingwood was uninspiring and woeful .How on earth he himself, and Rasid kept on bowling even they were going for plenty was beyond me.All credit goes to Dutch,they chased the target like true professionals with conviction.Cngrats to them..................

  • shershah on June 6, 2009, 2:58 GMT

    Ashes! I will buy that argument if they can at least win the urn this time, something which they don't have a chance in hell of doing, even with a relatively weak Aussie side! A bunch of self-absorbed sissies, that's what this English team is.

  • starjay on June 6, 2009, 2:29 GMT

    I think England's management and the ECB as a whole have to be blamed for this attitude and performance by the team. Since the end of the West Indies series all the talk I ever heard 3500 miles away in Canada was the ASHES. I respect the Ashes as a volatile series however this is an ICC event; a world cup in simpler terms.

    How arrogant can England ever be. They were as soggy as their weather. Sure Netherlands are minnows but hey we all know what happened to Goliath when he laughed at David's size. It took only one small pebble to bring that giant down. Here in this game it took a superb effort by a couple of Dutch batsmen to nip England's nonsensical attitude to the bellows.

    The Australians will be silently chuckling in the backdrop. For they know now that England will be eating their own words. Forget the Ashes !!! for God's sake. It's ONLY a test series. But this is a world cup. Enough said.

  • Bang_La on June 6, 2009, 2:21 GMT

    Come on Andrew! All these years I believed you were the father-of-Bangladesh-cricket but now it seems you are wailing over the dead body of another child!

    Putting joke aside, you are a fantastic writer and this time again you did not miss to hit the keyword for England decompose: ARROGANT. The England team showed arrogance of Ashraful, your favourite!!

  • cjlee_01 on June 6, 2009, 2:19 GMT

    I wonder how much different this article would have been if Stuart Broad had thrown down the stumps on the last ball?

  • rv770 on June 6, 2009, 2:19 GMT

    Finally a good article from cricinfo. May be the editorial team changed with the new look of website or may be espn ordered more impartial articles than typical BCCI/IPL bashing. even though cricinfo acted in the past as england's website, the admiration of netherlands win is great. Of couse they talk about ashes if they don't qualify to next round, but why should they particpate/conduct tournaments like this! hope god knows !

  • Alexk400 on June 6, 2009, 2:18 GMT

    In T20/20 minnows or major , its all same. India can even lose against bangladesh. You never know. That would be the shocker. Not holland beat england. England is worst oneday , t20 team.

    England test team is decent because pieterson in middle anchor the ship , if u remove pieterson , England is minnows in Test also.

  • JB77 on June 6, 2009, 2:16 GMT

    ....and there's the key difference between Australian Cricket and English Cricket right there. What Australian Captain would distance himself from a World Cup-style tournament and hand over to a far lesser Captain? The Australian team is always given the "arrogant" tag, but which is worse - treating every competition as vital and expecting to win or treating every competition (and lesser opponent)as a warm-up for something "more important" later on?

  • bandopant on June 6, 2009, 2:06 GMT

    Andrew Miller at his scything best! Go Andrew!

  • MasterClass on June 6, 2009, 2:01 GMT

    Well....fun game but let's not get carried away people! T20 and the "nothing to loose" attitude by the minnows are made for each other, aren't they? You play 20 such games and there's bound to be an upset or 2 regradless of the team, so hold on to your knickers folks :P I don't see the dutch pulling this off on a regular basis (yet). I'm not British but am sad to see England the current fav punching bag for all the hyperbolic gang (the previous fav being IPL/Modi/BCCI...anything Indian really). But I'm sad that the English players (not the ECB) are going thru such a rough patch. Givin the diversity of the side they would be a shoe-in for everyones 2nd fav side if only they start performing to their potential......but as far as the ECB and their myopic approach, well we all know where they should go to!

  • deep123 on June 6, 2009, 1:49 GMT

    I totally agree with u Miller. Captaincy is a big problem for England. After Michel Vaughan, England couldn't find a real captain. They r just taking chances with captaincy. I thought Pietersen was a gud captain. Even when the team was loosing under his captaincy, team was going in the right direction. Everything was settled like batting order, bowling, dressing room. There was a settled feeling in everybody. Suddenly they removed him. I strongly believe, when ever England find right person for the captaincy, this team will definitely definitely show their strength to the world.

  • vswami on June 6, 2009, 1:47 GMT

    England lost simply because Broad missed an incredible 4 chances in the final six balls. It was a pathetic fielding effort, nothing to do with Ashes, team selection, off field distractions, IPL, BCCI and so on. England should have won with the team they had, the runs they had on the board, and the bowling line up they had. The skills just werent good enough when the pressure situation demanded it. Maybe a touch of complacency after beating WIndies time and time again easily. The media also needs to focus on the cricket and missing skills rather than the Ashes.

  • tomuncle on June 6, 2009, 1:27 GMT

    You summed it up perfectly, in that England's obsession with the Ashes and utter disregard for everything else is their biggest problem. In fact the problem has only become worse ever since the Ashes 2005 victory. After Flintoff, Jones, Vaughan, Trescothik got injured, and Harmison lost his way, England wasted at least two years in trying to somehow bring the Ashes'05 heroes back together rather than rebuilding the team. Common, does England really expect to play bad cricket all year and then all of sudden play good cricket during the Ashes. Wins against West Indies count for nothing!

  • asifsarfraz on June 6, 2009, 1:20 GMT

    It's true all England ever talk about is the ashes! This is no exxageration, but that's all I have been hearing from a certain uk tv broadcaster, and the england players! You never hear Pakistan and India babbling on about their next test series! They talk about the next game that is in line! You don't really hear Australia babbling on about the ashes, unless it's a question from a fixated on the ashes English journalist! They always think about the next game!

  • chawlaaaa on June 6, 2009, 1:00 GMT

    I have never read an article with such excitement and horror before. I couldnt believe it was Andrew's article. I hope they loose on Sunday so they can leave everything behind and focus on ASHES. Why do they even engage themselves in these tournaments? everytime they loose they talk about preparations for ASHES! and then they end up loosing 5-0 and replace the captain! "lets start preparing for next bluddy ashes mate!"

  • Abhishek_T on June 6, 2009, 0:50 GMT

    At last, an article on Cricinfo that is not about the usual IPL/BCCI bashing. I am glad to know that you guys have found a new target. In all seriousness, even though England played uninspired cricket whole game, but we should not take any credit away from the flying Dutchmen. Better team won the game tonight it is that simple. This game should also serve as the wake up call to the 'Purists' that T20 is actually a great game that evens up the field and provide an opportunity to every team. A team with less talent can make up for it with a lot of heart and desire in T20. Congrats to the Dutch, go beat the Pakistanis too and make my day.

  • pgoel on June 6, 2009, 0:43 GMT

    Andrew, you summed up today's debacle pretty succinctly - I could not believe that England would lumber their way to 160 odd after being 100/0 at the end 11 overs. All of Collingwood's assertions about England playing brave cricket sound hollow. But, then again it serves them right for thinking of Ashes as end all be all of cricket - I am fairly sure that Ozzies love the urn as much as the English do, but they have managed 3 World cup titles and played in 5 consecutive finals. A winning team with good momentum will do good in all formats of the game and as soon as the English team gets rid of the unhealthy Ashes obsession and treat each game (whatever format) with equal respect, they will build up a good core group of cricketers who will bring the urn back to England.

  • wanderer1 on June 6, 2009, 0:42 GMT

    I've said plenty of times in the past and I'll say it again. England's biggest problem is that they are far too Australia-centric, they're too focused on one team to be bothered about beating others. They have no ambition to win in the sub-continent, it's just a distraction, they care not for ODI's or World Cups and they don't follow up any triumphs against other teams which they would be expected to beat. For the English cricket team winning against Australia is everything and with that, everything else becomes meaningless. Problem is this would be fine if the cricket world was only England and Australia, but there's a big world out there full of other teams who desperately want to win against each other, and England are alone, aloof in the corner waiting for their arch-nemesis to turn up once in a while.

    Tonight Pinky we're not going to take over the world, we're going to wait until Australia show up in 2 years time and try winning maybe the odd test. Yes, that is our plan.

  • Alokp on June 6, 2009, 0:41 GMT

    Superb! Few people (even in England I think) will be sorry to see England get kicked out of this World Cup with that attitude of theirs.

    All we need is a bout of magic from Malinga or Gayle or Bravo and both Ashes contenders would be out of the T-20 World Cup in the first stage.

  • Trigger_Tiger on June 6, 2009, 0:36 GMT

    Wow! What a writeup! Surely it seems a bit harsh to go out so brutal on the English team, but it is about time they wake up and come to realizing that the Ashes and playing BIG teams in BIG tournaments isn't all! And that associate teams and minnows aren't on the big stage just because they cut the line enough to be on the better side of the field playing against the BIG boys, but because they've proven worthy enough to do so.

    Interesting article Mr. Miller. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

  • Lazys0d1990 on June 6, 2009, 0:36 GMT

    While I disagree with England's attitude (it is a world cup), is Andrew Miller suggesting the the Ashes pale into insignificance compared to the T20 World Cup???

  • Sword_of_Honour on June 6, 2009, 0:33 GMT

    I could not agree more. Outbatted, outbowled, outfielded (7 missed run-outs), outcaptained, outhought.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Sword_of_Honour on June 6, 2009, 0:33 GMT

    I could not agree more. Outbatted, outbowled, outfielded (7 missed run-outs), outcaptained, outhought.

  • Lazys0d1990 on June 6, 2009, 0:36 GMT

    While I disagree with England's attitude (it is a world cup), is Andrew Miller suggesting the the Ashes pale into insignificance compared to the T20 World Cup???

  • Trigger_Tiger on June 6, 2009, 0:36 GMT

    Wow! What a writeup! Surely it seems a bit harsh to go out so brutal on the English team, but it is about time they wake up and come to realizing that the Ashes and playing BIG teams in BIG tournaments isn't all! And that associate teams and minnows aren't on the big stage just because they cut the line enough to be on the better side of the field playing against the BIG boys, but because they've proven worthy enough to do so.

    Interesting article Mr. Miller. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

  • Alokp on June 6, 2009, 0:41 GMT

    Superb! Few people (even in England I think) will be sorry to see England get kicked out of this World Cup with that attitude of theirs.

    All we need is a bout of magic from Malinga or Gayle or Bravo and both Ashes contenders would be out of the T-20 World Cup in the first stage.

  • wanderer1 on June 6, 2009, 0:42 GMT

    I've said plenty of times in the past and I'll say it again. England's biggest problem is that they are far too Australia-centric, they're too focused on one team to be bothered about beating others. They have no ambition to win in the sub-continent, it's just a distraction, they care not for ODI's or World Cups and they don't follow up any triumphs against other teams which they would be expected to beat. For the English cricket team winning against Australia is everything and with that, everything else becomes meaningless. Problem is this would be fine if the cricket world was only England and Australia, but there's a big world out there full of other teams who desperately want to win against each other, and England are alone, aloof in the corner waiting for their arch-nemesis to turn up once in a while.

    Tonight Pinky we're not going to take over the world, we're going to wait until Australia show up in 2 years time and try winning maybe the odd test. Yes, that is our plan.

  • pgoel on June 6, 2009, 0:43 GMT

    Andrew, you summed up today's debacle pretty succinctly - I could not believe that England would lumber their way to 160 odd after being 100/0 at the end 11 overs. All of Collingwood's assertions about England playing brave cricket sound hollow. But, then again it serves them right for thinking of Ashes as end all be all of cricket - I am fairly sure that Ozzies love the urn as much as the English do, but they have managed 3 World cup titles and played in 5 consecutive finals. A winning team with good momentum will do good in all formats of the game and as soon as the English team gets rid of the unhealthy Ashes obsession and treat each game (whatever format) with equal respect, they will build up a good core group of cricketers who will bring the urn back to England.

  • Abhishek_T on June 6, 2009, 0:50 GMT

    At last, an article on Cricinfo that is not about the usual IPL/BCCI bashing. I am glad to know that you guys have found a new target. In all seriousness, even though England played uninspired cricket whole game, but we should not take any credit away from the flying Dutchmen. Better team won the game tonight it is that simple. This game should also serve as the wake up call to the 'Purists' that T20 is actually a great game that evens up the field and provide an opportunity to every team. A team with less talent can make up for it with a lot of heart and desire in T20. Congrats to the Dutch, go beat the Pakistanis too and make my day.

  • chawlaaaa on June 6, 2009, 1:00 GMT

    I have never read an article with such excitement and horror before. I couldnt believe it was Andrew's article. I hope they loose on Sunday so they can leave everything behind and focus on ASHES. Why do they even engage themselves in these tournaments? everytime they loose they talk about preparations for ASHES! and then they end up loosing 5-0 and replace the captain! "lets start preparing for next bluddy ashes mate!"

  • asifsarfraz on June 6, 2009, 1:20 GMT

    It's true all England ever talk about is the ashes! This is no exxageration, but that's all I have been hearing from a certain uk tv broadcaster, and the england players! You never hear Pakistan and India babbling on about their next test series! They talk about the next game that is in line! You don't really hear Australia babbling on about the ashes, unless it's a question from a fixated on the ashes English journalist! They always think about the next game!

  • tomuncle on June 6, 2009, 1:27 GMT

    You summed it up perfectly, in that England's obsession with the Ashes and utter disregard for everything else is their biggest problem. In fact the problem has only become worse ever since the Ashes 2005 victory. After Flintoff, Jones, Vaughan, Trescothik got injured, and Harmison lost his way, England wasted at least two years in trying to somehow bring the Ashes'05 heroes back together rather than rebuilding the team. Common, does England really expect to play bad cricket all year and then all of sudden play good cricket during the Ashes. Wins against West Indies count for nothing!