Former England captain Graham Gooch said Indian Premier League’s (IPL) auctions on Saturday distracted England players as they went down to a humiliating innings and 23 runs loss against the West Indies.
Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff made the headlines when they became the costliest cricketers in the IPL auction, costing $1.55 million each.
“The England team say they have got no distractions with the IPL but when you have all these background influences going on, it is not the best environment to give your best performance,” Gooch was quoted as saying in the BBC sport.
“I know what dressing room atmospheres are like and what the banter is like, so when (Andrew) Strauss comes out and says the IPL was hardly mentioned that doesn’t seem believable to me.”
Gooch feels England are suffering from an individualistic philosophy and has urged the captain to pull the team together.
“One of Strauss’s biggest tasks, along with stand-in coach Andy Flower, is to unify the dressing room,” he said.
The lure of money for the ill-fated one off Twenty20 last year produced a similarly pathetic performance.
“The main task is to get them performing as a unit and to get their good players turning in match-winning performances,” Gooch said.
“But they are professional cricketers, they are paid well and playing for their honour of their country and they should be able to give a better performance.”