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Home > Cricket > The Cup > Reuters > Report

Fletcher says wives should lift England

Mark Meadows | April 02, 2007 12:05 IST

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England coach Duncan Fletcher believes the arrival of wives and girlfriends in the Caribbean will help his side put in better performances during the rest of the World Cup Super Eights.

Critics say players are distracted with wives and girlfriends or "WAGS" on tour, an accusation the English media laid against the soccer team after their failure at last year's World Cup.

But Fletcher is adamant the cricket side will be lifted by their partners being with them during the Antigua and Barbados legs of the second round.

"It's very, very important. We've done it on previous tours and we'll keep doing it," he told reporters on Sunday as players went for a stroll with their partners at their hotel.

"This is a difficult competition and they do help when they are around. That's why we bring them out. We do believe it is a good thing."

The partners have flown out halfway through the two month-long tournament, in which England have yet to really impress.

The top order failed to fire and the pace attack was again patchy in Friday's 48-run win over Ireland in Guyana.

"We didn't play as well as we could, we know that. That's not a bad thing in some ways," Fletcher said. "We just don't seem to be consistent in some areas."

They next face Sri Lanka on Wednesday before squaring up to world champions Australia next Sunday.

"Sri Lanka is going to be a huge game for us. Having lost to New Zealand we've got to make sure we win every game from here on," the coach added.

"They've got a few world class players. I think the wickets are very similar to Sri Lanka so they know how to play on those kind of wickets."

Possible changes could include batsman Andrew Strauss coming in to the struggling top order or even playing as a seventh batsman after captain Michael Vaughan produced nine good overs with his occasional off-spin against Ireland.

However, Fletcher said they would not make big alterations.

"We've just got to look at a few things," he said. "We've got to be careful we don't change the side before such a critical game."

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