7 January 2010

England's last decade

Andrew Miller's article on Cricinfo looking back at English cricket's last decade makes an interesting read.

Some very valid points - Vaughan managed to make an average team into a good and at time very good team by managing to win the really close games. But for all their press coverage leading to iconic status, England's "greats" (Pietersen and Flintoff) aren't really up there with the best in the world statistically - compare Pietersen who now averages less than 50 with Ponting, Sangakkara or Tendulkar for example.

There's two big criticisms of the ECB - 1. Not utilising their first mover advantage on Twenty20 and 2. Not dealing with the County cricket issue. They're both valid criticisms but the problems of County cricket simply will not go away until there are less professional cricketers in the UK and it's going to take a brave Chairman to tackle that thorny issue. A look at the way Wales handled their reduction in top rugby clubs - which was vociferously opposed by many but ultimately very successful - would perhaps give good context to learn from.

It will be interesting to see where England get to over the coming decade. More mid-table mediocrity and the same failing County Cricket structure would be my guess....

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