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World Cup 2023: Michael Atherton strongly criticizes England after their shocking loss to Afghanistan

Following England’s surprising 69-run loss to Afghanistan in the ODI World Cup 2023 match at the Arun Jaitley International Stadium in Delhi on October 15, former England cricketer Michael Atherton didn’t mince his words in expressing his disappointment.

Before their game against Afghanistan, England had already experienced a loss in their opening game against New Zealand, followed by a victory against Bangladesh in their most recent outing in Dharamshala. On the other hand, Afghanistan had faced defeat in their first two fixtures.

England’s struggles and historic victory for Afghanistan

However in a significant turnaround, the Afghan team exhibited an exceptional all-around performance, creating a stark contrast to their previous performances. Asked to bat first, Afghanistan posted 284 in 49.5 overs, with Rahmanullah Gurbaz emerging as the highest run-scorer with 80 runs.

In response to Afghanistan’s challenging target, the three lions’ batting order faltered, and they were bowled out for 215, resulting in a 69-run loss. Among England’s batters, Harry Brook stood out as the top scorer with 66 runs from 61 balls. This victory marked a historic moment for Afghanistan in World Cup history, as it was their first win over a full-member team. The Player of the Match accolade went to Mujeeb Ur Rahman, highlighting his exceptional contribution to Afghanistan’s success.

Also READ: World Cup 2023: Twitter world goes mad as clinical Afghanistan upset England in Delhi

Michael Atherton lashes out at England

Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Atherton placed the blame on the English bowlers and fielders, emphasizing their role in allowing opposing teams to establish strong starts.

“England haven’t bowled well enough and teams have got off to fliers against them. There are reasons. Many of the players are undercooked in terms of cricketing time, time in ODIs. But they have not hit the ground running and have made things very difficult for themselves now. I think England started badly today,” Atherton said.

“They were sloppy. Five wides to start, Curran giving away a free hit in the early overs. A misfield from Bairstow that went for four. They just looked a bit off the pace and that set the tone. They were always chasing the game from that point on,” the 55-year-old concluded.

Also WATCH: Mujeeb Ur Rahman cleans up Joe Root with a jaffa during ENG vs AFG clash

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