The enigma of the Champions Trophy

September 28, 2009

Before I was based here in Italy, I reported on quite a lot of cricket including the 2004 Champions Trophy and the 2007 World Cup.

England’s Champions Trophy bid seems doomed before it starts

September 25, 2009

England qualified for three of the first five World Cup finals and should have emerged with at least one trophy.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

England sail through, but how are their World Cup chances?

September 9, 2009

So, once again, England qualify in style. The garages can start stocking up on plastic flags of St George, the breweries can breathe a sigh of relief and the tabloids can start their gradual shift from cautious support to the crescendo of expectation that will accompany Fabio Capello and his squad to South Africa next year.

Flintoff and Botham were good, but were they great?

September 3, 2009

flintoffcelebratesIn an echo of Australia’s futile craving for a new Bradman for at least a decade after he retired, England cricket yearned in vain for another Ian Botham.

And so the search for a new Flintoff begins…

August 24, 2009

In the wake of England’s Ashes triumph over Australia, a huge question awaits…can England find a replacement for Andrew Flintoff?

A captaincy masterclass from Strauss

August 22, 2009

strauss1

It can be a dog’s life being a cricket captain: adored and cherished, chastised and deplored in equal measure. If Ponting was the crown prince of captains after the first test in Cardiff, he became the pauper at Lord’s and is now very much in the shadow of Strauss at the Oval.

Ill discipline costs England again

August 21, 2009

flintoffHeard the one about the English batsmen who just couldn’t resist nibbling at balls way outside off stump? It is an all too common occurrence and is the main reason why England fell short of a good first innings total in the deciding Ashes test.

Will England prove too fragile for final Ashes battle?

August 20, 2009

fredIn the end the England selectors kept their calm, remaining cut off from the hyperbole that followed Australia’s demolition of the home side at Headingley, and made just the one change for the Oval, with Jonathan Trott chosen to replace Ravi Bopara in England’s fragile middle order.

Should England bring back Ramprakash for Ashes decider?

August 10, 2009

rampsEngland will be under huge pressure to make changes for the deciding Ashes test at the Oval and the middle order is the obvious place to start, with Ravi Bopara, Ian Bell and Paul Collingwood contributing just 16 runs in six innings at Headingley.