The full English
Bumble blogs on England's fine efforts, but should some of their stars be wearing different colours?
Last Updated: 14/05/10 5:16pm
Magnificent, absolutely magnificent.
England have looked fit and strong since they arrived in the West Indies and have been ultra impressive throughout this ICC World Twenty20.
I put it down to a number of factors. The selection has been good; the fitness is as good as any team here (if not better) and the fielding has been terrific.
No longer do England lag behind in that department. The new fielding coach Richard Halsall (who was brought on board by Peter Moores by the way) has done terrific work with the team for about two years now.
Fitness, fielding and skills. They work bloody hard at everything and all of that hard work is paying dividends.
Eoin Morgan has been terrific, Kevin Pietersen has got his strut back and Paul Collingwood looks relaxed in the captaincy.
They work to a plan, but they can change that plan when they need to. Certain other teams, South Africa most notably, don't seem able to do that.
Overall, I felt South Africa were off the pace and were not in form collectively. One or two big names were just passengers and didn't perform.
They aren't the only team who have been found out here. Despite the fact they have supposedly been honed on IPL, Inida didn't look committed or fit enough either.
As for Sri Lanka, they definitely made the wrong decision to bat first against England. But that's easy to say with hindsight.
Clearly Kumar Sangakkara wanted to have his spinners bowling last, but they didn't get enough runs to give themselves a chance.
But now I'm feeling very bullish about England's chances in the final. The other finalist has not been decided at the time of writing, but it will be a cracking match whatever happens.
How the other half live...
We've just travelled to Barbados, where conditions are very dull, overcast and sultry. There's no sunshine at the moment and I wouldn't be surprised if we saw some rain ahead of the final.
I hope the rain doesn't spoil the Viv Richards Golf Day on Saturday as several of us are looking forward to it. There'll be plenty of cricket legends turning up for that one.
We've been in St Lucia for the last few days and we found out how the other half live. Would you believe Sky Sports News (Adam Leventhal and company) were in a five-star complex, while Hussain and Lloyd were stuck in the Biff and Bash down the road?
It was an all-inclusive hotel that we were in. The idea seemed to be that the more you drink, the more you save.
Not us, I must point out. We're here to work.
Bumble answers your questions...
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Bumble, Why are we making such a fuss over Kieswetter when we already have a born and bred Englishman who is a better gloveman and just as good a batsman in Phil Mustard? Surely we should be giving chances to Englishmen instead of playing all these South Africans? Dean Mciver
BUMBLE SAYS: This is a good point Dean, and the debate has been rumbling along on my Twitter page all week. I appreciate what you're saying but you must remember Pietersen, Lumb and Kieswetter all have at least one English parent. They have dual nationality and I don't see a problem with them playing for England.
Even though the team is doing well, there's no doubt that this situation is causing unease among England supporters. From what I can see, they are 99.9% in favour of a full English team and furthermore, we are draining South Africa of talent. My own view is that there should be a cut-off point. If you choose to play for a representative Under-19 team, South Africa for example, then that's your team. By that age you're old enough to leave home and you're old enough to make that decision. I think that's a simple solution, perhaps too simple.
The anomaly is the Irishman Morgan as Ireland are associate members. He has taken the decision to qualify for a full member team in the same way that Ed Joyce did. Now in my opinion, Joyce should be able to go back and play for Ireland now he's no longer needed by England. But that's only because Ireland are not a major team.
Start the Car!
Finally, a reminder that my new book called Start the Car: The World According to Bumble - is available in hardback on May 27.
If you've got a couple of minutes you can listen to an exclusive extract from the audiobook version right here on skysports.com.
We were always hungry for success during my playing days at Lancashire - but it's fair to say (mentioning no names Mr Jack Simmons) that some were more famished than others!
Click above to listen to this week's portion and don't forget there are five signed copies of my book up for grabs in skysports.com's competition. Click here for details...