Geoffrey Boycott accuses Joe Root of living in ‘cuckoo land’ and treating ex-players and fans as ‘idiots’ by claiming England weren’t much worse than Australia during Ashes disaster as he calls on the captain to step down
- England have been battered by Australia during an abysmal Ashes series
- Pressure is growing on Joe Root to step down as England captain
- Former opener Geoffrey Boycott slammed England’s performances Down Under
- He criticised Root’s claim that England weren’t far off Australia’s level
Geoffrey Boycott has called on Joe Root to step down as captain following the Ashes debacle and accused him of living in ‘cuckoo land’ for claiming England weren’t far off Australia’s level.
Australia retained the urn after their innings and 14 run victory over an abysmal England in Melbourne handed them an unassailable 3-0 series lead with two Tests left to play.
And former England opener Boycott, 81, has joined the chorus of voices calling for Root to pass on the captaincy after a third unsuccessful crack at winning the Ashes.
Pressure is mounting on Joe Root to stand down as England captain after their Ashes debacle
Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott has joined calls for Root to hand over the captaincy
Boycott wrote in his Daily Telegraph column: ‘Now Australia are 3-0 up and the Ashes have gone, will Root please stop saying Australia are not much better than us?
‘I do not mind him living in cuckoo land but stop trying to kid us. If he really believes what he says then maybe it is time he gave up the captaincy of the England cricket team.
‘The facts are staring us all in the face, except Root does not want to see it. England cannot bat. Our bowling is ordinary. The catching, particularly by the wicketkeeper [Jos] Buttler, has been poor.
‘Root’s captaincy lacks imagination. His team selection and decision-making have been staggeringly off the mark.
‘That’s not me trying to be hurtful to Joe or just being controversial. We all love Joe. It’s impossible not to like him, but before the squad left the UK, Joe said players and captains are defined by Ashes series, particularly in Australia.
Australia made light work of England, winning the first three Tests to retain the Ashes urn
‘So far this series we have been dreadful and if Joe believes what he has been saying then it is time for someone else to be given the opportunity to try and galvanise the players.
‘Many of us are tired of these interviews where Joe says England will learn from a bad day or Joe says he expects a response after a poor performance. We have had enough of this rubbish. Stop treating us ex-players and cricket supporters as idiots.’
Root, 30, has been a rare bright point in a calamitous series for England. After a duck in the first innings of the opening Test at Brisbane, he has made scores of 89, 62, 24, 50 and 28.
Asked whether he intended to carry on in a job that has now brought him 24 Test defeats – the most by an England captain – Root replied: ‘The series isn’t over yet. We’ve got two very big games and, more than anything, it’d be wrong to look past that.
Root’s batting has been a rare bright point for England during a hugely forgettable series
‘I’m in the middle of a very important series. My energy has to be all about trying to win the next game. I can’t be selfish and start thinking about myself.
‘We’ve got to keep looking to do everything we can to get the players in the best possible place to win Test matches.’
But Root, who described himself as ‘absolutely gutted and bitterly disappointed’, also called for a ‘reset’ in English cricket’s approach to the red-ball game at the end of a year in which they have lost a national-record nine Test matches.
‘It’s a big part of where the game is at in our country right now that the only place you can really learn is in the hardest environment for what is quite a young batting group,’ he said.
‘They’re having to learn out here in the harshest environments. You look back at 2015 and the reset that happened in white-ball cricket, and maybe that’s something that needs to be happening in our red-ball game as well.’