LITESPORT would like to apologise to any readers of yesterday’s cricket story on page 35 headlined: “Swann warns SA this is NOT same old England side”.
This newspaper was taken in by two early wins on the tour of South Africa which encouraged us to accept Graeme Swann’s argument which ran along the lines of: “What we’ve been trying for the last five years hasn’t really worked and we’ve done something about it.”
Last night’s humiliating Twenty20 defeat against South Africa A in Bloemfontein suggests this England team ARE, in fact, just as bad as all the other touring teams we send around the world for a good hammering at the hands of our former colonies. For that we apologise unreservedly.
England, without captain Andrew Strauss who avoids the shortest form of the game, were skittled for 89 in an innings that featured three comical run-outs. The second-string South Africans got there with four wickets to spare.
With the first of two Twenty20 internationals looming at the much more intimidating Wanderers Bull Ring in Johannesburg, stand-in captain Paul Collingwood said: “I’m hoping this was just a blip. I never like losing, but I think sometimes it is going to be a little bit of a reality check as well.
“We’ve started so well, it’s a really great atmosphere and there’s a lot of hard work going into it. I guess it’s just our decision-making in this form of the game that tonight has let us down.”
England’s injury list is worrying too. Swann left the field with a slight thigh problem, joining James Anderson (knee), Graham Onions (back) and Stuart Broad (shoulder) in the casualty department.
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