2015 World Cup – Game 38 – England v Afghanistan

Good god, do we have to play this match? The team has nothing to gain and everything to lose. Afghanistan could not pick a better time to play us.

With our hands over our eyes, with our memories of burger sales staff at Schiphol Airport (I’ve been through there and never seen it) and such like, Sydney is the venue and problems lie ahead. The forecast isn’t special so we may be spared a result, who knows.

All comments on this game in the usual place.


123 thoughts on “2015 World Cup – Game 38 – England v Afghanistan

  1. Boz Mar 12, 2015 / 8:45 pm

    Don’t mention the war


  2. northernlight71 Mar 12, 2015 / 10:04 pm

    We have to play this game so that we can win and everything can be ok. Lovely Paul Downton can keep his job, lovely Peter Moores can carry on spouting meaningless drivel and all the lovely journalists can tell us how it’s all a new beginning and nothing needs to change except getting rid of a few of the pesky underpeforming players.
    Of course, the same things will happen if we lose.
    So, actually, you’re right. What’s the point of playing this game?


  3. ZeroBullshit Mar 12, 2015 / 10:40 pm

    Here is something interesting:


    • Mark Mar 12, 2015 / 10:44 pm

      I’m sure Downton will be attacking the cartoonist as we speak.


      • ZeroBullshit Mar 12, 2015 / 10:47 pm

        Quite probably. 🙂


      • paule Mar 14, 2015 / 9:16 am

        With all the savagery of Sir Geoffrey Howe?


  4. d'Arthez Mar 12, 2015 / 10:56 pm

    Hate to break it to you:

    There is a Burger King at Schiphol. And if you don’t mind the health hazards, you can also go to the McDonalds.

    The reason the game is played is that the ICC needs some justification for banishing the minnows. You know, the teams that don’t bring in the money.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Annie Weatherly-Barton Mar 13, 2015 / 3:50 am

      And there was moi thinking the minnows were the teams that got unceremoniously kicked out of the tournament. Well my gob is well smacked by that tid bit.


  5. wrongunatlongon Mar 12, 2015 / 11:25 pm

    I was really concerned that Moores was still in a job, and that I hadn’t heard much about the sacking of Downton, Clarke, Whitaker and Flower already by now, then I remembered that we had this formality (ahem) to get through before we can get round to that. This time tomorrow, though? Or will they wait for them to get home?


    • Annie Weatherly-Barton Mar 13, 2015 / 3:51 am

      No one has heard from Darth Vader Clarke. Where has he hidden himself. Nothing to say? No sneering at the cricket “Outsiders?” Whatever next?


  6. Vian Mar 13, 2015 / 12:50 am

    If England win then that proves it was the evil nasty Aussie third umpire who cost England a World Cup when giving Jordan out.

    Obviously. Poor Mooresy, Downtony and Whitakery. So much talent, so little luck.


  7. SimonH Mar 13, 2015 / 3:38 am

    England won toss and field. Bopara and Tredwell in. Match started on time. Showers possible – England jokes obligatory.

    England’s worst WC in terms of match won – 1996 with two. So need to win here to equal that.

    Comms expecting swing. Broad bowling cross-seam in his first over. Comms baffled.


    • SimonH Mar 13, 2015 / 6:03 am


    • dlpthomas Mar 13, 2015 / 7:08 am

      It was worse than that – Broad’s first ball swung so he promptly went cross-seam for the next delivery. Utterly brainless.


      • SimonH Mar 13, 2015 / 7:32 am


  8. Annie Weatherly-Barton Mar 13, 2015 / 3:56 am

    Comms baffled aye? Ain’t we all. It’s too much like torture. I can’t cope with all this.


    • SimonH Mar 13, 2015 / 3:11 pm

      Hello Annie, just saw your message. I switched over to the NZ game and a cracker it was too!


  9. Rooto Mar 13, 2015 / 5:03 am

    “Taxi for Selvey”, says Selvey. Guardian OBO has a tweet about him being at his last world cup. Not quite a retirement, then, but the clock is ticking down.

    More new dawns await. I quite like this time of hoping for better things. The miserable bit is realising that better things aren’t coming (like if the Guardian announced Pringle as its new cricket correspondant).


    • Moossyn Mar 13, 2015 / 6:17 am

      So who should get the job?


      • Rooto Mar 13, 2015 / 6:30 am

        I looked at the Twitter conversation, and he said he’s not retiring yet. Emotional tributes on hold…

        There’s time for me to think hard before answering that question, moossyn. At the moment, I don’t know. I fear nobody really good would want the job (a bit like the England coaching position), so they may get Vic to do a 7-day-a-week job.

        Dobell wouldn’t leave his position. Bull surely too much of an all-rounder to do the England beat full-time. Other papers, I have no idea.


      • SimonH Mar 13, 2015 / 8:05 am

        They could do worse than rehire David Hopps. They probably will do worse.

        Liked by 1 person

      • northernlight71 Mar 13, 2015 / 9:44 am

        They should take a look at hiring Dmitri.
        They won’t though. He didn’t go to the right school. Or university. Or something.


      • metatone Mar 13, 2015 / 2:44 pm

        I’d go for rehiring Hopps, or gathering Andy Bull back from the general sports team back to head up cricket. Or of course, go for George Dobell.

        Alas, the scuttlebutt is that Etheridge at least believes he’s in with a good chance…


      • metatone Mar 13, 2015 / 2:45 pm

        Of course, the other fly in the ointment is that Selvey is the “ex-player” on staff. So, they’ll probably hire Strauss.


      • Escort Mar 14, 2015 / 6:30 am

        The Guardian deserves John Etheridge.


  10. SimonH Mar 13, 2015 / 6:36 am

    Bunkers looks forward:

    “The selectors and their chums will unquestionably try to make the West Indies series something that it is not: a contest. England should beat their opponents by the distance which separates the islands of the region”.

    Storing that one away in the memory bank. One reason he cites is that WI are losing players to the IPL. The WI players going that I can find (Narine, Badree, Sammy, Russell, Gayle, Dw Smith) wouldn’t have played anyway. Crucially, Roach and Taylor aren’t going. Or am I missing something?


    • Silk Mar 13, 2015 / 8:45 am

      How he can actually write that given how patheticly we played in this WC, and how dismal we were when we last toured the Windies, I don’t know. I genuinely think these people are dellusional.

      If Ali isn’t fit (rumours are he’s not) then that’s a major blow to England. I guess they turn to Tredwell, which hardly inspires hope (particularly given his poor FC form last summer)


    • Pontiac Mar 13, 2015 / 11:47 pm

      That’s pretty dangerous to assume; this is a real trap series for England.

      WI are in huge disarray administratively – and it would take a miracle in a way for first class cricket to be viable in the region in a decade. Not that it couldn’t be put right, more like the regional boards, etc, have no clue. You can’t play to empty grounds forever and ever.

      But that is in the future, and this is now. Furthermore they’re going to all be coming off the first class season; the one that the board bungled so heavily in reorganizing and setting up. In Braithwaite they have a genuine Test opener; a Braithwaite and Chanderpaul partnership could be a dampfwalze of despair for any bowling attack, and Ramdin has been playing very well lately.

      As a WI supporter, I view this as a test of the selectors as much as anything. They absolutely have to select 3-4 regional performers. I would be ok if Samuels and Bravo didn’t play.


  11. hatmallet Mar 13, 2015 / 7:58 am

    Looks like we’re not going top beat Afghanistan. What a fitting end it would for our campaign to end in the drizzle.


    • Boz Mar 13, 2015 / 10:03 am

      A washout me thinks!!


  12. SimonH Mar 13, 2015 / 8:08 am

    Couple of bits of county news:
    1) Mahela signed for Sussex (not whole season though).
    2) ZCA announced they are expecting more players to follow Brendan Taylor and go the Kolpak route.


    • metatone Mar 13, 2015 / 2:49 pm

      If you have a family and can parlay your place in the Zim team into a Kolpak contract, it’s really hard to blame you given the instability of Zim as a country…


      • SimonH Mar 13, 2015 / 2:57 pm

        I certainly wasn’t blaming Brendan Taylor or any Zimbabwe cricketer who takes that route.

        I am blaming the ZCA who presumably pay their players so little county cricket is a better option. The ICC give Zimbabwe eight times the funding of Ireland I believe.


      • metatone Mar 13, 2015 / 2:59 pm

        oops – I didn’t mean that to come over like I was attacking you, just musing on the grim reality in Zim as I know a couple of people from there…


      • SimonH Mar 13, 2015 / 3:10 pm

        I know! 🙂

        I just wanted to be clear where I think the blame lies after encounters with several tedious oafs (like DDB) BTL at the Guardian who blame Irish players for accepting an England central contract.


  13. Arron Wright Mar 13, 2015 / 8:44 am

    Just checking in. First thing that leaps out: Tredwell and Bopara 3-57 between them from 15 overs. Expect this damning stat to be downplayed by the cronies, with “it’s only Afghanistan” or something.


    • Silk Mar 13, 2015 / 8:47 am

      They’ll have to play Twister to spin this one. They’ve got to both suggest that the result implies we should stick with Moores whereas it in no way implies Moores got anything wrong.

      Remember, the preparation for this WC was “first class”


      • Arron Wright Mar 13, 2015 / 8:50 am

        Hasn’t Bopara bowled more balls in one match than he did throughout the rest of the winter or something?


    • OscarDaBosca Mar 13, 2015 / 9:00 am

      Tredwell has taken the most ODI wickets for England in the past year. Following the ‘KP’ principle this means he has to be dropped.


      • Mark Mar 13, 2015 / 9:08 am

        Ha ha ha

        Moores & Downton are the reverse Midas. Everything they touch turns to shit.

        In other news New Zealand have just beaten Bangladesh with an over to spare. With 5 overs left it could have gone either way. This result will no doubt elevate Englands greatness as even New Zealnd struggled to beat this uppity Minow.


      • Mark Mar 13, 2015 / 9:48 am

        I take your point Simon, but by being Englands leading wicket taker this year he has done all he can do. I know people said he would not be effective on Aussie pitches, but we desperately needed some variation in our bowling. It was all too alike. Right hand over, medium fast. Not really fast any more seeing as Anderson and Broads pace is well down.

        He is not a Warne who is going to rip out top order batting line ups, but he could hardly have done any worse than what we had. I just find it funny that a leading wicket taker doesn’t play for England to go along with one of our leading run scorers who doesn’t play. We must have some fantastic players if they are keeping these guys out. Oh wait………….


      • SimonH Mar 13, 2015 / 11:41 am

        Mark, I wasn’t clear enough – he wasn’t the top wicket taker in the last year. He’s fifth in the list (or third if you take the year from before when the WC started).


    • Pontiac Mar 13, 2015 / 11:56 pm

      I just LOVE it how in various newspaper marks-out-of-ten lists they mark Bopara down for not bowling much. And Tredwell for not bowling much either. As they did in the past ashes Panesar.

      (engaging an Old Northwest [great lakes] US regional accent, most suitable for innocent-eyed sarcasm.)
      Now ya gonna tell me if I’m wrong on dis, but I thot that it wasn’t up to the bowler as to when he got to bowl, y’know. Na I thot the captain tol’ him when it was his time to bowl, and ya couldn’t bowl if ya wasn’t playin’. So I dunno where they gettin’ that from…

      And then you got those guys goin’ on and on about how all their bowlers are the same kinda one. Geez.


  14. Silk Mar 13, 2015 / 9:04 am

    Does the NZ win over B. show that England are way behind in terms of closing out close games, or does it demonstrate that actually the B. defeat wasn’t ‘too bad’ as they are actually rather good, and anyway we were unlucky?


    • d'Arthez Mar 13, 2015 / 9:16 am

      That logic has been dismissed for 10 years or so by the ECB, concerning Bangladesh. You know, the odd good game does not really count. So why should that suddenly be okay to apply to England? Under the same Giles Clarke to boot.

      Remember, between 2011 and 2018, there are exactly 0 fixtures between England and Bangladesh in bilateral series.

      At one point New Zealand needed 33 runs from 24 balls. When the ECB XI played New Zealand, it was closer to 33 runs from 240 balls. One required mark suggests a team was playing cricket against New Zealand. It seems, judging by those figures that the ECB XI had no clue that they were not in a beach volleyball contest.


    • metatone Mar 13, 2015 / 2:54 pm

      I think in general terms, B. have improved quite a bit since the last WC.
      Given the right pitch they are a handful, their seamers are probably the best in their history – and for example, looking better than the England ones.

      However, it should be noted that NZ probably were not at peak concentration. It wasn’t a dead rubber, but it was the last game before the knockout rounds and NZ must have been looking ahead a bit.


      • Pontiac Mar 14, 2015 / 12:02 am

        I thought a lot of that match had to do with when after Vettori got Sarkar, McCullum brought Southee and Boult back on, and the Bangladesh batsmen played to the situation. Batting to not get out in an ODI can be good depending on when in the match it is and who is bowling.

        That was the difference between a 200 score and the 288 they got, because Mamadullah batted through and NZ got seriously smacked around for 3 more overs at the death.

        This combined with Taylor being very very slow, but he hasn’t been in the best of form lately.

        NZ might be a bit fragile because their fifth bowler situation is a little sketchy…

        Liked by 1 person

      • metatone Mar 15, 2015 / 8:10 am

        Very good point about the 5th bowler.
        Most of NZ’s success has come when the first 4 bowlers have done enough damage to keep the opposition to a manageable total.


  15. Boz Mar 13, 2015 / 10:06 am

    Reports suggesting Downton has identified 70 players who could play for England in the future – the problem is they can’t all be on the field at the same time!


    • hatmallet Mar 13, 2015 / 1:36 pm

      Why he is identifying them? Not his job!


      • SimonH Mar 13, 2015 / 1:58 pm

        It’s worse than that – it’ll be the dark lord of Loughborough who’s identifying them.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Pontiac Mar 14, 2015 / 12:03 am

      Do any of them bowl?

      With the left arm?

      Or with rotation on the ball, so that it dips, drifts, spins off the pitch?


    • d'Arthez Mar 14, 2015 / 12:15 am

      How would this guy possibly even assess that after his “T20 has influenced ODIs” gaffe? After being completely out of the game for two decades?

      Seventy players? That is about one in six county players. Did he go through the list alphabetically, and throw a die for each player? A ‘6’ meaning the guy has potential to play for England, and anything else being a discard?

      I wonder how often he had to reroll for Cook then.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Timmy Mar 14, 2015 / 1:20 am

        What a great comment!

        Lovin’ it!


    • Annie Weatherly-Barton Mar 14, 2015 / 1:35 pm

      I guess that is in order to shoot KP and say there are more players better than him so no need to think about KP?


  16. thebogfather Mar 13, 2015 / 10:14 am

    So, set 4 an over, target 101, and we’re still plodding FFS!


  17. thebogfather Mar 13, 2015 / 10:15 am

    Have the guts to go for it in 10 overs – PRACTICE in a real situation!!!


    • d'Arthez Mar 13, 2015 / 10:32 am

      100 from 150 balls is not that demanding – they’re not playing on a minefield. And qualification or anything important does not depend on this result. I would not be surprised that Afghanistan last longer in a rain-curtailed match than the ECB XI did against New Zealand. That is still the most one-sided thumping this tourney.

      The only reason that they might want to take it slow is that if an England batsman gets to 50, they may decide how to destroy Moores’ laptop. Then you don’t want to miss out on a chance to get to 50. No matter what.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. thebogfather Mar 13, 2015 / 10:25 am

    Bell going for personal S/R of around 78… totally in command!


    • Mark Mar 13, 2015 / 10:30 am

      Remember laptop score is 230 in 50 overs. So in only 25 overs the laptop score will be 115. Which is pretty much what they need. So same strategy will be employed.,

      England logic. Laptop always correct.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thebogfather Mar 13, 2015 / 10:37 am

        I wish they’d hurry up – I need to go to shop for some ECBXI/Broady recommended celebration wines…


  19. thebogfather Mar 13, 2015 / 10:31 am

    Afghanistan fielders trying to boost Bell S/R with regular misfields…


    • thebogfather Mar 13, 2015 / 10:46 am

      Outfield a little slippery – perhaps Giles Clarke snuck in and sweated a bit… (plan B)


  20. thebogfather Mar 13, 2015 / 10:44 am

    Hales out, don’t worry, Belly will dig in and see us through…


  21. northernlight71 Mar 13, 2015 / 10:54 am

    Good Lord, this is painful stuff. And I’m not even watching it in person.


  22. northernlight71 Mar 13, 2015 / 11:02 am

    The hilarious PA in the ground is playing “How Soon Is Now” by the Smiths.
    That has to be worth a drink later . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  23. thebogfather Mar 13, 2015 / 11:04 am

    Boycs suggests Aggers should go to Afghanistan to commentate on cricket there… any other correspondents/columnists/reporters who should keep him company?


  24. Silk Mar 13, 2015 / 11:09 am

    I’d rather we’d lost, but that’s hardly the sort of performance that anyone, even Selvey, can suggest indicates Moores is doing anything right whatsoever.


    Liked by 1 person

  25. thebogfather Mar 13, 2015 / 11:09 am

    YES! Andy Moles, TheTaliban, Dubya Bush, ermm…. your boys took one hell of a beating! (sort of)


    • LordCanisLupus Mar 13, 2015 / 11:22 am

      The analysts all know the score
      That’s what the laptops for
      Ask Peter Moores
      That data’s gonna show them the way
      Play safe power plays
      Keep wickets at bay
      But I remember
      Bowling at the death
      England fans were screaming
      Slow bouncers at the chest
      Batsmen’s eyes were gleaming

      We’re coming home
      We’re coming home. ….


      • thebogfather Mar 13, 2015 / 11:28 am

        LCL – I thought I had a poetic challenger there! lol


      • thebogfather Mar 13, 2015 / 11:34 am

        Got one brewing, ready for the blame game that’s sure to be ensuing…

        They think that it’s all over….. it is now!


      • thebogfather Mar 13, 2015 / 11:44 am

        Three lines (of data) on our shirts
        Due dismay still seething
        MooresThePityful still flirts
        With the idea he’s still leading…


      • Annie Weatherly-Barton Mar 13, 2015 / 10:31 pm

        Oh very good me Lord. Cracker. My hubs has been waxing lyrical about Moores:

        Said Moores to the clamouring crowd
        ‘My proposals will make England proud.
        Who needs balls and bats
        When it’s all about stats.
        So in future we’ll play in the Cloud.’

        And my favourite:

        Said Peter Moores ‘Sooner or later
        I must have a look at the data.
        Some are calling for change;
        I find that very strange.
        Still, I might buy a new calculator.’


        • ZeroBullshit Mar 13, 2015 / 10:49 pm

          Very good Annie. 🙂


  26. Annie Weatherly-Barton Mar 13, 2015 / 11:20 am

    Did you hear Boycee commentating on the Afghanistan bowler who went so far down the pitch to take aim! “I don’t go that far on my holidays!”

    Well left it late didn’t we. Another lot of rain and England might have lost! Yes the Amstrad computer has failed again. Never mind. There’s always another chance in 4 years time. Only thing being that as England will now be on its way home, we will be part of the minnow gang. Does that mean we won’t be eligible to play next time? Well with Clarke at the helm I suppose we can get around that problem okay.

    Yay right.


    • Silk Mar 13, 2015 / 11:26 am

      ODIs are a distraction. Just wait for the Ashes!!!

      (A positive I’m taking is that we can’t do worse than last time in The Ashes. 0-6 is physically impossible)


      • thebogfather Mar 13, 2015 / 11:30 am

        It’ll rain somewhere this summer… so no more than 3 or 4, maybe even 3-1


  27. thebogfather Mar 13, 2015 / 11:37 am

    So, having flights already booked that were for after the QF, are the ECBXI stopping off in Japan to show their prowess after the JCB kindly invited us to a warm-down game?


    • thebogfather Mar 13, 2015 / 12:07 pm

      ECBXI v Japan (scorecard)

      Bell – run out (of time) (64 sweet under-cooked chilli balls) 33
      Hales – caught (cooking sushi) (2 balls) 6
      Taylor – lbw (left-shoulder before wicket) (51 balls) 49
      Root – sliced and served in stir-fry (chopped-on) (6 6 balls) 70
      Morgan – run out (of Bushmills) (12 shots) 0
      Buttler – not out (more true balls than them all) (19 balls) 45
      Bopara – not in, not out (1 or 2 balls) 1
      Broad – not found – hiding in cupboard
      Tredwell – not wanted
      Jordan – not schooled in the right place (like most balls)
      Anderson – not smiling

      Total: 204 – 5


      • d'Arthez Mar 13, 2015 / 12:17 pm

        Well, one thing is certain: the Japanese can teach the ECB a thing or two about Seppuku.

        The disembowelment, they seem to have covered – at least with the lesser grunts. It is the notion of honour that still needs a bit of work.


      • thebogfather Mar 13, 2015 / 12:52 pm

        @D’Arthez I think we’re more sodoku than Seppuku, fixed numbers in square holes that anyone can beat….


      • d'Arthez Mar 13, 2015 / 1:33 pm

        It certainly would explain the data-driven approach. Mind you, you don’t need a laptop to solve those puzzles, as the algorithms are fairly simple. Any 1993 machine could do it.


  28. d'Arthez Mar 13, 2015 / 11:56 am

    “England beat Afghanistan to end abysmal World Cup campaign on a high”, Guardian headline.

    And what a “high” it was. Have the toss and weather going your way, and winning with 41 balls to spare, against an Associate (admittedly not helped by D/L, but the RR in this successful chase does not even feature in the top 5, and perhaps not even top 10 of the tourney in non-rain shortened games).

    Even the chase belonged in the 1970s, despite there being nothing to lose. Damning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez Mar 13, 2015 / 12:06 pm

      Broad, Anderson and Woakes have 14 wickets between them, at a combined average of 52.36. That is in 17 bowling innings between the three of them.

      Josh Davey, 5 games, 14 wickets at an average of 19.50.

      Time to make the silent “S” in E(W)CB less silent?


  29. SimonH Mar 13, 2015 / 12:25 pm

    From Selvey’s match report:

    “England will surely not consider picking henceforth any players who they can say now will not be part of their plans for the next World Cup, in England, in 2019”.

    Absolutely mental. Drop players because they aren’t performing or not good enough – not because of their age. There’s going to end up being no thirtysomethings in the team. That’s a recipe for success, ha ha. Let’s watch everyone else not do that. Perhaps we could concentrate on starting to win a few matches in the format and have the CT in 2017 in mind. Four year plans are nonsense. Four year plans sound brilliant in mission statements and on Power Point presentations. In reality, who knows where we’ll be in fourteen months, let alone four years?

    “The squad for this [WI tour] is due to be announced on Tuesday and will be as strong as can be selected. This is no time to treat any series lightly”.

    So we can plan ahead for four years – but not attempt to manage burn-out over the next year? Downton, Whitaker and Moores want a win in the West Indies in a feeble attempt to insulate their arses when Graves takes over. Nothing more.


    • hatmallet Mar 13, 2015 / 1:43 pm

      Current tournament’s top-scorer:

      Sangakkara. Runs 496. Centuries 4. Average 124. Strike rate 120.

      Age: 37.

      So anyone above 33 can be safely ruled out. So that rules out Carberry (34) and Lumb (35). Tredwell is 33, Anderson and Bell both 32.

      Of course, it’s complete nonsense to have a hard-and-fast rule on age. Some cricketers are finished in their early 30s. Others last until nearly 40. Anderson would struggle to reach the next tournament without skipping a lot of international cricket, whereas Bell could probably play until his late 30s given his lack of injuries.


    • Mark Mar 13, 2015 / 1:48 pm

      Well under that logic Selvey should be sacked tomorrow morning because he won’t be around in 2019.

      We don’t seem very good at 4 year plans. What’s the point when when we jettison a 3 week plan on the eve of the competition?

      Liked by 1 person

      • northernlight71 Mar 13, 2015 / 2:40 pm

        That’s not the reason Selvey should be sacked.
        But it’s a good enough one, I must admit . . .


    • paule Mar 14, 2015 / 9:35 am

      Perhaps Vaughan’s right: Moores can only coach kids.


  30. Sir Peter Mar 13, 2015 / 12:45 pm

    Eyebrows raise at Mr.TheBogfather’s prediction of 3-1 this Summer. I cannot see the E+WCB winning a test against the might of NZ or the other lot on current form. Even with home advantage. Dark days. As Rex Fun might have said ‘and heaven knows I’m miserable now’…
    Love the blog. Someone give D’mitri a proper journo job!


  31. Sir Peter Mar 13, 2015 / 12:46 pm

    Sorry, LordCanisLupus*


  32. Arron Wright Mar 13, 2015 / 1:18 pm

    (Replies also worth reading)

    But Andy Flower deserves huge credit for the players’ performances between 2009 and 2011, of course. In between standing up to Mugabe, parting the Red Sea, lifting an X-Wing out of the swamps of Dagobah, etc.


    • metatone Mar 13, 2015 / 5:23 pm

      “lifting an X-wing…”
      That made me laugh out loud in the office here…

      Although I’ll raise you Barney Ronay’s description of Finn:

      “”the most poignant member of which remains Steven Finn who has, after five years of ECB coaching, been reduced to sidling in to bowl like a sad mournful horse preparing to hurl itself under the wheels of a passing tractor.””


    • metatone Mar 13, 2015 / 5:26 pm

      I’m not going to look at the conversation. I find Selvey on Twitter is usually bad for my blood pressure.

      But, I was pondering this and I think the problem is that the Flower regime (and Moores isn’t a fresh start from Flower) clamped down on players expressing dissent about tactics and strategy so hard, you can’t help but feel that players have had the agency removed from them.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Annie Weatherly-Barton Mar 14, 2015 / 1:38 pm

      And it would seem that it was Andy Flower who was responsible for player positions during this WC? According to an interview between Aggers and Downton. Oh yes. So Flower is indeed at the heart of England fiasco. AGAIN!


  33. SimonH Mar 13, 2015 / 1:50 pm

    That has to be a misquote, right? Or ripped maliciously out of context? Well, it isn’t a misquote and here’s the context: “Have we been adventurous enough? I think when we’ve earned the right to be adventurous, yes, we have. But when we’ve had bad days, you can’t afford to be adventurous.”


  34. SimonH Mar 13, 2015 / 2:00 pm

    Who got that one on the quiz?


  35. SimonH Mar 13, 2015 / 2:06 pm


  36. SimonH Mar 13, 2015 / 4:53 pm

    Agnew’s analysis of Moores? Here we go:

    “it was under Moores that England turned things around against India last summer. This World Cup has certainly weakened his position, but it is likely that he will be judged on the forthcoming Ashes series. There, England have to show that they have improved from the 5-0 hammering they took in Australia last year. They don’t necessarily have to win the Ashes, but they have to compete”.

    The primacy of the Ashes and a lowering of the bar to an acceptance of staggering mediocrity all in one.

    And the West Indies tour?

    “There had been talk of players being rested, but that seems less likely after this poor World Cup. The returning Alastair Cook will certainly want the best squad possible, because his position is seemingly permanently under the microscope”.

    There we have it – it’s all about saving Cook. Love that “seemingly” as well.

    And your new working partner?

    “There is another important cricketing event taking place next week, which is the Test Match Special debut of Kevin Pietersen, who joins us for the World Cup quarter-finals. I was surprised when people said I was opposed to Kevin joining the TMS team. Why would I be? I always look forward to working with special players because I want to know their views on the game, what makes them tick. Kevin is no different”.

    So to all those tweeting there might be a problem – drop the attitude.

    Finally, Vaughan chips in:

    “To become a really good team, England need to find some high-class bowlers.”

    No shit Vaughan – any ideas where we can find them?



    • metatone Mar 13, 2015 / 5:28 pm

      ABL? (Anywhere But Loughborough)?


    • Zephirine Mar 13, 2015 / 5:56 pm

      “They don’t necessarily have to win the Ashes, but they have to compete”.

      Sorry, what?????

      So if they train really well, look keen, and lose, that will presumably be fine.

      I despair.


      • paule Mar 14, 2015 / 9:40 am

        Downton and Moores are the Roy Hodgson of cricket: its all about managing expectations. Underpromise, underdeliver.


      • SimonH Mar 14, 2015 / 9:46 am

        Unfair on Roy!


    • d'Arthez Mar 13, 2015 / 6:41 pm

      We’ll reach the stage that performance is satisfactory, based on the odd 990 balls in a Test. 980 where the England batsmen don’t lose their wicket. And the 10 in which the ECB XI take a wicket while bowling. And Moores can proudly proclaim that “England competed at least 50% of the balls in the Test” when they lose by an innings somewhere on Day 3.

      My deepest sympathies to all the posters here. We all deserve so much better than the disorganized incompetence that ECB provides at a premium.


    • Annie Weatherly-Barton Mar 13, 2015 / 10:27 pm

      I despair with Agnew. Talk about clutching at straws. He’s Downton, Flower and Moores man over and over again no matter how bad the mess is.

      Vaughan has thrown his hat into the ring and offered to help England if he gets the call from the ECB. Not likely is it given what Vaughan has said about the ECB. Downton has to go along with Flower – who set the fuse to this whole bloody mess – Whittaker, and Moores – much as I feel very sorry for him, but he is out of his depth.

      The quote of the day must go to George Dobell as he attempts to describe England’s underwhelming win over Afghanistan:

      ‘Like winning a bowler hat the day after losing your head!’

      Good old George, giving me a good laugh after the miseries of England & ECB.


  37. SimonH Mar 13, 2015 / 6:08 pm

    George Dobell’s latest:


    Here’s the highlight –

    “There will be a review into this failure in the coming weeks. Usually these reviews consist of some good-natured fellas getting together in their blazers and recommending the appointment of another manager. That is how the position of MD of England cricket, currently held by Paul Downton, was invented.

    They would be far better served recommending the removal of several tiers of management. If the ECB cuts out the position of MD, president and one of a list of CEO, COO, CFO and, no doubt, UFO, they would no longer be obliged to play so much cricket to pay for them.

    What does Andy Flower – still employed on a large salary – do now? What does David Parsons, the performance director who has often managed the Lions, do in a summer when they have no games? What would happen if half of these people didn’t turn up to work on Monday? The system is creaking under the weight of them. The system needs to be changed”.

    Alternatively, we could do sod all. lose the Ashes 4-0 and say “jolly good show – at least we competed”.

    (The Verdict isn’t particularly worth bothering with in my view by the way).


    • metatone Mar 13, 2015 / 7:51 pm

      Dobell is doing sterling work.
      Although, I disagree with him about Moores.
      There’s no sign that Moores has been a positive in any way.
      If he signed off on Saker’s bowling plans, then he’s at fault.
      If he didn’t, then what is he there for? etc.


  38. Boz Mar 13, 2015 / 7:39 pm

    100th comment up, yeah!!!!

    As I lollop her in my suds filled bath I can’t help but reminisce about the CWC and Englands major role in it. I play with my rubber batsman and bowler and try to understand the mistakes of the English cricket team and their management. It’s great to know that I won’t have to watch England again in this tournament. I really couldn’t stand any more strain. instead I’m looking forward to the following excerpts from Comic Relief:
    1. the interview with Alastair Cook where he talks of his hopes for the summer and his desire to play aggressively
    2. Stuart Broad telling of how much better it is to bowl slowly and pitch the ball only halfway down the pitch
    3.Jimmy Anderson telling of the benefits to the team of him being a waster
    4.Eion Morgan trying to explain, in graphic detail, what he has learned from the tournament

    meanwjile the ribber bowler has bowled the batsman for a rubber duckie – get in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  39. BoerInAustria Mar 13, 2015 / 10:49 pm

    England cunningly avoiding KP commentating on their games


    • Pontiac Mar 14, 2015 / 12:53 am

      Gosh, there’s a direct flight from Baltimore, too…


  40. Grumpy Gaz Mar 14, 2015 / 2:49 pm

    “although it is understood that six counties have expressed an interest in signing him since Graves opened the door to an England comeback. ”

    If he leaves a trail of destruction everywhere he goes. like that arsehole Cork insists, why do all these counties wish to sign him?


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