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Cricket World Cup: Strauss bemoans schedule after exit

England captain Andrew Strauss admits his team's performances at the cricket World Cup were not good enough as his side are crushed by Sri Lanka in the quarter-finals.

We were not good enough against Sri Lanka, admits captain Strauss

Andrew Strauss voiced frustration with England's schedule after their Cricket World Cup exit, but did not blame it for their heavy loss against Sri Lanka.

Captain Strauss, 34, said it was tough for players to tour Australia for three months and then head straight to the World Cup without any time at home.

"The scheduling is not good, it doesn't give you the best chance," he said after a 10-wicket quarter-final defeat.

"But that's not an excuse, you've still got to go out and play."

"Lessons have been learnt [England will not play an Ashes series and a World Cup in the same year in the future], and the cycle is changing.

"Although it would have been better if that had been the case before.

"It's a huge amount to ask players to tour Australia for three months, playing as high intensity cricket as you can get, and then go to a World Cup without spending time at home [with family]."

As is always the case at the end of a World Cup we will sit down, regroup and talk about what the best way forward is

Andrew Strauss

Yet Strauss conceded that England had not been good enough to win the World Cup, despite their euphoric Ashes series triumph earlier this year.

"Since then things have got tough," he said.

"We had to deal with injuries and people have lost form. We showed some fight, but we didn't have enough quality to go on and win this tournament. That's the reality, that's what we'll have to address when we get home."

Strauss highlighted his side's failures with bat and ball after the comprehensive defeat by Sri Lanka, but had only praise for their commitment.

Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga hit centuries as the home side cruised home with 63 balls to spare as they easily usurped the 229-6 target set by England.

"Our cricket hasn't been good enough throughout the tournament, that's why we're going home," said Strauss.

"We showed a lot of resolve and spirit to win some tight games, but in the end we weren't good enough.

Sangakkara hails 'fantastic' Sri Lanka

Sangakkara hails 'fantastic' Sri Lanka

"But I can't fault the energy and commitment and desire of the guys. They tried their hardest but weren't allowed to play by a very good side.

"When you look at the sides doing well at this World Cup they have a lot of variety in their bowling and players who score hundreds and we haven't got that. They're the hard facts."

England lost to Ireland and Bangladesh in the group stages before sealing a quarter-final place with a narrow victory over West Indies.

It was only the fifth time England had lost a 50-over international by 10 wickets - and the third against Sri Lanka - and provided a disappointing end to a winter that began magnificently.

"I think we probably thought our total was 30 light and in the end it was 50 light," added Strauss.

"We didn't get off to a good start, lost a couple of early wickets, had a reasonable middle but weren't able to accelerate at the end.

"Fair play to Sri Lanka, Dilshan and Tharanga played beautifully. We tried a lot of things but couldn't get break through."

Despite another poor World Cup campaign, Strauss added that he hoped to continue as one-day captain.

"As is always the case at the end of a World Cup, we've got to sit down with the selectors and talk a way ahead for both the test side and the one-day side," he said.

"We are going to have to think about what the best options are. I still think I have a lot of cricket in me."

Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara was delighted with his team's performance, adding that England were capable opponents for anyone on their day.

"The guys really fought hard and they had a lot of pride in the way they played," he said.

"I think England are still a great side, actually one of the best balanced sides in the tournament.

"I don't think it helped them that they have had a few injuries - James Anderson sitting on the bench, Michael Yardy going back - so it's been a tough tournament for them. But they're filled with top-quality players.

"They've done exceptionally well, and we were very wary of England and what they could do."

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see also
Sri Lanka knock out jaded England
26 Mar 11 |  England
Tillakaratne Dilshan World Cup column
26 Mar 11 |  Sri Lanka
England hit by Yardy withdrawal
24 Mar 11 |  England
Muralitharan fit for England game
25 Mar 11 |  Cricket
England win keeps Cup hopes alive
17 Mar 11 |  England
England 'do not fear Sri Lanka'
22 Mar 11 |  England
England face tough Sri Lanka test
20 Mar 11 |  England
SA victory puts England through
19 Mar 11 |  Cricket
Cricket World Cup 2011
09 Mar 11 |  Cricket

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