England Clever in Recruiting Colly

Posted: Monday, February 17, 2014 by Laura in Labels: , , , , , , ,

England's decision to give former all-rounder Paul Collingwood a coaching role for the upcoming limited-overs tour of the West Indies and then the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh seems like a smart move.

England, who are still smarting in the other sense of the word from their defeats in all forms of the game in Australia, must pick themselves up for the trip to the Windies and then attempt to get themselves right for an assault on the World T20 - a competition they memorably won of course back in 2010.

And in bringing in someone like Collingwood they have on board a winner and a great character who can add plenty to the staff as they plot to bounce back effectively from the dismal tour down under.

The Durham skipper has been named as assistant to limited overs coach Ashley Giles and it is hoped he will inject some much-needed postitivity into the England camp after a dire winter. Colly is held in high regard by cricket betting fans and many felt he called it a day too early when retiring from Test cricket in January 2011.

His experience in defying the cricket betting odds and leading England to the World T20 title four years ago means he knows exactly what it takes to win the competition and his role may well prove vital if England do go deep into the competition. At that stage it will be all about holding your nerve while ensuring the best and most explosive T20 players can be at their best.

Collingwood's playing career - especially in limited overs cricket - speaks for itself. The 37-year-old is England's most capped ODI cricketer and leading ODI run scorer so he clearly has something to give in terms of coaching if he can pass on some of his old skills to the squad.

However, maybe more importantly, Collingwood can offer a fresh input and help revitalise some struggling players. Having not been around the camp in Australia, he will enter into his new role without any pre-conceived negativity from the failed Ashes and One-Day tours and can be a breath of fresh air in the upcoming months as England aim to regain their pride and move on into a new post-Andy Flower era.

Thank you for reading.

The misery called English cricket

Posted: Sunday, February 16, 2014 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , ,

Being an England fan is not easy. Ask anyone who supports England. It could be the best, it has the potential everybody would tell you. They could be better. Why aren't they then?

We aren't talking about Bangladesh, who have reached a certain standard, give you glimpses of hope from time to time with incredible victories. We are talking about England, who are not short on talent, or cash, or management, or technology, or coaches. They aren't even limited to picking players from their own country.

Wherever you are from, you can play for England, as long as you are eligible. It doesn't matter where you come from. Your history, your heritage, your blood just do not matter.

Why then does England lose so badly so many times? Why did the team and the fans go from celebrating Ashes 2005, 2009, 2010-11, 2013 wildly to sobbing after Ashes 2006, 2013-14? That's one thing similar between Bangladesh and England. They celebrate their victories so wildly that they probably don't need more. England could easily win more, only if they cared more about winning.

Only if they cared more about winning than their inner differences.

I had felt this about BCCI first, that the board rules the cricketers, as if they are slaves. BCCI asks Indian cricketers to watch their words. ECB selects the team based on personal bias, rather than merit. We have had many many examples of board's perspective being more important than the team winning.

Be it Steven Davies, Owais Shah or Joe Root, ECB chooses players by their personal bias. And with the Kevin Pietersen scenario, they have gone over the top. Had it been India, the crowd would have eaten the selectors alive. Steven Davies has never been selected since he announced he is gay, Joe Root has been supported more than he should have and Kevin Pietersen, from time to time has faced trouble from the ECB. And only the ECB and the god know why Owais Shah was dropped.

England doesn't know how to handle its players. End of the story. Who cares if Kevin Pietersen has an ego? Or if he has no friend in the current English squad. You select the team which makes your country win games. Nobody cares if the players don't get along, with each other or with the board. It's up to the players and the board to solve their conflicts. Only the best shall play.

ECB Could Rue Pietersen Decision

Posted: Friday, February 7, 2014 by Laura in Labels: , , , , , , ,

So, Kevin Pietersen has been shown the door by England after weeks of speculation over his future on cricket websites, and the ECB will hope their rebuilding plan brings with it a quick improvement or there will be plenty of people questioning the wisdom of their controversial decision to axe the batsman.

Pietersen has often divided opinion during his time in the side and there are clearly flaws within his game but when at his devastating best, KP is simply unplayable and the 33-year-old has proved it countless times for his adopted country down the years. Let's not forget, Pietersen is England's all-time leading run-scorer across all formats and so often in the past decade he has been the 'go-to' man when things have not being going well.

The ECB, along with the selectors, have wrestled with this decision for some time, well aware that there will be plenty of fans and pundits who will be against the move. Pietersen himself has made it plain that he feels he has been axed far too early, saying he has "deep regret" his time as an England player has come to an end now, while he claims he has plenty more to give to the game despite his advancing years.

Clearly something had to be done in the wake of the Ashes and One-Day debacles down under and it has been decided getting rid of coach Andy Flower and talismanic batsman Pietersen was the way to go as the powers that be try to take England forward. But in axing the South African-born star, England are dispensing with one of the most talented players to have ever graced the game and someone who, despite his mistakes, will be awfully hard to replace.

The exact reasons why KP has been shown the door have yet to be revealed and it will be interesting if a detailed explanation for the change is forthcoming. There has been much speculation, hearsay and rumours about Pietersen's supposed disruptive influence in the dressing room and, while he obviously has had his issues with some team-mates in the past - most notably former captain Andrew Strauss - those closest to the squad in the very recent past say there has been no rift behind the scenes and Pietersen has got on with things with the utmost professionalism.

It appears the selectors have decided England need a fresh new start and, with that policy in mind, expect a few more senior players to be told their time in the squad is up as they look to build a new side around emerging talent like Ben Stokes, Joe Root and Johnny Bairstow.

There have been widespread accusations that Pietersen's inability to be a team-player has cost him his place in the side in the end and, certainly, the way he often threw away his wicket with some outlandish, glory shots, back up these claims. But fans who follow cricket regularly know the very best winning teams need a mixture of characters who can bring different qualities and offer varied skills. Pietersen was a maverick at times and one the ECB have grown tired of, but it's a decision they may just come to rue over the next 12 months.