Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Now for the Post Mortem; Crisis Talks after Series Slaughter

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Now for the Post Mortem; Crisis Talks after Series Slaughter

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID LLOYD

FROM in Sydney ENGLAND will launch an inquest this weekend into the humiliating defeat in Australia after slumping to a first Ashes whitewash for 86 years.

Chairman of selectors David Graveney, chairman of the board David Morgan, chief executive David Collier and coach Duncan Fletcher will have a crisis meeting in Sydney to review the series which came to a shattering 10-wicket end.

They will begin by deciding whether Michael Vaughan is fit enough to lead the team next Tuesday into the first of what could be 12 one-day games against Australia and New Zealand.

Captain Andrew Flintoff urged England to learn from the experience saying: "Although we have been beaten 5-0 it cannot be a pointless exercise.

Learning from this is one thing we've got to do - myself and the lads and everyone who has been involved in this series."

Flintoff says he is ready to carry on as captain and has no regrets about accepting the job.

But, as Australia's champagne party went into full swing, he admitted: "5-0 is not a great feeling.

We came here quietly confident thinking we could do something special. But we came up against a side who have been magnificent for five Tests.

"Now, if we are going to improve and move forward from this experience, we need to collect information from everyone - not just from myself but from the lads as well. Things will get reviewed and there are areas where we can improve. When you lose 5-0 there will always be areas where you can do that.

"There's been no lack of trying, or lack of character, from us. We've given everything we've got but been beaten by a better team.

"Australia came at us hard in Brisbane six weeks ago and have hit us hard ever since. In patches we have competed with them but every time we've tried to get a foot in the door it has been closed on us. They have raised the bar and been awesome all round."

Sixteen months ago, Flintoff was among those England players who celebrated wildly when the Ashes were regained to end 16 years of hurt. Today, it was Ricky Ponting and the Aussies who enjoyed every moment of the presentation ceremony. "I've experienced both sides of it now - the jubilation at The Oval in 2005 and now this," said Flintoff, who has been handicapped throughout the series by a sore ankle. …

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