Tuesday 17 October 2017

Abject England display piles pressure on ICC over 'minnows'

England captain Eoin Morgan looks dejected after losing his wicket during the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup match between England and New Zealand at Wellington Regional Stadium
England captain Eoin Morgan looks dejected after losing his wicket during the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup match between England and New Zealand at Wellington Regional Stadium

David Townsend

The chortling could be heard from Brisbane to Balrothery -another World Cup group game between two 'full members' of the ICC and another hopeless mismatch.

This time it was England - one of the self-appointed Big Three of world cricket - getting a humiliating hammering by New Zealand in Wellington.

"Embarrassing" barely describes the mauling.

At least Dubliner Eoin Morgan managed to put a few runs on the board after his series of ducks but, after the England captain was spectacularly caught in the deep for 17, his team collapsed from 104-3 to 123 all out.

That was only half the story. With social media already buzzing with cheeky tweets suggesting 'minnows' like England should be barred from future tournaments, Brendon McCullum proceeded to smash the fastest half-century in World Cup history, from 18 balls.

Kevin O'Brien's fastest century record (from 50 balls) was also under threat until McCullum fell for 77, but the hosts still completed their chase at a canter from only 12.2 overs.

"I just sat down to watch the cricket and it's over" tweeted Trent Johnston, the former Ireland captain as the match ended only 10 minutes after what should have been the break between innings.

The target for the tweeters' mirth was not only England but more so the game's governing body, the ICC, who have taken the controversial and ever more indefensible decision to restrict the next World Cup to 10 teams.

The next test for Morgan and England - against Scotland on Monday - is exactly the sort of game the ICC is seeking to eliminate from future World Cups on the grounds of being "unbalanced".

And indeed it may be - but surely England can't be as bad again.

Meanwhile, in Brisbane, the Ireland team's preparations for Wednesday's second group game against the United Arab Emirates were restricted to indoor nets, gym work and a session in the pool by torrential rains brought by Cyclone Marcia.

Indo Sport

Independent.ie Comments Facility

INM has taken the decision to remove the commenting facility on its online platform Independent.ie to minimise the legal risk to our business that arises from Ireland's draconian libel awards system.

We continue to look forward to receiving comments through direct email contact or via social media, some of which may still be featured on the website Independent.ie


Editor's Choice

Also in Sport