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?