What Joe Hart Was Doing While England Qualified For First World Cup Semi Final In 28 Years
The peak audience for England's World Cup quarter final win over Sweden was said to be 19.9 million on BBC One yesterday, as well as there being a record 3.9m tuning in on the BBC's online services. But Joe Hart did not appear to be one to watch the Three Lions reach a first World Cup semi-final for 28 years.
Following an unimpressive stint on loan at West Ham United, Hart was not only displaced as England's No.1 but found himself omitted completely from Gareth Southgate's World Cup squad.
The 31-year old, capped 75 times by his country. played every nine of England's ten World Cup qualifiers but Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope all got the nod for the showpiece in Russia.
The four-time Premier League Golden Glove winner expressed his disappointment over the decision but did wish the team well and said he would be cheering the lads on, wearing his England shirt with pride.
He had a supportive message for the players after the last-gasp 2-1 win over Tunisia to kick off the campaign, but as per talkSPORT, Hart wasn't watching the 2-0 quarter final victory over Sweden yesterday; he was playing cricket for local team Shrewsbury against Knowle and Porridge.
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While #ENG were reaching the #WorldCup semi-finals, Joe Hart was playing club cricket https://t.co/ozqwzANkqm
- talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) July 7, 2018
The Shrewsbury Town youth product was said to be a handy cricketer in his younger days but elected to focus on football in a decision that worked out pretty well.
Clearly Hart enjoys donning the bat - though he didn't fare too well yesterday as he was dismissed for six when he batted at number nine in the order.
And who is this fielding for @shrewsburycc?
None other then ex England goalkeeper Joe Hart. :flag_black:
A very unusual afternoon blending cricket and football.:soccer: pic.twitter.com/ClQqdKhUWs
- Gill Phillips (@WhoseShoes) July 7, 2018
His ball-handling experience helped him make a catch to get rid of Ethan Brookes but Hart's team ultimately lost by one wicket.
Over in Samara, England's new No.1 Jordan Pickford produced a heroic performance between the sticks - making three outstanding saves to preserve a clean sheet and take another step in bringing football home.
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