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Windies triumph delights Bolt

Adam Mountford | 08:47 UK time, Sunday, 8 February 2009

As England's batting line-up fell apart in Jamaica, I was waiting in one of the corporate boxes at Sabina Park to try and secure an interview with the island's current sporting superstar Usain Bolt.

Well, I say 'current star' - maybe Jerome Taylor and Chris Gayle have a pretty good claims on that title after inspiring West Indies to a famous victory.

Man of the Match Taylor was the hero of an incredible final afternoon's cricket, taking 5-11, with captain Gayle having helped lay the foundation for victory earlier in the match with his first Test hundred on his home ground.

It was a great sight to see Gayle hugging Bolt at the end of the game as hundreds of Jamaican cricket fans swarmed onto the outfield.

Usain Bolt and Chris Gayle

Bolt certainly enjoyed his day at the cricket. The double Olympic champion, who became world famous after his record-breaking performances in Beijing, told Test Match Special: "I certainly picked the right day to come to watch."

Every time an English wicket fell, Bolt leapt from his chair in celebration - but he also told us how, in different circumstances, he could have been out there playing: "I was a good fast bowler as a youngster. I was quick and I also batted. I was actually good at it. But my cricket coach introduced me to track and field as he thought I was pretty quick and so I continued doing that."

Although brought up in Jamaica, it was not local fast bowlers like Courtney Walsh and Michael Holding who were Bolt's early cricket heroes.


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"The person I looked up to was Waqar Younis because he had a great in-swinging yorker. He was wonderful. Pakistan was my team when I was six when I started watching cricket. I enjoyed watching them play," he revealed.

Botl does not stray from home, however, when looking for heroes in the current West Indies team. He continued: "Chris Gayle is my favourite player because when I was younger I was an aggressive batsman. That's how Chris Gayle plays. I really enjoy watching him play cricket."

Life has been "hectic", according to Bolt, since Beijing. "I don't even like to go out onto the streets sometimes because I can't get anything done. People want pictures and autographs all the time."

But despite all the attention, he is not ready to leave. "I decided to stay because I'm a mama's boy, I have to live close to my mother," he said.

As for future plans, there are reports he is planning to compete in the 400 metres at London 2012 and he admitted: "We're looking at that. Next season I'll probably start but I'm looking forward to it."

Many assume he is contemplating the switch in distance so he can try and break another Michael Johnson world record, having already beaten his 200m mark, but Bolt insisted: "I really don't think about records I just go out there and try to do my best."

But is there any chance of a return to the cricket field by the fastest man on the planet? "I was talking to Chris Gayle and I was telling him one day I'll have to get him in the nets and bowl him a few balls and show him that I was pretty good back in the days," Bolt laughed.

Next up for Gayle, however, is the second Test in Antigua and Test Match Special will be back on air on Friday the 13th - not a date England would have chosen as they look to improve their fortunes.

We'll be on the air from 1330 GMT on Five Live Sports Extra, Radio Four Long wave and on-line - and don't forget the Test Match Special podcast after each days play..

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    England have just been bowled out for 51. I don't care about Usain Bolt.

    Fly Bell and Collingwood home and get Bopara and Key in!

  • Comment number 2.

    AndySEAsaw i agree with u, I htink Rob key has the quality of no3. shah will be very good @ 5. and Rashid instead of panesar and swann in place of HArmy.

    I am glad that htis happened in 1st test away frm home, England have time on hand to get things right. IF this would have happened on 1st test this summer against WI.
    i still think eng ll win 2 matches for sure.

  • Comment number 3.

    Just quickly, with reference to And Seasq, #1, I'm continually amazed by the pressure people put on Collingwood. Prior to this match he had scored two important hundreds in four innings, in seriously challenging conditions, and people were calling for him to be dropped. wtf?!?!

  • Comment number 4.

    Not sure I agree about Robert Key. Although he can compile big scores, he always seems overly vulnerable in the first few overs of his innings. Also he is not in the first flush of youth.

    I'd have a punt on young Joe Denly myself - and give him an extended run to see if he could establish himself.

    The underlying problem is that, while the current county set-up produces good county-standard players, it does not produce test-class players. The recent history of the England team shows that very few English bred players have established themselves in the long term - although many have flattered to deceive for 3 or 4 Tests.

  • Comment number 5.

    Dear wilo108, Have you ever seen an England batter with less ability than Collingwood. I haven't. He has grit and determination but no talent. He isn't good enough to play for England.

  • Comment number 6.

    England and the ECB took the Windies far too lightly, to think we could tour there without a coach, a new captain, unresolved issues in the changing-room was optimistic bounding on arrogance. It seems clear that certain players should be "rested" and return to county cricket (or the IPL). I think Collingwood, Bell, Harmison, Sidebottom should be replaced -Shah and Bopara deserve a chance along with Rashid. We also need an experienced coach - not an ECB yes man - who understands international cricket. From the outside it seems some of the current squad value money above the team, maybe its time to end centralised contracts

  • Comment number 7.

    Stick to the cricket. TMS is a 100% cricket programme. Keep away from Usain Bolt and keep away from hospitality boxes as well...

  • Comment number 8.

    Don't really like Cricket, didnt read the article but Bolt in the crowd? Imagine someone knicked a womens purse or something and Bolt saw and started chasing him, that would be amazing.

  • Comment number 9.

    I wonder why people would click on an article about Usain Bolt to complain about the article being on Usain Bolt.
    And it's not like he doesn't talk about cricket. The fact that a tall Jamaican fast bowler chose track and field instead of cricket is interesting in itself.
    Whereas suggesting that Robert Key, with a test average 10 runs lower than Bell's (and Collingwood's,) is the answer to the problems of England cricket, is not terribly interesting.
    Not that a couple of the major natural talents shouldn't be dropped, not to end their careers, but to rescue them. Bad form and low confidence is just that - it's not a sin. Bell and Panesar should still be top England players for the next five/ten years, just not for the next three games

  • Comment number 10.

    I think Rob Key is the ideal man for the job. Although his Test Average isn't that great, he has matured immensely over the last few seasons for Kent.

    He would bring a cricketing brain to his batting that he lacked in his first spell in the side, and would also assist the captaincy of Strauss. He offers options as an opener, and No3 and brings a proven winning mentality.

    He likes to get on top of bowlers and dominate them and his form over the last 3 years deserves a place in the side.

    I think Shah for Collingwood is key down the order but it's worrying that as soon as we're past Collingwood, our batting looks worryingly thin, no disrespect to Flintoff and Prior!

    Denly is an opener and needs a year or two yet. But Rashid offers options with the bat and great variation with the ball. He can't do any worse than monty can he?!

  • Comment number 11.

    We had two million dollar men in the side - Pietersen is on form and can bat and bowl a little - the other Flintoff is living on past glories - it is a long time since he posted a match winning score and his bowling is among the most expensive in the team - when did he last get more than 3 wickets.

    I would replace Flintoff, Bell & Panesar

  • Comment number 12.

    replace flintoff?? that would have to be one of the most idiotic and knee-jerk decisions ever taken. He is our best bowler, and one of the best fast bowlers in the world.
    I definitely think collingwood and panesar should be out. panesar bowls like a machine, almost as if he's scared to try anything adventurous.
    Bell and Cook also should be on their last chances. vice captain or not, he does not make enough big scores.
    I would stick shah in for collingwood and Key for one of bell or cook.

  • Comment number 13.

    I don't know what someone was saying about taking like 6 players out of England, what a joke.
    Sidebottom is fine, look at his economy rate and he produced some good moments.
    Rashid is much too young and should NOT be playing test cricket at this time, same as Joe Denly.
    As I am a big fan of Robert Key, i think that he should not be play in the West Indies tests, but maybe sometime in the future.
    Bell should definately be dropped. There is a fine line between giving people chances/keeping confidence in people and just keeping them in for the sake of it.
    So Bell out, Shah in, and drop KP down to 3, and Shah in at 4.
    Panesar is another person who has not delivered in a very long time, his last good performance was against New Zealand in, I think the Old Trafford test (not sure though), where he picked up a 6fer. He needs to be dropped and Swann has proved himself in India, he even outbowled Panesar over there and deserves another chance, he is also not that bad a batsman. - He would give England a more in-depth batting line up, and give the side a good balance to it as well.

  • Comment number 14.

    The whole team seems to be suffering and morale must be low however since we do have a few decent players and we cant drop them all, i'd say;

    Out: Bell, Collingwood, Harmison, Panesar

    Harmison hasnt played well for 4 years and Panesar has been awful for 18 months.

    In: Shah, Bopara
    (and two from)
    Rashid, Swann, Anderson

    These players have earnt a run in the team from their county exploits.

  • Comment number 15.

    Pietersen is incredibly irresponsible; he was well set to score a fabulous innings but had to show off, so hwe got out in a carbon copy of his dismissal at Edgbaston last autumn - no doubt Chris Gayle had watched this and took note.

    Of great players great things are expected and I find Pietersen sadly lacking when compared with his performance in 2005 Ashes; he was a bit less certain of his place then, so not so gung-ho as he is now.

    Panesar needs to go over to India, sit at the feet of one of their great spinners out of the media spotlight and work on various spinning tricks.

    It was Boycott who pointed out that Bell was doing very nicely in the first innings until Pietersen came to the crease, whereupon Bell shivered and shook and was a shadow of his former self. What's going on here? Bell face up to Shane Warne in Australia (Ashes 2006/7) and scored over a hundred, so I don't understand why Pietersen unsettles him so badly......

  • Comment number 16.

    Why click on the link? Because it is from the Producer of TMS and it is reasonable to have thought that it might be a cricket piece not a "I met the Olympic Champion" boast. As I said - please stick to the cricket - isn't there enough from Sabina Park not to need to go chasing celebs for copy?

  • Comment number 17.

    West Indies is on the resurge to the top ranks in cricket. We've been seeing signs of this for the past year or so. Making too many changes in the England team may only make matters worse. A change or 2 is ok, but what you guys really need is a change in mental attitude and more respect for your very worthy opponents!

  • Comment number 18.

    I know England messed up, but does no one else feel majorly sorry for Stuart Broad. His maiden five wicket haul has been completely ignored. He bowled amazingly and deserves some credit.

  • Comment number 19.

    England are spineless, lacking direction, lacking class and lacking real experience...
    while it was great to see stuart broad step up, the incompetence of sidebottom, who i feel is a waste of a place as he bowls too wide of the off stick to be threatening, and the worringly bad return for monty panesar really confound englands problems in the bowling department. Harmison escaped under the radar really, so one cant really comment.

    the batting was the main problem this time round however, how i see it, the top 3 could swap with the bottom 3 in our order and be just as effective. sadly, cook has had his time at the top of the order, he was promising but his centuries have dried up, (last one over a year and 2 months ago)...bell is hopelessly frustrating, and the 'captain' cannot lead from the front.

    somewhat infuriatingly, michael vaughan was left out for this tour, so there is no alternative opener to cook....good one selectors... ideally i'd have....

    1. AJ Strauss*
    2. MP Vaughan
    3. KP Pietersen
    4. OA Shah
    5. PD Collingwood
    6. MJ Prior+
    7. A Flintoff
    8. SCJ Broad
    9. AU Rashid
    10. SJ Harmison
    11. J Anderson

  • Comment number 20.

    Censura,
    To quote CLR James, a great writer on cricket and other things "What knows he of cricket who only cricket knows?"
    And I wasn't aware TMS had built its reputation as an icon of broadcasting by focussing exclusively on cricket all these years.

  • Comment number 21.

    Im in agreement with #11 flintoff is majorly overated-when was the last time he scored vital runs. His bowling always flatters to decieve! He bowled well in the first test but took 2 for 80-unlucky yes but consistenly unlucky? Unlucky for 3 years? Always picks up injurys. People use their tinted glasses when talking about flintoff.
    Best of a bad bunch for sure.
    Harmison-retire the donkey
    Sidebottom-lost a yard or 3
    Broad-bowling well and with fire/passion
    Anderson-say no more
    Panesar-no arm ball no deceiving quicker ball no drift no dip no skill should be no job.
    We have to understand english cricket is in a really bad place. There bowling attack is weaker than new zealands


  • Comment number 22.

    It was fitting that fast man Usain Bolt should have been on the scene when fast man Jerome Taylor wrecked England's batting and their confidence. But is this comprehensive victory for the Windies good for the future of cricket?

    It seems to me that unless something is done to prevent the England team being skittled out time and again for 50 runs or thereabouts, people are not going to keep paying at the turnstiles.

    Surely it is totally unacceptable for a bowler with so much pace to be permitted to wreck a game of cricket in the way Taylor did. It is simply not good enough to sit back and say "well bowled" when batsman of the quality of Pietersen and Strauss and all the others are not given a fair chance against such impossible seam bowling.

    It is all very well to introduce 'referrals', but unless the system is designed to stop bowlers taking 5 for 11 what is the point?

    It is time to do something to prevent further one-sided matches. We already have, in the West Indies, the best batsmen that England can produce, and no amount of extra net practice seems likely to be of any help.

    If the referral system is not used to 'balance the books' a bit, then surely an opportunity has been missed.

  • Comment number 23.

    collingwood's 200 in Adelaide was the worst thing in Eglish cricket. A batsmean with limited ability. Yes he has grit and determination but not class, for me he can be good @ no 3 position, play a sheet anchor and let the others play around him. Another thing is to try get KP in @ 3, he might just be sucessfull, but i wont go for it personally as no 3 is speacialist position. Even shah is not my no.3, I ll go for Key as he has the temprament to suceed there or if there is return of Vaughn.

    Bowling Panesar out and Swann in, Leave HArmy as his one spell can be very destructive for opposition.

    I think if the next match is in Antigua, then we need the batsmen to be on tops.
    Good luck to England and i think thell nick the series 2-1

  • Comment number 24.

    Censura - I found the interview quite interesting, especially when he discuss how he followed Waqar and Pakistan as a youngster. It was an interview about cricket with a local person of interest ergo it's wothy of inclusion. You are entitled to disagree, but are wrong.

  • Comment number 25.

    I'm dismayed at the boorish 'stick to the cricket' comments - this is an interesting article and the kind of approach that marks TMS out from other, narrower, sports coverage.

  • Comment number 26.

    England need to replace certainly 2 (Cook, Bell), maybe more (Collingwood) specialist batmen yet they have brought only 1 replacement batman in the squad (Shah).

    So the only option that the selectors have is for Shah to come in at the expense of Cook or Bell. Rashid must also come in for Panesar, to strengthen the batting as well as the bowling. That will probably be the strongest batting line up that England could put out from this squad, and yet it still will contain at least 2 batsmen totally out of form.

    So after just 1 test, with no injury crises, the squad selected for the WI is shown to be totally inadequate. If England do not turn this series around, the squad selectors must take as much blame as the players. Why a squad as small as 16? Why a spare wicket keeper who can't bat (Ambrose) instead of an extra batsman?
    Why no-one else who could open?
    There are several younger candidates worth a try in the counties - it didn't have to be a choice between Vaughan or no-one.

    Get rid of central contracts, the harm they are doing in dictating team selection of out of form players is far greater than any benefit they bring in continuity of team selection. It is that continuity in the batting selection that is now the problem.

    If 3 into 1 would go, my team for the next game based on this squad would be:

    Strauss
    Shah
    Shah
    Pietersen
    Shah
    Flintoff
    Prior
    Rashid
    Broad
    Sidebottom
    Harmison



  • Comment number 27.

    I watched the scoreboard on Freeview Ch 301 from the point where England were 26-7, instead of watching "Total Wipeout" on BBC1! My nephew got annoyed - I simply couldn't be bothered.

    The BBC News at Six couldn't be bothered with the Test at all, while the BBC News at Ten did one day and gave up. On Friday, the IPL auction was covered in both evening news bulletins, accompanied by footage of Andrew Flintoff bowling that day in Jamaica. On both bulletins, the newsreader declined to tell us what the score was in Jamaica.

    On top of that, Mike Bushell on the BBC News Channel wouldn't allow a report on Saturday morning until he had eloped with the Six Nations trophy and chatted aimlessly for over three minutes.

    Did the BBC get what they deserved?

  • Comment number 28.

    #21 "Anderson-say no more" - I hope you're implying hes below standard. Of course he can swing it, but he is too inconsistant with his line and length, and always gets smashed around the place, look at the South Africa test's and ODI's, consistantly put the balls in bad area's and got smacked about the place.
    You have also said that Broad is bowling with fire/passion. Before he took a wicket he was bowling extrememly badly, short and wide, half volleys on leg stump. Look at his figures before he got a wicket, very bad. But after he picked up the first one he looked OK, but i still think that he needs a lot more work.
    England Need A Coach!

  • Comment number 29.

    Yeh i commented on a 606 forum that broad started badly but came back to bowl a lot better! Something that harmison or anderson cant seem to do-a bad start for either and they get lost in the test match-maybe confidence. Anderson is a poor test bowler that has a good match 1 in 10. England need a line and length bowler-doesnt have to be express but someone that can bowl consistently in the right areas and hits the seam-a stuart clark like bowler. I agree england need a coach flower should be thrown out-englands batting has gone into freefall since his arrival-bring back mr maynard as batting coach

  • Comment number 30.

    I too found some of the Bolt interview quite interesting having not known he was a decent cricketer - how many other potential cricketing talents have been lost to other sports in the Windies?

    Regarding the first test, I believe we are seeing a Windies team on the up, something that can only be good for the sport. Benn, Taylor, Gayle and Sarwan played extremely well and Nash looks a good prospect too. They thrashed us and without a decent innings from their No. 1 scorer (Shiv)! Granted there were some woeful individual performances in their recent series against NZ, but NZ are a pretty good team at the moment and certainly one in the ascendancy too (Taylor is on fire) so their results in NZ aren't quite what they seem.

    England were poorly prepared for this first test and though I'm sure they're loath to admit it I suspect they thought they'd win the series with ease. NEVER underestimate your opponent!

    I'm a great believer in Bell, when I first saw him bat (before he batted for England) I thought 'this lad has class' and I must say I've defended him left, right and centre during his current slump, but even I think it is time for Shah to have a crack. Shah may not be a natural No. 3, but he's earned a run whilst Bell is doing nothing to justify selection. Ian, go back and fill your boots at county level and then come back brimming with confidence and do us proud! Cook is a concern too and I hope he starts to come up with the goods soon too as the 'flash in the pan' questions are starting to air. Personally I reckon Cook has what it takes, so let's wait and see.

    Well done to Broady, hope you can build on those figures. Monty, I am worried about him, particularly given what Benn teased out of the track and Harmison, perhaps he'll produce the goods on a livelier wicket?! I certainly hope so, though the news is supposedly that Antigua is a spinning wicket which I'm sure is the last thing our quicks wanted to hear.

    I hope to see a fairer contest in Antigua - c'mon England - PLEASE!

  • Comment number 31.

    I totally agree with the selection of Shah - personally would have had him instead of Collingwood, but will almost definitely replace Bell, but don't put too much pressure on him. The way people are talking it's like he's Lara or Bradman. Yes, he deserves a chance, but don't start calling for his head if he fails.

    All this talk of Rob Key is slightly bewildering. Top bloke, very good cricketer, but isn't he the wrong side of 30? Denly, Bopara, Carberry or Morgan are young enough to forge a decent career and are surely better bets?

  • Comment number 32.

    Realistically, Bell can't have any more lives left, so in comes Shah, and Monty didn't follow-up on his wickets in the arm-up match, so continues to look fairly non-threatening, so maybe Swann deserves another chance after a good start in Tests.

    Colly is still capable of a great innings despite his inconsistency, and Sidey is hopefully just short of match practice and form, although maybe Anderson might be worth a go, possibly instead of Harmy, who still isn't finding any of the world-beating form that he had all those years ago.

    And the frustrations of Flintoff, regularly bowling well, but never gets any wickets?? Showing some fight with the bat at least, alone in turning a potentially barrel-scrapingly bad, embarrassing lowest total ever into a fairly atrocious final total.

  • Comment number 33.

    IT'S GROUNDHOG DAY!!!!! .........whenever I hear or see Bell get out, which is usually three or four balls after he has just walked in and he unfailingly looks to the skies cringing........
    (I always remember Richie Benauds commentary on just such a time during the 2005 Ashes..."and there is anguish there!!!!")
    ....oh boy has there been lots of anguish...NO more please....!

  • Comment number 34.

    It is I suppose inevitable that amateur bloggers and professional hacks alike seem to be concentrating on selection matters. But England's problems are endemic and with the glorious exception of 2005, there has been continual underperformance for a very long time.

    It is the structure of English cricket and the woefullly inadequacy of English (ECB and counties) cricket administrators that is the problem, not the players. Time to lay off Bell and Monty and Cook and Harmy and the rest of the strugglers. Address complaints to the "ECB, Lord's Cricket Ground". Not that they'll take a blind bit of notice!

  • Comment number 35.

    I have just read what aggers had to say on his page and most of it makes sence, bell out, collie and monty a big ?, shah not a great number 3, all fair comments but what the hekll vaughen back!?!!!!!! surley we need to be looking to the future and not in the past, he was once a major force, but at the moment he is a struggling batsmen with no current form. There must be players out there in the county game to come in and plug some of these huge gaps. what about the young lad at yorkshire that we keep hearing so much of, he is ment to be a great bat and a good spinner

  • Comment number 36.

    I cant understand why people are talking about jimmy anderson back in the side, we are all talking about poor cricket and here's a man who struggles to bowl an over with out a no ball or a wide. i would like to know why did liam plunkett go from the side without fair chance and why is he not back seeing that he had such great year with his county and like wise simon jones??

  • Comment number 37.

    As far as #27 is concerned, isn't the sad reality for the sport of cricket, simply, that with our sport not covered live on free-to-air television, very few people can name more than two England players and a rapidly decreasing number of people are therefore interested in our team's performances, good or bad.

  • Comment number 38.

    Why are we always excusing the pitiful performance of the team as if these guys are any good? They get paid a huge sum of cash and have not really done anything since 2005. Talk about living in the past. Wholesale changes needed. DO you remeber buying a ticket for next to nothing on any day you liked to see England play a test match? If they carry on like this chargin nearly £500 for a family to watch them soundly beaten by Australia will soon be a distant memory and they will be playing in front of empty stadiums again! Who would get a ticket for the third day when they play Australia? At least you are likely to see the presentation to Ponting then!

  • Comment number 39.

    That Usain Bolt isn't that quick-I saw at least three English batsmen move faster over the ground between wicket and pavillion. World beaters!!!

  • Comment number 40.

    comment 38 is right wholesale change is needed, the squad needs changing, central contracts need to go as they are making players to comfy and what is with the price of the tickets, 75 squid for the cheap seats at the ashes!! im praying we can take 1 of the tests to a 5th day and que up and pay 40notes instead.

    just been on robbo robson blog and he has named a squad of

    denly
    cook/strauss
    key (cptain)
    kp
    shah
    freddie
    prior
    broad
    rashid
    swann/hoggy
    onions

    that to me is the kind of team the selectors should be picking, if only some one at the ecb had the bottle to shake things up abit, lets face it half the current team wouldnt make it as the drinks carrier on most squads let aloan on the field of play

  • Comment number 41.

    I think knee jerk reactions are never the way to go. Especially when teams are away on long tours.

    The England set-up at the moment is in dissaray. There are not any quick fix solutions to the unbalanced nature of the England side. Some fundamental problems exist within the batting line up. Firstly England are stuck with two openers who posess almost identical techniques. Because of the cautious nature of both Cook and Strauss, England are under pressure almost immediately. Opening bowlers do no have to change there line and length significantly even if Strauss and Cook are rotating the strike well, resulting in partnerships at the top of the order being almost non-existant. This leads to increased pressure on the no. 3, having to come in ealry all the time and although I think Bell is a fine player, he is certainly not a natural no. 3.

    Which leads to the second major problem. England do not have a no.3 in the squad who is going to perform well enough to quash all criticism. England basically have 4 batsmen who want to bat at no.5. Pietersen included. The stop gap on the tour is to put Pietersen at 3 and Shah at 4 and keep the same openers. But this is certainly not a long term solution.

    The saving grace for England is that despite the Windies excellent performance in Jamaica, they remain an average side who struggle to put back to back performances together and havent won a series of note for a long time.

    England will score enought runs over the next 3 tests to win but only if the bowling attack starts to bowl as a unit. Flintoff is in desperate need of some support in terms of wicket atking ability. Sidebottom and Broad can bowl with control but much more needs to come from Panesar (who didnt dry up runs at one end, which is the bear minimum he should have done).

    I think Anderson needs to play instead of Harmison. Unfortunately Harmison isnt bowling with the same zip as he did in 2004/5 and he has been given enough time and chance to recapture it.

    However the basic facts to why England are not performing as well as in 2005 is that they do not have as good a individuals and they are not as unified as a team. Too many changes have occured during the past 12 months and constant selection issues with the bowling attack if not the batting line up are undermining the principals of unity that were set in the run up to the 2005 ashes. The plight of the cricket team seams to be mirroring the mistakes and turmoil of the England Rugby Team post 2003.

  • Comment number 42.

    for god sake! why do so many people on this bloody thing luv rob key i cudnt care less if hes a good bloke hes no where near as good as anyone near and around the test or one day team hes too old too fat and too useless to be in the england team and as for captain! i don't think half the bloody people on this site have played or eve n watched a game of cricket in their life!

  • Comment number 43.

    "We'll be on the air from 1330 GMT on Five Live Sports Extra, Radio Four Long wave and on-line "

    Come on Adam...can you push the powers that be to get TMS back on to MW so that i can listen in the car properly, or at all depending on the car!

    I think it is very important that BBC supports its listeners fully and provides a complete a service as possible. LW does not do this.

  • Comment number 44.

    As a Jamaican living in the USA I experience American insularity first hand, and am shocked at the negative responses to a piece on Usain Bolt at a cricket match. The guy discussed cricket in relevant detail and with some authority. And he IS a West Indian sports super star.

    I understand the angst in the English fan base, but this is way too much fuss over nothing.

    On cricket...I am not ready to write off England. I hope the Windies reprise the Ja performance, but I expect Englad to do much better in Antigua.

  • Comment number 45.

    So Paul Collingwood reckons that the First Test defeat will 'act as a catalyst' to 'drive them on to better things?'
    Haven't the mediocre results of the last four years been enough of a 'catalyst', then?
    I'm not knocking Collingwood's ability; he has been one of the hardest fighters in the England side over the last four years; but if clutching at psychological straws is the best this side can do, then they might as well come home now. Shouldn't matter that 'the management is in disarray'; these are supposed test batsmen whose only concern when they are on the field should be the little red object hurtling towards them.

  • Comment number 46.

    Some really unbelievable knee jerk comments!! As Graham Gooch said on Radio 5 today all cricket teams indeed all sports teams have had games/matches/innings where things have inexpicably gone wrong. Remember Man Utd losing 5-0 to Newcastle a few years ago. If I remember rightly Alex Ferguson backed the players and they won the title again. The England players are short of confidence and a few of them are out of form and maybe need to step back for a while. I would personally stick with Bell but I dont think he'll keep his place. Shah will play but I have no doubt that Bell will return to the England fold in time. He is the most technically accomplished player we have and WILL come good ( he already averages over 40 in test cricket!!) Strauss and Cook are a decent opening pair but need to work out which roles they are each going to play as they both cant defend defend defend and try to just accumulate runs. One needs to be the aggressor and take it to the opposition bowlers and one needs to be more of a Boycott/ Atherton figure and be a solid platform. Pieterson must bat at 3 no matter what he says as he is such a destructive player and the quicker you get him in the more damage he can cause to the opposition.My main concern is the bowling department. Harmison simply does not merit his place in the side anymore and hasnt for a couple of years now. He consistently bowls at least a yard too short and is becoming easy meat for top class batsman. Panesar needs a rest and a few sessions with Mushtaq to discover how to flight the ball, vary his pace and discover a decent arm ball but like Bell he will too return as he has undoubted class. Bring in Anderson for Harmison in Antigua as he can swing the ball and that might be the only way to take wickets on a traditional batsman friendly pitch and bring in Adil Rashid to offer a little bit of much needed variation to the attack. I cant go in for these opinions that he is "not ready". If any player is picked in a touring test match party he SHOULD be ready to contend for his place and be ready to step up and perform. Whats the point of picking him to tour otherwise? To carry the drinks for three months? Come on selectors show some guts and bring him into the side

  • Comment number 47.

    RE the state of the pitch in Antigua.
    Perhaps England should have had one of these for their preparation for this match?

    GRAY NICOLLS BEACH CRICKET SET. Have fun on the beach playing with this fun set - plastic cricket bat, set of stumps and a ball - and when you've finished playing you can pack it away in it's strong carry case...and have a post match beer! (Good value at £21.99!)

    Let's hope they aren't back so quickly for that beer this time though!

  • Comment number 48.

    Its ok knocking key but is he any worse then the shower we have got out there now.

    As for putting anderson into the side for today, why dont we just give the windies a 30run head start and leave him on the sidelines. That way it saves us all the embarrassment from all the wides and no balls.

 

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