Cricket World Cup 2015: England ‘need foreign ODI coach’

England’s dreadful World Cup exit is another low moment in what has been an extremely turbulent 18 months, but what makes this harder to take is that it was entirely predictable.

Before the tournament began, I wrote that England would make us sweat in their bid to reach the quarter-finals. In the end, it was much worse.

We knew that defeats by Australia and New Zealand could throw England into a downward spiral that would be hard to reverse. What we could not predict is just how far Eoin Morgan’s men would sink.

Chasing a target of 276 against Bangladesh on a good pitch with small boundaries in Adelaide should have been well within their capabilities.

They fell 15 runs short because this team is entirely devoid of confidence and aggression. They simply do not have the ability to impose themselves on the opposition, whoever it may be.

Win rates against full members in ICC Cricket World Cups since 1996



Sri Lanka




New Zealand


South Africa




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Let me make it clear that I am not rubbishing the players. England have some very good cricketers that either have proven records or have shown potential since arriving in international cricket.

But they are not in the right frame of mind to dominate a one-day international. One or two have the character to do that, but not enough.

This is not a new problem. England have struggled in World Cups for the best part of 25 years, since reaching the final here in Australia and New Zealand in 1992.

Since then, they have not won a knockout match and this latest failure is the third time they have been eliminated in the first round.

I have a theory as to why this might be.

England invented one-day cricket, but then the rest of the world adapted their own game as the creators stood still.

If you showed me a silhouette of a batsman, with no distinguishing features other than the way he plays, I think I could work out where he is from in about an over.

There is the wristy style of the Asian nations, the powerful back-foot strokes of the Australians, or the flourishing flamboyance of the West Indies. The archetype is that, as people, the English are quite conservative. It certainly seems that way in our one-day cricket.

It is for that reason that I feel the players on whom the one-day side will now be built need liberating.

The likes of Jos Buttler, Joe Root, James Taylor and Alex Hales could form the nucleus of a team over the next four years in the run-up to the 2019 World Cup in England.

However, I feel the change in attitude that is required can only be provided by a coach from overseas.

This is not me calling for Peter Moores to be removed. Moores, along with Alastair Cook, played his part in improving the fortunes of the Test side last summer, earning that 3-1 win over India.

But England need to keep their Test cricket and limited-overs cricket separate and a return to split coaches would help them attract the very best man for the job.

The reality is that the likes of New Zealander Stephen Fleming and South African Gary Kirsten do not want to hack around the world with England for 12 months of the year, especially when they can earn very good money in T20.

Still, that does not mean they cannot be England’s limited-overs coach, because that does not have to be a full-time role.

To get their young talent to be the best limited-overs players they can be, England need a white-ball coach that is experienced in playing one-day internationals, who understands how the game has changed and who has coached successfully in another part of the world.

The end of a World Cup campaign is the time to start again with a blank sheet of paper.

Do we have the right man to lead us for the next four years? Which players won’t be in the side by the time the next tournament arrives?

These are the questions that England need to answer.

Will Morgan still be in charge in 2019? If not, put Taylor or Root at the helm. Are James Anderson and Stuart Broad at the end of their one-day careers? Can we identify their replacements?

More widely than that, do we have the domestic structure correct? Are our limited-overs leagues providing the competition that will produce players of international quality? Should we be exposing more of our players to T20 leagues around the world?

In horrible circumstances on a glorious evening in South Australia, the opportunity to rebuild England’s approach to one-day cricket has arisen.

It is an opportunity that has come round each time there has been a World Cup failure. Now, it must be taken.

Jonathan Agnew was speaking to BBC Sport’s Stephan Shemilt.