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Monday, August 23, 1999 Published at 15:02 GMT 16:02 UK

Sport: Cricket

Patience please, asks England cricket chief

England's beleagured cricket captain Nasser Hussain puts a brave face on defeat

The head of English cricket's ruling body has called on fans to be patient despite the series defeat against New Zealand which left England rooted to the bottom of the unofficial World Test League.

Lamb: "We're in good shape"
Tim Lamb insists the English game is in "good health" despite the latest England batting collapse which enabled the Kiwis to win the fourth Test at The Oval and clinch a 2-1 series victory.

Hussain: "Give us time"
Lamb, chief executive of England and Wales Cricket Board, was one of the few Englishmen trying to put a brave face on the crisis in the wake of England's defeat.

[ image: Lamb:
Lamb: "There are good things going on"
"Yes, we're not very good in terms of our shop window - the bit that matters - but there are an awful lot of good things going on.

"The game is in very good health overall, there are more young people playing the game than ever before and we have success at under-19 level.

"There is absolutely no complacency at the ECB. You heard what Nasser said yesterday - he's absolutely determined to turn the fortunes round.

"We will get it right"

"We would ask the public to be patient, we want to get it right and we've got to get it right."

[ image:  ]
Lamb played down reports of England players drinking in the wake of yesterday's defeat.

A national newspaper suggested several England players were spotted drinking at a pub near the team hotel in London hours after the match had finished.

But Lamb said: "I have no knowledge of anybody having a knees-up in the pub.

"I'll be absolutely amazed if it was a knees-up, it might have been a quiet drink but it's very difficult for me to comment if I don't know the facts."

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