England cricket passing through sheer madness phase, says tabloid

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Jamaica (West Indies), Feb.9 (ANI): Nobody is smiling now in the England cricket camp in the wake of the humiliating innings and 23 run loss that the team suffered against the West Indies in the first Test played at Jamaica's Sabina Park.

According to The Sun, the destruction of Andrew Strauss and his team is evidence of a performance that was "disgraceful, embarrassing and pathetic."The tabloid report says that England has had far too many setbacks recently for the state of the sport to be ignored."In little more than six months, England have had four captains, endured the nightmare of the Stanford match, been spooked by a terrorist attack, lost a skipper and a coach in an attempted coup, suffered dressing-room mistrust and been distracted by the IPL auction. And there remains the sneaking feeling Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff, the team's two biggest personalities, are not exactly bosom buddies," it claims."On its own, each of the problems would not be insurmountable. But together they have created a toxic cocktail and added to the sense of disarray," it adds.When asked whether England have been damaged by the compound effect of lots of smaller things, assistant coach Andy Flower admitted: "There might be an element of truth in that."

"There is a lack of leadership. There is an incredible total of 14 ECB officials and staff but the lines of authority are blurred," The Sun says in its scathing report.Flower choses to differ, saying: "I'm in charge of organising everything on the playing front. My title is assistant coach but I co-ordinate all that stuff. The buck stops with me - but there must also be collective responsibility.

"I don't think we are rudderless, I know we're not. Our build-up was very good. Strauss and I work together. He is captain, I'm running the management team and taking as much burden off his shoulders as possible," he added.Five years ago, England scored a huge victory here, and the players embarked on a fun-filled, booze-fuelled celebration. Now at the same hotel, they are virtually in hiding.

"The guys are very hurt. They are not only playing for themselves, their career and their team, they are playing for their country and the people who came here to watch them. To subside like they did is very, very disappointing. It's happened, it was horrible but we must learn international cricket is about dealing with pressure. The second innings was a pressure situation and we didn't handle it. The players must take responsibility for that," said Flower."It's our job to do something about it - and if we don't do it, we'll be out of jobs," he warned. (ANI)

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