Thursday, 17 March 2011

"What If" - a draft

I wrote this post when West Indies needed another 30 odd runs, with 4 wickets in hand. The last rites of England's World Cup campaign were being given, and I wanted to get the "England are out" post out of the way, so I wrote it while the game was still going. Just as I finished it, there was a quick flurry of action, and suddenly England are more than alive and kicking. England may still go out of this World Cup in the groups, but I'm keeping this post, mainly to jinx every other team who plays against them this World Cup. Come on England!

"So England are out of the World Cup. A team who were highly touted as potential winners have disappointed so much, and crashed out with barely a whimper in the groups.

What makes this so disappointing is that I genuinely thought England could do something at this World Cup. Yes, we'd struggled against Australia, but if you look at this England squad, there's a lot of quality.

In Strauss, Trott, Bell, Pietersen (and latterly Morgan) England had a world-class batting line-up. In Anderson, Bresnan and Broad we had a superb fast bowling trio. And the trump card - Graeme Swann - the best spinner in the world.

The worst thing about being an England fan is the hope that they give us; the hope that they just might do it - that they just might go on and win. There have been so many fine margins in England's departure - what if Swann had squeaked Munaf Patel away for two off the last ball against India? What if Kevin O'Brien had holed out early in his innings? What if they'd managed to take the final two Bangladeshi wickets? What if Jonathan Trott hadn't been adjudged to touch the boundary rope? What if Tredwell's appeal to Benn hadn't been an 'umpire's call'?

As it is, England are out, and there will be an inquest. England have a team good enough to have won this World Cup, but have massively disappointed. All England fans can ask, is what if?"

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