• Wednesday, June 19, 2024

CRICKET

Nothing’s worked: Stokes bemoans England’s World Cup 2023 campaign

The defending champions have lost five of their six matches to lie at the bottom of the 10-team table

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

ENGLAND’S Ben Stokes on Friday (3) conceded that “nothing’s worked” in a disastrous World Cup campaign.

The defending champions have lost five of their six matches to lie at the bottom of the 10-team table and another defeat on Saturday (4) in Ahmedabad against arch-rivals Australia will end even their slimmest hopes of squeezing into the semi-finals.

“I think the problem is that we’ve been crap. To be honest with you, we’ve been crap,” Stokes said.

“Everything we’ve tried throughout this World Cup, through trying to put pressure back onto the opposition in a way in which we know, or trying to soak up the pressure in a different way, which we know we’ve done before and been successful with, it’s just not worked.”

Stokes added: “Every opportunity that we’ve had in front of us where we feel like we can take control of the game, the opposition’s managed to get it back towards them. And we’ve just not been able to put a full game together.”

England have brushed aside any talk of an unlikely mathematical equation of making the final-four if they win their remaining three matches.

But a clash with five-time champions Australia does excite Stokes and his teammates, three months after an acrimonious Ashes series ended 2-2.

“England-Australia in any sport whenever the two nations play against each it’s always a big occasion,” said Stokes.

After facing Australia, the defending champions still have to play the Netherlands in Pune on November 8 and Pakistan at Kolkata on November 11.

“We’ve had a disastrous World Cup and there’s no point sugarcoating that because it’s the truth. But we know these last three games, for us, we’ve got a lot to play for,” said Stokes.

“I think the biggest thing that we’ve got to play for is obviously the pride of what it is to put the three lions on your chest, walking out onto the field every time is a very special occasion and something that we value very highly.”

(AFP)

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