In Brief

Cricket World Cup: England are shocked by Pakistan and Eoin Morgan may face ban

Rows of empty seats at Trent Bridge were as outrageous as England’s fielding

ICC Cricket World Cup
  • Pakistan innings: 348-8 (50 overs) 
  • England innings: 334-9 (50 overs) 
  • Pakistan won by 14 runs

Pakistan beat England by 14 runs in the Cricket World Cup clash at Trent Bridge on Monday to end a run of 11 one-day international (ODI) defeats.

Put into bat by the hosts, Pakistan amassed 348-8 with Mohammad Hafeez’s 84 the standout knock. He also picked up a wicket as England fell short in their run chase, reaching 334-9 in their 50 overs.

“It is a very happy dressing room,” said the 38-year-old Hafeez, who hit eight fours and two sixes in his innings. “Everyone chipped in today and gave everything which was required to win the game. It was a total team effort.”

Fielding fiasco

England captain Eoin Morgan admitted it had been a “bad day” for his side in the field as a string of errors allowed Pakistan to compile their daunting total.

Hafeez’s fine innings should have been ended when he was on 14 but Jason Roy dropped a sitter. Then there were the 17 runs gifted to the visitors by misfields, and the 11 wides bowled by the inaccurate England attack.

“We have gone from probably one of our best performances in the field [in beating South Africa last Thursday] to one that, while not extremely bad, has cost us probably 15 to 20 runs in the field,” Morgan told Sky Sports.

“Our batting and bowling go up and down but our fielding must be a constant. I’m frustrated in that we could have done something about it. When the difference between the sides is in the field it is doubly frustrating.”

Will Morgan be banned?

Eoin Morgan may not be around to rectify his side’s poor performance, reports The Times, with the paper stating that he faces a two-match ban for overseeing a slow over rate.

It took England 19 minutes more than the three and a half hours allotted to bowl 50 overs, and consequently the ICC will “decide whether the offence was serious enough” for Morgan to sit out England’s next matches against Bangladesh (on Saturday 8 June) and West Indies (14 June).

Ball games

BBC Sport reports that England were unhappy with the state of the ball during their innings, and Joe Root declined to comment when asked what he thought of its condition.

“If I go into it I will say something that will get me into trouble,” he said. “I’m just going to leave it.”

The BBC says that Morgan and Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed were both warned “that their teams were making the ball bounce too much when it was thrown in by fielders”.

No show scandal

England’s sloppy fielding wasn’t the only scandal at Trent Bridge. Equally outrageous was the number of empty seats on show.

Most - as many as 200 - were in the stand at the Radcliffe Road End and they should have been occupied by clients of the ICC’s two dozen official sponsors and partners.

The Cricketer magazine says that the number of empty seats at Trent Bridge (but also the Oval and Bristol) is a “poke in the eye for those supporters who strived to attend”.

The ICC asked its commercial partners to state how many tickets they would like and to then ensure they were used, but clearly the system is not working.

“For a television audience estimated at 1.5 billion across these six-and-a-half weeks empty seats at a tournament sold as the biggest and best edition is an embarrassment,”comments The Cricketer.

This week’s CWC fixtures

All matches are live on Sky Sports:

  • Tuesday 4 June: Afghanistan vs. Sri Lanka (10.30am) 
  • Wednesday 5 June: South Africa vs. India (10.30am); Bangladesh vs. New Zealand (1.30pm) 
  • Thursday 6 June: Australia vs. West Indies (10.30am) 
  • Friday 7 June: Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka (10.30am) 
  • Saturday 8 June: England vs. Bangladesh (10.30am); Afghanistan vs. New Zealand (1.30pm) 
  • Sunday 9 June: India vs. Australia (10.30am)

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