Bell apology for ’embarrassing’ England


CHRISTCHURCH: England opener Ian Bell apologised Sunday for his side’s embarrassing start to the World Cup after being thrashed by Australia and New Zealand in their first two games.

“We expect people at home to be angry about that performance,” he said on the eve of their third Pool A match, against Scotland, at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

England opened cricket’s showpiece ODI tournament with a 111-run hiding by Australia before suffering an eight-wicket thrashing by New Zealand.

England captain Eoin Morgan said after the New Zealand humiliation that his side was “disappointed” rather than “embarrassed”, but for Bell there was no escaping the “E” word.

“To go out and play like we did was embarrassing,” Bell said.

“The fact we have to apologise to people about the cricket is not acceptable. It’s really disappointing what we’ve done.”

Scotland have only played one game so far, losing by three wickets to New Zealand, after putting up a more credible performance than England against the tournament co-hosts.

Bell, who produced scores of 36 and eight in England’s opening games, where his side totalled 231 and 123 said England had been well off the pace in the tournament “so it would be nice to turn up and put on the kind of game we know we can”.

“We were gutted about the performance” against Australia and New Zealand, he said.

“But it’s about tomorrow now. Hopefully we can put on something that’s at least — I don’t think it will repair the damage fully — but at least it’s a step in the right direction.”

But he was adamant, there was no need to change their game plan of taking an aggressive approach, even though it is not working when either setting or chasing targets.

“We want to play aggressive cricket. We just haven’t managed to do that in the last two games,” he said.

“It’s no good doing it in the nets. We have to take it into the middle and do it there.

“You want to bat through but there’s no point trying to survive either. You’ve got to play aggressive cricket.

“That’s where one-day cricket is going. But that doesn’t mean slogging, it doesn’t mean hitting every ball for six — it’s being smart as well.”

Bell said the plan was to maintain the aggressive approach in batting, bowling and fielding.

“We don’t want to take a backward step and go back to trying to survive and build a total and go hard in the last 10 (overs).” (AFP)