This Week’s Agenda

The World Cup starts on Friday night, with New Zealand v Sri Lanka, followed by Australia and England kicking off at 3:30 in the morning. Given it’s Valentine’s Day I don’t think we’ll be getting much in the way of posting on Saturday, but I’ll do what I’ve done in the past and get Game Threads ready for each match that I can.

I would strongly hope that as many of you as possible enter the competition. I might, or might not, offer a prize, but it won’t be life changing. I’ll tag the thread…

I’m not one for previews, so you can look elsewhere for that, maybe at The Full Toss, although I have no idea of their intentions.

Tomorrow is National Outside Cricket Day. Perhaps you can tell me what the phrase means to you.

Piers and KP Outside

Each new blog post will be announced on Twitter under the new @LordCanisLupus feed.

Posting will not be as frequent as it was before, but I’ll try my best.

My thanks to all who have made it over here. Zero Bullshit lived up to their name by just going on to TFT and saying what he did. Like name, like nature. I want also to reach out to the old crew, such as Pontiac, David Oram, d’arthez et al to get them on here, as well as SimonH, SimonK, Rooto, Burly and all the rest. Spread the word.

As always, happy to have any other views on here. No-one really takes me up on it, but if you want to fill in some of my blanks, then so be it.


27 thoughts on “This Week’s Agenda

  1. northernlight71 Feb 8, 2015 / 8:09 pm

    Back! That was a long few days, there. Thanks to ZeroB for pointing me in this direction from TFT.
    The World Cup? Er, yes. Trying to get enthused about it. Having difficulty. Shouldn’t really be this way, should it?


  2. Arron Wright Feb 8, 2015 / 8:31 pm

    “Tomorrow is National Outside Cricket Day. Perhaps you can tell me what the phrase means to you.”

    It means Piers Morgan. It always meant Piers Morgan. Anyone arguing otherwise, ascribing obvious symbolic meaning to the phrase, using it as shorthand for the general character of the ECB in much the same way as “no such thing as society” was used for Mrs Thatcher*, or alternatively wondering what the bloody hell the ECB were thinking by invoking one particular journalist in a major press release concerning one of England’s all-time greatest cricketers, is an over-sensitive soul with no place inside modern business management, er, sorry, sport.

    (*this rather perfect analogy is clivejw’s.)


    • Rooto Feb 9, 2015 / 5:56 am

      You’ve nailed us, Arron. We’re not signed up to the City’s values, we’re not supporters of privatisation and accruing personal wealth on the back of intangible national cultural assets. Some of us are not even customers, and are therefore worth less than nothing. We’re only sports fans.


  3. Metatone Feb 8, 2015 / 9:06 pm

    For me, I think a lot of my feelings echo wrongunatlongun – I feel jaded and separated from the Graun cricket community. And because OBO was actually my main way to follow a lot of matches, esp. at the upcoming WC – well, I’m outside cricket.

    I’ve never had a Sky sub. I followed the game live mostly at the gym or a pub – and in-between, TMS and OBO.

    As for the cricket itself, I’m hoping that NZ can fulfil some of their potential and really do well in this tournament. Cricket needs the smaller nations to shine. I’d like to think the WI could do a bit of damage too, but alas, I fear they are a lost cause at the moment.

    The way the pitches are going to favour Aus and SA depresses me, because it takes most of the thrill out of the competition. Also, not fond of the way that spinning pitches (e.g. last WC) are implicitly portrayed as a bit “unfair” but favouring an all seam attack is supposed to be a good pitch…


  4. Pontiac Feb 8, 2015 / 9:11 pm

    Hyenas like me eventually turn up.

    Anyway, I genuinely /am/ outside cricket in every way except for spectating in person on those rare occasions where I can; culturally I have no business even being interested in cricket. But somehow I am.

    What ‘outside cricket’ means to me is that even from that position of ignorance I could tell right away, back even as far as textgate, that the administrators and most of the journalists were operating on prejudices that could not stand scrutiny in the face of facts – and that lack of honesty and discipline was likely to show up, after a while, in on field results. “Outside cricket” existed as an attitude way before it showed up in any press releases.

    Since there is nothing in cricket I can claim any ownership of, I might even ask – do those inside cricket feel as though they own it? If they are stewards of it, what kind of stewardship is it without some accountability? What, I wonder, is the size of the ECB’s balance sheet as compared with Giles Clarke’s personal fortune?


  5. Rooto Feb 9, 2015 / 6:52 am

    I should have put my rant on this thread instead, but, to reiterate, I (now) see “outside cricket” as a bit like being in a rocky marriage, and then finding out about their affair. It was going to end badly anyway, but this speeds it up; cleaner, quicker, just as painful but saves everyone a year or two of soul-searching and heartbreak. Decisions are forces on you, and you’re back out there fighting that much sooner. Something to almost celebrate. Almost.


  6. d'Arthez Feb 9, 2015 / 7:29 am

    I am outside cricket as ever, since I am not from one of the Full Member Nations. I can’t blame the Dutch media for that – cricket is a small sport, and it does not rank in the top 30 of most popular sports (even if we subsume all track & field athletics into one category).

    Getting access to coverage is quite a challenge, as there are simply no reasonable terrestrial options available to me. If the ECB were actually interested in promoting the game outside of the traditional territories, they would have at least attempted to make it slightly more accessible. Then again, they can’t even be bothered to make cricket accessible in England and Wales to begin with.

    The Ashes in Australia were a total farce. Cook could not even lead his team into a labyrinth. Never mind getting them out. Flower was more occupied with looking at players who might have looked out of a window, than actually coaching a cricket team.

    The media are utterly unaccountable. They persist in protecting a few chosen ones, and ruining the careers of others – or at least they try their hardest to. The ease at which lies about some players who have been discarded for having the temerity to outperform Cook, are printed, reproduced is staggering. That there are people who blindly, willingly, and happily swallow the published inanities does not reflect well on the so called supporters who think they are “inside” cricket.

    As for the “journalism” involved in the United Kingdom, I still can’t shake off the impression that Selvey and their ilk have been sent to a North Korean re-education camp. The lies, deceit and obfuscation are so obvious that any human being capable of feeling shame and embarrassment would rather have written: “The dog ate my article” online instead of posting the gibberish that they do.

    The English game is being ruined by the ECB, and by extension by the 18 major counties. The damage they have done will be hard to undo, and unless they can get more free money, I expect half of them to go against the wall by 2035. Free money for not performing, how meritocratic!

    Of course “outside cricket” cannot be separated from the ICC “reforms”, which only serve to enrich the ECB, BCCI and CA, and impoverish the rest of the cricket playing world. And we all know how “meritocratic” those boards are. We all know how important the ethics are, considering the unique position Srini finds himself in. The ECB has not done one iota better by promoting Giles Clarke.

    For me the phrase has come to mean that the administrators have stopped pretending that they are hell-bent on disenfranchising all the supporters, and those who are not living in England, Wales, Australia and India.


  7. Grumpy Gaz Feb 9, 2015 / 8:51 am

    Outside cricket – those that the ECB expects to keep paying for the product but have no say at all in how it is run.

    This approach has been know to be effective when things are going well and good decisions being made. Unfortunately for the ECB this is not the case and it hasn’t been for some time.

    Apparently if we don’t like it we should just suck it up and keep paying. Like it or lump it, but there is a third choice as the falling attendances show.

    I like the new place Dmitri,all bright and shiny!


  8. Sarah Feb 9, 2015 / 9:37 am

    Ah, there you are 🙂

    Well of course I’m outside cricket. I have not been to a match since 2011 because I can’t afford the ticket prices, and we gave up Sky after the 2013 Ashes – again because of cost. As I’m not actually contributing anything to the ECB’s coffers, why should I have any sort of opinion on the game I’ve loved for 30 years? Never mind the fact that I rooted for England through thick and (mostly) thin in that time, including sitting through all three dire days of the Perth rout in December 2002.

    Maybe it’s always been a closed shop, and the fans have never mattered to those in the gilded tower. The difference now is a) they’ve made their opinion of us blatantly obvious, and b) there are myriad ways for us to have our say.


  9. ZeroBullshit Feb 9, 2015 / 9:59 am

    When commenting at HDWLA one could tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box as well as a “Notify me of new posts via email” box. As this is not available with The Plane Theme, please place a Subscribe button on the blog. Then readers like myself can receive new posts via email. 🙂


    • SimonH Feb 9, 2015 / 11:51 am

      No mention of how these uncompetitive sides shouldn’t be there either!


      • d'Arthez Feb 9, 2015 / 1:03 pm

        Compare that with the “uncompetitive” Zimbabwe, who had New Zealand reeling at 157/7. Or “uncompetitive” Bangladesh, who ran Pakistan fairly close.


  10. Annie Weatherly-Barton Feb 9, 2015 / 12:51 pm

    I’m “outside cricket” because I was first told I was a resident of “outside cricket” by the ECB. I now choose for myself to be “outside cricket” because it is better out here than anywhere near that rat infested, money-grabbing, power-grabbing, crony filled, doff your cap entity with bells on, that is known as “inside cricket!”

    When one resides in “outside cricket” land, one meets a better class of human being, don’t you know. Honest people, real cricket fans, knowledgeable people who understand what cricket is really all about. Fans who ask important questions that need to be asked and won’t give up until these important questions are answered; Fans who stand against the tide of the “rats” that reside “inside cricket” land; Fans who don’t shut up and put their bums on very expensive, over-priced seats because big fat rats tell them to do so; Fans who can and will hold their own against the fantasy that is brought to us all by the majority of the Media Rats who also reside “Inside Cricket”. There are wags here of course who always bring a smile to one’s face, great writing, fantastic people. Ah yes, and one bit of the mix that hasn’t gone unnoticed is that women are welcome in “outside cricket” land. That has to be a first in Cricket, well not inside but Outside Cricket. Of course none of this could happen without some very special people “Outside Cricket” who have given their all to the Community that is “outside cricket!” One very happy old cricket loving, gas bag who won’t be told what to do by those who reside “inside Cricket”

    Welcome to my world of “Outside Cricket” land. The only place to be. You know it makes sense!


    • Benny Feb 10, 2015 / 12:47 pm

      Excellent Annie. I’m also enjoying the progress of women in cricket – the superb England women’s team. Hope they escape Downton’s notice


      • Annie Weatherly-Barton Feb 13, 2015 / 12:57 am

        Cheers Benny. I don’t think ECB cares much about the women. In a way it is better for the gals not to have Downton near the gals. Such a pillock he’d ruin them as he has ruined the men’s game. Have you seen that Jason Gillespie has thrown his hat into the ring for Moores’ job. He must know something, yes? He’s at Yorkshire and new man is at Yorkshire! Or am I just dreaming that Moores is going to be given the boot AGAIN! Only Flower, Downton, and eventually I hope Clarke on their bikes. Of course the selectors being given the boot is a must.


      • BoerinAustria Feb 13, 2015 / 7:47 am

        Hi Annie

        Regarding Gillespie, with a quote like ““I think it’ll be great to learn about the Big Bash. Whatever I can learn I’ll bring back to county level at Yorkshire. It would be win-win for everyone.”, I am not sure how the suits will react – has a certain familiar ring to it. But we can dream on…. here in outside land…


  11. Arron Wright Feb 9, 2015 / 3:02 pm

    Don’t forget “fringe idiots”, “know-nothings”, “lunatics”, “numpties”, “impertinent”, “vitriol*”, “odious supporters” and the rest, either. Just because all of these came from the monkeys, rather than the organ grinder(s), doesn’t make them any less fundamental to the story.

    * Just so you’re clear on the monkeys’ rules, the v-word applies only to criticism of Alastair Cook, both objective and subjective. It absolutely does not apply to criticism of Kevin Pietersen (which is almost always subjective, of course).


    • Maxie Allen Feb 10, 2015 / 7:48 pm

      It is indeed a good piece, although regrettable that he’s bought into the line that cricket’s Sky money is vital to grassroots funding, which is demonstrably not the case.


  12. SimonH Feb 9, 2015 / 4:01 pm

    Someone has been talking to Wisden India. He is described as “a tall and big medium pacer who swung the ball and got it to bounce, and also pitched in with the occasional innings of note. He quit the game after 15 years of first-class cricket with Essex, during which he played 30 Tests and 44 One-Day Internationals, before becoming a cricket correspondent of note”. I thought it might be Derek Pringle until that “cricket correspondent of note” kicked in.

    Anyway, our interviewee shared the following exchange:

    “How much of a difference has the switch from Alastair Cook to Eoin Morgan, and Gary Ballance, made?

    It is difficult to tell how much of a difference the switch has made. England were wallowing under Cook the captain, whose bad form with the bat was influencing his mood and decision making as team leader. Against good bowling sides in Australian conditions, they may yet come to miss Cook’s batting qualities, providing he had rediscovered his mojo. The cry by some for England, and other teams, to pack the side with hitters could backfire if the ball keeps swinging around as it has done in the tri-series”.

    Cook’s poor captaincy was only because of his batting form? Form – for two years? His field placings and bowling changes were a mixture of Illingworth and Brearley before the batting slump?
    We’ll miss him against good bowling sides? The Lankans aren’t?
    And in Australian conditions? Like ’13/14?
    Hitters can’t hit when the ball swings like in the tri-series? Australia made a serious mistake picking Maxwell, Mitch Marsh and Faulkner – how did they win it!

    There is more hilarity (check out the comments on England’s ranking and his own record for example) but this was interesting:

    “I’d say England tend to play well when they can implement Plan A, but are vulnerable when their opponents force them to adopt Plan B. It has not been the strength of England’s players and coaches over the years to think on their feet, something one-day cricket forces you to do much more than Test cricket”.

    I thought the hymn sheet said ODI captaincy was formulaic and any idiot could do it whereas Tests required the suppleness and fluidity of thought that only the annointed one could bring? As Agnew might say, I’ve got that tucked away ready to chuck at them in April when the battle of the test captaincy resumes…..


    • Arron Wright Feb 9, 2015 / 5:08 pm

      I can’t, even… at this:

      “Their current ODI ranking of fifth is based to some degree on playing Asian sides in Asia where England have long been hopeless. In Australia, their ranking should play higher”

      That’s a cricket correspondent “of note” blithely ignoring England’s ODI HOME DEFEATS TO ASIAN SIDES in 2014, and ODI HAMMERING IN AUSTRALIA a year ago.


      • d'Arthez Feb 9, 2015 / 6:05 pm

        But, but … we won in the West Indies! No one has done that (or at least I was not paying attention – Derek Pringle).


  13. Benny Feb 9, 2015 / 7:56 pm

    Outside Cricket means absolutely nothing to me. I don’t give a damn if some oaf thinks I am, since it doesn’t mean anything. Cricket means everything to me, not how much money I can make out of it, whether I can wangle a knighthood out of it, whether I can guarantee a good table in a top restaurant in London or Mumbai like some transparent pillock we all know.

    Delighted to be here. I’ll try and behave


  14. Boz Feb 10, 2015 / 3:05 am

    In the same way MPs have belittled the voters and assumed an arrogance beyond their condition so too have the ECB abused cricket followers up and down the country. What makes them and their lackeys (the press) think that this is acceptable and nurturing for the good of the game I have no idea.. It’s not as if any of the ECB members are intellegent – brought up in public schools without one iota of thought for the world in which the majority live these people do not deserve not should receive one ounce of respect from the castaway punters. After this last year if anyone dares put a foot in a cricket ground, spend a penny on a programme or does anything to support the ECB then it will prove them right – you’re not going to do that are you?? Boycott the ECB – they believ that no matter what they do, no matter how unprofessional and amoral they are that the fans will support the team – the England team is the ECB’s team – nobody elses – let them have it!! BOYCOTT NOW


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