SWANNY’S WORLD OF SPORT: Magic Marcus is England’s only gem, T20 Blast should be left alone, a heroic Latvian lady

Marcus Rashford is a gem.
Marcus Rashford is a gem.
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Five things we learnt from England’s World Cup qualifying wins against Malta and Slovakia.

1) Goalkeeper Joe Hart needs ditching before the finals in Russia. He looks shot mentally and playing for a dreadful West Ham team is not likely to help him.

Anastasija Sevastova has won my lifelong love.

Anastasija Sevastova has won my lifelong love.

2) Marcus Rashford (above) is a gem who should be picked ahead of Harry Kane.

3) Jordan Henderson should be nowhere near the England captaincy. Heck, he shouldn’t even be in the England team. He runs around a lot with great energy, but can’t pass or finish.

4) Gareth Southgate has as much chance of building a successful England side as Arsene Wenger has of recapturing former glories at Arsenal. Nice men don’t tend to win much.

5) Dele Alli is good, but not as good as he thinks he is.

LEAVE THE T20 BLAST ALONE

The T20 blast goes on far too long in this country.

Fourteen group matches apiece for 18 counties is too many.

There will be a danger one day of exhausting the good will and patience of the spectators.

But, while Test cricket rightly remains king in England, finals day in the T20 Blast is one of those special moments in our cricket calendar.

What a great atmosphere accompanied the event at Edgbaston at the weekend when Notts Outlaws skipper Dan Christian (above) eventually lifted the trophy.

Laughably the clowns at the ECB have ensured such days are numbered. They will ask us to ditch support for our local counties in favour of following franchises. I won’t and I suspect I won’t be alone.

HEROINE OF THE WEEK

I’d never heard of Latvian lady Anastasija Sevastova until she earned my lifelong love for knocking wailing woman Maria Sharapova out of the US Tennis Open.

A drugs offender like Sharapova shouldn’t have had a wild card into the main draw and she shouldn’t have been treated so favourably in terms of court use and TV time.

And she should be punished every time she delivers that blood-curdling and distracting scream after every bleeding shot.