England have ended their nightmare winter with a 45-run defeat to the Netherlands after already being dismissed from the T20 World Cup earlier than expected.
If supporters were starting to feel slightly optimistic after victory over Sri Lanka, a close defeat to South Africa and a defeat to New Zealand due to the weather, then they should think again.
This defeat highlighted just how fragile England are, no matter who pulls on the Three Lions shirt and in which ever format they play. A 45-run defeat in Twenty/20 format is considered a substantial defeat and against a non-playing nation such as the Netherlands, it can only be deemed as embarrassing.
We mustn't take anything away from the Dutch who performed admirably but in reality they should never have had a chance against a side full of star names.
England have had their share of bad luck by losing players with the capabilities of Joe Root, Luke Wright and Ben Stokes but they should have had plenty in reserve to beat the Dutch.
One worrying aspect of the game was the lack of boundaries that England were able to hit. Before the tournament, there were doubts as to whether England had the players to clear the boundary consistently and this game showed it.England only struck four fours in their total of 88 as they were dismissed inthe 18th over. Ravi Bopara top scored with just 18 runs.
Admittedly, the game was a dead rubber after both sides had been eliminated but most of, if not all, the England players were playing for their futures and, more importantly, professional pride. They were also playing for central contracts and a chance to right the wrongs from this dismal winter.
England will now return home after a terrible winter which has seen them embarrassed in Australia, defeated in the West Indies and now humbled in the World Twenty20 just four years after winning the tournament.
Where do they go from here? Firstly they must officially employ a coach to oversee their Test matches and then they must identify the players who they feel can guide them out of the doldrums in all forms of the game.
There will be some tough decisions ahead but they must be made for the good of our summer
sport and it's future.
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