BUMBLE ON THE TEST: England’s Ashes displays Down Under are so bad even the Australians are making excuses for Joe Root’s side… fans are switching off and the repercussions for the ECB could be huge
- Australia have retained the Ashes after just three Test matches Down Under
- England have produced another abysmal showing, with fans switching off
- There must be huge concerns as to the repercussions for cricket and the ECB
England produced a disastrous display to hand Australia the Ashes series at the earliest possible opportunity on Tuesday morning.
It capped off a thoroughly depressing winter of crickey for Joe Root and his side to date, who now must rally to avoid an embarrassing whitewash Down Under.
Here, Sportsmail’s DAVID LLOYD provides an insight into the state of English cricket after another absymal defeat.
Do you know what’s the biggest worry about all this? I’ve had so many people come up to me over the last couple of weeks saying ‘I’m not bothering watching the Ashes. What’s the point?’ And these are proper cricket lovers too.
It even stretches to Australians. I’ve been working for Channel 7 and people like Ricky Ponting and Allan Border are craving an even contest. They are even making excuses for England! It’s got that bad.
People have switched off from the Ashes this winter, such has been Australia’s dominance
And if people cannot be bothered to watch that will have repercussions from broadcasters. Multi-millions of pounds are going into English cricket and propping up the domestic game but how much longer will that happen?
They are not getting value for money and they are not getting new viewers and listeners if people are switching off in their droves.
The big question for the ECB and county chief executives and chairs now is ‘why are we not producing first-class cricketers?’
They decide what the structure is. They decide when we play red-ball cricket. It’s all coming home to roost now. If you play County Championship games when we do in March, April, September and even October the system will not produce players good enough for Test cricket. It’s plain to see. It’s as clear as day-light.
A dejected Jos Buttler leaves the field after another England capitulation on Tuesday
I can get on my high horse and rant and rave but my old mucker David Gower put it far more eloquently when he rocked up on BT. He just simply said during his commentary that if we play our red-ball cricket in Spring and Autumn this is what we will get. The players are not prepared properly for the rigours of Test match cricket. Well said Lord Gower.
The inquest will start now. No doubt there will be another review. We’ve had it all before. I’ve been there, seen it, done it and got the T-shirt. But this Ashes defeat feels even worse than usual.
It just wasn’t a contest. This third Test finished in six and a half sessions with a delay on the second day! That second innings was a total capitulation.
Australia haven’t even had their best attack. Pat Cummins missed the second Test and Josh Hazlewood has been out of the last two. They brought in a complete unknown in 32-year-old Scott Boland for his debut at Melbourne and he takes six for seven!
They stuck with Marcus Harris who got a nice half century and they’ve thrown in a lad in Cameron Green who is going to be a superstar. When he finds his feet he will be bowling like Glenn McGrath and batting like Tom Moody. Australia are producing cricketers.
Cameron Green will be an Australian superstar once he finds his feet for the national team
I did a radio phone-in to a station in New Zealand on Tuesday and it was illuminating. They are the best Test team in the world, they proved that against India last summer.
What do they do? They play 10 first-class matches in their season and they are debating whether to reduce it to eight. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Quality not quantity and play the games in peak Summer. Then we might get somewhere.
I tell you what’s frightening. We are in danger now of capitulating like West Indies. They were the best in the world. They produced some of the greatest Test teams that ever played the game.
But they are a shadow now of those great 80s sides and that’s because of terrible mis-management and bad administration. We are on that precipice now.
I heard Gary Neville on Sky on Monday night absolutely slating Manchester United. He hammered them. That’s a one-club man who cares.
I feel like I’m doing the same to English cricket but I implore the people who run our game – what are you going to do about it? I’m just absolutely dismayed at how far the England team have fallen. And I’m no lone voice.
What we have got is one of the best England batters of all time in Joe Root and still the best bowler in the world in the 39-year-old Jimmy Anderson and yet we still can’t win a raffle.
I can’t see what else Root can do. He’s carrying the batting. And I’d love to know what Jimmy is really thinking. He very politely said he doesn’t want to get into a bowlers versus batsmen debate. Which obviously means he does! I feel for both of them.
At 39, Jimmy Anderson is still the best bowler in the world but is too polite to voice his concern