Voices

A Chinese proverb states ” One who is tripped by the foot can get up again. One who is tripped by the tongue may not.”

It remains to be seen whether the two subjects of today’s blog will be able to recover from their verbal trips, or whether this is the sign of the end of an empire. If it is the end, this will not go down meekly.

Let’s take Alastair Cook. Now we all know that when it comes to admirers of his captaincy I stand somewhere near the back of the queue. You also know that I think he was cowardly in his approach post-Ashes, got one of the softest rides one could imagine in the summer, culminating in grown press men almost weeping for joy when he made that scratchy old 95 at the Rose Bowl that was greeted by the hordes as one for the ages. He was then given a wonderful ride through a one-day series at home as at every turn we asked to remember the test series win. When he was finally put out of his and our agony of the ODI captain, deep down we knew we’d burned what slim chance we had of doing well at the altar of the Cult of the Cook. Indulging Chef, messing about with our openers, messing about with our middle order, set a bad sign. You’d think he’d know that. You think he’d accept that. But, according to how his words have been reported, that hasn’t happened…

Cook’s no novice. He’s uttered polished word after measured line to take, augmented by bland words and boyish charm. He knows if he wanders off the reservation there will be a reaction. What he needs to realise now is that sympathy for him has left town. To stay on the side of Downton and Moores would be to nail your colours to the mast of failure. To stray onto the other side will cause him to miss out on records, lose his support in high places and then some other stuff comes along with it….. horses heads, that sort of thing. So he’s tried to straddle the middle ground. Be mildly critical, but not so that he burns his bridges. He’s been successful with neither. By saying this in Abu Dhabi on the day a test squad, which in my view he has no right to be in on form, is announced, he’s picked his moment. He comes across as feeling sorry for himself, professing to surprise while saying he had no divine right, and then the hindsight part. Oh, and at the end he tries to put the boot in KP, just to curry favour with his masters in case they thought he’d gone completely off the reservation.

Cook seems to believe there are boundless reservoirs of goodwill out there for him, and true, many still do like him. But a lot more dislike him now than they did in November 2013. However, we see a lack of self-awareness:

I don’t know what’s gone on on that tour, and I can only speak from watching a little bit from afar, but it did look like the lads were shell-shocked from the first two games. That’s when you need real leadership to help steer you through that.

He has to be kidding me. Or does he really believe it was his wonderful leadership that turned around the India series? We don’t have to go too far back to see how Cook’s leadership galvanised a shell-shocked squad.

Most are nailing him for this paragraph..

“I can’t speak about what’s gone on there in depth, but you always back yourself, and I would have loved to have had the opportunity that was taken away from me. The selectors made that decision because they thought it was the best for English cricket. Hindsight has probably proved them wrong, but now it’s very easy to say that.”

I don’t like the “opportunity that was taken away from me”. That entitlement permeates more than anything that I’ve heard from Pietersen (who is markedly more media savvy). As for the last part about being proved wrong dispensing of his services, you wonder what planet he is on. Even KP hasn’t bragged like that. Yes, that comes across as a brag. Please feel free to tell me how that’s been taken out of context.

“[The Test team] was in a good place. I wouldn’t say all of it [confidence] has been [broken], but a hell of a lot of it has been. You have to remember that it is a different format and you get a change, but all teams are grouped under the same English cricket umbrella, and we can’t be naive enough to think that it’s not,” he admitted.

Dear God. You wonder if this “backing yourself” isn’t ECB speak for wiping all inconvenient memories and only analysing the positive data. It’s off the reservation this stuff. This India series win is the stuff of cricketing legend. A mighty foe, slain by a young hungry team, under the tutelage of a mighty sage fighting his own demons, but creating a good environment. It’s a ton of horse manure and most sane people know it.

Gary Ballance.

Sorry for the random name-check.

But if you want fun, listen to Pat Murphy and James Whitaker. Proper questions, prevarication and avoidance, and then forcing out the KP point. And you wonder why there is hesitation in KP signing for Surrey. I know a little about how much some were paid in Surrey a few years ago, and KP would earn that for a few weeks in Hyderabad. He should do that in my view. He’s not getting a place out of this lot unless they go. Top to bottom. They are all invested in this crock of nonsense, and none can save face now. It has to start with Flower moving on, Downton being packed off and a new chairman of selectors. The coach would be untenable at this point, and the selectors would also have little chance. Can you see that happening? I can’t.

But Whitaker is that special kind of cretin. The sort who thinks he’s being so damn ultra smart, so utterly professional by avoiding a question, a straight question put to him.

I’ll paraphrase:

PM : “KP’s going to try to make a go of it to get back into the England team, what do you make of that?

JW: “Good luck with that”

PM: “So does he have a chance?”

JW: “Developing a team, Ballance. Promising. Good luck getting in KP?”

PM: “You think they are better than Pietersen”

JW: “Gary Ballance. We developed Ian Bell. Gary Ballance. Upside. Upside. Not in plans.”

And so on. All about future and no plans. It’s media speak, and while I berate Cook for speaking his mind, it at least says what he feels. This is pre-computed, line to take, cobblers. Just sod off out of it, you damn empty suit Whitaker. Who the hell do you think you are, patronising those who might want to see everyone given a chance to make it? Standing there. All smug, self-satisfied, full of his own importance. So smart. If he were an ice cream, he’d lick himself.

Don’t humour them KP. Just don’t.

As for the test team, well. Jonathan Trott, great. Adam Lyth, good luck. Adil Rashid, I sense players being plucked from the air, Mark Wood, wish him well. But please. James Tredwell couldn’t get into a second division team last summer, and now he’s arguably our number one test spinner. It takes that kind of thought that takes your breath away. No wonder KP is no longer in their plans with thinking like that.

Have faith. Gary Ballance. Have hope. Gary Ballance. Be not afraid…..

I’ll get to the press shortly. It’s been a ‘mare, ain’t it?

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55 thoughts on “Voices

  1. jennyah46 Mar 18, 2015 / 10:07 pm

    I did love this and cannot disagree with you. Great piece of writing. I can tell you are annoyed! Those Cooky posters might have to come down from the walls. It’s a girly thing.

    Like

  2. SimonH Mar 18, 2015 / 10:21 pm

    In little over three minutes, Whitaker managed to contradict himself over whether he’d had discussions about KP with Colin Graves (who he also succeeded in portraying as just another guy with an opinion):

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    • paule Mar 19, 2015 / 7:04 am

      Translation:

      Colin Graves hasn’t spoken to me as Chairman elect.
      I’ve chatted to Colin Graves in the psst, y’know, when he was a member of the board, not my putative boss.

      Like

      • SimonH Mar 19, 2015 / 3:20 pm

        Valiant attempt Paule – but no. Both remarks of Whitaker’s were in the context of speaking to Graves after Graves had given his radio interview re-opening the door (possibly) to Pietersen.

        My take is:
        “Colin hasn’t spoken to me … ” (Phew! Got out of that one. Don’t have to talk about it if nothing was said. Nearly done. Oh ****! I’ve made the new boss sound clueless. Or myself seem out of the loop. Either way – not clever).

        “….. I’ve had some conversations with Colin” (Phew! That’s better. The new boss sounds like he’s got a clue. And he talks to me! Go me! Add that bit about him backing our plans….. Great! Did I just contradict myself? Nobody’ll notice. One more “Kevin isn’t in our plans” and I’m out of here).

        Alternatively, it is entirely possible Whitaker was so flustered he didn’t know what he was saying.

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  3. d'Arthez Mar 18, 2015 / 10:28 pm

    The longer this idiocy goes on, the more I fear it will end up, eventually, with the supporters having to boo Cook off the field at Lord’s after yet another shambolic performance, against say the West Indies (or whoever are taking the early tour in 2016). Yes, I fear that he will survive that long in the captaincy, if Graves and Harrison do not employ a firing squad (the legal one).

    The results have been catastrophic for more than a year now, and barring one or two journalists in the print press, there is little desire to hold anyone to account. Whether that is Whitaker and the selectors, Clarke, Downton, Moores, or the sclerotic structures that are in place. And the defences are beyond pathetic..

    Downton must have made it clear on at least six occasions that he is completely out of his depth – his startling admission that T20 has had some influence on ODIs, not even being the worst example. Moores in his second stint has done even worse than in his first stint; the only thing he seems to have learnt is how to fail even worse than before. The less said about Giles Clarke the better.

    As for Whitaker:
    If I as an outsider had a “Tredwell, what the bleep” in two seconds, then why, in the name of holy pizza, has not one member of the press criticised the selectors for doing such an appalling job? The fact that Tredwell was picked is the clearest evidence that meritocracy does not apply.

    Anyone could see that Broad was bowling like a glorified medium pacer. Either that means he was not really trying, or he is simply still recovering from his injuries and operation. Both would be grounds to give him rest. His batting would have been embarrassing for most #11s. So there is no reason to pick him for that either.

    More challenging assignments than the West Indies await, and it is hard to see the quick bowlers getting through 17 Tests unscathed anyway. The last thing England would want is having Anderson and Broad both injured as th Ashes are about to commence. Because if you then have to rely on a pace attack of Onions, Woakes, Jordan, and say Wood (assuming he does well in the Caribbean), they may be very light on international experience.

    Even with the batting there are some concerns, though not of a physical fitness nature. Trott and the short ball (the mind is a strange thing; I certainly don’t hope he’ll end up as another Trescothick), and the relative inexperience of Ballance, Ali and Buttler (assuming Prior is not drafted in, after Cook suffers another bout of glossophobia). Of course they have to play, to see if they’re up to the task.
    But it all could go all horribly wrong. An injury to Bell would leave a massive hole in the middle order, and a whole rejig of the batting order Moores-style is not something that should inspire confidence in anyone, the opposition excepted.

    Sure you should not bank on injuries happening, but given the ECB’s record of (not) managing injuries, it would be wishful thinking that players like Anderson and Broad can carry on, as if nothing is wrong with their bodies.

    Like

    • lionel joseph Mar 19, 2015 / 12:07 am

      Brilliant.

      Whitaker should start looking for a new job now. A leak like this, timed liked this, after that disastrous interview is as good as a P45 and a couple of bankers boxes.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Rohan Mar 18, 2015 / 10:45 pm

    When I checked the BBC cricket pages earlier in the day, the KP story was headline news, probably still is. Then I noticed the Cook story, squirrelled away down the side of the main cricket page, just a small headline, with a small image to click on to take you to the main article. Now I appreciate KP is box office, which would explain him being the headline, however, Cook is the test captain and, as very eloquently pointed out by LCL, has made some breathtaking and startling comments. I have to admit to being gobsmacked by what he said and also worried that he still thinks he was right for the job, lost his opportunity, blah, blah, blah and is still our test captain. I couldn’t help but feel that the BBC were ‘hiding’ the Cook article away somewhat, so that it did not get too much attention……..almost a protective mechanism of sorts. Then on the verdict on Sky they mentioned Cook’s comments. Colville had Willis and Butcher on the panel, so whose opinion did he ask for, of course Cook’s mate Strauss, cue vacuous pointless comments and an easy ride for Cook. The point I am trying to make is that yes, any kind of goodwill for Cook has almost completely gone with the general public, but many in the media still see him as the man for England (at least in tests). While this is the case, I fear we are stuck with his ineptitude for a while longer yet. When will this all end!

    On another note regardless of whether or not KP plays for England or not, if he did sign for a CC team, it would be great to see him flaying the county attacks. Also LCL I agree completely about Whitaker, smug, arrogant, self-important, condescending and soulless, not a good combination. I think I like him less than Downton.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arron Wright Mar 18, 2015 / 11:07 pm

      This is in quotation marks, but I’m sure I don’t need to tell you who wrote it:

      “there have been issues with Monty to which I am privy but of which it would be inappropriate to talk. But suffice to say they could not possibly consider him.”

      Like

      • OscarDaBosca Mar 19, 2015 / 8:54 am

        I saw that and thought ‘yet again you have some special knowledge that you hint at but don’t reveal’. Selfy is becoming a parody of himself

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      • SimonH Mar 19, 2015 / 9:28 am

        He’s also tweeted this – three guesses who ‘he’ is.

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      • SimonH Mar 19, 2015 / 9:48 am

        By the way, that ‘scapegoat’ comment is part of a lengthy (in Twitter terms) conversation that contains a few other toe-curlers as well.

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      • Arron Wright Mar 19, 2015 / 7:40 pm

        Ah, I see “impertinent” has made another appearance BTL now…

        “The game of cricket is not just them and us.”

        I think that might be called selve-awareness.

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      • SimonH Mar 19, 2015 / 8:21 pm

        This charmer deserves a special mention:

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      • d'Arthez Mar 19, 2015 / 9:35 pm

        “Rankin could not take the pressure”. Was it not Selvey who came up with the excuse of “three quicks that were not fit / unselectable? So if Rankin was not fit for purpose on November first:

        a) why was no replacement called up?
        b) why did he still get a Test?

        What does that tell us about the skills of Flower, that he saw no reason to act on proviso a or b? If ‘b’ was something that was only meant to be an excuse after the event, what does that tell you about the skills of Saker and Flower to instill confidence in Rankin? If the answer to that question is “nothing”, what does that tell you about the state of county cricket, since someone obviously thought Rankin was a better bet than say Onions, Plunkett, and a whole army of alternatives.

        Selvey should introduce his articles with:
        “The journalism is questionable at best. If you want to self-medicate to deal with the fact that I still get paid for trolling you, I recommend Hardys wines.”

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        • LordCanisLupus Mar 19, 2015 / 9:39 pm

          PIecing together what I could from various reporters, Rankin was injured, but the management were not as convinced something was wrong. When the time came to play, his injury got worse and he bowled a load of cack.

          Listen to him, though, before and after that tour. He was on a Switch Hit and was fun, quite sharp and a good presence. See his first interview with Nick Knight last summer at a county game. He talked like he was in shock. It was genuinely saddening.

          This game is meant to be fun, for crying out loud….

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      • SimonH Mar 19, 2015 / 10:14 pm

        I’ve got mixed feeling about Rankin. I heard what George Dobell said about him on the Geek&Friend podcast and of course I have a lot of respect for what Dobell has to say. It certainly fits in with what one has heard about Flower’s and Saker’s attitude to bowlers who claim injuries (unless their legs have fallen off).

        However Dobell claimed Rankin went into the match with an arm injury and all his injury problems during the game seemed to be in the legs. I’m not absolutely convinced by his side either. The truth is more complex than when I wrote the acerbic entry on Rankin for the glossary and I wonder if that could be amended?

        However I wouldn’t say someone “couldn’t take Test match pressure” based on one Test or based on performances in that series. Quite a few players could be written off on those grounds.

        By the way, Selvey has just posted an article claiming NZ are the only unbeaten team in the tournament. That’ll go down well!

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      • Arron Wright Mar 20, 2015 / 7:42 am

        He concedes his mistake with typical gracelessness.

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  5. SimonH Mar 18, 2015 / 10:59 pm

    Newman has a new article about the Cook interview. Just saying.

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  6. Benny Mar 18, 2015 / 11:28 pm

    As for the Test team, I’m still waiting for the New Era. I suggest starting with a blank sheet of paper and picking

    Our best openers
    Our best middle order batsmen
    Our best keeper – OK our best batsman who knows how to field with gloves and pads on
    Our best spinner (Sikh turbans are allowed)
    Our best wicket taking quickies

    Proviso – all must be fit, in form and not coasting along.

    Then pick a skipper from them.

    Dumbton, Moores, Whitaker should be made to reapply for their jobs (as many in business do) explaining what they have achieved in the past year. Make Flower our ambassador to Zimbabwe.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mark Mar 18, 2015 / 11:41 pm

    Gosh I can’t wait until Cook writes his autobiography.

    And I look forward to the cricket writers reviewing it saying “why is he so angry?…. Why did he have to tarnish a great career? …why can’t he talk more about the cricket? ”

    Cook showed his ‘True Colours’ today. (One for the old board with song titles)

    Pitt the younger in all his glory. Drenched in entiltlement, and bitter,very bitter. And as usual completely delusional.

    English cricket is a laughing stock.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Andy Mar 18, 2015 / 11:50 pm

    I was/am? A cook fan, and all through his struggles I’ve been hoping that he would spark and get going.

    I hoped that the cook of old would magically reappear and he would go on to make more of those tons that had the opposition on the ropes.

    After this article, well LCL is very right.

    It comes across as a blinkered, self obsessed steaming pile of bilge.

    I’ve lost a good chunk of the hope I had for cook in the tests & I’ve lost a lot of respect as well.

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  9. Zephirine Mar 19, 2015 / 12:38 am

    “There was no real leadership… because they had not selected Moi !” He sounds like Miss Piggy.

    Like

  10. dlpthomas Mar 19, 2015 / 1:07 am

    I’ve heard that when Cook walks into a room men and women alike swoon. I’ve always been a bit skeptical. However, that line about “real leadership” certainly took my breath away.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mark Mar 19, 2015 / 7:59 am

    I bet all the players who have been dropped (particularly other batsman) from Cooks England must be delighted to read his words.

    And what does ‘real leadership’ mean?

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  12. @pktroll Mar 19, 2015 / 8:32 am

    I’ve turned from being a relative fan of Cook (I don’t really do supporting individual players) to now being someone who dislikes him. I started wondering about his captaincy on the New Zealand test tour two years ago, but by the end of the Ashes series in there, I had nothing but contempt for his tactical nous and leadership skills. Then the continued lionisation amongst his media favourites for his batting, which has stunk for a couple of years.

    To have come out with what he did yesterday only further lowers him in my estimation, which was already rock bottom anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Silk Mar 19, 2015 / 8:40 am

    I’ve managed to draw Mike Selvey out a little on Monty. It seems we continue to select players based on reasons other than being the most talented player in their role.

    “there have been issues with Monty to which I am privy but of which it would be inappropriate to talk. But suffice to say they could not possibly consider him.”

    Leaving aside the annoying cryptic stuff (I was grateful for the reply) I’m led to wonder what exactly the issues with Monty are that are so much more serious than the issues Trott had. England appear to have moved heaven and earth to support Trott and bring him back into the fold. It is, of course, possible that England tried to do the same with Monty and he rejected that support, but I can’t help but wonder that it’s just anothercase of the face not fitting. I wonder if George Dobell might be able to get an interview with Monty, and the truth might come out a bit.

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    • paule Mar 19, 2015 / 9:01 am

      Mike wrote a panegyric about the new Monty a few years ago (well it was more a panegyric of male bonding and ruggedness, to be fair). He’d gone to South Africa and discovered boisterous male company, drink and the great outdoors. It would be making of him, Mike surmised. He would be more vocal, more confident, a leader. It was, I fear, the breaking of him, as what little information has leaked out relates to issues with alcohol and attitude.*

      http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2012/dec/12/monty-panesar-england-misfit

      Like

    • hatmallet Mar 19, 2015 / 9:08 am

      There’s been lots hinted at about Monty. Stuff in his personal life, rumours about the reasons behind his divorce, and of course there was piss-on-bouncer incident.

      I can understand their reluctance to pick Monty, because ‘stuff’ has affected his on-field performances, and he offers nothing with the bat or in the field.

      Whether he has received adequate support from England is a different question.

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      • Silk Mar 19, 2015 / 9:23 am

        It surely comes down to whether or not he’s the best spin bowler, n’est pas? His on the field performances in India were series winning. Broad and Anderson offer nothing with the bat (Anderson is exceptional in the field I concur) but that isn’t a reason to not pick them.

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      • hatmallet Mar 19, 2015 / 12:01 pm

        England tend to look at the full package and have done so since the Fletcher days. Players need to excel in two disciplines. Same reason we always go for batsmen who can keep moderately well rather than specialist keepers. Monty was always a bit of an exception.

        When the off-field stuff was affecting his performances, I can’t blame England for not trusting him enough to play. If he continues to do well for Essex, then by all means they should look at him again if they need a specialist spinner.

        Broad has a few half-centuries in the past couple of years, Anderson made a half century last year. They offer little, but not nothing and can both be relied upon in the field.

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        • LordCanisLupus Mar 19, 2015 / 1:26 pm

          After Day 4 at Melbourne, I’d never let Alastair Cook captain Monty again. Don’t even mention Ahmedabad, because no-one else in the MSM does.

          Like

      • SimonH Mar 19, 2015 / 5:01 pm

        I’m looking forward to when they play Adil Rashid and Cook puts Root on first.

        Liked by 1 person

        • LordCanisLupus Mar 19, 2015 / 6:19 pm

          James Whitaker already saying “Gary Ballance” when asked about prime leg spin option.

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      • d'Arthez Mar 19, 2015 / 6:34 pm

        Which reminds me of teachers in primary school, who’d ask questions in a certain order of the pupils. The less bright kids would try to pick up the order of answers, and then try to repeat them when it was their turn. It can work to some extent, but it is a seriously limited strategy. Rote rehearsal can only get you that far.

        I suppose this effort was informed by the gloriously appalling interview experience(s) of Whitaker last year. This reveals just two things:
        1) Whitaker is not comfortable speaking
        2) Whitaker is lacking conviction

        Neither of which is a real endorsement for the man.

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  14. Silk Mar 19, 2015 / 8:42 am

    I don’t tweet. I wonder if it’s worth someone who does asking George if he thinks it’s worth having a chat with Monty and possibly writing an article based on what he says. Or is that not how journalism works?

    Like

    • OscarDaBosca Mar 19, 2015 / 8:58 am

      No cricket journalism with players works thus;
      – Get a sponsor (say Hardy’s wine)
      – Get some anodyne comments from player
      – Finish interview with ‘[insert player name] was talking on behalf of [insert sponsor here]

      Cook’s interview was surprising in that it wasn’t sponsored (although I am sure it probably was)

      Like

      • hatmallet Mar 19, 2015 / 9:15 am

        Just a regular press conference wasn’t it? He’s out in the UAE to play for the MCC against Yorkshire.

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      • SimonH Mar 19, 2015 / 9:57 am

        It wasn’t a press conference, was it? It was an interview with Cricket Badger. It would be very interesting to know how that came about…..

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      • Silk Mar 19, 2015 / 11:39 am

        That article is a year old. Monty firmly ‘outside cricket’ now

        Like

  15. Mark Mar 19, 2015 / 9:43 am

    I see on the Sky verdict Andrew Strauss leapt to Cooks defence to tell us this shows how hurt and bitter Cook was, and how badly he was treated. He did go on to say he needs to put all this to one side so he can work with Moores.

    I Suspect this will be the line most of the media take. ” poor Cooky, but you can understand his anger, and it shows how he cares.”

    Like

  16. SimonH Mar 19, 2015 / 10:30 am

    Warning…. incoming Brenkley –

    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/cricket/kevin-pietersens-test-match-special-debut-cue-mayhem-and-incident-as-kp-takes-the-mic-10118506.html

    Here’s a slice:
    “In [last year’s] early part, Pietersen was sacked by England and in its later part published an incendiary autobiography in which he unloaded venom on those who had crossed him and unburdened his soul. He was not happy with Agnew’s reportage of proceedings, although Agnew, like most of us at the less sensational end of the reporting art, tried to offer a balanced view of unprecedented events.

    It is true that not all of that went in Pietersen’s favour but nor did it all go against him. The England and Wales Cricket Board has handled his case with shocking insensitivity, happy to let him take the rap without ever revealing his supposed catalogue of sins, but then never quite letting him go entirely. Their silence continued in another day of hapless public relations”.

    “Balanced”? Pietersen gets “incendiary” and “venom” whereas the ECWB (like the way Wales are remembered there – let’s not let the Principality off) get “shocking insensitivity” and “hapless”. That’s balance in the Brenkley-verse. Leaving aside his choice of language, his criticisms are all of the way the EC(W)B presented the decision – not the decision itself. Brenkley refers to “their silence” as if Whitaker hadn’t had his car crash of a radio interview. But the real peach is “never quite letting him go entirely”. Brenkley is desperate for an announcement they are never picking Pietersen again, ever. The EC(W)B’s crime is they haven’t gone far enough!

    Then there is the “us at the less sensational end of the reporting art”. Isn’t it lovable when broadsheet reporters blame the tabloids? Brenkley, Agnew and Selvey vs. Mike Walters? Who has come out of the last year better? And who is so “less sensational” that they are writing a lengthy review of a 32-ball radio broadcast?

    The snark continues throughout (“dandy suit”, “his research might not have been exactly copious”, ” a cheesy smile”) and a section on Brenkley’s own relations with Pietersen. He uses the word “mayhem” twice in reference to the match but near to mentions of Pietersen and you know what Brenkley’s implying.

    And just in case anyone didn’t pick up the earlier implication, there’s “the chances of his playing for England again are close to none”.

    Yup, love those balanced views.

    Like

    • Mark Mar 19, 2015 / 12:43 pm

      “Agnew, like most of us at the less sensational end of the reporting art, tried to offer a balanced view of unprecedented events.”

      That is either a lie or Brenkely has no idea what balanced means.

      Agnew, only a week ago was peddling the lie that KP had chosen to make himself unselectable by not playing county cricket. KP was told he would not play test cricket again. What point was there in playing four day cricket when his only living from the game would come from 20/20 tournaments?

      Agnew and Brenkleys idea of balanced is a bit like the Chinese govts policy for state execution. They send a bill to the victims family for the price of the bullet.

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus Mar 19, 2015 / 1:24 pm

        I’ve given up believing that Bunkers is reporting any more. He’s trolling us. Chuck salt in his tea.

        Like

  17. paule Mar 19, 2015 / 11:46 am

    I see Mike Selvey has been busy lamenting the probable ‘scapegoating’ of his mate David Saker. Breathtaking stuff, if only for the lack of self awareness or reflexivity it suggests. He and Cook should get a room and compare notes.

    I genuinely worry that the rapacious media cycle is creating more and more monsters of us all: how can one be both so thick and thin-skinned simultaneously? The truth lies in the need for more and more news that tuns broadsheets into tabloids and correspondents into gossip columnists. New news (forgive the tautology) overwrites old news at such a rate that one can simply reinvent oneself at at will. Goebbels would have been in his element, one need only repeat the lie on a given day for the past to disappear. Lord knows what its doing to us readers but I can hazard a guess, and its not good.

    Like

    • Silk Mar 19, 2015 / 11:57 am

      I missed that, but it’s very much in keeping with the view being expressed pretty much everywhere that no one is responsible for nothing, and nothing must change. (Also we aren’t at a ‘low ebb’ but actually we are in a ‘good place’)

      Cook – I wasn’t responsible for getting dropped due to poor form, I was ‘denied’ the opportunity to lead. I should still be leading.
      Gooch – I wouldn’t blame Downton or Flower or Moores or Cook or Whitless. I wouldn’t change. (So who /is/ to blame, Graham? Can’t be you, because you walked the plank a year ago)
      Selvey – Saker, who is paid to get bowlers to bowl well, should in no way be held responsible for the bowlers not bowling well. (I love the fact that Saker is now being marketed as the guy who comes up with the bowling ‘strategy’ rather than performance. How fucking hard can it be to tell James Anderson, Tim Bresnan and Stuart Broad to pitch it up and swing it, and Chris Tremlett to bowl short into the body at pace? How hard could it be to see that if the bowlers can’t bowl as fast as they’ve used to (last Ashes, this WC) sticking with the same strategy thrat brought success 3 years ago isn’t a good idea? Clearly it was beyond Saker)
      Dowton – It’s in no way the coach’s fault, even though he’s outstanding.

      etc. etc. etc.

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus Mar 19, 2015 / 1:27 pm

        You’re not going to get re-employed by hanging your hat on our recent performances, so with Saker in mind, he’s not exactly different from Alastair Cook. All about 2010-11 baby!

        Like

    • Simon K Mar 19, 2015 / 12:01 pm

      Also breathtakingly irresponsible to publicly cite an ECB employee – on whom Selvey is paid to write with at least attempted fair-mindedness – as a ‘mate’. Of course, all reporters develop friendly relations with their contacts but they should at least try to maintain their independence when discussing them in public.

      If one of his, say, political colleagues had referred to a government minister in the same way you can be assured they would be out of the door within minutes.

      Like

      • paule Mar 19, 2015 / 12:38 pm

        I don’t know about that, let’s assume his twitter account is a personal sphere, though I wouldn’t be surprised should he repeat the same in his upcoming homily. You can’t stop journalists forging friendships, you can and should call them out for uncritical reporting and unattributed leaks. I suspect the well will run dry with Saker’s departure.

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus Mar 19, 2015 / 1:24 pm

          I thought the emphasis on “mate” was something he shouldn’t have done. You can’t, in his sphere, divorce the two. It just isn’t possible, no matter how much we think otherwise.

          Like

  18. paule Mar 19, 2015 / 1:37 pm

    Perhaps. I’ve little interest in twitter: it’s disturbing.

    Like

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