Colly flowers, and backs his six hitters to win T20

England hope for 18th time lucky but spectre of match-fixing haunts big party

As England embark today on their 18th attempt to win a global competition, the spectre of match-fixing has again intruded on the game. It was raised last week in official documents by tax officials investigating the Indian Premier League and it will be mentioned wherever the players go in the World Twenty20 which begins in the West Indies on Friday.

Paul Collingwood, England's captain, said yesterday: "There's speculation all around and I guess where there's money, there's problems. I can only go from my experience and thankfully I've never been involved in anything like that. I know it's all speculation, but it's a horrible thought to even think you might have been involved in a team that could be involved in anything like that."

Collingwood has spent the past month in India playing for Delhi Daredevils in the IPL. The competition was shaken last week after the report of the Income-Tax Department was released, suggesting money-laundering and match-fixing. There is no proof, but anecdotal evidence is beginning to abound and the World Twenty20 will be under scrutiny.

"None of us wants to be involved even in talk of this kind of stuff," said Collingwood. "You have to keep your eyes open as players. You are given anti-corruption videos to watch when you first come into the squad. The players know what it's all about, we just have to keep our eyes open and make sure it does not come into the game."

The ICC's finest achievement – after the rigging scandal was exposed in the early part of this decade – has been the institution of rigorous anti-corruption squads. They will be on alert in the venues of Barbados, St Lucia and Guyana.

England have failed in 17 previous attempts in limited-over competitions covering nine World Cups, six Champions Trophies and two World Twenty20s. There is not much reason to suppose that matters will be altered this time as they enter (but not necessarily finish) the event with their 16th different opening batting partnership, the previous 15 having been used in only 25 matches. This time, honest, the uncapped duo of Craig Kieswetter and Michael Lumb will change things. Kieswetter played three one-dayers in Bangladesh last month, Lumb was the second top-scorer in the domestic T20 last summer (though the top-scorer, Jonathan Trott, was discarded). It seems the new pairing impressed on England's stopover in Dubai on the way to Bangladesh.

"Those guys Lumb and Kieswetter really opened our eyes when we played against them in the A game and proved to us how hard they could hit the ball," said Collingwood. "In 20-over cricket you really do have to use your brains as well. You can go after ball one and think you're going to hit it out of the park but the risk assessment is crucial. It's not just Kieswetter and Lumb – if you look at our order Kevin Pietersen has always been a powerful hitter and I'm starting to hit a few more sixes."

Collingwood virtually acknowledged this new-found power would be used at the top of the order, which places immediate expectations on the new pair. England are unlikely winners but there is no doubting at least that they have a fresh vision about all limited-overs cricket under Andy Flower's coaching. "Having never won one it's something we're desperate to do," said Collingwood. "We're excited about it. The good thing about Twenty20 cricket is that we've got as good a chance as anybody else. Now we're starting to build a team that is becoming very powerful."

The point is, of course, that England are only starting to build the team. It almost beggars belief that they can enter a major tournament (in which they must win both group games to be sure of progressing) carrying two untried players who are expected to give them the required starts. No doubt, as was seen in IPL, they will also use abundant slow bowling, so come in Michael Yardy after three years away.

Collingwood is already in Barbados having flown via the United States from India. Most of the rest of his squad fly from Heathrow this morning. Despite the cloud that has been placed on the IPL in the past few days, he seems convinced of its virtues.

"Until you've actually experienced the IPL you probably don't realise how much you do learn from being involved," he said, although England's two leading bowlers, Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad, declined to take part. "Eoin Morgan will now be in the same situation as I was last year. He got a few games in and even that small experience that he has had, and watching the other guys, seeing what the IPL is all about, puts you in real good stead for what Twenty20 is all about."

England probably do not know enough to win. Maybe at the 19th time of asking.

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
News
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracy Emin's 1998 piece 'My Bed' on display at Christie's
artOne expert claims she did not
News
Ernesto Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, right, met at Havana Golf Club in 1962 to mock the game
newsFidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Sport
Robin van Persie is blocked by Hugo Lloris
footballTottenham vs Manchester United match report
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?