'England in danger of reducing Ashes': Boycott tears into Stokes and Co. after AUS' stunning win at Edgbaston

By, New Delhi
Jun 22, 2023 06:35 PM IST

Geoffrey Boycott has launched a scathing attack on Ben Stokes and Co. after Australia's stunning win over England in the Ashes 2023 opener at Edgbaston.

Launching a scathing attack on Ben Stokes and Co. after Australia's stunning win over the Three Lions in the Ashes 2023 opener, former England skipper Geoffrey Boycott has observed that the hosts are in danger of reducing the high-profile Test series to an exhibition. Though England made early inroads at Edgbaston by showcasing the aggressive brand of cricket under the watch of Brendon 'Baz' McCullum, the Stokes-led side failed to upstage Australia in the thrilling encounter.

England's Ben Stokes reacts as Stuart Broad looks on ( Reuters)
England's Ben Stokes reacts as Stuart Broad looks on ( Reuters)

Hosts England were outplayed Australia as the newly crowned ICC World Test Championship winners registered a two-wicket win to take a 1-0 lead in the five-Test series. Sharing his views about the heartbreaking defeat at Edgbaston in his recent column for The Telegraph, former England skipper Boycott opined that Stokes and Co. got "carried away with Bazball" and failed to prioritise a win in the Ashes opener.

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"England are in danger of reducing the Ashes to an exhibition," Boycott wrote in his column. "England have got carried away with Bazball and seem to think entertaining is more important than winning. But England supporters want one thing more than anything else -- to win the Ashes," he added. For the former England skipper, who played 108 Tests and 36 One Day International (ODIs), winning a Test match is more important than entertaining the loyalist of the Three Lions.

'England gave Australia a get-out-of-jail-free card'

"Scoring fast runs, whacking lots of fours and sixes is lovely. It is great. But only if England do not lose sight of the big prize which is to beat Australia. If at the end of the series Australia go home with the Ashes we will feel sick, regardless of how much we have been entertained," Boycott explained. Boycott feels that if England are not playing to win then the Ashes Tests are only exhibition matches. "Do not just attack, attack, attack. England need a bit of common sense and pragmatism. That is all that is required. They do not have to change being positive because they are a better side than Australia and will win if they just show that common sense," he added.

Boycott acknowledged that England outplayed Australia in nearly every session at Edgbaston. Urging England to be ruthless and not sloppy against Australia, the former cricketer claimed that Stokes' men kept getting ahead of the arch-rivals and then allowed them back in by being careless. "They are in danger of letting hubris be their downfall ... It would be sad if playing exciting cricket for a year is going to their heads. They gave Australia a get-out-of-jail-free card. I find that silly," Boycott said.

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