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.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
News
i100
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
people
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
News
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
people
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
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

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little