In the wake of England’s Ashes defeat, certain voices in the media have wondered if it is time for Charlotte Edwards to stand down as England captain. CRICKETher dissents from this point of view – there is quite simply no alternative. But it is nevertheless apparent that many of the problems identified with the current regime are very real indeed.
On the field, England’s approach to the game is one-dimensional and they never seem to have a Plan B.
Furthermore it is abundantly clear that a number of batsmen don’t have their heads in the right places, with good players becoming bunnies as soon as they pull on an England shirt.
Meanwhile, selection is confused. We have a core of players who are pretty-much undroppable; while the rest struggle to find a role – in and out of the lineup and up and down the order – one minute a specialist boundary fielder, the next an opening batsman!
This has created a situation where a number of squad members are said to be deeply unhappy, with at least one believed to be on the verge of quitting.
All of these issues come down to one thing: management.
While Meg Lanning has credited Southern Stars Head Coach Matt Mott with playing a huge part in their Ashes success, England don’t even have a Head Coach – they have a Director of Elite Performance. When Paul Shaw was appointed to this post, the ECB talked it up as a more all-encompassing role than Head Coach, but it subsequently seems to be the case that at least in terms of the England team, it really isn’t.
If England are not to regress further over the next two years leading up to the 2017 World Cup, this needs to change.
They need a proper Head Coach with the moral and “legal” authority to challenge the status quo, to offer a fresh perspective and renewed leadership both on and off the field. This person has to be appointed from outside the “Loughborough Bubble” which probably means they will have to come from abroad and from The Other Game; but in both cases, so be it.
Make no mistake, it won’t be an easy job… but somebody’s really gotta do it!