Swanny’s World of Sport: England are in a desperate state

Jimmy Anderson celebrates breaking an England bowling record.
Jimmy Anderson celebrates breaking an England bowling record.
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English cricket is in such a bad state right now I’m beginning to think that all the chatter regarding Kevin Pietersen is beginning to help the ECB.

While the country, led by over the top cheerleaderPiers Morgan, rabbits on about an egomaniacal South Africa, far bigger concerns are not being addressed properly.

England have a captain who appears to be in post, and in the team, because he’s a nice lad, well-liked by his team-mates.

He doesn’t score big runs any more (not even on the comatose Caribbean tracks at the time of writing) and his captaincy is more predictable than UKIP’s manifesto.

Actually I presume Nigel Farage, who is reported to be no particular fan of foreigners taking English jobs, wouldn’t pick Pietersen so maybe he can become an England selector if he isn’t Prime Minister on May 7?

Fortunately for Cook, his first Test failures against the West Indies were overshadowed by Jimmy Anderson (right) becoming England’s greatest wicket-taker in Test matches.

Sadly Anderson overtook a far more talented cricketer in Sir Ian Botham in doing so, but well done Jimmy for staying fit and for being much less of a behavioural muppet off the field than you are on it.

Anderson’s success also helped play down the mis-judged, undeserved selection of Jonathan Trott.

I’m sure Trott’s decision to abandon England’s last Ashes series was honestly-taken, but I wouldn’t pick anyone again with that sort of action on his CV.

I’d keep them out of the press box as well, but sadly Graeme Swann’s child-like commentary has been well-received and he looks set to stay.

Stuart Broad’s long-hop obsesssion and admission that he’s now windy with a bat in his hand also needs sorting before the Ashes comes around, but not by the same psychiatrist who has helped turn Trott into a jumping Jack Rabbitt in the popping crease.

I fear for England if they can’t beat the worst West Indies side in history before taking on a vibrant New Zealand side as well as Australia in our summer.

Incidentally well done to Middlesex and Lancashire for giving Adam Voges and Peter Siddle some valuable practice in English conditions before they take their places in the Australian Ashes squad.

Michael Vaughan probably has an opinion on that - he has an opinion on most things - and fair play to him for being prepared to put his money where his mouth is by putting his hat in the ring for the England managing director job vacated recently by Paul Downton.

But I suspect Andrew Strauss will get the job which would be good if only to ensure Pietersen wasn’t recalled. Strauss has used a choice of word live on TV for Pietersen that I would gladly echo.

By the way Surrey racked up over 400 in a County Championship Division Two game in Glamorgan earlier this week. Pietersen made 13.