So many of you have picked up on the George Dobell / David Hopps piece on cricinfo. Paul Downton’s future appears in the balance. There are rumblings afoot. It comes as little surprise to me that if this meeting was meant to be held in secrecy that information has come out in advance. As it’s George we’ll call it good journalism.

I’m not going to be dancing any jigs, whooping that I told you so, or any of that. This catastrophe could have been written last year. The warning signs were going off all over the place. When, as an administrator, you are the story, and if you don’t have a “terrific year”, you are going to be in trouble. The ECB made their stance clear about this World Cup. It would present us with a great chance to do well, and from a long way out the decks were cleared. It was a disaster. Much was not in our gift, but a hell of a lot was.

This is a sad time for English cricket. It’s not the time for joy or crowing. It’s the bloody time to unite behind a team we can believe in, and with no petty administrative spats. I’ll only believe this is for real when Andy Flower’s shadow isn’t cast over the proceedings. We do have a lot to thank him for, but just like the presence of Ferguson loomed over Moyes, it isn’t doing anyone any good him remaining on site.

Pietersen has been the symptom, and now, finally, we might be coming to a more realistic diagnosis. We may have a very interesting time to watch this play out, but things look to be moving. Given this is the ECB, don’t expect them to do the expected.


123 thoughts on “Rumbling

  1. Mark Mar 15, 2015 / 10:47 pm

    Do we know yet if it is true that Flower was responsible for field settings in this World Cup?

    Or was that a joke? Because if true then I can’t see how Moores or Flower/Downton can stay in post. It beggars belief if true.


    • LordCanisLupus Mar 15, 2015 / 10:49 pm

      I never heard that. Who knows? Nothing is beyond the realms of possibility in this schmozzle.


      • Vian Mar 16, 2015 / 11:13 am

        I’ve heard it, but I’ve not seen any kind of decent source for it. I’ll just put that into tittle tattle as it stands and ignore it. It’s no different to when it happens the other way.

        Liked by 1 person

    • thebogfather Mar 16, 2015 / 8:25 am

      You can spread rose-petals far and wide
      Yet they are but pieces of a dying Flower plucked
      As rose-tinted glasses can only hide
      Until Flower, Downton, and others go – we’re f..k.d

      (sorry for the implied sweary-bit)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Annie Weatherly-Barton Mar 16, 2015 / 1:21 pm

      Somebody on the DT thread said it was in a poster showing an interview between Downton & Aggers and that was where it was supposedly said. It was in the Guardian. I’ve asked the person to give me a link TWICE but nothing doing. I’ve looked everywhere but cannot find anything. However it is true to say that Flower was there in Australia in the ground where the games were being held. He was seen seething when Moores was remonstrating about the stuff with Carberry being given out. I’m still looking. Hope to find something for you guys.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. SimonH Mar 15, 2015 / 11:08 pm

    “ESPNcricinfo understands that Downton’s explanations have not impressed either Harrison or the incoming ECB chairman, Colin Graves”.

    But, but we’re transitioning……


    • SimonH Mar 15, 2015 / 11:15 pm

      Also Charles Sale reckons Sangakkara would be Sunrisers’ replacement for KP in the IPL – guessing they could probably live with that! Not so good for Surrey though……

      And one for TMS fans from the same source:
      “Pietersen, who is being loaned to TMS for radio stints by his World Cup employers Fox Sports, will work alongside Swann for the first time at the Auckland semi-final a week on Tuesday”.


      • LordCanisLupus Mar 15, 2015 / 11:35 pm

        Charles Sale is a joke. I would be concerned if he was my source on what day it is.


      • SimonH Mar 16, 2015 / 9:54 am

        Sales’ spin on Pietersen/Swann commentating together is utterly tedious (“powderkeg confrontation” etc) but I thought the info might interest TMS listeners (if correct of course).

        On Sanga, IPL rules on replacement players according to Wikipedia are:

        “Replacements have to be chosen from the pool of players who went unsold in the auction, and cannot be paid more than the players they are replacing”.

        Sanga of course was unsold at auction – he would seem a probable alternative given his WC form and I think he has played for Sunrisers before. There are plenty of other quality replacement batsmen of course (Amla for one) or Sunrisers with 8 overseas’ players already might simply not replace Pietersen. That number which seemed high at the time now makes more sense – presumably Pietersen tipped Moody what might happen?

        Obviously I hope Sale is wrong as the idea of Sanga and KP batting together is mouth-watering!


  3. thebogfather Mar 16, 2015 / 8:08 am

    As we currently (rightly) have concerns, not only over ECB management, but coaching/selection, I was reminded (on cricinfo) of Moeen Ali stating that a brief chat with umpire Kumar Dharmasena during the Lords test v India last summer, gave him the advice and confidence to adjust his speed of delivery without losing loop and trajectory – something which the ECB mass of coaches/analysts had failed to notice/suggest.
    Following on from Peter Willey and George Sharp failing to overturn compulsory retirement, would there not be a place for a recent/current umpire to be part of the selection panel/coaching advisory team? After all – they do see more of what goes on at close quarters than anyone else (without distractions of the next glass of wine/lunch menu etc).
    They can see batsman and bowler faults – both technical and mental, advise on pitch conditions, and much more- all without a lappy!


    • thebogfather Mar 16, 2015 / 8:11 am

      …and hey – wouldn’t Peter Willey also get rid of some of the sheep-mentality too?


    • Grumpy Gaz Mar 16, 2015 / 12:04 pm

      Clive Woodward at the weekend was asked how he minimised needless penalties with the England rugby team. He said he employed an international referee at each training session who called them on fouls etc.

      Maybe having an umpire in the nets calling no balls might help too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Vian Mar 16, 2015 / 1:32 pm

        It was a while ago but someone in the Sky studio spotted England bowlers in the nets persistently no balling. As he pointed out, all they’re doing is practising no balls.

        Liked by 1 person

      • thebogfather Mar 17, 2015 / 7:43 am

        No wonder they cant bowl yorkers – bowling off 19 yards, pitching it up in the nets becomes short of a length in a match….. the mind boggles!


  4. SimonH Mar 16, 2015 / 8:59 am

    Lots of good stuff out there today about associate cricket. Here’e one example from Tim Wigmore :


    • Mark Mar 16, 2015 / 9:11 am

      I think we should stop calling it the big 3. The big 2.5 perhaps? Or the big 2 and their little brother? England can’t in any way be classed as big in any cricketing context other than Sky money. (generated mostly by football fans).

      This World Cup has made a complete mockery of the so called big 3. You have to wonder what the likes of South Africa and New Zealand make of it. A sad reflection of the modern world where the financialisation of everything trumps quality. England are like the big banks. Bloated, protected, and bankrupt.


      • SimonH Mar 16, 2015 / 9:27 am


      • thebogfather Mar 16, 2015 / 9:29 am

        I’ll be rooting for Bangladesh in the QF’s and NZ to lift the trophy…


      • volkerelle Mar 16, 2015 / 11:59 am

        England are evidently not too big to fail.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. SimonH Mar 16, 2015 / 9:16 am

    KP been answering questions on Twitter. It’s brought some haters out of course. Move those goalposts and raise that bar? Try this one –


    • BoerInAustria Mar 16, 2015 / 9:49 am

      KP must play a number of five day CC against the combined attack of Johnson, Starc, Southee, Boult and Siddle, (and many left arm spinners), score at least four double centuries, batting at nrs 1, 2, 3 and 4. He must do this with an old style bat (vintage 1930), batting both right and left handed. He should do this standing on his knees to show his height is no advantage over Taylor. This should all happen in a wet May up in the north with only one man and his dog watching. And not in Division 2. He must further undergo a two year reintegration course at Loughborough with the junior Lions training camp where he needs to demonstrate a complete lack if disinterest, and never, ever stare out the windows and stay humble on the minimum wage. Then his chances may rise to 2%. Or not. Because he is a c…

      It is tough in a meritocracy.


    • Mark Mar 16, 2015 / 9:49 am

      5 day county cricket? That’s a new one.

      These people are so stupid they are spoon fed their taking points by the likes of Agnew. Who has gone on and on about KP making himself unseletable by not having a county. So they just parrot this clap trap. Even though they are clueless about county cricket.

      Have you noticed how many of them hide behind this badge of “keep calm carry on logo?” It seems to be worn like a badge of stupid! It has a crown on it. Which reinforces their love of authority. And as we said yesterday that is KPs greatest crime. He questioned the high command. The sheep don’t like that, blind obedience is what they prefer.


      • BoerInAustria Mar 16, 2015 / 11:09 am

        actually, KP should play a number “timeless” cc games, about to be introduced by the ECB in sweeping new changes…

        Liked by 1 person

      • paulewart Mar 16, 2015 / 11:15 am

        Indeed. Agnew played a lot of county cricket didn’t he? Didn’t seem to do him much good in the Test arena.


      • Boz Mar 16, 2015 / 5:13 pm

        yeah, there’s a bank holiday in the middle, simples…………….:0)


  6. Rav Roberts Mar 16, 2015 / 9:33 am

    So, KP needs to play some *5* day county cricket first to prove himself, as past performances cannot be relied upon. Unfortunately for KP, this means that as all country matches are currently only 4 days, he needs to wait until a new motion is tabled and approved by the ECB to move to 5 day matches. This ratification is expected to take about 5 years, but I think if KP applies himself as (only) a true Englishman would, then he should manage to forgo the filthy lucre of the IPL and attain the possibility of being picked for England in about 2020.

    That is, IF he *really* wants to play for England of course..?


    • Zephirine Mar 16, 2015 / 10:07 am

      It’s all predicated on the fantasy that Pietersen is uniquely bad, uniquely difficult, uniquely disruptive, more mercenary and selfish than any player in the history of English cricket ever, and therefore must be uniquely punished. He must be set the most difficult and demanding tasks so that he abases himself and proves that he really, really loves us and is sorry.

      It’s like the plot of a novel written by that 50 Shades woman.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mark Mar 16, 2015 / 10:13 am

        While Cook has the bar lowered to a level that is almost impossible not to fall over. They have the bar lying on the Tarmac. You can’t get under it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • thebogfather Mar 16, 2015 / 10:43 am

        Bound and tied
        Willow on leather
        Another beating makes us cry
        Reaching the end of our tether
        On our knees, begging for KP?
        A whiplash reaction
        To nobody’s satisfaction
        As the factions further split and divide
        To the detriment of our wicked ride
        With blindfold greed, the only threesome in view
        Sado-masochists we all resound true
        Watching from the outside…


      • paulewart Mar 16, 2015 / 11:17 am

        I think you mean ‘South-African born’ England batsman Kevin Pietersen is uniquely etc.etc.


  7. Vian Mar 16, 2015 / 11:18 am

    I’m not convinced Downton is on the way out yet. Graves is shaking things up, but it doesn’t mean he is going to go that far. Besides, as things stand, Downton is an ideal lightning rod for the new boys – especially this summer.

    Think about it, if England are hammered, then they can have a clear out and Graves will not be held in any way responsible for any of it. That’s precisely the mistake Downton himself made – the story ended up being about him.

    Logically, it would be best to fire that warning shot in the review, see how this summer goes and act accordingly at the end of it. Firing people now means that Graves is then responsible for how this summer pans out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vian Mar 16, 2015 / 11:48 am

      Weird, I just realised I used exactly the same phrasing as a post on the DT I agreed with. Must have been subconscious.


      • HRH Sir Giles Selvey Downton Esq Mar 16, 2015 / 5:16 pm

        plagarism and idle wontoness, send him down


    • Zephirine Mar 16, 2015 / 11:49 am

      Very astute, Vian.


    • dlpthomas Mar 16, 2015 / 12:11 pm

      Sounds plausible to me


    • Simon K Mar 16, 2015 / 11:39 pm

      I’m not sure how the chairman-CEO relationship works at the ECB, but in a typical structure the role of MD would be an operational decision and thus sit with the CEO, usually in consultation with the chairman.

      If Downton is packing his bags this week it will be Harrison’s decision. Clarke nominally remains chair but he will be a lame duck at this point.


      • SimonH Mar 17, 2015 / 10:30 am

        Harrison seems the rather neglected figure in all this.

        While Collier held the position he seemed so much the creature of Giles Clarke that he hardly needed to be factored in to any consideration. Colin Graves is reputedly more hands-off than Clarke so Harrison matters. I can’t recall one interview with him or one article about him.


      • Rohan Mar 17, 2015 / 8:53 pm

        Interesting and so is Simon Hs observation below! What do we actually know about Harrison? What are his credentials? Did he play cricket and to what level and how much? Does he understand the game and the requirements of modern cricket? Lots of questions, but as Simon H says, has he given an interview or had an article about him? Really in the dark on this one, can anyone shed any light. Would be very interesting to know who he is and what he will bring to the job. What is his remit……


    • d'Arthez Mar 16, 2015 / 2:08 pm

      The Highlight? Undoubtedly the ability of Morgan to win tosses. He won 5 out of 6 tosses, only losing to Scotland. Too bad that Morgan did not lose the toss more often, since the teams’ conversion rate for won tosses (20%) was rather poor.

      The other leaders in the tossing department are Mathews and Porterfield with 4 successful tosses.


  8. Grumpy Gaz Mar 16, 2015 / 12:15 pm

    Whilst I would enjoy seeing KP back in an England shirt I think the most important thing is to return the selection process to one of merit again. How do the current players feel knowing it isn’t their form or ability that gets them into, or out of, and England team?

    How do they then feel about questioning the coach or coaching methods knowing you can easily pick up the label of ‘troublemaker’, followed by ‘disinterested’ for questioning methods they know to be failing?

    As for KP, Ricky Ponting has said many times “it’s all about the runs”. The money, the sponsors, the test place; they all come if you score the runs. Its only in Downton land where the runs don’t matter and that may be changing. How has England’s scoring rate changed since Downton took over? How has the bowling improved?

    Just what effect has the man had in the last twelve months that keeps him in an ECB job when KP, Carberry, Compton, Panesar are out?


    • Vian Mar 16, 2015 / 12:41 pm

      And Cook from the ODI side. Right decision eventually yes, but how much damage has publicly backing him vociferously and then firing him two days later had? It’s awful man management.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mark Mar 16, 2015 / 1:57 pm

        It was the medias ludicrous defence of Cook last summer that showed how much deeper the problems with English cricket had become. When the cricket writers become just apologists for the governing body you know things are rotten.

        They tied themselves up in knots trying to defend him. The Southampton test match , and the triumphalism afterwards made you realise these people were living in fantasy land. Either that or they were being paid well to write this bullshit narrative.

        Liked by 1 person

    • hatmallet Mar 16, 2015 / 1:02 pm

      Oh wait…

      “Saker has sought an early contract release from his role as England’s bowling coach, a position he has held for almost five years, so he can focus on his first role at the helm of the Renegades, and potentially a complementary position in the Sheffield Shield or English county cricket.”


      • THA Mar 16, 2015 / 2:00 pm

        The Renegades haven’t got any players until December, so it would be interesting to know exactly who he’d be coaching for the next nine months..


    • Vian Mar 16, 2015 / 1:35 pm

      I suspect Saker just reached his sell by date in the England set up. When he started out, he did very well. He didn’t fail throughout, and he pointedly said he didn’t work on technique with bowlers because they ought to have that as it got them in the team in the first place.

      He’s got plenty of stick, but it seems simplistic to me.


  9. Rav Roberts Mar 16, 2015 / 1:19 pm

    You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave..


  10. Annie Weatherly-Barton Mar 16, 2015 / 2:21 pm

    Jumped before he was pushed? Oh well. One down 3 to go. See if someone at the ECB has the bottle to get rid of the rest.


  11. paule Mar 16, 2015 / 3:22 pm

    That’s one source of leaks dried up then.


      • SimonH Mar 16, 2015 / 5:44 pm

        Holy cow, it isn’t. From Lawrence Booth:
        “If the ECB do allow Saker to head home before the Australians arrive to defend the Ashes this summer, that could pave the way for the return of Ottis Gibson”.

        Nothing against Gibson who seems a perfectly nice chap but his first go wasn’t that much of a success and there would still be no-one with a long, successful test career in the England hierarchy. At this rate, if they do sack Downton they’ll replace him with Doug Insole or Ossie Wheatley.


  12. SimonH Mar 16, 2015 / 3:40 pm

    Didn’t think I could read anything more about England and the use of data but this is good:


  13. SimonH Mar 16, 2015 / 3:50 pm

    Several videos on cricinfo with Goerge Dobell discussing Pietersen and/or ECB-related matters:

    “Maybe people need to be asking themselves who is going to win more matches for England, Paul Downton or Kevin Pietersen?”

    Thank you George.

    He seems overall to be leaning towards an ODI and T20 comeback more than a Test comeback. KP to play in T20 WC? He has to pull out of the IPL to earn a recall. The T20 WC is in….. India. He’s being forced to play four-day games in Cardiff and Chelmsford. That’s some joined up strategic thinking right there…..


    • Benny Mar 16, 2015 / 5:09 pm

      “OK Mr Downton, you’re interviewing for the post of MD of ICI. Now tell us what were your greatest achievements in your previous occupation.”


      “Mr Downton?”


  14. Boz Mar 16, 2015 / 5:10 pm

    He’s gone!!
    They’ve sacked him!!!
    No messing about here then –OUT ……..
    oh, it’s Gus Poyet….. bugger!


    • Rav Roberts Mar 16, 2015 / 10:29 pm

      Yeah, what do Sangakkara and Jayawardene know about cricket, eh?
      Just W.T.F have Flowers, Downton, Whitaker and Cook done here FFS?!?!?!?


    • thebogfather Mar 17, 2015 / 7:34 am

      Agreed, no offence to WI, but with the coming year, certain players will need a break, so including player(s) who have injury concerns, however minor, is just unbelievable.

      Moeen could be a vital player this year (and into early next year), so why risk him now?

      I fully expect a ‘full squad’ to be announced for the WI series, to cover various management arses.

      They must rest ‘Jimmy’ – if only to refresh him for the home series

      They must rest ‘Broady’ – as he’s currently performing like a 38 year old seamer, (no offence meant to those who do) and is like a rabbit batting

      They should rest ‘Rooty’ – too much too soon

      They should explore potential alternatives (not necessarily ‘newbies’) as cover for this ridiculous Test programme over the coming year

      They wont…


  15. Rohan Mar 16, 2015 / 8:00 pm

    Some great comments, very humorous points from many and two good reads from LCL! I am very much enjoying watching and reading about the changes/rumblings which may be afoot!

    One of the things that has struck me during this period, is how similar the ECB (as in Downton et al), ex-pros (not all I must add) and many mainstream journos are to many of our politicians! They are completely out of touch with the public. To draw 2 parallels, Swann was clueless, as kindly pointed out to me by someone on here, about the cost of test cricket tickets and Miliband was clueless about the cost of the average weekly food shop. These are just 2 examples of many I could use. This is why the odd journo, such as Dobell or ex-pro like Mark Butcher are so important. As LCL has said, they get us, at least a bit and understand we want a good England team run properly and fairly. They form the link between us and those in the ECB, or incoming, who may listen and make a difference; hope springs eternal.


    • Benny Mar 16, 2015 / 8:42 pm

      Good observation. Throw in many big businesses, local councils, marketing organisations and numerous protest groups. I can do profound!


  16. thebogfather Mar 17, 2015 / 7:23 am

    Good morning LCL

    Have you deleted a blog post? I put my lappy on this morning and as is my current way, went to emails, deleted where applicable, including what I thought was a link to a post from you ‘Friends’ -didn’t read email as I normally (sadly? lol) go straight here to see what’s new….
    Hope all is well with you



  17. SimonH Mar 17, 2015 / 9:07 am

    Sad news that Mohammad Irfan is out of the WC with a stress fracture of the pelvis. A cheeky thought on a replacement from Peter Miller:

    More realistically, Pakistan have Yasir Shah in the squad for the QF (he troubled the Australians in UAE) and Junaid Khan (who has resumed full training) for the SF if they make it there.


  18. SimonH Mar 17, 2015 / 9:35 am

    Nothing much new in the papers about Downton or Pietersen this morning. Are most of the press corps in the air on the way back from Down Under? Or sleeping off their jet lag?

    Mike Walters has a brief article on today’s meeting but it doesn’t say anything not already known. This Tweet is more interesting:

    That Gooch interview is just everything (or most things) wrong with English cricket in a nutshell.


    • SimonH Mar 17, 2015 / 9:36 am

      Oops – let’s try that again:


    • paule Mar 17, 2015 / 10:19 am

      Graham Gooch symbolizes everything that’s wrong about English cricket. A toxic,self-serving,self-absorbed, conservative mercenary. Great batsman, but far more corrosive than KP.


      • dlpthomas Mar 17, 2015 / 11:03 am

        who put taking part in a rebel tour of South Africa above playing for England

        Liked by 1 person

      • BoerInAustria Mar 17, 2015 / 1:29 pm

        Gooch: “One fact is certain: if there was one place Alastair would have profited, it was on the pitches in Australia with two new white balls”

        Oh dear. Facts. You can’t argue with facts.
        2014 ODIs in AUS: 4 in 4, 22 in 30, 35 in 36, 44 in 43, 39 in 62.

        Liked by 1 person

      • paule Mar 17, 2015 / 4:58 pm

        Yes, Goochy liked his stats. Or more pertinently he didn’t like David Gower’s.


  19. SimonH Mar 17, 2015 / 9:47 am

    This going on this morning:

    If I can find what was said I’ll pass it on of course.

    If the conversation following the main Tweet doesn’t show there are two good points made there:
    1) Why are most of the UK press corps flying home and missing the QFs, SFs and Final? I know they are going to be away from home a lot this year – but doesn’t it look a tiny bit insular? Do English football journos depart en masse when England exit the WC?
    2) Are there reserve days for the QFs?


  20. SimonH Mar 17, 2015 / 9:53 am

    Couple of interesting Tweets from Lizzy Ammon on what she believes happened last February:


    • LordCanisLupus Mar 17, 2015 / 9:55 am

      This was on my post “Friends ” which I took down because I felt I was being too spiteful.


      • SimonH Mar 17, 2015 / 10:17 am

        What I’ve posted doesn’t seem spiteful I hope? Just intended as info for those who haven’t got the time to hunt round Twitter.


        • LordCanisLupus Mar 17, 2015 / 10:26 am

          No. I thought mine was. Didn’t like the post. Mainly aimed at selfey referring to Saker as “my mate” in a tweet.


  21. Rav Roberts Mar 17, 2015 / 11:20 am

    So, of course it was Clarke who wanted KP out. But how on earth did/does Clarke have any credibility or support after his Stanford debacle?
    (Don’t tell me, it’s because of the ‘filthy lucre’).

    Liked by 1 person

  22. thebogfather Mar 17, 2015 / 11:57 am

    Just posted this on the G regarding our press coming home….

    So, the UK press
    Depart before
    The World Cup reaches its finesse
    For they’ve run out of words
    Most of them, this past year, been so absurd
    Perhaps their wine accounts have surpassed their whining accounts?
    Lobbying their new found insecurities
    Reality hitting home, now lost causes amount
    No longer can they linger
    Licking ECB fingers
    Found out
    Pressing the pass that is now derailed
    Changes of opinion leaving them pinned to the walls
    Ranging rages, representing the swindle they’ve sold to us all
    Perhaps you will understand the outside derision
    Are you worth your inside position?
    It’s doubtful
    As has been your bull
    We no longer reside on your worded defence
    There are so many btl, who have more sense
    Than you…


    • Mark Mar 17, 2015 / 12:25 pm

      I bet that won’t stay on the site long.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thebogfather Mar 17, 2015 / 1:40 pm

        still there, no comments – presumably a bit too confusing for them? lol


      • thebogfather Mar 17, 2015 / 3:37 pm

        Mind you, poetry here, btl or wherever, however relevant or not, still the silence calls! lol


  23. Silk Mar 17, 2015 / 12:04 pm

    I’m very concerned. As I’ve said elsewhere, I’d rather see Moore go and Downton stay than the convserse. We need to lose Moores now. He’s a fucking disaster (and many called it when Selvey floated his name last year).

    I want Dowton out. But if he goes and Moores stays we are being dragged down.

    Keeping him until after The Ashes would be awful. It gives a hospital pass to whoever replaces him, who then has to go to UAE and SA. How would Aus be now if they’d kept Arthurs until after the 2013 Ashes?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Mar 17, 2015 / 12:32 pm

      Before either of those go we need Flower out the door. He is the elephant in the room. I’m convinced Moores got the job on Flowers recommendation. And how do we know Flower is not running things behind the scenes. They held on to Cook way to long. Who was responsible for that?

      If I was a cynic I might suggest that Flower played a blinder. Pretend to resign after a humiliating 5-0 defeat. Take your arch enemy with you in KP. (It would have looked pretty strange if the coach had stayed after a thrashing’ and the best player goes instead)

      Then, when the dust has settled come back. In a so called back room position and have your puppet now running the team. It’s almost as if Flower never left.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Silk Mar 17, 2015 / 1:16 pm

        Even more important to get rid of Moores then. Bring in a coach who’s actually the coach.


  24. hatmallet Mar 17, 2015 / 1:11 pm

    New article by Booth:

    He’s correct that “England will not win or lose the Ashes on the basis of whether Pietersen returns” and that the fast bowlers’ underperformance at the World Cup is the biggest cause for concern for the squad.

    However he doesn’t cover the point that if Pietersen is fit, in form and good enough for the team, he should be picked, not banned because he fell out with the old coach and members of the ECB board room. The falling out with players is an issue, in that it needs to be managed – but so many successful teams have done this fine.


  25. SimonH Mar 17, 2015 / 1:28 pm

    Lawrence Booth has an alternative career as a contortionist available judging by the knots he ties himself into here:

    KP isn’t going to win the Ashes on his own he says. Does KP have to? Add that one to the impossible standards he has to meet…..

    The batting is strong he says. Consider these averages against Australia: KP 44.9; Bell 36.8; Root 33.2; Ballance 12.5. Mere stats don’t show the impact and timing of runs – who made runs when the going was tough and who cashed in when the opposition were already down and beaten? Above all, who would Australia like to bowl to least?

    The bowling is the real problem he says. Yes it is. Is there some rule that says when your bowling is weak you don’t need to select your best batsmen? KP is distracting us from that real issue? So it’s kind of KP’s fault the bowling is so dire! And our fault as well for being distracted!

    KP has two years at most he says. I can’t be bothered with this one again.

    Booth mentions that whatever happens will be fun – indeed, “a whole lot of fun”. Odd choice of word and the same one Selvey used. I’m not finding it fun. Booth finishes with gratuitous sideswipes at KP’s criticisms of Moores on TV and Morgan playing in the IPL which aren’t much fun either.

    Liked by 1 person

    • SimonH Mar 17, 2015 / 3:37 pm

      Lawrence Booth has a second piece on Sam Robson.

      On-message pt 1: “‘There was a very welcoming culture in the dressing-room, which helped all the young guys coming in. After the disappointing loss to Sri Lanka, that helped us turn things round pretty quickly”.

      On-message pt 2: “Robson has been assiduously working on his game in South Africa with the ECB’s performance programme and the Lions. And he reserves special praise for the coaching of Andy Flower and Graham Thorpe….. ‘Andy talks a lot about your approach to batting – how to score runs, as opposed to just technique. If he notices something technical, he’ll say it. But he doesn’t just say stuff for the sake of it. He likes to keep things simple. Graham Thorpe is the same. They spot things, but they don’t go on and on.’”


  26. Boz Mar 17, 2015 / 2:20 pm

    seen on newspaper stand:

    “We’re not going to choke’ de Villiers” – that’s good!


    • d'Arthez Mar 17, 2015 / 7:19 pm

      I find de Villiers’ statements on the ODI squad(s) cringeworthy at best. Almost Morgan-esque in its detachment from reality.


  27. SimonH Mar 17, 2015 / 2:53 pm


  28. SimonH Mar 17, 2015 / 4:01 pm


  29. paule Mar 17, 2015 / 4:53 pm

    For those of us who regard the ‘outside cricket’ meme as symptomatic of wider ills I’d recommend The Guardian’s coverage of the housing rally today. It comes loaded with this priceless nugget:

    ‘The national rally represented a new level of slickness in housing campaigning in contrast with raucous and disobedient grassroots movements against alleged “social cleansing” by landlords.’

    Outside Housing, anyone? The Guardian’s establishment position couldn’t be any clearer.


    • Boz Mar 17, 2015 / 5:42 pm

      that’s almost as good as Rachel reeves today – “However, Reeves said Labour did not want to be seen to be the party of the welfare state. “We are not the party of people on benefits. We don’t want to be seen, and we’re not, the party to represent those who are out of work,” she said. “Labour are a party of working people, formed for and by working people.”

      Don’t ya just love these people?


  30. Boz Mar 17, 2015 / 7:36 pm

    there’s no politics in cricket???????????????????????????????????????????????
    what has the last year at the ECB been about????????????????????????????


    • Boz Mar 17, 2015 / 7:37 pm

      maybe that’s what the ‘rumbling’ is???????????????????


  31. SimonH Mar 17, 2015 / 8:15 pm

    New from Brenkley:

    Brenkley writes,

    “the expectation is that Downton and Whitaker will both be in jobs by nightfall. Shortly after that, maybe simultaneously, it is also expected that a definitive statement will be issued about the future selection chances of Kevin Pietersen.

    If a declaration can be made along the lines that Pietersen’s chances of being selected are zero, then that may put an end to it. Without that, Pietersen’s presence will forever be a distraction.

    Unless those who are supposed to know what is going on at the England and Wales Cricket Board are being misled, Whitaker and Downton have the crucial support of Tom Harrison, the recently installed chief executive, and of Colin Graves, who will soon take over as chairman”.

    What to make of this? Is Bunkers’ source in the loop or out of his pram? Curiouser and curiouser….


    • THA Mar 17, 2015 / 9:42 pm

      I don’t pay any attention to Brenkley and don’t read the Indie, but there have been a couple of incidents in which Selvey’s source(s) has quite clearly let him down. Not just gave him a tip on a horse and it finished fourth sort of let him down, more told him one thing would happen – which he printed – and then the complete opposite happened. He behaved in an extraordinary spurned-girlfriend sort of way afterwards.

      Which says a couple of things:

      i) the ECB is quite happy to feed their pet journalists a certain line about things like this and then do something quite different

      ii) people are right to be suspicious of ‘I know more than you, I’ve been informed by one who knows’ type statements.


  32. SimonH Mar 17, 2015 / 8:33 pm

    Exchanges on Twitter between John Etheridge, Lawrence Booth, Lizzy Ammon and Tregaskis about what’s going on at Lord’s.

    (I’ve posted the highlights but they may take a while to appear. All their comments are in the realm of ‘informed speculation’).


  33. Rav Roberts Mar 17, 2015 / 9:28 pm

    No matter how many runs he scores or how badly we do, Pietersen’s chances of a recall are zero and Downton, Whitaker, Moores and Flower all stay in their current posts.

    Um, can’t see anything wrong at all with that.


  34. Mark Mar 17, 2015 / 10:09 pm

    “If a declaration can be made along the lines that Pietersen’s chances of being selected are zero, then that may put an end to it. Without that, Pietersen’s presence will forever be a distraction.”

    Yes Brenkley, because that is all its about for you people. Kicking KP. Nothing else matters. It’s like a little cult of insiders all patting themselves on the back, because keeping KP out of the club is the only issue of importance.

    Meanwhile English cricket goes to shit, thanks to a cast of incompetent munchkins and cheered on by professional tossers like you. Thanks a lot!!


      • Mark Mar 17, 2015 / 10:16 pm

        Yea ,right My Lord.

        Sorry about that. It was me ,but I must have put the wrong email. Didn’t bother to check the logo.


  35. LordCanisLupus Mar 17, 2015 / 10:19 pm

    Not sure what the last bit about, Mark.

    But on the main part of your first reply, Brenkley is just trolling. It’s an insult to all our intelligence to suggest that a reaffirming of a stupid policy will shut us up. Absolute cretin.


    • Mark Mar 17, 2015 / 10:25 pm

      Exactly. If Brenkely wants to march off into the glorious future, arm in arm with Downton, Flower, Moores and Cook then so be it. You bought it Brenkey, you own it.

      Don’t let all the great dollops of egg get your ludicrous white suit dirty.


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