Stats life as England back data protection

Assistant coach Paul Farbrace has suggested the problem with England`s woeful World Cup campaign isn`t that they`ve used too many statistics but too few as he admitted losing to Afghanistan would be "horrendous".

AFP| Last Updated: Mar 12, 2015, 14:13 PM IST
Stats life as England back data protection

Sydney: Assistant coach Paul Farbrace has suggested the problem with England`s woeful World Cup campaign isn`t that they`ve used too many statistics but too few as he admitted losing to Afghanistan would be "horrendous".

England`s 15-run defeat by Bangladesh in Adelaide on Monday condemned them to a first round exit without having won a single pool match against a Test nation -- the first time they`ve suffered this `double whammy` in the 40-year history of the World Cup.

After Monday`s match, England coach Peter Moores was widely mocked for saying "we shall have to look at the data", with many pundits saying it was emblematic of a backroom regime where cricketing common sense had been swept aside by statistical analysis.

But Farbrace insisted there had been far more detailed use of statistics when he was head coach of Sri Lanka and oversaw the Islanders` triumph at last year`s World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, weeks before he returned to his native England to work under Moores. 

"There has been a lot said about the stats and team meetings -- with the Sri Lanka team we had more team meetings and we looked at stats more than the England team currently do. There`s no question about that," Farbrace told reporters at the Sydney Cricket Ground where England meet Afghanistan on Friday. 

"We had a team of six people working for us during the Twenty20 World Cup last year with the Sri Lanka team.

"That`s what won us the final (a six-wicket victory over India), that our preparation from fantastic statistics had helped us to bowl in the right places for the last four overs," the 47-year-old former Kent and Middlesex wicket-keeper added.

Turning to the current England set-up, Farbrace said: "We allow people to look at footage...it is up to them if they want to look at it. 

"We`re not spending hours and hours in front of a white board, we`re not spending hours chewing over stats and numbers, we`re encouraging people to go out and play the game. 

"That`s the most disappointing thing that we haven`t gone and done. It`s frustrating for everyone concerned and the last couple of days it has been a tough place to be.

"It`s unfair that Peter is the one who is in the limelight. He is the boss, he`s in charge so you know that comes with the territory."Farbrace added that England had never gotten over crushing defeats by co-hosts Australia (111 runs) and New Zealand (eight wickets) in their opening two Pool A matches.

"We got blown away in those two games and I don`t think we`ve really recovered," he said. 

"We`ve seen glimpses and we`ve seen `bits of` but glimpses and `bits of` are not enough to get you through to the next stage and where you want to be as a team. 

"We can have no complaints about some of the stick that we`ve taken because it hasn`t been good enough."

But Farbrace was adamant he`d no regrets about leaving his role in charge of Sri Lanka to work under Moores.

"Not for one minute. The chance to work with your own national team was too good an opportunity. I was excited about working with `Mooresy`, and I still am."

England complete their World Cup campaign with a maiden one-day international against non-Test side Afghanistan at the SCG on Friday and Farbrace was under no illusions about the consequences of a defeat by the World Cup newcomers.

"If losing the game to Bangladesh was terrible, we couldn`t possibly imagine what it will be like if tomorrow goes against us," he said. "That would be horrendous."