Within minutes of an embarrassing Ashes drubbing coming to an inevitable conclusion, English heads were already being buried in the sand.
‘We’re not far off the Aussies’ claimed self-interested players trying to look after out- of -their-depth mates, while coach Trevor Bayliss (right) managed to pre-empt speculation over his position by confirming he will leave at the end of his current contract in 2019.
That’s good of him. The man who has just presided over an ill-prepared, shambolic tour, in a country he should know pretty well, gets to pick his departure date.
Yeah, let’s all ignore his awful Test record as a coach (more defeats than wins, useless away from home) and let him drift along for another couple of years helping to make awful selections and failing to improve any of them. Dawid Malan was a glorious exception, but even he will find life more difficult as Test nations study his technique and make plans to get him out.
Why should we believe those who trot out insulting soundbites about ‘starting preparations for the next Ashes now?’ They had two years to plan for the current tour and that didn’t go so well.
Bayliss is clearly a one-day coach who fits in with the ridiculous priority of ECB chiefs Andrew Strauss and Tom Harrison to make us a force in 50-over and T20 cricket. We could win a short-form World Cup and it wouldn’t matter as much as the Ashes to the real cricket aficianados in this country.
Harrison has kept a low profile while the Ashes debacle played out and who can blame him? Bayliss is Strauss’s man and Harrison has been busy trying to foist a new domestic slogging competition on counties and fans who don’t want it.
They should disappear along with Bayliss. The ECB could do worse than ask Michael Atherton, Nasser Hussain and Ian Botham to run cricket in this country. They often speak for the masses and would therefore ave more sensible priorities.
I am also not buying into the theory England are certain to regain the Ashes in the UK in 2019.
This is an England team that failed to beat an average Pakistan team at home under Bayliss. This is the England team who managed to lose a home Test match against the worst West Indies side of the last 30 years last summer.
Even Bayliss knows the first-class game in England is a mess which could be one reason why he doesn’t bother watching it.
What has changed to make us think leg spinner Mason Cane will get the necessary overs under his belt in order to fulfil suspected potential?
What has changed to make us believe fast bowlers with the ability to support the admirable Anderson, who will be 37 at the start of the next Ashes, will turn up in time?
Joe Root will be burnt out by then as well, especially if England keep picking him for pointless T20 games. He needs saving from himself and that means no contract in the Indian Premier League.