Dear ECB (that’s the English Cricket Board in case you were wondering),
I can take us prioritising one day cricket over Test cricket in the short term, providing it delivers results. Yes, I can even overlook the shambles of the Winter tour and that performance in the 1st Test against Pakistan.
But, and let me be very clear about this, if we lose a game of ODI cricket to Scotland (SCOTLAND!) then some serious questions have to be asked.
I don’t know what the actual questions are, I am still in shock and I guess that is what you get paid the big bucks for.
But (a) letting Scotland score nearly 400 and (b) not being able to chase whatever they got because, frankly, they are not a cricketing nation, is massively disappointing.
And, to make it worse, we play Australia next if they can stop rolling about laughing at us long enough to make it on to the pitch.
That, dear reader, is a copy of the email I fired off to Lords late Sunday night. Honest, I did. What a joke. England actually think they might win next year’s World Cup and they let a Scot get 140 not out against them. I don’t even know his name and I am certainly not going to bother finding out because he will never, ever do anything like that again. That said, does he fancy coming to play for us?
Bairstow should give back his 100. To not go on and turn that into a match-winning score was criminal. And don’t start telling me to applaud how well Scotland played. Not a moment of it.
This is Scotland. They are worse than Ireland. England, if they harbour any true ambition to win this sodding World Cup next summer, have to be winning that game every single time. Not 99 out of 100. The full 100.
I’m only half joking about Bairstow’s ton. It’s not enough in a game like that. If one of the Scots can get 140 not out, then someone in our side needs to be getting 200+. Do you think I am overreacting? I’m not – I am getting bored of seeing this all the time, money and coaching going into how we can be the best ODI side the world has ever seen and getting that in return.
Is it a one-off? Quite possibly, but it’s not a surprise defeat to the Windies – this is Scotland. If you are any good at cricket in Scotland, you probably have to go and play for England (as much as this hurts a proud nation) if you want to gain any actual recognition. This is not good enough, England.
That said, I’ll accept this as a blip if we win it next summer. If we don’t, well then we have just found a very expensive way to send England tumbling down the Test rankings.