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England's World Cup strategy document

Any point in turning up?

Alan Tyers
02-Mar-2015
England trudge off the field after losing by nine wickets, England v Sri Lanka, World Cup 2015, Group A, Wellington, March 1, 2015

No. 57: commission a spate of newspaper articles on how the team were disoriented this time since they couldn't say they were gutted at the tail end of a long season heading into the World Cup  •  Getty Images

Incoming ECB chairman Colin Graves has insisted that a controversial Strategy Conversation Summary document full of bright ideas for English cricket was the result of a blue-sky thinking session where all suggestions were welcome and that none of them are "set in stone". Well then! With England in World Cup crisis, there is no such thing as a bad idea, or at least no such thing as an idea worse than the current ones. So…
Investigate the possibility of moving the World Cup to Qatar, where extreme heat and sand could be a big leveller and certainly cause a few problems for feared opponents like Scotland, Ireland, Guatemala.
Handicap system for World Cup matches, with "Big Three" teams allowed 100-run head-start in order to ensure the right teams get through big-money TV rounds.
Annexing rival countries.
Attract younger fans to World Cup cricket by having players dress as pop stars young people like, such as Bill Haley and His Comets, Liberace, Strauss (Johann not Andrew).
Get more foreigners into the team. The government has recently released figures saying that there is a net flow of 298,000 people into the country; that's a population the size of Nottingham. Surely at least one or two of them must be able to get the ball off the square in an ODI?
ODIs to be spread over four days, like the evergreen county cricket, ensuring that a baying crowd of pensioners and a small dog can roar England on.
England ODI innings to be spread over as many as 32 overs, if Mitchell Johnson is bowling.
Dangerous teams like Ireland and Netherlands to be forbidden from playing cricket ever again, just in case they do something naughty and beat England. Withhold funding until they agree to do the right thing.
OBEs for any ODI captain who scores a run, as an incentive.
Having invented ODI cricket, T20 cricket, Test cricket and cricket, consider developing new World Cup Queue-it format, a slow and polite game playing to traditional English strengths of standing patiently, tutting under breath, clicking tongue at anyone who doesn't understand the rules.
England's unique blend of slow-and-steady "pyjama cricket" to be rebranded as a cure for insomnia, babies who won't sleep. Possible tie-up with Teletubbies, Bres, Samit.
All England ODI cricket matches to take place in the middle of the night in the hope that nobody sees how bad we are.
Do whatever India wants.
Have Freddie Flintoff boost interest by making one of his reality TV shows about England in the World Cup, where he and the team travel around in a chip van challenging people to boxing matches in order to get out of having to play them at cricket.
World Cup to exclude minnows. England, thus freed from need to participate in the World Cup, can spend more time on Test matches, nice lunches and kissing up to BCCI.

Alan Tyers' latest book is Tutenkhamen's Tracksuit: The History of Sport in 100ish Objects