London – England cricket must make sweeping changes after a humiliating defeat to the Netherlands in the World Twenty20 capped off a dismal winter, the national press said Tuesday.
England, who had already been eliminated from the competition before Monday's debacle in Chittagong, were bowled out for just 88 runs with more than two overs to spare in reply to the Netherlands' modest 133 for five.
Given the 5-0 Ashes loss in Australia, Fleet Street agreed that incoming England and Wales Cricket Board managing director Paul Downton had a lot of personnel decisions to make, including the future of One-Day coach Ashley Giles, who oversaw England's weak showing in Bangladesh.
The Guardian ran with headline “Shambolic winter ends in Dutch humiliation” while the Sun tabloid splashed “Hol lot of rubbish” across its sports pages.
“Of course England should have won their final match but somehow there was an inevitability that they would not,” wrote the Guardian's Mike Selvey.
“There is some breathing space before the summer internationals during which time some crucial, and possibly difficult, decisions will have to be taken right across the board, from support staff, all of them, to captain.”
Former England captain and Times writer Michael Atherton suggested that former national team coach and current Lancashire coach Peter Moores be reappointed.
“Defeat by the Netherlands, and not just any defeat but a good old-fashioned hammering by an associate country, is not a good, concluding line to have to ink in to the CV for Giles,” he said.
“As Downton and others set about their task, it will remain the defining memory of the winter.
“Defeat by the Netherlands was good for only one man: Moores – a coach who knows about difficult times with England but who now is favourite to get the chance to put the past behind him.”
The Daily Telegraph's Jonathan Liew mocked England's 45-run defeat, and suggested it was the end of the road for Giles.
“This is defeat as performance art, a Fibonacci sequence of horror, the final flourish of a side that have become so thoroughly addicted to losing that they have placed every fibre of their being into its service,” he wrote.
“Coach Ashley Giles wants the job of running the England team full-time. Let him have it. The two are a perfect fit for each other: the blind leading the blind. Giles' insistence that he thought England had 'warmed up pretty well' was symptomatic of a side fixated on process, disconnected from reality, devoid of any real human emotion: an entire squad of middle managers,” he added. – Sapa-AFP