The bomb is close to exploding on English cricket after they were bundled out of the World Cup by Bangladesh, making qualification for the knock-out stage of the premier ODI tournament impossible. After five matches, the supposed birth-land of cricket has only one win, with a dead rubber against minnow country Afghanistan set to mark the end of their Cup campaign.
Beaten by 15 runs, England’s players were left stunned by a boisterous and energetic Tigers outfit, giving the nation their earliest World Cup exit in history.
The inevitable implosion that is the ECB has not been a surprise, however, with their self-destruction clearly a series of unfortunate cricketing losses. Check out the detonation chain in the timeline below, trailing back almost 18 months ago.
8th September 2013 – Mitchell Johnson is reintroduced to international cricket following an extended break away from the game, and strikes multiple English batsmen, most notably Jonathon Trott, as Australia win the ODI series 2-1.
25th November 2013 – England, after a gap of less than six months from the previous Test Series, are obliterated by Australia, losing by 381 runs at the ‘Gabba. Trott leaves the tour at the conclusion of the match due to mental health issues.
21st December 2013 – Graham Swann retires from international cricket mid tour, citing his inability to bowl England to victory in international cricket anymore as his primary reasoning.
7th January 2014 – England are beaten by Australia 5-0, only the second Ashes whitewash in the history of the two teams. Talk of axing’s begin, and the inevitable fallout commences.
January 2014– Kevin Pietersen is omitted from England’s ODI squad for the upcoming one day tour, and his international career is over.
31st January 2014 – Coach Andy Flower ‘steps down’ as the head coach of England after five years in the job.
March 2014 – Confidential document outlining Pietersen’s misdemeanours prior to and during the Ashes tour are leaked to the media. Pietersen reveals he will release an autobiography later that year.
31st March – England are beaten by the Netherlands in the World T20 group match, being bowled out for just 88.
3rd June 2014– England are defeated 3-2 in the ODI series against Sri Lanka at home.
24th June 2014 – Sri Lanka also beat England 1-0 in the test series, the first time the Lankans had done so on English soil. Alistair Cook’s position as captain, and opener, are increasingly questioned.
17th August 2014– England convincingly defeat India 3-1 in a five match Test Series, giving the public a sense of false hope.
2nd September 2014 – India chase down 212 for the loss of only one wicket in an ODI, with 20 overs to spare, on their way to a 3-1 series victory.
October 2014 – Pietersen’s book is released, identifying a bullying culture within the English rooms as a reason for the fledgling state of English cricket. Matthew Prior, Stuart Broad and James Anderson and among the current players he names, with Graham Swann also targeted as a serial offender.
16th December 2014– In the return one day series, Sri Lanka pants England in the 7-match World Cup preparation, winning 5-2. Alistair Cook has a poor series and is under increasing pressure.
20th December 2014– Cook is axed from England’s 15-man World Cup squad, and Eoin Morgan replaces him as ODI captain.
1st February 2015 –A new look England side are easily beaten by 112 runs in the Tri-Series final against Australia, with India missing out. Increasing pressure is placed on their middle order, with Morgan struggling after his century in the opening game.
February/March 2015 – England are demoralised against Australia (111 runs), New Zealand (8 wickets) and Sri Lanka (9 wickets) in their opening World Cup matches, only registering a win against defeat sodden UK counter-part Scotland.
9th March 2015 – England knocked out of the World Cup by Bangladesh, defeated by 15 runs, who qualify for the semi-finals for the first time in their cricketing existence.