I forgot to post the 30 England players chosen for the World Cup so, instead, I thought the following from Scyld Berry would summarise the pathetic state of England’s one-day set-up:
England named their provisional World Cup squad of 30 players, who will be reduced to 15 in mid-February, for the competition which begins in early March. A pitiful list it is too, innocent of match-winners in every department of one-day cricket. England are not so much rank outsiders for the World Cup as plain rank.
The 30 players in the provisional squad have scored 12 one-day international centuries between the lot of them, and that includes Vikram Solanki, who scored two and has long since been jettisoned. Australia, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies have all at least one current batsman who has made more one-day hundreds off his own bat than England’s entire squad.
England’s bowling cupboard is equally bare. No sign of a match-winning pace bowler, especially as Darren Gough has been consigned to history: the 36-year-old Gough, Ian Blackwell and Tim Bresnan have been ruled out of the World Cup already because they are not expected to reach the fitness levels required by the Feb 15 deadline.
No sign of a match-winning spinner either, not that England’s one-day side have ever had one, unless Monty Panesar kicks on from his debut in Melbourne last Friday. And as Ashley Giles is back in training and in the provisional squad of 30, Panesar will have to win a match quickly if he is to make England’s 15 for the World Cup ahead of Giles.