Cow Corner

English cricket reacts to their own Belo Horizonte moment

Cow Corner

Monty Python used to say that "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!" but messrs Strauss, Flower et al would have been expecting some fallout this morning, the day after a quite incredible defeat to a non-Test playing country at the World Cup

Today's press conference with the England team didn't happen so it is left to the great and good of English cricket to have their say on yesterday's "Belo Horizonte" moment.

(At the 1950 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the United States defeated England 1—0 in a group match in Belo Horizonte, the biggest shock in football history being described as the "Miracle on Grass")

 

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Geoffrey Boycott in the Daily Telegraph: "How the mighty have fallen so quickly. England were national heroes after winning the Ashes. Now they are national chumps after this shocking and embarrassing defeat."

 

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Mike Atherton in The Times: "England made it easy for them with shoddy cricket. There was a palpable sense of complacency that crept in during the Ireland innings, born undoubtedly of arrogance and a ridiculous belief in their superiority. England were bad but take nothing away from Ireland; they played magnificently and courageously."

 

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Darren Gough on Twitter: "I'm flying to India, teach them how to bowl yorkers and use your nouse. Embarrassing. Sorry I'm so pissed off with that performance, unacceptable."

 

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Nasser Hussain on Sky: "England haven't bowled or fielded particularly well throughout the tournament and it was going to catch up with them eventually. The seamers should have learned from Tim Bresnan's example against India but they kept going from short to length and the moment they went to length they got whacked. I don't remember too many yorkers and in one-day cricket that remains a pretty good delivery if you get it right. To be frank, it wasn't clear what the plan was. Perhaps they thought Ireland weren't good enough to hit length out of the park. If that was the thinking, it was clearly wrong."

 

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Ireland captain William Porterfield: "We want to get to a stage where we become a full member ourselves and are part of the Future Tours Programme. We don't want to have players making that (allegiance) call. We want to be in a position where we can contract 12-15 full-time Irish cricketers. We've got a good few lads involved in county cricket which is developing our game: it's a financial thing, a fixtures thing. But we're now at the stage where we want to be."

 

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England captain Andrew Strauss: "What we don't want to be doing is haemorrhaging both sides of the wickets and kind of chasing our tails too much which potentially we have done in the last three games. Hopefully that will galvanise us as a team and the equation is pretty simple now. We can't afford any slip-up and have to go out there and deliver."

 

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Ali Martin in the The Sun: "England are making hay with the bat ... but they might as well don big red noses and clown shoes against South Africa on Sunday, so calamitous has been their fielding so far."

 

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Emmet Riordan in the Irish Times: "Ireland's sporting heroes rarely bleach their hair blond with a pink mohawk down the middle. Not until now that is. Kevin O'Brien stunned the world of cricket by hitting the fastest century in World Cup history....did we mention it was against England? It should make for some good small talk up in the Áras if the queen does pop in for tea this summer. O'Brien now faces a battle to keep his new hairdo ahead of the clash with India on Sunday. He batted like Samson yesterday, it might be just worth holding on to for now."

As Cowers was compiling this post, South Africa were doing exactly what Test-playing nations should do to Associate Members, give them a right thumping.

But as Early Doors pointed out this morning, Strauss does not find his face photoshopped into the top of a pint of Guinness nor does Andy Flower find his head replaced by some form of vegetable product.

And the fact remains that England "should" still qualify for the quarter-finals. One victory in their remaining three group matches "should" be enough.

Note: should does not mean will - if you continue to bowl and field like Cleckheaton Thirds in a pub match.

But even after its 2007 World Cup win over Pakistan, 2009 World Twenty20 win over Bangladesh and one-day win over Zimbabwe last year, talk of Ireland becoming a Test nation is way off the mark.

If Spain beat England in Rugby Sevens, would there be a clamour for them to join the Six Nations? We doubt it. ODI and Test cricket is like chalk and cheese, the different skill base required rendering that Sevens analogy valid in our mind.

And that win over Pakistan, well you just don't know anymore, do you?

Although if the Irish miss out on even being allowed to qualify for the next World Cup, they can certainly feel aggrieved.

The ICC have already confirmed that there will only be 10 teams in Australia/New Zealand in 2015 - the assumption being it will be the 10 Test playing nations (including the currently inactive Zimbabwe).

But what about the eight quarter-finalists from this year being given an automatic place plus two qualifiers.

A week-long round-robin qualifying group in Dubai could be worth a watch...especially if England or Pakistan are in danger of not making it to the big bash.

Or are we just being naive in believing that the ICC would run the financial risk of one of the big boys not being at their showpiece tournament. 

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(PARTING) SHOT OF THE DAY: "That's a long way the best innings I've played, even as kids when I was playing in the back garden with (brother) Niall," Kevin O'Brien

STAT OF THE DAY: 7/2 - Ladbrokes make O'Brien their 7-2 favourite to be named 2011 RTE Sports Personality.

TWEET OF THE DAY: "Good luck to the lads today!", Eoin16 - but who exactly was Eoin Morgan supporting?

USER COMMENT OF THE DAY: To be selected - leave your comments and we'll update this section later today.

COMING UP: Pakistan look to avoid doing an England against Canada

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