Cardiff - Nasser Hussain said it was
"disrespectful" to Pakistan to blame England's shock eight-wicket
Champions Trophy semi-final defeat on a used Cardiff pitch.
England, previously the only unbeaten team left in the
eight-strong one-day international tournament and huge favourites to defeat
Pakistan, were bowled out for just 211 in Cardiff on Wednesday.
Pakistan, who suffered a 124-run thrashing by arch-rivals
India in their opening group game then cruised to their meagre victory target
with a mammoth 77 balls to spare.
The pitch played more like a sub-continental surface than a
British one and England captain Eoin Morgan said afterwards: "Coming from
Edgbaston, it was obviously a big jump in pace and bounce and too much of an
ask for us to adjust to really."
Morgan added Pakistan were more comfortable because
"they played two days ago on it (when beating Sri Lanka in a virtual
But legendary Pakistan fast bowler Waqar Younis said blaming
the pitch was a "lame excuse and former England captain Hussain agreed.
"There will be a lot of talk about the Cardiff pitch
after Pakistan dumped England out of the Champions Trophy. But that won't wash
with me," Hussain wrote in his Daily Mail column.
"It's disrespectful to Pakistan, who played brilliantly
and made the best of the conditions."
Meanwhile Hussain lamented England's "timid play',
which he said was in marked contrast to the way they had revived their ODI
fortunes since a woeful first-round exit at the 2015 World Cup.
"Their coach Trevor Bayliss has always asked for them
to play smart cricket, not just gung-ho cricket. This was anything but smart.
In fact, it was timid."
Meanwhile Michael Vaughan, another ex-England captain, said
in his Daily Telegraph column that he felt "flatter" than at the time
of their World Cup exit two years ago.
The Ashes-winning skipper added: "Here they had every
facet covered with 10 of the 11 players in form and the side playing a style of
cricket that makes them a match for any team in the world, so to play that
badly in a semi-final, with everything riding on the game, was terribly
Meanwhile Michael Atherton, a fellow former England captain,
said Morgan's men had "fluffed their lines".
England came into the Champions Trophy with high hopes and
had won 11 of their previous 12 ODIs before Wednesday's reverse.
"There were huge expectations they'd go on to win the
tournament, I think justifiably so on the back of what they've done over the
last year-and-a-half," said Atherton.
"As a result, the bar was set very high for this
tournament, and they've failed to deliver - that's the brutal truth of
England have never won a major ODI trophy despite appearing
in 19 global events at this level since the inaugural World Cup back in 1975.
Now England's wait will continue until at least 2019 - when
they stage the next World Cup.
Meanwhile Pakistan could have a chance of revenge against
India in Sunday's final at the Oval if the title-holders beat Bangladesh in
Thursday's second semi-final at Edgbaston.