"A powerhouse of troubles," the perfect term for English cricket as I see it at the moment.
Problems multiplying, concerns deepening, everything in shambles; the three lions don't quite roar these days and neither does anyone dare to be sanguine of England winning a game of cricket.
The problems actually go deeper than all of us may have assumed. It does go all the way down to the the roots of English cricket and not to forget the ECB of course. I have often held the mentality of a cricketing nation responsible for how a team goes about.
In English cricket's case, an archaic mentality is the differentia. Cricket might have come a long way since those times when Grace and Bradman used to bat for days, but cricket in England still seems to be in a league of its own with the antediluvian minds still existing and influencing as much as ever.
Sadly, you only wear an England shirt if you assure that you don't do something out of the ordinary. Just stick to the basics and keep playing, dig deep and keep playing, don't attack and keep playing, average 45+ in first-class cricket and play all formats.
No room for expression
KP was lucky, so was Trescothick, so was Flintoff to have represented England at the Test level. Hales, Vince (he averages in the 40s), Roy, Buttler (I suppose he exits soon), would they ever be as lucky? I don't quite think so.
Do England ever win a World Cup? I don't think so! Not as long as Ballance and Root constitute our middle order. Obsolete with their thinking, defensive with their selection, strict with the ethics: that's how you describe the ECB and thats what has made English cricket a laughing stock, a source of schadenfreude.
Egoistic ECB costing England
"Ego", often a term that is followed by another term - asperity. English cricket fell because of this very trait that the board has dearly possessed. This very ego of the selectors and the management has costed England very heavily indeed.
Kevin Pietersen is one of the casualties of ECB's officials who preferred their respect, that ego to the team. "You dare to speak and you are out". That is how you go about.
If it was for England's management, Michael Clarke would have been sacked and even the whole of Australian team because they have the guts, that grit to present their views and go against the the ECB.
Poor KP just dared to talk about what had to be changed (for the welfare of England) and he was sacked, rather kicked out because he challenged the wiseacres of the board. What ego do you boast of now? A team in ruins being subjected to ignominy and they all laugh at the selectors more than than the players.
The players who are gallant enough to be aggressive with their mind, to tell that English cricket needs to leave behind the ethics to be successful, will all be sacked in the times to come and England will never find a Kevin Pietersen.
We were fortunate enough to have ethical players like Strauss, Trott, Prior (and just one maverick KP!) and still succeed as their "cricket" defied all the laws of aggression being related to success in the modern game.
But you don't quite find such teams every time do you? The team led by Nasser Hussain, the one led by Alec Stewart were all very "ethical" but never succeeded.
Just because you could be kicked out of the team, no player even in the current English team that represents the new era, dares to stay aggressive (I'll keep using that term) and doesn't mind giving views because you do as the ECB tells you.
If all this continues to define the structure of English cricket, there seems a little hope perhaps about a bright future. Now is the time to be rampant, to be like an inspired English team of the past, to follow the footsteps of Larwood, Sutcliffe, Botham, Willis like players.
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