And don't come back....
You are either Inside, or you are guessing

It has been quite a day, hasn’t it? The line that the ECB spun last night, that the Graves position yesterday was not, in fact, an opening of the door, but merely a restatement of current positions is eroding before our eyes. Nick Hoult’s latest piece in the Telegraph seems to paint a very different picture, and even Selfey’s article gave the game away because he writes it as if there is a chance KP might come back before defending Downton et al. Other articles in The Guardian, here and here, intimate that the existing ECB line last night might be a little, er, premature. I don’t know – maybe someone really in the know can keep those of us outside really informed. Then we might not get so up in arms, eh?

There are clearly, it seems to us trying to figure out what the hell is happening through the prism of our journalistic corps, divisions in the ECB; differences of approaches and perhaps personalities and nuances to do with timing of posts being actually filled. Nature, and bloggers like me abhor vacuums. There’s something afoot, because we’ve seen it before. We remember how Cook was disposed of, the modus operandi of putting something out there, getting the reaction, and moving from there. We aren’t out of the World Cup, yet this looks like jostling for positions to me. The World Cup had better come right or there could be more of this on the way. In the absence of clarity, in the absence of the full context, we’ll try to fill in the blanks.

This blogger, as you know, has a job, watches cricket when it fits in with his life, and has many other things to do. I do not pretend to be a journalist, and I doubt you will ever find a claim to it on here, it’s not my job and I do this because, believe it or not, I enjoy it.

I’ve written on the sport I really enjoy and am thoroughly saddened by in the past year or so. I indulge in speculation based on comparing articles with what I hear, with what I’m told, with what I read, trying to cross reference where I can, but time is limited. I watch the sport, have a vast back catalogue of books, dvds, magazines and podcasts. I’m a cricket nut with not enough time. I also think I know a little, not a lot, about human nature. I am not friends with any cricketer. I hear gossip, much of it told to me by the way, by people who might know. If this is guesswork, then so bloody well be it. But it’s guesswork based on caring, based on looking and reading and trying to draw conclusions. You know, the sort of thing we all do.

Why the anger? Well, a journalist today, who we all know, and I’ve been pretty civil to on here and, from communicating on social media I quite like, posted this on my Twitter feed.

My giddy aunt.

Here’s why I put a picture of Doug Ibbotson on my blog feed, (and it only really seems to appear on my dashboard, which you don’t see, and on blog posts copied onto Twitter) John. Because the edition of Wisden Cricket Monthly in around 1988 it comes from had it, and the thought that a journo today could have a photo like that as his identity pic, complete with pipe, amused me. Plus, as you say John, he was a damn fine journalist. As was David Foot. As was Neil Hallam. The brilliance of the county scene in those WCMs is a million miles away from what we get today in our cricket magazines. So maybe it’s a little nod to a previous era. And maybe, just maybe, a pic of an old journo with a pipe is pretty damn good. I’m not comparing myself to him, I’m not thinking I’m a journalist, and I’m certainly not meaning the use of the pic in any mean-spirited way. I do hope you are not implying that. And please don’t invoke the old “he’s more of a journalist…” stuff because I know he was. Because I’m not.

I’m sorry if you find this blog “quite unpleasant”. I plead guilty to this being guesswork in the main, because I’ve not pretended to be ITK. But you aren’t exactly playing by the rules on your side either.

I actually have a fair bit of time for John Etheridge. I’m surprised he picked on this as something to try to beat me with. Come on, sir.

Right, got that off my chest.

By way of a public service, I managed to capture some of the BTL comments from the Selvey article that got deleted. I have reproduced some of them here. If the author wishes me to take them down, then please let me know and I will be happy to do so. I stored a few others, but they haven’t been deleted yet.

Bag of smoke…
“That theme of course was Kevin Pietersen, the fruit-fly, the pest that will not go away.”
Don’t sit on the fence, Mike.
Honestly, it makes you wonder doesn’t it, about the supposed impartiality of so-called ‘journalists’? Since when was it acceptable to so nakedly express one’s opinions of a player like this? I suppose it beats the normal innuendo, but quite how Selvey thinks this sort of thing is acceptable is beyond me. It’s faintly amusing that he should be so hostile towards our best ever batsman (going on statistics…), whilst affording the current shitshower of an England team and its hierarchy every courtesy.
This bit too made me chuckle – could it be any more matey? Proof, if it were required, that Selvey is essentially a mouthpiece for Downton. What a puppet.
“Downton takes no offence, thinks it was merely something clumsily expressed and in no way malicious :but it is grist to the mill at a bad time.”

Bagsofsmoke again..

“…the fruit-fly, the pest that will not go away.”
Don’t sit on the fence, Mike…
Since when is it acceptable journalism for a correspondent to be so nakedly hostile to a player? I understand you don’t like the man, but afford him some respect, Mike, as England’s best ever batsman. You sound like Etheridge. Since when is this sort of journalism acceptable in the Guardian?
Ah, it all becomes clear. I forget that you’re essentially a puppet, a mouthpiece, for the execrable Paul Downton. Proof, were it required, that that is the case:
“Downton takes no offence, thinks it was merely something clumsily expressed and in no way malicious :but it is grist to the mill at a bad time.”
How can His Lordship still be considered a journalist anymore? Is he angling for a job as ECB PR chief (and pray, how would we tell the difference?)
Sorry about the fonts going all over the place….
The Slogfather…
Well.. I’ve waited until now to become an ‘under’, as well as having been a long-term ‘outsider’… but having read this from ‘lordselfie’…
The reality is that the new (yet to be confirmed) ECB (or whatever the next name becomes) Chairman, has now rattled a few cages within the press…
Following on from this, it would/should appear, that the current Team management and overlords (DowntownShabby, MooresThePityful, ForGodsSake -er, HisGreasyGilesness and TheFlowerpotman) are being found out…
There is no team management, just jobsworth incompetence – but then we’ve known that for many a month…
Sadly, most of the mainstream press (with a few notable exceptions) have chose to ignore reality.
So us, being the (outside) meek, shall inherit this dearth…
Others were saved but remain, lots more I missed….

52 thoughts on “Unpleasant

  1. Boz Mar 2, 2015 / 8:28 pm

    I have always been of the opinion that Etheridge is ‘playing you’ and laughing at us. Nothing he says makes me change my mind. What rag is he supposed to work for. He is contemtible.


  2. Vian Mar 2, 2015 / 8:30 pm

    One thing I have noticed about the cracks in the edifice – it’s coming via a different breed of journalist. Nick Hoult is quite clearly the go to man for those unhappy with what’s happened and he spoke to Colin Graves for one thing.

    The earlier Selvey article had all the hallmarks of someone who has been left out in the cold by the coming management. John Etheridge may be in the same position; certainly that’s lashing out for no reason whatever, and merely makes him look small and childish.

    Liked by 1 person

    • geoffboycottsgrandmother Mar 2, 2015 / 9:18 pm

      I would be interested to know whether Hoult went to Graves to ask for an interview or if Graves went to Hoult.

      Graves apparently mentioned it to both Hoult and 5 Live, which suggests very deliberate. Maybe he even went to Selvey with it last week but Selvey didn’t think it worthwhile running…..

      I’d also be interested in knowing who was the spokesman who refuted it (it was hinted at a joint Clarke/Downton effort) and what Graves’ views are on that disloyalty. Maybe Selvey will run a piece highlighting the disloyalty in the democratically elected Chair being undermined by his reports like that.


      • Vian Mar 3, 2015 / 1:10 pm

        I found it fascinating how Nick Hoult specifically said that Graves did anything but try to resile from what he said on FiveLive – and actually expanded on it. It’s what makes it entirely clear that it wasn’t some throwaway line.

        It’s also notable how few direct quotes are in Hoult’s story – it’s clearly a largely off the record briefing, which in some ways is annoying and in others is truly remarkable.


    • BagsofSmoke Mar 3, 2015 / 1:04 pm

      That was certainly my impression. That Selvey piece read like one by a very cheesed off journalist, miffed at having been totally circumvented by a senior source. If so, I can only commend Graves on his judgment.


      • Vian Mar 3, 2015 / 1:12 pm

        Absolutely. One of the abiding motifs of Selvey over the last year has been that smugness – the “if only you knew what I did, because I’m an insider” approach. All of a sudden he isn’t. He now has a problem, because it’s not just the ECB hierarchy who aren’t “seeing which way the wind is blowing” as Hoult put it.


  3. Rohan Mar 2, 2015 / 8:38 pm

    I am surprised by that Etheridge tweet. When he posted on the old blog, he was certainly opinionated, but seemed reasonable and open to discussion. Whereas this comment has a touch of the ‘Selfey’s’ about it, I wonder if behind the scenes Selfey is rallying the troops, gathering support as he fears the end is nigh and his best mates at the ECB may soon be gone……..

    I am completely dismayed and at a loss to know what to expect next from this current ECB round of incompetence. It is beyond belief. I am a teacher and if our Headteacher, or Governors behaved/conducted themselves like some of the ECB members we so loathe, they would lose their jobs, plain and simple, no second chances, gone, poof, like a puff of smoke. They take the top roles on in the knowledge that this is the case, with the big bucks come responsibility and the pressure to perform, fail to do this and you go. Why is it not the same at the ECB!

    I hope Graves is the broom to sweep some of this mess up……..

    Lastly Selfey’s complete lack of self-awareness is sad, I actually pity the poor man…..as well as find him pathetic and loathsome.


  4. keyserchris Mar 2, 2015 / 8:49 pm

    Etheridge was busted for me last year, when he promised on TFT a full answer to the returned gift “story” within days, followed instead a few days later by an announcement that he would no longer comment on blogs. Maybe it was too much to expect the man from the Sun to keep his word, but he had seemed genuine beforehand. Though he had dealt with the odd bit of innuendo, and posted snippets from the dossier. Suspect he plays both sides to any advantage he can. And for someone not engaging with blogs, he obviously still reads them, hence the tweet.

    Ironic for a journalist to comment on blogs being uninformed – if only there were, say, daily publications where we could gain actual information from, eh, John?


  5. northernlight71 Mar 2, 2015 / 10:12 pm

    Etheridge writes for The Sun. That tells you all you need to know about his ethics, his intelligence and his reasonableness. None of it in a good way.
    If he turns against you, you must be doing even more things right. Wear it as a badge of honour, like being blocked by Selvey or being criticised by Paul Downton 🙂


    • LordCanisLupus Mar 2, 2015 / 10:18 pm

      I don’t see anything in such black and white terms. John hasn’t had to put his head above the parapet. He hasn’t had to respond. He has engaged more than most. Maybe I’m reading it wrong, but this isn’t someone I’m just going to have a pop at.

      Others, of course, are free to make their own judgements. 🙂


  6. John Etheridge Mar 2, 2015 / 10:33 pm

    Morning from Adelaide.

    Doug Ibbotson was a lovely writer, good man and supporter of journalists and journalism.

    I doubt he would have liked to have his photograph attached to a blog that describes another journalist (and former England cricketer) as a “nasty, horrid miscreant,” “pitiful nasty little man” and “contemptible, despicable excuse for a cricket journalist” and plenty more besides.

    Do you think those comments are “quite unpleasant,” Dmitri?

    With regards to the story about KP returning the gift for his 100th Test, it is true that I did say I would explain what happened. But, after due consideration, I thought it unwise to place it on a public forum.

    I have explained the background to a few people I have met face-to-face and would be happy to do so in future if I happen to meet any of you.


    • Vian Mar 2, 2015 / 10:59 pm

      Firstly, do not presume to speak for another, especially in order to try to make personal criticisms of an unrelated party.

      Secondly, do not conflate comments made by others with the person who writes the articles – unless you want to be called a racist for the comments made in the Sun by others.

      Thirdly, you made the commitment and backtracked on it. You failed to keep your word. And you made the allegation publicly, then refuse to explain how it came about publicly.

      Fourthly, your own conduct over the past year has fallen far below the standard expected of a professional journalist. Do not try to lecture others on this.

      Fifthly, in the same way that it is genuinely appreciated when you interact with others, you would do well to remember you are a guest on here and behave accordingly and not try to make personal attacks on other people when you dislike it when it happens to you.

      Sixthly, name the time and place.


      • Boz Mar 3, 2015 / 8:21 am

        Extremely well said. Adelaide Etheridge appears to believe he can just strutt in here anytime he wants and deposit his bile – presumably in an effort to separate the author from his audience – a well known tactic – ‘Dmitri, you are better than this’ – and so it goes ….. what he fails to recognise is that people here are not stupid and are pretty adept at spotting a fake. Well said Vian – it needed saying!


      • THA Mar 3, 2015 / 1:44 pm

        Good reposte, by the way.


    • Annie Weatherly-Barton Mar 2, 2015 / 11:05 pm

      I don’t think a current journalist and former England player calling one of the all time great batsman “a fruit fly and a pest that just won’t go away” is very nice either. What do you think of that rant then John? I feel sad that a once very good writer could have stooped to such a depth as Mr Selvey has in this past year.

      Thing is John that Mr Selvey has himself been abusive not only to KP and other journos, who do not agree with him, but also to members of the public and that is okay is it? Well if Mr Selvey doesn’t like the heat then he should get out of the proverbial kitchen. At least Mr Selvey has the joy of knowing he will be paid very well for the utter appalling stuff he has written today. Meanwhile I guess you will be happy to know that most of the posts against this particular piece have been removed. Some just asking questions of the whole sorry scene that is the mess that has been brought to us all by the ECB. That is no longer acceptable? I wasn’t aware that we were living in a Police State yet where no questions can be asked any longer. But hey ho. Mr Selvey can say whatever he likes and we all like naughty school-children must listen and obey and take note. Hmm.


    • alan Mar 2, 2015 / 11:19 pm

      No more unpleasant than the journalist in question’s mean spirited and vindictive writing about one of England’s greatest players of my lifetime. To quote Mark Butcher the quality of the coverage of the Pietersen affair in the mainstream media was one of the low points of last year


    • Mark Mar 2, 2015 / 11:25 pm

      I’m sorry John Etheridge but that does not wash. How many decent people have been slimed by your newspaper over the years? Bearing in mind what we now know about a certain FA cup semi final in 1989 where there was a huge loss of life and the despicable lies told by your newspaper how can you even dare to play the shame card? People who are happily employed by such hideous organisations are in no position to try and play moral superiority.

      Dmitri has always shown you a great deal more respect than I would have bothered with.(I gave up listening to you when you informed us the ECB does not leak.) He has always made it clear that he wants to try and find common ground with many cricket reporters, and broadcasters. He has not been a KP cheerleader. More an ECB sceptic. Which most of us are. And judging by the shambles that is now taking place down under maybe your profession should have been more sceptic of the ECB too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Annie Weatherly-Barton Mar 3, 2015 / 12:17 am

        Well said. I agree. I remember seeing what happened in Sheffield on TV. It was utterly deplorable what the Sun and many other papers did at that time and still did up to very recently. One of the Liverpool fans, who lived near to us, lost both his daughters and the strain of the lies and innuendo broke his marriage apart. Yes it is a worthwhile point to make that none of us should be lectured by anyone who writes and criticises all of us for speaking our mind, when such lies are told as being fact. Just utterly appalling.


    • ZeroBullshit Mar 2, 2015 / 11:53 pm

      People have every right to criticize Selvey in the strongest possible terms. He is a disgrace as I explained to you on Lord Canis’ previous blog How Did We Lose in Adelaide? Now, courtesy of Selvey’s latest piece, more and more people are seeing what Selvey is really like.

      As for you, Mr. Etheridge, I called you a dodger in the same blog when you failed to back up your Pietersen “gift” story despite my requests and your promises. If it is unwise to post your reasons in a public forum then it was definitely unwise of you to fool the readers and trash Pietersen in a public forum in the first place.

      Now tell me how you intend to undo the harm that you have done.


      • Annie Weatherly-Barton Mar 3, 2015 / 12:22 am

        Yay. I am still waiting for Mr Etheridge to name the person who leaked that story to him. It Mr Etheridge can fall for that kind of leak without checking up first then why should any of us give him the respect he demands. Today is a particularly sorrowful day after what Mr Selvey has written. Just the most terrible piece I have ever read from a cricket journalist – well polemical writer at best!


    • THA Mar 3, 2015 / 2:20 am

      Always very much admired you Sun chaps and this only enhances my respect. Strikes me that bribing police officers, hacking dead children’s phones, fighting off repeated libel actions, and crapping yourself every time your neighbour gets an early airport taxi, thinking the Old Bill are doing another dawn raid on your house, must be very energy consuming.

      Coping with all that and still finding the time to moderate the comments on obscure blogs and do a bit of faux-moralizing is quite awe-inspiring. Sir, I salute you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • BoerInAustria Mar 3, 2015 / 8:17 am

      Sorry John

      That does not wash. This blog is open, but I think very fair. Selvey is dishing it out, he should then not complain to then take some flak. Neither should you – either report something, or not. Innuendo is not journalism. If Doug Ibbotson “a supporter of journalists and journalism” means something to you, put your money where your mouth is.

      Journalism. The great German journalist and academic, Gabriele Krone-Schmalz, is pas-sionate about the role of a free journalism in a democracy, and freedom of speech. She says about the journalism (in this case regarding the Ukrain conflict, but holds up as a generalism): “Und schließlich kommen in der Berichterstattung permanent Worte wie „wohl“, „vermutlich“ oder „wahrscheinlich“ vor, die darin nichts zu suchen haben. Es wird mehr gemutmaßt als berichtet. Dabei haben Journalisten genug damit zu tun, vorhandene Dinge zu beschreiben und zu analysieren. Die Medien sollen Politik erklären und keine machen wol-len“

      My free translation: „ We have in the reporting now always words like presumably, probably or suppoably, that has should have no place (in reporting). And that while journalists are challenged enough to describe and explain the exist-ing events. The media should analyse politics, not make it.“

      Selvey is in my opinion not analysing. As many others. You have not been doing


      • BoerInAustria Mar 3, 2015 / 8:19 am

        oops, last sentence should read: “… Selvey is in my opinion not analysing. As many others. You have not been doing too well either, have you?” sorry


    • Arron Wright Mar 3, 2015 / 9:08 am

      Well I’m probably a long way down the queue by now but, as the third quote is mine, I thought I’d say my piece.

      Thanks for choosing those particular words, where I was letting off steam, rather than the other posts over the last 48 hours where I explain exactly why Mike Selvey has completely lost my respect (and that of others) over the course of two and a half years. Two and a half years. That’s a lot of steam. He doesn’t write for a paper that STILL employs “unpleasant” individuals such as Kelvin MacKenzie and Katie Hopkins, he writes for one where the readers expect a bit more. Yet he appears incapable of understanding how it is that comments below his articles have gone from respectful discourse (bordering on sycophancy) to an absurd level of moderation comparable to an article about Gaza or Putin, even though it’s largely the same people who are contributing.

      I don’t care that he played for England, sorry. So did Vic Marks. So did Mike Atherton. Both are far more balanced in their output. Gideon Haigh, George Dobell and David Hopps have precisely no caps between them, and produce much better journalism and (especially) analysis. And no, they don’t always agree with bloggers: they simply dare to take on some of England’s untouchables. By contrast, Selvey is a remarkably consistent advocate for Andy Flower, David Saker, Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook and (most reprehensibly) Paul Downton. Everything he produces on the subject of the ECB and Kevin Pietersen fits this mould. There is little or no attempt to examine the other side. Yesterday was a particularly ludicrous case in point. Even leaving aside the snide little ad homs regarding Pietersen, we had the following:

      – Graves was described as “hamfisted” and needing media training, after an intervention that appeared to many quite nuanced and astute. This is because he undermined Paul Downton. Yet Selvey made no adverse comment on Paul Downton breaking a confidentiality agreement, disappearing for seven months, or backing his ODI captain a few days before he was sacked. Downton has become a by-word for ineptitude with the media, yet Selvey remains quiet on the subject.
      – Graves’s intervention was described as “inappropriate, even if he had already taken up his role”. This is staggeringly hypocritical, given that Downton took one-sided soundings on the subject of Pietersen in advance of taking up his post on 1 February 2014.

      I found these sections beyond the pale and clearly indicative of a huge bias with which regular readers have become depressingly familiar. It seems many other readers felt the same.

      Finally I’ll repost this, which is the view of a freelance cricket journalist:

      That is pretty much how a lot of his readers have felt since August 2012 (though you could substitute ‘Flower’ for ‘Downton’ for the first eighteen months). Given that we’re also the ones who pay to watch cricket, and even possibly pay for the newspaper; given that some of us are the ones whose questions BTL remain unanswered, and instead are conveniently conflated with those who resort to outright abuse; given that some of us are also the ones insulted by him on Twitter or BTL; and given that his ECB bias is the main reason so many Guardian commenters decamped in the space of a few weeks here and/or to TheFullToss, I think we’ll probably continue to let off steam if it’s all the same to you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Simon K Mar 3, 2015 / 10:10 am

      Would Doug Ibbotson be happy with having his picture on this blog? Who knows. He died before the blog era so we’d need to explain what a “blog” actually was before anything else.

      Would Mike Selvey describe a passionate England cricket fan without his bully pulpit on a national newspaper as a “sad unfunny windbag”? Yes, he did that.

      Would Mike Selvey describe other England cricket fans, who unlike him have to pay to watch the game, as “idiots” and “know-nothings”? Yes, he did that too

      (Interlude: how many steps has Selvey taken to inform his “know-nothing” readers – who ultimately help pay his wages – of what he knows about the extraordinary events at the ECB over the last 18 months or so? Very few.)

      Did Selvey once get moderated by his own newspaper for abusing an ordinary cricket fan whose crime was to make the jocular suggestion that an England-Australia match report was focused a little too heavily on England? Yes he did.

      When Andrew Strauss described one of England’s finest cricketers with the most obscene and abusive language – worse than anything written about Selvey on here – did Selvey nominate it as one of his “moments of the year” and claim that “He [Strauss] more than anyone can be listened to?” Yes he did.

      Should anyone involved in the game of cricket be the subject of vulgar abuse? No, it’s only a game and we should remember that.

      With the above prescription in mind, is it reasonable to say that Selvey has let down his readers over the last 18 months, and that his conduct has on occasion been a disgrace to the great newspaper he writes for? Of course. This is not abusive, it’s simply a statement of the facts.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Annie Weatherly-Barton Mar 2, 2015 / 10:56 pm

    I’ve been completely disabled by the Guardian. Hey ho. Still I managed to get one under the wire and they haven’t caught on yet. I shall make yet another complaint to his highness at the Guardian! They really don’t have any bottle do they? Pathetic morons. Selvey must have great power. There have been so many comments removed now and some, like myself, have been removed altogether. Selvey must be well worried.


    • northernlight71 Mar 2, 2015 / 11:20 pm

      I think we kid ourselves if we imagine that he really cares that much about what the plebs write below his articles. But he might be concerned that his access to the inner circle of the England team may become more complicated if his old pals AF and PD are moved on any time soon.
      Still, since all this access provides the square root of bugger all when it comes to proper analysis of the flaws in the England team or actual information about what goes on in those sacrosanct team meetings, it probably won’t make much noticeable difference to the articles he writes.


      • Annie Weatherly-Barton Mar 3, 2015 / 12:25 am

        Absolutely. I said somewhere else that Mr Selvey, and his other moaning and insulting members of the “insiders” might find themselves on the “outside” with all of us. They may find that there freebies will no long exist if they cross swords with Mr Graves. Then they can all moan into their beers watching the game on the pub tv reminding themselves of the “good old days!”

        Selvey, Newman, and DP – the Hewey, Lewey, and Dewey of Cricket still quacking away about KP after he’s long retired from the scene. Please bring that on.


  8. Zephirine Mar 2, 2015 / 11:36 pm

    Once upon a time, journalists and columnists were in an enviable position: they were paid to dish out criticism but never had to take it. The occasional ‘letter to the editor’ might be printed, but it could safely be ignored, or mocked as having probably been written in green ink. The wider public might actually hold those journalists in very low esteem, but they could remain contentedly unaware of that and could continue to believe that their column inches were uniquely truthful, impressively expressed and received with gratitude by their humble readers.

    Those days are over. Nowadays, like most other kinds of writer, like actors and musicians and sportspeople, journalists find out rather quickly what the public thinks of their work.

    Some find it hard to take.

    And some deliberately write website pieces that they know will raise a storm of comment BTL, because their editor likes to see the clicks.


  9. Timmy Mar 2, 2015 / 11:55 pm

    Love the new pic me Lord. Alan Stanford! At the same time I feel like you’ve bowed to an anal comment from JE.

    I get that as it’s your blog you have a wider responsibility to relationships you may have built with your community and journos but it’s as if JE can now comment on anything he simply does not like in the hope of getting it changed.


    • LordCanisLupus Mar 2, 2015 / 11:59 pm

      Not sure how I’ve bowed Timmy. I’ve not replied. What’s the point? I have a view but it’s my house. I make requests. I don’t demand


    • d'Arthez Mar 3, 2015 / 1:25 am

      “England have suffered three straight defeats in Australia and New Zealand”

      So, the Scotland game did not happen, was a fundraiser to pay for reconstructive surgery after the ECB management suffered a bout of collective lobotomies, and not part of the actual World Cup or what? Tell us Daily Fail.


  10. John Etheridge Mar 3, 2015 / 8:54 am

    I cannot help but smile. The lack of perspective is genuinely amusing.

    All I have done is query whether it was appropriate for the late Doug Ibbotson’s picture to accompany a blog attacking journalists in such vituperative language. That’s all.

    In response, we have had ‘phone hacking, German academics, police states, Hillsborough and the police knocking on my door at dawn.

    Of course, the paper has done some bad things and much has been put in place to make sure there is no repeat. But it remains the highest-circulation paper in the UK. To dismiss the Sun and its readership is the type of arrogance and sneering superiority of which you accuse Giles Clarke.


    • BoerInAustria Mar 3, 2015 / 9:01 am

      You miss my point – I attack you and others for the LACK of journalism! Hence the picture is appropriate.
      And popularity has never been a measure of anything. And certainly not integrity.


      • SimonH Mar 3, 2015 / 10:22 am


        It reflects dimly on the quality of the reporting, or ECB communication, or both, that those ‘outside cricket’ (or, as they used to be known, fans) are apparently reduced to guesswork to try to make sense of what is going on with the England cricket team.


    • Boz Mar 3, 2015 / 10:24 am

      Journalist my arse – from a Scouser who hasn’t forgotten and is still waiting for justice


    • Vian Mar 3, 2015 / 10:38 am

      No, John you are not being debated with here. You are being called out for your attempt to bully someone.

      Do not try to invoke the nobility of the press, you are not in that class. Journalism at one time was an honourable profession – you are one of those who have brought it into disrepute, not perhaps to the same extent as some of your colleagues, but you have nevertheless.

      You don’t know what people on here do for a living. You have no idea what their connections in cricket are either. You are playing a dangerous game.

      Why are you so obsessed by a small blog?


    • Mike Mar 3, 2015 / 10:45 am

      A fair point about personally framed criticism. That ultimately doesn’t help any one does it?

      However the context and circumstances in which the criticism has been made needs to be acknowledged. Which it seemingly hasn’t.

      A good percentage has been shot through with frustrations and anger definitely and of course has occasionally been one-eyed, but often times it has quoted multiple sources from media outlets and the evidence of our own eyes to draw conclusions

      You, as a prominent member of our national press corps have some degree of agency to affect change in this. Many of us, merely as paying customers to your newsbrands, Skysports and at cricket grounds can only withdraw our custom and voice our views in the vacuum of social media.

      We might be incredibly irritating to you (or not) and yes the personal criticism is not pleasant, but we haven’t caused the manifold issues that affect the England cricket team, we weren’t responsible for the sale of ALL TV rights behind a paywall for right or wrong, we haven’t been responsible for the gradual disappearance of school sport from state schools through lack of funding and constant curriculum changes….the fans and spectators, in this instance are neither the cause of the problem and neither can we do a great deal to affect change.

      We’d all appreciate it if you could use your platform to publicly ask some of those questions we’ve all been asking for so long.


    • Simon K Mar 3, 2015 / 10:59 am

      “All I have done is query whether it was appropriate for the late Doug Ibbotson’s picture to accompany a blog attacking journalists in such vituperative language.”

      The blog avoids that, to my knowledge. You are referring to comments.

      All I would do in rejoinder is query whether the Guardian should continue to employ a ‘cricket correspondent’ who at some point appears to have lost interest in serving his readership in favour of defending the reputations of his contacts.


    • Annie Weatherly-Barton Mar 3, 2015 / 11:33 am

      I am really not sure what you mean Mr Etheridge. “the lack pf perspective is genuinely amusing?

      Please do not be disingenuous on here because I can promise you, you will be found out. I think one could reasonably be assured that you also have “lack of perspective” in trying to conflate the issue of Mr Ibbotson’s picture with insults against Mr Selvey. It just doesn’t wash.

      Bringing to us the issue of Mr Ibbotson as a true journalist of journalists to hammer us all about what is said on here about Mr Selvey is not lost on any of us. If journalism is to be highly regarded by the public then it does need to be just that, journalism, and not a polemic filled with hate and venom on a weekly basis. I am sure if Ibbotson were here — given what you have said about him — he would surely not be happy with kind of writing Mr Selvey is passing off as “journalism?”

      The Sun certainly has a high readership. The Sun of course was originally a “socialist” paper and people continued to buy it even when it was taken over by Murdoch. People just get used to buying one paper and of course the introduction of the page 3 girls came as an added incentive for new readers. High readership doth not necessarily a good newspaper make. The Sun has much to bow its head in utter shame.

      The mention of Hillsborough is important, because that terrible incident showed just how a newspaper and its journalists can allow themselves to be influenced by political friends in high places rather than uncovering the real truth about a particular incident. I see a pattern here even if you do not see it Mr Etheridge.

      As for making horrid comments about Mr Clark, well even Mr Brenkley, has to admit to the “sneer” of Mr Clarke as a feature of his tenure in the job. So it would seem we are not alone in our assessment of Mr Clarke “sneering” at the reporters and the public. And of course his dismissive tone towards anyone who was not “inside” cricket as “outsiders”, did not endear him to cricket fans in this country. Nor did his attempt to tell us that we were just there to put our posteriors on seats and pay over-inflated prices and mind our own business about the shenanigans within the ECB. Not sure where you are on this Mr Etheridge but from my perspective: It just doesn’t work like that. As a fan and paying outrageous prices to get a seat at a match makes me what many now refer to as a “stakeholder!” Having been to university and had some experience of marketing, all the lecturers said the same thing: “A company abuses its stakeholders at their peril!” Something that the current ECB incumbents do not seem to understand let alone care about. Such public dismissiveness by Mr Clark et al, does not seem to be Mr Graves attitude. He appears to have seen and heard and taken note of what the “stakeholder ‘outsiders'” have said and appears to be flagging up changes. I take great heart in that.

      Mr Brenkley reported that the ECB is somewhat embarrassed by Mr Graves lack of “media training” which allowed Mr Graves to speak unguardedly to Mr Hoult. Really. If anyone needed media training it is Mr Downton who has been nothing less than an ECB PR disaster. Mr Graves knew what he was saying and why he was saying it and doesn’t need any “media training!” He is his own man and sees what has happened to the reputation of the ECB and England Cricket. He wants change and hopefully he will come into the job with a damn great broom and sweep clean the debris that has all but destroyed England Cricket. Mr Downton’s media insiders might need to get their collective act together and start reporting on cricket instead of parading their bias and innuendo in such a venomous manner. If the current “insiders” don’t like the heat then then know what they can do.

      Thanks Lord Canis for this blog. I am indebted to you and to all the wonderful people with whom I can share my love of cricket. It is a rare privilege

      Liked by 1 person

      • ZeroBullshit Mar 3, 2015 / 11:54 am

        Well said Annie. One of your best comments. If only the likes of Selvey and Etheridge were as sensible and straightforward.


  11. Silk Mar 3, 2015 / 9:43 am

    “All I have done is query whether it was appropriate for the late Doug Ibbotson’s picture to accompany a blog attacking journalists in such vituperative language. That’s all.”

    I which case the answer is bleedin’ obvious.

    Instead of wasting your time here (do you go around /all/the blogs looking for nasty comments? That would take up an awful lot of your time) why don’t you (and Selvey, and the rest) DO SOME JOURNALISM and explain to us (in no particular order)

    – Why exactly the Ashes went so badly wrong
    – Why all our bowlers are going backwards
    – Why Peter Moores was chosen as coach for a second time instead of better qualified candidates (e.g. Trevor Bayliss) and whether he’s doing a good job this time
    – Why Carberry, Panesar, Compton and Patel will never play for England again

    etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum.


    • Annie Weatherly-Barton Mar 3, 2015 / 4:38 pm

      Absolutely right. And we are still waiting aye? Mr Etheridge promises are as visible as the North Wind.


  12. SimonH Mar 3, 2015 / 1:15 pm

    Mr. Etheridge, last year you posted here your report on the 4th day at Headingley. That was a good gesture on your behalf and your report reflected well the anger many England supporters felt at that woeful performance (while not taking anything away from the Lankans).

    Can you post a link here where you have been critical of Paul Downton? Or Giles Clarke? Or Andy Flower? Have you, for example, called out Downton for leaving Joe Root to face the music after the weekend shellacking – as George Dobell and to a lesser extent Stephen Brenkley have done?

    Of course you are not obliged to do any such thing. You might see this as a cheeky attempt to get some free copy! But it would go some way towards addressing what is driving so many of us crazy down here – that so many of the press seem so blinded by their loathing of Kevin Pietersen that they have given a free pass to an ECB leadership that has driven English and world cricket into a very deep ditch.


  13. Footydoc Mar 3, 2015 / 4:08 pm

    Respect to John Etheridge for engaging with commentators on here.

    But really, John, – why lash out at Dmitri for comments made by other posters on his blog? Dmitri can defend himself – but I would suggest that what is unpleasant for one person might be just the brew for another! As for guesswork – Dmitri is unlikely to have access to the the England players and the ECB, unlike some cricket journos who are actively briefed by senior ECB employees, and are even veritable mouthpieces for them, speaking on their behalf. What he presents is analysis, based on comments reported in other publications or media. He is not a journalist and has no means of checking with the main actors before publishing his blog.

    However, you as a senior journalist, can and should check your facts before publishing them. And yet you did not do so before writing about KP returning his commemorative medals from his 100th Test. You have alluded to a 20-page dossier against KP multiple times, yet have never quoted from it nor divulged it’s contents, allowing Pietersen’s name to be smeared through innuendo. All of this through the newspaper with the largest circulation in the UK! Not very lofty journalistic standards I would say.

    Through il affaire Pietersen, many cricketing journalists have become part of the story by willingly pushing the ECB agenda as propagandists, instead of reporting objectively on events. It has reached it’s nadir with Mike Selvey dismissing one of the finest and most accomplished players to don English whites and colours as a ‘fruitfly’ and ‘pest’ in an article about Colin Graves, as if KP was behind it all!! Instead of a review of England’s woeful Ashes performance, we got a coverup by expelling KP from the team, as if that was the major cause for defeat. Yet when results over the past year have shown that England have got decidedly worse in limited overs cricket, and undistinguished under home conditions in Test matches, established journos still aver that the Downton method – where matey mediocrity is more important than picking the England’s finest and best suited players for games – is correct!!

    Any wonder why there is such disdain for most journos, perceived as ECB lackeys in BTL comments here and on the Guardian/Telegraph?


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