Hectic schedule did not give us best chance: Strauss

Colombo: An exhausted England cricket captain Andrew Strauss blamed his team`s quarterfinal exit from the World Cup on the hectic international schedule that has kept the side on the road for nearly six months now.

"It`s a huge amount to ask players to go to Australia for three months (for the Ashes), into the highest intensity atmosphere you can get for an English team, and then go straight into a World Cup without players spending time at home," said Strauss after the 10-wicket loss to Sri Lanka in the quarterfinals.

"This certainly is no good. It didn`t give us the best chance, but that`s not the only reason for not doing well here. You still have got to go out and play," he added.

Since October, England have been travelling and the tiredness began to show in the team`s roller-coaster group stage campaign. England tied a match against India, beat South Africa but lost to Ireland and Bangladesh.

Strauss said despite the exhaustion that his team has endured, he does not want to cite it as a reason for the World Cup ouster.

"I think you could cite tiredness, but that would be running away from the issue," he said.

"We haven`t played good enough cricket. Generally English teams in the subcontinent haven`t played well enough to compete day in, day out. We have got to be better than that," he added.

England lost important players such as Kevin Pietersen and Stuart Broad to injury while all-rounder Michael Yardy quit the event due to depression.

Looking back at the past five months, Strauss said winning the Ashes has been the highlight of his career.

"The Ashes was certainly my proudest moment in cricket.

It was probably one of English cricket`s proudest moments for a long time. No one will ever take that away. We were very fortunate to be part of that," said the captain.

"Since then things have been tough, there is no doubt about that. We have had injuries, we have had people who have lost form, and we were not good enough in one-dayers in either Australia or this World Cup.

"I think we scrapped hard, and showed some fight, which is great, but didn`t have enough quality to go on and win this tournament. That`s the reality."

England were bowled out for 229 in the match last night and Sri Lanka chased it down with more 10 overs in hand.

"We were thoroughly outplayed. We can`t hide away from that," said Strauss.

"We thought it was a good toss to win. On a pretty flat wicket probably 260-270 was more like the par score if could get off to a fast start. We lost a couple of wickets, had to rebuild, but then weren`t able to go through the gears in the last few overs," he added.