Wisdom

It’s that day again. The release of the latest version of cricket’s bible. I have copies dating back to 1970 and will do my usual – try to pick it up cheaply from a source in September – but it has been hard to miss the reports coming out on Lawrence Booth’s Editor’s Notes today. The ECB get a good kicking and so does KP. You take what you want from it – some will hone in on the criticism of Pietersen to reinforce what looks more and more like an editorial line (or personal vendetta – both of which are reprehensible), while others will focus on the kicking of the ECB and care less about the book and things. The newspapers have long since been the source of record in this sorry affair.

The KP issue still gets the blood pumping. Hearing that the book is reviewed by Patrick Collins saddened me. He was given free rein to give KP everything in previous editions, and lo and behold, he gets another opportunity. I’ve not read the review but Newman’s given us the flavour in another spectacularly typical article.

Now sadly, because I’m writing this on the tablet and in my lunch break I cannot do a proper fisking of that Newman article. It deserves it. However, I’ll hold that one back a few days as I have a real life outside of here to handle, which includes a meeting with my legal mate tonight. However a phrase or two requires comment. I can’t cut and paste so you will have to rely on my memory.

“a decision on which they had right on their side”

Newman is amazed that after 15 months sacking a player who had a lot of fans in this country, and a lot of enemies, having top scored in a disastrous tour (an inconvenient fact that you can’t brush away) was the one to be sacked and yet the ECB lost the media war. That this was done without a proper explanation to the fans, was accompanied by unattributable, off the record briefing in the aftermath of Sydney, and with further leakage and gossip along the way, really doesn’t resonate. When the supporters of KP, and others keeping in mind this treatment might be dished out to others (see, to a degree, Cook in Sri Lanka), had the gall not to take our beloved press corps word for it, and raised legitimate, unanswered questions, most notably about their willingness to receive leaks yet not get the ECB to state the case properly, he is mystified how the cause was lost. The message is in there, Paul. Don’t spend too long thinking about it.

“a decision supported by those who follow the team around professionally”

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. It’s not all there is it? Because you are so damned close, and yet so damned reluctant to press these duplicitious swine, is the reason we take your view so sceptically. You don’t have a bloody scooby, do you? Your constant vitriolic, yes, the same word that is used against me, campaign against a man with over 100 caps, allying yourself with the idiots given a shoeing in Wisden today by one of your colleagues, a piece you should have written months ago (and not just after Cook got fired, but before it), is the reason this blogger and, given comments I see elsewhere, many others can’t take you seriously. The Daily Mail is our first stop for a laugh, frankly.

I need to follow the team professionally to have an informed view. There’s the bobby right there. If that doesn’t contrast with the “England team belongs to us all” line in Lawrence’s piece, I don’t know what does.

No complaints over the Five Cricketers of the Year, although I’d have been tempted to consider Brendon McCullum because they can go outside the domestic season if they please, albeit rarely and for special cases (sure they have done). Let’s hope he does enough this summer to get in. I’ve seen some complaints about Moeen Ali, and I do feel there’s a bit of symbolism there, but it’s fair enough. He’s a ray of hope. Ballance, Angelo Mathews and Adam Lyth wrote themselves, and Jeetan Patel is also very deserving.

An absolute ton of work goes into this book, and I would thank Lawrence Booth for the efforts. One of the benefits of speaking to him offline is appreciating the co-ordination required to bring this together. It’s not me going soft. It’s me not being a total curmudgeon.

I’m not commenting on anything else at the moment, until I’ve seen what’s written. Couldn’t Lawrence have sent me a review copy too?

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126 thoughts on “Wisdom

  1. Vian Apr 8, 2015 / 12:36 pm

    You’d have to be a prize tosser not to recognise the amount of work that goes into it.

    Like

    • hatmallet Apr 8, 2015 / 12:37 pm

      1,500 pages (as I think I saw referenced by Booth) and only in a matter of months?

      Like

      • Vian Apr 8, 2015 / 12:48 pm

        By necessity I guess, given that it all only occurs a few months earlier, much of it.

        I’m not that big a fan of Wisden in truth. But so many adore it.

        Like

  2. thebogfather Apr 8, 2015 / 12:43 pm

    I started buying Wisden in 1977, and like yourself have bought the £9.99 ‘Bookclub’ for thee past few years in October. I also (thanks e-bay!) have extended my collection back to 1947 (it gets too expensive prior to then). The editors notes are always a good read, whether you agree or not, and the complete county scores bring back memories of matches I attended or tests I saw FTA… I will still buy it, even this year I’ve signed up to get it half price with a free copy of 1864…
    It may have been overtaken in this digital age, but it lasts longer than any on-line soundbite

    Like

  3. Rohan Apr 8, 2015 / 12:45 pm

    Wow that is some effort. 1500 pages in a few months, mental. Would be interested to tally up the output of TFT or Dmitri to see what they produce over a few months. Anecdotally both seem prolific, many articles and are definitely of a very good standard! Anyway would like to read about the ECB kicking, hope someone can shed some light on here on that at some point. Cheers Dmitri for the recent posts, really enjoyed them.

    Like

  4. Mark Apr 8, 2015 / 1:09 pm

    I can’t help thinking (and I’ll get my coat ready to leave) Wisden is rather of the pre digital age. A bit like listening to the ashes on a crackling transistor radio under the bed cloths at 4am on a cold winters morning. (Do they do a Kindle a version?) if they do it probably defeats the object. Think of all those previous editions all lined up in a row on some anoraks book case. (I know, know, I’m putting on my coat as I speak.)

    Moving on to Newman….. “a decision supported by those who follow the team around professionally”. Which translated into English means………….

    “Those of us who don’t pay a penny to follow England around.”

    If Newman is amazed the ECB lost the PR war, he should tender his resignation immediately. He was one of the 101st airborne ECB keyboard Generals. It appears he parachuted into a mine field..

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus Apr 8, 2015 / 1:14 pm

      I am such an anorak. I love reading them. Lots of old almanack stuff is already digital. See match reports for many old test matches. It doesn’t do any harm.

      Like the 101st airborne line. …

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  5. thebogfather Apr 8, 2015 / 1:39 pm

    Oh dear, I’ve upset Lawrence on twitter regarding his appearance on talkSPORT an hour ago…

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  6. thebogfather Apr 8, 2015 / 1:55 pm

    Apologies to Lawrence – he has replied further

    Like

  7. David Mutton Apr 8, 2015 / 1:57 pm

    I hear that Dmitri himself got special praise in Wisden 2015. Congratulations – very well deserved, and a happy day for everyone ‘outside’ cricket.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. alan Apr 8, 2015 / 1:58 pm

    Yes I’m an anorak as well. Started buying them in the sixties and have continued ever since. With diminishing pleasure I admit and I also wait to buy them cheaply. Basically I’m just an obsessive accumulator of things I could do without. This is far from the only example as my family can confirm!
    Like Bogfather mine go back to 1947 and I even have older ones which I bought back in the days when you could still buy them at a reasonable price.
    Yes my lord I love reading them too. They are so evocative of their times generally and the particular season they cover and Oldies like me can wallow in nostalgia to our hearts content. Sorry Mark, I know I’m a sad old relic!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Apr 8, 2015 / 3:21 pm

      Alan , please don’t appologise. I am not against Wisden , and I have read varios copies from time to time. (Never collected them) And I too can certainly be classed as an old relic myself.

      But I guess what Iam suggesting is that they belong in a different world. Probably a better world. The pre 1947 ones are likely to be much more interesting than the last few years of English cricket.

      But hey ho, we live in a market economy so if people want them that’s fine by me.

      Like

  9. Lawrence Booth Apr 8, 2015 / 2:01 pm

    Hello people. Hope you don’t mind me popping in. Thanks, Dmitri, for the mentions – and indeed for the thanks! Yep, it’s a load of work, though I’d be lying if I said Wisden is put together in a few months. It’s more of an all-year-round job, with an extra push in Jan and Feb, by the end of which the Almanack is put to bed (March is a dead month for us: we just cross our fingers each year in the hope that nothing too dramatic happens to make us look too out of date come publication in April!).

    A few thoughts on some of the comments, if I may. Dmitri, I think we’ve only ever gone out of the English season for one of the Five on one occasion: Jayasuriya, in 1997, because his World Cup pinch-hitting had an effect on the way county cricket was played that summer. McCullum would be a hard one to justify in that context, but he obviously had a shout for being the Leading Cricketer in the World (which went instead to Sangakkara).

    I hope you’ll appreciate that the major kicking resides with the ECB rather than KP. (Whether having views that differ from yours makes those views “reprehensible” is another matter. It’s not an editorial line: just my opinion based on my observations.) That is the thrust of this year’s Notes.

    Bogfather, that’s why I took exception to your tweet, where you brought up my comment about “feeling sorry for the ECB”. I’m pretty sure that was to do with the way they’ve decided to schedule the T20 Blast – though I was also critical of their decision. I’m not sure why you felt the need to quote me out of context and with no explanation.

    As for Wisden being out of synch with the digital age, yes, clearly in some ways it is: it’s an annual. But the fact that it still gets talked about, still sells more than enough copies to keep going, and still generates such affection in lots of places, is something to be cherished, I think. Or at least I hope…

    Cheers, Lawrence

    Liked by 3 people

    • Vian Apr 8, 2015 / 2:15 pm

      I’m sure I speak for most in saying it’s more than welcome if you pop in.

      Perhaps you are unable to answer this, but I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that your “kicking” of the ECB is markedly different in tone to all you’ve written before. That’s perhaps why it is a little surprising.

      As for Pietersen, I only care about him in the context of being a symptom of that ECB incompetence and arrogance. It’s a nuanced point that most of us here seem to hold, but one that doesn’t often get recognised in the painting of all those critical as being ECB acolytes.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Vian Apr 8, 2015 / 2:22 pm

        Arrrghhhh! “KP acolytes” rather.

        Like

    • thebogfather Apr 8, 2015 / 2:31 pm

      Lawrence – thank you for replying, I’m sorry if my tweets seemed a bit gruff, but having read comments on various websites etc during the morning, and not being a pay per view newspaper floozie for your Q&A earlier, I looked forward to hearing you on talkSPORT with H&J.
      I did listen intently and still do not understand your reference to Saffers/Irish imports, but that is by the by. It was when AJ asked you about the confusion that emanates from within the ECB, and your various responses whether it be KP/Ashes debacle/CWC etc, did give the impression (whether meant or not, and I understand it was a 10 min interview on a very busy day for you) that you felt somewhat sorry for the ECB and their management.

      I guess my asking as to whether there were any free copies being given out is now not a goer, so will have to add to my collection (from 1947) by buying one! Damn!

      Like

      • Andy Apr 8, 2015 / 2:44 pm

        Mr Bog,

        I didn’t hear the H&J interview so don’t know what was said, but here is the bit I’ve read that is releven (from the beeb).

        And Booth has called on the ECB to do more to advance the game in Asian communities: “The English game needs an Asian player to prosper beyond a few Tests here and there.

        “If the England team really want to unlock their full potential, it is perverse to be so reliant on (white) southern Africans and smash-and-grab raids across the Irish Sea, and so ignore the more natural solution on our doorstep.

        “There remains a damaging perception among Britain’s South Asian communities that its best young cricketers are not wanted.”

        I took it to mean we should be developing the sport in the UK & being more inclusive, not just poaching players & not as a dig at KP/Morgan etc.

        Don’t know if that helps or just saying what you have heard already

        Liked by 1 person

    • Andy Apr 8, 2015 / 2:39 pm

      Lawrence,

      It’s actually really nice to see a MSM person actually engaging and not just talking down to the fans (or ignoring/blocking/shouting etc). I think you did the right thing by calling out the ECB for not looking after the fans is crucial and it’s how alot of us feel. It seems like a lone voice in the wind at the moment though and it appears to us that the ECB have got a fairly easy ride so far.

      Personally I took your saffers / irish comment for what you actually meant (hopefully), in that there are many English people (from all backgrounds) who could/should be coming through that just aren’t. Possibly a symptom of the game giving off the air of only being ‘for the right type’ (to borrow a phrase), probably because it’s just not easily available in schools / inner cities etc.

      As Vian indicates, I think most of us ‘rabid outsiders’ don’t actually mind if KP comes back or not, it’s the manor of dismissal, the we have evidence but haven’t said anything yet from the ECB, the we know but we won’t tell you from the press. It all just seems to leave a slightly sour taste on the palate.

      I’m sure most of us would love it if Cook scored a dozen tons this summer, but he does seem to be protected on high from not doing well recently. Most of us here said he should not have been anywhere near the ODI team. How could those on high not see it!

      It’s the MSM who do things like complain about Graves sticking his oar in before he’s in role, but support Downton when he did the same who have lost the respect of us out here – not yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Silk Apr 8, 2015 / 3:26 pm

      Lawrence – Massive thanks for dropping in.

      I speak only for myself but what I saw was KP being scapegoated and the dismal Ashes (where, so far as I can see, we selected Monty, Trott, Swann, Rankin, Tremlett, Prior and Bresnan who weren’t fit (physically and/or mentally)) being completely ignored. I mean, seriously, it was the decision-making on that tour that defied belief. And no one in the ‘MSM’ called anyone out on it. Which was beyond annoying.

      Of course, the decision-making since has made the decision-making before look positively sound.

      So yeah, I can take or leave KP. But his selction, like that of anyone else, should be based on merit, and should be made by the selectors, not Downton.

      A couple of serious questions, if I may

      – We know KP is not considered by Newell and co. because of instructions from the ECB. OK. Is anyone else in that situation. I’m thinking of particular of Monty, but Compton, Carberry, Rankin might be on a blacklist. (Not a conspiricy theory, just genuinely interested)

      – What the bloody hell is Andy Flower’s job, and does he have a role in selection?

      Like

  10. Simon K Apr 8, 2015 / 2:26 pm

    I bought it for a few years when Matthew Engel was the editor, but I gave up when Scyld Berry took over as the quality of analysis and commentary dropped quite conspicuously, and I was increasingly using Cricinfo for the stats and reportage anyway.

    I mean to come back to it every year now Booth has taken over, but every year I recoil at the cover price. I know you can get it cheaper after a few months but I’d really only be getting it as a collector’s item at that stage and I have too many collector’s item books anyway…

    Like

  11. Lawrence Booth Apr 8, 2015 / 2:33 pm

    Vian: I’ve been pretty critical of the ECB for a while. Last year’s Wisden Notes hammered them for getting into bed with the BCCI and Cricket Australia, and I spent most of the month in Sri Lanka writing in the Mail that Alastair Cook shouldn’t have been one-day captain. It’s true that I don’t share all your views on KP, but I’ve made it clear, I think, that the ECB have mishandled the situation. And I certainly agree on the “symptom” point you make.

    Simon K: you can get it cheaper almost instantly on Amazon…

    Like

    • Simon K Apr 8, 2015 / 2:38 pm

      OK, I’ll keep an eye on that. Thanks.

      Like

    • Vian Apr 8, 2015 / 2:58 pm

      I would say it’s a marked difference between your approach in your newspaper articles and what you are writing in Wisden. I’ll leave it at that.

      Honestly, the Pietersen thing is such a side issue. He’s one player. It is purely a symptom of all the other stuff that’s been going on. Even the “outside cricket” jibe hasn’t been addressed.

      The issue the mainstream media has never addressed is the utter fury of people who play the game, watch the game, buy tickets and TV subscriptions and are regarded as cattle on the one hand, and worthy of the mushroom method on the other. And from your perspective, the problem is that you’ve been prepared to come and say hello, and risk being damned by association – which isn’t fair.

      The reason blogs like this exist is because of that collective failure. You of course cannot answer for the conduct of others, but I really couldn’t care less what an individual opinion on Pietersen is, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that the ECB are held to account for their own conduct and that hasn’t happened. And with all due respect, I do read what you write, and there has been very little sense of the kind of trenchant criticism you are providing today.

      I don’t remotely expect you to have the time or inclination to go through this piece by piece on a blog, but I’m not some swivel eyed loon who adores Pietersen, and I’ve spent my life playing cricket at a decent standard. I do actually understand the game, and so do many of those others commenting for the same reason.

      The fury is not a fringe idiot mentality, it’s entirely mainstream, and held even more strongly amongst those who play and watch the game.

      It’s not been your industry’s finest year, not by a long chalk.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thebogfather Apr 8, 2015 / 3:15 pm

        VIAN – Wonderfully well expressed comment, and all that needs to be said re MSM

        Liked by 1 person

      • hatmallet Apr 8, 2015 / 4:03 pm

        Hi Lawrence – thanks for answered my question about the media in The Times Q&A. Given my question, does it surprise you that I also comment here?!

        I think Vian’s comment above covers all that I was alluding to with my question.

        Of course, we don’t expect you to start criticising friends and colleagues by name, but hopefully you can understand the frustrations us fans have with the media.

        And turning it around, yes I understand the ECB refusing to answer questions makes it hard for you guys, and no I don’t have a solution!

        That said, there are some journalists (and I stress some, it doesn’t apply to all) who will boast about their insider knowledge, often with put-downs to those asking the questions, yet decline to share that knowledge.

        Often it still feels like we’re only getting half the story and are actually getting mocked for it!

        Like

  12. Lawrence Booth Apr 8, 2015 / 2:37 pm

    Bog: the reference to SA/Irish imports was that we’re not making the most, in this country, of our cricketers of South Asian heritage. If we’re looking outside what is – let’s face it – the white mainstream of English cricket, why are we looking to, say, SA and Ireland, rather than lap up the gift on our own doorstep: British Asian cricketers, who are repeatedly getting lost to the system. It wasn’t a dig at KP (or Trott or Ballance or anyone!). It was a plea for English cricket to make the most of its resources.

    For my part, I’m still not sure where you got the impression I feel sorry for the ECB – perhaps in the context of their attempts to find a workable solution to the domestic T20 fixture list, but in nothing else.

    Free copies? Believe me, I’d love to hand them out 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebogfather Apr 8, 2015 / 3:09 pm

      Thank you Lawrence (not for the unavailability of a free copy! ;)) I’ve rewound my DAB radio and relistened to your convo on talkSPORT, and must admit on second listening that my comments re Saffers etc were not correct. You aree right about the failure to incorporate (horrible word) asian cricketers into the first class system, although it did come across initially as a dig towards certain players.
      With regard to the ECB ‘love-in’ – it had nothing to do with T20 scheduling, more to the point you expressed about them failing to cover their backs and thus allowing us ‘outside’ to become continually enraged with decision making, and following on from this, the lack of MSM digging deeper, and the seemingly easy acceptance of whatever the ECB spouts, when we all know there have been many failings (most of which you have brought up in your editorial for Wisden) – It’s the almost total insouciance from the ‘name’ writers over the past year and more that depresses us all

      Like

    • SimonH Apr 8, 2015 / 3:16 pm

      Lawrence,
      Thanks for dropping by. Could you please explain how you think the ECB should have handled the Pietersen affair? Is it the substance of the decision to sack him you’re criticising – or merely the presentation of it?

      Like

  13. Simon K Apr 8, 2015 / 2:37 pm

    As for KP, I’m not sure what else can be said about him in the context of the ‘Wisden year’. He had already been sacked by the 2014 edition so this year you can only really talk about the fallout.

    I do think (and the notes may acknowledge this, I haven’t read them) that the rancour of the book needs to be understood in the context of its gestation. We don’t need to go over what happened, but if it had happened to me I would feel pretty humiliated by it, even notwithstanding the blatantly unfair treatment. My view is that he had a pretty open and shut case for constructive dismissal and did the ECB a huge favour in agreeing to the termination of his contract rather than taking them to court.

    When you combine those circumstances with the enforced six-month period of silence then it was hardly a surprise that KP would use the book to lash out like he did. It exists as an artefact only because of the ECB.

    Like

  14. thebogfather Apr 8, 2015 / 2:38 pm

    Trott out for nought 3rd ball – bowled Anderson (yes Jimmy), Broady hobbled off….

    Like

    • thebogfather Apr 8, 2015 / 3:25 pm

      …apparently, as there is no press coverage ‘available’ either on cricinfo or BBC or G

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      • thebogfather Apr 8, 2015 / 3:29 pm

        Jenny has just told me to follow @GeorgeDobell1 tweets to follow this sham of a game…

        Like

    • SimonH Apr 8, 2015 / 4:04 pm

      Broad went over on his ankle apparently – the problem is not in the knee where he had the op.

      Like

  15. thebogfather Apr 8, 2015 / 3:33 pm

    Trott, Ballance and Bairstow playing for St Kitts….

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  16. thebogfather Apr 8, 2015 / 3:35 pm

    Ballance ct behind off Tredders, who then takes another wicket

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  17. thebogfather Apr 8, 2015 / 4:05 pm

    St Kitts + Eng 77-4 at lunch (Bairstow 33*) v Eng…. no, I’ve not a clue either

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  18. SimonH Apr 8, 2015 / 4:18 pm

    I’m not on Twitter myself but think I’ve a better basic grasp of how it works than someone who is –

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arron Wright Apr 8, 2015 / 4:29 pm

      Ah, I see Josh Robinson hasn’t changed a bit.

      Good on the Arsenal fan.

      Like

    • thebogfather Apr 8, 2015 / 4:35 pm

      Oh my….what is the txt acronym? Oh yes ROTFLMAO…… so selfry can now just talk to himself?

      Like

    • OscarDaBosca Apr 8, 2015 / 4:51 pm

      What a prick. The difference between Lawrence Booth and Selvey is plain to see. Whilst I have sometimes disagreed with Lawrence’s opinions I have always found him approachable, he is willing to answer direct emails (which he did when he was the writer for the spin) and I have had interesting conversations with him on twitter.
      Selvey doesn’t seem to understand what an ‘opinion’ piece open to comments is.

      Liked by 2 people

    • LordCanisLupus Apr 8, 2015 / 4:56 pm

      Pure comedy gold. Just when one of them appeared to seal number 1 in the new rankings the other battles back.

      Liked by 1 person

    • ZeroBullshit Apr 8, 2015 / 5:32 pm

      I love Selvey. 🙂

      Like

      • OscarDaBosca Apr 8, 2015 / 5:38 pm

        Ha, how does one earn respect? I guess it is agreeing with his opinions. I shall hereby refer to him as Selfey Preacherman as that is what he is. If you are just telling people how it is and ignoring all other opinions you must be preaching??

        Liked by 1 person

    • dvyk Apr 8, 2015 / 5:42 pm

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA

      Like

  19. LarryC Apr 8, 2015 / 4:54 pm

    Sky Sports just announced Downton has gone!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. OscarDaBosca Apr 8, 2015 / 4:55 pm

    apparently he can block me, but he can’t stop me tweeting him. Ha ha preacher man, I can just annoy him now! (Please note that I am not condoning annoying or hassling people on twitter unless they are Selvey or Newman)

    Like

    • "IronBalls" McGinty Apr 8, 2015 / 5:00 pm

      c Peitersen b Dmitri???

      Like

    • LarryC Apr 8, 2015 / 5:02 pm

      How about saying it once more for luck? It has such a lovely ring about it

      Like

  21. lionel joseph Apr 8, 2015 / 5:03 pm

    Larry’s scathing editorial was obviously the coup de grace. Probably his most prominent feature in Wisden as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • paulewart Apr 8, 2015 / 5:33 pm

      Worst case scenario? Flower gets the new job!

      Like

      • Zephirine Apr 8, 2015 / 7:06 pm

        Paul, that occurred to me too – no, no, please no….

        Like

    • "IronBalls" McGinty Apr 8, 2015 / 6:39 pm

      Bloody marvellous!! Sacked with aplomb no doubt?

      Like

  22. Vian Apr 8, 2015 / 5:06 pm

    Do we reckon Downton handled his sacking with aplomb?

    Liked by 2 people

    • paulewart Apr 8, 2015 / 5:34 pm

      Priceless.

      Like

  23. lionel joseph Apr 8, 2015 / 5:14 pm

    of course, one of the most interesting bits about Downton’s sacking is that it wasn’t leaked before the official ECB announcement….

    Liked by 2 people

    • Vian Apr 8, 2015 / 5:14 pm

      That’s a very good point. Well spotted.

      Liked by 1 person

    • SimonH Apr 8, 2015 / 5:28 pm

      How does the timing work? From Ali Martin’s report:

      “now, before Wednesday’s board meeting at the ECB offices – the last to be chaired by Giles Clarke before he is replaced by the incoming Colin Graves in May – Downton has been told his position is no longer required”.

      The day before the board meeting?

      Also this teaser:

      “Whitaker, as national selector, is similarly under pressure….. A bungled interview given to the BBC, when announcing the squad for the Caribbean last month, has also seen his ability to communicate selections to the public queried behind closed doors”.

      The ECB plumbers aren’t completely redundant yet……

      Liked by 1 person

      • lionel joseph Apr 8, 2015 / 5:39 pm

        yep, clearly written before the event, but not put to print until after it.

        Like

      • Simon K Apr 8, 2015 / 6:02 pm

        It sounds to me as if Harrison is asserting his control over operational matters, which would include the staff structure.

        Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Apr 8, 2015 / 6:06 pm

        Berry and Hoult trump Ali Martin on Whitaker:

        “National selector James Whitaker is also expected to be sacked, possibly as early as tomorrow”.

        Liked by 2 people

  24. OscarDaBosca Apr 8, 2015 / 5:21 pm

    Slightly concerned that ‘A newly created role of ‘Director of England Cricket’, with a clear focus on delivering a world class performance environment for all formats will replace it.’ will be Mr Flower.

    Hope springs eternal

    Like

    • Arron Wright Apr 8, 2015 / 5:40 pm

      Only slightly concerned?

      Like

  25. thebogfather Apr 8, 2015 / 5:24 pm

    I’ve just put my application for the post in via twitter – (best get in early) lol

    Like

    • OscarDaBosca Apr 8, 2015 / 5:35 pm

      Can you move from ‘outside cricket’ to ‘inside cricket’ so easily?

      Like

  26. Boz Apr 8, 2015 / 5:37 pm

    Not irony that ‘wisdom’ is the title of this article – telepathic maybe, may Downton rest in peace, ….. a bit …..

    Like

  27. SimonH Apr 8, 2015 / 5:43 pm

    Newman gets his campaign up and running……

    Like

    • SimonH Apr 8, 2015 / 5:47 pm

      And he has company……

      Like

      • paulewart Apr 8, 2015 / 6:03 pm

        Noooo……

        Like

  28. Arron Wright Apr 8, 2015 / 5:55 pm

    Telegraph online poll: Were the ECB right to sack Downton?

    Let’s just say the ‘Yes’ vote wouldn’t make a great score on Pointless…

    Like

  29. thebogfather Apr 8, 2015 / 5:57 pm

    Just having a twitter debate with @theanalyst re Flower

    Like

    • SimonH Apr 8, 2015 / 6:19 pm

      Prising this gem from Theanalyst:

      Like

    • Arron Wright Apr 8, 2015 / 7:01 pm

      And I see he’s already deployed the “how many more stats do you need” gambit.

      Try him with these:

      Worst result ever against Pakistan.
      Worst result v South Africa since readmission.
      First failure to win a Test in a series v NZ in 25 years.
      Overall W-L-D record Feb 09 – Aug 11 exactly same as Fletcher Jul 03 – Sep 05 (except three extra games, all drawn).
      Overall W-L-D record Aug 11- Jan 14 exactly same as Fletcher and Moores Nov 05 to Mar 08, except no-one continued to treat them like the second coming.

      That should do for starters. Then try some qualitative analysis of the opponents each coach faced; their respective luck with injuries and illness; collective decline of batting unit; Finn; injury management; first-hand testimonies about the culture; etc.

      Like

  30. @pktroll Apr 8, 2015 / 5:58 pm

    Downton was arguably almost the biggest symbol of what was wrong with the ECB management. However there are a few more folk who need weeding out of their position before the real new “fresh start” can truly occur. As I’m writing Warne on Sky is saying that more heads have to roll. It isn’t different from what a lot of us are saying on here though. Both him and Vaughan are about the team trying to play positively.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. SimonH Apr 8, 2015 / 5:58 pm

    Newman’s verdict on Downton:

    “he was not afraid to make brave calls and none of his big calls could yet be called a failure”.

    If we beat India in the back-to-back-to-back series in 2037 Newman will be writing it up as a vindication of Downton’s foresight.

    Liked by 1 person

    • paulewart Apr 8, 2015 / 6:02 pm

      What about his decision to drop Cook for the WC Mr Newman? Oh.
      Fatuous nonsense.

      Like

    • Arron Wright Apr 8, 2015 / 6:45 pm

      You know that bit in Father Ted when they reveal the sheep contest was fixed, and you keep hearing the same bloke say “‘kin ell” over the hubbub?

      That’s my default reaction to anything this man writes.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. SimonH Apr 8, 2015 / 6:00 pm

    Tweet of the day –

    Liked by 2 people

    • MM Apr 8, 2015 / 7:54 pm

      Oh, please KP… press send on that sucker!

      Best wishes to Downton. Pfssst. I’m sure his P45 envelope will be sufficiently hefty. Whitaker tomorrow, please.

      Like

  33. Phil Apr 8, 2015 / 6:18 pm

    Not Strauss. To close to the current mess.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MM Apr 8, 2015 / 7:56 pm

      Oh hell no. Just couldn’t hack that cont’s effing gob!

      Like

  34. Mark Apr 8, 2015 / 6:44 pm

    Just heard the Anyalist on radio 5 live. Apparently Downton is a good man, the Anyalist has known him 30 years. But the job was too difficult. Almost impossible it would seem. Way to many types of cricket to deal with 20/20 ,ODI ,Test match. Oh and the media, the media is just so different from when Downton was last involved. Social media Just examines everything. (Get it?)

    And while this goes on England are playing a warm up match against themselves it seems. You can’t make it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MM Apr 8, 2015 / 7:57 pm

      You couldn’t indeed make it up… but Moores could.

      Like

  35. Zephirine Apr 8, 2015 / 6:47 pm

    One down…..

    Like

  36. Maggie Apr 8, 2015 / 6:50 pm

    First thought on seeing The Momentous News – “Oh bloody hell, it would happen when Dmitri’s on a night out.”

    Like

  37. SimonH Apr 8, 2015 / 7:14 pm

    Maxie’s back!

    Like

    • Arron Wright Apr 8, 2015 / 7:23 pm

      He chose a hell of a day to quit sniffing glue…

      Like

  38. Rav Roberts Apr 8, 2015 / 7:21 pm

    What about James GaryBallanceGaryBallanceGaryBallanceGaryBallance Whitaker?

    Like

  39. ZeroBullshit Apr 8, 2015 / 7:28 pm

    Downton’s sacking today, with Whitaker likely to be sacked tomorrow, has made me smile aplenty. 🙂

    But I am not pleased by all this talk of Strauss or Flower getting the newly created post. I do not care for either. Mood hoovers both.

    Nasser would be a better choice than Vaughan in my view. Let us hope a wise man gets appointed.

    Like

    • MM Apr 8, 2015 / 7:59 pm

      Here’s a 1000-1 shot… KP himself.

      Like

    • SimonH Apr 8, 2015 / 8:04 pm

      Ignores his own role in backing Downton? Check

      Makes ridiculous excuses (he was working on Loughborough!)? Check

      Blames KP’s PR machine and lawyers? Check

      Ridiculous and sour take on Pietersen’s motives? Check. Including compulsory mention of Pietersen’s IPL price? Double check.

      Blames social media? No – Selvey must be going soft.

      Think I’ll choose to disregard this one. The comments could be amusing though……

      Like

      • Arron Wright Apr 8, 2015 / 8:25 pm

        They’ve made a pretty good start, the Guardian commenters. Not sure demigoat’s will last very long, but it made me laugh.

        I still can’t get over those tweets. Way to encapsulate an attitude we’ve been highlighting for over a year; way to give the BTL plebs still more ammunition.

        Like

  40. thebogfather Apr 8, 2015 / 7:37 pm

    Suddenly, @ECB_cricket are keeping us updated on StKitts/Eng v Eng….

    Like

  41. Mark Apr 8, 2015 / 7:55 pm

    I take it because the ECB are removing Downton because they don’t require his position anymore he will go with a full pay off.

    Your Sky or Test ticket money at work. Back to the city for Downton richer but not wiser.

    As for the rumours we will get Strauss, what’s the point? He is cut from the same cloth as Flower/Cook/Moores . Moving the deckchairs on the Titanic is not what is required.

    Like

    • MM Apr 8, 2015 / 8:10 pm

      Strauss? That won’t be back to square one coz we’ve never left square one. Square zero could be Flow… Flow… no, I can’t bring myself to say it.

      If this job is advertised and interviewed like proper jobs do, not like the jobs that get created for mates, then Sir Geoffrey… Sir Botham… Vaughany OBE… The Gaffer OBE… would be a really exciting line-up. But do Sirs have to interview for anything?

      Like

    • keyserchris Apr 8, 2015 / 9:26 pm

      Not been modded. Yet…

      Like

  42. SimonH Apr 8, 2015 / 8:19 pm

    How are some people walking the internet?

    Let’s look at the data:

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?captain_involve=4709;class=1;filter=advanced;orderby=win_loss_ratio;team=1;template=results;type=team

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?captain_involve=7023;class=1;filter=advanced;orderby=win_loss_ratio;team=1;template=results;type=team

    And that’s not even considering more subjective things like attractiveness of cricket and strength of opposition…..

    Like

  43. MM Apr 8, 2015 / 8:25 pm

    Seeing as Selvesy knows that he knows more than what we know… did he know that his mate was getting the bullet by ECB press leak before his mate knew it? (I’m not sure what I just typed.)

    Will this be the week of purges? Whatever. In the meantime, the England cricket team has finally begun the process of eating itself in St Kitts.

    Like

  44. SimonH Apr 8, 2015 / 8:38 pm

    It is a day of wonders – Agnew has just made a good point on Twitter. Does this new role Harrison is creating include status as a selector? If so, what is the chairman of selectors for?

    Hopefully if Harrison ever appears for an interview one of the brave boys of the press will pop that one to him. Or we could just leave it to discovering in a chance remark months later that this new bod “sits in” on selection meetings….

    Like

  45. dvyk Apr 8, 2015 / 8:43 pm

    If none of Downton’s “brave decisions” can yet be deemed wrong, then why has he been sacked, Mr Newman?

    Like

  46. Mark Apr 8, 2015 / 9:27 pm

    You would like to think that some of the higher ups at the Mail and the Guardian might notice a flicker of interest in what is going on and say…..

    “Hang on a minute, hasn’t our cricket bod been backing all these people who now seem to be losing their jobs? ”

    Just imagine if they had left KP in the team after the Aussie debarcle. He might have failed against India and in the World Cup and now they could ease him out. Instead……well…the what ifs of history?

    Like

    • Rohan Apr 8, 2015 / 10:09 pm

      That’s a very interesting one. The other one I have seen suggested, is that dropping him would have been a lot more straightforward! Yeah it would have caused some consternation but nothing compared to his sacking, nor would the furore have lasted as long. Also dropping him would have been entirely in keeping with the regimes approach of dropping players who are in better form than Iron Rod, or have a more recent test century (see Compton and Robson).

      Ding dong the witch is dead, ding dong the witch is dead, but who will be next? JW tomorrow? If as many have speculated, AF had an influence on Downturns first foray into the MD role (KP’s sacking) and gas continued to influence behind the scenes, then surely and in light of this and the ashes away debacle, he must go or be consigned to the broom cupboard!

      On a side note, I saw Harrison interviewed for the first time today. What he said was fairly straightforward and he would not be drawn on many of the questions he was asked (which was frustrating), but equally he seemed confident, calm and sure of the message he wanted to communicate. Although we may be unsure about the ‘new regime’ of Graves and Harrison, at least theirs has started with clearer communication, much less leaking and no briefing against others. Small positives to take……

      Like

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