Furious

Let me kick this off with some blatant self-promotion:

The front of this bloke. Seriously. He’s wandering around giving unattributable interviews, carefully couched to convey that message he wants out there, but subtle enough to maintain his affable bloke persona. People buy it just as easily as they buy all the stuff about Pietersen. We all know it, the one about “every dressing room KP’s ever been in”. I love that one – I’ve worked for my organisation for a long time, and had ten or so roles there, and I’ll bet I moaned about every job I had at one time, every one of my colleagues at one time, and every one of my managers at one time. Even in all the jobs I loved! Christ, we had a night out last night doing it. KP’s not allowed to do it, but Cook is…. Cook can cast aspersions in his ever so polite way, and we’re supposed to forget he’s the most media-trained, reliable drone spokesman the ECB have ever put in front of a camera.

The bit that sticks in my craw is the supposed fury Alastair Cook would feel if Pietersen came back into the team. Really? As I put in the tweet above, he should thank his lucky stars he is still in the team, let alone be angry that someone else might be. You know that line that was spun a few years ago, during the series against Pakistan (the one where KP was dropped at the end of it for the ODI series) where Cook was supposedly fighting for his survival before he got his head down and made one of those gritty hundreds that you don’t really remember unless you were there (by far the most interesting thing about it was how he got past 100)? Cook’s scores in the 9 months up to that “career saving” innings were as follows:

v South Africa (you know, not bad)

15, 12, 118, 65, 55, 21, 1

v Bangladesh (take it or leave it)

173, 39, 21, 109* and then at home 7, 23, 29, 8

v Pakistan

8, 12, 17, 4, 6 then 110

Notice there – 3 centuries up to the second innings at the Oval, including a hugely important one in a win in Durban. and two on his first tour as captain to Bangladesh. Yes, he had a ropey time of it in England, but hell, he’s been doing that for a couple of years now and no-one seems to give a flying one. Compared to his current trot, this is Bradman type batting. Yet he was under threat then, and no-one is calling him out for his “fury” in the press corp now. This bloke has no right to be in the team on form, and if it is his leadership keeping him there, well seriously, god help us.

There was a fair bit of tut tutting over the last podcast of Geek and Friends, where there seemed to be a distinct softening of tone over the ECB stuff, with all the protagonists being the sort of people with the best interests of England at heart, and just being misguided and useless. I am not as hard on them as some of you were, because I see a bit where they are coming from. What I abhor is their (the ECB) stubborness. In the face of masses of evidence, in the face of wonderful modern management and statistical analysis techniques, the best gurus, the best coaches, the most money, the  best facilities, our strategy appears a simple, but rather fucking crap one. Wait long enough and Cook will score runs, Moores will be the coach we all think he can be, and you can forget your damn KP. This isn’t some nice guy scheme, it’s a self-preservation society. In the words of Madness, presumably titling their song for Graeme Swann, it’s pass the blame, and don’t blame me…..

Do not, I repeat, do not fall for this bollocks. It’s nothing more than a confession of their ineptitude and their unwillingness to change. Stick a daring move or two at the start, call everything transitional, back a teacher’s pet, and let’s see what happens. But whatever you do, don’t do anything drastic until they start aiming their arrows at us, and ridiculing us. Then we’ll think about it.

I’ve felt this for a while about Cook, and that is he plays the role of dutiful pupil really well. From the outside all the people look at the dutiful, teacher’s pet and say what a lovely boy, and I’d be so proud of him if he was my son. The other kids might not appreciate it, especially if teacher’s pet become head boy and gets a bit of power. You either stick with him, and yes, like him or you go against him and take risks. This seems the analogy to me. The thing with those sort of kids? The entitlement starts to set in. Their place is pre-ordained. Woe betide any challenger.

Yeah, I’m making this shit up. Of course I am. Sam Robson can score a test ton and have flaws in his game, but your captain can show the same flaws but because he got over them in the past he’ll do it again, so we’ll keep him. Nick Compton made two tons in successive tests, and hasn’t been seen since a couple of poor test matches got him the boot. Michael Carberry? Well he was never going to stick after a series where he took shot and shell and coped a little better than his skipper. Joe Root clearly was wasted there, what with scoring 180 once…. He got dropped three test matches after making an 80, which is the sort of score that would get our media in paroxysms of delight if their lovely little angel did it.

No. They are waiting for the next hundred, so muppets like Swann can shove it down our throats, and tell us to do one, or whatever charming turn of phrase he’ll pop up with next. If it comes in the West Indies, and it really, really should, we’ll get it full blast. As if we’ve been wrong for the last year and a half, as his form dived, his captaincy tanked and the ECB went into la-la mode.

Meanwhile, while the Cook bandwagon stalls, we have the sight of KP signing for Surrey. I’m sure I’ll wend my cheery little self down to Kennington’s Shangri-La, to watch Kumar and KP, but it’s a sideshow. Like it or not, Booth is probably not far off the mark when it comes to his comment that the aim is for KP to ply his trade with no real prospect of selection, as if by doing this these people have been so damn clever. Well, they haven’t been, because if they think this nonsense is pulling the wool over my eyes, and many on here, then their taking us for even bigger idiots than the “outside cricket” meme implied. If they are being deceitful, thinking this is ever so smart, then let them answer to those who pay the bills, who keep the game going.

I thought we might be coming to the end game, but we aren’t. Nowhere near it. Moores is allowed another tour, to no doubt create a good environment, while Cookie gets another stab at captaincy where you can bet your life that a victory in the series will be recorded as only the second series win in the Caribbean since 1967. Wait for it, you know it’s coming. I mean, this sorry outfit in the West Indies will be put on equal footing with those greats of 20 or so years. It’ll happen. The Cook Captaincy bandwagon will be off an running, and the KP sideshow will be relegated to….. well, given past form, the first cricket story in most papers.

OK. That’s my thousand or so tonight. Thanks for all the comments, hits, support etc. Life is so much more busy now that I can’t post as much, but hope that what I do put up here is doing the business.

There will be a thread on tonight’s semi-final coming up, and also a little bit of self-congratulatory news. So until then, wait for it…

I’ll leave you with this (as recommended in the comments)

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76 thoughts on “Furious

    • LordCanisLupus Mar 25, 2015 / 8:43 pm

      Ali Martin in The Guardian…

      Cook is privately furious at the talk of a Pietersen return – he has made those feeling known to Graves – while he is similarly hurt by the interpretation of his comments last week, when he suggested a lack of leadership at the World Cup, in his absence, contributed to the group stage exit.

      Like

      • geoffboycottsgrandmother Mar 25, 2015 / 8:58 pm

        Thanks.

        I still wonder to what extent he’s being told what to say by Flower.

        Remember Cook sacked his “long-term mentor” after the “difficult winter”. It would be interesting to know who has Cook’s ear now.

        Like

      • Annie Weatherly-Barton Mar 25, 2015 / 10:33 pm

        Oh diddums Cookie! Oh so okay for Cook to dump on Morgan and the management as he has some sort of “Divine Right” to be Captain — no matter what — whilst no one else can. Yay right.

        You are very wise me Lord, we need to watch out, we certainly do. I keep hoping — because that’s me — that it will all pan out in the end. I know you are right tho, a wind in the Windies and out the usual suspects will all come with the usual spiel!

        Still here is one really good piece today from Alec Stewart, God bless him.
        http://www.espncricinfo.com/county-cricket-2015/content/story/855483.html

        He totally upends the “every dressing room” and KP being the problem etc etc. Stewart is the sort of person I want at the ECB taking charge of managing the national team. Not the bozos that currently have their over-inflated backsides out of which they incessantly talk their crap.

        Another great piece me Lord.

        Like

  1. MM Mar 25, 2015 / 8:50 pm

    Great post, sir.

    English cricket will eat itself by September. Put a tenner on it.

    Like

  2. Leplayboy Mar 25, 2015 / 8:50 pm

    Winners make the rules, losers follow them and with Cook the ECB (Not England) has pinned its colours to a lame duck.

    I hate most of all the transparent nature of the “experts” who commentate on cricket, they must of forgotten that other people “outside cricket” also understand cricket and at this moment in time Cook would not get in the test team based on form. He was nearly dropped back in 2012/13 when a last minute century saved him before going to Australia and this article from 2013 queried when his from would improve, short answer is it hasn’t !! http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1881045-analysing-alastair-cooks-drop-in-form-when-did-it-start-and-when-will-it-end

    Like

  3. paulewart Mar 25, 2015 / 9:04 pm

    We can’t expect any movement until Colin Graves takes up his position. The tide has turned, though. We tend to pick at the bones of the usual suspects here, but the news, rather than opinion pieces, tweets,or insults, suggests change is afoot. Graves is smart man, he’s flying a populist kite and ruffling feathers: a pincer movement.

    Like

  4. Vian Mar 25, 2015 / 9:25 pm

    Well Ravi has well and truly put the boot in. That’s him stuffed.

    The Cook being privately furious line is just amusing. If Pietersen is near the England team it means in reality that the summer is proving a disaster. In which case Cook is in dire trouble anyway. What it does demonstrate is someone so lacking in self awareness as to not realise what trouble he’s in. Now that’s just weird.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Escort Mar 25, 2015 / 10:53 pm

      He captains England the same way without any awareness of any trouble the team might be in. What is also amusing is Cooks comment last week about his sacking before the World Cup and how it shell shocked the team and that he thought he could provide the leadership to carry the team through after the defeats to Australia and New Zealand. Cook would struggle to lead a piss head to a kebab house after closing time

      Like

      • Simon K Mar 26, 2015 / 11:34 am

        You will note that Ravi chose not to back up those comments even indirectly. He was clear that the destabilisation happened because they changed the side between the tri-series and the first WC game, not because they fired Cook.

        Like

  5. BoerInAustria Mar 25, 2015 / 9:45 pm

    for the record i am also privately furious
    but more importantly, thank god LCL is publicly furious

    Like

  6. paulewart Mar 25, 2015 / 9:55 pm

    Note the replacement of ‘South-African born’ with ‘England’s record scoring batsman’ in a few of the new young turks’ pieces (Hoult Collimose?), Ali Martin).

    Ravi’s thrown a spanner in the works hasn’t he? Good to see someone speaking out from the inside with refreshing common sense.

    Like

  7. ZeroBullshit Mar 25, 2015 / 10:10 pm

    More power to Ravi Bopara and other honest cricketers. Hope this inspires other English cricketers to tread the honest route.

    Like

  8. geoffboycottsgrandmother Mar 25, 2015 / 10:36 pm

    Does Ravi feel empowered by Graves’ numerous comments of late?

    Was interesting to note in that Collomosse article that senior players were being critical of Clownton over his handling of the KP sacking. It seems that the players can sense that change is in the air, even if Clownton, Clarke, Moores and Whitaker can’t.

    I hope that Graves calms down and takes a quieter, less public role once he’s cleared out the deadwood holding English cricket back. To that extent Dizzy’s comments were reassuring but it remains to be seen whether he will tone it down once this mess has been sorted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pontiac Mar 26, 2015 / 1:32 am

      I think there’s definitely been a silence of fear around those who are in or could be in the Test team – for what money it brings and also from the recent evidence that political acceptability can trump form.

      Like

  9. Annie Weatherly-Barton Mar 25, 2015 / 11:47 pm

    Okay boys just tweeted Simon Hughes the piece from cricinfo and Collomosse. I think he is very annoyed with me. Asking how I think playing in second league Surrey is good prep for facing Mitchell. And guff about KP slagging off manager, captain and team & ECB etc etc.

    I said: Cook plays for second division? SH: So what is your point? XA: That was point you made Simon: I then continued to say: what does being out of the game for months and then scoring 3 & 5 against Yorkshire good for?

    I think the man has come back now. He is tres angry about the article. And I’ve tweeted cricinfo and reminded him that Ravi and Gatting are saying how they feel about management and so did Cook last week!

    Asking him some serious questions here. He has said Form is not what cricket is about – that’s how it comes across to me – but it is players who can perform on such a stage. So I’ve asked him: how do we know whether players can hack it unless we try them.

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    • Arron Wright Mar 26, 2015 / 6:20 am

      I see he’s also compared Pietersen to Clarkson. Because hey, it’s the same apart from the physical violence, the attitude of the media towards the protagonist, the nature of previous ‘crimes’ and the extent to which they were indulged, etc.

      His arguments fall to bits under the slightest scrutiny. It’s nothing but special pleading, and regurgitation of stock phrases they think we’re too lazy to challenge. Just one instance: this “big match” thing – Cook has a properly, historically hopeless home record v Australia and averaged below 30 in four out of five Ashes series. Hughes and others have ignored this for two years because it does not fit their agenda.

      Like

    • MM Mar 26, 2015 / 10:57 am

      Annie: I think Cook is actually playing third division cricket. If he’s lucky.

      Like

  10. keyserchris Mar 26, 2015 / 7:30 am

    Quote from our favourite (protected) tweeter on The Times comments section:

    “He could have just not taken a wage from Surrey thus letting them pay more to those Pietersen branded ‘the muppets on £18k’ ”

    Special, even by dear Pam’s standards. Maybe she’s done us a favour locking herself down

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus Mar 26, 2015 / 8:08 am

      Just off the charts stupidity. I thought it would be the tax wheeze part she might get the hump about.

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      • keyserchris Mar 26, 2015 / 8:17 am

        I assumed his salary being donated to his foundation was actually a way round the salary cap (though with a few tax benefits, no doubt) – by claiming it as a donation, not wages

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        • LordCanisLupus Mar 26, 2015 / 8:20 am

          They’d be the densest organisation to not have factored that in when setting the salary cap. I am not adding to that statement.

          Like

    • Vian Mar 26, 2015 / 8:10 am

      I was exceptionally amused how she would talk to me on the Telegraph pages and when Pietersen was fired asked why I thought of an Atherton article about it all. When I said that I wasn’t convinced, it didn’t seem right to me and that there seemed to be contradictions, she then cut me off.

      I still treasure the exchange in the Telegraph comments where Jonathan Liew reported on a press conference at the ECB and she posted saying it was dishonest because it didn’t include the same lines the Times did. Liew replied to her saying that he had been there, the Times hadn’t and that if he wrote up every single line uttered at the press conference the article would be 10,000 words long.

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus Mar 26, 2015 / 8:19 am

        The act of locking down your tweets so only your approved followers can read them is so funny. Unless you are threatened with violence it’s akin to your v own private echo chamber. No dissent allowed.

        Anyone can come on here and fight their corner. They are brave to do so. They don’t usually end well.

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      • keyserchris Mar 26, 2015 / 8:21 am

        She sees the Times as the paper of record (seem to recall she said a close family member worked for them?), and therefore worships it. Quite ironic that her witterings are now behind their own “paywall”.

        Still, it’s probably for the best all round. It’s taken lots of will-power to not respond to her, this is what she wrote on her blog when the Pietersen book came out:

        http://sittinginthesky.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/a-modern-fairy-storya-sporting-analogy.html

        Like

      • Vian Mar 26, 2015 / 8:32 am

        Anyone can have whatever opinion they want as far as I’m concerned. It’s wilfully denying facts and refusing to ask questions of things that aren’t answered that annoys me.

        We all have our own confirmation bias, the point is to try and be aware of that.

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  11. Vian Mar 26, 2015 / 8:04 am

    I see George Dobell on Twitter has confirmed that Downton really did tell the press corps to lay off Peter Moores.

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus Mar 26, 2015 / 8:07 am

      He also says Newman is a super guy. Heard that from more than one. Let’s say this. If he’s that “super” why does he act the dick in his job? Beginning to think Maxie’s theory might be correct. It’s an editorial line.

      Like

      • Vian Mar 26, 2015 / 8:34 am

        Maybe he is. I’m sure we all have friends who hold opinions that make us want to throttle them.

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    • SimonH Mar 26, 2015 / 11:18 am

      Dobell says he wasn’t present but John Etheridge who was has also just confirmed it:

      Like

  12. SimonH Mar 26, 2015 / 10:57 am

    Tom Collomosse has played a blinder in the last two weeks:

    “If MD Paul Downton feels his authority has been compromised, tough. If Test captain Alastair Cook feels undermined, hard luck. The priority is to pick 11 players who give England the best chance of regaining the Ashes. If, by July, Pietersen is one of those, then he must be selected. If he is not, he should be ignored. Simple.

    We’re not asking you to go to war together, chaps. We’re not asking you to form a Government or discover a cure for serious illness. We’re not even asking you all to be best pals.

    We’re asking you to play cricket together, ideally better than the Australians, for a maximum of 25 days between July 8 and August 24. Is that really so much to ask?

    If some of you don’t like each other very much, it’s time to grow up and get on with it – as millions of people working in various jobs across the country manage every week. That principle should apply to Pietersen as much as it does to any other player. It is time for KP to stop chatting and start batting”.

    Hughes, Pringle, Newman and the rest – how can you not get this?

    http://www.standard.co.uk/sport/cricket/if-kevin-pietersen-proves-hes-worth-an-ashes-spot-england-must–grow-up-and-get-on-with-it-10133575.html

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine Mar 26, 2015 / 11:07 am

      Excellent piece by Collomosse.

      “It says everything about the state of English cricket that the majority of the blazer brigade at Lord’s will be desperate for Kevin Pietersen’s stint at Surrey to end in failure.

      That’s right: the outgoing ECB chairman, the managing director of England cricket and the national selector would like nothing better than for the most gifted batsman of his generation to fall flat on his face in county cricket.”

      Yep, when you put it like that….. it’s insane.

      Like

      • SimonH Mar 26, 2015 / 11:12 am

        Think that’s insane? Try this by Dean Wilson (and I thought he seemed quite a reasonable writer – not in the Newman, Brenkley et al league anyway):

        So the captain should also be the Chairman of Selectors – well, that would be one way of getting rid of Whitaker!

        Like

      • Simon K Mar 26, 2015 / 11:36 am

        Because “getting the team he wants” worked so well with Matt Prior in the tests last summer (and indeed himself in ODIs)

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      • d'Arthez Mar 26, 2015 / 11:45 am

        That explains Tredwell in the Caribbean I suppose. The only guy whose batting is not threatening to Cook.

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      • SimonH Mar 26, 2015 / 12:03 pm

        Tredders hit more sixes in the SL ODI series than Cook!

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    • Annie Weatherly-Barton Mar 27, 2015 / 8:36 pm

      Well Hughes didn’t like it and that’s for sure. he came out with all that why choose KP as he slagged everyone off. There was no reasoning to what Mr Hughes said. Where he is worse than any of these people is that he calls himself the “analyst?” How can he call himself that when he cannot analyse this stuff and see what is and what is not true? It’s absurd.

      Like

  13. SimonH Mar 26, 2015 / 11:29 am

    Nice one Barney!

    This excerpt is part of a long conversation that’s worth reading. It isn’t entirely clear who was at this ‘dinner of retribution’ but one could make a reasonable surmise.

    Like

  14. SimonH Mar 26, 2015 / 11:36 am

    Blimey, Twitter will need to find more band width the amount that’s going on from our beloved press corps this morning. Here’s a peach from Pringle with a new spin on ‘outside cricket’ and demonstrating a real scientific grasp of how to survey public opinion:

    Like

    • @pktroll Mar 26, 2015 / 12:16 pm

      I laugh at the notion of someone like Pringle wanting to mix with the hoi polloi. Saw him, while with a load of other fans in Brisbane 98 prior to the 1st test and he blanked us. But then we were ordinary cricket fans, not the type who paid a fortune to go on those deluxe tours. It certainly wouldn’t surprise me if he had changed much in those nigh on 17 years.

      I suspect he would be very much the same to anyone who wasn’t his type of person/from the right sort of family.

      PS I was on a working holiday down under back then, and chose it so that I could also follow the cricket too.

      Like

    • d'Arthez Mar 26, 2015 / 12:21 pm

      The keyword there is function. Not cricket.

      Like

    • Vian Mar 26, 2015 / 5:12 pm

      None of these tossers have paid for a ticket to watch England. None of them have required a new mortgage to buy a round of crap beer. None of them have missed most of a session of play trying to get a £10 dog burger.

      Anyone, from whatever perspective, in the media who starts talking about what supporters think can foxtrot oscar. They don’t have a clue.

      Like

  15. Mark Mar 26, 2015 / 11:57 am

    “should be Cook’s call. Capt should get the team he wants. ”

    In that case get rid of the selectors. They are not needed if captain gets team he wants.

    These people are rewriting all of English cricket for the benefit of Pitt the younger. Extraudinary!!

    Selectors not required, form irrelevent. These people have lost their minds. Protecting Pitt the Younger is al that matters.

    Like

  16. d'Arthez Mar 26, 2015 / 11:59 am

    I have to say, I could do with a dose of someone mocking the ECB, in yet another tale of “splendid splendidness (but only from the right sort of family) “

    Like

  17. paule Mar 26, 2015 / 12:20 pm

    Like

    • d'Arthez Mar 26, 2015 / 12:25 pm

      This has got to be unprecedented in the English game. The closest thing that I can think of is Basil d’Oliveira, and that case is markedly different and more political. There might be some players I forgot from the earlier days, especially in the era before players were professionals.

      Like

      • Zephirine Mar 26, 2015 / 2:28 pm

        Gooch and Gower?

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      • Tuffers86 Mar 26, 2015 / 2:34 pm

        And this is what is making me sick. It’s no better than Gents v Players. I don’t want to think it is classist but it stinks.

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  18. "IronBalls" McGinty Mar 26, 2015 / 12:42 pm

    Which brings me neatly back to the “Englishness” so beloved of the dear leader. When I first heard these utterances I thought it just smacked of the old Imperialism..”Johnny foreigner, and those bloody colonials” etc etc, and I thought…”Nah…surely not?”
    Now….I’m not so sure?

    Like

  19. dvyk Mar 26, 2015 / 1:37 pm

    “We’ve never had a problem with him,” Alec Stewart, the Surrey director of cricket, said. … “Yes, we need good cricketers, but we also need good people. We are trying to bring through young players who learn and do the right thing. Jason Roy, for example has learnt so much from KP. He has huge respect, looks up to him and would like to emulate what KP has done as a player.”

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/county-cricket-2015/content/story/855541.html

    Strange isn’t it. Downton could have brought in Gary Kirsten and had KP (if in form) not only scoring but helping the younger players, for these last 12 months. Instead he went for Moores and ruined team spirit, cost other players a place in the team, turned the team into a laughing stock all to prop up Cook, and even failed to do that, ultimately.

    Like

    • hatmallet Mar 26, 2015 / 3:12 pm

      Kirsten was never interested though. Too many nights away from home.

      Liked by 1 person

      • dvyk Mar 26, 2015 / 5:51 pm

        I did read an article in the Mirror which claimed that he’d refused because he couldn’t pick KP — I’m not up with all that stuff, so I don’t know how reliable it is. But I could still change the above sentence to “you could have had no one at all as coach and….”

        Like

      • Vian Mar 26, 2015 / 6:09 pm

        That was Mike Walters who wrote that. There were no direct quotes in it, and it included the bit about the commitment being too much too, but had the observation that he wouldn’t be interested unless all players were available.

        Without direct quotes its hard to take it any more seriously than the stuff saying the opposite. I did ask him at the time if he’d spoken to him, but got not reply.

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      • Annie Weatherly-Barton Mar 27, 2015 / 8:48 pm

        I don’t think that is true. There was a Mirror piece that said Kirsten was approached but he wanted to pick the team himself. That was denied by the ECB – because Kirsten wanted KP in the team. The interesting thing about this is that Kirsten never denied that the article was untrue. It was probably a good move given the ECB bunch of muppets in charge.

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  20. SimonH Mar 26, 2015 / 2:18 pm

    Can you buy a clue on ebay as this bloke needs one?

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    • @pktroll Mar 26, 2015 / 6:43 pm

      Almost certainly hasn’t watched NZ in recent times be it in the test format or otherwise.

      Like

      • d'Arthez Mar 26, 2015 / 7:07 pm

        And barring the first Test, SA did not really fill their boots against WI recently either. And WI were a bowler down in that Test, after having SA 57/3

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  21. SimonH Mar 26, 2015 / 2:46 pm

    The 64k question. Newman’s answer is interesting – some possible explanations:
    1) What Lawrence Booth said yesterday.
    2) Newman hasn’t heard it direct from the horse’s mouth.
    3) Newman is trying to ‘bounce’ or undermine Graves.
    4) Graves is saying different things to different people.
    5) Graves is saying ambiguous things and Newman has only heard the part he wants to hear.
    6) Graves has changed his mind.
    7) Other explanations that are so daft I can’t think of them but are the reality in ECB-land.

    ECB Kremlinology!

    Like

    • Vian Mar 26, 2015 / 5:26 pm

      Another “I know more than you” boast. Graves is obviously being consistent with the likes of Nick Hoult.

      Like

    • Zephirine Mar 26, 2015 / 7:05 pm

      A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest..

      Like

    • Vian Mar 26, 2015 / 4:26 pm

      Once again, note the assumption that Cook is beyond question. Strauss lost all credibility as an independent voice when he did an interview courtesy of one of the ECB sponsors. After retirement.

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    • geoffboycottsgrandmother Mar 26, 2015 / 6:05 pm

      The end of the article makes his return seem like a formality though….

      “There would have to be a lot of things that go wrong with the England cricket team between now and the start of the Ashes for him to come back.”

      Like

      • escort Mar 26, 2015 / 7:40 pm

        How much more would he like to go wrong?

        Like

    • Burly Mar 26, 2015 / 9:27 pm

      ““Kevin Pietersen [will be] 36 years of age, [so] I can’t see how he would necessarily play in that. Also, in the Test match arena, our top five or six have all been in excellent form. So it’s not as if there is an obvious place in the side for him either.””

      36, eh? Gosh.

      Sangakarra – 37. Jayawardene – 37. Ponting was 38? when he retired. Mike Hussey was 36. Brad Haddin is about to play in a world cup final aged 37. Misbah just captained Pakistan aged 40.

      Age is irrelevant. How well someone is playing is far more relevant.

      “Our top fix or six have all been in excellent form” – don’t even try it. No-one is buying that shit.

      Like

      • d'Arthez Mar 27, 2015 / 12:11 am

        Sorry to be nitpicking, but Hussey was 37 when he retired. And he was truly among the runs then (2 tons against South Africa, an unbeaten ton against Sri Lanka, a month before he announced his retirement, so it caught everyone by surprise.

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      • Annie Weatherly-Barton Mar 27, 2015 / 8:53 pm

        Not according to Mr Hughes. Current “form” is a fallacy. It is more about who has the bottle for the big games and form is side issue.

        Like

  22. Zephirine Mar 26, 2015 / 4:43 pm

    We’ve several times variously commented that Players Out of Favour make a better side than Players in Favour, especially for ODIs. Now the Alternative England side is looking stronger by the day.

    I know not everyone rates Ravi, but he does have a ton of experience and a good feel for the shorter game, and deserves to be on the shortlist for independent thinking (and rage). Carberry, obviously. Compton, Lumb. It looks as if Jason Roy will now be considered tainted owing to a sinister influence at Surrey, so we could put him down for possible selection.

    Bowling remains a problem, though we have at least one spinner….

    Like

  23. @pktroll Mar 27, 2015 / 9:12 am

    I’m having a bad morning. Not only have a got a splitting headache but my twitter feed is suggesting that I follow, Newman, Selvey and Etheridge. I may need a lie-down!

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus Mar 27, 2015 / 9:14 am

      I follow the last two. Newman won’t let me because he blocked me. A badge of honour.

      Oh, and it’s still easy to read your tweets Paul. It’s really no aggravation.

      Like

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