Paul Collingwood
Paul Collingwood.(Photo: Getty Images)

Former England captain Paul Collingwood said it was ludicrous for expecting England players to perform and win the Ashes 2021-22.

England suffered a humiliating 4-0 defeat to Australia in the Ashes in Down Under as Joe Root and his men missed their opportunity to win their first Test series in Australia since 2010/11.

Many England cricket experts have lashed out at the approach of the England cricket team for not even showing determination to fight against their opponents.

Going to the Ashes was literally one step too far: Paul Collingwood

England is the only team who has been constantly playing and switching between various COVID-19 bio-bubbles. Some of the England players came to Australia after the completion of the T20 World Cup in UAE.

Collingwood cited the examples of all-rounders Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes going through mental health issues while staying in the bubbles.

I don’t think people have understood the impact and the effects that these bubbles have had. Going to the Ashes off the back of a tough bubble in Dubai, I think was literally one step too far. You can’t even explain what it’s like until you experience it.

“The simple fact is you cannot walk out of your front door and as soon as you’re told that you cannot do something as simple as going for a coffee, you are penned in with the same guys. A lot of people will say ‘that must be fun’ and ‘you’ve got a lovely hotel’ but it hits you,” Collingwood was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

England cricket team.
England cricket team. Credits: cricket.com.au

Take someone like Chris Woakes, the most loveable and down-to-earth guy. I have seen him in some serious mental states. We have seen Ben Stokes, someone we consider to be the most mentally tough cricketer in the world, being hit by this.

“I just hope there are no ramifications moving forward because when they come, they won’t be obvious next week or the week after. These are things that might come out down the line. That’s what scares me,” he added.

These guys deserve medals, not criticism: Paul Collingwood

Collingwood said that even if England’s best players from different eras were asked to play along with such stringent measures, it would be difficult for them as well to perform under the pressure.

“I reckon if you had given us the best England cricketers in the Ashes from the last 100 years and put them in the same environment that those boys have lived in over the past two years with the preparation that we had going into this Ashes even they wouldn’t have had a chance,” Collingwood said.

England team. Photo- Getty
England team. Photo- Getty

Australia was not bothered that they were going to receive an England team who were mentally fatigued, they just wanted to get the product out there. They just wanted the Ashes.

“These guys deserve medals, not criticism. They should be told ‘well done’ for even going. It’s the equivalent of the England football team being asked to go to a World Cup, then from that bubble into the Euros. Would you expect a performance from that scenario? It’s ludicrous,” he added.

Collingwood is currently appointed as the head coach of the England T20I side that is playing against West Indies in the ongoing five-match T20I series.

England lost the third T20I against West Indies by 20 runs and are currently trailing 1-2. Eoin Morgan and his men will play the fourth T20I on January 30 at Bridgetown in Barbados.

Also Read: Stuart Broad Shows Sympathy For Joe Root And Chris Silverwood After England’s Miserable Defeat In Ashes 2021-22