Cricket Comment: Demoting Moores and ditching stats could help boost England

Chris Tremlett
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Peter Moores has come under fire after England’s World Cup exit was confirmed by defeat to Bangladesh
IT would be unfair if England head coach Peter Moores was sacked. He hasn’t had a huge amount of time to prove himself and he was thrown in at the deep end slightly with a World Cup coming so soon after his appointment last April.

But looking at the style of cricket England have played at the tournament and the way some of the players have acted on the pitch, I’m not sure he’s getting the best out of his squad.

Having worked with Peter in the past I know he is quite stats orientated and I’m not sure his coaching methods have changed since his first spell in charge of England. There is certainly a place for stats, but less so in one-day cricket where it’s more about playing with freedom and without fear.

I do believe England would be better placed with a coach who has played international cricket. Look at Australia under Darren Lehmann. He played first-class cricket for about 20 years as well as numerous Test and one-day international (ODI) matches and looks much more comfortable in getting his message across.

I’m not saying sack Peter Moores, I just think he is more suited to a development role. He has been director of the ECB’s academy previously and did a brilliant job.

England’s players had plenty of time to prepare for this World Cup and that makes their exit, confirmed by defeat to Bangladesh on Monday, all the more disappointing. Their performance at the tournament is the worst I can remember, while defeat to Afghanistan today, albeit in a meaningless game, is unthinkable

An Ashes series was moved to help preparations and the team have been exposed to months of ODI cricket, yet England still went into the competition not knowing their best team and were chopping and changing at the last minute.

Selection should have been in place and for that the management are to blame, but the players have to take responsibility for what happened on the pitch.

I was involved in the last World Cup in 2011 and there was an obvious tiredness in the group as players were coming off a victorious Ashes series and seven ODIs in Australia. Things were not quite right mentally. Excuses were made about workload but this time that just won’t wash. There was plenty of preparation and rest time. England have simply not been good enough.

People ask about possible solutions to the one-day woes. For me, the structure of English cricket has been wrong for a long time. There is a big emphasis on Test cricket, which is fair enough, but the overall structure of the game has been overlooked because of the success enjoyed in the longer format in recent years. The ODI game, as a consequence, tends to get neglected and shoved onto the back burner and only really gets talked about after a poor World Cup. It was talked about in 2011 but nothing really changed.

I believe county players play too many four-day championship matches. The current total of 16 should be reduced to 12, which would allow more emphasis to be placed upon ODI cricket and provide a window for a bigger and better Twenty20 event.

A franchise-based T20 format, like Australia’s Big Bash, would be hugely beneficial. At the moment, too many average players are playing against each other. English players are not being exposed to a good enough standard domestically. The Big Bash and Indian Premier League attract the best players so when guys are called-up to international level, those players have experience of competing with and against top opponents. There is too big a jump from domestic competition to international cricket in this country.