London: Former England cricketer David Lloyd revealed that the one-sided nature of the 2021/22 Ashes has prompted former Australia captains Ricky Ponting and Allan Border to express craving for an even contest. He added that people in England, who are proper cricket lovers, have refused to watch further action in the Ashes due to England’s woeful performances.

“I’ve had so many people come up to me over the last couple of weeks saying ‘I’m not bothering watching the Ashes. What’s the point?’ And these are proper cricket lovers too. It even stretches to Australians. I’ve been working for Channel 7 and people like Ricky Ponting and Allan Border are craving an even contest. They are even making excuses for England! It’s got that bad,” wrote Lloyd in his column for Daily Mail.

In the first three matches of the 2021/22 Ashes, Australia have thrashed England by nine wickets, 275 runs and an innings and 14 runs in Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne respectively. England’s meek performances have caused outrage in the cricketing world over the tourists’ deep slide in red-ball cricket.

Lloyd, contracted with Channel 7 for the ongoing Ashes, thinks a thorough review of England’s fall in Test cricket will start immediately. “The inquest will start now. No doubt there will be another review. We’ve had it all before. I’ve been there, seen it, done it and got the T-shirt. But this Ashes defeat feels even worse than usual. It just wasn’t a contest.

“This third Test finished in six and a half sessions with a delay on the second day! That second innings was a total capitulation.”

At the same time, he felt the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) needed to have a re-think on the time period of organising the County Championship.

“The big question for the ECB and county chief executives and chairs now is ‘why are we not producing first-class cricketers?’ They decide what the structure is. They decide when we play red-ball cricket. It’s all coming home to roost now. If you play County Championship games when we do in March, April, September and even October the system will not produce players good enough for Test cricket. It’s plain to see. It’s as clear as daylight.”

Lloyd, who also served as the head coach of England, signed off by expressing his fears of the side becoming like West Indies in Test cricket.

“I tell you what’s frightening. We are in danger now of capitulating like West Indies. They were the best in the world. They produced some of the greatest Test teams that ever played the game. But they are a shadow now of those great 80s sides and that’s because of terrible mis-management and bad administration. We are on that precipice now.”