I’m not in the mood.

If I was to write something, it would probably fill up the Dmitri Swear Box, and I’m a bit short of the readies at the moment.

There has been no news. I didn’t really expect any. What I didn’t expect is the subtle buffering of the incumbents. We should be demanding change, the proper change, the change that gives up opportunities to move forward. This coach, and this MD have not been up to it. I’m sorry, but they’ve been abject, hanging on to that India test series win like a drowning man clutching a serpent.

Keep on doing what we are doing. That’s the way. Blame county cricket. Blame inexperience. Blame structures. Blame anyone but those running the show. Blameless to a man.

I’m not seeking vindication for my views. Yes, I don’t mind being proved right, but that isn’t what motivates me. I care passionately about my country, and the cricket team we put out. I have suffered through bad times. I don’t have the monopoly on that. But I’m not having it that I might be motivated by vindication. If anyone has any doubt about that, I suggest they read other blogs who might be more comfy than this one. You think I give up all this time, and effort, to get some vindication? Deluded.

Had enough with these people. They deserve the lapdogs that report on them. They deserve the cosy establishment that cossets them. The game will go down the drain, and no doubt they’ll all be saying it wasn’t their fault.

After all, they didn’t have the balls to sack a lame duck chair who would have lost an election, instead giving him a cosy international sinecure. You think they’d do something decisive now?


32 thoughts on “Dispiriting

  1. Boz Mar 17, 2015 / 10:06 pm

    ” ….. as Walvin has suggested, that the historical study of sport will flourish most successfully within the complex, diverse and sympathetic habitat of social history rather than in artificial isolation” (J A Mangan)

    whatever happens the government always get in.


  2. Vian Mar 17, 2015 / 11:12 pm

    Nick Hoult has a very different take on it to the likes of Brenkley and Booth:


    Harrison’s review will be delivered to the ECB board in the first week of April and will decide the futures of senior members of the England management.

    Harrison is understood to have met Downton on Tuesday to seek an explanation for the World Cup performance. Peter Moores, the head coach who is also fighting for his position, will speak to Harrison this week.
    Harrison will then meet Colin Graves, the chairman-elect of the ECB, next week before presenting his findings and recommendations to the ECB’s full board. If it is felt that immediate action is needed then an emergency board meeting would be called to make any significant decision that would have an immediate impact on the team.
    Downton’s position is under increasing pressure following England’s first-round exit and insiders were disappointed to hear him publicly blame the players rather than admit that mistakes had been made by Moores, the coach he reappointed last year, at the World Cup.

    Downton also blamed the culture of one-day cricket in England while loyally sticking by Moores, but the coach made clear mistakes over selection at the World Cup, the team’s inflexibility and lack of adventure as well as by dithering over replacing Cook as captain of the one-day team last year.
    Downton will have to present a compelling and convincing case that the England team are heading in the right direction under his and Moores’s management.
    There is a growing belief in some quarters that the ECB could learn from the drastic action taken by Cricket Australia in 2013 when it sacked Mickey Arthur as head coach.

    Now Nick Hoult has a better track record recently for what is going on in the corridors of the ECB than most. That’s the first indication I’ve seen of a definitive timescale.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andy Mar 18, 2015 / 10:16 am

      Good use of the word ‘insiders’ in Hoult’s article….

      It’s not just us peering in that are disappointed!


    • THA Mar 18, 2015 / 12:05 pm

      There was a very distinct point – and if one had the time and the energy it would be interesting to go back and identify exactly when it was – that the inside crowd; Pringle, Selvey, etc, were no longer the inside crowd and their info dried up and Hoult – who had been a mere bystander, lackey to DP – became the direct route to the almighty.

      The tone of the message changed as the messenger did. A tide turned quite distinctly. It was very much as if there had been a change of guard, but of course there hadn’t. All the senior posts were held by the same people as before.

      Be very interesting to know who it was in the ECB who changed tack and what was it that motivated the change.


      • SimonH Mar 18, 2015 / 12:19 pm

        Among the “etc”s Newman stands out. His tips for the WI tour have been way out (Ansari????). He appears to have released the real tour squad two hours before the agreed time (hence his Tweets below).

        Of course it is all probably just an unfortunate misunderstanding…..


      • THA Mar 18, 2015 / 12:55 pm

        I don’t notice Newman as much – I treat reading the Mail with all the enthusiasm of sticking my hand in to a hospital sharps box to retrieve a parking ticket. I only know what he’s said if it’s reproduced here or the other place.

        Selvey has found himself on the wrong side of some decisions after having stuck his neck out and called people idiots for saying what turned out to be right. He’s very bitter and childish afterwards.

        I get the impression he knows he’s on his way out sooner or later and is sticking two fingers up to everyone on the way.


  3. Mark Mar 17, 2015 / 11:50 pm

    It’s a very English afair this. Protect the elites and muddle along.

    You see getting English cricket back on track is not the most important issue. Keeping the right sort of people in situ, and keeping the rif raf out. Now that’s important.

    As dear old Dave once said. We invented all these games, and then in walked a bloke in a blazer. Blazers Blazers everywhere. The Blazers have now even colonised the press. A plethora of Alan Partridges running everything.

    We are so screwed.


  4. Jjulie Mar 18, 2015 / 12:22 am

    You are dispirited, Dmitri.I am downright depressed.How could I have believed that even one tiny decision could be made.While no one has the courage to speak up English cricket goes out backwards.How did people like this ever get elected in the first place?The squad must be feeling really cheery now that nothing is going to be done.I think not.Depressed and disgusted.😢😢😢

    Liked by 1 person

  5. SimonH Mar 18, 2015 / 6:56 am

    Reading John Etheridge’s Tweets again he is more equivocal than I first thought. He says he is hearing mixed messages. Booth and Brenkley are much more adamant.

    It would have been great to have a quick and correct decision but a correct decision next week after observing due process – I could live with that!


    • d'Arthez Mar 18, 2015 / 9:29 am

      Management Review System would be a welcome addition.


  6. Marge Mar 18, 2015 / 9:32 am

    Oh dear, I was feeling a bit more positive too! Like Vian, Nick Hoult’s article has given me some hope. I just don’t think that things move at the speed that we would all like them too, in any walk of life, these days. It was never likely that the whole lot of them would be booted out just like that. Who could do it anyway while Clarke is still at the helm? I do wonder how the managerial structure at the ECB works, who is responsible for whom and who has the power to remove, does anyone know? If it takes Tom Graves to do it, then we’re going to have to wait till May anyway. No one is going to resign, let’s face it, that just doesn’t happen any more!


    • Simon K Mar 18, 2015 / 11:47 am

      I don’t know how the ECB structure works, but a typical corporate structure is that the CEO is responsible for all operational decision making including the hiring and firing of staff members or the creation/deletion of particular job roles. The Chair and board set and agree the overall direction of the organisation, and key appointments like MD will usually be made in consultation with the Chair.

      In this case, the transition from Clarke to Graves will complicate matters, but it is fair to say that Clarke’s influence should be heavily discounted given that he is moving on in less than two months. Graves will effectively be being consulted as if he is Chair already.

      On the matter of who to believe among the reporters: the rule is always to believe Hoult. He has scooped his rivals time and time again, is very rarely inaccurate, and is almost unique in recognising that his responsibility to his readers trumps his responsibility to his contacts. (You will note that, disgracefully, the Guardian has said absolutely nothing about this story: not even to acknowledge its existence but deny its veracity)

      I would read his article as saying that, at this stage, there is a strong lobby to get rid of Downton but probably also a pushback from others who were more closely involved in devising the current structure and appointing the personnel. I sense also that Harrison is of the mind to delete the MD post altogether, its two occupants having been singularly undistinguished, and to transfer its responsibilities elsewhere. From a PR point of view this will get the ECB out of the problem of appearing to ‘single out’ Downton (much though he deserves it)


  7. SimonH Mar 18, 2015 / 11:43 am

    Newman’s in a tizz….

    Hmmm….. a cryptic confirmation of the Sale story about Downton there?


    • hatmallet Mar 18, 2015 / 1:47 pm

      Good. If the likes of Newman can fall out with the ECB then we might get some better reporting instead of sticking up for friends and men in suits.


  8. SimonH Mar 18, 2015 / 11:52 am

    Test squad announced. Moeen Ali not named – Tredwell and Rashid the spinners. Lyth in for Robson. Trott recalled. Stokes in. No Woakes – Wood and Plunkett in.


    • LordCanisLupus Mar 18, 2015 / 11:55 am

      Read Cook’s comments in the telegraph. Can’t link it from phone. Heavens above.


      • @pktroll Mar 18, 2015 / 12:07 pm

        My feeling about him in the last 18 months or so is that he really is a pathetic lemming as a leader and a captain. Nothing that is attributed to him in that article has done anything to disavow me of that notion.


      • BoerInAustria Mar 18, 2015 / 3:04 pm

        Cook: The team is shattered, so it is not my fault if (when) we fail in tests ….


    • d'Arthez Mar 18, 2015 / 12:13 pm

      Tredwell? I thought he does not even get much time for his county side in the four day game? Another meritocratic selection, ECB style?


      • SimonH Mar 18, 2015 / 1:43 pm

        Don’t pick Tredwell in ODI matches where he should play.

        Do pick him in f/c matches where he shouldn’t play (last season: 23 wkts at 41).


        If they pick Rashid in the Test team it’ll add another chapter to ‘Captain Cook and the New Spinner’. That’s been a happy tale so far…..


    • d'Arthez Mar 18, 2015 / 12:32 pm

      To some extent it is true. His sacking led to an absolute disaster. The reason though, is not because he was a good captain, but because the decision had been made at least 6 months too late. As a result England still don’t know what their best ODI team looks like. They may figure that out in July this year. Which is a bit too late for the 2015 World Cup.

      In fact Cook publicly made his own reservations near after the second ODI against Australia in 2014, if my memory serves. Only, to believe, that after an accidental win in the one game England won on that tour, that he had received some divine guidance, and that all the problems were solved. This despite poor result being heaped on poor result.

      The moment a player says such things, you’d have to seriously consider stripping him of the captaincy, especially when it is clear he is not getting the best out of his team and / or he struggles for form.

      Cook is delusional. Part of the reason is the oversized cheerleading squad that is being employed by the ECB.

      Liked by 1 person

    • hatmallet Mar 18, 2015 / 1:45 pm

      Didn’t Cook’s replacement in the XI top score for us?


    • SimonH Mar 18, 2015 / 1:12 pm

      Is that what Bunkers meant yesterday about “a definitive statement will be issued about the future selection chances of Kevin Pietersen”?


      • SimonH Mar 18, 2015 / 3:11 pm

        Ah, more probably he meant this from Whitaker:


        “I know Colin very well, he is entitled to his opinion, but Kevin isn’t part of our plans. We’ve been developing our team for a year in Test match cricket. We’ve had some good conversations about what happened after the end of Australia. We’ve produced some good middle-order players with Gary Ballance, Joe Root and Ian Bell continuing to perform well, so we are happy with where we are in the middle order.”


      • Simon K Mar 18, 2015 / 3:29 pm

        The key point here is that it’s a matter for the selectors. Graves never said anything beyond that so his “opinion” remains unexpressed and is moot.

        This, though, is a big change from a year ago when KP was personally sacked by the (non-selector) MD and prospective (selector) coaches were given to understand that his future non-selection was a non negotiable fait accompli.

        Whitaker can have his view too, of course, but he’s one voice in four. All KP can do now is make big runs in county cricket and hope for a vacancy to arise.


  9. SimonH Mar 18, 2015 / 12:45 pm


  10. d'Arthez Mar 18, 2015 / 1:42 pm

    So let me get this straight:

    Playing 4 matches in a season for Kent (2014) is enough “showing off class” to be picked? Taking 11 wickets at 38.72 means you are the outstanding slow bowler in England? The season before that, 11 matches, 17 wickets at 56.76. Some real outstanding form. And that in the second division too. He is apparently so good, that Kent prefer to rest him for the duration of the entire season!

    The last time I remember seeing KP bowl in Tests, he had better figures than that (series against SA (4 for 91 in that series). Or do South Africa suddenly don’t count as “Quality side”, and is it only results against Yorkshire / Middlesex that count? That begs the question: how did Tredwell get in, since we’re talking about substandard batting and bowling, according to all those who insisted that KP has to score his runs against quality Division 1 sides?



  11. SimonH Mar 18, 2015 / 3:38 pm


  12. SimonH Mar 18, 2015 / 3:44 pm


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