Gooch blames IPL distraction for England’s loss

February 9th, 2009 - 6:17 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Feb 9 (IANS) Former England captain Graham Gooch has blamed the distraction caused by the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the lack of a full-time coach for England’s disastrous 51 all out and innings defeat to the West Indies in the first Test.

England slumped Saturday to its third lowest score in Test cricket in Kingston, Jamaica. The West Indies won the first of four matches by an innings and 32 runs with a day to spare.

Gooch said he believed that Friday’s IPL auction of cricket players in India contributed to England’s poor performance.

“The England team say there has been no distraction with the IPL. But when all these background influences are going on, it’s not the best environment to give your best performances,” Gooch was quoted as saying in English media.

“For Andrew Strauss to say it’s hardly been mentioned does not seem believable to me,” he said. “I am sure IPL has come into the background in discussions.”

Gooch said he was not happy with the team’s leadership — with no full-time coach with the team in the Caribbean.

“They have not got a permanent coach. I don’t know how permanent the captaincy appointment is. It does worry you about the direction they are going and whether the team are just standing still and not going forward.”

Gooch said that England had played very little cricket ahead of the first Test.

“It’s an issue that comes up every tour. I always think England teams are undercooked when they go into Test series.”

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