Former Test captain Michael Vaughan says players must shoulder part of the blame for England’s cricketing demise.
ECB chief Paul Downton resigns from managing director role
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England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) managing director Paul Downton resigned from his post on Wednesday following significant public pressure after England’s horror performance at the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
Peter Moores’ side was eliminated in the group stage after losing four of its six matches, with England’s only wins coming against minnows Scotland and Afghanistan.
However, Vaughan, who has announced his interest in the now-vacant job, says England players must take a good hard look at themselves.
“It was inevitable there would be a casualty after England’s dismal World Cup,” Vaughan wrote in The Telegraph.
“If you keep making the wrong decisions and playing cricket that does not fit with this modern era then someone has to pay the price, but it is interesting that person was Paul Downton, a man wearing a suit and not a track suit.
“Paul has lost his job, and that is unfortunate for him, but the England players have to look at themselves too. They cannot just blame the coaches, the England and Wales Cricket Board or the managing director. In fact I don’t care about their excuses.
“The best players coach themselves and take a risk because they know that is the right option.”
Vaughan says that ECB must introduce an “English Premier League” to ready its players in the aggressive modern game of cricket.
“English cricket does not have a Harry Potter to wave a magic wand. Sacking Downton is not suddenly going to turn England into Australia or suddenly unearth a battery of fast bowlers or batsmen who can smash the ball 360 degrees,” Vaughan continued.
“There are many issues that are nothing to do with Paul. We do not have an English Premier League to immerse players in a competitive environment where fearless cricket is the norm. It was not Paul’s fault the players performed so timidly at the World Cup.
“No matter whom they appoint to the position the problems are deeper rooted. English cricket needs a togetherness to help bring cultural change. The game in England is full of talent but it needs to play a more modern, aggressive game.”
Vaughan told Sky Sports of his interest in taking over Downton’s role.
“I’m always open to chat. I go to Antigua on Friday for the first two Test matches so I’ll look to see how the team has responded to this change. I think they [the ECB] have got my phone number,” he said.
Downton succeeded Hugh Morris in the director’s role in February 2014, but has found himself out of a job following England’s disastrous World Cup campaign.
The 58-year-old played a leading role in the sacking of star batsman Kevin Pietersen following England’s 5-0 Ashes last year.