Ex-Australian declares England ‘below-average side’ after 2023 Ashes documentary

Tim Paine believes England should focus on their ranking in World Test Championship 2023-25

By Web Desk
July 08, 2024
"You’re not going to be a team that everyone remembers watching", Paine said about England. — AFP

Former Australia captain Tim Paine declared England a “below-average side” in Test cricket after Ben Stokes’ dressing room speech from the 2023 Ashes was revealed in a documentary.

Australia won the first two matches of the 2023 Ashes after which England made an excellent comeback by winning the next match. Ben Stokes’ side dominated the Aussies in the fourth Test at Old Trafford but the match was eventually washed out.

England defeated Australia in the last Test at the Oval and levelled the series 2-2. Stokes made a speech in the dressing room during the fourth Test when he said that the way England have played Test cricket will “live forever in the memory of people who were lucky enough to witness” them play.

However, Paine believed that while Stokes’ remarks were taken out of context, England are living in their own fantasy world where they believe they are changing Test cricket.

“I think it was taken slightly out of context because he was talking in a changing room and it was a bigger speech, so I will say that,” Paine said on SEN Tassie Breakfast.

“However, it’s just this continued belief that they’re completely changing the game and they’re doing this amazing stuff and everyone’s going to remember it … they’re not,” he added.

Paine also mentioned England’s ranking in the World Test Championship (WTC) 2023-25 cycle where they are ranked ninth, the last.

“You’re coming dead last in the World Test Championship. You’re not going to be a team that everyone remembers watching and you’re not doing anything outrageously good that we haven’t seen before,” Paine said.

“You’re an average cricket team. You are, at the moment, a below-average cricket team and I think they need to get their head around that a little bit.”