Trust – 1

What else could I call this post? While my good friend and colleague on here, Vian, aka thelegglance, held the fort so spectacularly this morning, I sat in my room, here in New Jersey, at 6 in the morning wondering what the hell was going on. I couldn’t shout or swear at the screen because didn’t want to wake the beloved or mother-in-law up. I was interested in seeing how the new dawn of Harrison and Strauss looked, and what new ideas they had going forward. I also wondered how prepared and how briefed they were for the KP onslaught.

I sort of owe Stephen Brenkley an apology. Compared to this, Paul Downton and Peter Moores handled their questioning with aplomb last year. I’ve just seen George tweet “Bring Back Downton” and I’m inclined to believe it might not be worse. Downton could have been told to wind his neck in, eat humble pie and go with a selection policy based on merit. If he didn’t like it, he knew where the door was. The ECB needed a scapegoat after the World Cup, Downton inserted mouth and put his foot in it, and eh voila, we had our token sacrifice. But by doing this early enough, one man would still have a vital say in the replacement.

Someone said today, I think it was Harrison, it may have been Strauss, that the decision to axe KP, although he’s not banned (they think they are so effing clever, don’t they) was unanimous at board level, with the names mentioned being Strauss, Harrison, Graves and Giles Clarke. There you have it. That man Clarke. There was absolutely no way he’d countenance a return to the fold for Pietersen, an uppity man who dared challenge his monstrous ego. No way would Clarke allow this. Whether he should have been mentioned is a point for debate. After all. wasn’t he being shunted overseas, out of the way, not to get involved and let Graves run the show. Or is he the ultimate back seat driver? Instead we’ve got into this position. Downton’s early termination by ECB standards may have been part of the plan. They needed a scapegoat and no-one was going to bemoan his departure. By doing so swiftly enough the current Chairman was going to get involved in the selection process. There have been whispers in the press that there was no way he would go quietly. So, how better to construct a false competition, with the illusion of rivals for the post, and then, when one dropped out and one was ignored, we arrived at Strauss. A man with well known views on Kevin Pietersen, made clear in a book (funny how that worked, eh) and on air. Hey, that’s all right, he took time away from the game to do all that. Every man and his dog knew he was biding time before getting back into cricket admin. I think I’ve spent 500 words saying I don’t believe Giles Clarke is going to let go at all. We’ll see.

So to today, and Andrew Strauss. Having woken up appallingly early, I managed to get a Sky Sports News feed, and given no-one else was using much internet at 6am, I got an unbuffered stream. My first surprise was that we weren’t shown the press conference, a la Downton, but that there would be interviews first. OK. I didn’t hold out much hope. Tim Abraham comes off as a good guy, but he’s not Pat Murphy. Now, I’ll have to trust to memory and Vian’s recall here, but the first words out were something along the lines of “we need to have an honest, open discussion about Kevin Pietersen.” I sighed. I couldn’t swear. I sighed. By implication this means you have not been honest in the past about it, and that you’ve not been open at all. You’ve had all night to prepare for this question and you come out with startingly obvious platitudes that those of us who have followed this for 16 months now will see straight through. Andrew, old bean, you threw a fit over text messages and you called him a c—. You are not some impartial, detached honest broker. Don’t hold yourself up to be one.

To his credit, this early gambit didn’t hold, and he didn’t even try. What followed was bilge. Some believe it is those dastardly lawyers, clamming everything up again. That pesky employment law, eh? But what we had was the key element of trust, and Strauss couldn’t make up his mind if the key factor was at corporate level (a unanimous view of the board) or his own (we’ve had serious trust issues and I don’t trust him). There’s the first error, a massive one. He put his own personal beef above English cricket and he never went into detail why. Not that I heard. When even Paul Newman says we needed to read between the lines, you know this was not working. Only a couple of usual pillocks – Selfey, Lovejoy Jr – went hurrah! Here’s his excerpt from the book: Driving Ambition 1So a grudge, eh? Yet again, when it comes to the crunch, Strauss never went into this with an open mind. But we knew this from what he had said before. But many came to the same conclusion – what the hell is he on about? This bloke (KP) was just completing his 355 not out – a special score – and Strauss is still going on about a beef three years ago? What was he talking about? What the hell did it matter? How many runs did “trust” score? Oh, I’ve seen those who liken sports teams to corporations say that you can’t do what he did and return. Pietersen would be the one with the problem, not them. It would be Pietersen ostracised in a dressing room, not them. If KP could go in there and take it, then so should they.

No. I came to a pretty swift thought. This is about Alastair Cook. Again. Cook doesn’t want him back, he never goes into detail why this should be the case, and Cook rules this roost. Once again, another senior management figure gives this man carte blanche. Denials do nothing to convince me otherwise.

Strauss gave it the big one over sacking Moores. Bravo. He wasn’t tactically adept enough at the international level. Well, that’s nice. I suppose all those press boys who fell over themselves last year have recanted their sins on both Moores and the man who appointed him (sound of crickets). There then came all the stuff that Andrew Miller, in his excellent Cricinfo piece, called the “white noise of corporate bullshit”. If you’ve read Driving Ambition, and I have, the bit I most recall was Strauss’ devotion to managment text books, team bonding exercises and military disciplines. People here will know how much I absolutely adore all of that. We try to escape this sort of claptrap in watching sports. I’ll bet Lionel Messi has never read a management text book in his life. I’ll bet Ronaldo doesn’t do team bonding. It’s drivel. We are playing sports, not planning a mission to invade Afghanistan, or to deliver a leveraged buy out. But here they were all trotted out, the most vacuous of them all being the “long-term strategy”.

We had the shock that he was keeping Eoin Morgan as captain of the ODI team – hey, while we’ve just sacked the coach, let’s kick him even harder by saying the World Cup was ALL his fault by keeping the captain (who just happens to be a Middlesex player, but I wouldn’t be that cheap to draw a conclusion based on that). Then there was the promotion of Joe Root to vice-captain, which, who knows, may have been based on the legendary leaked performance on some leadership exercise by Ian Bell to demote him back to the ranks. Then there was the woolly philosophy of separate ODI and Test teams, but under one coach. There would be more of a distinction but we’ll flog a head coach to death to do it. Well, good luck with that.

And that was pretty much it. A trust issue where there was no-one to blame, and I didn’t go into the semantics of the following old shite where he said KP had no future, but he absolutely wasn’t banned. Some contrition for the manner of Moores dismissal, but a dismissal of Moores himself (and how that contrasts with his book which when KP and Moores were having their spat, Strauss almost indicated that “it was nothing to do with me guv”. Driving Ambition 2He certainly worked with him there, didn’t he? (Driving Ambiton, by Andrew Strauss is available from normal sources if you wish to read the full book). Tom Harrison came on and did a speak-your-Downton regime. First of all, his credibility is shot because he looks like Tim Westwood. Secondly, when challenged on the KP front, he then did what all good charlatans do when caught on a weak issue for them, and said, I don’t want to talk about the past, it’s about the future, and then went on about excitement and long-term strategies. I lost the will. He’s dead to me. No more than a Downton in a sharp suit, but with more of an attitude.

Of course, since then, the main copy has been provided by the Pietersen sacking (for that’s what it is, don’t bullshit us) and what KP had or had not been told.

Like last night, I’ll divide the post in to two, and have a real pop in the second part. Because I want my dinner, and I’ve topped 1500 words. I’ll hand it over to thelegglance to take things up.

Also, read The Full Toss (James and Maxie), and Andrew Miller on cricinfo (which also has a link to Switch Hit).

UPDATE – Not really been at it today, even though I seem to have devoted a full day of my holiday for this nonsense. I’m likely going to take a couple of days away from the blog (don’t hold me to it) and I know Vian has something up his sleeve for tomorrow. I feel a bit of my spirit is broken, to be honest. I’ve felt this way before. I get over it, and get on with it. It wasn’t helped by listening to Tuffers and Vaughan, to be honest. If we showed one tenth of the bile for Cook or Strauss that is doled out to Pietersen, we’d be annihilated. We don’t come anywhere near close.

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133 thoughts on “Trust – 1

  1. Maggie May 12, 2015 / 11:42 pm

    Remember when they got rid of Downton, and you thought you wouldn’t have anything to blog about any more…?

    Like

  2. sebsmar May 13, 2015 / 12:33 am

    I’m surprised (actually, I’m not really) that the ECB have learnt nothing from last year’s debacle, Paul Downton et al. I think Strauss is deluded if he thinks that this is going to fly. I’m sure this will destroy what’s left of his reputation. I can’t believe he has the audacity to justify this trust nonsense by essentially saying that this summer’s cricket isn’t important. It’s a prime example of cutting one’s nose off to spite one’s face.

    We need some laughs today. I just saw an excellent spoof on youtube:

    Hitler finds out Strauss won’t pick KP

    Like

  3. Boz May 13, 2015 / 1:11 am

    Hey, it’s 2 in the morning, I’m all blogged out, that old bilious inadequacy is playing up, so tell us, what did you have for dinner? Have you seen Bruce yet – when I was last in the States I didn’t see him either. :0)

    Like

    • Boz May 13, 2015 / 1:51 am

      talking of Bruce, when we lived in Fulham we used to go out a lot. We’d enjoy wondering about and find a good restaurant or pub. Met some interesting people including some young guys who started up a pub with all sorts of ideas including having music, which they asked me if I might help them with. Nothing actually came of it in the end but did get to sample a fine selection of rum for free!! Once our favourite restaurant closed we moved west and we mentioned to Bruce that we could put on a show for him in our local market town. We could hire a hall, capacity about 70, if it wasn’t booked by the WI – he said he’d love to but he was repainting his dining room. You can’t beat that can ya? Still waiting for my Electric Ladyland t-shirt……….

      Like

  4. Pontiac May 13, 2015 / 2:46 am

    It’s really completely excellent [0], that apparently England have already decided to, like, well, treat the whole summer as some kind of warm up match for some other more important matches a few years later, or something.

    KP is a shibboleth, and presumably the possession of a 100 + Test ticket is also a shibboleth, indicating that 1) the holder can afford to pay that much, but more importantly 2) that the holder in terms of social status and general mindset, political and otherwise is in accordance with those of the ECB .. so the whole thing shouldn’t be thought so much as a sporting event but background noise for group self-congratulation, with few exciting distractions happening generally in that big roundish grassy area with the 15 guys milling around on it.

    The losing might after a while start to harsh the vibe, though…

    [0] not really

    Like

    • Boz May 13, 2015 / 8:34 am

      seems like it – after all the tests against the West Indies was merely a giant net practice for Cook who showed his personal inclinations to take all day boring people to death to get a hundred – it’s all about personal game for him, not team – it is obvious that teamECB-Waitrose-Cook-Flower-Strauss have no interest in the public

      Like

  5. PepperSydney May 13, 2015 / 3:47 am

    It is relaxing to know that England doesn’t mind losing all and any cricket matches, ODI’s, T20, Tests, ASHES Tests for the next 4 years… and I presume all English cricket fans, having been told of this by Uncle Strauss are compliant and at ease with that. Although how that actually pans out in Fandomville , I have no idea.. I know already how it works among the Eng cricket team, going on the expression on the faces. Cook’s face after Sydney, Eoins face after BanglaDesh, Broads face after the WI.. Sulk, Shock and back to Sulk.

    But it is a bit wobbly for those not only outside cricket, and bilious, and manifestly inadequate , and vile sledgers, and all that stuff, and not even English , yet expected to devote time ( always costly ) to watch England lose, willingly. Sure, I’ll be watching AU win, but that’s no surprise. The thing is .. I ve seen England lose out of sheer spite with each other, and it couldn’t have been more boring ( Sydney 2014) .

    Cricket has changed in ways impossible to predict after that announcement by England that they don’t mind losing for four years!!. Four F**king Years!! incredible!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Zephirine May 13, 2015 / 10:01 am

      England lose out of sheer spite with each other, Very well put, Pepp. That match in Sydney was extraordinary, an entire team with invisible but nonetheless obvious signs round their necks saying “I don’t want to be here and I hate everybody, especially the rest of the team”.

      There’ll be more of that. Not only is the side not England, as it isn’t the best players available in the country, but it’s running on favouritism and lies.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. PepperSydney May 13, 2015 / 4:35 am

    and the logical conclusion is that in 2019…. England , out of the mist and fog , step into the winners slot, blinking endearingly, maybe even a few little polite yawns, because, all this time, everyone else has stood still. Out of love for England, of course. Stood absolutely still and some teams have actually turned themselves backwards to accommodate England’s grand plan. And Uncle Straussy says, ‘See?? I told you , I told you it would be alright. ‘….. .

    Like

    • PaulE May 13, 2015 / 7:12 am

      Because long-term planning produced outstanding results and performances in the World Cup……

      Like

  7. Rav Roberts May 13, 2015 / 4:43 am

    Three hundred and fifty five. Not out.
    What a man.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. paule May 13, 2015 / 5:48 am

    So we can reliably assume that Andrew Strauss is the analyst’s vile ignoramus for it was he who carried out the deed. As for Graves, what do we think? Is he complicit or victim of an insurrectionary coup?

    Like

  9. Simon K May 13, 2015 / 6:53 am

    The MSM is a lot more pro KP today than last year. Even Newman thinks it was handled badly. Selvey is one of the last guys in the bunker and the Guardian’s overall coverage is very fair.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Grumpy Gaz May 13, 2015 / 7:01 am

    Jonathan Liew’s article on the Telegraph gave me a few chuckles this morning:

    “Obviously we want to “broaden the audience” of English cricket, Strauss said, whilst shutting the door on English cricket’s single most electrifying talent of our generation. And obviously we want cricketers “who can think for themselves”, Strauss enthused, whilst laying out the job specification for a new coach who will be told not to pick Pietersen. ”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/cricket/international/england/11601322/Kevin-Pietersen-ensures-Andrew-Strauss-endures-the-shortest-honeymoon-period-in-history.html

    So we are going to be watching Team ECB instead of England for the next four years are we? Joy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • PaulE May 13, 2015 / 7:14 am

      Team, ECB.

      Like

  11. dvyk May 13, 2015 / 7:04 am

    Yep– it’s all about Cook more than anything else. they’re all scared of the powerful position in the ECB he will inhabit in future. He can ridicule the ECB chairman in public without any “trust” issues being raised. This is what happens when you put weak people in powerful positions.

    And I’m glad they’ve come out openly (more or less) and admitted they don’t care about losing. It’s been clear for ages that losing is merely seen as a PR problem. That was the only reason they sacked Cook from ODIs — they weren’t bothered by his performances, but the public reaction was starting to get too hairy for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. metatone May 13, 2015 / 7:10 am

    That excerpt from Strauss’ book reminds me of how the whole business has been rewritten.
    KP was asked by someone higher up at the ECB to, as captain, give his confidential views on Moores. The ECB then leaked this and sacked KP and Moores. KP didn’t create some open insurrection on Moores… yet Strauss rewrites history…

    As for the whole business, it’s a mess and you wonder what the coach candidates will think of it.
    Is this a structure they want to be part of?

    Still, I guess I’d take the job given the rumoured salary, so they may well get a high profile appointment.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Ann Weatherly-Barton (@xpressanny) May 13, 2015 / 3:43 pm

        So said Simon Hughes to me on Monday. They make assumptions based on their inside knowledge. So tell me Simon isn’t this sacking of Moores by media a disgrace? Yes. Aggers telling the world and his wife that KP was never going to play for England again before the meeting actually took place is not good. Oh right glad you cleared that up. (words to that effect!)

        Oh and he never came good on his offer for a beer. I don’t think that will be forthcoming anyway!!! It’s a matter of trust yer know. He don’t trust me and I sure as hell don’t trust him. So I will go and have a nice wee drink with people I really do trust.

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  13. Arron Wright May 13, 2015 / 8:20 am

    I don’t feel any better for having slept on it.

    BTW, at the time of writing I make it 31 out of 237 comments moderated on Selvey’s article. 13.1%. More than one in eight. Many have been zapped since last night, including quite a few by our regulars. Most notably perhaps, simonk quoting Lizzy Ammon on the bias that would be obvious to a bloody ten-year-old, never mind educated and engaged people who’ve followed this farce closely for three years.

    Like

    • Arron Wright May 13, 2015 / 8:27 am

      They’ve also deleted a post that did nothing more than speculate about, umm, the number of deleted comments there would be…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Simon K May 13, 2015 / 9:27 am

      That quote in full

      “Don’t listen to Mike Selvey. He’s far too matey with all involved to write objectively.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Simon K May 13, 2015 / 10:21 am

      My comments are now being pre-modded, btw.

      Like

      • Arron Wright May 13, 2015 / 10:30 am

        Oh ffs, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an abusive word in one of your posts. Just controlled fury.

        Like

      • Simon K May 13, 2015 / 10:33 am

        The interpretation of ‘abuse’ seems to be extremely broad. I have certainly said that Selvey has poor judgement, that he is compromised, that he is failing to adequately inform his readers. One gets the impression that Selvey is not altogether a fan of this sort of scrutiny.

        The odd thing is that I wrote a vitriolic post a few days ago (this one http://discussion.theguardian.com/comment-permalink/51819432 ) which I was sure would be modded and is still there. Then I quote the words of another journalist (one who has incidentally appeared in the Guardian) and I am perceived as a risk! All good fun.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright May 13, 2015 / 10:35 am

        There is currently a Twitter conversation taking place between Mike Selvey and Maxie Allen.

        Blimey.

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      • LordCanisLupus May 13, 2015 / 4:19 pm

        I woke up with a banging migraine. I usually get this only when stressed. I’m on bloody holiday for goodness sake. This isn’t right.

        Like

  14. Silk May 13, 2015 / 8:27 am

    A few points

    – Yesterday was a VERY BAD day for Cook. England have basically accepted they are going to lose the Ashes. They players know they are expected to lose the Ashes. So the Ashes are as good as lost. Cook will be thrown under the bus the moment that happens. (There isn’t anyone else. Flower got ditched ‘cos of the last Ashes, Downton for the WC, Moores for the Windies debacle. Cook is next to go)

    Cook should be /desperate/ to get KP back in the side. So he can win the Ashes and maintain his fragile hold on the top job.

    – England are going to be shit at ODIs FOREVER. Can anyone else think of a country that treats them with as much contempt as we do? Strauss’ tactics are basically “ODIs are for 2nd string players not good enough for the Test side”

    – By denying our best players ODI and T20 experience, we will fall further behind, particularly in Test batting.

    Like

    • thebogfather May 13, 2015 / 8:34 am

      It’s more likely that Sheep threw his toys out of the pram and squinnied to ensure KP couldn’t come back…. Captain Cook more important than results

      Liked by 2 people

      • thebogfather May 13, 2015 / 8:36 am

        Not to mention it being Sir Giles last stand,,, and where is Flower? Don’t tell me he hasn’t bent a few ears…

        Like

    • SimonH May 13, 2015 / 12:02 pm

      “The Ashes are as good as lost. Cook will be thrown under the bus the moment that happens”.

      I’d really like to share your confidence in that Silk! Wouldn’t he have made Root ODI captain if that was a possibility? As it is, with Bell demoted and out of the running, he’d have to appoint Root with no international captaincy experience at all or one of the senior bowlers as a stopgap. If there are any straws to clutch at (like not 5-0 or Cook makes at least some runs) I think they’ll try to keep Cook. Even then it might require Cook to resign more than him being sacked.

      On Root and the ODI captaincy I wonder if they foresee an absolute thrashing in this summer’s ODIs and would rather Morgan took that hit rather than the ECB’s annointed FEC? If not that they must have some pretty serious reservations about Root as captain (as the WC v/c suggested there might be).

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ann Weatherly-Barton (@xpressanny) May 13, 2015 / 12:26 pm

      That’s more or less what will happen. Strauss doesn’t care does he. After all his job is safe and he’s building for the future. Bloody hells bells that damn phrase again. It comes to something when MOG Bob Willis (Miserable Old Git) feels sorry for KP and thinks he has been lead up the garden path. It is utterly disgusting.

      I suppose most of us sort of knew Strauss would take over and again do the ECB bidding. Interesting that Clarke was there and that makes so much sense. Graves looks like a total tosser. Tail wagging the dog methinks. Cook is in the driving seat. Who’d have thought that some jumped up toff could hold England Cricket to ransom.

      ECB trying to say that it is only a minority who are opposed to Strauss. Oh well if you can’t win the argument then just marginalise everyone. ECB in state of siege as they began to block all tweets/tweeters it deemed to be abusive. Sounds like bloody Selvey has taken over ECB’s Twitter page now. Boy they keep him busy.

      I’m thinking of having a t-shirt England Cricket: Losers and tossers R US FCUK. Think it will get some mileage?

      My hubs was waxing lyrical last night: A c***? Ah, of course, a Cricketer Undergoing Nonsensical Treatment. He’s got a way with words. Not completely unlike my hero Me Lord Dmitri.

      Brilliant piece Me Lord.

      Utterly gutted & so ashamed of England Cricket. Never thought I’d see the day that I just could not call myself an honest to goodness England cricket supporter. I can’t do that anymore. So I won’t.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. PaulE May 13, 2015 / 8:39 am

    Sadly the story will be dropped and we’ll be expected to move until we start losing test matches.The only positive I can take from it is that the culprits – both within the ECB and the MSM – are so mendacious, treacherous and utterly compromised that they will turn on each other like ravenous beasts when things go wrong again.

    Like

    • Simon K May 13, 2015 / 9:28 am

      The good news is that we’re going to start losing test matches later this month. NZ are better than us.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright May 13, 2015 / 9:37 am

        But John Etheridge said…on April 25th…the day we won in Grenada…not hubristic at all…

        Like

      • Mark May 13, 2015 / 10:07 am

        Listening to some of the texts read out on 5 live who were hostile to KP last night I don’t think they give a shit if Englamd lose. Their hatred of this one man overwhelms everything. Some of them openly say they wish he had NEVER played for England.

        I think that is the position of some of the usual suspects in the media too. Of course they won’t admit it because they would look foolish. They would be arguing England should not pick their best team. Most people who understand sport would realise this is nonsense.

        English cricket is very English. Which means it’s very conservative. Social Rank and know your place in the hierarchy is very important. They don’t like upity people, even if they are good.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. amit May 13, 2015 / 8:56 am

    Still betting on Cook being the Saviour, are we? Yes, if you are any of the following:
    ECB
    Clarke
    Strauss
    Part of the MSM gang of Newman / Selvey / Aggers + a few more…

    No, if you are here reading this BTL.

    There’s the difference. People who care about the team, are truly concerned with the repeated betrayal of trust. ECB continues to take the lovers of English cricket for a ride. It has happened before and will happen again. I would’ve loved to see KP bat again. Even though England are likely to lose with him in the squad, it would’ve been a few good competitive games.
    Now, I have no such hope.

    God forbid, Jimmy breaks his shins playing against the kiwis, while he is being bowled to death.

    Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez May 13, 2015 / 9:27 am

      The ECB have now admitted to aiming to lose to win at some nebulous time in the future … 2019. Is that not the time Cook is supposed to be retiring anyway? Makes perfect sense: expecting to be competitive again when you get a new captain. But let the current incompetent in charge remain in position.

      Reasoned debate won’t get you anywhere with the ECB. Trust issues? They don’t trust Rashid. They don’t trust Lyth. They don’t trust KP. They don’t trust Monty (see last Ashes). They can’t trust Downton not to breach confidentiality agreements. They can’t trust Strauss to handle a microphone properly. Nor Whittaker. They still don’t trust IPL and players with a desire to play in such leagues. They don’t trust the public. See the common denominator?

      Reasoned debate probably not anywhere with Waitrose either. You’d have to get in public spaces a campaign that plays on the extremely toxic brand relationship Waitrose now has with the ECB (I don’t know the brand, or formula, so I can’t really suggest anything). Now the ECB generates enough memes to make it possible to create such public displays of “affection.”

      Like

  17. Tom May 13, 2015 / 9:06 am

    Oh my god, it’s not a dream. OK, back to bed. No nightmare will compare with this.

    Like

  18. Mark May 13, 2015 / 9:11 am

    “I’ll bet Lionel Messi has never read a management text book in his life. I’ll bet Ronaldo doesn’t do team bonding. It’s drivel.”

    Yes Dmitri it is drivel. But a very English type of drivel. We think managers and leadership is more important than talent. We always assume that it is managers who are responsible for any success that comes are way. Alf Ramsey won the World Cup in 1966. Clive Woodward won the World Cup in 2003. Andrew Srauss won the Ashes twice. We ignore the players who actually delivered.

    Great teams have great players. Who managed the great WI in the 70s? nobody knows. Did Shane Warne and McGrath think their 1000 plus test wickets were less important than the Aussie coach? Warne was scathing about the coach and team bonding.

    Strauss had the good fortune to have good players at the height of their caeers at his disposal. A young dynamic Cook, a KP at 4, Swann, Prior, Andersen. All,5-6 years younger. If they were all in this England team Cook would be held up as a genius. Strauss and Cook are not that different in the captain style. Conservative, very cautious.

    Strauss’s term in office will not be defined by how many power point presentations he makes or papers he writes but the talent that comes through. If England don’t produce players they will fail. It’s that simple. But Talent is always to be held in suspicion, to be regarded as secondry to soundness of character.

    Two days ago an England player scored 350 not out. Yesterday the reactionaries at the ECB went down to Lords with their blunderbusses and shot him. It’s the English way.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. SimonH May 13, 2015 / 9:17 am

    Did Vaughan say last night that he believed Cook would refuse to play in the team if Pietersen was recalled? I wasn’t listening but have read elsewhere he said that.

    I doubt I’d be the only one who has been suspecting something like that has been going on (which some might even call an ultimatum) – but, if true, it is the first time I’ve heard someone who has recent discussions with both the ECB and Cook confirm it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Simon K May 13, 2015 / 9:29 am

      I didn’t hear him say that. He did imply very strongly that, had he taken the job, he would have removed Cook as captain.

      Like

    • Mark May 13, 2015 / 9:36 am

      Maybe not in as many words, but effectively yes.

      He pointed out that the coach had changed, the cheif executive had changed, the director of cricket had changed., most of the players had changed, so who are the people in the English hierarchy who won’t work with KP?

      Must be Captain and Flower.

      For all the talk about new era’s, yesterday was Groundhog Day. Same old same old. English institutions are brilliant at convincing people things have changed , when in fact nothing changes.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Grumpy Gaz May 13, 2015 / 10:06 am

    I am now finally so disengaged with England cricket I’m actually finding this funny. I think I have made it through all 5 stages of grief:

    1. Denial – The rumours must be wrong, no one could be that stupid as to repeat Downton’s biggest mistake so soon after taking the job.

    2. Anger – ARE YOU HAVING A FUCKING LAUGH STRAUSS?! Did you seriously just put the butthurt feelings of a bunch of suits above our chances of retaining the Ashes? Did you really just send a message to the entire dressing room that they better not knock your mate Cooky or they will end up in the wilderness like KP, no matter how good they are? Did you really just reaffirm that the ECB selection policy is not based around getting the best players on the field?!

    3. Bargaining – Dear cricketing gods, if you make the last two days not happen I promise to buy tickets for at least 5 Kent games this year and try not to think Dominic Cork is a dick quite so often… ok, the second one might be beyond me.

    4. Depression – Oh gawd, the Aussies are going to be taking the piss out of us on this one for a decade at least. Even the Saffers are wading in with the banter now. The West Indies are overjoyed at the fact they don’t have the most incompetent board in world cricket after all. The Indians still don’t care.

    5. Acceptance – We are heading for the suckiest summer of cricket ever seen by an England fan base but at least it will be entertaining:

    We get to see Strauss, the lickspittle press, the ECB and Sky apply vast amounts of positive spin in an attempt to polish a turd.

    We get to see if Cook can offer a more cringe worthy losing speech that the ‘inner steel’ one. He’ll have lots of goes at it so my money is on a ‘yes he can!’.

    We get to hear Shane Warne strain to avoid another ‘something must be done’ incident while still implying Cook sucks balls.

    We can have a sweep stake on how many opening batsmen we use between now and the end of the Pakistan series. Will it reach double figures?

    The on-field cricket this summer will be nothing to remember but oh, the off-field machinations are going to be hugely entertaining.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mark May 13, 2015 / 10:21 am

      I know exactly want you mean grumpy gas.,I was thinking about this yesterday. The funny thing is I never believed that KP would ever play for England again. But yesterday we were kicked for the second time. Its a bit like the the condemed Man being given a pardon 5 mins before his execution, and then walking free through the prison gate only to be knocked down by a bus.

      I move from anger to hilarity, and back and forth. The ECB is like an organisation in an Ealing comedy. More Alastair Simm than Alastair Cook. The England captain will be played by Ian Carmichael. You have to laugh..

      Liked by 2 people

      • paule May 13, 2015 / 3:54 pm

        T-T as Giles Clarke, Sid James as KP, Peter Sellers as Strauss.

        Like

    • Zephirine May 13, 2015 / 10:26 am

      If it’s any consolation, Gaz, that’s a brilliant post.

      Like

  21. Zephirine May 13, 2015 / 10:08 am

    So we’ve known for some time that Cook didn’t have to make runs or win matches, he just had to appear in all his wonderful Cookness and that would be enough for the England management.

    We now know that the team doesn’t have to make runs or win matches either, because they’re rebuilding for four years in the future, and that’s enough for the England management.

    So what, exactly, are the spectators and Sky subscribers expected to pay for, this year? and next year? and the year after? Some young men walking around with Waitrose on their shirts? Guessing how many variations on “It was just a bad day at the office” the players could come up with?

    How loud does the laughter from the real cricket teams around the world have to be before they get it?

    Like

  22. Tony Bennett May 13, 2015 / 10:12 am

    Brilliant blog, Dmitri, encapsulating my own thoughts, as do most of the comments. I have felt for a while that Cook is the key to everything. He is exercising a malign influence which is at work in most of the ECB’s dealings – either personally, or as a result of an unhealthy and unmerited devotion to him by those at the top. I’m not sure from what I’ve seen of Cook’s personality that he is a strong enough individual to be calling the shots, and it’s more likely that he is a weak individual whose overstated ideas of his own importance and entitlement make him keen to accept the support he has.

    This seems to me, quite frankly, as bonkers, but that word has described the ECB’s actions since the end of the Ashes. Strauss’s appointment as Director Comma must have been ratified by Cook, if not directly, then via a decision process that insisted that the appointee would be acceptable to Cook. Cook can’t have KP. So the Director can’t either, and helpfully Strauss’s views on KP were clear.

    Never in nearly 50 years of following England cricket can I remember any captain having this sort of influence, or the absurd levels of protection and mollycoddling which Cook has. Other countries don’t do it. Captains change every now and then, and there is usually no fuss about it. Look at India in the 10 or so years pre-Dhoni. Look at Sri Lanka for heaven’s sake. Yet the ECB have inflated the position to something it should never be, virtually a job for life.

    I suspect the ECB hierarchy think they’ve sorted things out now. Let’s get this KP business over with, they think. But it will never be over with, because we, the true fans (even those who have cancelled their Sky Sports and refused to buy test tickets, like me) will not let it. Inadvertently these great strategic minds have added to the pressure on their darling captain. How is he going to actually score any runs under that pressure? He’s not back to anything near his best. One ton against the Windies is not the dawn of a new golden age. I think it’s sad that my gut feeling now is a desire for him to fail, not only as captain, which isn’t so hard to predict, but also as a batsman, because that’s the only way we will ever see the end of this sorry saga.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Arron Wright May 13, 2015 / 10:28 am

      I heard a very rare thing last night. On the Switch Hit podcast, David Hopps actually acknowledged that a significant number of fans have developed a strong dislike of Alastair Cook, and he was prepared to state some reasons why.

      Sure, he said that Cook was one of our finest ever run scorers, but few of us have questioned this (I don’t like his batting and think his reputation is overstated, but at least it’s a reasonable debate). But more to the point he said it had almost become a class issue and he emphasised the absurd levels of protection Cook has received. The only thing he didn’t explore – a shame because for me this is the single most nauseating and potentially corrosive consequence of the whole affair – is the patently obvious sense of entitlement Alastair Cook himself has developed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Simon K May 13, 2015 / 11:01 am

        The reason these types of messages are starting to creep into mainstream coverage is that the journalists can’t ignore them any more. They know how much terrible feeling there is and it is only the one-eyed and delusional likes of Selvey and Ed Smith who think it is unrepresentative.

        You are, I think, going to start seeing evidence of it at the grounds this summer if/when the results go badly (mind you, I thought that last summer).

        Like

      • Ann Weatherly-Barton (@xpressanny) May 13, 2015 / 12:56 pm

        Absolutely right. And who gave Cook that right in the first place? Well Clarke & Downton told him didn’t they. He was their man from the right sort of family and right sort of background. The future would be Cook’s for as long as he wanted it. They spawned this runt and now we are all stuck with him.

        Strauss is just a pathetic wimp, and unprofessional moron. Sorry but I am so angry with the ECB and this carve up. This is not just about KP it is about a corrupt, unprofessional, group of establishment old boys. These miscreants could almost take on Bullingdon Club for double standards. Establishment the club of old boys & old farts who live by one rule but demand that the rest of us do as we are told and not answer back.

        I am that despairing I couldn’t sleep last night. I cream crackered.

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Tom May 13, 2015 / 10:16 am

    Has any current England player tweeted about the current story or said something to the press? I can’t find anything myself (I’m not on twitter). Thanks.

    Like

    • Simon K May 13, 2015 / 10:18 am

      I doubt very much that any of them would want to speak out, not unreasonably. Only the Steely One is allowed to criticise ECB senior staff and get away with it.

      Like

      • Tom May 13, 2015 / 10:37 am

        Agreed, Simon, but was actually more curious when the team became silent.

        Like

  24. Rav Roberts May 13, 2015 / 10:19 am

    How bad must it be that an England player scoring 355no in county cricket causes an absolute crisis in the ECB?

    Like

  25. "IronBalls" McGinty May 13, 2015 / 10:32 am

    Amidst all the deserved bruhaha and angst, this very good article in the Telegraph seems to have slipped under the radar, but, in many ways nails it…absolutely!
    The Weasel in Chief, the Master of Disaster, has his grubby fingerprints all over this. Why do you think Cook could slate Graves with impunity, because his overlord and protector is still in office until tomorrow. This shambles is (hopefully) his last mean spirited act of “stewardship” of English cricket.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/cricket/international/england/11598407/Farewell-to-Giles-Clarke-who-left-the-ECB-richer-but-cricket-poorer.html

    Liked by 2 people

    • Zephirine May 13, 2015 / 10:49 am

      It’s an excellent article and some good comments below, too. It clarifies some things about Clarke’s relationship with the counties and how he built up his power base. Horrible man.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mark May 13, 2015 / 11:18 am

      Thanks for that Dave. However I don’t think it let’s Graves off the hook. He could have told Clarke that he was not to make any more big calls when the deal was made that Graves would replace him without a contest in exchange for A new job and title being created.

      Graves I think has been particularly duplicitous about how things have turned out. I think he thought KP would fail at county cricket, and when he didn’t they moved the goal posts.

      As I Say above, this is all re -arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. It’s all an illusion.These people all have the same view of the world. They just pretend there are differences. Nothing changes. Flower, Cook,Strauss are all back together again, and this is sold has change.

      Liked by 1 person

    • SimonH May 13, 2015 / 2:05 pm

      Crikey, I sort of defended her once!

      No danger of that happening again – indeed I’m a bit annoyed I forgot about her in the nominations for the Ten because that nonsense about Pietersen and Thatcher in March was, apart from Selvey and Holden, the worst single article of the year so far.

      Like

  26. Roger May 13, 2015 / 11:15 am

    What we really need now is a statement from the Surry players that they trust KP. How would the MSM explain that?

    Like

  27. SimonH May 13, 2015 / 11:49 am

    Brenkley:-
    “[Strauss] did not entirely succeed in either providing clarity or drawing a line under the matter, as Tom Harrison, the ECB chief executive who appointed him, wanted to happen. Pietersen has too many acolytes and if England lose the Ashes, as seems inevitable, or are defeated by New Zealand, as is possible, they will appear in force again as an invading, malevolent army”.

    Invading, malevolent army? That’s the ‘outside cricket’ mentality right there. I’m having to take some very deep breaths to avoid contributions to the LCL swear box.

    The reference to Harrison wanting to go further is revealing. Any idea that Harrison (and by extension Graves who appointed him) have been somehow pushed into this by Strauss looks firmly in the land of wishful thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. FustedBlush May 13, 2015 / 11:55 am

    Being an irredeemable ‘leftie’, I can’t help but conclude that the Cook obsession at the ECB and in sections of the press can be explained almost entirely by the shared, privileged background of the obsessed.

    The ECB, like the other ‘limbs’ of the establishment tree, is dominated by a public school elite. To stave off accusations of ‘conspiracy theorist’, I don’t think that this social ordering is, necessarily, intentional more a kind of ‘birds-of-a-feather’ deal – like attracts like and all that.

    Of course, there have been public school captains before (the majority of them, I should imagine) but none as ‘handsome’ as Cook, none with that ‘core of steel, none with such good prospects for breaking batting records galore.

    Perhaps, following a string of captains who didn’t quite fit the mould (Hussain: public school but son of immigrants; Vaughan: state educated; Flintoff: state educated; Pietersen: !!) Strauss reminded the blue-blooded elite what they really wanted … and then along came Cook!

    With the exception of Strauss, would I be correct in thinking that none of the ECB ‘suits’, nor those Cook die-hards in the press, had anything even approaching a successful international career? For these people, then, Cook appears like the archetype/quintessence/apotheosis of their ‘kind’. He is the living embodiment of all their unfulfilled cricketing hopes, dreams and aspirations.

    I give you: Vicarious Wish-fulfillment!!

    Like

    • PepperSydney May 13, 2015 / 12:18 pm

      I think it is all you say, and more.. a kind of fantasy, that Cook encapsulates all they wish they were.. tall, lots of hair, slim, chocolate box face, Englands Cricket Captain… its like a terrible profound transference of manlove .. pure, probably, with unconscious lust and inexplicable feelings of overpowering love. As if Cook was the beloved fag, ( in the public school sense) the opposite of Billy Bunter, the re emergence of Biggles and/or Algy.

      I don’t think the Establishment area of Eng cricket actually minds losing.. its an opportunity to hug Alastair. as tight as he will allow, I suppose. To pour sympathy and protection over and around him, its all golden and sentimental and just nice, you know? .. its like being bathed in warm treacle.

      Like

    • Zephirine May 13, 2015 / 12:52 pm

      Ah, but Cook is not originally posh. His parents are quite normal, his father works for a telephone company and his mother is a teacher. He went to a choir school on a scholarship and then to Bedford, not the poshest of independent schools, also on a music scholarship. So does this make him splendidly aspirational or a bit of a fake posho?

      Pietersen, on the other hand, is from comfortably middle-class background and went to an exclusive school in SA. He just turned up in the England team with a trailer-trash skunk hairdo and has been damned as common and vulgar ever since.

      So it’s not as clear-cut as all that. But of course we’re talking about illusion anyway.

      Like

      • FustedBlush May 13, 2015 / 1:15 pm

        Ah, but you see Cook was born posh … just not to posh parents! 😉

        I can understand that, while still at public school, being the one who doesn’t go home to a manor house in the shires every third weekend would be quite stigmatising. Once out the other side, the fact (and shared experience – with all that entails!) of attending public school is all that seems to matter.

        As you say, in reality it is an illusion but one which seems to have been disproportionately invested in.

        Like

    • Ann Weatherly-Barton (@xpressanny) May 13, 2015 / 1:04 pm

      As a committed Lefty myself I am again reminded of “A very British Coup” when Establishment Man (The power within) Meets Common PM from Sheffield. Man tells PM that he will never be able to do what he wants to do because the Establishment always controls everything “yea even unto the Middle Ages!”

      Unbelievable really.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Mark May 13, 2015 / 12:09 pm

    It will be interesting to see if the media will take a harder look at Cook now KP is not coming back, and Cook has been told he is safe for the summer. How much failure will be tolerated by the cricket writers?

    For some of them stopping KP was everything. but how safe can a failing captain be, and for how long? Cook has shown a remarkable thin skin, and sense of entitlement. He may be about to find the honeymoons over. How ironic that would be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebogfather May 13, 2015 / 12:14 pm

      Not a hope, that the Sheep-dip dope, will be MSM investigated, not when they’re all Waitrose top-shelf related…

      Like

    • d'Arthez May 13, 2015 / 12:36 pm

      He’ll be safe. 5-0 in the Ashes? Not his fault. Blame someone who has committed the treasonous offense of whistling. We can’t tell you whether he whistled the Funeral March or Albinoni’s Adagio in G.minor. But believe Mike Selvey (wink, wink), it was atrocious. (Pietersen probably failed to keep the tune).

      1-0 loss at home to Sri Lanka? 6 inches of carry. Being outbatted and outbowled by India on a Lord’s greentop, despite winning the toss? 2 seconds of doubt in the whole of the press. Which has already been purged from history.

      Having a competent opener in the WI ODIs of 2014? Never pick him again. The press still has not bothered to investigate it.

      Having a wicketkeeper who needed a wheelchair to keep? No problem. Cook said he can play as long as he wants. And then pick a guy who was not ready. At least if we have to believe Cook. The press is still in denial about this.

      Calling people cunts and pricks. It is just civil gentlemanly English behaviour. But playing cricket according to the rules, is uncivilized, and worthy of a massive tonguelashing (to put it in polite terms) of Angelo Mathews. The idiotic press backed Cook up on both those counts.

      Warne, Swann etc., being critical of Mr. Consistent Failure? Something needs to be done.

      Cook throws tantrums after losing the captaincy? After losing games? After losing in Barbados? Cticizing Graves? Inner steel.

      Honestly, the English press have plumbed the depths of the Mariana Trench by now.

      Chances of the press turning on to Cook are slim. By that time the disenchanted fans will be having the popcorn, and in large parts will feel so alienated from the establishment, that they will have a hard time supporting the team formerly known as “Cook’s Waitrose XI” again. Or pursued less incompetently run sports.

      Liked by 2 people

      • SimonH May 13, 2015 / 12:48 pm

        Lose the Ashes this summer 5-0? “England lost 5-0 last time with Pietersen”.

        Pringle’s already using that one.

        Like

      • thebogfather May 13, 2015 / 12:53 pm

        D’Arthez… that was as deliciously perfect as a £100 picnic basket from Waitrose… 😉

        Like

  30. SimonH May 13, 2015 / 12:35 pm

    Good, measured account of yesterday at Lord’s:

    http://www.alloutcricket.com/cricket/blogs/closing-out-kp-risks-alienating-those-outside-cricket

    Three details not mentioned elsewhere:
    1) Broad was sacked as the T20 captain (which would make it difficult to appoint him Test captain as a stopgap).
    2) Harrison called yesterday “day one of a five-year plan”. Seriously.
    3) Strauss said of Farbrace, “Paul sees himself more of an assistant coach going forward and that’s the way I see it as well.” That one is going into the memory banks…..

    Like

    • metatone May 13, 2015 / 2:53 pm

      That’s a very interesting tidbit about Farbrace.
      If it is true, then Strauss must be pretty confident that he has a good coach lined up, otherwise he’s going to look (even more) incompetent.

      Like

  31. amit May 13, 2015 / 12:37 pm

    “Not losing face” is more important than “not losing ashes”.
    Anyone but HIM.
    Over my grave(s)

    What can someone do against such logic?

    I posted this on guardian yesterday.
    And, the more i think about it, the more farcical the whole situation seems. There are people who never managed to much in their international cricket career that have taken call on how to end KP’s. If that’s not shameful, then what is?

    Like

  32. SimonH May 13, 2015 / 12:54 pm

    Utter garbage from Mark Nicholas on Cricinfo but one revealing turn of phrase:

    “Cook, whose view of Pietersen can barely be printed”.

    Like

  33. Mark May 13, 2015 / 12:58 pm

    So, if England lose both home series this summer will Cook lead the team for the winter tour?

    Vaughn said last night if he loses the Ashes he will have to go because it will be his second Ashes defeat, and a new natural cycle would start. That was before KPs piece about the team having been told they can lose the ashes.

    The ECB Select Eleven Vs New Zealand
    The ECB Select Eleven Vs Australia.

    On the other hand wil anyone even care?

    Like

    • d'Arthez May 13, 2015 / 1:11 pm

      First of all Mark, it is Cook’s Waitrose XI. Waitrose is willing to pay money to have its name feature more prominently. What us plebs think of that is irrelevant. It is all about the stakeholders – and if Ashley Giles’ utterances to the press after defeat against the Netherlands in the World T20 is anything to go by, supporters don’t qualify as anything.

      My money is on Cook still being the captain when England travel to South Africa, no matter what the results are in the home series and in the UAE. I would not put it beyond Whittaker and co to go for Tredwell instead of Monty in the UAE.

      Liked by 1 person

    • amit May 13, 2015 / 1:37 pm

      Not the ECB. Strauss (comma) selects it.

      Like

      • thebogfather May 13, 2015 / 1:43 pm

        When the Director, (comatose) of ECB (comma, Waitrose, comma ECB section) gets his nose out of the Waitrose (comma) Sky trough, he may find that the Sheep needs shearing to save his own (comma) Waitrose position as chief ECB slaughterperson…

        Like

  34. northernlight71 May 13, 2015 / 1:31 pm

    Just as an aside, I heard Agnew on Radio 2 yesterday evening and it turns out he shops in Sainsbury’s. Is in there almost every day, he said. The one in Melton Mowbray.

    The sponsors of the ECB will not be pleased . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebogfather May 13, 2015 / 1:38 pm

      Sounds a bit like a ‘Porkie Pie’ …from Melton Mowbray branch of Waitrose of course…

      Like

  35. Roger May 13, 2015 / 1:52 pm

    If this is a scorched-earth policy by the outgoing Chairman, could Graves sack Strauss and Harrison once he takes up office?

    Liked by 1 person

    • amit May 13, 2015 / 2:27 pm

      Now that would be some way to bring the fans back. But sadly it ain’t happening.

      Like

  36. Arron Wright May 13, 2015 / 3:00 pm

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus May 13, 2015 / 4:24 pm

      So I write under my real name, what’s he going to do? Go after me? Send legal threats? Get the boys on to me?

      I don’t know who you are, Selvey, other than a name in a paper and a face on a screen. If we ever met, I’d introduce myself as my blogger ID. You can put a face to my name. But I don’t want to meet you, or your kind. I like it this way. You don’t get to choose the field of “conflict” with me. That’s why I don’t comment on BTL.

      Like

      • dvyk May 13, 2015 / 5:04 pm

        Did Selvey really need to tell anyone he has no reasonable response for that which comes his way?

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus May 13, 2015 / 5:07 pm

          I respond to criticism and questioning by looking at myself – I think Zepherine described it as my anxieties – and often getting quite down. Then I analyse, see what I think I might have done wrong, and if I believe it is legitimate, try to do better. It’s old fashioned, but it works.

          I’ve never had time for people who say it’s my way or the highway. It’s a fundamental human flaw.

          Like

  37. dvyk May 13, 2015 / 3:11 pm

    So Strauss had in fact planned to announce both Moores’ *and* KP’s sacking on Tuesday — hence the Monday night meeting with KP. But the news about Moores was effectively leaked by Nick Knight and the Moores announcement had to be brought forward.

    Maybe he’d been hoping that those who were pissed off about KP’s sacking would be placated by the removal of Moores. Whatever the case, I expect Whitaker is next in line to be sacrificed to the mob to save Sheep.

    Like

  38. Clivejw May 13, 2015 / 3:15 pm

    Unsurprisingly there was a major cull of the comments on Selfie’s latest essay in stubborn prickery, but I was rather surprised to see my first comment, which was one of the first and had survived several hours before I went to bed in the early hours of the morning, was among those cropped. What was objectionable — “Agent Selvey”? But worse epithets have survived, and that’s almost affectionate. Beats me. Anyway, for the record:

    Well done, Agent Selvey. But you were wrong about Downton, you were wrong about Moores, and you will be proven wrong about Strauss. So get ready for the ride.
    What a long way you’ve come, Mike, from taking Pietersen’s side over his sacking as captain, to taking the Flower-Morris line about KP’s IPL contract but still saying you personally liked Pietersen (signing your boy’s kit and all that), to denouncing him as a “fruitfly” and a “pest” and not even attempting to see the other side of the story. It’s been an unedifying descent, all the more so for its apparent inexplicable nature.

    No comment from you on the utter deceitfulness of the ECB over is promise not only from the new chairman, whom you opt to dismiss as a typical northerner going off half cock, but also from Harrison — as recently as Monday night, unless Pietersen is lying, he assured KP that the purpose of the meeting was not to sack him.

    Of course, the last paragraph is off-line because, as I subsequently realized, Selfie is unlikely to have seen KP’s article before finishing his own, but I doubt that would have made any difference to his mulish obstinacy.

    Liked by 3 people

    • thebogfather May 13, 2015 / 3:22 pm

      Clive, I think I love you almost as much as the ECB cabal loves Sheep… 😉

      Like

      • Clivejw May 13, 2015 / 3:31 pm

        Now I’m the one looking all sheepish… 😉

        Like

      • Grumpy Gaz May 13, 2015 / 4:39 pm

        Hmm, I think I’ve tipped over into hysterical laughter.

        Like

    • Ann Weatherly-Barton (@xpressanny) May 13, 2015 / 3:52 pm

      Good one Clive. I think they now have a filter on names Selvey doesn’t like. Doesn’t seem to matter what you right it just gets bleeped out. I wrote under a pseudo a few months back and it stayed there but I bet had I written under my name it would have lasted mere seconds. Sad that Mr Selvey has such a brittle personality. He can certainly shovel it out but just cannot take it coming back the other way. Says a great deal about him. Sad old sod.

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus May 13, 2015 / 4:18 pm

        In his discussion with Maxie he’s obsessed with our anonymity. Why? Is he going to sort out people if they provide real names?

        You ain’t being cyber-bullied Selfey. You are being held to account. If you can’t catch, don’t throw.

        Like

      • Clivejw May 13, 2015 / 4:33 pm

        What an obnoxious twat. People have legitimate reasons for being “anonymous” — mine is that my major client is a foreign government and when commenting on foreign affairs, I need to be circumspect. Not that it’s very difficult to find out who I am if you’re really determined.

        A 17-year-old girl who ran a Miliband fan network on Twitter who had never revealed her real name or location had her grandmother’s home visited by Rupert Murdoch’s not-so-finest. If anyone looks, I’m all over the Internet.

        And even if people just feel like using a pseudonym, so what. It’s not F***book.

        Like

      • dvyk May 13, 2015 / 5:27 pm

        Yep, there’s huge difference between “anon” posting insults (like “He’s an egotist, he should be sacked”) and someone consistently using a pseudonym.

        Or maybe there is a difference. It’s probably a bit worse to be called an “idiot” or a “numpty” or a “parasite” by someone who’s well known but has access to the mass media.

        Like

  39. Pontiac May 13, 2015 / 3:44 pm

    Given the way that match seems to be going, Surrey v Leicestershire could be more entertaining than anything else that happens in England cricket this summer.

    Does anyone know how many spectators have turned up for it?

    Like

    • SimonH May 13, 2015 / 3:57 pm

      One of the interesting hints on Switch Hit is that tickets for England’s 2nd Test at Headingley are not selling well.

      The ECB will of course blame New Zealand and respond by arranging even more matches against Australia.

      Like

      • d'Arthez May 13, 2015 / 4:44 pm

        Could that have anything to do with the brilliant performances of England? Or the fact that New Zealand were hosted at the same ground New Zealand only in 2013? Could it be that supporters are increasingly fed up with the ECB? Could it be that the supporters prefer not to sell a kidney in order to be able to afford drinks and food at the ground?

        Nah. Must be because New Zealand are a poor Test side. Oh wait …

        Like

    • Clivejw May 13, 2015 / 4:04 pm

      I’m listening to it on BBC London. I have a feeling that Jason Roy is doing this for KP.

      Like

    • Pontiac May 13, 2015 / 4:19 pm

      Less than 6/over required now…

      Like

  40. Burly May 13, 2015 / 4:09 pm

    I see TFT has turned Peter Clatworthy into a complete Strauss. He’s gone nuts over the last few threads.

    Like

    • alan May 13, 2015 / 4:54 pm

      Tell me about it Burly
      That Stewart stuff was mind boggling . I don’t often comment as my keyboard skills are lacking but he really got me going. In the end I could stand it no longer. Your replies to his last two were brilliant. Thanks for that
      Please don’t tell me he’s at it again! !

      Like

      • Burly May 13, 2015 / 5:00 pm

        I’m afraid so.

        Like

      • Arron Wright May 13, 2015 / 6:05 pm

        Good lord. He makes my old mucker Mike Daniels sound like Maxie Allen.

        Like

  41. dvyk May 13, 2015 / 4:12 pm

    So, Gillespie still hasn’t heard from the ECB. Don’t tell me that they already have their preferred candidate lined up and only wanted Gillespie and Langer to make it look like they were seriously and objectively trying to find the best person for the job while in fact already lined up the next obsequious yes-man who owes them a favour or two? No, it couidn’t be….

    …And watch for Whitaker getting thrown under the bus at the next PR disaster.

    Like

    • Grumpy Gaz May 13, 2015 / 4:50 pm

      You have to understand how it works. The ECB have a preferred candidate that they absolutely want to ensure gets the job but they want to be seen to be fair (HAH!). So they hire a team of head hunters and announce it to the press, The head hunters come back with the best candidate, that doesn’t happen to be from the right sort of family.

      The ECB them promptly DON’T announce this to the press, ignore the recommendation, hire their preferred candidate anyway and let everyone jump to the conclusion that he was the best on offer.

      There is then much scratching of heads over how so much money could be spent getting what seems obviously the wrong person for the job to everyone outside cricket i.e. those that pay the wages of those that are inside.

      Liked by 1 person

  42. Clivejw May 13, 2015 / 4:28 pm

    Surrey 145-1 in the 12th over. Sangakarra comes to the wicket. Leicestershire would be forgiven for throwing in the towel now.

    From the moment Pietersen let loose after grinding out his first hundred, this match has been transformed.

    Like

    • Burly May 13, 2015 / 4:35 pm

      Has to be one of the best Div2 4-day matches of all time at this point.

      Like

      • Clivejw May 13, 2015 / 4:41 pm

        Pietersen can’t bat till seven, so we are unlikely to see him at this rate.

        Like

    • d'Arthez May 13, 2015 / 4:45 pm

      Also note Davies’ excellent innings.

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus May 13, 2015 / 4:48 pm

        A double ton in the first match of the season too.

        Surrey need to get their bowlers fit and firing.

        Like

      • Clivejw May 13, 2015 / 4:54 pm

        Going on tour with Elton John has seen him reborn as a batsman. Strauss could never understand that in a million years.

        Like

      • Clivejw May 13, 2015 / 4:58 pm

        Giving up the gloves seemed to be kissing his England prospects goodbye, but in a normal universe he’d be in the frame again now. Really bold gamble that’s paid off. Great that he’s enjoying the game again, I thought he might be lost to the game at one time.

        Like

      • Burly May 13, 2015 / 5:16 pm

        I automatically like guys like Davies who’ve admitted human failings of motivation and self-belief. Hope he continues to do well.

        Like

  43. Clivejw May 13, 2015 / 4:33 pm

    Pietersen can’t bat till seven, btw. Not that it matters at the moment.

    Like

  44. Mark May 13, 2015 / 5:17 pm

    SimonH puts up Strauss’s interview with Londonloves business.

    Oh dear, it’s the most bland stuff. Really the notion that he is being elevated into the realms of entrepreneur status is absurd. Check out the soft focus portrait with his hand resting on his chin to give the ‘ trusting deep thinker’ look. Just because you have read some management self help books or military strategy books does not make you Steve Jobbs.

    Look, I don’t want to ridicule someone’s attempt to move on in life after a career in professional sport, but please spare us the notion he is a thrusting entrepreneur. After retiring from cricket he got a cushy job at Sky (a job his voice, and lack of quick wit makes him unsuitable for) and a nice column at a broadsheet newspaper. The same route travelled by many before him. Atherton, Nasser, Vaughn, Gower, Botham etc. don’t knock it, its very well paid.

    The bit that made me laugh was this………

    “successful cricket captain Strauss’ retirement from the sport has allowed him to launch business consultancy Mind Flick – whose name comes from the necessity to look at problems from a different perspective in order to solve.”

    What’s funny? Well, the article was written in October last year, and if you click the Mind Flick button you are taken to a site that says …..”coming soon.” Hopefully England’s new coach will be coming sooner than that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus May 13, 2015 / 5:29 pm

      Thanks Mark, looking at that logo has brought my migraine back.

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus May 13, 2015 / 5:30 pm

        Also Mindlick. Put that in capitals MINDFLICK and tell me you don’t see Mindfuck.

        Like

      • Mark May 13, 2015 / 5:40 pm

        How about Herr Flick?

        From Hello Hello.

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus May 13, 2015 / 5:44 pm

          #asktheanaylst May put this one up later…

          #asktheanlayst last month I told my boss to f*** off. I also slept with someone else’s wife. Which is worse, or are they equally repugnant?

          Like

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