England thrashed in Stanford finale

on November 4, 2008 by Administrator

The England cricket team has been left feeling shocked and humiliated after losing in the finale of the Stanford Super Series. The Superstars team unexpectedly defeated England, winning by ten wickets and walking away with a prize fund of over £12 million.

Chris Gayle, the captain of the Superstars side, and Andre Fletcher were magnificent throughout the match. On the other hand, several of England’s stars played in a manner suggestive of nonchalance and over-confidence.

Kevin Pietersen was a mere shade of his usual self and, embarrassingly, he was removed from the match by Darren Sammy. Paul Collingwood, Luke Wright and Steve Harmison all suffered similar fates.

Sadly for fans of English cricket, the game was over long before the official finish and the home supporters were revelling in the unexpected success of the Superstars side for several minutes before the England players could make their escape off the pitch. At times, the Superstars seemed to be cruelly taunting the lacklustre England players.

After the match, Kevin Pietersen blamed his side’s poor performance on unwanted distractions during the build-up to the finale. He told the media that the team should not have become involved with talking about “other things besides cricket”.

He regretted the lack of focus and concentration displayed by his players and admitted his disappointment at becoming “unstuck” during the match. The build-up to the match was dominated by talk of financial matters, with players such as Alastair Cook questioning the importance of the game. However, during all this debate the thought of England actually losing to the Superstars never seemed to cross anybody’s mind.

The immediate build-up to the finale was further marred by the behaviour of Sir Allen Stanford, who was caught on camera apparently flirting with the wives and girlfriends of the England players. Matt Prior, the England wicket-keeper, had to put up with televised pictures of his wife, Emily, sitting on Stanford’s knee being broadcast around the world.

Pietersen believes that events such as this one culminated in a lack of concentration and he expressed his regret at the “nonsense” that has surrounded the England camp over recent weeks.

Andrew Strauss, the England Test batsman, echoed the captain’s comments, stating that the players were unhappy to have put on such an inadequate display. However, Strauss was keen to point out that “more important challenges” are waiting just “around the corner”.

The batsman named the tour of India and the Ashes next summer as events to focus upon and Strauss remains hopeful that the team will be able to put their “poor performance” behind them. He provided reassurance for England fans that “no-one will be more disappointed” at the moment than the players in the national squad.

The players in the Superstars side were far happier than the humiliated England players. Darren Sammy, who bowled out Pietersen as well as Owais Shah, stated that “the Stanford Twenty20 tournament is a really good thing”.

He believes that it has changed the lives of “seventeen guys here” and was overcome with emotion at how cricket has the potential to change the world.

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