England’s cricket fans can rarely have witnessed anything quite so gruesome as their team’s collapse against the West Indies last Saturday. It wasn’t just the fact they managed only 51 runs – they were supposed to walk this series. But Andrew Strauss and his inept chums are not alone, here’s a selection of classic sporting collapses you can watch on BT Vision now.
Jean Van de Velde at the Open in 1999
Standing in a stream with your trousers rolled up to your knees probably isn’t where you want to be on the final hole of the Open, especially if at the start of it you had a three-shot lead and had mentally found a space on your mantlepiece for the Claret Jug. But that was where Van de Velde ended up in 1999. By the time his ball had found its way to the hole he had a triple bogey to his name and a play-off against Paul Lawrie and Justin Leonard to win. He lost.
Australia against England in 1981
England’s cricketers aren’t the only ones to have suffered an ignominious batting collapse. Back in 1981, Australia needed 130 to win the match and take a 2-0 lead in the series. Easy, right? Not when Bob Willis is bowling like a maniac, ably supported by Ian Botham. Australia were all out for 111. Still, now is probably not the time to gloat.
Steve Davis against Dennis Taylor in 1985
In the mid-1980s snooker was at the height of its popularity and Steve Davis was at the height of his powers. Having already won three World Championships he was the hot favourite to make it four against Dennis Taylor in 1985, especially when he went 8-0 up in the final. But Davis not only let the lead slip, he lost the match on the final black in the final frame. Careless, Davis. Careless.
US relay team in 2004
There’s more to the 4x100m relay than having the fastest people on the track. It doesn’t matter if they can all run at 150mph if the pressure of carrying a metal baton at the same time is all too much. And you’d be surprised how hard some find it. In Beijing the US team dropped the baton and back in 2004 they fumbled a changeover in the final, leaving the Brits to take gold.
Uruguay against England in 2003
Ok, so you’d expect England to annihilate Uruguay at rugby, but by 111 points at a World Cup? Since England would probably struggle to rip apart a soggy paper bag at the moment, even with a pair of scissors, why not remind yourselves that, not so long ago, they were the most feared team on the planet. Those were the days.