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BARBADOS - British Media Glory In Triumph

Monday 05, April-2004


by AMANDA LYNCH-FOSTER


The British media heaped praise on Matthew Hoggard and the England team in their first Test series triumph in the Caribbean since 1968.

Hoggard’s hat-trick triggered a West Indies collapse which handed England an eight-wicket victory in the third Test on Saturday and an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the four-match series.

John Etheridge of The Sun proudly said: “The pace bowling particularly of Harmison and of Hoggard, Jones and Flintoff, the West Indies have not really been able to deal with it at all. They have neither the technical expertise nor the temperament nor the stomach for the fight to withstand the England fast bowlers.”

Mike Selvey, the former England cricketer who now writes for the Guardian was full of praise for the English team.

“It’s a fantastic achievement. They’ve worked so hard, haven’t they, to do this? It really is a team achievement. They’ve come on by leaps and bounds,” he said glowingly.

However, while acknowledging the hard work of the English team, all noted that the West Indies are no longer the team that used to terrorise England in years gone by.

The Mail On Sunday exclaimed: “We’ve Done It At last”, The Sunday Telegraph saluted Hoggard under the headline Hat-trick Hero’.

Former England captain Michael Atherton summed up the mindset of the two teams in his Sunday Telegraph column. “A series that threatened to be compellingly competitive has proved to be the most one-sided between these teams in a decade,” Atherton said.

“England expected to win and just as importantly, with seven defeats in their last eight Tests, the West Indies look like a team who expect to be beaten.”

Writing in The Independent, former England pacer Angus Fraser highlighted how Hoggard finally made his mark in the series after being overshadowed by his fellow bowlers in the previous two Tests.

“Before yesterday’s remarkable event in Barbados, Matthew Hoggard had been the un-sexiest of England’s quartet of fast bowlers,” said Fraser “It is a lot to say that a player deserves a hat-trick but Hoggard’s efforts in this series merited reward.”

Simon Cambers of Reuters added: “The West Indies have been in decline for a few years now. It’s not been quite a strong side as they had. I don’t know whether to say it’s that England is such a great team.”

He said England seemed to be showing more determination and steel than he’s ever seen before, adding that this might be more of an indication of how West Indies had fallen.

 

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Dwayne Smith pommels another delivery six during his explosive 94 which came off just 63 balls at the 3Ws Oval against Jamaica yesterday. (Picture by Gordon Brooks.)

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