Lay the blame on ITL for England’s poor Test performances, says Mickey Arthur

 Lay the blame on ITL for England’s poor Test performances, says Mickey Arthur

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Derbyshire county head coach Mickey Arthur has said that the Indian T20 League must be blamed for England’s poor performances in Test cricket. England has been under heavy criticism after their poor performances in the longest format in the last one. Early last year, they clean-swept Sri Lanka in their backyard in the two-match series.

Since then, they lost to India in their backyard by 1-3, to New Zealand at home by 0-1, trailing by 1-2 against India at home, and were thrashed by Australia by 4-0 in the Ashes Down Under. The common issue in all these series was England’s batting which didn’t allow their bowlers to have enough rest. Arthur has pointed out the same and said that county cricket isn’t to blame.

However, former English cricketers such as Naseer Hussain and Michael Atherton have blamed the quality of pitches produced during county championships and the time periods.

“England haven’t scored enough runs. It’s as simple as that,” Arthur told The Times. “If you want to lay the blame, you can lay it right there. County cricket isn’t to blame.

“For so long county cricket has been a really good producer of international players. I don’t think there’s a problem with the system … If you want the strength early season, unfortunately, you are going to have to stop the players going to the IPL.

“They are playing there in the early part of the season just before the first tests. You need your best players playing county cricket to prepare for that,” he told the Times.

England next Test assignment will be against the West Indies in the Caribbean. The Three Lions will first play a first-class game followed by the three-match Test series in March this year. The games will be played in Antigua, Barbados and Greneda.


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