Former Essex bowler and Bangladesh coach issues damming verdict on England’s cricket team

Ian Pont

Ian Pont - Credit: Archant

A former Bangladesh cricket coach has cited a lack of passion and character in the England dressing room, following Eoin Morgan’s side’s embarrassing exit from the World Cup this week.

Former Essex bowler Ian Pont, who twice guided the Dhaka Gladiators to the Bangladesh Premier League title, also hit out at the apathy that appears to surround the game in this country.

England were humbled by the World Cup minnows in Adelaide on Monday, losing by 15 runs, and exit at the group stages having also lost to Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

England also succumbed to Bangladesh in the 2011 tournament and Pont, who runs a bowling clinic in India, said: “Cricket isn’t the biggest sport in England, it never will be, but there is a lot of money spent on it and yet I don’t see any passion and character,” said Pont.

“We don’t want to have to look back to the Ashes win of 2005, but I would love to go back to those days when the players were receiving their MBE’s and the nation was singing Rule Britannia, it was very patriotic.

“Now it’s just dreadful. We have decent players but there appears to be a confidence problem.

“When confidence is high, that teamwork and camaraderie often allows the sum to be greater than the parts.”

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Chris Woakes is England’s top bowler at the competition, taking a paltry five wickets at an average of 46.80, while Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson both disappointed.

Ian Bell is England’s top run scorer meanwhile (210 at an average of 42) and while Pont sees possible hope in the future, the immediate prospects of the team look bleak.

“Usually if you have a strong domestic league, and England’s is much stronger than Bangladesh’s, then that transmits to the national team, but it’s not been happening at the highest level,” added Pont.

“We have good players, (Gary) Ballance, (Alex) Hales, (Chris) Jordan, (Chris) Woakes but we are throwing them into a losing side.

“At the moment most of the changes in the team are being made due to players being out of form or not doing their job.”

He added: “I do think England probably played Bangladesh at the wrong time.

“Momentum is an incredible thing and England ran out of steam.

“We are losing to teams that we shouldn’t be and maybe they have caught us up.

“It’s not about finances or having a big pool of players, New Zealand only have 1,000 to choose from, it’s about developing talent.

“I have tried to develop players in England but it is difficult to get people interested.

“I am sure we will come good again in the long term but it doesn’t look good in the short-term.”

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