The Colo(u)r Of Money

Many of you have already picked up on the wonderful exchange between Hughes and Newman, after the Bogfather had kindly showed them the way to the Dirty Dozen.

If you haven’t, here it is….

I hope that shows Hughes’s comment above (just checked and it does).

Many of you have taken this as a complete dismissal of the words of the people on this blog, which we shouldn’t be surprised about. It’s not as if the great unwashed have been given a say so far, so why change now. But it is something that we still see coming through their writing and other appearances, and is what is now going to be known as the TTT. This stands for Tyers Twitter Tendency.

Readers for a while know exactly what I am on about, as it derives from a tweet by Alan Tyers in February 2014:

This can be summed up best by the fantastic tweets from Simon Hughes, aka the analyst, in his responses to The Bogfather:

We’ve done this tweet already, on the post “Quietly”. He just jumped on a list containing JAMES BRAYSHAW and thought I was only going on about culprits. Want strange? Read one of his “editorials” in The Cricketer.

Classic TTT. “Ooooooh, I know who the real cuplrits are, and you don’t…. because I’m an insider and you aren’t……”

So when challenged to put up…

“Can’t tell you”. Why not, big man? You subject to a confidentiality clause as well? Worried anything that disturbs Downton will mean less of your puff piece interviews in The Cricketer? No. I call bullshit. If there were culprits, as he puts it, then shame them, with evidence, not hearsay and innuendo like he does with Pietersen. Don’t hide behind this change from within stuff.

How interesting though that Newman reacted to the list. Now, as you know, Paul Newman doesn’t like my stuff. He’s never said so in print, but he has said so by blocking me on Twitter. Wonder how I can still link your stuff, sir? It’s not hard. I can understand being cheesed off being told you are a shill for the ECB decision makers (until one came along) and the most anti-KP presence on the new circuit, but blocking me for questioning why this is so? Do leave off.

He got one thing right on those tweets. I’m not important as one person. But as a blog with quite a decent hit rate, along with the Full Toss, we have a small voice that is growing, and has caught some attention. One press guy described the blog to me as the best one holding the press and decision makers to account. That was nice. But I’m not here for the ego, I’m here because I enjoy it (most of the time). And what I enjoy most is fisking articles like this.

Frustration was clear in the voices of Peter Moores and Alastair Cook as they fended off repeated enquiries about Kevin Pietersen’s future more than a year after he had seemingly been banished from international cricket for good.

Getting worried, Paul? Getting worried that a person with a test hundred since your beloved captain made one might get back into the team? And hang about, weren’t you banging on about how rubbish Moores had been at the World Cup? Do you want to stay consistent on that? Oh, you’ll claim this a factual representation of what happened, but Moore especially, needs to feel the heat. Cook, well, I’ve given up with you lot ever challenging his lamentable record over the past two years in all formats. Seems he’s a protected species.

Well, there is only one person to blame — and that is Colin Graves. The incoming ECB chairman has been responsible for the mixed messages that leave the England team in as big a state of turmoil and internal rebellion as ever.

Well, I’d humbly suggest that Colin Graves wasn’t the architect of England’s brilliant World Cup campaign, and if we’d done well in that, the clamour, for what it is worth, would have been a great deal less. After all, your constant line is that the only way to shut people up is for England to keep winning. So there isn’t only one person to blame for doing, as Tickers says:

Graves has forged an excellent reputation in English cricket as chairman of Yorkshire for the way he bankrolled and transformed the club, but his initial forays into the international game have been little short of an embarrassment.

I’m not embarrased? Anyone else think he is embarrassing? Are you embarrassed not because of this, but because he may be attacking your casus belli, Mr Newman (the persecution and exclusion of Pietersen)? Really? OK, some of his and Tom whatisnames ideas are a bit off beam, but as you will say later on, you agree with one of the most controversial. All of his forays into the international game are an embarrassment, but one that could potentially bankrupt the counties isn’t? Way to pick and choose, sir.

He has become the loose cannon of English cricket — and he has yet to take up office.

He’s yet to take up office. Of course, he’s the deputy to Clarke at the moment, so he is in office, which is why us refuseniks are greeting all this with scepticism and a great deal of care. You’re worried because if KP makes a comeback, your fox (and all those that made the decision) has been shot. So while you call this man the loose cannon of English cricket, you save your powder on Paul “outside cricket” Downton and Giles “right kind of family” Clarke. We know you can’t include James “Gary Ballance” Whitaker because he’s tight as a drum when it comes to talking. He’s about as much a loose cannon as a speak your weight machine.

It all started on March 1 when he gave an interview to Garry Richardson of the BBC, who is known for his persistence and admirable success in coaxing ear-catching sound bites from interviewees.

Dacre won’t like you praising someone at the BBC. Also, note. Garry Richardson got someone to say something interesting. A lesson for you lot, maybe? See also, BBC employee Pat Murphy.

So when Graves said that Pietersen — exiled for valid reasons after the last Ashes debacle before producing a nasty autobiography that only supported the ECB’s decision — had to be playing county cricket to earn an England recall, it was put down to Yorkshire straight-talking.

A nasty autobiography. Your paper has the rights to the definition of nasty. I don’t think the book did Pietersen any favours, but on the first part, we are all still waiting on these “valid reasons” that you cling to like a piece of driftwood. It’s a clash of personalities with Andy Flower mainly, and we can’t be having someone who might make test hundreds playing because he cheesed off one of the officer class. What a load of cack. Keep rolling on with this nonsense.

Yet subsequently, most importantly in a phone conversation with Pietersen, Graves has done little to play down the 34-year-old’s chances — even if privately the chairman is said to be perplexed at the media’s ‘spin’ on his apparent opening of the England door.

The “picking the team on merit” ethos, which we want, which any country seems to want, goes out the window if it means picking someone who won’t keep his gob shut and might make 8181 runs at an average in the high 40s, who may have a couple of years left and may, just may, be BETTER than those currently playing, including a captain who can’t buy a century at the moment. But hey, you keep on keeping on. Graves may, or may not, be playing a game. We don’t know, and evidently, nor do you.

If Graves, who has apparently assured senior figures that he does not want Pietersen back, really had no intention of encouraging the maverick, then he has made a right old mess of it.

These the same senior figures who told you Surrey hated his guts and never wanted him to darken their door again. Called that one right, sunshine. Remind me, who is piling on the guesswork here, John? Me or you lot?

For he has created a soap opera that will run and run now Pietersen has rejoined Surrey and put huge pressure on a fledgling England middle order who made significant Test progress last summer.

How dare Pietersen still want to play at the highest level. How dare he be cheesed off he’s escluded. How dare the poor little darlings in the test team now have an excuse to fail. How dare there be pressure on them to perform.

Not to mention completely undermining managing director Paul Downton and national selector James Whitaker, who have repeatedly clarified England’s stance on the batsman over the last 14 months.

If I’m nailing my credibility to these two, I’m bang in trouble. Downton is a joke. Everyone on here, most on Twitter and all those who see him in action, including the vast majority, I reckon, of your press corps colleagues think he’s totally and utterly out of his depth. Also Whitaker doesn’t do press conferences, and has spoken around three times that I can recall in public (that is three occasions he has spoken to multiple outlets). You let out one of your off the record sources there, sir?

And if Graves disagreed with the original decision to axe Pietersen, then he had a duty as deputy chairman of the ECB to say so then, not wait until he had taken over from Giles Clarke.

He might have. I don’t know. But note, earlier he doesn’t take office so he shouldn’t be saying anything. But now because he has an office, he should. This is belting stuff.

That is not all. Since his Pietersen outburst, Graves has said that there will be an inquiry if England do not beat a ‘mediocre’ West Indies in the upcoming three-Test series.

Well. most of us were calling for this after the Ashes last year. And also, although I love West Indies cricket, even their own people think this is a mediocre team. Come on. So do you. So stop pretending like he’s offended the lorded classes with this comment. If they lose this series, heads should roll.

This prompted the respected Barbadian commentator Tony Cozier to liken the comments to Tony Greig’s infamous intention in 1976 to make the West Indies ‘grovel’.

Because “mediocre” has all the racial connotations of a white South African telling a black team that he intended to make them grovel. I mean, seriously. This is nonsense from Cozier and it is nonsense from Newman to repeat it. Put it more alongside the “worst Australian team ever to tour here” comments of 1989, or “can’t bat, can’t bowl, can’t field” from one of our own at Ashes 1986-7.

Then Graves came out with the ridiculous notion of reducing Test matches to four days. This would be achieved by introducing the unrealistic target of playing 105 overs a day — a move that would destroy the primacy of the ultimate game.

I don’t agree with it, but it’s not ridiculous, and it’s not speaking the unspeakable. The guff that came with it about corporates and families was nonsense, and the thought that we might get 105 overs in a day is unrealistic in a world where TV demands a five minute break every hour, and there’s no real disincentive not to slow the game down. But there’s something to work around.

If Graves wants to make himself useful, then he should concentrate on his supposed main aim of introducing a 10-team English Premier League franchise Twenty20 competition. Everybody bar a few myopic counties wants that.

This isn’t ridiculous because Paul agrees with it. Tremendous. Nice to see “a few myopic counties” there as well to reinforce his view that he’s in step and everyone who disagrees is myopic or ridiculous.

He could also do something about a crippling fixture list that will see England play 17 Tests in the next 10 months — a key factor in why they have fallen so far behind in the 50-over game and just endured the worst World Cup in their history.

Some of us mentioned this around two years ago. Nice to see you join us here. However, hard to see how a future fixture list meant we cocked up the World Cup. We had a very light winter of cricket, playing just 12 days of cricket between October and January. And we were crap. Care to explain how fixture congestion caused this? Should we not play in our summer? Also, not sure it is in Graves’ gift to cancel our tours, given he’s not in office yet, Paul.

There is much for the ECB’s new regime — which includes new chief executive Tom Harrison and communications director Chris Haynes — to do, but all the new chairman has done so far is make things worse.

We share your scepticism on this front. I don’t trust Graves as he has been part of the furniture, and if England falter and KP is scoring runs, the cry will be for him to come in, and if we are told there is no place for him, the alienation will be complete. Betrayal of the worst kind is raising hopes to dash them. You seem to want to finish KP’s career and take glee in it. If Cook can’t lump it, then he’s the one with the issue and needs to get over himself, but you are never going to write that. Unless there’s blatant insubordination which we’ve not been told about. But also, I have a healthy mistrust of all authority and I don’t like people telling me someone is great before they’ve proved it. Indeed if they have to rely on that testimony, then they probably aren’t.

I am worried Tom Harrison hasn’t shown his face. He’s becoming a bit Downton-esque on this front as again, we are being told how great he was before he spoke and disproved that notion. The new press officer can hardly do worse than Colin Gibson and his entourage.

Colin Graves should think very carefully in future before he speaks.

Or Paul will block you on Twitter.

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107 thoughts on “The Colo(u)r Of Money

  1. thebogfather April 3, 2015 / 9:24 am

    As always, a wonderful step-by-step dissection of the circus – thanks LCL

    Like

  2. Dave April 3, 2015 / 9:38 am

    Great analysis.

    Just can’t get my head around how the great George Dobell described newman as a “super journalist” and an “even better guy.”

    Truly terrible, and look at the ratings underneath the article to see how out of touch he is.

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus April 3, 2015 / 9:41 am

      I was told by one of the Twitterati who regularly comments on cricket that it’s true. Newman is one of the few who is friendly to those coming into the scene.

      Which is why I’m at a loss over this crap. It has to be working for the Mail that does it. I read some of his stuff from many years ago in The Wisden Cricket Monthly, and it’s really good. It has to be editorial encouragement to speak such stuff.

      Hey, while he does it, I get to have fun. Nature compensates and they don’t care. More hits for them.

      Like

      • @pktroll April 3, 2015 / 11:47 am

        It would be hard not to believe that Newman’s own views, whatever they are, have been partially shaped by the fact that him and Pietersen obviously fell out in the Windies on England’s last tour. That said, I don’t know how he can have credibility with his pieces in the journalistic world over the last 18 months with his stuff on Cook, let alone Pietersen.

        Like

      • Annie Weatherly-Barton April 4, 2015 / 2:33 pm

        Seen this little gem boys and girls? http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/apr/03/nick-compton-england-cricket-west-indies

        Nick Compton lifting the lid on England’s “culture” — it doesn’t matter if you play well or not, if your face doesn’t fit you’re on yer bike. Culture of bullying didn’t exist under Flower? Yeah right.

        Did he feel there was a pressure to fit in a certain way? “I do,” he replies. Did he ever think it wasn’t just runs that saw it end? “Yeah, I do. But I’ll never get that answer. You just get the same comment from selectors: ‘The door is never closed, keep scoring runs.’ But then you hear rumours. I thought I was going well and then suddenly you get dropped and spend nights in bed lying awake reflecting.” The right-hander recalls a nightmare final Test, the second against New Zealand at Headingley in 2013, in which his dream of turning out in an Ashes series that summer ended at the hands of the then head coach Andy Flower. Scores of one and nine, the latter over a torturous 75 minutes at the crease when quicker runs were the order of the day, did him no favours. But then the full story, he insists, was not known at the time.

        “I had broken my finger in the first Test after [the then batting coach] Graham Gooch hit me in the nets – no one knew,” Compton explains. “Then I got hit in the ribs on the morning of the second Test by [the then limited-overs coach] Ashley Giles.

        “On the fifth day I couldn’t move, I couldn’t get out of bed, I couldn’t breathe in properly and I definitely couldn’t throw or dive for the ball. I had a scan and it came back as a hairline fracture. So I could not field on that day. And that’s when Andy Flower went absolutely berserk.”

        It was a second dressing down, with Compton adding that he had already been told off by Flower for practising the pull shot while fielding in the deep. The senior bowlers, he was told, did not like it and that had to be respected. “He made it clear he wasn’t happy with me not fielding that final day and you wonder did that have an impact? And you want answers because you want back in,” he adds. “That said, you can pontificate all you want but as the player, the difficult part is that ultimately you are the one that loses out.”

        Every player should be available,” Compton replies. “You want winners and if KP has his pads on, is in form and hungry, then I would want to be watching. The game is about bums on seats and we’re in danger of losing that.

        No bullying no culture of oppression in the England Team? All nicey, nicey? Glad another player has lifted the lid on all these buggers.

        Like

  3. Marge April 3, 2015 / 9:43 am

    What a nerve to say that Mr Graves should think carefully before he speaks in future. He happens to be Chairman (still elect) of ECB so he should say what he damn well likes. I for one am delighted to hear someone throwing some rocks into the murky pool of the ECB and talking about change. High time!

    Lovely to read the Newman article being taken apart so forensically.

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus April 3, 2015 / 9:49 am

      He’s currently the vice-Chairman, so it’s not as if he is totally on the outside, is it?

      Like

  4. thebogfather April 3, 2015 / 9:58 am

    The power-struggles by the meddlers and muggers of world cricket administration knows no bounds – just look at the ICC overlords petty pouting currently going on… it almost (no it doesn’t) make our bunch of free lunches look sane (no, it definitely doesn’t)… and now there’s going to be a high-faluting post going for election at the ICC just as Sir Giles ‘slides’ into position – Oh dear…

    Like

  5. Vian April 3, 2015 / 10:03 am

    It’s always counterproductive to write an article that’s so bonkers it gets dismissed by all and sundry.

    What I find fascinating is the disconnect between what the likes of Newman say Graves is saying and what someone like Hoult says he’s saying. I’m genuinely intrigued by that.

    Pietersen has spoken to Graves a couple of times, that much is clear. And as a result he’s playing county cricket.

    Newman seems awfully bitter it’s not going as he believes he was told.

    Like

  6. SimonH April 3, 2015 / 10:06 am

    I wrote recently that the rumblings from Newman were likely to herald an imminent full-scale erruption and so it has gone. An excellent and well-deserved fisking LCL.

    Two phrases from Newman seem to me carefully worded and deserve repeating:
    1) “privately the chairman is said to be perplexed”.
    2) “Graves, who has apparently assured senior figures”

    “Said to be”? “Apparently”? Newman isn’t getting it from the horse’s mouth anymore. I’m not suggesting this is the sole reason for his ire but it sure is one of them.

    On the West Indies and “mediocre”, here is their home record in the last decade:

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;filter=advanced;home_or_away=1;orderby=win_loss_ratio;spanmin1=03+apr+2005;spanval1=span;team=1;team=2;team=25;team=3;team=4;team=5;team=6;team=7;team=8;team=9;template=results;type=team

    Comfortably the worse of any of the so-called ‘Big Eight’. Still, if England win it’ll be up there with beating Bradman’s ‘Invincibles’ or the 1980s West Indies and if they lose it’ll be because they were distracted by Graves and Pietersen. You can write the narrative now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • James Morgan April 3, 2015 / 11:59 am

      Cheers for this. Amazing stat. Just tweeted it from TFT account. Thanks guys!

      Like

  7. Arron Wright April 3, 2015 / 10:20 am

    Wow. Readers may be familiar with my stat about England Ashes openers since 1972. I chose 1972 because it’s the year I was born. But Mildred Plotka has improved it, beyond my wildest expectations!

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?batting_positionmax1=2;batting_positionval1=batting_position;class=1;filter=advanced;home_or_away=1;opposition=2;orderby=batting_average;qualmin1=5;qualval1=matches;spanmin1=15+Mar+1918;spanval1=span;team=1;template=results;type=batting

    This is the man upon whom our Ashes hopes rest, apparently.

    The man with the second worst home record of all English openers to have played a minimum five Ashes Tests…

    …SINCE THE END OF WORLD WAR ONE.

    Like

    • Vian April 3, 2015 / 10:34 am

      The most depressing thing from that….is that we’re the same age.

      Like

      • thebogfather April 3, 2015 / 10:53 am

        The most depressing thing from that…is in ’72 I got corrupted by Slade…woznt til 74 that cricket made me ‘feel the noize’ and only then coz I ‘bowled owt’ 3 of the skool team (in one over which all of the ‘outside cricket’ (yes!) were allowed six balls each at a school sports day – next week was in the team, and our Headmaster let me have a day off school to watch Hampshire at the United Services ground, Portsmouth (during term time) – so my first live cricket was Barry Richards, Gordon Greenidge, Andy Roberts, in the County Championship… it’s been downhill from there

        Like

      • Vian April 3, 2015 / 10:54 am

        Why are you still alive? 😛

        Like

      • thebogfather April 3, 2015 / 11:02 am

        VIAN – I keep asking myself the same, but am 50 not out, dropped at least 5 times, so like Cookie, I’m not ready to crumble just yet!

        Like

    • paulewart April 3, 2015 / 12:23 pm

      Wow. Worse than Brearley: a wonderful captain but widely derided as a Test batsman.

      Like

  8. SimonH April 3, 2015 / 10:46 am

    Nick Compton has something to say aboiut his dropping –

    “It’s like being dumped by a girlfriend and you don’t think they have given you the real reasons. There’s no closure…… I’ll never get that answer. You just get the same comment from selectors: ‘The door is never closed, keep scoring runs.’ But then you hear rumours”.

    Then with Ali Martin he reveals more about his final Test –

    ““I had broken my finger in the first Test after [the then batting coach] Graham Gooch hit me in the nets – no one knew. Then I got hit in the ribs on the morning of the second Test by [the then limited-overs coach] Ashley Giles. On the fifth day I couldn’t move, I couldn’t get out of bed, I couldn’t breathe in properly and I definitely couldn’t throw or dive for the ball. I had a scan and it came back as a hairline fracture. So I could not field on that day. And that’s when Andy Flower went absolutely berserk.”

    It was a second dressing down, with Compton adding that he had already been told off by Flower for practising the pull shot while fielding in the deep. The senior bowlers, he was told, did not like it and that had to be respected. “He made it clear he wasn’t happy with me not fielding that final day and you wonder did that have an impact? And you want answers because you want back in,” he adds”.

    It’s difficult for a player who’s been dropped not to sound like it’s just sour grapes – but that’s pretty damning about the Flower regime.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus April 3, 2015 / 10:48 am

      Read it and commented on Twitter. KP has also had his say about it….

      Like

    • Vian April 3, 2015 / 10:50 am

      I’ve cracked a rib playing cricket. You can’t breathe, you can’t move. It’s absolute agony. To go “berserk” about that beggars belief. There is absolutely no way he could have fielded with that. You can’t even have painkillers that effectively mask it.

      It’s why when it was put out that Anderson bowled with a broken rib so many people called utter bollocks.

      Liked by 2 people

    • paulewart April 3, 2015 / 12:26 pm

      Poor Compton’s well and truly outside cricket now. Good on him for speaking up at last.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Zephirine April 3, 2015 / 1:15 pm

        What was/is Flower’s problem with injuries? Does he think players are cyborgs? There’s a clear pattern emerging where players have been genuinely injured (physically or mentally) and he’s refused to believe it and tried to insist they must play.

        I know there are legendary stories of cricketers playing with broken hands etc etc, and that’s all very gallant and thrilling, but there’s bravery and then there’s not being able to give your best to the team and possibly endangering your future livelihood.

        Like

      • northernlight71 April 3, 2015 / 1:27 pm

        I posted the following comment on the Guardian, just because I’ve always been a fan of shouting into a void . . .

        The more I hear about Andy Flower and his rage towards players who have got injured, the more I’m beginning to think he might just have some kind of personality disorder. It’s as if getting injured was some personal slight to him and his authority.

        No wonder so many players have felt the need to play on despite injury, and either perform badly and get dropped (Boyd Rankin anyone?) or simply wear out their body and have to retire.(Too many to mention…)

        Shameful. I wish a proper journalist would pick up these threads and run with them . . .

        Like

    • wrongunatlongon April 6, 2015 / 7:52 am

      If there’s one defence of Andy Flower here, it’s that an opening batsman managed to allow Graham Gooch and Ashley Giles to break a finger and a rib.

      Like

  9. d'Arthez April 3, 2015 / 11:17 am

    It is always nice to know that the vice chairman (Graves) is responsible for the scheduling of Tests and matches. At least according to Newman. So, what is Giles Clarke again doing? What has he been doing? So Graves is responsible for he stuff-ups of Downton, Clarke and others, but at the same time, at a time when he is not officially in charge, he is supposed to fix all this?

    Make up your mind, Paul.

    As for Flower, it seems he is emulating Mugabe more and more. There is a tragedy in that, but the real victims are those who are considered threats to them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arron Wright April 3, 2015 / 11:25 am

      I think Flower might just be the single most wildly overrated human being in the last thirty years of English cricket.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Vian April 3, 2015 / 11:35 am

      I’m not sure I can ever let a glib comparison to Mugabe go.

      Flower may or may not be many things we don’t like, but that is not on.

      Like

      • d'Arthez April 3, 2015 / 12:28 pm

        I don’t associate “evil incarnate” with Mugabe. He is certainly not flawless – I have had many black Zimbabwean colleagues who have certainly painted a very nuanced picture of the man. A lot of Mugabe’s supporters trying their best to paint the image that he is flawless though.

        Good intentions don’t necessarily result in good outcomes. Mugabe is certainly a product of history – colonialism, the struggle for independence and all that certainly formed him. And of course, influenced his thinking and subsequent actions.

        Something similar applies to Flower. Don’t think he is evil incarnate, don’t think he has bad intentions, but that does not necessarily mean that his actions result in good outcomes. Similarly his life experiences influenced his thinking and subsequent actions. A lot of his supporters try to paint him as a flawless human being as well, even as mountains of evidence pile up that he has his flaws too.

        I won’t buy for a minute the idea that Flower would have ventured to guess that this is what would have happened to English cricket the minute he stepped aside. But it has. And I’d be willing to argue that Mugabe did not fully foresee the consequences of, for instance, the land invasions of 2000. Mistakes that arguably could have been avoided as they were not inevitable.

        I don’t think that if they could judge the realities of their actions against their intentions, they’d be satisfied with how things turned out, and how they themselves turned out. But that is an exercise in human reflexivity, and those are among the hardest for people to do, as we’re often too caught up in our own lives. I would not be able to do so in all aspects of my life thus far.

        I don’t think Flower, as a player, would have appreciated what he, as a coach is rumoured to have done to Compton. What we do, and what we become is not fully under our rational and conscious control. The illusions of rationality …

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus April 3, 2015 / 12:37 pm

          Let’s stay on the cricket chaps. I’m not going to have debates on the merits or otherwise of Mugabe.

          As you know, I don’t moderate much, but will if this gets out of hand.

          Like

          • LordCanisLupus April 3, 2015 / 1:45 pm

            It got out of hand. I moderated.

            Don’t like it, I’m sorry, but as you know I do this so rarely that I’m not on some power trip.

            Like

    • lionel joseph April 3, 2015 / 4:09 pm

      Flower is a good man who stayed in the job too long and attributed far too much of the sides early success to his own tactics. He then when slightly mad when the success stopped coming and blamed it largely on players, some more than others, rather than admitting that his tactics weren’t up to scratch.

      Fooled by Randomness would have been a much better book for Moores to have given him than Moneyball.

      Like

      • hatmallet April 3, 2015 / 4:50 pm

        I think we have a similar opinion Lionel. Despite what happen after his side peaked, I maintain a lot of respect for Flower for what happened during their good times because it brought me a lot of joy as a cricket fan. But he did go on too long.

        A phrase I’ve used of him and also of other players within the set up is that he almost became as parody of himself. Traits and systems that worked were taken to extremes, to the point where they no longer worked and blinded him and England from the truth, even when seemingly blinding obvious.

        Like

  10. thebogfather April 3, 2015 / 12:05 pm

    I’ve decided not to tempt and tease the msp sleaze, so have concentrated on the ECB

    TheBogfather ‏@mojonathan73 14m14 minutes ago
    I do not expect replies
    To corroborate all the lies
    As one from ‘outside’ the fence
    I’d appreciate more than silent ignorance
    @ECB_cricket
    12:49 PM – 3 Apr 2015 · Details
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    TheBogfather ‏@mojonathan73 10m10 minutes ago
    As as for the MS self-indulgent meanderers, who pander to leaks so bleakly tweaked they become seen as scene philanderers @ECB_cricket
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    TheBogfather ‏@mojonathan73 7m7 minutes ago
    In bed and in-bred with mainstream press exposure, exclusive of reality with inclusive self-loving closure @ECB_cricket
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    TheBogfather ‏@mojonathan73 6m6 minutes ago
    Silence, no longer an energy, in-house defiance split by worthless self inanity @ECB_cricket
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    TheBogfather ‏@mojonathan73 4m4 minutes ago
    …and the ‘Me’ within the dark side of sport, will inherit the dearth of future public support @ECB_cricket

    Like

  11. thebogfather April 3, 2015 / 12:07 pm

    LCL – my apologies for inciting the drivel from those who we know, and encouraging them to espout more drivel, thus upsetting you my friend

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus April 3, 2015 / 12:42 pm

      Upset?

      Look, when I see stuff sent to others I can’t do anything about it. I know that some of the journos look in on this site, and some don’t. There is only one way Newman could have blocked me and that’s because he read what was on here (or HDWLIA more like) and got the arse about it. But others read it quite regularly. There’s the story of the Tweet I got from Jarrod Kimber on the opening night of the World Cup (football) and he said my post on the worst 10 journalists was being read by them at Lord’s. I was bricking it.

      Yes, I get a bit nervous, but I’m only saying what I think, and last time I looked, as long as I wasn’t making shit up, I’m allowed to do this.

      So not upset, but have to take these things on the chin. They annoy me more than upset me.

      Like

      • Annie Weatherly-Barton April 5, 2015 / 7:40 pm

        And darling you keep on saying it. If you want me to support you in that then let me know. They need to know these things. Mind, I can understand when you are the hanging out to dry one yer own. Been there got a dozen tee-shirts. I think my 4ft 11.1/2′ and a dog end tall might have something to do with “sod this I’m not putting up with that rubbish” attitude. Luv yer me Lord. You’re one of the real heroes.

        Like

  12. Mark April 3, 2015 / 2:57 pm

    An excellent slicing and dicing of the the media Me Lord.

    Newman obviously holds a personal grudge against KP and therefore his writings about this subject are not worth the paper they are printed on. I wish he would come out and admit that for him, it is all about KP. This also applies to many other journos. Until that time, all the lies and distortions will be worthless. They will not rest until Graves has announced KP will never play for England again. Sometimes I think this is all they care about. Cook can stay in the team failing for a hundred years. Just as long as Kevin is kept away.

    Interesting that the Compton issue is now coming out. I guess he feels he will never be invited back into the cabal so he can be honest. As expected Flower is involved again. And it is notable because once again we see the over protection of the childish bowlers. It also confirms KPs book allegations about the bullying and power of certain players in the Flower regime. Also once again it exposes the unprofessional way Flowers England dealt with injuries. Particularly when they were related to players not liked by the managment.

    Finally, Simon Hughes claim he is working from the inside is beyond parody. The notion that he sees himself as some sort of secret fucking squirrel is too much. I guess this working from the inside as some double agent by using the cricketer magazine to run puff pieces for the ECB is all part of the master plan. He will allow Peter Moores to write unchallenged editorials, and print anti KP cartoons as a way of lulling the ECB into a false sense of security. Then when their guard is down he will hit them with the truth.

    Ha Ha Ha. Your are the inside Simon. You are the establishment. You better start spying on yourself.

    Like

      • Mark April 3, 2015 / 6:34 pm

        No problem!

        It beggars belief he thinks he is some sort of spook working the inside.

        Like

      • Benny April 3, 2015 / 8:42 pm

        It beggars belief that he has any influence at all

        Like

  13. lionel joseph April 3, 2015 / 4:12 pm

    It’s a good dissection of newman’s tantrum, but it’s so unbalanced and egregiously hypocritical that I’m not sure it’s really needed.

    In time, maybe a good few years, he’ll look back at this and he’ll be deeply ashamed.

    Like

    • @pktroll April 3, 2015 / 4:49 pm

      The thing is though, he is continuing with his strop throwing on twitter, not only with this particular exchange but his lionising of the rubbish spouted the other day in the Mirror by Holden.

      Like

      • lionel joseph April 3, 2015 / 5:10 pm

        that’s because someone has moved his cheese and he’s having an extremely hard dealing with it.

        Like

      • lionel joseph April 3, 2015 / 5:10 pm

        *hard time

        Like

    • Mark April 3, 2015 / 6:31 pm

      “In time, maybe a good few years, he’ll look back at this and he’ll be deeply ashamed.”

      I wouldn’t bet on it.

      Like

  14. dvyk April 3, 2015 / 5:17 pm

    I think Newman is somewhat misrepresenting Cozier’s statement. Although he is flying rather too close to implying something silly, the only similarity Cozier identified was the possibility of provoking a reaction. The “respected” journalist was not hinting that Graves’s statement had racist undertones. That’s why he, unlike Newman, is “respected”.

    To wit:
    “Like the infamous remark of Tony Greig, an equally straight-talking South African, that he would make Clive Lloyd’s team “grovel” in the 1976 series in England, it is enough to provoke retaliation through performances on the field.”
    http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/856715.html

    Like

  15. Maggie April 3, 2015 / 6:12 pm

    Well, look on the bright side – if the Fail, the Sun and Simon Hughes are insulting you, you’re probably doing something right. It does always amuse me that the press are happy to hold others to account call them for everything, and yet when you shine the same light on them they clutch their pearls like a Victorian virgin aunt.

    The Newman article is clickbait. I wouldn’t imagine being a columnist in the mainstream press is a terribly comfortable place to be at the moment; success is measured in traffic, and sadly considered, nuanced pieces don’t generate the volume that keeps someone employed in an organisation like that. Knocking out a controversial opinion that you know will keep the KP-pros and antis arguing in the comments is what it takes to put tea on the table.

    As to Hughes and the chap from the sun whose name escapes me, and their not following up on who said what, there are two possible reasons; either they’ll get sued, or they’ll blow their sources and possibly get them fired. They rely on people talking to them off the record, otherwise they’d be as far outside cricket as everyone else so they’re pretty much stuck. Same with Selvey and his ‘if you knew what I know…’ Whatever he knows, whether true or not, wouldn’t stand up in court, otherwise he’d have published it.

    Graves seems to be happy to talk frankly in public and to various different outlets; this makes life difficult if you’re relying on ‘exclusives’ that you get from you unattributed sources. No wonder they don’t like him.

    Your guesswork, done for free and in your spare time, has been more prescient than much of what they’re being paid to do. Along with the TFT guys, Peter Miller, Dave Tickner, Nick Sharland, the ESPN crew etc the online community and non-mainstream press is doing a hell of a lot more to hold the powers that be to account, inspire debate and have far more resonance with a large section of fans – and laughing at the old school mob whilst doing it. Your ‘brand’ of erudite grumpiness is generating 50k hits a month purely by word of mouth. No wonder you’ve got them rattled.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Benny April 3, 2015 / 8:51 pm

      You’re spot on Maggie, a few year back, the Press came up with a new tack – be controversial, that’ll keep them buying the rags. so we got journos like Littlejohn, Linda Lee Potter, Julie Driscoll etc whose role was to provoke response, not to give the readers news – in a newspaper. I find that not reading newspapers is no loss at all.

      Like

  16. MM April 3, 2015 / 6:58 pm

    Always really love reading everyone’s interpretations of our sorry situation. Can’t usually offer much else. Nothing too cogent, anyway.

    So I’ll just say this: picked up my brother-in-law’s Daily Mail today. Went straight to the cricket section. Read it twice. Biggest load of horsecrap I’ve read this year, from the country’s leading horsecrap peddler outside of politics.

    Wonder when the hierachy will have that realisation along the lines of “OMG, what have we done?”. Actually, they may well have – it’s just too late to change lanes.

    Peace and happiness to y’all this Easter : )

    Like

    • northernlight71 April 3, 2015 / 7:57 pm

      You need to have some serious words with your sister about her taste in men.

      Serious words.

      🙂

      Like

      • MM April 3, 2015 / 9:37 pm

        I think he buys it for a laugh, really. Still, this point stands – he could be doing something more worthwhile with his quid. Like chucking it over the fence.

        Like

    • Benny April 3, 2015 / 8:59 pm

      No need to be modest MM. “Biggest load of horsecrap” seems cogent to me. “It’s in the papers so it must be right” would be the opposite. Sadly there are a lot of dummies out there who believe what they read and, oh dear, we have an election coming up. Wonder who Murdoch has decided his readership should vote for this time

      Like

      • Vian April 3, 2015 / 9:20 pm

        I refuse to get involved in party political stuff on here, especially now, but I find the bit about the press fascinating. I’m not sure the public follow at all. I think the press follow the public if anything – they try to attach themselves to the winning horse where they can.

        On the whole ECB thing, there’s been a definite shift in tone of coverage recently, in at least two major papers.

        No pronouncements on this. Curiosity and interest definitely.

        Like

  17. Rooto April 3, 2015 / 8:50 pm

    It’s not just the mainstream media in the UK. This morning I heard the sports guy on Riviera Radio going on about how Pietersen was ‘only going to be in division 2, which doesn’t mean much’. The double standards annoyed me so much I almost had to talk about cricket and the ECB with my students. Fortunately for my prospects of continued employment, I resisted.

    Like

    • Benny April 3, 2015 / 8:53 pm

      Wasn’t our new star, Moeen Ali, only in Division 2 when he rose to stardom?

      Like

      • hatmallet April 3, 2015 / 9:31 pm

        I’m bored, so here are the breakdowns of 1st Division games to 2nd Division games…

        Cook: 10 to 58
        Robson: 42 to 25
        Ballance: 33 to 16
        Bell: 92 to 14
        Root: 21 to 14
        Ali: 55 to 44
        Buttler: 57 to 0
        Woakes: 68 to 10
        Jordan: 39 to 15
        Broad: 15 to 25
        Anderson: 40 to 18

        Lyth: 77 to 12
        Trott: 106 to 16
        Pietersen: 27 to 42
        Taylor: 42 to 47
        Bairstow: 62 to 9
        Prior: 116 to 22
        Stokes: 55 to 0
        Rashid: 104 to 10
        Wood: 17 to 0
        Tredwell: 77 to 56
        Plunkett: 62 to 29
        Finn: 22 to 43

        Have I missed anyone important?

        Like

    • Mark April 3, 2015 / 10:18 pm

      Good, I look forward to secret squirrel working the inside on this story.

      Our man in Havana can report all he knows. If of course he is getting the right information.

      “Our Man In Havana is a novel set in Cuba by the British author Graham Greene. He makes fun of intelligence services, especially the British MI6, and their willingness to believe reports from their local informants.”

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus April 4, 2015 / 8:47 am

        I don’t know, but it reads like a piece I would write if I’ve been slagging him off, and was suddenly afraid he might be back.

        In its own way it reinforces what they seem to think he should act like. Be grateful, you were brilliant, now instead of being angry when you were sacked, remember how you were really good.

        Liked by 1 person

      • thebogfather April 4, 2015 / 9:16 am

        As I’ve just replied to the anal ist, the past tense reiterations were unnecessary until a player retires or dies – agree totally with the slagging/scared bit LCL

        Like

      • escort April 4, 2015 / 9:47 am

        The beginning of a rowing back operation?

        Like

      • SimonH April 4, 2015 / 9:58 am

        That constant use of the past tense is massively grating when one rereads the article. It doesn’t read like Hughes is afraid he might be back – it reads like part of the ‘new era’ agenda where Pietersen can be praised only because he is safely consigned to the past.

        When Hughes writes about Headingley 2012 the taste becomes increasingly sour – the 149 was against a background of “contract disputes, perceived injustices, and baiting from his supposed friends in the opposition” and he “almost decapitating Dale Steyn with a straight-drive. Now that’s what you’d call bullying”. Perceived injustices? It was all a product of Pietersen’s deluded imagination! Supposed friends in the opposition? Hear that dog whistle! Now that’s what you call bullying? Ho ho ho! Or not after reading Compton yesterday…..

        The conclusion is pretty sour as well – “He was capable of destroying any attack, yet of getting out in the most exasperating manner. His batting was seldom safe, rarely sensible, sometimes unsuccessful”. That first sentence fails to take Pietersen as a whole – as Vaughan said, with Pietersen you had to accept the whole package. Who can destroy attacks without sometimes getting out to attacking shots? “Rarely sensible” is particularly churlish – there have been repeated testimonies how hard Pietersen worked at his game, and how much he thinks about his batting. Hughes has at least acknowledged subsequently on Twitter that Pietersen at his best laid a platform before attacking.

        There is a narrative of Pietersen’s career constructed by his detractors that Hughes’s article seems a particularly good example of:
        1) 2005-08 – great batsman because god had blessed him with such outrageous talent his brainlessness and toxic personality couldn’t stop him.
        2) 2009-14 – couple of decent knocks but the brainlessness and toxicity made him such a pain in the neck we’re well shot of him.

        The alternative possibility – that it was England that changed around 2008/09 and not Pietersen – is one they are just not willing to consider.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Zephirine April 4, 2015 / 5:22 pm

        It read like an obituary to me.

        Like

    • Mark April 4, 2015 / 10:44 am

      Until Huges is prepared to turn his so called anyalsis onto Cook, his opinions are worthless.

      Get your surgical knife out Mr Hughes and examine in detail Cooks career. And in particular the last couple of years. His failure to score a hundred. His weakness to full pitched up balls outside off stump. His in ability to drive the ball. His lack of captaincy skills. His terrible interviews where he talks down to other players. “He’s not ready for test cricket” just before Butler was ready for test cricket. And lay on the snark with as much venom as he has for KP. And Lots of liberal sprinkling of words like “perceived” to give a generally negative slant.

      You won’t do this Mr Hughes because as a cricket analyst you are a fraud. You would rather keep your dinner appointments with your mate than give a balanced view.

      Exactly how long should an England batsman go before scoring a century? 1 year? 2 years? 3 years? Perhaps you could open up the library at The Cricketer magazine and see what is the longest time an England batsman has gone on being picked without scoring a century. Many of your colleagues start getting very impatient with someone like Ian Bell if goes more than about 6 months,without the magical 3 figures.

      Should he go if England loose the Ashes this summer? It will be his second straight Ashes defeat. Does that warrant removal? Why don’t you write these pieces Mr Hughes?

      Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH April 4, 2015 / 1:53 pm

        Nice one KP!

        Like

      • Mark April 4, 2015 / 3:08 pm

        The pomposity of Hughes tweet is extraudinary.

        “How we really feel about you.” SORRY? We? As in the Royal we? Or We the moronic press pack?

        Shouldn’t you be writing for yourself Mr Hughes? Thanks anyway for admitting there is a group think, and you are all incapable of thinking for yourselfs individually.

        There is something nauseating about Hughes telling KP to run along and stop being angry. And why has what Hughes and his mates feel about KP have anything to do with the reasons he should play for England! Who are these “we people?” Does it include Cook and the
        England management?

        I think Mr Hughes has delusions of grandeur. His dinners with Cook seem to have confused Hughes into believing he is part of the team.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. SimonH April 4, 2015 / 1:42 pm

    Liked by 1 person

    • MM April 4, 2015 / 3:13 pm

      Totally agree. Why can’t these exceptionally talented sportsmen just retire in September 2005?

      I hope that unqualified pompous non-jobber clown gets properly acknowledged by Her Majesty at the earliest possible moment, for his services to cricket in England and Wales. Pfsssssssssst!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. SimonH April 4, 2015 / 4:11 pm

    Looking for something else I just stumbled across this ECB promotional video from a year ago:

    Well, it was pretty close – 78 runs played 342.

    Like

  20. SimonH April 4, 2015 / 4:27 pm

    So, who’s opening with Cook? Cos that’s the only question, right?

    Cook claims he and Moores haven’t discussed it (errr, shouldn’t they have?) but acknowledges there is an issue: “Ever since Straussy announced his retirement we haven’t quite found consistency in that position”.

    “Haven’t quite found consistency” equals eight opening partners in just under three years I believe. Strauss(y) himself averaged only 32 in his last 33 Tests but let’s gloss over that.

    http://goo.gl/vrH5tc

    Like

    • @pktroll April 4, 2015 / 5:04 pm

      Since the start of the Ashes 2013, captain fantastic himself only averages 29………..

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Rooto April 4, 2015 / 6:50 pm

    Irrelevant to all the above, but I enjoyed watching this video that YouTube suggested:

    Unfortunately, the “next up” video was about as sexist as they come. Just showed me what women’s cricket is up against (oh, and don’t read the comments either…)

    Like

    • dvyk April 4, 2015 / 9:41 pm

      Maybe I’m seeing things, but her action looks rather a lot like another well known Australian legspinner.

      Like

  22. paulewart April 4, 2015 / 7:15 pm

    Cook’s latest interview’s another gem. How and why did anyone think he’s captaincy material? He’s utterly clueless. I can see why they think he needs protecting.

    Like

  23. hatmallet April 4, 2015 / 8:06 pm

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/cricket/international/england/11516038/Englands-Alastair-Cook-and-Co-in-need-of-reality-check.html

    “Here is a simple question for you. Do you think Paul Downton, James Whitaker, Peter Moores, Alastair Cook and Eoin Morgan are going to restore English cricket and move us forward? My answer to that, and I think most people, too, is no.”

    “The ironic thing to me is that Cook is still smarting over being relieved of the one-day captaincy. He seems to have an inflated belief his captaincy skills were any good. He lost six one-day series in a row and batted like an opener from my era. He cannot or will not grasp that his style of batting, or mine for that matter, does not work in the modern one-day game.”

    Like

    • hatmallet April 4, 2015 / 8:06 pm

      ^^ That’s Boycott by the way

      Like

      • @pktroll April 4, 2015 / 8:39 pm

        Perhaps Geoffrey has employed a public relations adviser. At least that appears to be an improvement on what the ECB have done!

        Like

      • Zephirine April 4, 2015 / 8:39 pm

        Good stuff from Boycott there.

        It seems as if Cook actually thinks he can take on Graves. There’d only be one winner in that contest.

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus April 4, 2015 / 9:14 pm

          The main thing I can read into all this is someone has really, and I mean really, pissed Geoffrey off.

          Like

    • dvyk April 4, 2015 / 9:53 pm

      Ha, windbaggery from Boycott, mere windbaggery. (h/t Brenkley)

      Like

    • escort April 4, 2015 / 10:34 pm

      “He(Trott) was in a bad place in Brisbane,” said Cook, “and at the time I would have been surprised that he’d come back but it’s a huge credit to the work he’s done off the field and the effort he’s put in.
      Why the hell did he play if he was in such a state.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Annie Weatherly-Barton April 5, 2015 / 7:50 pm

        Absolutely right. Given what Nick Compton has put on record and of course KP, the management of players stinks to high heaven. How could Flower, Downton, et al, allow players who were injured or ill to be pushed so hard and shouted and screamed at? What the hell went on. We already know that Trott got as near as he could to saying he was bullied both on and off the field. Flower is still there, in place, to bully more players. When is the ECB going to get a grip here.

        Like

    • paulewart April 5, 2015 / 6:14 am

      Good straight talking as ever. The main thing I take from it, unlike LCC, is that Boycott and Graves are pals. That he’s pissed off with the setup is a given, he was frank about that after the WC.

      Like

    • LordCanisLupus April 4, 2015 / 9:13 pm

      Thought that was a naughty headline, actually.

      Fact is, Alastair. you aren’t going to get nice guy, powder puff headlines any more. The tide is definitely turning.

      Liked by 1 person

    • dvyk April 4, 2015 / 10:08 pm

      That’s what happens when you’ve got a captain as weak and dull-witted as Cook — undermining others to build up his own status, perceiving any potential success in other players as a threat to his position and status (correctly perceiving!) and also hinting not so subtly at who will be the scapegoat if they fail.

      He’s trying to weaken everyone who’s potentially a threat to his authority…. Actually Cook is making me think that maybe you guys should select your teams on character — he’d be out on his ear if it was done sensibly!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. hatmallet April 4, 2015 / 9:30 pm

    Hughes is offering to reveal all over drinks!

    It does add to the obvious – a lot of private, off the record briefings have happened and we’re not to know of them, at least through public channels.

    Like

    • thebogfather April 5, 2015 / 8:27 am

      Woo-hoo! Mine’s a pint! (I presume I’m invited too? ;))

      Like

  25. Annie Weatherly-Barton April 4, 2015 / 10:08 pm

    It could be a joke of course. I have replied. See what happens. I have something up my sleeve as well. Fancy that aye? Came out of left field. Still proof in pudding aye?

    Like

  26. paulewart April 5, 2015 / 7:09 am

    Interesting comment btl:

    Twelve months ago I was enjoying an end of tour BBQ in Barbados in the company of Mike Selvey and Tony Cozier.

    We had consumed more rum punches than was safe to drive on, but we were still cogent. The obsession from Mike Selvey wad quite outstanding. He was adamant that KP would never be seen again in an England team because of an alleged huge dossier of misdomeners.

    Tony Cozier was more pragmatic and suggested that circumstances dictate outcomes.

    I wad relatively quiet and respectful in the company of such luminaries, but I did opine that if Peter Moores were to be appointed, then the whole ship would sink.

    I think that I was proven correct.

    Like

    • Arron Wright April 5, 2015 / 7:31 am

      Which article is that comment from, Paul?

      Like

    • Rooto April 5, 2015 / 7:48 am

      “circumstances dictate outcomes”
      It’s nice to get a breath of fresh normality every now and again.
      Now, time for another deep breath, and back down into ECB-world, where prejudices dictate decisions and reality is only viewed through a deforming mirror.

      Like

    • Annie Weatherly-Barton April 5, 2015 / 7:58 pm

      WOW! And Selvey based his theory on the KP dossier? Is he completely out of his mind? When it was leaked people/columnists and journos were taking the piss out of it because it was so infantile. Hells bells. What is wrong with these people that they cannot see that was a set up by Flower, Downton and the rest. Leaking it made all those at the ECB look utterly pathetic and stupid. No wonder we get the constant flow of vindictiveness from these writers. Journos they aren’t. There is no analysis in any of it. Same phrases from the usual suspects. The joy that just keeps giving!!!!

      Like

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