Opening day of the County Championship and as I can confirm, it was a bit blowy and cold out there. Got to love April cricket. There were interesting performances out there – Sussex struggled early but Wright and Brown pulled them out of the abyss; Colly rolled back the years with the ball at batsman-friendly Taunton; Worcester put up a decent opening day show as they played the champions; and Brendon Taylor made a debut ton for Notts against the North London mob.

Down in division two Northants made the highest team score of the day, while Glamorgan posted two centuries in their very solid start v Leicestershire, before the Surrey Circus comes to town next weekend. Rudolph and Bragg making hay while the wind blew (so much that they played without bails according to Twitter).

Spring is here, and so is cricket. County cricket may not be to all tastes, but I have to say I love my days out when I go far more than the T20 games, while recognising this is a personal choice and not something I want to dictate on anyone!

But it was a game outside the County Championship that is going to grab all the headlines, and even now, the attitude of some to it is just off the charts churlish. Kevin Pietersen turned out for Surrey in a friendly match at Oxford. He made 170. The world went mad.

Now, I’m telling you when he got to three figures, I laughed. A lot. I felt the rage swelling inside the anti-KP mob, and knew it would burst through at some point. Let me put this to you straight, ladies and gents, we are not stupid. We do all realise the quality of opponent he was facing. But let’s also have some context here. For right or wrong, this was his first game of red ball cricket at this sort of standard (didn’t he play a Grade game pre Big-Bash) for well over a year. He was fresh, but not proper match hardened. Wickets fell around him at the start of the Surrey innings and he needed to bed in. He did all that was asked of him. Then he made hay and took the score to safety and made 170. It’s a bloody good start, but we know there’s much tougher tests ahead.

Now, keep in mind the main newspapers sent people like Lawrence Booth, Ali Martin and so forth to this game. This is the lead cricket story in all the papers. The bloke is box office, and gets the hits because he’s divisive and compelling in equal doses. As many of you know, a journalist I defended because I’ve really liked his work had a bit of a bad hair day when the news came through:

{I have deleted the part about Chris Stocks. He’s been really good to apologise, and I don’t want to settle any more scores. Fair play requires a fair acceptance.}

Derek Pringle was there, and his bizarre retweet of this beauty (to be fair, the original tweeter, when it was pointed out that if KP had pulled out at 100, Surrey would have been 220 for 6) speaks volumes.

He’s also burbled on about this:

I mean, really? You need to be there to know how he played. Sounded like a KP knock to me – a bit iffy early, a few whiffs, into a rhythm, bang. Does Mike Newell or James Whitaker need to be there to know that. Good grief.

We can see what a circus this is going to be, can’t we?

Meanwhile, I’ll leave you (and thanks to Vian for this) with this lovely quote from our beloved captain:

“It’s a big Test series we want to win. I think my position should not really be a talking point as it has been over the last 15 months. I know it is, but I’m here for the most important thing – to help England win games of cricket. I feel I’ve still the energy to do that and the experience over the last three-and-a-half years to lead this young team forward.”

I get more than one correspondent saying my attacks on Cook are tiresome. and yet I think I’m one of the more mild ones on here. But this is tone deaf. It really is. There’s backing yourself and then there’s being deluded. Alastair, you’ve not made a hundred in international cricket for two years, and no-one is confusing your captaincy with Mike Brearley’s. Please stop saying these very silly things. Thanks.

It’s been a day.


32 thoughts on “Parky

  1. Chris Stocks Apr 12, 2015 / 9:21 pm

    Thanks for the feedback and in retrospect, maybe I was a little bit flippant and snarky. Easy to be so on social media. No offence intended.


    • LordCanisLupus Apr 12, 2015 / 9:40 pm

      Cheers Chris. Really appreciated. Keep rolling…. I’ve also deleted the part relating to you, because fair’s fair.


    • Vian Apr 12, 2015 / 10:19 pm

      Good stuff Chris.


  2. Benny Apr 12, 2015 / 9:37 pm

    Decided to tweet pringle with memory of Jasper Carrot on TV quoting the tree saying although more accurately. Jasper’s reflection was “what a load of bollocks”

    Pringle’s response was “brummie philosophers, world renowned” Doesn’t think much of all those nice people in Birmingham then. If only Jasper’s twiiter account was active, I’d forward it.


  3. keyserchris Apr 12, 2015 / 9:41 pm

    Survey’s top order fails, against an attack that I figure matches a St Kitts & Nevis select XI, yet the press think the no.4 scoring 170 off 149 balls is disastrous (only a slight exaggeration) for English cricket. Astonishing

    I’m mainly annoyed as my office is 5 minutes from The Parks, so missed a chance to see it – no doubt my presence will curse said no.4’s second innings…


    • Annie Weatherly-Barton Apr 13, 2015 / 11:25 pm

      Oh blige me. That is cruel! Apparently some bloke in a deckchair was floored by one of KPs shots and a car got dented by a six. Still means nothing to the great and the useless press.

      Still Cook let his bat do the talking today!!!


  4. Mark Apr 12, 2015 / 9:57 pm

    Just a reminder of some of the comments by the press pack during the Big Bash when KP was making news.

    “But he doesnt play county cricket.”

    “He hasn’t got a county.”

    It would seem he has now!

    The media sent a 20 man pack down there today, and we all know what the sark would have been had he failed……………..” Isn’t Oxford a boat race team he he he”

    One final point from planet Mars looking down in disbelief? Cricket in this country is dying, and the one true box office star we have is treated like shit, and banished off to a Victorian freak show. Where the pundits bay for his blood, and laugh at his failure. He has become crickets version of the Elephant man.


    • Annie Weatherly-Barton Apr 13, 2015 / 11:35 pm

      I remember certain members of the press saying that no county wanted him. To which I reminded the journo that five counties were chasing him but he went Surrey. How loyal of KP to go to 2nd division team that he loves? Well no. KP cannot take the dizzy heights of 1st division. Nothing will do for some of these insiders. Well, did we expect them to applaud KP on his feat of 170? Well not really.


  5. dvyk Apr 12, 2015 / 10:12 pm

    How often have I heard people complaining that KP fans “want Cook to fail”… I would bet Pringle has made that accusation too. Now he’s obviously planning on spending the entire summer doing doing just that to KP.

    I guess that’s the danger of twitter. You get these ignorant hooligans like Pringle using it to harass people.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. MM Apr 12, 2015 / 11:17 pm

    Being so pleasant is what keeps Pringle going, I reckon. I’m hoping England beat the West Indies by an innings and 5000 runs just so he can’t use the KP distraction card.

    Then again, I don’t really want the West Indies to lose… that’s wrong karma. I just want England to play well. How likely is that with our captain and coach?

    Actually… I’ll settle for a genuinely riveting post-match interview with Joe Root, or an interview with Cook where his voice doesn’t do that crazy thing at the end of his sentences. I’ll take either of those from this series, thanks. No need for owt else.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Annie Weatherly-Barton Apr 13, 2015 / 11:40 pm

      Mr Pringle must have a very unhappy life. Blimey he is always looking for splinters in other people’s eyes and not noticing the ruddy great plank in his own! Gee whizz he needs to get out more. Perhaps that’s why he and Selvey spend so much time together these days. Mutual moaning old farts.


  7. Danno Apr 12, 2015 / 11:24 pm

    Dmitri, let me know if you plan to go to the Oval on a Saturday or Sunday. It would be nice to try & meet up. Best wishes Danno.


  8. Arron Wright Apr 13, 2015 / 5:24 am

    Softlysoftly being a prize pillock below the Guardian article on Pietersen. His ignoring of Dale Steyn is priceless.

    But the biggest arsehole is Thomas19999 by a mile. Hey everyone, remember how Pietersen turned all those certain fifth day draws into defeats? No? And how his style of play is totally unsuited to Tests?

    Revisionism facilitated by media propaganda. Disgusting little episode.


    • Vian Apr 13, 2015 / 9:02 am

      The most devastating comment in that is the one where someone says that Pietersen would have been smacking it to all parts and they wouldn’t have enjoyed it.

      It gets right to the heart of it.


      • Arron Wright Apr 13, 2015 / 10:43 am

        Thomas pushed me too far, asserting that his lazy takedown of Pietersen was based on “historical fact”.

        So I’m afraid he got the BrassEye treatment.

        (One minor thing that has bothered me about the coverage, is that you would not believe it comes from Britain, world-famous for its humour and satire. Everything has been so bloody po-faced and earnest)


    • LordCanisLupus Apr 13, 2015 / 10:37 am

      How many times was KP dismissed in the 4th innings on the final day when we went on to lose in a game that would have been a “certain” draw? Adelaide 2006. Hamilton in 2008. Kandy 2007 (hmmmm). On a first scan I can find only six dismissals in a losing cause on day 5. Those three, Multan 2005, Nottingham v sri lanka in 2006 and Brisbane 2006.

      KP has poor stats in losing games. Maybe muppet chops might not try to over reach next time.


    • LordCanisLupus Apr 13, 2015 / 10:44 am

      In the same thread he describes Adam Gilchrist add having a patchy record against England. First he played four series not three. He averaged 40 in England despite a poor 2005. He averaged 50 in Australia with three hundreds. This is the same nonsense spouted about KP. Meanwhile we have a captain with no tons in nearly two years.


      • Arron Wright Apr 13, 2015 / 11:05 am

        Oh the Gilchrist bit was classic. In 2001 he made his big runs when the series was live, in 2002/3 he made a ton to keep Aus competitive when they were going for a whitewash. (overshadowed by the Waugh mawkishness) and in 06/7 he did a Viv when a game was still just about in the balance.

        Not enough. Obviously.


  9. @pktroll Apr 13, 2015 / 7:27 am

    The hilarious straw man argument that I’ve seen elsewhere is that people are demanding that Pietersen be selected on the back of yesterday? I’ve not seen anyone seriously suggest that . Indeed it usually a straw man argument built up by the likes of Pringle and co with their own considerable hubris.


  10. Vian Apr 13, 2015 / 9:06 am

    You just knew he’d do that. It’s entirely in keeping with his character. I saw Geoff Boycott react in interesting ways – firstly saying that Pietersen was a man on a mission, and second – and this is eyebrow raising – that Colin Graves would be loving it.

    I can’t get past the weirdness that there are people in the ECB who don’t want a player with 8,000 Test runs at a shade under 50 to be in sparkling form. Let’s just think about that for a moment.


    • "IronBalls" McGinty Apr 13, 2015 / 9:28 am

      Simply because, to the Test purists and traditional consevatives, he’s not one of us??


      • Vian Apr 13, 2015 / 9:37 am

        And yet Gower was absolutely one of them, and the same attitudes prevailed.

        I think they just don’t like individuals.


    • Arron Wright Apr 13, 2015 / 9:29 am

      And yet, should you hint that a couple of scratchy Test 50s and a hundred against the mighty St. Kitts isn’t exactly compelling evidence that another chap with 8,000 runs at 46 is back in sparkling form, they’re all over you with accusations of mean-spiritedness and “wanting England to fail”.

      Oh, I forgot. His position should not be a talking point.

      By the way, I can’t get my head round the Guardian man’s latest, specifically where he suggests that, had England won the 2009 series in the Caribbean under Andy Flower’s interim leadership, Andy Flower may *not* have got the job permanently (even though they *lost* and he did…) and things might have turned out very differently. He does *know* Andy Flower was in charge for that series defeat? You can’t assume anything with those two.


      • Vian Apr 13, 2015 / 9:42 am

        That’s why I was chuckling away when he was closing in on that hundred. All those who talked about Cook being back in form after that hundred had to wriggle and squirm to explain why it wasn’t the case for Pietersen.


  11. alan Apr 13, 2015 / 9:29 am

    What motivates Pringle in his obsessive desire to belittle Pietersen? Maybe it’s because he’s spent his entire career both as cricketer and writer in the relentless pursuit of mediocrity and thoroughly resents a man who, whatever else he could be described as could never be considered a mediocrity.
    For a supposedly intelligent Cambridge educated man to retweet the truly moronic contribution of that goon from Essex tells you all you need to know about him


    • Vian Apr 13, 2015 / 9:40 am

      Pringle’s unremitting hatred of Pietersen was a topic of amusement amongst a section of the press corps.


    • Vian Apr 13, 2015 / 11:33 am

      That’s ridiculous. Utterly preposterous.


  12. Zephirine Apr 13, 2015 / 11:12 am

    “I think my position should not really be a talking point as it has been over the last 15 months.”

    With that statement, Alastair Cook lost the last fragment of sympathy I had for him.


    • Annie Weatherly-Barton Apr 15, 2015 / 9:49 pm

      He lost my sympathy with this last lot of rubbish he spoke before the tour began! He seems to think he still has a god-ordained right to be captain and to be in the team forever no matter what he does on the field. Unbelievable stuff. Just utterly moronic.


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