A lot of people – seemingly a majority – are saying that Peter Moores ‘has to go’. There is probably some truth in this because the pressure and scrutiny he will be subjected to should he be allowed to remain would most likely be crushing for the team. However, we also feel that England’s World Cup performance is to a great extent not his fault.
When Moores became coach, he inherited a captain who had been not so much named as anointed. The post-Ashes shitfight had seen the ECB nail their colours to the mast, set up a protective barrier around it and then launch a fleet of fighter jets to patrol the area.
Alastair Cook was England’s one-day captain and if Peter Moores didn’t agree, there was, quite frankly, nothing he could do about it. A coach should be confident and single-minded, but an England coach also has to survive. Undermining the ECB would not have been the way to achieve this.
Even if he didn’t at first, Moores will surely have grown desperate to drop Cook from the one-day side as he desperately tried to lay paving slabs around that one dead tree stump. Had it been uprooted sooner, maybe he would have had a chance to prepare the ground better, but he never got that chance and valuable stones were broken in the meantime.
Moores had to build a 10-man team to compete against 11 and the more he tried to work around Cook’s shortcomings, the more damage was done to those moved around to accommodate him. It wasn’t just the matches Alex Hales didn’t play or the omissions Ian Bell shouldn’t have had to endure; it was also the defeats.
England lost and when you lose, you react. Confidence ebbs and you make changes. England made so many changes that by the time they got rid of the one thing that was definitely wrong – Cook – half of what surrounded it had become wrong as well and there was no time to put things right.
So maybe Peter Moores does have to go. But he also has our sympathy. This was his lot and he did what he could with it. As pathetically as things turned out, and as ridiculous as this sounds, given the same set of circumstances we can’t imagine anyone else would have done much better.