Alec Swann - Look after your own to find an answer

Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.
Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.

England’s demise in their T20 series with the West Indies raised the all-too familiar questions that surround every defeat.

In the aftermath, personnel, tactics and skill execution were dissected and derided by all and sundry to the extent that their chances in the upcoming World T20 have been all but written off.

This might be slightly extreme, they did win in 2010 out of nowhere so it’s possible lightning could strike for a second time, but it’s difficult not to see the reasoning.

Time after time there seems to be no logical plan to how our national side approach their limited overs cricket in either the 20 or 50-over formats.

Any evidence of sensible and forward thinking gets lost amongst the maelstrom of catastrophic collapses and performances that are of a bygone era and the result is a hit and miss existence.

That takes care of the general so now for the specific.

The Indian Premier League, once the World T20 is done and dusted, will assume centre stage and English players will be conspicuous in their absence.

Only the discarded Kevin Pietersen will be boosting his bank balance by hacking his way around the sub-continent and this dearth, once more, has become an issue.

Within minutes of England’s second loss in Barbados, the question was posed on Twitter concerning the IPL and it’s role in any future improvement of our national team’s fortunes.

It’s seems like an easy solution to throw out there as there is virtually no evidence to support the theory but you can see where those in this camp are coming from.

But on the other side of the coin, you have to appreciate the view of those in this country who would rather protect the integrity of the county game and the Test schedule.

It all comes down to a compromise being sought where a compromise seemingly doesn’t exist.

The IPL season will always clash with its counterpart over here, that can’t really be avoided.

Test matches in this country start - later this year than before - either immediately after the IPL finished or during the final rounds of the competition and if the England team are to be properly prepared, hot-footing it from Heathrow to Lord’s isn’t the way to go.

And this in turn leads to the franchises being less keen on English players because of restricted availability.

It’s a Catch-22 situation which inevitably leads to accusations of having heads in the sand and placing a narrow-minded focus ahead of a view of the bigger picture.

But while the IPL is treated as the elephant in the corner, there should be some thought given to the Twenty20 competition on these shores.

If it is a necessity that our players are in need of greater exposure to the shortest form, surely it stands to reason that the easiest way to provide this would be to structure the event to allow this.

Regarded as the poor relation of the IPL, the Big Bash and the Caribbean Premier League (if it’s not careful), the Natwest t20 Blast could provide a solution to the myriad issues which include international player appearances and the standard of overseas player.

Short, sharp and in a time slot that could be found with no clashes elsewhere.

Our competition may be a less cash saturated cousin but it could punch above the weight it currently does.

It is unlikely that a winner will be found in the England versus IPL argument as too many factors combine to muddy the waters but logical and locally concentrated thought, if not calming all doubters, could make the best of a tricky situation.