'Spineless' England slammed

2014-01-05 17:25
Ian Botham (Getty Images)

London - England's Ashes whitewash has triggered a scathing attack from former players on Sunday with Ian Botham lashing out at the team's "spineless" display in Australia.

Having won the home series 3-0 last year, captain Alastair Cook and his men landed in Australia in October as the overwhelming favourite to retain the famous urn.

Instead, they were ruthlessly brushed aside by a rampant Australia side, failing to get close to victory in any of the five matches as pace bowler Mitchell Johnson's express speed and Brad Haddin's never-say-die batting, exposed their limitations.

What proved to be the final day of the series was synonymous of England's feeble showing as they were bowled out for 166 inside 35 overs, chasing an improbable 448 for victory, as Australia completed the clean sweep with two days to spare.

"I'm pretty depressed and embarrassed - I use that word, embarrassed, and I mean it," former captain Botham told Sky Sports. "I am not allowed to use the words that are flashing through my head at the moment. I just think it was spineless," added the former all-rounder.

Australia never took their foot off England's throat registering comprehensive victories at Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and finally in Sydney to avenge last year's series defeat in England.

"England have been steamrollered. If it had been a boxing match it would have been stopped weeks ago," Botham said.

Former skipper Michael Vaughan echoed his sentiment, saying the senior players had let the team down.

"I've lost words to describe how England played. That was pathetic - it was always going to happen but there's a way to lose," Vaughan told BBC Sport.

"I have never seen an England team throw in the towel, but they did this afternoon. Our senior core of players have not been able to get into any sort of form," said Vaughan, who in 2005 became the first England captain to win an Ashes series since Mike Gatting in 1986-87.

"The Australian wagon got into motion at Brisbane and England have not been able to cope since. That last innings there showed how frazzled the team is," Vaughan added.

In many ways, the final test in Sydney test mirrored England's shambolic campaign as they were shot out for 155 and 166 on a green-tinged wicket.

"It's pathetic - there is no other word. It's humiliation," former opener Geoff Boycott told BBC's Test Match Special.

"This is a worse loss than when we lost before 5-0 because they had great players like (Glenn) McGrath, (Shane) Warne and (Adam) Gilchrist last time. England have just disintegrated."

Read more on:    the ashes  |  ian botham  |  cricket


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Previous Results

Date Match Result

Who will win the 2019 edition of the Ashes?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.