Swann criticises ECB approach

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Published: Sunday 1st March 2015 by The News Editor

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Former England spinner Graeme Swann has called on the England and Wales Cricket Board to realise their approach is “out of date”, saying that there is a ” stubbornness ” about their selection policy and that they are “living in the past”.

Swann watched on as England slumped to another heavy World Cup loss, with Sri Lanka chasing down their 309 for six with ease, winning with nine wickets and 16 balls to spare.

The defeat goes alongside reverses against Australia and New Zealand, with Scotland the only team England have beaten so far.

Wins over Afghanistan and Bangladesh would take them to the quarter-finals, but Swann thinks the problems are evident.

Writing on Twitter, he said: “A positive thing that can come of this world cup is that maybe the top brass will realise just how out of date our approach is.”

Swann also aired his views on BBC Radio 5 Live, adding that England had been overly pleased to get what he considered to be an average score.

“I think the problem lies not just with the bowling but the whole approach. It was a very self-congratulatory 310, everyone was saying ‘brilliant’. These days that’s about average and not a great score,” he said.

“We should be looking for 340, 350; The difference between the top teams and everyone else is immense. They’re saying the is the limit when you bat, we’re still looking at par scores.”

Swann feels the answer could lie with former Nottinghamshire team-mate Alex Hales.

“There’s a bit of stubbornness about the selection policy,” he added. “I like Gary Ballance, he’s a great lad, but I think even he’d admit that he shouldn’t be in the team at the minute, he’s in horrible form.

“We have a lad in Alex Hales, one of these new generation players who does go out and knock it about, he tries to smash everything for four and six.

“We need to get these young lads playing. We have too many people running it, too many people involved, too many plans and I think we’re just living in the past.”

Former England captain Michael Vaughan added: “We are watching a era of Cricket where if you are predictable you will end up with a predictable outcome.”

Another ex-England player, Geoffrey Boycott, said the England team were not being realistic.

Boycott has long spoken his mind about the national team’s woes, and though he conceded to some positives, he sees plenty of work to be done.

He told BBC 5 Live: “I do think we could have got another 20-odd runs, there was a period where we were just cantering around. We are not a force to be reckoned with at all.

“The batting was quite good, but the bowling? No, no, sorry. It wasn’t very challenging.

“They’re not bad players, we don’t have a bad side at all. But we’re not firing on all cylinders in any department whatsoever.

“The sad thing for me, even Joe Root, (he gave) a nice interview, lovely lad, but there’s no realism. They keep telling us ‘we’ll take the positives, we did well, we did this’.

“They are trying to tell us little things and we don’t see them. They think ex-players like us are just watching to criticise, we’re not, we want you to win.

“But we can only tell you what we see and you keep losing.”

Opinions also reigned in from other nations, with ex-Australia spinner Shane Warne saying on Twitter: “Broad & Anderson are averaging 80 with the ball you can’t defend any total, also lacking fire power with bat.”

Published: Sunday 1st March 2015 by The News Editor

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