England v Netherlands, World T20, Group 1, Chittagong

England's final humiliation

There is no cause to analyse England's defeat against the Netherlands, no need to search for explanations. It was beyond all that. All that is needed is a simple recognition that it was unacceptable

David Hopps

March 31, 2014

Comments: 45 | Text size: A | A

Netherlands are elated with the run-out of Tim Bresnan, England v Netherlands, World T20, Group 1, Chittagong, March 31, 2014
England's nightmare was full of jubilation in orange shirts © Getty Images
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Perhaps England's winter was always destined to end like this. After a pitiful collapse in the Ashes series in Australia and a motley collection of ODI defeats came the greatest ignominy of all: a failed challenge in World Twenty20 completed with an overwhelming defeat against Netherlands.

Make no mistake, this was a defeat entirely lacking in energy, nous and mental strength. England make a habit of losing to Netherlands, but surely none have been as bad as this.

Eighty-eight all out with only four boundaries and a 45-run defeat, monumental by Twenty20 terms, a shameful margin against an Associate nation which had to do little out of the ordinary to win the match and which now faces a lengthy absence from international cricket after failing to qualify for next year's 50-over World Cup in Australia.

And all ended with a ridiculous run out which would not have looked out of place in the lowest levels of village cricket.

For Ashley Giles, this truly dreadful defeat must have been more difficult to bear than for most. It is possible to advance a persuasive case that England need to plan for the long-term, that there will be blips along the way, and that Giles' temporary role as England's coach has never been about lodging a job application.

But can that still be insisted after the winter ended with one of the most humiliating episodes in their history?

What do we make now of all this talk of England playing fearless cricket? What does it say about the mental strength of England sides that when presented by sides that logic suggests they should beat with ease they so often seem to freeze on the job? How much more investment does English cricket need to ensure such unacceptable displays never happen again?

Confidence collapses during losing runs, we all know that, but not to this extent. We also know that any pretence at long-term planning was ruined by the spat with Kevin Pietersen, an injury or two and a few selections which can only be described as punts in the dark, but that is largely irrelevant when it gets this bad.

This was far beyond a side just lacking in confidence. There was no hunger and no pride. There was no common sense. There was no aptitude. Talk of a powerful team ethic just looked like blind loyalty. England were on auto-pilot. They cannot get much worse than this.

What was so concerning about this dreadful England display was the lack of fervour. From the outset they bowled and fielded shabbily, their energy and focus lacking, as if the entire side had been struck overnight by a mysterious virus. Without a shrewd spell by Ravi Bopara, the target could have been even higher. Presented with a total slightly more challenging than it appeared, they never remotely addressed it.

The Chittagong pitches, shorn of the dew that had kept them lively, suddenly looked tired, but the pitch was not as tired as England. It was a dead rubber, too, but it was not as dead England's thought processes. Supporters have a right to expect commitment to the end.

It is important not to draw knee-jerk conclusions from such an appalling display. Preparation is important. Data can be a useful support. But it never replaces the requirement for players to think on their feet and do the job on the field.

How could England so singularly fail to adapt to conditions in day-time matches in Chittagong when the pitch was predictably slower than on the dew-freshened surfaces under lights that they had previously encountered? They have weaknesses on such surfaces, we all know that, too - but this was not India or Sri Lanka at the height of their game, this was the Dutch. The Dutch, who do not know where their next match is coming from, not just sneaking a win, but dishing out a thrashing.

The future is disturbing. But it can't be any worse than the present. For once, an angry response, a simple statement that this is unacceptable, a refusal to countenance any explanation is the only way to respond.

"Complacent," said England's captain, Stuart Broad and Giles in turn. Perhaps England are so low in self-belief that it is the wrong word. But their lack of character was mind-boggling. It was brain dead. England funked it.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2014, 14:43 GMT)

I've seen a lot of players, including Cook, say that Ashley Giles is the right man to be the next coach. If this is true then we HAVE sunk to an all time low in English cricket. Get rid of the captains and put them back in the ranks. Keep a nucleus of Bopara, Bell, Cook and Root for the tests and bring in new players who haven't had a run in the team. Broad isn't fit and Anderson looked very tired. As for the limited overs format - lets try and keep as many of the test players in these teams as possible to keep up with the continuity. Us poor supporters will have to suffer many years of defeat and ridicule now anyway.

Posted by brusselslion on (April 1, 2014, 10:17 GMT)

@thozar: "Cannot wait for India's tour to England this summer:-) 5-0 on the cards." Here we go again. Same old tune that was being played the last couple of times we met. Remind me how that turned out?

England are at a very low ebb, and there has never been a better time to play us, so if you can't beat us now, you never will. However, the problem for India is that you don't have Johnson, Harris or Siddle (or any fast bowler approaching their level). In the longer format, India have a few decent batsmen, couple of decent spinners and that's it. Basically, and apologies if this hurts: You're not very good at Test cricket, especially away from home so, 0-5, I think not.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2014, 8:13 GMT)

@ dixon fernando. it takes a rare individual to be the best batsman in a side and still manage to organise it so that no one wants to play with you. pietersen managed it. well done, sunshine

Posted by   on (April 1, 2014, 7:46 GMT)

Guess who is laughing his guts out? A certain Mr. KP!

Posted by Amit_13 on (April 1, 2014, 6:05 GMT)

Too much structure, not enough flair! Wrong call on KP! Wrong call on Broad - he has never been a smart player and only recently become a smart bowler! Wrong call on Giles - should have been PC, the only English captain to have won anything at a global tournament. And perhaps bopara bats too far down the order!

Posted by notimeforcricket on (April 1, 2014, 4:51 GMT)

need to get a good, experienced English coach in. Cook should not be captain any more. the poor guy cannot cope with it. The Sri Lankans seem to pass the captaincy around the team, I guess because it is so stressful a job. I see nothing wrong with that. Let Bell take over for a couple of years. Robson and Taylor should come in. Quite like Jordan but we should see what happens at the start of the county season. everyone is on notice and no-one should be an automatic pick

Posted by glance_to_leg on (March 31, 2014, 23:01 GMT)

Well, everyone is agreed that Dernbach must never play for England again. Congratulations to the Dutch.

I always had a lot of time for Giles, who knew how to make the most of limited talents, intelligently applied, but he is clearly not the future as an England coach. However tired, the England team need to demonstrate a little more grit and pride, and discipline: they failed to show it in Australia, and have not recovered since. I don't think KP is the issue ... a second division county team ought to have despatched the Dutch, so it is not a question of missing stars. It is a matter of humility, discipline, determination, application, common sense. There is plenty of talent available in England, but there is a good deal of arrogance and indolence manifest as well. I actually like Broad's tactics, but I am not convinced he is a natural leader. Nor is Cook for that matter. Looking around for a gritty, intelligent captain might be a good start.

Posted by delboy on (March 31, 2014, 22:41 GMT)

I hope Gibson gets the England job. The West Indies alsi need to move forward. One Andy Flower could make the difference.

Posted by gavin7094 on (March 31, 2014, 21:50 GMT)

Surely there's no way Giles can be appointed now? It would make Downton look ridiculous. And the fact that there are only 2 serious candidates can't be used as a reason. Peter Moores must get the job.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (March 31, 2014, 21:29 GMT)

England can return from their winter misadventures with a sense of having returned to zero, for, in all formats, that is where they are. Who's responsible? It is everyone's responsibility. The selectors got virtually nothing right; the management lurched from crisis to crisis - from Trott's stumble from the Test arena with his head in a mess to Stokes' wanton damage to his own hand (and an innocent locker), England lost focus, lost belief and most damnably of all, lost pride. By the end, they just didn't care - and we saw it all. Indeed, they let us down and, lest they have forgotten, we actually matter. There are some residual crumbs. Jordan (as I have been saying long before all this mayhem began) looks the business. With Broad having voluntarily run himself into the ground (who manages him? Why was he captain In B'desh?) Jordan should be nailed on for the first Test. Ali is playing in the wrong format, but has ability. Bopara stood up better than most. Let the bone-picking begin!

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (March 31, 2014, 20:53 GMT)

It looked as if the players were demob happy: mentally they were back in London. Had England done the logical thing and won today we would have said how unlucky the team was to be ousted from the tournament by a 3-run defeat in one match and one of the more ludicrous manifestations of Duckworth-Lewis in another, having batted so well (remember how, before the tournament, the batting was condemned as not up to the task?). Instead we are contemplating Armageddon again.

There are a whole bunch of players who have actually come out of the mess that has been the last 3 months pretty well. Alex Hales, Michael Lumb, Moeen Ali, Chris Jordan, Jos Buttler, Stephen Parry, James Tredwell and Ravi Bopara have all performed with great credit at times. The problem has not been the batting, but the misfiring death bowling and lack of new ball penetration. All too often Bopara, Parry and Tredwell have had to rescue dreadful starts and bring the runrate back under control.

Posted by Mutukisna on (March 31, 2014, 19:53 GMT)

Sad indeed! It is time that English Cricket had a review of what happened in the last six months. Lets give serious thought to getting Pietersen back. Fans should start a campaign if that would help. Ashley Giles is a nice guy but England need a more forceful manager. In fact there is one and he is an Englishman. Not Peter Moores but Paul Farbrace. Unfortunately for England and fortunately for Sri Lanka, Paul is their present coach who has overseen their victory in their Asian ODI championship recently and might well repeat their success in the World T20s.

Posted by Naikan on (March 31, 2014, 19:47 GMT)

I am unable to grasp how a team that was considered a world beating team just a couple of years ago has plummeted to such depths. The number 1 ranking seems laden with the specter of a curse along with it. It started with England thrashing Dhoni's team and snatching that number 1 ranking (albeit in tests), who in turn had snatched it from Australia (who went on to have a most horrific run). On losing that ranking Dhoni's team also experienced a most horrific run for some time. England lost it to SA and have been having a most horrific run since. Looks like SA are on the brink of getting such an experience. In each case the horrific run also coincided with the retirement of some iconic players. However in case of the England team - Dropping KP, loss of Swann & others, ignoring of Monty all seem more self inflicted than natural progression. So in a way their down fall seems more self inflicted. Not sure how they plan to get out of this hole.

Posted by Rexton87 on (March 31, 2014, 19:05 GMT)

Poetic justice I suppose. England hierarchy so blatantly got rid of KP in the name dressing room harmony and team ethos. This proved the point there is not much in these virtues if you are being defeated like this. Please publish.

Posted by yorkslanka on (March 31, 2014, 18:13 GMT)

@yorkinick- well said sir, i fully agree..great shout

Posted by thozar on (March 31, 2014, 18:03 GMT)

It is official now. England are the worst team in the world, even worse than associate nations. I am laughing at Sri Lanka who lost to this lot, hahaha. Australia is the next worst among test playing nations but they can take some consolation that they are better than associate teams unlike England.

Cannot wait for India's tour to England this summer:-) 5-0 on the cards. It will be sweet revenge for the defeats that we suffered last time. Sad that Tendulkar, Dravid, and Laxman won't be around to enjoy India's biggest away win ever.

Posted by jackiethepen on (March 31, 2014, 17:53 GMT)

In all this talk of England's dreadful winter, can we remember that three different teams are involved, some of them with completely different personnel. Only Broad and Bresnan in the t20 side played in the Ashes Series. The Ashes Series suffered from some major blows - the breakdown of Trott, the mid-Tour retirement of Swann among them - the complete collapse of the dressing room morale. None of this happened in the ODIs or the t20s. There was no talk of rows in the dressing room that we know of. The second leg of the Ashes Series also followed shortly after the first leg which was won by England 3-0. The mental disintegration of the Ashes side was shared by the coaching staff and captain. In the t20 Series most of the players were fresh and bore no scars from the Ashes, neither the players or the coach. The ODIs were the most successful of the sides in the winter. None of the losses were humiliating and some very close and the 4-1 loss was closer than the scoreline.

Posted by   on (March 31, 2014, 17:40 GMT)

Another England collapse, best lay the blame at KP's door and sack him. AGAIN.

Posted by jackiethepen on (March 31, 2014, 17:39 GMT)

Andrew Simon Carr, how was Bell unavailable? He was sitting on the sidelines in a yellow jacket. Giles had called him up and then selected Moeen Ali ahead of him. Could be a blunder that will be as costly to Giles as it was to England.

Posted by   on (March 31, 2014, 16:54 GMT)

Absolutely awful and even though I have been pleading that Ashley Giles doesn't get the senior job he is not solely to blame for this sorry campaign [following others such]. However, he has a long history of failure as the limited overs coach so the ECB must now look elsewhere for both coaches, for their ancillary crew, for a captain, for electors as well.

Bopara emerges with credit, Buttler is clearly not a first class wicketkeeper, Hales and Tredwell were good enough. Jordan may be a find. Morgan is whole lot less than his reputation. It is not the type of wickets as hey have failed on all types over the past year.

Meanwhile Samit Patel is amongst those who are ignored. His fielding is no worse than that of those who are picked and he can certainly strike the ball.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (March 31, 2014, 16:38 GMT)

It would be easy for me to have another pop at Eng, but i'm fed up with doing that so I will leave it to everyone else. However I would like to say fairplay to the Dutch. I for one didn't give them a shout of getting through the prelim round I felt sure that would be Ire or Zim, but they did & to go on & knock over Eng so convincingly & come so close to upsetting SAF (they really should have got over the line there) they must be congratulated. I don't normally offer kudos to the ICC either but they have managed to come up with what is maybe not the perferct format for this event but one which is much improved from the dreadful 4 pools of 3, where if you lost your first game you were effectivley KO. This format gives everyone a chance to play some cricket & gives plenty of exposure to the associates and by doing so the Dutch have shown that in the shortest format the little guys are more than capable of mixing it with the big boys.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (March 31, 2014, 16:29 GMT)

Credit does indeed need to go to the Dutch who played well and, unlike England, never dropped their heads and went into sulk mode, and ultimately capped off yet another disappointing short-format tournament for England. However, regardless of tournament status, I don't think it's being too arrogant to expect a 'supposed top-cricketing nation' to comfortably beat an Associate nation, even in a topsy-turvy volatile format that is T20 cricket. I do hope your enthusiasm rings true David Hopps, and this is indeed the "final" humiliation we'll see from England. Something needs to be done, and perhaps the only saving grace that us fans can look towards is the County season kicking off very shortly; maybe that will unearth some much-needed talent/form?

Posted by willsrustynuts on (March 31, 2014, 16:20 GMT)

The England management team are dysfunctional and their inability to play the team game is upsetting the dressing room... sack them, and announce it in the World media - try something like - 'they have been great servants to their country and have had success in the past but we do not want them back, ever'.

Posted by cloudmess on (March 31, 2014, 16:15 GMT)

Since Giles took over the limited over sides just over a year ago, England have slipped from joint 1st to 4th in the 50 over game, and from 4th to 8th in the 20 over side. And we're about to put this man in charge of the test team!

Posted by LancsRedRose on (March 31, 2014, 15:49 GMT)

Thought England were turning things around after fighting batting displays against SL & SA. What happened today? Where were the passion & belief of the earlier games? The only way is up now! Congratulations to NL for their application throughout the tournament. To come back so well from their disaster against SL shows great character.

Posted by yorkienick on (March 31, 2014, 15:22 GMT)

Im a die hard English cricket fan, and this must be the ultimate humilliation for England, i dont understand why players are rested (or not picked for T20) there is lots better players sat at home watching this calamity, Dernbach should never in a million years be in this England side, he is truely awful but keeps getting picked, Broad should not be the Captain as he is awful, the management is a joke, Giles cannot be given the job, he has proved he is as bad as the team he picks or helps picks, as for rested players who half the time are sat in the dressing room doing nothing, why do they need to rest them? a working man does 8-12 hours a day, 5-7 days a week, every week nearly for a year, why cant cricketers do the same with a game they are supposed to love and enjoy? they only play maybe 100 days a year the other 265 days light training or or doing nothing. and to top it all they get rid of the best England player for years..KP, how much do we miss you, its a proven fact now.

Posted by   on (March 31, 2014, 15:17 GMT)

Saw first hand the two humiliations (nearly 3) in West Indies. The writing was already on the wall. Who is Stephen Parry? What is Dernbach doing in the squad? Why are there 29 persons in the entourage (one specifically to coach Broad on his media soundbites)? Before the first match In Bridgetown the players were warming up in the outfield, at one point running towards the fans in the stand, who applauded and encouraged the team. There was no response or acknowledgement to the fans who's paid good money and travelled thousands of miles to see them. This lot of over-paid and pampered spoilt brats let everyone down both on and off the field. Bopara, Tredwell, Hales might be forgiven. Stokes? I hope he paid for repairs to the dressing room. The only good thing to come out of this, other than a huge fillip for Dutch cricket is that wheelie bin probably won't get the job. Quite right to given what he has presided over.

Posted by real_gone_gadd on (March 31, 2014, 14:37 GMT)

How long before we get a chorus of "Bring back KP!" ?

Posted by   on (March 31, 2014, 14:25 GMT)

Mr. Hopps, I enjoyed your article very much. This is one among your perfect articles. Kudos. But, I find your article's title to be quite amusing. England's final humiliation? Did you mean final humiliation for this winter? Or does it mean that England have hit rock bottom and only way from here is up? I believe there are many more humiliations yet to come in the following months.

Posted by LoveCric1975 on (March 31, 2014, 14:13 GMT)

Giles Clark dear sir, you should look at yourself in the mirror and laugh at the clueless face that stares back at you. You should feel the guilt. I hope you realise now that sacking the best modern day batsman that the world has seen for 40/50 years for trivial dressing room reasons was the biggest mistake of your career. KP could do things with his bat that I never even saw Sir Viv do. You, Mr G Clarke and the clowns around you, not only ripped the spine out of the English lineup but also robbed the entire cricketing world off the most gifted, entertaining, charismatic, dynamic and fearless batsman that many of us fans had ever seen across all cricketing nations. You sided with average ronnies in swan and Anderson who make great radio but are gutless in reality and hide in adversity. Please resign along with few of your wisemen.

Posted by   on (March 31, 2014, 14:07 GMT)

An excuse can be made that several players were unavailable - Trott, Bell, Stokes, Root, Willey and yes KP - for various reasons, but it was clear from the start of the game that England were flat. Aside from a fine catch from Jordan, there was no spark, energy or imagination. The batting was careless - no one decided to get their head down and bat the innings which, given the nature of the conditions, was what was required... Some players looked out of their depth (Parry, Lumb and Ali) while Morgan looked mentally shot. Dernbach should NEVER be picked again, so his dropping was about the only encouragement on a miserable afternoon... Sri Lanka and India must be very happy to be touring this upcoming summer. Decisive leadership and straight talking are required rather than hollow excuses and meaningless management-speak, if England are to pick themselves of this floor especially as much of it is of their own doing...

Posted by   on (March 31, 2014, 13:54 GMT)

Hard to know where to begin...let's start with a few names that didn't play this game: Cook, Pietersen, Trott, Bell, Stokes, Prior, Anderson, Finn. (Arguably, let's add Swann and Panesar to the list.) Since these guys are considered to be England's best players, why were none of them playing?

Posted by Manxmuppet on (March 31, 2014, 13:52 GMT)

I would say that demanding a clean sweep from the top down at the ECB wasn't a "knee-jerk reaction". We've been spiraling (not sliding) downwards since day 2 of the 1st Ashes test and have now been bowled out for 88 by an associate nation. There has been increasing chaos off the field and total carnage on it. HOW BAD DOES IT HAVE TO GET?!!!!!

At this rate it'll be England who are granted associate status for the next world cup.

Posted by Harvey on (March 31, 2014, 13:45 GMT)

I was reading comments on my Facebook before the game from at least a couple of England fans asking whether it would be disloyal to hope that England severely lost this dead rubber if it helped ensure that Ashley Giles didn't get the job permanently. It's enough to make me seriously wonder whether the players were thinking along the same lines.

Posted by   on (March 31, 2014, 13:44 GMT)

I feel very proud for Netherland showing such excellent talent which will boost their morals eventually, they came really very close to beat South Africa but lost by only six runs which shows cricket will be making their one of the big other games.I at the same time feel sorry for England losing , actually english players did't with their heart, their morals were very down and it might take some time to come out of this chaotic situation and humiliation.

Posted by android_user on (March 31, 2014, 13:39 GMT)

Anthony McGowan why you English guys always have to talk about the what could have been, all matches are important and you were battered by a minnow

Posted by Fatboydrunk on (March 31, 2014, 13:33 GMT)

A total meaningless game. Both teams already out, the result means nothing. If England weren't robbed in the game against NZ then things would have ended differently in this game.

Posted by Chris1881 on (March 31, 2014, 13:31 GMT)

Giles said that 'we said all the right words in the dressing room'.

If so, the England squad plainly don't listen to him.

Broad said that he was keen 'to sit back & move forward'.

If that is how he thinks as a leader, no team will be motivated by him.

A backroom of 50 with a 100 laptops, but not a leader amongst them.

Posted by   on (March 31, 2014, 13:29 GMT)

Bit more credit to the dutch!! they played out of their skin this whole tournament and hunted like tigers in the field..tight bowling and some meaty batting...no not all as consistent but proper cricket for an associate team!

Posted by pom_don on (March 31, 2014, 13:22 GMT)

And of course Giles will still get the wholehearted backing of the 'stuffed shirts' that make up the England cricket management team, they will of course retain their well paid jobs......couldn't possibly be their fault, well it couldn't if you think about it as most of them don't have a clue about cricket. Time common sense prevailed starting with ousting the 'top tier' in the management set up & getting rid of the 'jobs for the boys brigade' & then have a look at the coaching staff........a long hard look, get that right & the selections & players will slot into place no doubt.

Posted by   on (March 31, 2014, 13:11 GMT)

It was a meaningless game at the end of a depressing year. But until this point - in all the T20 matches that mattered - England had performed quite well, and without the rotten luck of the lightening strike, they might easily have gone through. Glass isn't always half empty.

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (March 31, 2014, 13:11 GMT)

If anyone doubted England are well and truly on the slide after the Ashes floggings, then this result must put that doubt to rest once and for all.

Posted by zoot364 on (March 31, 2014, 13:04 GMT)

After this it will be truly fascinating to see how the ECB dress up Giles's appointment to succeed Andy Flower.

Posted by golgo_85 on (March 31, 2014, 13:03 GMT)

Maybe now Bopara can be rewarded by giving an opportunity to bat higher in the order in limited overs of the game where he is more comfortable. Not going to compare him to Duminy and Akmal but all of these players are being wasted down the order.

Posted by py0alb on (March 31, 2014, 13:01 GMT)

Please tell me there is simply no way they can appoint Giles after this? Its all like some painful spoof.

Comments have now been closed for this article

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David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
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