Former England captain Nasser Hussain has slammed the English fans for giving players a "cop-out" for their dismal Cricket World Cup showing. The English great says blaming their cricket structure is a lame excuse for why England's World Cup defence is in tatters.
“What I don’t like is giving players a cop-out,” Hussain said on Sky Sports. “I think sometimes we do that in English cricket. When they win the 50-over World Cup, the T20 World Cup, aren’t they great, they’re brilliant. And when the wheels come off, it’s the structure of English cricket. We’re a disgrace. We play 20-over cricket, we play 100-ball cricket, we don’t play enough 50-over cricket."
“How much 50-over cricket domestically has Virat Kohli played, or Heinrich Klassen? They learn from T20 franchises around the world. That’s what’s made this great side over the last six years — travelling around the world, playing T20 franchise cricket. It’s such a lame excuse. You’re giving the players a cop-out when you blame the structure — the structure that made them world champions. It’s exactly the same structure."
While Hussein said England possibly did not play enough practice games leading into the tournament, the players need to take responsibility for their poor performances. “Yeah, maybe you didn’t give them enough games and practice leading into this tournament," Hussain said.
“But it was the structure that produced them so when they mess up — they messed up, not the structure. It’s always, ‘Oh it’s county cricket, it’s the Hundred, it’s the Blast'. That’s what made our cricketers and when they fail, they take the responsibility in my opinion.”
England's World Cup defence in tatters
England's Cricket World Cup defence looks all but over after Jos Buttler's side suffered a historic defeat against Sri Lanka. Despite winning the toss and batting first in what was a must-win game in Bengaluru, England were bowled out for just 156, with their opponents completing an easy eight-wicket win with a staggering 146 balls to spare.
It was another error-strewn performance from the reigning World Cup champions, who have now lost four of their five games by heavy margins - including defeats by New Zealand, Afghanistan, South Africa and now Sri Lanka. While England can still mathematically qualify for the semi-finals, they will almost certainly have to win all their remaining games and hope the other results go their way.
A dejected Buttler fronted the media after England's monumental loss and said the team needed to figure out how they got to this point. "It looks like it could need a few miracles - that we'd have to win every game and things go our way to progress further in this tournament," he said. "To be sat here now with the three weeks we've had is a shock. It's a shock to everyone."
"I'll walk back in the dressing room after this, look at the players and think 'how have we found ourselves in this position with the talent and the skill that's in the room?'. But it's the reality of what's happened over the last three weeks and that's a huge low point."
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