Former England captain Michael Atherton had some harsh words for the English team following the loss in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG. England has already conceded the Ashes after losing the first three matches.
In a bid to find better red-ball players and improve the current players’ performance in the longest format, Atherton suggested a few ways the ECB can go about its business. One of them included the IPL.
“The leading multi-format players are paid seven-figure sums, but, incredibly, the ECB washes its hands of them for two months of the year during the Indian Premier League. Players should not miss international duty to play in the IPL, nor be rested and rotated to allow them to play elsewhere. The carry-on during the winter, and at the start of the English summer, should not happen again.“
“The players should be told that, while the ECB will be accommodating of the request to play in the IPL, a 12-month contract is exactly that, and the granting of a no-objection certificate to play in the IPL and other franchised competitions is contingent on it being in the best interests of the England team,” Atherton wrote in his column for The Times.
It is time for someone else to have a go – Michael Atherton on England’s captaincy
With Joe Root having reached the end of the rope, it is time for England to find another captain. The 30-year-old Root has been in tremendous form but his captaincy has been questioned of late. Although the entire blame cannot be on him, the media is expectedly making him the scapegoat for England’s poor performances.
“There have been so many errors here, from selection to strategy, that the captain has to bear personal responsibility… This could have been a much closer series had Root got things right on the field.“
“Root has been a good England captain, and has always carried himself superbly and is an incredible ambassador for the sport, but having done the job for five years and having had three cracks at the Ashes, including two awful campaigns in Australia, it is time for someone else to have a go,” Atherton added.
As of now, England may not have many options. Only Ben Stokes is suitable for the role but the all-rounder has just returned from a mental break and handing him the captaincy now could ruin his career.