England coach Duncan Fletcher believes the recent arrival of the England cricket team’s wives and girlfriends can play a key role in helping his side raise their game during what will be a vital week.
Many former England players criticised the presence of the WAGS, as they are collectively called, during England’s 5-0 Ashes series humiliation in Australia, saying their presence was a distraction and meant the team didn’t bond as a close-knit unit.
And during last year’s football World Cup in Germany, the partners of England players received widespread criticism for what was deemed to be their publicity-seeking conduct. But England coach Fletcher was gratified by the arrival of England’s ‘other halves’ at the team hotel in Antigua on Sunday and believes they could provide his under-performing squad with a timely boost.
“We’ve done it on previous tours and on some of the tours when they’ve arrived we’ve put in some very solid performances,” said Fletcher. “India was a good example a few years ago when we were losing 1-0 in the Test series and the wives arrived and we ended up drawing the series.”
England were convincingly beaten by New Zealand, the only Test nation they’ve played so far at this World Cup, in the group stages while they failed to go for the jugular during wins over ‘minnows’ Canada, Kenya and Ireland.
However, this week they will need to raise their game against Sri Lanka and reigning champions Australia. England have never won the World Cup and the last of their three losing appearances in a final was back in 1992.
Fletcher knows they have little margin for error after losing to New Zealand. “We’ve got to the stage now where we’ve got some big matches to play,” admitted Fletcher. “Sri Lanka is going to be a huge game for us on Wednesday.”
“We need to find consistency. We have to be very careful that when we don’t play well, other sides can take advantage of that situation and we’ll struggle to get out of that,” he said.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007 and is filed under World Cup 2007, Cricket.
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