World Twenty20: Nowhere to hide for Ashley Giles after England hit new low in defeat to Netherlands

England lost by 45 runs in their final match in Bangladesh

Chowdhury Stadium

The greatest embarrassment was saved to the last. Perhaps it was not the biggest humiliation of a perpetually bruising winter, since losing the Ashes 5-0 takes some beating in anybody’s collection of Wisden, but defeat in Chittagong to the Netherlands by 45 runs pushes it close.

It was a simply dreadful end to the worst period in England’s history. Anybody who suggests that the country’s cricket is not at a low ebb after this final loss to a bunch of unsung cricketers, most of whom would not make a county XI, is either misguided or plain bonkers. England do not play again until May when they travel to Aberdeen of all places to play Scotland. No one should make the mistake of thinking of it as a goodwill mission.

Between now and then they will appoint a new coach and the case for Ashley Giles being given the job has been reduced by at least 45 reasons. As limited-overs coach at present, he made no attempt to conceal the gravity of England’s wretched efforts in their last World Twenty20 match against a team which qualified at the last gasp, if only because there was nowhere to hide.

The match was meaningless as far as the tournament was concerned. Both sides had already been eliminated, but England played for far too long as though it was meaningless in all other aspects as well. If any of this lot utter platitudes any time soon about their pride in wearing the three lions there might be cause for a debate on the point.

Giles said: “The sun will still come up tomorrow but sometimes it feels as if it won’t when you have days at the office like that. It wasn’t good from anyone and I’m sure they know that. There’s not much more you can say, it was unacceptable and embarrassing.”



In the next week or two, Giles will be interviewed for the vacant head coach’s position. Not surprisingly, the social networking sites were alive after this defeat with comments on his lack of credentials. If it were to be judged solely on this match, giving him the job might be tantamount to appointing as head surgeon in a senior teaching hospital someone whose experience amounted to 10 years slaughtering animals in an abattoir.

Giles was rueful in assessing his chances after watching his side bowled out for 88 in 17.4 overs. “It never helps losing to Holland,” he said. But England did not simply lose. They were outclassed and, witnessing what was on show, it was easy to question their desire.

They began badly as the Dutch, invited to bat, had a rapid start. Given this shot across the bows, England regrouped and restricted their opponents to 133 for 5. It was, eventually, professionals carrying out a professional task.

At that point, it felt as if England thought it was all over. And so it was for them. They lost to the Netherlands in the 2009 WorldT20 at Lord’s but that went to the last ball. This was a hammering. “I don’t feel tonight feels like an upset,” said their captain, Peter Borren, who played at Lord’s.

Almost all England’s batsmen were casual in their approach and when they realised what was happening it was much too late. There were missed pulls, errant drives and sloppy slogs. As Giles pointedly said: “You know you can’t choose when to turn it on and turn it off and I felt we thought we could today, and 130-odd, yes we should get that, but every run counts, every ball counts for England.”

His ability to ensure a side is in the right frame of mind, properly prepared, is bound to be discussed at his interview and he will have to come up with something plausible. Giles said that he was angry and understood the fans’ reaction. “It wouldn’t be your ideal way to go out,” he added. “I said yesterday that we would have the odd blip and they don’t get much bigger than this. It is just not good enough.”

Two England batsmen reached double figures but from the third over, when the opening batsman Michael Lumb was out, they were never in the contest. The Netherlands bowled tidily and fielded hungrily. This match meant more to them than England.

The international score for the winter across Tests, one-day internationals and Twenty20s is England 5, Opponents 18. Did somebody say it was not good enough?

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific