19 September 2007

The World Twenty20

So England are, again, prematurely out of a tournament showcasing a (format of a) game they came up with. Joy. And the new ODI and T20 captain, Paul Collingwood, has already got himself in hot water by visiting a *shocked horror* strip club during the tournament.

Bah. He did nothing wrong as far as I read the coverage, but he has presided over a disastrous challenge. The win over Zimbabwe was nothing less than expected (despite the opponent's heroics against the Aussies in their previous match). Since then there have been three loses, two of which were marred by abundant basic fielding errors and lame collapses; limp performances where England never so much as threatened to compete. I have no such complaints about the loss to New Zealand, which did go to the last over: whilst England did throw it away some through a terrible penultimate over they were at least at the races for the duration. As I type, India look to be racking up a huge score in what will be England's last game of the tournament; it smacks of another limp effort, and simply not good enough.

Sour grapes? Mutterings from a glory-hunter or new supporter drawn in by Ashes success 2 years ago? No. I started really following England's fortunes in cricket way back in the early-mid 90s when they couldn't win a game to save their life. I'm used to seeing my side lose - especially in the shorter format - and that doesn't bother me a jot. What does is seeing meek efforts that disgrace the shirt, countless errors that would embarrass schoolboys or village cricketers from players we know to have true class.

Oh how I wish the fight was there. They talk a good game, but lately haven't played much of one (even when they have won).

Edit: And limp is rightly the word; Stuart Broad just bowled the most expensive over in Twenty20 history: Yuvraj Singh taking 6 sixes from it. The depths are being plumbed, and I cannot see England saving face by getting close to their target of 219. So barring a miracle that will be two world cups in a row (50-over and T20) where England have failed to win so much as a match against decent opposition.

No comments: