England cricket inquest: after World Cup disaster, where next?
Humiliation 'must lead to more dynamic, more aggressive, more flexible' England cricket team
So England are out of the World Cup and the recriminations are well and truly underway.
Coach Peter Moores cops most of the flak in the Tuesday press, after being widely ridiculed for his comments made in the immediate aftermath of Monday's defeat to Bangladesh. He said: "We got off to a reasonable start then lost wickets. We'll have to look at the data."
Moores has always given the impression of being a decent coach overpromoted to a position where he has neither the cricketing intelligence nor the media nous to cope with the pressures of the role.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Geoffrey Boycott is characteristically blunt in his assessment of Moores's capabilities. "Moores depends too much on facts and figures and data analysis," states Boycott. "He is too consumed by the opposition because he has no experience to fall back on in international cricket."
Boycott adds that Moores was never a wise choice as coach because "it is very difficult for someone who has never played cricket to the highest level to manage an international team".
The trouble is England's previous two coaches – Ashley Giles and Andy Flower – were former Test cricketers. They fared little better in transforming one-day fortunes.
For former England captain turned Times cricket correspondent Mike Atherton, the problem isn't just the personnel, it goes deeper than that. Writing that England's One Day team must "move out of a state of denial", Atherton declares: "For too long, England have refused to accept that the game has changed and other teams are playing a more dynamic, more aggressive, more flexible form of the game."
Noting that England won only nine of their 25 One Day International matches last year, Atherton says that for years English cricket has viewed all forms of the one day game as inferior to Test cricket. Alas, the rest of the world disagrees, and while the Ashes still excites, Test cricket is now the poor relation of the sport in the sub-continent and the Caribbean.
Atherton says that England Cricket Board [ECB] must establish a world-class Twenty20 tournament to rival that of the hugely successful IPL and Big Bash. "That should be a priority," says Atherton. "Twenty20 is the key to developing the next batch of 50-over cricketers because most countries are playing at that tempo now, albeit stretched over a longer period of time."
The Guardian agrees in an article outlining what England must do to be taken seriously in the One Day game. "Twenty20 is throwing up players whose ability to strike the ball outweighs fears over their technical ability," says the paper. In addition, the Guardian says that England has a wonderful opportunity to implement drastic changes with a new chief executive in Tom Harrison and a new chairman in Colin Graves. "The onus is on the leadership team to breathe fresh life into England rather than accept failure as part of a rolling and seemingly never-ending cycle of so-called development."
If the pair do decide to fire Moores who will be hired to replace him? Among the most frequently mentioned names are former South African batsman Gary Kirsten and ex-Australian paceman Jason Gillespie, currently in charge at Yorkshire. But Gillespie distanced himself from the position on Monday evening, saying: "I am flattered that people link my name (to England) but I'm fully committed to Yorkshire. The county has given me a great opportunity and I want to repay that faith."