England suffered a heavy defeat in the third ODI at Edgbaston © Getty Images
England suffered a heavy defeat in the third ODI at Edgbaston © Getty Images

London: Sep 3, 2014

Former cricket captain Alec Stewart and ex-Test spinner Graeme Swann blasted the English side and questioned the team’s commitment to the 50-over game after Alastair Cook and Co. suffered a nine-wicket defeat to India in the fourth One-Day Interntational (ODI) on Tuesday to lose the series 3-0 with still a match to go.

Both Stewart and Swann labelled England as boring and said they are playing an old-fashioned game embarrassing for the fans.

“It is boring and embarrassing cricket. We haven’t caught up with the rest of the world. It is so outdated, outmoded and old fashioned and the whole strategy and outlook must change,” Swann was quoted as saying by The Mirror.

Swann, who is now a TV pundit, feels if the England management cannot act now in putting the house in order then things would only worsen ahead of the 2015 World Cup, Feb 14-March 29.

“If the England management, captain and selectors cannot see there is a burning issue that needs to be changed, then I am worried, angry and sad,” he added.

Stewart said England have not only to change their mindset but also their game plan. “We are playing one day cricket as if it is still 1995. We need a change of mindset, game plan and culture.”

Cook said he was proud to lead England but if he is asked to step down he would do so. “In every team I play in at the moment, there is always a question about my place in the side which is quite a hard place to work from. I need to score more runs and that will ease things. I’ve done so in the past and I know it will come again, but if James Whittaker, Paul Downton and Peter Moores say they don’t want me then so be it. I am proud to be England captain but if they say they don’t want me then that’s their decision.”

“It is amazing how quickly it can turn round, we’ve got to stay true to our beliefs as a team and what you have as a player yourself because people will chip away at you and you start doubting the reason why you got selected in the first place. This is a true test of character for the whole team now,” he added.