The Hundred in August hampered England's World Cup campaign, says Ryan Sidebottom
The fast bowler who was a World Twenty20 winner with England in the Caribbean back in 2010, believes the current team went in under-cooked for a tournament in which they lost six of their opening seven games and limped to a seventh-place finish as defending champions.
A lot of England players played in The Hundred in August and they only had six one-day internationals together in England in September to prepare for the tournament.
While he does not believe change is needed in personnel, giving Rob Key and Jos Buttler his backing to stay on as managing director and captain respectively, Sidebottom does feel that the schedule and where cricket’s priorities lie, do need addressing.
“I don't mean to criticise The Hundred as it's changed the women's game amazingly,” said Sidebottom. “The making of women's cricket will be seeing it broadcast on terrestrial TV in front of big crowds. It'll grow and grow from there.
“But, I thought having The Hundred in the men's at the height of the summer wasn't the right idea.
“We all knew the World Cup was coming up and 50-over cricket was the priority. I think we need to look at the schedule and see where we can play more 50-over cricket. That's if 50-over cricket continues in the long term, though.
“It's very difficult for players as there's so much cricket and then you throw The Hundred into the mix.
“A lot of the World Cup players didn't play in Ireland, which I understand as they were focused on the next generation. However, players want to play tough, hard cricket leading to a World Cup. These Asian teams had the Asia Cup leading up to the World Cup, and that's tough cricket. Australia and South Africa had a good battle between each other, whilst England didn't have much.
“They didn't play much 50-over cricket, and the schedule needs looking at.''
Sidebottom remains optimistic that England’s sudden frailty in India is more to do with schedule, the conditions and not necessarily an indication of a talent drain, or for that matter, a need to rip up what had previously been working well to start again.
To that end, retaining the likes of Key and Buttler is essential.
“Jos has done very well as the captain,” Sidebottom told OnlineCricketBetting. “You'll always come under fire when you're in charge as it falls down to you and the management. I think that's the pressure that comes with being a good captain.
“I'm sure he'll be disappointed with how he's performed but Jos is still a world-class player.
“Jos has gained a lot of experience and he's been around for a very long time. He's been under Eoin Morgan's guidance and he'll have learned from his experience when it comes to leading a team.
“I'd like to see Jos continue as he has many years ahead of him still.
“And I don't think Rob Key has lost the changing room at all. Everything has been amazing for England and Key has been in the background as they've been playing so well.
“We've seen the Bazball effect. Key has changed the dynamics of the team and made them entertaining.
“But I'd like to see the schedule changed. There's so much cricket around the world now, and England play so much that they need to find the balance.”