326 Not Out – Part 2

COOKY

Read Part 1 below – a bit of a diary of the day up to the TMS tweet. Now I’ll really get stuck into this nonsense.

Let’s take ourselves back to the end of the day’s play. The reaction to the 326 that I saw was mostly of the “wow” kind. A few churls who wouldn’t have cared if it was Marshall and Holding in their pomp at each end had a pop, but they looked rather stupid. One moron of the month, who Clive rightly called a troll said “one innings in four years” which not only questioned his recognition of how relatively rare 300s are, but also his numeric ability given KP’s knocks since 2011 – you know, the golden trio even his worst critics can’t help bu admire. I’m used to this utter nonsense now. It’s tedious, it’s dull, a bit like this blog to non-believers.

So to the TMS Tweet.

Seems pretty unequivocal. Of course it’s a leak, or whatever you want to call it, because a leak isn’t a leak if it isn’t a leak or something. Some people got rather uppity about all that over the weekend (no, not you LB), as if we were doubting their journalistic abilities. But this looked like a leak to me, this one… if it looks like a leak, smell lies a leak, it probably is one. So the reaction was one of fury.

I absolutely one hundred percent stick behind this one. I’m deadly serious. I’m not over-reacting. This blog is built on these foundations. Call it as you see it on DAY ONE. I called for Downton’s dismissal the day after he said something utterly stupid and now I call this.

I am seriously not impressed by Tom Harrison. Oh, I know, he wouldn’t give a toss if he read it, and why should he? He’s a highly paid executive and I’m just a mere bilious inadequate with a small platform and loyal support. But this was another one we were told was made of the right stuff. A former county pro, who went into media rights management and is now in charge of something or other at the ECB.

This is him.

HarrisonSo far, he’s sacked Downton, which was a fair move but bloody hell, he took his time over it as he presided over a costs and structure review – and boy does Harrison like a structure. Then he presided over the absolute clusterf*ck that was the dismissal of Moores. In the interim he employed head-hunters to come up with Andrew Strauss for a new post called Director, (and that comma says so much) England Cricket (or whatever – I cannot be bothered with this muppetry) and now, that is coming home to roost. They had it all planned. Andrew Strauss would be unveiled, they’d say a teary farewell to Peter Moores, and then new Management Structure England would move forward to the New Zealand series and the Ashes.

But, as we know, the information on Moores leaked. How it leaked we do not know, because, well we’ve done that already above. So a decent bloke (I think I’ve been consistent in that) was humiliated in public by this organisation. You’d think they’d feel a little chastened, a little wounded, maybe a touch humble. But I’m not sensing humility from Harrison. I’m sensing someone who is a little too cock-sure and seems to think he’s wielding a big stick. Just a hunch, and we’ll see how it plays out. Not been too wrong on them so far.

So, with plans completely blown out of the water, a contingent strategy took place, and the announcements were made on Saturday. Vian’s post below captures my thoughts brilliantly. My thanks for such a really good post on the matter. After this nonsense we were advised there would be a press conference today (Monday) or tomorrow (Tuesday). No-one was quite sure. There seemed to be utter confusion, while at the same time trying to exude some sort of decisive authority. This smacked of Captain Mainwaring shouting “I’m In Charge” as his bunch of old timers rambled off here and there.

Now, they knew the press conference, on Tuesday, was always going to throw up the KP question. At this stage (Sunday) it was an easy case to answer. Let him make some runs, he’s not in our plans at the moment, and it’s difficult to see him in our plans going forward. But he has to make runs. Even this has not, it appeared, satisfied our captain. I’ve been told a ton of times how nice a guy Cook is, but he doesn’t seem to act like it it. Either he’s being horribly misinterpreted here, or there’s something I’m missing, but every time someone seems to broach a rapprochement with KP, there’s a column saying Cook’s angry at someone for it, being Aggers (reportedly) over his TMS stint at the World Cup, or Graves for that message during the World Cup that got KP to sign for Surrey and play county cricket. It seems that Team England is run for the benefit of Team Cook. We’ve been down this road on this blog before. It really appears to me a him or me situation, a back me or sack me. In Downton, Cook had an implacable supporter. In Flower, behind the scenes wielding whatever power, he had someone in his camp if it means keeping KP at bay. And in Strauss, he has a man who KP fell out with, who didn’t want him to return to the team after Textgate, and who called him a c*** live on TV. I think, as they say in the legal world, these lot have “previous”.

I’ve been saying all along they’ve been leading him up the garden path. This is not an organisation steeped in an ability to admit mistakes. It refuses to believe it can ever be wrong on any matter, or admit it’s core policies are misguided or prone to scrutiny. This is a body that went into a major deal with a subsequently committed felon, and you’d gather from our governing bodies attitude to its culpability in the terms of “ooops, shucks, well, ok, never mind.” Collier, the architect supposedly of this kept his job for a mere six years after that. Clarke has had to be prised out of office with the promise of a lovely old international jolly. Hugh Morris presided over the Moore/Pietersen nonsense with all the authority of Captain Peacock in Are You Being Served, while throughout this period we had leaks/good journalism all over the shop. That an organisation is supposed to be anal about leaks lets so much information out, such as KP’s report, the dodgy dossier and the sacking of Moores II, is preposterous. They are a sick joke, with the emphasis on sick. It’s bloody ironic that the new chairman is called Graves. This is a place where common sense goes to die. Where good chaps preside over the serfs, and don’t you dare question authority.

Above all, this is an organisation that employed Paul Downton in a position of responsibility. You remember him. All aplomb and good impressions. He may have been a lovely guy, aren’t they all, but he was out of his depth from day one. He hid. When he spoke, we knew why he hid. But we are told that things will be different now. While Downton was removed from the game for a couple of decades, the new Director, England Cricket, will be more in touch. More in tune with the modern game.

The list of those who would be in for the job underwhelmed. While Michael Vaughan was an inspirational captain, he’s a twit online. Alec Stewart had experience of being a Team Director, but that didn’t count a jot, and really, were we enthused by his candidacy. Then there was Andrew Strauss. The last week has seen people falling over each other to tell us how tough he is, how single minded, how focused he was. How he’d do the best for English cricket. He is the ideal man to take us forward, a great captain, a great leader of men. The evidence? He got rid of Moores (or did he. I’ve heard from some that he was gone well before the announcement of Strauss….and I’m talking a couple of weeks). But if Strauss sacking Moores adds to the narrative, well, what’s the harm in that? Of course, we’d heard from Michael Vaughan that Moores wasn’t going to be sacked, and that he’d been told that the ECB were not going to take KP back. Then Strauss is their man, and Moores goes. It’s laughable. So Strauss has a big decision under his belt, so it seems.

And it is abundantly clear, if I’m guessing, that the plan was to talk to KP before the presser to sort that out. They know that the question is going to come up, and I said how I thought they might answer it in part 1. But it’s easy to speak to KP with a forthright view if he’s not made runs. Now he has. 326 un-ignorable runs. 326 stabs into the heart of the ECB with their high-fallutin’ principles and beliefs. 326 jabs at their pompous approach, their holier than thou, high and mighty, we are in charge balloon of infallibility. 326 reasons why they are wrong to adopt a policy of selection that excludes someone because someone inferior doesn’t get on with him. 326 reasons why this country is a bag of shite when it comes to creating and maintaining great English sporting teams. It’s too much about getting along, and not enough about getting runs.

So when faced with the utter shit-storm the initial twitter post from TMS unleashed, with people going absolutely puce with rage (me included), there was a very quick back-track via Nick Hoult in the Telegraph. Lawrence Booth has reported much the same thing. But this is them trying to be clever and the ECB-watching public out there are not going to be fooled one iota. Their policy, if not explicit, but as close as you can get to it, will be KP over their dead bodies. Even now these control freak, superiority complex muppets will be concocting something that is designed to fool the public tomorrow. You won’t. Without the simple mantra that the team will be selected on merit, as it should be, anything else is claptrap. We won’t get fooled for building for 2019, because we built for this World Cup and blew it up in a tantrum last year. Setting long-distant dates, talking about long-term strategies is management bullshit. You going to give all the punters who paid all that cash for the Ashes some money back as you ain’t giving it your all? Like hell. It’s talking down to us. Some, in their bilious hatred for KP will accept this bag of nonsense. More shame them.

So, on the off chance that Strauss will surprise us, which I doubt, I’ll hold all my fire. But here’s the Dmitri Declaration. If I hear anything other than the England cricket team will be selected on merit, and no player is excluded, and if he is playing well and is deemed to be the best available at that time, regardless of age, then that player will be selected. But as this is a team that selected Tredwell over Rashid, Trott over Lyth and is busy flogging Anderson and Broad to a standstill, it’s all a smokescreen.

To the final insult, the last in a long line. The Graves comment that KP’s not available for selection as he’s not playing county cricket and not scoring runs. There have been denials that a deal has ever been struck, that this was a mere innocent comment and nothing had changed. KP is many things, not all good, but he’s not stupid. He returned because he felt there was a genuine chance of a rapprochement. He felt Graves would take none of the previous regimes nonsense and set them straight. To that end he negotiated an exit to his IPL contract, and gave up a decent, not huge, sum of money, and does not take a salary from Surrey. If there were “no chance” of a recall, then they should have said so, there and then. They didn’t. They hoped he would fail, would not score sufficient runs. That he would wither and die, and sod off to the CPL later in the summer. KP’s not that gullible that he wouldn’t keep that in his back pocket.

Now he makes 326, now we see them close ranks. Now we see them all but shut it off in perpetuity. That’s reprehensible, and let’s see them get their way out of this. A good number of cricket lovers are enraged at this apparant duplicity. That this isn’t just getting shot of a trouble-maker but exacting a bitter, cruel revenge. I am a KP fan. This man gave me some of the greatest thrills of my cricketing life. I would have loved to have been there today. I’m desperately hoping he’ll be there at Beckenham in a fortnight’s time, but that looks unlikely. I’m not saying he’s an angel, but he’s among the best we have. But we don’t play the game that way.

From the outside this is an organisation not representing its core supporters. This is an organisation that leaks. This is an organisation that thinks it is too clever by half. This is an organisation that is rotten to the core, steeped in some misty-eyed half-baked concoction of superiority complex elitism and management philosophy claptrap, that only they can judge and only they can decide. This is an organisation that couldn’t organise a piss up in brewery, a sacking on the Apprentice, or honest broking in a room full of spivs. It is diseased, it is malevolent and it has to go. Yes. We need a new organisation running the game, free of all this rubbish, these agenda, this structure. There’s another structure for you, Tom.

Sure, I’m outside cricket. I’ve never felt more outside than I do now. Judging by the reactions of many today, so do they. It’s an incredibly sad day when our own organisation rushes to dampen down the enthusiasm felt by many when a player who gave great service to England, who played many amazing innings, who had us glued to our screens, buying our tickets, makes a thrilling riposte and does what he thought he need to do, only to be told within a matter of hours, it seems, to foxtrot oscar. Someone put cricket on the back pages today, and instead of welcoming it, our beloved guardian authority hated it. They’ve got it all right, ain’t they….

Let’s be pleasantly surprised tomorrow, eh? Anyone betting on it?

kp FO

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52 thoughts on “326 Not Out – Part 2

  1. Pontiac May 12, 2015 / 3:15 am

    I keep wondering if this is stupidity on the ECB’s part, but now I’m starting to think that on some level it is completely deliberate. Selvey serves as a window on the id of the lot. The various falsehoods and smears – disruptive, disinterested, not that good, over the hill, — these are not Arguments. These are Tribal Catechisms.

    This must be very corrosive as time goes on to the morale of all the England eligible players. It’ll be fine for a while until the whole professional sport is something more or less with the profile and relevance of yacht racing.

    England are still favored in the micro-series vs New Zealand, which seems to me to be mispricing. If sports gambling were legal in Maryland….

    Like

    • Zephirine May 12, 2015 / 9:51 am

      “until the whole professional sport is something more or less with the profile and relevance of yacht racing.”

      I think that’s what Giles Clarke and some of his acolytes would like. Or polo, perhaps. Exclusive, expensive to attend, attracting high-profile sponsors. Above all, associated with wealth – if the wealth comes from a half-mad fraudster, that’s fine.

      There’s a point at which numbers of the public involved don’t matter, as long as they’re paying enough.

      Like

      • Arron Wright May 12, 2015 / 9:54 am

        Look at the sponsors for a Lord’s Test. They’re well on the way there.

        Like

  2. paulewart May 12, 2015 / 3:32 am

    So Strauss confirms what we all suspected he’s an absolute….****

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tom May 12, 2015 / 4:34 am

    This is starting to make the management of the England cricket team in the 80s and 90s appear competent.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Culex May 12, 2015 / 5:03 am

    I’m Australian, I support the Australian Cricket Team and I fully endorse the way the ECB is managing this. I’d like to see more of it.

    ;P

    Seriously, I’m beginning to wonder if this isn’t some high-level form of match-fixing. Can somebody check to see if any bookmakers have been hanging around lately?

    Like

    • Zephirine May 12, 2015 / 9:54 am

      Culex, I did genuinely start to wonder during the last Ashes if England were throwing the series in some way. It would have explained some of the weird things that happened. But now, I can’t see how it would work because who would bet on England? Defeat and incompetence have to be unexpected, to get good odds.

      Liked by 1 person

    • dvyk May 12, 2015 / 11:18 am

      Yeh, but matchfixing usually involves something unexpected happening.

      But it is clearly a form of corruption, just not illegal, merely unethical. KP is a threat to their status quo because he’s talented and focused on winning games. Cook obviously has other plans — hold onto his position regardless of what, and explain away the results.

      Like

  5. amit May 12, 2015 / 5:27 am

    2 wrongs, don’t make a right. May be someone ought to teach the ECB bosses some basics ok stake holder management. The only way this will ever happen is if you hurt them where it hurts most. Don’t go to watch the games. Don’t pay for the subscriptions and stay away from the ashes this year.
    Can the fans actually do that, despite all these events?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. paulewart May 12, 2015 / 5:46 am

    Given that we’ll never find out what prompted Pietersen’s sacking, I can imagine two narratives:

    1. Building for the future around young players: in which case any journalist worth their salt would question Trott’s selection.

    2. The book and burned bridges: in which case any journalist worth their salt would ask a) Colin Graves why he got Pietersen’s hopes up and b) if there was any truth in the allegations contained therein.

    There is one possibility that has yet to be discussed: Graves isn’t in post yet. Could we be witnessing a palace coup? Who appointed Tom Harrison?

    Like

    • SimonH May 12, 2015 / 7:36 am

      Yet R5 last night managed to find an Aussie (the legend that is Marcus North) who thought England well-shot of Pietersen. Not that he knew him or anything.

      R5 last night was like a broadcast from the FO_KP party. A phone call from ‘Keith’ ended up with “I just don’t like him” which at least had a sort of honesty to it. The most pro-PR comment I heard was from the presenter (not sure who it was – Chapman?) that maybe, just maybe, Pietersen could come back if he “showed more contrition”? That’s BBC balance for you.

      Like

      • Arron Wright May 12, 2015 / 8:58 am

        Sounds as one-eyed as that godawful programme on Boycott’s comments last week.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Simon K May 12, 2015 / 6:38 am

    This is a great piece, but I’ve run out of energy on this stuff. It’s over. I’m done. Let England cricket fail. I’m looking forward to supporting NZ this month and to enjoying the Ashes as a neutral.

    Think of the positives. KP has made Strauss look like a dick. The company man is about to humiliate himself. No sane coach will want to play for him. Poison and acrimony will follow him for the entirety of his hopefully brief tenure in his non job.

    It’s over and I’m at peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. paulewart May 12, 2015 / 6:48 am

    Andrew Strauss,

    Like

    • volkerelle May 12, 2015 / 7:13 am

      , the comma-director,

      Liked by 1 person

      • alan May 12, 2015 / 7:24 am

        Coma director would be about right. He’ll favour the type of cricket and cricketer that’ll put us into one.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. thebogfather May 12, 2015 / 7:26 am

    I can’t add anything to what Dmitri has said in two superb pieces.
    However the disgusting drivel from the anal-ist and the Waitrose lacky on BBC5live last night, and from all mouth, no-sense Cork on talksport this morning makes me puke. To find myself agreeing with much of what Piers Morgan has just said on the radio, says it all…

    Like

    • Zephirine May 12, 2015 / 10:00 am

      Piers Morgan may not be an attractive personality but he has a big advantage in this situation – he clearly understands power games within corporations and just how nasty they get. I’m not sure KP has ever really got that, previously – it seems he’s tended to believe that people will eventually see the light and accept that he’s right. Yesterday may have furthered his education in that regard.

      Like

  10. Rav Roberts May 12, 2015 / 7:27 am

    Sangakkara, yesterday:

    “A special inning from a very special player @KP23 326. Masterclass. One of the best I have seen”

    Like

    • volkerelle May 12, 2015 / 7:59 am

      Oh yes, and Sanga is no judge of character and definitely has no integrity. It’s sickening.

      Like

  11. Tom May 12, 2015 / 7:42 am

    I am so furious right now I can’t think straight, so apologies if this comes across as ridiculous. But right now I’m just trying to get my head around what the ECB stands for. They removed test match cricket from free-to-air TV and now they remove (for the second time) the most talented and entertaining player England has had in the last 25 years, and certainly one of our best batsmen ever. What is their goal? Ruin English cricket for good? Why?

    Like

    • paulewart May 12, 2015 / 7:46 am

      The Endless Bile Corporation?

      Like

    • d'Arthez May 12, 2015 / 9:22 am

      Eminently Craven Blazers?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine May 12, 2015 / 10:01 am

      Absolute control of a territory, no matter how damaged and diminishing it may be?

      Like

  12. paulewart May 12, 2015 / 7:47 am

    English comma bile?

    Like

  13. Rav Roberts May 12, 2015 / 7:57 am

    England, Comma, Broken.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Grumpy Gaz May 12, 2015 / 8:13 am

    “This is a place where common sense goes to die” priceless.

    So Strauss is about to step into Downton’s shoes and make exactly the same mistake Downton did and make the selection policy about your face fitting rather than how well you play.

    Sure he may couch it in different terms but that will be what it amounts too. It is digging a massive hole. We are most likely going to get stuffed by the Aussies this summer and if KP is still scoring big runs the ECB, and particularly Strauss, are going to look like prize plonkers… oh wait, they already do.

    The common theme on here over the last 18 months is that is that KP is just a symptom of what is really wrong. Now they just reinforce that fact by making exactly the same mistakes all over again.

    Since the last Ashes we have failed to find a good captain, failed to find a good coach, failed to find one, let alone two, decent openers, failed to bring along any new promising pace bowlers, failed to find a test quality spinner… oh but the test team is in a good place because we won against India who haven’t won an away test series since the stone age.

    Deluded fools backed by a media who should know better.

    Like

  15. metatone May 12, 2015 / 8:24 am

    Zeph posted a great list of questions for Strauss.

    Here’s one I wish LB or someone would take up with Harrison:

    Just who made it to the short list for the DoC position?

    There are claims of an extensive search by headhunters, but as far as we can tell, Vaughan “had an informal conversation”, Stewart “was in the frame” but not talked to – and Strauss got the job…

    Just what in the job description limited it to ex-England captains?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. metatone May 12, 2015 / 8:28 am

    You say it Dmitri, but it’s worth saying again – the ECB leak stuff and then modify statements when they see the reaction.

    So at noon today Strauss will say:

    “we have a good young middle order, building for 2019, if KP makes enough runs consistently he may be in the frame, but we’re not going to change a growing team on the strength of one innings.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • metatone May 12, 2015 / 8:30 am

      And KP, if he has any sense, will step out of CC and go back to T20 competitions.
      Like every sportsman, he needs to earn from his talent while his body is in good shape.
      There is no win for him in crusading to make the ECB a better place.

      Like

      • metatone May 12, 2015 / 8:33 am

        I don’t post on Twitter – but if I did, I’d write to @KP24 and say – remember the old Spanish proverb: “Living well is the best revenge.”

        Like

      • Mike May 12, 2015 / 8:43 am

        And you know that when he does, “the he doesn’t care about playing county cricket, why should we pick him meme” will come to fore again. The fact he gave up a $250k cotnract to play IPL to play for Surrey in April and May will be conveniently forgotten…

        The simple way to deal with this as, it always has been from day one, is simply say “we’ll pick from the best available players based on fitness and form only” given his contractual obligations to play T20 cricket, it largely would never been an issue. The scope of these people’s stupidity and high handedness in handling this matter is utterly baffling. It’s a completely manufactured wound and they just can’t stop picking at the scab.

        You never know, Strauss & Harrison might surprise us today, but all signs point to more boneheaded decision making.

        Liked by 1 person

        • LordCanisLupus May 12, 2015 / 8:47 am

          Harrison already has a tough guy piece in the Telegraph. Guess negotiating TV rights allows you omnipotence over team selection. Think he’d know the value of box office players who get people talking.

          Like

      • d'Arthez May 12, 2015 / 9:14 am

        Which is exactly why him forsaking the group stages of the IPL is so valuable to English cricket.

        If this story is confirmed, all this talk of merit is meaningless. No one but people loving establishment, for the reason that it is the establishment, can tolerate such idiocy.

        Not England-born? Half of the team was not (Strauss, Trott, Prior, KP, Morgan). And now Ballance, Stokes, Jordan. Had his cricketing education abroad? So did Trott. So did Robson. Even Ballance has represented Zim U-19. I have hardly ever seen criticism of Trott for that fact (I have for Robson, but only because he is an Aussie).

        Both lines of reasoning are selective at best. The more extreme arguments are more or less a form of xenophobia (and also hint at why Trott was “okay”, since he tries to be more English than the English themselves). The game changes, the game evolves, but the ECB seems desperate to return to 19th century labour relations, and associated notions of “Englishness”.

        Division 2 runs don’t count? Cook is captain, and the few games he played in 2014 signaled a “return to form”, when he scored a ton or two. In Division 2. And we saw how wonderfully he batted against Sri Lanka. Moeen played most of his cricket in Division 2, and he is not setting the scoreboards alight in Division 1 now.

        If Lyth is picked to open now, he will have little game time behind him. Courtesy of some fantastic captaincy by A.N. Cook in the Caribbean. Because clearly, averaging 45 at 4 in the last season, makes you a better pick as an opener than a guy averaging 70 as an opener in the same season. That they pick a spinner to play in the first West Indies Test, who is not even a regular for his county, and averaged about 50 in the last two seasons with the ball. Apparently form does not matter.

        The form argument goes, and if one resorts to career record arguments, well, then one has to question quite a few picks to be honest. And quite a few non-selections as well.

        It may have cost KP a small fortune, but this will only strengthen his case. Hard to argue against a fair portion of his claims in his book, when the ECB try their best to give the impression that they are fact-based.

        And Alastair? The non-disclosure agreement expired in October 2014. We’re still waiting for your side of the story. Or is it simply the case that you can’t you even be bothered to pretend that you don’t hold the English cricket public in the utmost contempt?

        Like

  17. Boz May 12, 2015 / 8:36 am

    The introduction of the comma into English job titles has nothing on this ….

    butthere’s a good case for arguing the ECB make about as much sense

    Like

  18. SimonH May 12, 2015 / 8:37 am

    Hughes has continued coming up with no end of b******s about batting averages and ‘who would you leave out then?’ but the crux of the matter for him (and most of his ilk):

    Like

    • paulewart May 12, 2015 / 8:58 am

      His motives being wanting to play for England. So dishonourable. What a cad!

      Like

      • Pontiac May 12, 2015 / 11:30 am

        Here’s the logic: KP’s motives in calling the ECB’s bluff are to show up the ECB as hypocrites, therefore he’s a rotten uppity South African ungrateful for everything the ECB have given him. Simple enough!

        Like

  19. dvyk May 12, 2015 / 9:01 am

    The press and many in the ECB are scared of Cook because they know if they fall out with him now, he won’t forget it when he becomes a powerbroker in the ECB management.

    So sending a text to the opposition calling the captain a fool is sackable and never to be forgiven, but the English captain ridiculing the chairman of the ECB in public is passed over in silence by his supporters.
    You can see their fear and supine self-interest in their double standards and their idiotic statements, and in the way they get so hot under the collar when they get laughed at.

    It’s wrong to call the captain a doos, but calling a player a c— on air and then getting power over his entire career is perfectly fine.
    It’s wrong to write a factual and honest book after you’ve been wrongly sacked, because “diminishes the memory of a successful period of English cricket” (aka Flower’s legacy), but it’s no problem at all to wrongly sack the best player and then defame *his* reputation — the reputation he built during that successful period.
    It’s wrong to be egotisitcal and have an “I” in your name, but it’s okay for Cook to grizzle about the ODI captaincy being “taken from” him, and say “something dhould be done” etc etc etc…
    It’s wrong and egotistical to think that one little score of 326* has some significance, but it’s fine to proclaim Cook’s “return to form” each time he makes double figures, and to proclaim that “he looks good and is about to return to form” when he doesn’t. And when he does get a hundred it’s fine to trumpet it as a great success and then ignore the fact that he lamely gave up in the second innings and the entire team collapsed after him because they don’t give a shit, and know they won’t be dropped for a better batsman, as long as they don’t whistle or look out the window during a team talk.

    This is what happens when you allow politics to overrule cricket.

    Liked by 1 person

    • SimonH May 12, 2015 / 9:12 am

      Has there been some sort of ‘him or me’ ultimatum I wonder?

      Liked by 1 person

      • d'Arthez May 12, 2015 / 9:19 am

        If there has been, that would be sufficient grounds to strip Cook of the captaincy alone, regardless of the player involved.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Badger May 12, 2015 / 9:28 am

        I imagine so. And I know which one I’d rather have.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Zephirine May 12, 2015 / 10:05 am

        Very likely. I suspect that with time it will emerge that Cook has had far more of a hand in Pietersen’s exclusion than even Pietersen initially suspected.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Arron Wright May 12, 2015 / 9:24 am

    I tell you what, don’t like blowing my own trumpet, but those of us who nominated Simon Hughes and Ed Smith before this week even started – we damn well called it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus May 12, 2015 / 9:25 am

      I’m also wondering who appointed FICJAM expert on everything.

      Like

      • dvyk May 12, 2015 / 11:32 am

        I could well guess…. Four letter word starting with C.

        Like

  21. amit May 12, 2015 / 9:29 am

    I can smell it on the other side of the world.
    That’s how bad this shit is.

    Expecting rational behavior from a bunch of guys who are so comfortable within their skins with all the mess around them, is not rational i guess. This nexus of former cricketers turned journalists in MSM and the ECB only believes in self preservation. They have little interest in giving the fans what they want.

    Reading Pringle express himself on twitter and rant on principles, I cringed. I had a similar reaction while reading simon hughes talk of KP’s motives. the whole psycho babble drives me nuts. The guy wants to play for his country and was prepared to do what was asked. 326 just showed the skill and motivation again. But some jokers will assign ulterior motives that they don’t know of or understand themselves and the rest of the world is held ransom. Crazy!

    We’ve had enough of these idiots trying to run a fiefdom. Time for some serious changes at the ECB.

    Like

  22. Mark May 12, 2015 / 9:34 am

    Dmitri, right back last year you said, and I agreed with you that KP would never play for England again. His age was always going to be against him because however much form he might have they would always be able to say we are looking forward not back. However it wasn’t us who opened the door to KP but Colin Graves. As you say, KP has been lead up the garden path.

    Everytime KP has made any progress they erect another barrier he must climb over. At Christmas as he was reminding us of his talents in the big bash Agnew was all over the radio saying “he hasn’t got a county, he hasn’t got a contract.”……. So he got a county……..”Yes, but it’s only a second division county” the Casandras cried…….”And anyway he has to make runs, big runs.”

    326 big enough for you? Of course not, because it was all bullshit. Whatever he did would never quite be enough. Which of course is hilarious as no amount of failure is ever enough to remove Cook. Listening to Hughes last night all the bile flowed out. Like puss out of an infected wound. Simon Hughes who spends his entire life propping up the mediocre Cook can lecture on KPs faults takes hypocrisy to new levels.

    Having Hughes, Selvey,Agnew, Newman lecture on trust and integrity is a bit like having a lecture on passivism from Adolf Hitler. There is a slight credibility problem. But the real lack of trust is now pointed at Graves. We can now see why there was a nice cozy sweetheart deal to bring him to power. He wouldn’t stand against Giles Clarke. In return a special job of nothingness would be created, and Clarke could move up to the money train of the ICC. Nice and sleazy does it.

    I won’t be watching the Stauss press conference because I don’t need to. We know what whaffle will be spouted. As I said yesterday its the Mc model of business. Trust , obedience , management 101 for dummies, the idiots guide to running a cricket team. What you won’t hear about is flair, individuality or special talent. They are not required, they are too difficult to manage. Burger flippers rather than 3 star chefs is what England demand.

    Like

    • Amit Garg May 12, 2015 / 1:40 pm

      Whatever happened to the no-nonsense yorkshireman? Has Boycott posted today??

      Like

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