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Legendary England all-rounder Sir Ian Botham and former off-spinner Graeme Swann have both announced that the national team’s performance in the ongoing ODI series against India has been a “total embarrassment”.
Botham and Swann’s comments come after India took an unassailable 3-0 lead with one ODI left to play.
“Rarely have I been so angry at watching an England cricket team perform,” Botham wrote in his column for The Mirror. “What I saw at Edgbaston was a joke. A total embarrassment from a team who should have designs on winning a World Cup in six months’ time.
“Instead, they’ll be lucky if they win an egg cup between now and then playing like this. They just never learn and it upsets me to see them making the same mistakes time and time again. The one-day game has changed and we have failed to change with it.”
Botham’s infuriation towards the national team was echoed by Swann, who described them as “outdated, outmoded and old-fashioned”.
“It is boring and embarrassing cricket,” Swann said. “We haven’t caught up with the rest of the world. It is so outdated, outmoded and old-fashioned and the whole strategy and outlook must change.”
Botham also noted that England lack the same type of aggression that other teams show when they play limited overs cricket.
“When are we going to wake up and realise that positive, attacking cricket is what the 50-over game is about, not half-hearted prods to get to 250? There must be players out there who are capable of taking the risks needed to score runs at a faster rate, because this lot certainly aren’t,” Botham wrote.
Swann added that he was getting extremely frustrated with the fact that England don’t want to change anything, even though their current tactics are clearly not working.
“If the England management, captain and selectors cannot see there is a burning issue that needs to be changed, then I am worried, angry and sad,” he said.