SPORT TALK: World Cup woe down to crazy schedule

IT seems an eternity ago that England won The Ashes so magnificently, doesn’t it?

That’s probably because the 2011 Cricket World Cup is STILL going on over in the sub-continent.

But for a number of bizarre England displays in the group stages, the longest major competition in world sport has really stunk the joint out, again.

Andrew Strauss and co really did their bit for the tournament, as they somehow lost to minnows Bangladesh and Ireland, while pulling off an exciting draw against co-hosts India and an incredible win over perennial chokers South Africa.

Yet our painful 10-wicket loss to Sri Lanka in last Saturday’s quarter-final leaves a lot of questions for the ECB.

Of course, any England fan would take a Test series win in Australia over glory in the increasingly Mickey Mouse 50-over version of the sport.

Seeing smug Ricky Ponting – who has since resigned as Aussie skipper – suffer a third Ashes loss was also pretty memorable.

But why did we hang around for seven meaningless one-dayers down under? Why did most of the players only have four days at home in five months?

One by one, England’s top performers dropped like flies. Key performers Kevin Pietersen and Stuart Broad were injured, while Jimmy Anderson and Graeme Swann were clearly burnt out.

What a crazy schedule.

It’s a great shame that another of our national teams has been hampered by the money-grabbing dinosaurs that now run the major sports in our country.

•SPEAKING of national teams, I hear that Fabio Capello reckons he only needs to know 100 words of English to properly manage the nation’s football side.

It’s the latest of a number of ridiculous statements made by the Italian boss, who is fast wrecking one of the greatest managerial reputations in the sport.

At least ‘4-3-3’ and ‘Scott Parker’ are now part of his vocabulary. Sadly, it appears ‘Stewart Downing’ and ‘Glen Johnson’ are too.

•HAVING been relegated last weekend, Spalding United need look no further than King’s Lynn Town FC for proof that UCL Premier Division football can benefit them.

The Linnets, who are rebuilding at step five after going bust in 2009, are fighting for trophies on four fronts and are expecting a gate of around 2,000 for their FA Vase semi-final this weekend.

They are traditionally a bigger club than the Tulips, but there is no shame in dropping down a level or two to rebuild.