|Player:||A Flintoff, DAG Fletcher, ME Trescothick|
DateLine: 1st February 2007
The Australian press has joined their British counterparts in savaging the England cricket team after their latest one-day debacle. Respected Australian cricket writer Robert Craddock urged cricket organisers to introduce a mercy rule so that England could be sent home. "Send them home. Refund all tickets. Give them a fresh batch of OBEs - for being Obscenely Bad Englishmen. Enough is enough," Craddock wrote in The Daily Telegraph newspaper Saturday. "Andrew Flintoff is captaining one of the greatest British comedy outfits to visit our shores, but people have stopped laughing. The players reportedly are craving for home. If cricket had a mercy rule now would be the time to apply it. " Craddock also said coach Duncan Fletcher was almost certain to be sacked and Andrew Flintoff would probably never captain his country again. Adelaide Oval patrons were right to boo England during Friday's game against Australia and pointed to statistics that damned England's recent one-day form, he said. "England have scored just three centuries in their last 33 matches - all by Marcus Trescothick, who left the Australian tour suffering depression and may never play for England again. Not that that would be causing him much distress at the moment," Craddock wrote. He said the English were denying Australia decent match practice before this year's World Cup. The embattled side, already facing an avalanche of abuse in the English press, were similarly savaged in The Australian. The national broadsheet's Andrew Ramsey described the English as "the worst touring team to visit Australia in recent memory". "To be bowled out for 110 in less than two-and-a-half hours on one of the world's best batting pitches against an opposition team resting two of its best-credentialed bowlers was more than embarrassing," Ramsey wrote. "It stunk of a team that has as little pride as it does character, of a group of professional sportsmen as bereft of skill as they are drained of confidence, and of a unit that is counting the minutes until it can fly home. In the interests of spectators being tricked into handing over precious cash on the premise of being entertained and for the integrity of this tri-series competition, that flight should be Virgin Atlantic VS201 and it departs Sydney for London at 3.50pm today." Englishman Peter Roebuck, the Sydney Morning Herald columnist who once captained England to a one-day defeat by Netherlands, echoed their sentiment. Under the headline "Bury this corpse, it's starting to smell", Roebuck said he could not recall a worse performance by an international team in 25 years.