The Light Roller: Humiliated England need to escape from their box

Diary of a cricket obsessive

Dutch defeat was bad, but it's the wider context that makes it worse

Have you ever been to York? You have? Ah, so you'll know that street in the old city called The Shambles. It has old Broad the baker at number 1, Morgan the miller just over the road and a little further down you'll find Lumb's Plums, the most hit and miss grocer's in town. If you go round Dern Back Lane, then turn left into Moeen Alley, make sure you tread well or you might find yourself facing old man Boycott, who is liable to set his gran on you.

Massacred by the Aussies, crushed by the Windies, now utterly floor-wiped by the Dutch: shambolic is about as good as it gets. A brilliant Alex Hales century against Sri Lanka feels like an aberration. The only other England player whose reputation remains more or less in tact after this tournament is Ravi Bopara.

All that having been said, T20s remain mysterious beasts. A storm did for England against New Zealand; a dead rubber against the Netherlands was asking for trouble. In the two proper contests England pulled off a great win and were beaten by a decent South Africa. Their difficulty is that this World Cup will be viewed in the context of a disastrous winter. Inevitably, therefore, more will be read into it than would be the case if the Ashes had not been quite so badly lost.

The powers that be have to lighten up if England are to regain their mojo

Michael Carberry's comments in a Guardian interview about the inadequacies of England's man-management are troubling, coming so soon after the breach between the ECB and Kevin Pietersen. They paint a picture of a set-up that is inward-looking and unimaginative.

Management faults are always magnified by failure on the field of play.  When a team is winning, there is little need to focus on questions about how the selectors are communicating with players or to what degree a coach is hindering, rather than helping, a bowler's progress by tinkering with his action.

Nevertheless, the recent history of English cricket has largely been characterised by a shift towards greater professionalism, a tougher team ethic and a generally more rigid regime. While it has brought great success, the ECB has to recognise that in a world where top players no longer rely on international honours to make a living, playing for England must be a pleasure as well as a privilege.

England’s women are in pole position for more silverware

While the lads carry on with their search for rock-bottom, England's women continue to scale the heights.

They remain too reliant on Charlotte Edwards and Sarah Taylor for runs but their performances so far in Bangladesh have been impressive. Cup glory is hardly guaranteed but few would argue against the notion that they are the best team in the tournament.

Given that the women’s set-up in this country is only now entering an era of full professionalisation, it is to be hoped that they will go from strength to strength – provided of course that they don’t become as seemingly inflexible as the men in their approach.

My encounter with a future England captain

True story: I once bought a bat off Charlotte Edwards. Amazing, I know. I was about fifteen, as I suppose was she, and I had gone to the Hunts County factory shop in Huntingdon, where Edwards was putting a shift in.

Edwards was already a regular fixture in the pages of our local paper – the Cambridge Evening News – and it was fairly obvious that she was destined for great things.

As I tried out a range of bats with a seriousness appropriate to a stalwart of the Cambridgeshire Under-15 squad, my mother, gauging Edwards' level of interest perfectly, turned to her and said: "there's nothing more boring than watching a boy choose a cricket bat is there dear?". Cue nervous laughter from the future captain of England, and red-faced embarrassment from the future Light Roller.

Twitter: @willjgore

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
arts + entsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
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

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker