Former England captain Nasser Hussain blamed the Indian Premier League for England’s cricketing slump saying that “IPL issues” have prevented Andrew Strauss’ men from playing as a “happy bunch”.
“They have not been a happy bunch, there have been issues about the IPL,” Hussain was quoted as saying by ‘The Mirror’.
England went down by an innings and 23 runs against West Indies in the first Test in Jamaica, being bowled out for an embarrassing 51 runs in their second innings.
The defeat came a day after star batsman Kevin Pietersen and all-rounder Andrew Flintoff became the world’s richest cricketers attracting record-breaking bids of $1.55 million each in the IPL players’ auction.
Hussain said apart from the IPL, Pietersen’s equation with a few team-mates after being asked to step down as England captain, due to his public spat with sacked coach Peter Moores, is also a cause of concern.
“There are still issues between Pietersen and certain people, both in and out of the side,” he said.
“It seems this England side has to be kicked before they can show what they can do,” he added.
Reflecting on the humiliating loss, another former captain Ian Botham said England’s cricketers have not bettered their skills as much as other international players have and the team relies too heavily on Pietersen’s form.
“At the same time England’s batsmen must face up to their failure.
“All of England’s so-called young talent need to work harder on getting better. My old pal Nasser Hussain comes up with a bright thought every now and again and I completely agree with his sentiment that England’s cricketers are standing still while the rest of the world are moving forward.
“The likes of Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Michael Clarke and Gautam Gambhir are all getting better and better,” he added.
Former skipper Graham Gooch had also blamed the IPL for distracting the players during the Test match.