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England in despair after loss in Ashes

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

SYDNEY - Doom, gloom and despair surrounding the English cricket team this summer has reached its lowest ebb with those back home waking to scathing headlines and more calls for change.

The 281-run loss at the SCG, completed in woefully submissive fashion and arguably England's worst failure of only the third 5-0 Ashes whitewash in history, was met with predictable dismay by past England players and pundits.

Ian Botham, the man who predicted England would enjoy a 5-0 series victory, lashed the team's "spineless" display.

Michael Vaughan termed it "pathetic" and accused the team of throwing in the towel.

Geoffrey Boycott called it "one of the most depressing and humiliating days for English cricket".

"This has been the worst defeat, because it's happened in three days. We just collapsed. We almost gave up," wrote Boycott in his Daily Telegraph column.

"I'll put it in context. This has been embarrassing, because I can't remember a series where England have played so poorly and batted so badly."

Former captain Vaughan accepted the result was on the cards when the final Test started on Friday, but was shocked by the manner of the defeat.

"It was always going to happen but there's a way to lose," Vaughan told the BBC.

"I have never seen an England team throw in the towel, but they did this afternoon.

"Andy Flower has not evolved this team as he should have done.

"Things have to change in personnel and things have to change in terms of how they play their cricket."

Botham, speaking on Sky Sports, added: "England have been steamrollered. If it had been a boxing match it would have been stopped weeks ago".

Flower and captain Alastair Cook did receive some support in the media.

Former Test allrounder Paul Collingwood said: "I still think Cooky's the man for the job. I'm sure this has hurt a lot but you've got to move on and have that determination to put things right for the future.

"What Andy Flower has done for English cricket has been incredible. He's a real leader and certainly the man I would have at the top to take England forward."

Collingwood is coaching Scotland and Vaughan has been one of many calling on him to work with the beleaguered England team.

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