A lot has been made of England’s transformation since their beleaguered 2015 World Cup campaign Down Under.
Back then, their 50-over tournament came to a fitting culmination as England scraped a win in a rain-ridden dead rubber against minnows Afghanistan. In effect, their revival started as all good English revivals do – drowning in a beer-swilled haze of good intentions.
With a premature Champions trophy exit, England’s national habit of failing to win a major sporting tournament continues. Set up by a media complicit in placing the weight of a nation on our athletes’ shoulders, at least when the fall does come, it makes for compelling reading.
When England’s male cricketers last got knocked out at the group stage of a global tournament, Australia had the courtesy to go on and win the thing. Two years on from their humiliation at the hands of a burgeoning Bangladesh side, the tables appeared to have turned; England were favourites and well set going into the knockout stages of this year’s Champions Trophy.