British press slams 'shamed' cricketers after Irish loss
England's "shamed" cricketers came in for a slogging in the British press on Thursday after they crashed to a humiliating defeat against minnows Ireland in their World Cup match in Bangalore.
"England shamed by O'Brien," the tabloid Sun said in its headline.
"England were left looking like a pub side as Kevin O'Brien smashed the fastest ever World Cup century," the paper claimed.
England looked to be cruising in yesterday's Group B match after accumulating 327 in their innings and reducing Ireland to 111/5. At this point, odds of an Ireland win were as long as 400-1.
However, pink-haired all-rounder O'Brien, who had never reached fifty in his nine previous World Cup innings, blasted a scintillating century to turn the match on its head.
The Telegraph's editorial attempted to put the shock three-wicket defeat into context.
"Over the years, England's national sports teams have been on the wrong end of some infamous defeats," it said.
"Until yesterday, America's 1-0 victory in the football World Cup of 1950 was probably the most notorious. But the extraordinary triumph of Ireland's cricketers in their World Cup group match in Bangalore must rank alongside any sporting upset of yore."
Richard Hobson, writing in The Times, lauded the swashbuckling batsman's unusual style.
"With dyed pink hair, Kevin O'Brien looked more like the frontman in a punk rock band than a cricketer yesterday and there was a strong element of punk about the innings that has left England clinging to their World Cup place," Hobson wrote.
"Bold and brash, raw and uninhibited, it was the equivalent of a snarling, two-fingered salute to the mainstream," he added.