Well. It’s a windy old night in London town, and the winds of change are blowing around English cricket. Or are they?

Unless I get distracted by someone or other wanting light refreshment tomorrow evening, I intend wrapping up the first quarter of the year with a special post. It will be called Dmitri’s Dirty Dozen, and I’ll be doing a list of 12 (hey, that education did not go to waste) people in the cricketing world to have really got on my nerves this last three months.

There will be the perennial faces of establishment rot – Downton, Clarke and Whitaker – and the pillars of the press (who will win the little sub-battle to be crowned the journo who cheesed me off the most), but at this point I need your contributions. Who has really annoyed you in the past three months? Who needs telling?

I’m not going down the Full Toss route of bowing down to those Aussies, as we need to keep some pride intact, and not give in! But they are right in saying not so long ago we held the aces, and then decided to revert back in time. Let’s get some fight going!

Test cricket is not far away, the county season will be starting soon, and our summer is not far away. Will it be as tumultuous as the last summer? I have a feeling it might be.

Let me have your suggestions by noon tomorrow for the article. Then the piece gets written. As usual, my decision is final! Also, suggestions for the man of 2015 so far. I’ll take that on board too.

Get suggesting!


75 thoughts on “Quarterly

  1. OscarDaBosca Mar 30, 2015 / 7:53 pm

    Mike ‘Selfie’ Selvey – without doubt, the tweet about Clarke was the icing on a 3 month cake made of bike, bitterness and bullshit. To suggest that a moment on 2014 (just over 3 months ago) was a professional calling a fellow professional a c u next Tuesday was a low for journalist at a broadsheet. To tweet during a world cup final that a ca


      • Vian Mar 31, 2015 / 4:07 am

        Actually Apple users and ECB acolytes do have a lot in common…

        (runs and hides)

        Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Mar 30, 2015 / 7:58 pm

      You see, I never liked Selvey’s stuff much in the first place. I don’t feel that palpable sense of betrayal that many of you feel on here. I remember a really churlish piece he wrote when KP got to a ton at Lord’s against India in 2007. It struck all the wrong notes for me. He’d set up a winning position (and would have been but for rain and Bucknor), he’d played brilliantly, and he picked up on his celebration etc. Never been my cup of tea.

      But I think he, along with Newman, are never going to be far out of my top journalist list, and it just remains to be seen if there’s a new one crashing in!


      • Vian Mar 31, 2015 / 3:15 am

        Same as you. To be honest I found the chumminess in the comments somewhat nauseating, posters falling over each other to say how wonderful he was. I suspect a lot of his churlishness is about feeling rejected from those days.


      • Simon K Mar 31, 2015 / 4:54 pm

        No, me neither. The best I could say about him is that he is capable of being an elegant prose stylist, with some arresting turns of phrase. I suspect that is why the Guardian hired him back in the day. He is also capable of writing ugly, unreadable garbage, and the latter seems to have become more prevalent recently.

        I haven’t ever particularly rated him as a reporter on the game, though he does the odd good bit of analysis (but, conversely again, is also capable of swimming with the tide of lazy received opinion, and like most of the embedded press his judgments are blatantly influenced by his friendships).


      • Simon K Mar 31, 2015 / 4:55 pm

        I also agree with Vian and would add that I’ve never been particularly enthused about any writer venturing btl on their own pieces. My general perspective is that they have had their say and btl is for us to have ours.


      • Arron Wright Mar 31, 2015 / 5:41 pm

        I never had strong feelings one way or the other until 2012, although I always found the “Lord” stuff and the sycophancy absolutely vomit-inducing.

        I will mention something that I only remembered again over the weekend. While England were in the UAE in early 2012, Michael Henderson wrote a particularly nasty piece in The Cricketer about guess who, basically saying that his time had come to an end. There was a BTL discussion about Henderson, his horrible snobbery, and the tone of this piece in particular. Selvey joined in, and said something about “Hendo” being famous amongst the press for his hatchet jobs. He made no comment on the particular subject of this one.

        Although everything went belly up in August of that year, it was this fairly minor incident that really started the turning of the tide for me. I didn’t want any part of someone who could tacitly align themselves with “Hendo” over a man with three 150+ scores, two double hundreds (one unbeaten) and two match awards in his previous 11 Tests.


    • Annie Weatherly-Barton Mar 30, 2015 / 10:06 pm


      1. Oh yes. Selvey gets my top place

      a. For constantly having articles modded so viciously.
      b. For his very nasty bile no matter whether he is being asked a realistic question.

      2. Newman

      3. Followed on very closely by the wonderful — no clapping or cheering on the back row please — our very own Paul Newman!

      4. Derek Pringle

      FORMER PLAYERS: severely pissed off with this lot

      1. Dominic Cork – what an arse he is. He talks out of his rear end so much. Venom personified
      2. Bob Willis — MOG: Miserable Old Git — bloody motormouth
      3. Mark Nicholas — he changes his mind as often as his Y fronts. And he is so bloody smug.


      1. Swann — because he is crap commentator.
      2. Aggers — because he had an unnecessary pop at me and he has acted like an arse for too bloody long
      3. Simon Hughes because of his stupid, unnecessary rubbish to intelligent questions.


      1. Downton, Clarke & Whittaker in that order.


      1. Lord Canis Lupus for not giving a stuff what the “insiders” have said and continue to say and writes some bloody great pieces.
      2. George Dobbell for always being honest, fair, & scrupulous
      3. Mike Waters & Dave Tickner for never giving a brass farthing for the ECB and saying it their way or no way.

      1. Cook for never claiming responsibility and continually throwing his toys out of his pram. He is bloody nauseating.

      1. Brendan McCullum for sorting out the problems with the team and coming out and blowing my mind at this WC.
      2. All those on this blog and TFT for never giving up. Deserve a damn big barrel of beer or whatever.
      3. KP for never giving up and following his dream.


      • Rav Roberts Mar 30, 2015 / 11:30 pm

        Agree with all of that, though somehow you missed Flower and Clarke off the ECB list!


  2. OscarDaBosca Mar 30, 2015 / 7:57 pm

    Bah didn’t finish. To tweet about Clarke during a World Cup final was an anodyne comment at best. It looked what it really was, the comment of a bitter ex cricketer whose test career didn’t amount to a hill of beans. His reaction to someone politely calling him out on this tweet was typical of the man (who blocked me for calling George Dobell a proper journalist). He is an awful man


    • Vian Mar 31, 2015 / 4:03 am

      Hmm. Another unpopular opinion maybe, but I thought Selvey had a point. Announcing it before the final did smack of self-aggrandisement. I’m reminded of how Clive Woodward told the 2003 team that anyone announcing their post World Cup retirement before the competition wouldn’t be on the plane, and during it wouldn’t be in the team.

      Not a major crime no. But nor is it immune from raised eyebrows.


      • Arron Wright Mar 31, 2015 / 6:42 am

        Except he was trying to spread gossip about Clarke’s unpopularity in the dressing room in his WC preview article; moaned about the praise Clarke received for the Ashes whitewash; constantly told us last year that Cook had immense mental strength, or that Strauss was driven to sweary despair by an “unmanageable individual” yet makes no allowance here for what Clarke has gone through as captain in the last few months; and at the most basic level I think he is bitter that Clarke crapped all over his mate Flower’s legacy and reputation.


      • Vian Mar 31, 2015 / 1:03 pm

        But that’s a wider point and I’m hardly going to defend Selvey. I’m just making the point that that particular point about Clarke was a reasonable criticism.


      • Vian Mar 31, 2015 / 1:04 pm

        Too many points about points and getting to the point there.


      • Simon K Mar 31, 2015 / 4:57 pm

        I tend to agree with Vian (again) and prefer the Vettori approach of making your intentions known without announcing them explicitly until after the game. But I also agree with Arron that Selvey doesn’t really care about this, he just doesn’t like Clarke very much.


  3. Sean B Mar 30, 2015 / 8:04 pm

    So apart from the standard, Moores, Downton, Cook (that delusional one day rant), Newman (how I loathe that man) and Jim Holden for that article (jeez was it Newman in disguise)??

    My biggest bug bear is English groundsmen. I know lets produce green, seaming wickets that any medium pace trundler can put the ball in vaguely the right area. Oh look another 5 wickets for Stevens, Gurney and anyone else bowling 70mph.

    The one thing the WC should teach us is the value of high quality fast bowling and funny enough the cupboard is bare. Why bend your back to bowl 90mph or be an attacking spinner, when you get more from bowling dibbly dobblies on a good length. Until we solve this we’ll never win a World Cup or a test series against a quality side away from home.

    Most of all, I still blame David Saker. I just wish the length of tenure was the length he got our bowlers to bowl


    • LordCanisLupus Mar 30, 2015 / 8:09 pm

      To be fair to the groundsman, Sean, it isn’t their time of year 🙂

      Got me thinking about another article though, so thanks for that.

      Ah, Saker. 4 Fux. I’d almost forgotten about him.


  4. hatmallet Mar 30, 2015 / 8:21 pm

    For someone other than the usual suspects, Dave Richardson? To call the associates “window dressing” hasn’t gone down well and displays much of the same thinking we see within the ECB.


  5. Phil Mar 30, 2015 / 8:25 pm

    Simon Hughes and Jim Holden could jump into your writers list.


  6. Leplayboy Mar 30, 2015 / 8:41 pm

    Agnew is always a bit too ensconced in the ECB pocket for my liking but he maybe trying to climb out judging from recent attempts.


    • paulewart Mar 31, 2015 / 4:35 am

      He was/is clearly terrified of Andy Flower too. Try listening to his post-Ashes interview (home series): you’ll never hear a more cowed journalist. It sounded like a parody of Soviet scribe interviewing Stalin and one could imagine (forgive the mixed allusions) Flower stroking his cat balefully whilst responding witheringly to the foolish Agnew.


  7. SimonH Mar 30, 2015 / 9:00 pm

    Drat that Brendon McCullum for being such a dynamic batsman, great captain and all-round good guy and having to be man of 2015 so far – because I’d otherwise love it to go to Pat Murphy for you-know-what. An honourable mention in dispatches also for Tom Collomosse.


  8. hatmallet Mar 30, 2015 / 9:02 pm

    Just as an aside, as I feel we need some positive England news. A year ago tomorrow, we were beaten by the Netherlands in the World T20. Which means it’s been a whole year since we’ve picked Jade Dernbach.

    Or am I clutching at straws?


    • Arron Wright Mar 31, 2015 / 2:35 pm

      Not the “fruitfly/pest/how could Colin do this to Paul” piece summed up by Lizzy Ammon as “KP bad. My mate Downton good”?


  9. thebogfather Mar 30, 2015 / 10:04 pm

    1 – ignore the press – do not comment btl apart from say ‘pffl yet again’
    2 – Bomb the ECB with reality from all of us outsiders, whatever you write or I/we write RT them into oblivion
    3 – Those ‘insiders’ who are ‘about-turning’ – let’s hound them to the truth over the past 2 years
    4 – Flag up the twitterers who may not express in more than 140, yet still speak more truth than many a btl/blog more succinctly
    5 – Keep up the fight for cricket


  10. thebogfather Mar 30, 2015 / 10:07 pm

    woman of 2015 – there’s at least 3 – Annie, Zeph, Julie – such wonderful words from all


    • Zephirine Mar 30, 2015 / 10:36 pm

      Most kind of you, Bogfather 🙂

      But I think the Woman of the Year so far is Sarah Taylor yet again. She and several of the other England women have been playing in Aus over our winter and Sarah T did quite well, really. From the ECB website:

      England women international Sarah Taylor has won the Andrea McCauley Trophy after she was named South Australian Scorpions player of the year for 2014/15.

      The wicketkeeper-batter struck 438 runs, took four catches and claimed nine stumpings during the Women’s National Cricket League and Women’s Twenty20 campaigns.

      Her performances were instrumental in the Scorpions qualifying for their first Australian WNCL final since 2007/08.

      The trophy is named after former Australia and South Australia cricketer Andrea McCauley, now the head coach of the Scorpions. She said: “Her innings (81 off 51 balls) against ACT Meteors in the WT20 was the most amazing display of batting by a woman that I have ever witnessed; she has a way of making batting and wicket-keeping look effortless.”

      England player? best ever witnessed?? effortless??? One is at a loss how to respond. We’ve grown unused to that kind of thing.


      • Vian Mar 31, 2015 / 3:55 am

        She’s a genuinely outstanding wicketkeeper. Not a genuinely outstanding female wicketkeeper, a genuinely outstanding wicketkeeper. As one myself (wicketkeeper that is, not a female. Except for that night when….errrr anyway moving on) she has superb footwork, excellent reactions and is extremely capable. The anticipated catch a couple of years ago is one of the best keeper catches I’ve ever seen.


  11. Arron Wright Mar 30, 2015 / 10:53 pm

    *Mark Goodier voice* (or, showing my age, Bruno Brookes)

    Let’s count them down, from 12 to Number One!

    12 (NEW) Chart debutant Jim Holden, with “Mad World”
    11 (17) Derek Pringle, “Optimistic”
    10 (been in charts for years, keeps coming back to haunt you after TV exposure) Giles Clarke, “Money (That’s What I Want)”
    9 “There’s No-One Quite Like Cooky”, an excruciatingly cloying duet by westcorkthinktank and DucDeBlangis, featuring RogerApex on sententious percussion
    8 Sampled over a repetitive 2Unlimted style techno beat, it’s “Not In Our Plans” by James Whitaker
    7 “Generic forgettable out of date guitar-based lad anthem (Possibly involving beer, driving and a trapped cat)” by Dr Comfort and the Lurid Revelations
    6 Re-issue from 2007, benefiting from the recent introduction of streaming data into the chart, it’s “Panic” by Peter Moores, featuring the refrain “Hang the JT”
    5 (NEW) Following a series of poorly-performing efforts, we hadn’t heard from him in a while, but as soon as we did, he fairly rocketed back into our affections… Yes it’s Alastair Cook covering Eminem’s “Without Me” in the whiny, self-indulgent style of Sam Smith
    4 (2) Still selling well, but somehow outdone by the top three, it’s Paul Downton with his cover of David Cassidy’s “I’m A Clown”.
    3 (HIGHEST CLIMBER) Coming in from outside the Top 20, it’s “World Of My Own” by Simon Hughes
    2 (HIGHEST NEW ENTRY) Under normal circumstances, this would be unbeatable. “The Man Don’t Give A Fuck”, by Dave Richardson

    But these are not normal circumstances, of course. So, doing a Bryan Adams at the top, it’s….

    1 (1) Mike Selvey, “Everything I Do (I Do It For You, As Long As You’re Inside Cricket And Not A Fringe Idiot, or Michael Clarke)”

    Man of the Year: Kumar Sangakkara

    Liked by 1 person

    • northernlight71 Mar 30, 2015 / 11:27 pm

      I think I am in love with the phrase “sententious percussion” especially associated as it is with such notable posters BTL on the Guardian.

      Selvey really has to go though. I just started to get a feeling recently that he might have realised he and his opinions are on the way out of Club Tropicana and heading for the dark side of the moon…. perhaps a forced retirement is on the cards?

      Liked by 1 person

      • paulewart Mar 31, 2015 / 4:40 am

        Looks like he’s after a job in NZ, judging by his recent panegyrics to the place (having lived there, I know how wide of the mark he is).


    • MM Mar 31, 2015 / 9:21 am

      Great work. That covers most of the eejits and shills currently wrecking the wonderful game and/or its image..

      Kumar Sangakarra is a fine choice, but I can’t help but go with Brendon McCullum.


  12. d'Arthez Mar 30, 2015 / 10:55 pm

    Only 12 picks? If I tried I could come up with 24 picks, though the positive cricket stories are sadly harder to come by than the negative stuff.

    1. Cook. Opening bat, giving plenty of evidence that he is never at the races. Or in the right spot if he finds himself in a cricket ground. And giving plenty of evidence that even a microphone is a dangerous thing in front of him.

    2. Dave Richardson. How many idiotic statements has he made about the Associates. How many exciting games did we see this World Cup? New Zealand – South Africa, Pakistan – South Africa, UAE – Ireland, Scotland – Afghanistan, Ireland – Zimbabwe, and if you want Australia – New Zealand (though that obviously would never have impacted on either team qualifying, unlike all the other games, barring the Scotland – Afghanistan games). That is 6 out of 49. The business end of the tourney was almost as boring as the group stages, if you were looking for close matches.

    3. Downton, for being incompetence personified.

    4. Moores. For being an idiot who can only speak bollockese – and then still having to rely on the laptop to confirm or deny that charge. Also the only man capable of making the most insane decisions, on a whim, and then hiding behind the laptop. For the sake of English cricket supporters’ sanity, that laptop needs to be smashed, beheaded, hung, quartered, incinerated, electrocuted and fried, tarred and feathered. In no particular order. Knowing the English cricket press, they’ll cheer the executioner on, if someone leaks to them that the laptop was SA-made, even if that is factually false.

    5. Simon Hughes. For besmirching the term analysis, with incoherent prejudiced rambling.

    6. Jim Holden, for mastering the art of being as nonsensical in his arguments as Alastair Cook. At least Cook does not get paid for putting out a coherent argument to anyone.

    7. The NHS, for failing to take in the plainly bat-shit insane crazy Derek Pringle. Or just give it to Derek.

    8. James Whitaker. Is he cured yet of the tic to say Gary Ballance every four seconds? Or is he trying to get in the Guinness Book of Records with an uninterrupted sequence of 7 months doing so? Do not forget all the other selectors who saw no problem with picking Tredwell for a Test series.

    9. Paul Newman, for acting the part of a scorned lover to perfection. Not sure if he still writes about anything other than that.

    I could include characters such as Giles Clarke, but at least the English game will be rid of him in two months. That is when he takes up his position in charge of screwing up world cricket, after having done such a sterling job in England in the past decade.
    I could include scribblers such as Selvey, but that would be unfair: I had no expectation of any quality in his article, and as such, his articles cannot even be classified as disappointing these days. I could include such outstanding coaches such as Saker, but other than Selvey, no one really seems to believe in the outstandingness of Saker.

    Special mention to the backroom staff of England: they cost more than any Associate Nation has for its budget, and we have seen splendid performances from them. Without them, the results could not have been worse, so I am pretty confident that is a well-spent couple of million quid.

    And in terms of people doing their jobs:
    10. BB McCullum. No need to explain that one.
    11. Mitchell Starc. No need to explain that one either.
    12. George Dobell – at the rate he is going, the Guardian, and other papers could / should simply fire their cricket writing staff and syndicate his output on Cricinfo. It might help the permanently deluded “fans” to see the trees for the wood as well. Not that I agree with everything he writes, but he does the job he is supposed to do, and that is more than can be said of plenty of others.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MM Mar 31, 2015 / 9:27 am

      Choices 4 and 8 – damn good arguments there, sir.


  13. Mark Mar 30, 2015 / 11:10 pm

    My nomination is our illustrious captain, A Cook.

    Having been dropped from the ODI team all he had to do was take a break, get down the indoor nets, and STFU for 3 months. But no, he couldn’t manage it. Instead of reflecting on how lucky he was to have stayed in the job for the last 12 months he popped up almost immediately England were knocked out.

    He was drenched in bitterness, and entitlement. He even made sour remarks about his successor, Morgan. Lucky for him he succeeded an ECB shrill in Strauss. Because gawd knows Strauss would have every right to ask Cook why he has let everything turn to shit.

    Watching the post match interviews of the players and captains from both sides in yesterday’s final made you cringe for Cooks England. We are supposed to have invented the bloody language, but our players talk in weird crypto bullshit. A Frankenstein monster of half corporate public relations clap trap, and 14 year old public schoolboy arrogance. Cooky, and Belly, and Broady, and Swanny. And all with their stupid Waitrose hats on.

    As you said my Lord, the WI tour will be torture. Every scratchy 35 or 54 will be greeted as if Bradman was batting. And if he gets anywhere near a century they may have to suspend the election to put Cook on the ballot.

    As for the journalist who has acted most like a dick, I Would nominate Hughes. I know Selvey always features, but I think the Guardian has forgotten they employ him. Someone turned off the lights in the cricket section, and nobody noticed Selvey still sitting behind the door. Hughes has turned the Cricketer magazine into a PR rag for the ECB. Downton should give him half his salary because Hughes is doing Downtons job for him. What is priceless is how Hughes jumps to Cooks defence on everything , and then let’s slip he had dinner with him a couple of days before. He doesn’t even try to be balanced.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pontiac Mar 31, 2015 / 1:21 am

      I keep wondering if this isn’t some kind of strange… financial pressure and anxiety on the part of a lot of these folks. Backroom staff, selectors, all the rest of them. A central contract for a couple years is probably a pretty solid amount of money compared to county stuff. Carberry is training to become an electrician, I recall. Cook’s extra year as ODI captain = school and university and postgrad for the youngsters. KP can afford to stand on principle; he’s got the F-U money already. Selvey and various others are hanging on until retirement? What are Graves’s and Giles Clarke’s personal fortunes and business empires compared to the entire turnover of the ECB? Is this just a toy? Is this a question of stewardship vs a plaything?

      As we say in the US, in the ham and eggs breakfast the chicken is involved, but the pig is fully committed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • d'Arthez Mar 31, 2015 / 9:24 am

        Central contracts for established Test players such as Bell, Cook, and such go for about 800 000 GBP / year. Captaincy brings in another 300k. Those are the most recent figures I have seen.

        The only ones that can rival England in player payments, are Australia and India. Pakistani cricketers get only a fraction of what their English counterparts get, and they’re forced to sit out the IPL.


    • MM Mar 31, 2015 / 9:35 am

      “Watching the post match interviews of the players and captains from both sides in yesterday’s final made you cringe for Cooks England. We are supposed to have invented the bloody language, but our players talk in weird crypto bullshit. A Frankenstein monster of half corporate public relations clap trap, and 14 year old public schoolboy arrogance. Cooky, and Belly, and Broady, and Swanny. And all with their stupid Waitrose hats on”

      I love it. Great read, that. Not least that last sentence. Boy, didn’t Waitrose chuck a load of coin over the fence when they jumped into bed with this lot! Can’t wait to read the press release when they decide to back out after the inevitable Ashes rinsing.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Zephirine Mar 30, 2015 / 11:55 pm

    My nominations are entirely predictable: Cook; and Jim Holden, for that immortal offering:
    It is obvious to me, and it should be obvious to anyone with the game’s best interests at heart, that this admirable cricketer must be at the centre of the renewal and regeneration that is now urgently required.

    Positive Man of the Year has to be McCullum, for me.

    Unforgettable Veterans Award: Sangakkara, M Jayawardene, Vettori.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Timmy Mar 31, 2015 / 12:20 am

    Could complain a great deal about the UK press or ECB but I would prefer to compliment some of those that are a credit to cricket.

    Love this blog (obviously!)

    Cricinfo, whole team do a great job. Most importantly stories are reported objectively and opinion pieces (from the team and not other contributors) are with evidence or some cricketing insight.

    Dave Tickner (@tickerscricket), every tweet is comedic gold and so on point.

    Afghanistan Cricket, win or lose, as a cricket lover they were a real joy. With more games and better resources, they look like they can make real progress and challenge some of the ‘test nations’.

    Ireland cricket, multiple victories in the world cup. Made the case for ‘associate members’ participation to the world cup.

    could list a few more but too tired till tomorrow.


    • MM Mar 31, 2015 / 9:42 am

      Those two Afghan fast bowlers… is it Shapoor and Hamid? Anyway, the left arm hairy one and the headbanded one. They are magic. Give them an award for generating some cricket hope. Any chance of them getting a county gig?

      Dave Richardson can get a dodgy mushroom curry from me for trying to shrink the visible cricket world.


      • d'Arthez Mar 31, 2015 / 10:07 am

        Hamid actually played in the MCC opening game a few seasons ago against Notts, and he took 7/127 in that match. He collected a nasty injury some time ago, and it took him quite some time to recover.

        What I’d like to see, is that Associate players do not count as “foreigners” for the purposes of domestic competitions in Full Member nations. Give them a go at quality opposition, so they might improve that way. The Irish and to a lesser extent the Dutch already get that preferential treatment in the English competition, and no one would argue that it has hampered Irish and Dutch cricket.

        Liked by 2 people

  16. ZeroBullshit Mar 31, 2015 / 1:06 am

    The people who have annoyed me these last three months have all been listed by other posters. Pride of place as usual goes to Mike Selvey who has demonstrated with flying colours just how nasty, bitter and contemptuous he is.

    On the good side, straight talking Tom Collomosse joins Dobell and Hoult as a genuine journalist. Well done to him.

    I found the World Cup too long and mostly dull. But the likes of Brendon McCullum, Kumar Sangakkara, Mitchell Starc, Trent Boult and Wahab Riaz gave me a few smiles.

    As for England, all the wrongdoers – Downton, Moores, Whittaker, the invisible Andy Flower, and cry baby Alastair Cook – must be sacked this year. The incoming chair Colin Graves talks a good game. Let him prove his worth by deeds.

    Giles Clarke has escaped sacking. May he get whatever he deserves sooner rather than later.

    Over to you Dmitri. 🙂


  17. Vian Mar 31, 2015 / 3:47 am

    I’ll try and avoid that already said.

    I will include Kevin Pietersen, for being a prick with a point.

    The media in general for not doing their job – not just the usual suspects, but the industry in general. Blogs like this, and commenters on the two main papers covering cricket, the Guardian and the Telegraph, should never have got to the point where some are reading their output rather than the articles themselves. Not instead of at any rate. The failure to cover the ICC carve up (Scyld Berry honourable mention) remains a stain on them.

    Sky for being so in bed with the ECB that they won’t acknowledge what’s in front of them.

    CA, ECB and BCCI for stealing our game for their own purposes.

    County chairmen for thinking they are the game.

    Andrew Strauss for doing an interview courtesy of an ECB sponsor long after he’s damn well retired.

    Anyone anywhere using “no smoke without fire” as an argument. Hell, they need to be cast into the pits of eternal damnation for that.

    Channel 9 for fully deserving the kicking Geoff Lemon gave them.

    Pakistan generally for failing to appreciate that above all else, Misbah ul Haq has given them back their honour.

    Nick Knight just for saying “would you believe it?” every five minutes. Mental murder happens constantly.

    Scottish Rugby. Why? Because there are more registered cricketers in Scotland than rugby players. That’s shocking.

    Dmitri for buggering about with different websites!

    On the positives…

    Charles Colville. Not a popular choice I suspect, but he’s been a revelation in the Verdict format, teasing answers and opinions out of his guests, and being sufficiently professional to shut up and get out of the way when they are having a debate. It’s an underappreciated skill. He’s been good.

    Steve Harmison for being a far better pundit than I ever expected. Which just goes to show my own idiocy for making assumptions.

    Ireland for playing with such an obvious smile. And then backing it up. Afghanistan likewise.

    Misbah ul Haq. See above. The man deserves respect.

    Alec Stewart for demonstrating it is possible to just tell the truth without being partisan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Benny Mar 31, 2015 / 11:57 am

      I find journos to be a great irrelevance except they provide material for superb blogs like this and Full Toss. Exceptions being George Dobell and friends and I do like Cricket365.com who never get a mention but seem pretty independent to me.

      I put this under Vian’s post because I support his point about Charles Colville. Suspect he doesn’t care too much about asking unsettling questions. Ireland, Afghanistan, Misbah and Stewart yes.

      Very special mention for England Women’s Team. It’s a pleasure to watch them and they can teach the men lessons about commitment and effort.


      • Benny Mar 31, 2015 / 12:25 pm

        Must commend

        Exclusive: Moores wants ‘brave sheep’


        We caught up for an exclusive chat with a chastened yet defiant Peter Moores in the aftermath of England’s todgering by New Zealand in Wellington. Here’s what he had to say:

        Where this leaves England:
        The process of making progress with our processes is progressing, though of course remains a work in progress.

        England’s current mindset:
        We have confidence in our momentum moving forward, but we probably lack a little momentum with our confidence.

        And there’s plenty more ……

        Liked by 1 person

      • thebogfather Mar 31, 2015 / 1:59 pm

        Benny – fabulous spoof interview that you flagged-up on 365 – thanks!


    • SimonH Mar 31, 2015 / 4:07 pm

      Charles Colvile bodging Downton’s appearance on The Verdict is pretty difficult to forgive.


  18. Rohan Mar 31, 2015 / 5:48 am

    Strauss for me, because of how he described pietersen and has carried on commentating etc. without the blink of an eye. Simon Hughes for agreeing with Strauss and not being an analyst at all.


  19. paule Mar 31, 2015 / 7:01 am

    Still Andy Flower. Let’s go back in time…..

    England have been humiliated, they have a hapless captain, an out of form wicket keeper who calls meetings behind his coach’s back, 3 bowlers who are unselectable and two players who have left the tour. Solution: fire your best batsman to protect your influence and your legacy.

    Everything follows from the above.


    • MM Mar 31, 2015 / 9:52 am

      I think I have to be hand-in-hand with you here, PaulE. Why is he lurking in the shadows still? Salary. No loss of power, maybe even more power. Who knows about that? Could he be hanging on for PM 2.0 to fail so he can become AF 2.0?

      The fish rots from the head down.

      Liked by 1 person

    • BoerInAustria Mar 31, 2015 / 6:08 pm



  20. Rooto Mar 31, 2015 / 7:55 am

    All the above, obviously.
    Jason Gillespie for ruling himself out of the England job.
    Jeremy Darroch and Barney Francis of Sky, for signing the extension to the exclusive broadcasting contract.
    MS Dhoni for retiring mid-series and not giving enough of a toss about tests.
    Oh, and Orange UK, obviously…

    Good luck for the next three months.


  21. Grumpy Gaz Mar 31, 2015 / 8:14 am

    Shane Watson for being a colossal dick on a cricket pitch and being too stupid to even realise it.


  22. Ed Mar 31, 2015 / 8:33 am

    I think the villains of the year have to be the whole coaching staff, they seem to take promising cricketers and spend a fortune making them worse.
    Heartily agree with George Dobell as one of the best journalists, although I think you’d have to add Jarrod Kimber to the list, along with Andy Zaltzman for making complicated stats very funny!


    • MM Mar 31, 2015 / 9:53 am

      I think the villains of the year have to be the whole coaching staff, they seem to take promising cricketers and spend a fortune making them worse.

      Ain’t that true. Bye Saker.


  23. @pktroll Mar 31, 2015 / 9:23 am

    Some obviously correct choices, both amusing and poignant at the same time. Although there are many, many deserving choices no.1 just has to go for Downton for never being able to see the wood from the trees from day 1 of his involvement.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rav Roberts Mar 31, 2015 / 2:21 pm

      Downton can’t even see the wood.. or the trees…or any shrubs for that matter..


  24. MM Mar 31, 2015 / 10:01 am

    Downton has really gone some to utterly bollux-up a very well paid non-job for a full 12 months. Hats off to him.

    Would I rather have KP scoring runs for England or Downton runnin’ tings? OK, we could have neither, but in an either/or scenario I’d be giving P-Doddy his P45… yesterday.


  25. northernlight71 Mar 31, 2015 / 11:10 am

    Clearly, none of you lot commenting know what I know. If you did, you wouldn’t be so quick to criticise all those good men and women doing sterling work for the England cricket team. You just don’t understand. I was having dinner with . . . well, let’s just call them Ali, Paulie, Jimmy W and Mr Bloom last night and they are such fine upstanding folk, you just truly would not believe it. Beyond reproach, to a man. So much better than that self-aggrandizing captain Mr M. Clarke. And the less said about that vile Kumar and his response to my tweet the better, he’s clearly already moved outside the inner sanctum.
    Now, where’s the nearest real ale pub? I used to bowl like Curtly Ambrose, y’know, just against the wind . . . blah blah blah

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arron Wright Mar 31, 2015 / 11:20 am

      I think I ought to make it clear that Sangakkara’s tweet was not a direct response to Selvey’s. I just loved the juxtaposition of the sentiments.


    • Silk Mar 31, 2015 / 5:38 pm

      The Ashes will be a series of 3 day tests at this rate.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Mar 31, 2015 / 6:19 pm

        Lawrence Booth on four day Tests:


        Can he get from that issue to another FOKP remark? Of course!

        “Whether or not his comments amount to anything other than a personal opinion, they confirm the view that Graves will be very much his own man once he replaces Clarke, who will assume the new role of ECB president.
        That much was evident a few weeks ago when Graves appeared to offer a route back into the England team for Kevin Pietersen, saying he needed to be playing county cricket to stand any chance.
        Graves has been perplexed by the spin placed on those comments, insisting England’s stance on the Pietersen issue has not changed”.


      • dvyk Mar 31, 2015 / 7:09 pm

        Yes, how many in the last Ashes series went the full 5 five days?


        • LordCanisLupus Mar 31, 2015 / 7:35 pm

          I really want 5 day test matches. I’m not going to be contrary “for laughs” or be progressive for the sake of it. I just like them.

          So shoot me!


      • d'Arthez Mar 31, 2015 / 7:34 pm

        Or they could play just 4 Tests, since the chances that England will still be in it after 4 Tests (in a 5 Test-series) are quite slim, given the current office bearers in the ECB.


    • ZeroBullshit Mar 31, 2015 / 7:37 pm

      Four day Tests? I do not like the idea at all. But it is logical that the founder of Costcutter would want to cut the fifth day on account of costs.


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