The Build to England’s Summer of Cricket

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Wed 13 Feb - 22:25

First topic message reminder :

It’s a little early for separate World Cup and Ashes threads, but with the Windies giving England less wins than they might have liked, what confidence had been gained from Sri Lanka has been drained.

If anything, it feels like there were less questions in summer than there are now, with the top three even less secure, Curran’s away showings looking unconvincing so far and some questions around  places for Bairstow, Foakes and pace of Wood or similar. 

There’s also a World Cup coming, a home World Cup, something England have been building towards for quite some time. They’re a very good team, maybe better than any England World Cup team, but there’s a few issues.

It’s also worth noting opponents, although I can’t see anyone getting more discussion than the Aussies. They’ve recovered from defeat to win a home series against a very weak Sri Lanka. Their tails are up, and they could welcome back their two bets batsmen. Could, as morals might well make that a little difficult. They don’t have many here, though, so it will depend just how much of a tit Warner is in the meantime.

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Post by Duty281 on Sun 21 Apr - 3:09

Yes, Plunkett's bowling himself out of contention, just as the hype machine is propelling Archer into position.

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Post by alfie on Sun 21 Apr - 19:12

Does seem Plunkett has picked a bad time to run out of form...

He has some credit in the bank but needs a big performance in these warm up games or he might well lose his spot. Will be interesting to see what Archer does against Pakistan : unlike a lot of people I'm not totally persuaded that he should automatically be included because of strong form in the 20 over circuses . Yes I'd agree he has a lot of ability ; but whether he is ready for the switch to international fifty over stuff remains unproven. These games should be a good indication.

As for Hales it doesn't sound good. Unlikely to have done much more than carried drinks and sat on the bench ; but if Roy or Bairstow got injured he'd have been a great substitute and I'm not sure who fills that role if he isn't around ?

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Post by guildfordbat on Sun 21 Apr - 19:53

Hi Alfie - a happy Easter to you and all. I'm actually hoping that Plunkett is currently carrying a small injury which is restricting him ...because otherwise it looks as if he has run out of legs which will be even harder to get back than form!

I'll think about a Hales alternative.


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Post by JDizzle on Sun 21 Apr - 20:20

I think it is probably Vince. He has an excellent List A record and is a top order player, similar style wise to Hales. Duckett made a couple of 50s in three innings in Bangladesh in his brief foray into the ODI side a few years ago, but he seems to be well of the radar. Of course, potentially the most obvious solution is already in the squad - and they see Denly as the reserve and they call up a Billings to cover elsewhere.

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Post by Gooseberry on Sun 21 Apr - 20:26

Well Vince is clearly the one whos in the extended squad as the potential back up batsman. I guess if Hales is still off when the warm ups come round then someone like Duckett could sneak in but theyd be a long way down the pecking order. I guess in theory if Billings gets ago and finally lives up to his spotential in the warm ups he could make a case for inclusion as a reserve bat too...it would fit England to a tee to have 3 keepers Rolling Eyes The Current 15 has another spare batsman in it anyway in Denly, so it really isnt a problem position for England. If they were going to lose any player from the squad then Hales is arguably the least impactful despite being good enough for pretty much any side in the world.

In better news Moeen has suddenly found form with the bat in IPL at 4, hit back to back 50's the last being absolutely blazing. Hes such a flaky confidence player any sign of improvement ( and this is a huge turnaround for him) is a big plus.

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Post by guildfordbat on Mon 22 Apr - 2:26

An RL 50 ton today for Sussex's 22 year old opening bat Phil Salt. Even if Hales does need replacing, this summer is probably too soon for Salt. However, he could be worth keeping an eye on ....

EDIT: he ended up with 137 not out off 106 in taking Sussex to a 7 wicket win over Kent with 10 overs to spare.

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 22 Apr - 3:45

I wouldve thought Northeast would be another in the frame if they needed to look outside the established group. But this is more post world cup and probable Morgan retirement unless there is a rush of injuries.

Its certainly a thing that England seek to have an abundance if depth in limited overs batting but struggle to find more than 1 who deserves a spot on scores in the Test team.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 23 Apr - 20:21

Rut oh...Jason Roy's done his hamstring and had to retire hurt in Surrey's RLODC match against Essex
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Post by Duty281 on Tue 23 Apr - 21:09

At this rate, Alastair Cook will be making an England return...to the ODI side!

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Post by alfie on Tue 23 Apr - 21:45

Was a bit alarmed to see that Roy had retired hurt : but I'm seeing it described as a "back spasm" and reports he's expected to bat later so maybe not too bad...

Does point up the risks of injury to key players and possible effect on WC chances though: count no chickens !

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Post by Gooseberry on Tue 23 Apr - 22:37

Another interesting thing from the Surrey game...their attack are aged 34, 34, 37, 41(!) and ...21 with Mckerr playing his first ever list A fixture. A "blend of youth and experience" chin

Plunkett has kept his place despite some rancid bowling performances in the previous rounds. The "youngster" Meaker (30) is sat on the bench threatening if he has a bad day again.

Roys injury aside the other England bats have made runs which is good to see, albeit that none of them are near the ODI squad.

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Post by king_carlos on Tue 23 Apr - 23:02

alfie wrote:Was a bit alarmed to see that Roy had retired hurt : but I'm seeing it described as a "back spasm" and reports he's expected to bat later so maybe not too bad...

Does point up the risks of injury to key players and possible effect on WC chances though: count no chickens !
My fear if two of those established openers were unavailable wouldn't be a lack of faith in the batting talent to replace them but more in the possibility of Moeen being pushed up the order. Mo is a dangerous batsman who can take attacks apart but I'm yet to see him do so consistently enough in England games to bat up the order.

1.Bairstow
2.Moeen
3.Root
4.Morgan
5.Stokes
6.Buttler (wk)
7.Denly
8.Woakes
9.Rashid
10.Willey/Plunkett/Curran/Archer
11.Wood

I fear that will be the go to emergency plan if we lost two of the openers. There's still plenty of power there but give me the reserve batsman opening any day - Vince the likely option - with Moeen adding depth to the lower middle order.

An out the box option would be Buttler opening and Billings taking his 'finisher' spot at 6. I'd prefer Buttler at 6 where he is so dangerous. In big scoring games Buttler is a huge threat lower down whether setting a score or chasing.

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 24 Apr - 0:34

king_carlos wrote:
alfie wrote:Was a bit alarmed to see that Roy had retired hurt : but I'm seeing it described as a "back spasm" and reports he's expected to bat later so maybe not too bad...

Does point up the risks of injury to key players and possible effect on WC chances though: count no chickens !
My fear if two of those established openers were unavailable wouldn't be a lack of faith in the batting talent to replace them but more in the possibility of Moeen being pushed up the order. Mo is a dangerous batsman who can take attacks apart but I'm yet to see him do so consistently enough in England games to bat up the order.

1.Bairstow
2.Moeen
3.Root
4.Morgan
5.Stokes
6.Buttler (wk)
7.Denly
8.Woakes
9.Rashid
10.Willey/Plunkett/Curran/Archer
11.Wood

I fear that will be the go to emergency plan if we lost two of the openers. There's still plenty of power there but give me the reserve batsman opening any day - Vince the likely option - with Moeen adding depth to the lower middle order.

An out the box option would be Buttler opening and Billings taking his 'finisher' spot at 6. I'd prefer Buttler at 6 where he is so dangerous. In big scoring games Buttler is a huge threat lower down whether setting a score or chasing.


Its a bit of a leap to start talking about this as both Roy and Hales should still be available but for me Denly is the reserve opener. He plays there, and he an england recall through his form in both domestic limited over competitions last year. Moeens showing a but in IPL but his batting record for England in all formats has been awful for an extended period now.
With Vince as a possible reserve squad bat and guys like Root able to move up if needed there really isnt a problem with depth in englands specialist batting resources.

Bairstow is in sparkling form in the IPL, number two in the batting rankings between Warner and Gayle.

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Post by king_carlos on Wed 24 Apr - 0:51

Gooseberry wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
alfie wrote:Was a bit alarmed to see that Roy had retired hurt : but I'm seeing it described as a "back spasm" and reports he's expected to bat later so maybe not too bad...

Does point up the risks of injury to key players and possible effect on WC chances though: count no chickens !
My fear if two of those established openers were unavailable wouldn't be a lack of faith in the batting talent to replace them but more in the possibility of Moeen being pushed up the order. Mo is a dangerous batsman who can take attacks apart but I'm yet to see him do so consistently enough in England games to bat up the order.

1.Bairstow
2.Moeen
3.Root
4.Morgan
5.Stokes
6.Buttler (wk)
7.Denly
8.Woakes
9.Rashid
10.Willey/Plunkett/Curran/Archer
11.Wood

I fear that will be the go to emergency plan if we lost two of the openers. There's still plenty of power there but give me the reserve batsman opening any day - Vince the likely option - with Moeen adding depth to the lower middle order.

An out the box option would be Buttler opening and Billings taking his 'finisher' spot at 6. I'd prefer Buttler at 6 where he is so dangerous. In big scoring games Buttler is a huge threat lower down whether setting a score or chasing.


Its a bit of a leap to start talking about this as both Roy and Hales should still be available but for me Denly is the reserve opener. He plays there, and he an england recall through his form in both domestic limited over competitions last year. Moeens showing a but in IPL but his batting record for England in all formats has been awful for an extended period now.
With Vince as a possible reserve squad bat and guys like Root able to move up if needed there really isnt a problem with depth in englands specialist batting resources.

Bairstow is in sparkling form in the IPL, number two in the batting rankings between Warner and Gayle.
Just speculation to pass a quiet day I admit.

Roy batted again later in the innings so no real concerns there. Hales is a more ambiguous situation currently but given it's a personal matter the player, county and ECB have done exactly the right thing by being taciturn when announcing the break.

Bayliss seems to have settled on Bairstow and Roy as his opening pair anyway.

Bairstow and Warner forming an opening partnership is certainly unexpected after the last Ashes!

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Post by VTR on Wed 24 Apr - 5:07

I think England will be OK, Bairstow and Roy to form the opening partnership in all games. Roy's injury today doesn't seem to be anything to worry about. We don't know enough about Hales to write him off either, there's still time

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 24 Apr - 8:20

Pope got hurt today too...my pick for top run scorer

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Post by guildfordbat on Wed 24 Apr - 9:44

Plunkett wasn't perfect with the ball today - a few wides and the odd loose delivery - but he was generally more accurate than he's been so far with Surrey and definitely faster. Picked up 4 wickets as well which together with a screamer of a catch should boost his confidence.

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 24 Apr - 17:34

Good to see Plunkett finding some form, but still has to be on the concern list for the squad if only because he has been so important for England through 2017 and early 18. When you add in Woakes being rested to manage a long term injury, Denly and Roy going off for back spasms (and both short of runs, Roys also had a hamstring niggle), Hales' "personal issues", Sam Curran and Stokes struggling to make an impact in IPL, Billings bench warming, and Root not playing in the RLC things suddenly aren't looking so rosy in the world cup build up with the core side and wider reserves.

Theres nothing individually serious amongst that, noone definite to miss out, and form (well statistical returns) are very fickle in limited over cricket so far from panic stations ...just the sheer volume of orange flags is the first sign that all isnt well.

Positives are Tom Curran really stepping up and Bairstow having the best T20 tournament of his career. Buttlers doing well too, Archers taken a lot of wickets, and Rashids doing fine too. Down the pecking order Vince is having a good RLC season so far and justifying his inclusion in the wider 17.

England do have strength in depth and arent over reliant on a handful of superstars, over the last few years since they turned into a winning side theyve shared the load pretty well in most aspects. Theres 3 bowlers who have taken a lot of wickets and plenty who have contributed, 7 batsmen ( two of who keep) who have made a lot of runs. Theres players outside the core squad pressing for inclusion.

I think in the course of writing this post I've gone from being convinced theres a potential crisis to going back arguing that Englands squad looks strong and could cope better than most with a handful withdrawls/losses of form.


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Post by alfie on Wed 24 Apr - 19:04

guildfordbat wrote:Plunkett wasn't perfect with the ball today - a few wides and the odd loose delivery - but he was generally more accurate than he's been so far with Surrey and [b]definitely faster.[b]Picked up 4 wickets as well which together with a screamer of a catch should boost his confidence.

I'm pleased to see this , guildford : as you flagged the other day , the greater concern about Plunkett was the fear that he might have lost his legs - a more terminal issue than just "form". Seems the pace was back ? In which case he remains right in the mix for the WC attack squad...

I'd agree with goose that there do seem to be a number of useful "spares" about at the moment ; but I think we'd all prefer to see Morgan go in with his first choice XI if possible.

What that XI is remains to be fully settled !

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Post by guildfordbat on Wed 24 Apr - 19:41

Cheers, Alfie. Just to flag to you and all that James has posted a good and interesting article about Plunkett rediscovering his pace on the Surrey RL matches thread.

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Post by guildfordbat on Wed 24 Apr - 19:48

Hearing that Pope has a broken shoulder. He dived in vain to prevent a boundary yesterday and landed nastily on the rope.

He was always likely to remain as one of Goose's reserves this summer but still bad news.

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 24 Apr - 19:56

guildfordbat wrote:Hearing that Pope has a broken shoulder. He dived in vain to prevent a boundary yesterday and landed nastily on the rope.

He was always likely to remain as one of Goose's reserves this summer but still bad news.

Id heard he was injured but didnt realise it was that serious. More importantly he was my pick for top county run scorer in the predictions thread and hadnt got off to a bad start in making me look like I know what Im talking about.
That sort of injury in cricket is going to mean a lengthy lay off, and who knows how much long term damage there will be. Very very worrying.

As you say he wasn't likely to be an Ashes starter, and is a mile off the ODO squad, but could have come into contention for a test spot and is very much a player for the future. Hoping this doesnt set him back too much.

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Post by alfie on Wed 24 Apr - 21:35

guildfordbat wrote:Hearing that Pope has a broken shoulder. He dived in vain to prevent a boundary yesterday and landed nastily on the rope.

He was always likely to remain as one of Goose's reserves this summer but still bad news.

That's rotten luck for the young man! Agree he was unlikely to break into the middle order this summer ; but surely could have been in contention for a winter tour spot ...this kind of injury has done for that prospect ; and as goose says might set his career back considerably : we all saw what a nasty injury lay off did to Hameed
(Though thankfully he seems to be getting back into things this season)

Hope he makes a quick and full recovery Fingers Crossed

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Post by Duty281 on Wed 24 Apr - 22:17

guildfordbat wrote:Hearing that Pope has a broken shoulder. He dived in vain to prevent a boundary yesterday and landed nastily on the rope.

He was always likely to remain as one of Goose's reserves this summer but still bad news.

Awful news.

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Post by Duty281 on Fri 26 Apr - 5:20

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/48056173

Better news about Hales.

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Post by guildfordbat on Fri 26 Apr - 8:54

At a Surrey members' forum this morning, Alec Stewart said that Ollie Pope needed to be further checked in the next day or so to decide whether he would need rehab or an operation on his shoulder. The first would probably keep him out for 6 to 8 weeks, the second between 3 and 6 months.

Stewart emphasised that the decision taken would be what is in the best interests of Pope who ''should be playing for the next 15 to 18 years''.

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 26 Apr - 16:19

Sam Billings dislocated his shoulder yesterday. While only on the fringe of the limited overs teams, he would have hoped to push his case Inthe next two games.

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Post by king_carlos on Fri 26 Apr - 22:21

LondonTiger wrote:Sam Billings dislocated his shoulder yesterday. While only on the fringe of the limited overs teams, he would have hoped to push his case Inthe next two games.
Replaced by Ben Foakes for the games against Ireland and Pakistan.

3 consecutive RLC fifties and an untimely injury for Billings takes Foakes from nowhere near the ODI setup to guaranteed to make his debut... As long as Foakes stays fit of course!

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Post by Duty281 on Fri 26 Apr - 22:28

With all these injuries, it's like a build-up to England at the football World Cup, not the cricket version!

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs on Sat 27 Apr - 1:45

Ollie Pope out for an undetermined period after dislocating his shoulder

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs on Sat 27 Apr - 1:50

Alex Hales is serving a 21 day suspension for using recreational drugs

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Post by Gooseberry on Sat 27 Apr - 2:02

"Personal"

Jeez he's lucky he's an important part of the world cup squad or he would be hung by now following the whole nightclub thing as well

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Post by king_carlos on Sat 27 Apr - 2:04

Nathaniel Jacobs wrote:Ollie Pope out for an undetermined period after dislocating his shoulder
Billings and Pope both requiring surgery after shoulder dislocations and out for around 5 months. Such bad timing for both young players.

Nathaniel Jacobs wrote:Alex Hales is serving a 21 day suspension for using recreational drugs
Cocaine use especially is on the up amongst young professionals. Successful professional sportsman for the most part are young, attractive, have disposable income and time on their hands. Those things don't tend to add up to young people playing chess to pass their time.

Drug use, both recreational and PED, has seemed a ticking time bomb in sport for some time now.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sat 27 Apr - 16:08

Gooseberry wrote:"Personal"

Jeez he's lucky he's an important part of the world cup squad or he would be hung by now following the whole nightclub thing as well

He is still under a suspended sentence following the Bristol incident too. So while he is currently under a 21 day suspension for this offence, which is a second, they should also trigger the remaining 4 England matches.

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Post by alfie on Sat 27 Apr - 17:31

Hales really likes shooting himself in the foot...

I am anything but the "moral police" type : but I'm afraid I'm coming around to the view that with all the stuff surrounding him and the presumed risks to his focus it may be better to look elsewhere for the reserve bat. He's a terrific player when he's right - at least in the white ball stuff - but he's now going to be heading into the WC with an interrupted preparation and the aftermath of this business on his mind. Sounds like a recipe for trouble and perhaps England can do without such potential distractions ?

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Post by guildfordbat on Sat 27 Apr - 17:54

alfie wrote:Hales really likes shooting himself in the foot...

I am anything but the "moral police" type : but I'm afraid I'm coming around to the view that with all the stuff surrounding him and the presumed risks to his focus it may be better to look elsewhere for the reserve bat. He's a terrific player when he's right - at least in the white ball stuff - but he's now going to be heading into the WC with an interrupted preparation and the aftermath of this business on his mind. Sounds like a recipe for trouble and perhaps England can do without such potential distractions ?

Hi Alfie - I agree although the cynic in me feels that Jason Roy's back spasm this week came at a good time for Hales.

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Post by jimbohammers on Sat 27 Apr - 18:54

There's plenty of talent about to take his space, it's not like we are desperate... James Vince, Joe Clarke, Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley all scoring runs

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Post by LondonTiger on Sat 27 Apr - 19:21

Vince is in the squad for the Ireland game and T20. Hopefully he will be added to the squad for the Pakistan ODIs and force his way into the WC squad.

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Post by Gooseberry on Sun 28 Apr - 20:33

I would say that Hales problems require some deeper support behind the scenes as well as being deserving of equal sanctions to those that a less high profile player would get.

From the outside it's hard to know if he has the same kind if mental issues that guys like KP, Trout and Trescothick faced or if hes just a bit of an ass.
No-one really judge's Botham and Tuffnel on their admitted recreational druguse ( whilst on England duty), and Botham was invokved in some unsavoury drunken incidents. Flintoff another whos alcholoic antics were as problematic as Hales to date, he was judge's for it in the shirt term but is still worshiped.

In terms of the world cup England can at this point survive fine without him ( as discussed above and in other threads) and it may prove better for him in the long run to miss out if it's part of a supported programme of addressing deeper issues.
Vince is making a good case so far this deason and as noted above is next reserve.

The worst thing the ecb could have done is swept this under the carpet and just told him off privately as they would have done in the past. It's maybe a bit of a fudge at this point but I hope they are ensuring he gets better support to sort his life out, and that he's taking ownership of his mistakes and working to sort it all out.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 29 Apr - 18:54

Hales removed from the England provisional WC squad and other squads.

Alex Hales has been withdrawn from all England squads ahead of the international season.

The decision has been taken by the ECB Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket and the England National Cricket Selectors, having considered what is in the best interests of the England team. Consideration was given to creating the right environment within the team and ensuring that there are no unnecessary distractions and that the team is in the best position to succeed going into this crucial period.

The Nottinghamshire batsman will not travel to Ireland for a one-off ODI on Friday in Malahide and has also been removed from England’s squad for the Vitality IT20, the Royal London ODI series against Pakistan and the preliminary ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup squad.

Commenting on the decision, Ashley Giles, ECB Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket, said: “We have thought long and hard about this decision. We have worked hard to create the right environment around the England team and need to consider what is in the best interests of the team, to ensure they are free from any distractions and able to focus on being successful on the pitch. I want to make it clear this is not the end of Alex’s career as an England player. The ECB and the PCA will continue to aid Alex and work alongside his county club Nottinghamshire to give him the support he needs, to help him fulfil his potential as a professional cricketer.”

England will name a replacement for the Royal London ODI series against Pakistan, in due course.

https://www.ecb.co.uk/england/men/news/1203947/official-statement-alex-hales

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Post by Gooseberry on Tue 30 Apr - 17:28

Hales is properly kicking off in the press today. Doesnt really sit well, lacks the basic understanding that thi sis his fault regardless of the circumstances that led to his failed tests.

Its absolutely right that they cant have someone around the squad who is under this level of scrutiny and outside pressure. It still has the potential to upset things, as does Archer.

Worrying times ahead of the world cup, a bad warm up tour could really break the amazing morale the limited overs squad has had since Bayliss took charge.

More positively as we had already noted Hales is one of the more expendable members of the squad despite how good he is. Vince is in very good form and could fill a similar squad role. hes not a total outsider either.

The Aussies will be loving this though.

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Post by guildfordbat on Tue 30 Apr - 18:03

I understand that Roy's back (he suffered a spasm when batting last week in the RL 50 and retired hurt, to return late on) is still an issue and he will miss the ODI games immediately coming up.

Hopefully, he'll be fine before the start of the WC but still not great news and makes a worry-gutter like me wonder what is coming next ....

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 30 Apr - 18:39

I can see Hales's point - the ECB have handled this whole thing horrifically.

They included him in the world cup squad, the ODI squad knowing he had this ban and issue, but only once the press have found out what the issue is they have then taken him out. It's a dreadful way to handle a player - you either back him all the way, or not at all. You don't do this ridiculous half and half situation, where you hope to hide it and when it gets out then you throw him under the bus.
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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 30 Apr - 19:08

Vince replaces Hales in the ODI squad for the Pakistan series. Duckett and Malan added to the squads for the Ireland ODI and Pakistan T20:



13-man squad to face Ireland (ODI) and Pakistan (IT20): 
Eoin Morgan, Jofra Archer, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Ben Duckett, Ben Foakes, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, James Vince, David Willey.

17-man squad to face Pakistan (ODI Series): 
Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

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Post by Duty281 on Tue 30 Apr - 20:18

Christ, England's steady preparation quickly falling apart as crunch time approaches.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Tue 30 Apr - 22:02

Anyone buying into Archer being a distraction or a problem needs their head inspecting.

I very much doubt the Hales stuff would be an issue either. Certainly going to be one now though.

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Post by Gooseberry on Tue 30 Apr - 22:53

Dolphin Ziggler wrote:Anyone buying into Archer being a distraction or a problem needs their head inspecting.

I very much doubt the Hales stuff would be an issue either. Certainly going to be one now though.

Two failed drugs tests within a year of the nightclub incident not being a distraction or a problem? Really?


The Archer issue is a thing, players within the squad have openly made statements to that effect, which makes it a thinking even if it wouldn't have been if they'd kept their mouths shut. When announcing the squads they were keen to give the impression he was having to earn his spot in the final team and that selection wasnt a given, his own interview about it was full of surprise about the unexpected chance despite it having been telegraphed for the preceding year. Its a story, its a press angle, its a thing, and it has already had an impact on the thinking of some England players. Im not suggesting that people would go on strike or anything drastic like that, but the squad have a loyalty and people have expressed unease that one of those who has worked hard to build the team and get them where they are could miss out for him.

England having a consistent tight squad with very few comings and goings over the last few years has been a strength, but it also means there's a genuine worry that any upset within that group or unexpected changes can upset the mood easily. Their morale has been a key part of their success, Hales has let them down badly and there is a risk that this could split the camp.

The ECB haven't handled this ideally either but really he cant kick off that much, he is the one that took the drugs knowing the consequences for him and his team. Armchair psychology the first step to any rehabilitation of issues is being able to own and accept your own agency. For me hes gone from being a great player to a great idiot, very little sympathy at this point. Im sure he will make a lot of money form his book deal detailing the issues he wrestled with and trashing the reputations of others in the squad and England set up so its not like hes going to end up on the scrap heap.


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Post by Afro on Tue 30 Apr - 23:15

Hales would be a distraction and they also can't be seen to condone drug use in any way, so they were left with no choice after it became public. They handled it badly and shouldn't have picked him if it was on the basis of trying to keep it quiet as it was always going to come out.

Archer may be a distraction, but this is one I think the players need to get over themselves on. Whilst being tight nit has been a positive, you always need to be encouraging competition for places, and if there is a better player available then they should at least be looked at
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 1 May - 0:37

Dolphin Ziggler wrote:Anyone buying into Archer being a distraction or a problem needs their head inspecting.

Could not agree with a statement more. If the England teams culture is such that it can't accept a new player coming into it, then it isn't good and we have no chance of winning the World Cup anyways.

It's not even like Archer is some renegade outcast either - he's by all accounts, a top bloke and a great character as shown in his numerous T20 league stints.

Although I don't always agree with him, Liew pointing out that such an "issue" wasn't made such a big deal when people suggested either of the Curran's coming into the squad does, maybe, point out some other unpleasant undertones to this...
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Post by Duty281 on Wed 1 May - 0:59

Contrary to what Liew said in his inflammatory and cowardly article, where he strongly hinted racism was the problem that some people have with Archer's potential inclusion (without actually having the bottle to say it), people did have a problem with Boyd Rankin's inclusion into the England side. And Ed Joyce. And Eoin Morgan. Overall, the eligibility requirements for international cricket do need to be tightened up (and a couple of other sports), but there's no problem with Archer's inclusion, in this regard.

And I haven't seen anyone have a problem with Archer's inclusion except for a couple of headlines taken out of context, including one by the dreadful BBC service when they interviewed Woakes.

The only worry I have about is Archer's potential inclusion to the World Cup squad is - is he good enough? No doubt whatsoever that he's an absolutely superb T20 player, but how well does this translate to 50 over stuff? And will he cope well with the media circus that is starting to engulf him?

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