A Matter of Life and Trust

Like so many others, the activities of the last couple of days have left me in despair about cricket in England.  That the ECB can invoke a question of trust in their carefully rehearsed PR speak was roundly met with hollow laughs amongst professionals, amateurs and supporters alike.  So much of the focus has been on Kevin Pietersen for obvious reasons, yet the ECB will be perversely pleased by that, because it avoids the wider questions and the wider problems.

That Pietersen has been treated dreadfully is a given even amongst those who are not remotely his fans – and let’s nail this particular straw man argument right here, there are a tiny number of people who are proper, out and out Pietersen fans.  Most of the others are England fans who may or may not think the side would be better with him in it, but believe a team should be selected from its best players, and who know a stitch up when they see one.

There is no doubt at all that Graves told him it was a clean slate, not just from his public pronouncements, but in two phone calls.  Pietersen responded to that by giving up his IPL contract to come and play county cricket.   He did what was asked of him.  Pietersen might be wealthy, but making someone give up a contract worth hundreds of thousands is not a small matter.  There have been some comments that Graves is just one person and that no guarantees were given.  This is sophistry of the highest order.  That one person is the incoming chairman of the ECB, and Pietersen trusted what he said.  More than that, if he has gone out on a limb then there was plenty of opportunity for the likes of Tom Harrison to talk to him and tell him that was not ECB policy.  He didn’t do so.

Let’s call this what it is – a lie.  They lied to him, an action of both commission and omission.  Pietersen might be a controversial figure, but he did not and does not deserve that.  At no point yesterday has there been so much as a hint of an apology for that.  That is outrageous behaviour.  Whataboutery concerning Pietersen is not the issue at hand here – it wasn’t him that kept banging on about trust.  The ECB are the organisation comprised of people that promptly leaked the outcome of Pietersen’s meeting with Strauss and Harrison minutes after it happened, the organisation on whose watch the coach Peter Moores found out he was being sacked via the media before they’d bothered to tell him (leaks or otherwise is irrelevant to this – it’s what happened), who backed Alastair Cook vocally two days before sacking him as ODI captain, who allowed a private memo from the England captain in 2009 to leak to the press.  What Pietersen has or has not done over the years does not for a single second justify any of this.  To talk about trust is a sick joke.

Nasser Hussain tried to make the point that trust has to go both ways, and Strauss’s response that he isn’t blaming anyone for the breakdown of it simply isn’t good enough.  He can refuse to talk about where Pietersen is at fault, that’s his prerogative, but he cannot avoid the complicity of the ECB, the organisation he works for.  Tom Harrison apologised to Peter Moores for how he found out about his sacking.  An apology to Kevin Pietersen for being led up the garden path is the very minimum that is needed.

It’s not going to happen of course.  The arrogance of the ECB knows no limits.  Over a year later they still haven’t addressed the realities of the “Outside Cricket” jibe and the utter contempt that signified for those who buy tickets and play the game.  And here is the fundamental question of trust as it really is, not as the ECB would like it to be.  There is none for the ECB.  The way Pietersen has been treated – and indeed the way Moores was treated – are indicative of an organisation that considers human beings to be commodities and nothing more.  Losing the trust of individuals barely scratches at the surface of the problem, because despite the ECB’s apparent belief, the public are not stupid.  They can see how this translates into a wider lack of interest or concern for anyone that doesn’t fit into their narrow field of vision.

The media response has been  fairly predictable in the way it has gone down the usual lines.  What the ones who loathe Pietersen fail to understand is that it is not about that, it is entirely within their rights to despise him and not want him anywhere near the England team while at the same time recognising that the ECB have behaved poorly.  The inability of some of them to see things through anything other than a Pietersen prism is the reason they attract such contempt.  If Pietersen is a side show to the wider issue, then deal with the wider issue.  Being an apologist for awful ECB conduct is not journalism, it is cheerleading.  Let’s put it a different way, if it was someone other than Pietersen who was the central player in the drama, would there be such fawning coverage of the ECB itself? This goes to the crux of the matter, because if not, then it means that they need to ask themselves about the job they are doing – their loathing of Pietersen is blinding them to what are far more important questions.

It is abundantly clear Pietersen is not coming back.  So given that, it raises a whole series more questions about where we go from here.

The first thing that Strauss and Harrison talked about was the plan for 2019.  In itself, this is hardly surprising – all new arrivals give themselves a nebulous target some time in the distant future, usually when they’re fairly certain the near term is going to be catastrophic and don’t want to be blamed for it.  But there are a couple of things about that.  By focusing so relentlessly on it, they invite ridicule that it’s tantamount to a Soviet Five Year Plan that was simply replaced by another Five Year Plan when the previous one went wrong.  In one day cricket, England cleared the decks for the World Cup, moved the Ashes with spectacular – in one sense anyway – results.  Yet now they are telling us not to worry, there’s another new plan coming along, and this one will be a belter.

Ah, but we should trust them we are told.  Why?  For what reason should we trust these people who have made a monumental mess of everything they have touched.  Trust needs to be earned, as  Strauss himself banged on about with that terrified look in his eye, but he apparently again didn’t grasp that the horrible masses don’t believe him.

It’s nothing more than a permanent offer of jam tomorrow.  That can work for a bit, yet they drew much greater attention to it by self-evidently rejecting a player who might be of value in the here and now.  Anyone over the age of about 15 can remember rotten England teams, but it’s been a fair while since having a weakened side was specific policy.

The Ashes this summer are not sold out.  It’s not disastrously so, but it’s not brilliant either.  Next summer we have Sri Lanka (again – though doubtless they’ll compensate for that by not playing them again until about 2030) and Pakistan.  If ticket sales are struggling for this year, what on earth is going to be like next year?  The blasé talk about what happens in four years time is surely not a deliberate writing off of the near term, but once again it does give the impression of it, which is exceptionally clumsy, even if not intended.  Those who have bought tickets are perfectly entitled to ask what the point of going is if the current team is not the focus.  It can’t especially cheer up the players either.

Buried in the detail was the sacking of Ian Bell as vice captain and Stuart Broad as T20 captain. Poor Bell.  He seems to be the favoured whipping boy, there’s no question that he has been briefed against – when Cook’s position came under scrutiny for captaincy (not exactly a rare event) there were a slew of articles talking about how badly Bell had done in team building events to make it clear he wasn’t a viable alternative.  This is a minor matter in relative terms, but once again a player suffers in certain media quarters when the status quo is under threat.  Broad’s removal as T20 captain is less surprising in itself, but replacing him with Eoin Morgan perhaps is, given his recent troubles.  Broad might wonder quite how he has been booted while the Test captain is so strongly backed.

As for Cook himself, although at first sight it seems he’s been thoroughly backed, in reality he’s already been given notice on his captaincy.  The appointment of Root as his second in command is the first time the ECB have deliberately chosen someone who they feel (the “they” is important here) can take over.  The ECB are plainly not optimistic about this summer, and Cook now appears to be in place as a firebreak for when it all goes horribly wrong.  Not remotely the first time they’ve used this tactic, and whatever the opinions on Cook, it seems quite likely he is the next sacrificial lamb.  What that does suggest though, is that the Ashes themselves are not regarded as the priority.  It may also just be dawning on Cook that if he doesn’t win this summer, he’s probably out (it is the ECB of course.  So they could decide to grant him life tenure – funny how we don’t trust them…), and therefore if Vaughan is right and Cook said he would resign if Pietersen was recalled, then he’s signed his own death warrant by refusing to include a player who might give them a better chance, and thus him a better chance of keeping the captaincy.

And then we come to the question of the coach.  The sacking of Moores was nothing other than a panic response.  That he shouldn’t have been appointed in the first place doesn’t alter the truth that Moores had a point when he complained he hadn’t been given enough time.  Although you could equally argue he’d had far too much time given the results were pretty dire, if you are going to appoint a coach with a brief to build a new team, and then sack him a year later when the said new team doesn’t do too well then you’ve sold him a pup.

Both Strauss and Harrison responded to questions about Jason Gillespie by saying that he is certainly one of those they will want to talk to.  In ECB speak, this is tantamount to openly saying he hasn’t got a prayer, because the front runner never seems to get the job with them.

The Pietersen affair has rightly re-opened the question as to what sort of coach will take on a role where certain players are denied to them through policy.  It may well be the case that Gillespie wouldn’t want Pietersen anywhere near the team, but there has to be significant risk that he will feel having that principle enforced at a level above him will be considered an interference in his ability to do his job.  There remains the feeling that the lack of high profile coaches applying last time was directly related to interference in team selection.  And here’s the rub – if by their actions against Pietersen they have limited their ability to obtain the best coach, that is a far wider impact than a single player, and a direct failure on the part of the ECB to do their job.   This has already happened with the choice of Director, Cricket (I wonder how much it cost to have the consultants decide on that format?) where Vaughan hinted, and Stewart openly stated, that they would want to select from all players.  Repeating this with the coach is an abrogation of their responsibilities to English cricket to play the best team, with the best support staff, to give them the best chance of winning.

The ECB have tried to pretend the Pietersen omnishambles is a discrete issue.  It isn’t, it pervades everything they are doing and everything they have done.  The consequences of it are ongoing and extremely deep.  If high quality coaches are uninterested in the England job because of how they’ve dealt with Pietersen, that is appalling mismanagement not of a single player, but of the entire England structure.

The question must be posed, what is the ECB actually for?  If it is a governing body of cricket domestically, then their lack of interest in the game below the exalted professional level is a savage indictment of them not doing their job in any way.  Participation levels have dropped, viewing figures for England on Sky are now lower than they are for darts.  There are huge swathes of supporters disaffected and disillusioned.  Ed Smith’s ridiculous attempt to claim that all those NOT using social media are silently delighted with the ECB merely reinforces the cosy image of those Inside Cricket, talking amongst themselves.  They don’t see the anger, and are taken aback by it, because they don’t understand why.  The ECB hierarchy see the world through the prism of their own experiences, while the media have absolutely no idea whatever about the supporters and their world.  When did any of the journalists last queue for 90 minutes to get a beer?  When did they last find themselves squeezed into a tiny seat with inadequate legroom?  When did they discover that lunchtime is a terrible time to try and get some food at a Test?

They have no idea about any of this, because it’s not part of their world.  The reaction to the Pietersen debacle is one of puzzlement as much as anything else – the confusion of people for whom the masses might as well be speaking a different language.  There is simply no doubt the ECB have succeeded in keeping the bulk of the cricket press onside, while at the same time driving a huge wedge between them and the wider cricketing public.  Bloggers, commenters and tweeters might not be representative of the wider public (although they might well be too), but they are extremely important for one reason alone – they tend to be the kind who care sufficiently to consider buying tickets.   How many bilious inadequates not attending does it take to become noticeable?  One for you to work out Ed.

It’s a matter of trust we are told.  There is none.  And the worst part of it is, they don’t even realise why it is, or what they’ve done wrong.  That’s why there are some English cricket fans actively hoping for Australia to hammer England this summer.  Think about that.  That’s the ECB legacy.  Well done chaps.



277 thoughts on “A Matter of Life and Trust

  1. Mike May 13, 2015 / 6:25 pm

    Good read that. A far better summary of recent events than I could ever manage, pretty much sums up how I feel about things too

    Liked by 2 people

      • Arron Wright May 13, 2015 / 7:19 pm

        One reason being that it doesn’t have to rely on, er, “guesswork” to make a compelling argument. 😊

        Just the same kind of evidence as that cited by Andrew Miller, David Hopps, Mike Walters and Owen Gibson in the last 24 hours alone, and wilfully ignored or mocked by certain others.

        Liked by 1 person

      • paule May 13, 2015 / 8:40 pm

        a fine, considered piece that goes to the heart of the matter.


  2. lionel joseph May 13, 2015 / 6:48 pm

    A great piece Vian.

    It’s the four year plan that really riles. I can think of no-one less like Andrew Strauss than the late Jeffrey Bernard but it appears that the South African born batsman has adopted Bernard’s maxim: “Aim low and miss”

    Boof visibly turned round a side in two weeks. 12 months later they’d whitewashed us in the Ashes and beaten the Proteas at home.

    I’m not expecting these sort of miracles, but it’s unacceptable to have targets so far away in the future.

    I also think it’s worth expounding on Ed Smith’s possible mistake. For a man who’s sold plenty of books rehashing Kahneman and Tversky’s work, there is a wonderfully rich irony that, in this instance, he may well be guilty of succumbing to the representative heuristic.

    Liked by 2 people

    • paule May 13, 2015 / 8:42 pm

      Very good on Smith. He is little more than a meretricious recycler.


    • Nenge May 13, 2015 / 8:55 pm

      Tremendous. You were taught well at the African Education Conference.


  3. thebogfather May 13, 2015 / 6:51 pm

    And yet, such a perfect report on the ECB, will go ignored, except by thee and me,,, we are the people who care, not the ECB and most MSM – as ignorant as there can be as an appalling pair… shame on you all, Waitrose basket-cases all… and so we starve still…


  4. thebogfather May 13, 2015 / 7:06 pm

    before it gets modded by Selve…
    To be such a continually myopic ‘reporter’ takes some class, well done Selve, such a pathetic arse… (awaiting to be stuffed aside, and blocked by your moronic Cook loving ride).

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebogfather May 14, 2015 / 6:09 am

      Oh well, I’ve been in pre-mod for 12 hours now…lol


  5. LordCanisLupus May 13, 2015 / 7:37 pm

    The Piers Morgan piece in the Mail is worth a read.


    Also, on a totally different note, and because he’s such a great bloke on Twitter, read Alan Butcher’s piece on Cricinfo. I really liked it, and not just because he’s such a great bloke on Twitter.



    • Arron Wright May 13, 2015 / 7:44 pm

      I just love that url. Do I even need to click?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Phil May 13, 2015 / 8:33 pm

      I wish I never looked at the comments. Piers Morgan was the worst thing to ever happen to KP. So many people still believe that he is universally hated in the dressing room and he texted tactics to the South Africans. I give up, so many sheep.


    • SimonH May 13, 2015 / 8:59 pm

      I’m not a fully paid up member of the ‘cult of Brearley’ but what he said about how to manage talents like Pietersen is so spot-on compared to the guff spouted about Philosophy and processes that I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry.

      By the way, the Mail poll on whether Pietersen should be recalled was standing at 85% for with over 12000 votes cast. The polls in the Mirror and the DT were standing at similar levels late yesterday. Are Ed’s silent majority still at their breakfast tables and unable to vote?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rav Roberts May 13, 2015 / 10:38 pm

        DT poll had over 35k posts with 87% wanting KP bavk. All bilious inadequates of course.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. "IronBalls" McGinty May 13, 2015 / 7:40 pm

    A very insightful and well written piece Vian, well played Sir!
    Since that gobbet of undiluted Establishment bullshittery from Strauss I have taken time to reflect on the events of the past 16 months, and the effect of it, on me, as a bog standard England cricket supporter and a huge lover of the game in general. I’m not a stats geek, not eminently knowledgable, my love of the game was nurtured by watching it on C4, not unlike the experience of many thousands of others I would imagine. I grew to love cricket!
    Sadly, and I would venture to guess, along with a myriad others, I have completely fallen out of love with England cricket. They no longer represent, in my opinion, the people of this great country, they are now just a corporate product, led by the Establishment’s representative on the field…he long since usurped the honourable title of Captain!
    The people that now represent my ideal of cricket are the visitors to these shores. They are not only batting and bowling to honour their own countrymen, but for me, they are batting and bowling to defeat the English Establishment and the loathsome “ideals” that they stand for…they are fighting for us, English cricket lovers, to have the game we love restored to us!
    I will be cheering every run and every wicket they take against the ECB’s team…because, in a way, they’re doing it for us!!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. emasl May 13, 2015 / 7:40 pm

    Brilliant Vian
    Dmitri have read Pier’s piece and it was good. The ECB cannot shut him up. They may mock him and be rude about him but hw wont care
    And the piece by Butcher was brill too

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Silk May 13, 2015 / 7:45 pm

    On the people as “commodities” point.

    Something I realised in the shower is that the sheer greed of the ECB pretty much guarantees mediocrity.

    Why do we play more International cricket than any other country? Because Sky demand it and it fills the ECB coffers.

    So rather than looking at the burnout issue and say “We should play less cricket” the ECB have decided that we’ll play /more/ cricket, but that Test players will play few (any?) T20s or ODIs, and the ODI side will basically be second string.

    Which means 2 things. First of all, our best players will play little ODI cricket and we won’t ever be a good ODI side.

    Secondly our Test players, particularly the batsmen, won’t develop the range skills that someone like, say, Warner has. And our Test performances, particularly batting, will fall further behind the top sides.


  9. dvyk May 13, 2015 / 7:46 pm

    Excellent article article. Why does it raise a dozen points that the MSM don’t even mention, let alone answer?

    All those idiots who say “Well KP is an egotist” need to ask themselves how the fuck could such a thing happen to anyone.

    If KP had have got a string of ducks and ran all his partners out and then said he doesn’t England; if Root and Ballance score tons and win back the Ashes, it wouldn’t change a thing in this respect. The fact that such a thing can happen demonstrates that the system is geared towards nepotism and openly stated corruption. (Corruption in the moral sense, when not the legal.) That alone should be enough to send anyone, regardless of their views on KP, to the barricades.

    And incidentally, since when is the difference between ODI cricket and Test cricket so drastic that someone who deserves to be sacked from the captaincy of one as an emergency measure after after months of desperate politicking and propaganda, suddenly get so good at test cricket captaincy that they deserve to be nailed on?


  10. Andy May 13, 2015 / 7:47 pm

    Great read. If only msm were half as insightful and willing to look beyond their own nose / gravy train…

    In other news, rishid does great for Yorkshire after being dumped on by England…


    • SimonH May 13, 2015 / 8:12 pm

      Wickets in the CC don’t count – bowling in the nets or in practice matches against the St Winifred’s School Choir XI are what matters in getting selected for England.

      That said, I see arch-sceptic Selvey has Rashid in his first Test squad (although typically of Selvey he drops another player he constantly runs down, Stokes, to get Rashid in). Don’t play Rashid on a Bridgetown dustbowl then play him at Lord’s in May would be genius! Rashid fans should start to worry Captain Cook might get his hands on another new spinner to ruin…..

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Mark May 13, 2015 / 7:53 pm

    Last year a Harvard professor decided to set his students a test. It wasn’t a modern test but a test from 50 years ago. The test was not meant to be passed. The test was the Louisiana state govts literacy test. A way of stopping black people from voting. There are 30 questions that you have to answer in 10 mins. Only one wrong answer will fail the test. Some of the questions are so open ended the examiner can interrupt the answers any way they like.

    Not a single one of his student passed the exam, because it was designed in such a way that each question could be interpreted as wrong by the registrar official looking over the answers. ‘Louisiana’s literacy test was designed to be failed.”

    The reason I bring this up is because when Strauss announced KP had been offered an advisory role with the ODI side and turned it down his critics started claiming it was a test,to see his loyalty, and that he had failed. Ever since KP was reintegrated back into the England team he has been set countless tests he has to pass. Hoops he had to jump through. He would be asked in confidence about certain players. He would answer, and then the results would be leaked to the press who would run the story and say how selfish he was. He was asked in a fake team meeting to give his opinions of the coach, he did and the players ran back to the coach to tell him. He was under 24 hour surveillance and every thing he did was noted down in a dossier.

    When he was sacked he was told he would not play for England again. So he stopped playing county cricket to focus on ODIs. Immediately his critics said he could not be considered because he hadn’t got a county. Then the new man in charge gave him a life line. So he went and got a county. But that was a second division county according to his critics. Then they said, get some runs. So he scored 350 not out, and went to meet Strauss who told him sorry, it’s a trust issue.

    All the way through this the ECB have created a series of tests that can not be passed. I leave it to others to judge if like the Louisiana state govts literacy test, they were designed that way deliberately to fail fail?

    Liked by 3 people

    • dvyk May 13, 2015 / 8:02 pm

      Yes, that had me fucking spewing. KP put quarter of a million pounds on the table and said I trust you to give me a fair chance of being selected. And that wasn’t enough. Because they were fucking lying to him.

      And where the fuck is Graves’ apology? That weak piece of shit should be making headlines right now with his pathetic groveling apology to KP. But he’s too weak willed even to do that, Weak as fucking piss.

      (Sorry for the language,)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright May 13, 2015 / 8:08 pm

        Tell you what, just pop on to Twitter, enter “KP injury” into the search function, sit back and enjoy dozens more reasons to loathe English humanity.

        Liked by 1 person

      • dvyk May 13, 2015 / 9:14 pm

        FFS. What is going on? Aussies support KP and (some) English fans gloat over his injuries.


        • LordCanisLupus May 13, 2015 / 9:32 pm

          Nope, no poison there.

          None there too.

          Very not febrile. Nor is that guesswork…

          Liked by 1 person

    • MM May 13, 2015 / 8:58 pm

      KP is a bad guy for not accepting the advisory role. England lose every ODI and T20 until aliens come to reclaim the planet, and it’s KP’s fault for not being an adviser. England lose every test this Summer and it’s because of The Great KP Distraction.

      Bloody bumholes. ECB toss.


      • paule May 14, 2015 / 8:59 am

        And Surrey’s victory had nothing, absolutely nothing to do with 355 not out…….these people are beyond help.


  12. jennyah46 May 13, 2015 / 8:07 pm

    Great article. Comprehensive, insightful and well written. All aspects of this tale carefully presented and well told. Congrats.


    • MM May 13, 2015 / 9:44 pm

      Hello Jenny!


  13. keyserchris May 13, 2015 / 8:40 pm

    Had these & most of my other comments on the Selvey piece, modded. It was up for 20-odd hours, 70+ recommends. Seriously, there is excessive modding on his pieces. He claims it’s not him, but it’s deeply suspicious now:

    “Legally, in paragraph 3, this writer is talking out of his backside. If a party moved to terminate his own contract, there would be no necessity for the other party to pay off the remaining contractual fees (which the ECB did), though they could reasonably impose a compromise agreement (which they most certainly did). The sort of thing that is usually only done to avoid a legal issues for constructive dismissal. Stop jumping through hoops to defend the ECB on that one please, Mr Selvey, we know it does not wash.

    And that is before the issue of public trust with the fans (who pay Sky subs, buy tickets, and buy papers with cricket reports in them – the methods THAT FUND THE GAME YOU COVER). On that front, at the very least, the ECB lied in saying they would explain the Pietersen sacking, and then not fulfilling that promise. And they moan about trust. Sheesh. They also said a player should score county runs to be considered for England selection, which he duly did, then they turn around and break their word. More broken trust. We have eyes. we can read. You say Strauss approached this with integrity – yet Strauss said himself the issue was a massive loss of trust between the ECB & himself and Pietersen. That is not integrity at all in any sporting sense. That refers to the admin side, and who is left at the ECB to still not have trust in Pietersen, eh? eh?

    And now the claim is that the Strauss regime has license to weather bad results this summer, for the longterm benefit of the team. Though not to the longterm benefit of those forking out £75-100 a day to watch Test cricket this summer from a non-freely catered, air-conditioned, internet-connected press box, but rather a plastic seat with little leg room, little weather protection, and extortionate bar & food prices at concessions. Why are people who bought such expensive tickets in advance now expected to forgo this summers Ashes for the jam-tomorrow promise of a well-built side for the 2019 World Cup? If this turns out to be true, the ECB could have a another very major problem with trust. That word again…

    Tell me, Mr Selvey, why should anyone watch England play cricket now? It’s over-priced, the team is selected on who the ECB like as opposed to merit, and is covered by folk who treat the punters with disdain?”

    “Anyway, anytime you would like to explain what the “toxic” behaviour was in in Australia in 2013/14, do please tell. You are a correspondent after all, and I’m sure it’s a good story. Plus, it would shed light on the “toxic” situation we find ourselves in that this “toxic” behaviour supposedly caused.

    Or is it another example of Mr Selvey’s favourite meme of “I know what’s happened, but I couldn’t possibly tell you mere readers”?”

    Critical, yes. But more importantly, polite… unlike the articles author…

    Liked by 1 person

    • MM May 13, 2015 / 9:01 pm

      All good stuff, K.


    • Simon K May 13, 2015 / 10:10 pm

      It is Selvey who is getting these posts modded. Either that or a particularly enthusiastic fan of his.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. LordCanisLupus May 13, 2015 / 9:00 pm

    New Newman…

    ‘This has never been about his ability,’ said Andrew Strauss when asked what was going through his mind on Monday as Kevin Pietersen moved through the gears from a hundred, to a double century and then to 300.
    Yet Strauss would not be human if he did not wonder what on earth he had taken on as director of cricket and what he was about to do in his pre-arranged meeting that evening to tell Pietersen there was still no way back.
    Did he have second thoughts? Did he think, just for a moment, that it might improve England’s chances of winning the Ashes this summer and get the poisonous world of Twitter on his side if he handed Pietersen an olive branch?
    The answer is no he did not and Strauss is a strong enough figure to ignore the febrile world of social media and do, as he said on Tuesday, what he strongly believes is right for English cricket. Time will tell if his judgment is correct.
    We will not really know if he has done the right thing until 2019, when England host both the Ashes and the World Cup, but he has stuck to his principles while confirming that the powers that be at the ECB might have changed but the opposition to Pietersen remains the same.
    Verdict: OUT (but it’s still sad).

    Poisonous, febrile Twitter. The bastards, They don’t agree with me… boo effing hoo.


    • SimonH May 13, 2015 / 9:03 pm

      “We will not really know if he has done the right thing until 2019”.

      Pardon my French but that is fucking insane.

      Liked by 3 people

      • d'Arthez May 13, 2015 / 9:07 pm

        Delayed incompetence assessment for management. Who is saying that the ECB are not moving with the times?


    • alan May 13, 2015 / 9:57 pm

      Poisonous certainly describes those brain dead morons on twitter you showed us above Dmitri
      Possibly not what Newman had in mind.
      For myself I would apply that word to Newman himself along with Pringle.Brenkley Hughes and Selvey. Poisonous, vindictive,bilious, inadequate,vile, ignoramuses of hacks one and all.


      • thebogfather May 14, 2015 / 6:16 am

        me too, not necessarily for KP, but as anti ECB, pro cricket..


      • paule May 14, 2015 / 6:19 am

        Same reason. A fair few 38 degrees and Change campaign have succeeded. Don’t think this one will but I just watched Network last night and I’m mad as hell, the ECB will be kneedeep in petitions!!! etc.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. MM May 13, 2015 / 9:04 pm

    “That’s why there are some English cricket fans actively hoping for Australia to hammer England this summer”

    To alter that a tad: this cricket fan is actively hoping New Zealand AND Australia hammer Team Waitrose this summer. By an innings and inside 3 days, every time, please.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. MM May 13, 2015 / 9:08 pm

    Black suit, black tie every fancy dress Saturday. I’ve suggested that before. Now more than ever. If the ECB are happy to let 2015 slide we must acknowledge its passing in the appropriate garb.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MM May 13, 2015 / 9:50 pm

      Just what unique selling points has Cook got that KP hasn’t? Is it that right sort of family scheisse again?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Arron Wright May 13, 2015 / 9:54 pm

      Amazing. That tickerscricket tweet about the admin staff is a work of genius.


    • Simon K May 13, 2015 / 10:14 pm

      So Pietersen back, the steely deerhunter goes. What’s the downside again?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Maggie May 13, 2015 / 10:31 pm

        It’s not about the captain, it’s about the admin staff. Those expenses claims won’t file themselves you know.

        Liked by 2 people

      • paule May 14, 2015 / 11:22 am

        There really isn’t one. Cook’s form doesn’t warrant a place, his ‘leadership’, is beyond risible.


    • SimonH May 13, 2015 / 10:24 pm

      On Cook, the article says it wasn’t just him but “several players”.

      On support staff, I guess that narrows the suspects down to a couple of hundred. One possible:

      Liked by 1 person

      • LordCanisLupus May 13, 2015 / 10:26 pm

        Seen what Dobell said?

        Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH May 13, 2015 / 10:27 pm



      • SimonH May 13, 2015 / 10:35 pm

        Oops – accidental double posting there. Delete mine if you like/can.

        George saying Flower could come back (although also saying he is on holiday and out of the loop). Rory Dollard appears to say Flower doesn’t want it. Bloody hell I hope Dollard is right (which is a first).


    • Maggie May 13, 2015 / 10:39 pm

      Yes, because what England is desperately short of is not batsmen that put bums on seats but admins. I’m an admin and I’m mortified!

      Liked by 1 person

    • lionel joseph May 13, 2015 / 11:10 pm

      I would have called Cook’s bluff, for a bluff it most certainly was.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mark May 13, 2015 / 10:01 pm

      Yes, but it’s all about trust.TRUST TRUST TRUST.

      If this is true this is the most pathetic captain England have ever had.

      And it extends to “office staff.” Well that’s all right then. We wouldn’t want the office staff to feel down in the dumps. England now picks players according to whether the office staff think they are acceptable.

      We are the laughing stock of world cricket but nothing to see hear, look over there………TRUST

      Liked by 2 people

    • Simon K May 13, 2015 / 10:16 pm

      Wow, they’ve lost the embedded press. This is actually big.

      Liked by 1 person

      • LordCanisLupus May 13, 2015 / 10:43 pm

        Key players remain, trying to blame it all on Twitter. But some are definitely wavering.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. SimonH May 13, 2015 / 10:04 pm

    Ali Martin article has hints (on an “it is understood” basis) that Gillespie has concerns about accepting the coach post if offered (as he should have).

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Arron Wright May 13, 2015 / 10:05 pm

    Someone on Twitter has responded to the Mirror back page with the frankly bonkers “the media love KP and are already trying to bring down the ECB”. And then “most of the people moaning about KP wouldn’t know their off stump from their third leg”.

    P.S. It’s not Ed Smith, in case you were wondering.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Mike May 13, 2015 / 10:29 pm

    Is this when we finally find out what fiendish thing KP did to Cook and Nigel in IT?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maggie May 13, 2015 / 10:55 pm

      Filled in his expenses using a Helvetica font instead of Times New Roman

      Liked by 2 people

      • paule May 14, 2015 / 5:45 am

        It was worse. Comic sans


      • Zephirine May 14, 2015 / 9:43 am

        🙂 🙂


    • metatone May 14, 2015 / 8:09 am

      Have to say, this reminds me why I liked Flower in the first place.
      He is smart and thoughtful. And it sounds like he has learned some things.
      (Although you can read between the lines about “tricky players” you can equally read between the lines and see him admitting that he didn’t do the “culture” thing right.)


    • Mark May 13, 2015 / 11:36 pm

      Nope Sorry Simon. I can’t face listening to him again. Monday night was enough when he became an edition of the moral maze.

      What I would like to know is where these stories are coming from? I take it an insider leak? We may have to have a leak enquiry. Send for Sir Humphrey.

      It seems as though they are leaking against each other in a game of anything thing you can do I can leak better.


      • LordCanisLupus May 14, 2015 / 1:30 am

        It’s blocked. And I’m not going through the rigmarole of VPN-ing it to hear this dolt.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. dvyk May 13, 2015 / 11:19 pm

    From the post: “…know a stitch up when they see one”

    Was that a reference to Glen Maxwell calling it a stitch up (on twitter), or was it simply a case of Glen Maxwell also knowing a stitch up when he sees one?


    • thelegglance May 13, 2015 / 11:22 pm

      I fear my Twitter monitoring hasn’t extended quite as far as Glen Maxwell…


  21. thelegglance May 13, 2015 / 11:36 pm

    Interesting point in Nick Hoult’s latest that at least two board members are “livid” about the handling of the Pietersen affair.


    • amit May 14, 2015 / 6:31 am

      Didn’t read the article. can you point to it? is it livid for “Strauss not getting the message right” in the talk or for KP’s ultimate exclusion?


  22. LordCanisLupus May 14, 2015 / 1:13 am

    Another article, written by Kevin Garside.


    No. Definitely no poison in this:

    The disappointment over promises given, initially unwittingly in a Sunday morning radio interview with the BBC’s Sportsweek programme when the sleep was still in Colin Graves’s dozy eyes, and not kept met the full teenage response.

    The Graves olive branch was neither thought through nor properly articulated. But Pietersen, being the child-like boy he is, took it literally and ran off with the idea of playing for an organisation he rubbished in his book alongside players he accused of bullying. He never thought then, when his retaliatory knife went in, that the opportunity to rebadge his career with an England logo might occur again.

    It was all too good to be true. A sketchy idea tossed forth casually became a cast-iron offer in the head of Pietersen. “You promised me I could go to the fair, daddy. Mum heard you, didn’t you mum?” At this point Piers Morgan steps in to amplify the outrage, a good enough reason alone to run for the hills and leave KP and his sunshine band tooting his horn.

    He must have missed the memo about the personal phone calls etc. So, instead of checking the story, he insults one of our greatest ever players. No. Poison is just for Twitter.


    • Pontiac May 14, 2015 / 1:55 am

      It’s all tribalism.

      From my perspective, purely as a hyena who finds cricket really interesting to watch live and on TV, and read about, but who doesn’t have any other connection to the sport than that, I can accept that my perspective is not really one which ought to be catered to by the sport’s administrators.

      And I don’t really know Piers Morgan except as the guy who took over from Larry King for a while, and who might have been involved in some sort of reality singing competition TV show or something. And who seems kinda like an abrasive loudmouth, but the spittle-spewing rage he induces seems somewhat over the top based on what I have been able to observe. But in this respect, too, I can accept that I am incompletely informed and even that some things are beyond my ability to understand.

      But when they ignore plain objective facts, I can understand /that/. When someone lets their advocacy got to that level, they’re soiling themselves. I see this kind of thing all the time in US politics. The difference between what is said and what is really meant becomes more and more obvious. Facts are trimmed or made up until the article of faith finds itself cradled in a reality that supports it.

      They don’t like KP’s attitude, they don’t like his accent, and they don’t like the larger world he stands for. And they’re completely willing to pay out the capital of /wider/ legitimacy that underlies their authority – because that authority involves an external standard and some measure of consent – and fall back onto plain power.

      It must be terribly depressing to be in that team.

      In a comment on one-or-the-other Grauniad threads, MildredPlotka observed that the England team has for some time managed to maintain reasonably decent personal statistics while, as a team, underperforming.

      I think the cloud of nonsense, dishonor, and general unfairness, the constant pressure to maintain one’s own individual rationalizations in the face of the party line… this explains the style of play, general on the pitch nastiness, and the tendency to collapse. It is an absolute catalyst to self doubt and failure.

      The ECB’s power won’t last forever. And a hyena’s opinion of English cricket is of no importance. But to (constructively) behave as though the opinion of the public that pays for the game, that the opinion of the average club cricketer is of no importance – that it’s perfectly ok to effectively say to the 80 year old fan, “We don’t actually care if the last few games you see in your life are worth a damn, we’ve got other points to prove…” that’s pretty grim.

      Liked by 1 person

      • paule May 14, 2015 / 6:26 am

        Indeed, we’ve imported tribalism from the US. It’s infecting all areas of public and private life in Britain. I moved to Finland and 2010 (I’ll let others do the maths – sorry for the superfluous ‘s’ Pontiac) as I just couldn’t bear the direction of travel. Very different here, reminds me of the Britain of my youth; far more collective, less narcissism, much slower – people have holidays here. Shops close and stuff. Amazing.


      • Zephirine May 14, 2015 / 9:46 am

        Excellent post. I thought Mildred’s observation was very thought-provoking.


    • alan May 14, 2015 / 5:25 am

      Garside: Perfectly epitomising a vile ignoramus in that spew of bile. He even manages, in so classically predictable Pietersen hating style to bring in Piers Morgan. Thank God for Ian Herbert at the Independent. That crap even puts Brenkley in the shade.
      How a so called quality newspaper can publish that absurd garbage is beyond me. I buy it less these days. Much more of that and I’ll join Mark and chuck it completely.
      That moron must be in your top ten now Dmitri


    • SimonH May 14, 2015 / 10:03 am

      Thick and vicious – what a delightful combination.

      That defense of “it was early in the morning so it doesn’t really count” is genius. Garside should go into employment law with an understanding like that. As for comparing the relationship between a mega-millionaire employer and his potential employee discussing the loss of a 1/4 million contract with parents and children going to a fair what can one say? Parents can smack their children so perhaps Garside thinks Graves should have decked Pietersen as well?

      However it is still quite early so I might be talking out of my a***.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright May 14, 2015 / 10:12 am

        I can’t think of anyone else in the England team who behaves like a whiny teenager. Can anyone help at all?

        Liked by 1 person

  23. LordCanisLupus May 14, 2015 / 1:22 am

    This time, Freddie Flintoff, who despite cheesing me off with his “get behind the lads” stuff, is still interesting to read…

    There was support for him from his former England team-mate Andrew Flintoff, who said the biggest losers from Strauss’s decision not to pick Pietersen would be the supporters.
    “I don’t think Kevin would get in my top 10 most difficult players. There were some real prima donnas. But he would get in my top three best players [he’s played with],” Flintoff said on Talksport. “He can be hard work – I’ve captained him. But this happens in a dressing room and people can rub you up the wrong way from time to time.
    “I respect that he [Strauss] has made a decision and called time on it but I’m not sure I agree with his decision. I think the biggest people who are going to miss out are the fans. I’ve got young kids who want to see him [Pietersen] – they want to see players who go out there and entertain.”

    Sorry, Fred. Long-term strategy and philosophy trump this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus May 14, 2015 / 2:04 am

      Here’s another sap. Gideon Brookes in the Daily Express. He might want this back…


      And yesterday it was five minutes into a question about whether personal feelings had entered into any of the decisions so far that he reached for an analogy that summed up his approach perfectly (my emphasis).

      Sorry, this is going to disappoint you….

      “From the moment I took the job I have tried to be as objective as possible. I have tried to use the kind of life-raft as being what is in the best interests of English cricket going forward.

      “That is very much the case over Peter Moores and on the decision over Kevin Pietersen.”

      The Office is a satire on corporate life, not an instruction manual.

      Gideon, who if I were Haigh, I’d sue for having the same first name, was in rapture…

      He laid out a vision of England going forward that filled in so much detail that nobody could fail to be impressed with the grasp of the job he has displayed so early in his tenure.

      In 25 minutes we learned that Strauss believes Alastair Cook is the man to take England forward as captain this summer but with no guarantees of it extending beyond the Ashes.

      Downton did that.

      Like the management consultant he looked in his crisp blue shirt, no tie and cufflinks, Strauss insisted he will initiate a top to bottom review of the processes which produce the eleven men who step on to the field.

      But like the tough cricketer and leader he was he wants “self-reliant cricketers who take it to the opposition and put the best interests of English cricket over their own”.

      What the world needs now is more management consultants.

      Read it. It’s a blast. A paean to Strauss. The most mighty.

      UPDATE – In another article, Gideon Brookes invokes his inner Ed Smith. You know, if you are in favour of KP you are in a voluble, polarised minority (when of course we’ve been arguing it’s much deeper than that as the rumours about Gillespie show) and those who “understand his exclusion” are neutral. Take it away Gideon…

      But with every acid tweet and snipe from the sidelines, the reasons for Pietersen’s continued exclusion will be made clearer to the more neutrally minded among us.

      Get off that bloody high horse. Only I can sit there.


      • alan May 14, 2015 / 5:42 am

        Oh no. Another top ten candidate for you.
        Strauss is raised on high to join
        Cook and be worshipped and adored by the humble masses.
        Gideons bible!


      • alan May 14, 2015 / 6:30 am

        This Gideon, he couldn’t be Peter Clatworthy could he. He was in full Strauss worship mode on TFT yesterday. Apparently we should all bow down in humble apology. Let’s hope this new religion doesn’t catch on. Cook is one god too many already


  24. Arron Wright May 14, 2015 / 7:12 am

    What a tedious individual. “Facts” that, on the evidence so far presented, all come from one side. Other known facts conveniently overlooked or downplayed due to inconvenience. If I’d written history like he writes on cricket I’d have been lucky to scrape a third.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Boz May 14, 2015 / 7:59 am

      doesn’t twitter have a protocol about abuse – there’s no doubt that selvey is out of order here and in too many other posts he makes – can’t he be stopped???? He is plainly a nasty human being with grave psychological problems……….


      • Clivejw May 14, 2015 / 8:09 am

        That’s being rude rather than abuse. Can’t ban him for that. Much better that people see him for what he is.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Clivejw May 14, 2015 / 8:10 am

      “Facts” = what my chums have told me, knowing I’ll print it without question.


    • paule May 14, 2015 / 9:07 am

      Indeed. The Thomas Gradgrind school of journalism. Should we all club together and send him a copy of E.H. Carr’s ‘What is History?’ and a DVD of Rashomon? D’you think he’d appreciate that. Love the patronising ‘sunshine’ too. He’s covering himself in glory.


    • Simon K May 14, 2015 / 9:18 am

      What a nasty prick.


    • SimonH May 14, 2015 / 10:28 am

      There was also this classic from him earlier:

      Anti everything? No, just the ECB you pillock. As for not caring who he writes for, I’ll keep on hoping that maybe one day his employers might notice that.

      His comment you’ve quoted about ‘facts’ shows he can’t distinguish between fact and opinion. If they are facts, print them and stop whining about lawyers. Clearly they can’t be proven to a legal standard and must essentially be one person’s word against another’s. Selvey’s decided one person’s word is true because they are ‘good men’ and another’s is a lie because he’s a ‘c***’. That’s the difference between fact and opinion in the Selveyverse.


      • paule May 14, 2015 / 11:29 am

        This and his quoting Nigel Farage really give the game away, don’t they. I rather thought ‘speaking truth to power’ was part of the journalist’s DNA. Clearly not. Mike, like so many, speaks power to his readers. I’m reminded of Ned Beatty in Network:


    • metatone May 14, 2015 / 8:26 am

      Some pretty straightforward speech there from Boycott.
      You have to wonder why so many in the press can’t see these issues.


      • Clivejw May 14, 2015 / 9:09 am

        It’s why I love Geoffrey — he always gives it to you straight. Even his long friendship with Graves doesn’t stop him from calling it as he sees it. Bit different from the odious Selfie, who uses his press column to print his friends’ opinions and calls them “facts.”

        Liked by 2 people

      • paule May 14, 2015 / 10:02 am

        I suspect he and Pietersen are similar in that regard hence their failure to ‘fit in’ with the boy’s club which is based on dissembling and distortion: divide and rule.


    • lionel joseph May 14, 2015 / 7:54 am

      If the story in the Mirror is true, is seems odd that the ECB are happy to tolerate and yield to ultimatums from their captain about who they can and cannot work with.

      I thought there was precedent for this sort of thing, obviously it’s a case by case basis.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Tom May 14, 2015 / 7:35 am

    I wish there was a way I could move back to England this summer so I could cancel my Sky subscription (which I don’t have) and boycott all seven test matches (which I cant attend anyway). In other words, I wish I could do something. Just don’t know what it is. Maybe I can just fume, but that’s not healthy and few of my friends and colleagues will understand…

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Rav Roberts May 14, 2015 / 7:36 am

    As Ian Bell said, when asked whether he minded being called the Sherminator: “I’ve been called worse!”.


    • SimonH May 14, 2015 / 9:50 am

      In his own dressing room by the sounds of it.

      At least with Warne you didn’t have to pretend you liked the guy and then listen to him lecture you on team culture and ethics.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. volkerelle May 14, 2015 / 7:58 am

    Lovely article. Put me in mind of another person asking “Why do they hate us?” with a comparable look in his eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Arron Wright May 14, 2015 / 8:15 am

    I just ventured on to the Guardian and summed things up thus:

    “Whatever Snowball did at the Battle of the Cowshed has been outweighed by him treading on Napoleon’s trotters.”

    This is the line much of the press has been feeding us for three years. Amazing how it hasn’t washed with everyone, eh?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Arron Wright May 14, 2015 / 12:10 pm

      My first reply was “He’s still a knob though”. And the MSM moan about Pietersen’s PR campaign. Don’t worry boys, your message has certainly gained traction.


  29. metatone May 14, 2015 / 8:24 am

    Great piece TLG.

    Couple of extra thoughts:

    1) Perhaps the real “silent majority” cricket writers should be concentrating on are all those who have stopped participating in grassroots cricket?

    2) I could actually get behind someone (maybe not Strauss, after he folded in the face of strong resistance from Cook and “ECB admins”) who said “we need some long term planning” – but I’d need to see some real evidence.

    Real evidence might be resting one of Broad or Anderson from the NZ series, because it perfectly looks at the moment that we’ll bowl both into the ground before the end of the series. (Of course, if we’d been smart we’d have tried this in the WI series.) Resting at least one of them would give us some chance to search for a successor. I can accept losses that involve blooding young players and actually trying to manage injuries competently for a change…

    But that’s never what long-term planning means, instead it’s some kind of excuse to avoid taking difficult decisions or avoid dealing with difficult people.

    3) I think one of the problems people like Mike Selvey and many at the top end of the ECB have is that they think about people like Strauss as individuals. Whereas we “Outside Cricket” see the ECB as a collective, and whatever personal trust Strauss may deserve, as a representative of an organisation that has burned through trust, he gets no more trust than anyone else who would represent the ECB – that is zero – because that’s where the ECB starts.

    Liked by 2 people

    • northernlight71 May 14, 2015 / 8:32 am

      You’re a generously spirited person if you allow for the possibility that Mike Selvey demonstrates any thinking on any subject he Twitters and blogs about.

      Liked by 4 people

  30. Clivejw May 14, 2015 / 8:25 am

    Does anyone know what paper this clipping is from, which quotes an “Edgbaston attendant” who claims Pietersen was bullied and ostracized by team mates who said bad things about him and his wife?

    Truth finally coming out re KP and England dressing room. pic.twitter.com/6J1wr2ShOU— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) May 14, 2015


    • SimonH May 14, 2015 / 9:18 am

      Has to be either the Sun or the Mirror? Hopefully this’ll display:


      • Clivejw May 14, 2015 / 9:47 am

        It’s not in the online version of the Mirror. And it’s not the Express or the Mail. Guess it would be the Sun, which is behind a paywall.


    • escort May 14, 2015 / 10:54 am

      It’s from today’s “Currant Bun”
      Well worth a read.


  31. Clivejw May 14, 2015 / 8:29 am

    Also, Morgan claims that he challenged Broad and Swann to sue him if they weren’t behind the KP Genius account, and has not heard from them or their lawyers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Burly May 14, 2015 / 9:16 am

      Nah, not going to have that as proof of anything. Broad and Swann absolutely should have ignored Morgan whatever the truth of the matter.


  32. Rav Roberts May 14, 2015 / 8:41 am

    So now we know. Mavis the tea lady didn’t want Kevin back playing for England.


    • northernlight71 May 14, 2015 / 9:10 am

      It’s not so much Mavis’ fault – it’s her little dog that didn’t like him.


  33. Mark May 14, 2015 / 9:07 am

    Somewhere in the bowls of Lords…………

    “Morning Mavis”……………..

    “What are you going to do today Mavis?”
    “I’m going to make some tea for the bosses upstairs, I got some lovey new chocolate digestives. They do love um upstairs. Then I’m going to have a go cleaning this floor. Shocking it is. I’ve got a brand new mop, extra strength.

    “Fantastic Mavis I’ll let you get on, but could you just tell me who do you think should open the batting for England against New Zealnd in the first test?”
    “Oh it’s got to be Alastair hasn’t it? He’s so lovely, and so good looking. Me and my friend we really like him.”
    “Thanks Mavis!!”

    “Morning June, what are you going to be doing today?”
    “Morning, I’m going to have a go at cleaning those front windows. Terrible they are, haven’t been cleaned for a year.”
    “Tell me June who should bat at number 4 for England?”
    “Oh that’s tricky, I like that nice Joe Root, but they seem to want to bat him at 5. I guess it will have to be Bell.”
    ” what about Kevin Pietersen?”
    “Oh no, I don’t like him, upity in he? None of the girls like him, not like the captain at all. No don’t want him back in the team.”
    “Thanks June, we value your input here at the this organisation. Still happy with the £3 per hour?”

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Rav Roberts May 14, 2015 / 9:17 am

    Doris: “As long as that c**t KP ain’t allowed back ‘ere in these hallowed halls, I’m happy guv!”.


  35. Arron Wright May 14, 2015 / 9:27 am

    Dave, I love you, but I still really really don’t get this:


    • Mark May 14, 2015 / 9:42 am

      I think Vaughn had the better pace attack, but Strauss had the better spinner in Swann, Vaughn had a 5 man attack, with Giles as the blocking one end spinner, who took the odd wicket. Swann was a much more dangerous spin bowler who could bowl sides out. So England played only 4 bowlers.

      As to the batting Stauss opened in both teams with Marcus for Vaughns team and Cook when he was captain. Trott batted at 3 for Strauss and KP played for both teams. Ian Bell also batted for both teams.

      It’s a toss up for me. Better pace attack for Vaughn and better spinner for Strauss and probably a more experienced batting line up.


      • paule May 14, 2015 / 10:07 am

        Better results for Vaughan though.


    • paule May 14, 2015 / 10:06 am

      It’s just wrong isn’t it? Strauss did will but was never competitive against the top teams: flat track bullies as well as on field bullies.


      • Mike May 14, 2015 / 10:38 am

        See, these conversations, about who was the better captain, are the kind of brilliant, fun, infuriating and utterly pointlessly brilliant conversations cricket tragics/fans/enthusiasts/lovers should be having.

        The “tragedy” in sporting terms, of the last 12 months is we’ve spent all our time, quite rightly, shining a light on the machinations of the the adminstrators rather than engaging in this kind of pub talk.

        Personally, wiining away in SA and 2005 Ashes probably give Vaughan’s team the edge but beating the Aussies away was very satisfing


  36. SimonH May 14, 2015 / 9:46 am

    The Mail has Lawrence Dallaglio getting all preachy about team culture and how Pietersen shouldn’t be recalled. Leaving aside the massive differences between rugby and cricket, how about this statement:

    ‘I think when Stuart (Lancaster) took over the England rugby team he was very clear that ‘everyone makes mistakes, we all have done, some very publicly and I am willing to give certain players the benefit of the doubt – but be very clear this is the culture and environment you’re getting involved in and once you do cross the line, there’s not return’.
    ‘I think Stuart was very clear with certain players, he singled them out like Danny Care and one or two others’.

    So you talk about team culture – and then single out named players who subsequently can read all about it in the papers? FFS. No wonder Lancaster’s team are a bunch of joyless rugbybots full of ludicrous self-importance. No wonder Cook and Giles Clarke love them and took them as a model.

    Sir Clive Woodward, by the way, has written England should pick Pietersen – but what does he know?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arron Wright May 14, 2015 / 10:09 am

      That’s why I posted the Flower link earlier: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. As someone who knows little of rugby, one person I’m sick to the back teeth of hearing about in a cricket context is Stuart Lancaster. This linking of him with English cricket goes right back to Moores’s appointment, and it always comes across as a way of legitimising the triumph of managerialism and “culture” over inspiration and excitement. And it reeks so strongly of Flowerism that I can’t help believing he’s the one who left the scent for so many journalists to follow.


      • paule May 14, 2015 / 10:14 am

        And Stuart Lancaster’s yet to win anything. His record doesn’t hold up with Clive Woodward’s.


      • metatone May 14, 2015 / 11:13 am

        I don’t think it’s fair to tar “culture” with the brush of Flower and Lancaster.

        A good culture is one that could include Monty in the dressing room.
        A good culture is where senior bowlers don’t bully new team members.
        A good culture is one where players are not afraid to be honest about the state of their body, rather than playing hurt to avoid “consequences.”
        A good culture is one where jealousy doesn’t result the ostracising of talent…

        I think “culture” is a perfectly valid way to analyse what’s wrong with the England team and the ECB.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright May 14, 2015 / 11:51 am

        It’s the fetishisation of the word, and the appropriation of it to serve their own agenda (basically FO KP), I object to. See also “team ethos”, “Englishness” etc.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Mark May 14, 2015 / 10:09 am

      Lawrence Dallaglios comparison is cobblers. England rugby players were disgracing themselves in public places. Getting drunk. Diving into harbours. Has KP done any of these things? No.

      What KP has done is want to improve the team by getting better coaches, and he wanted better things for himself sure, like an IPL contract. This was denied him yet 5 year on the ECB have come round to his way of thinking. He also warned that England were playing too much cricket chasing Giles Clarkes money is everything policy. KP warned of the burn out and the injuries that would come. Bizarrely the coach Flower was worried about his own burn out and wanted a lesser schedule for himself.

      Certain players in the dressing room hated him, because as far as I can see were jealous of him and his financial rewards.


      • metatone May 14, 2015 / 11:10 am

        Don’t forget the dwarf tossing…

        Liked by 2 people

    • Burly May 14, 2015 / 12:56 pm

      He singled out Danny Care because Danny Care got himself in the papers for getting arrested for getting drunk and urinating in public.

      Lancaster handled it perfectly – made it very clear to Care he’d cost himself a place in the squad in the short term, and that things needed to change if he was going to be back. Care responded and played some of his best rugby for England a year later.

      If someone publicly screws up, then publicly deal with it how you see fit. Lancaster didn’t throw him under a bus!


  37. thelegglance May 14, 2015 / 10:10 am

    Blimey, Bell’s gone miles off message. He’s actually said England are weaker without Pietersen.


    • thelegglance May 14, 2015 / 10:12 am

      “If he keeps scoring runs maybe there’s a position in time.”


    • Arron Wright May 14, 2015 / 10:14 am

      Team bonding exercise leak in 5…4…3…2…1


  38. Rav Roberts May 14, 2015 / 10:26 am

    The Shermintor is back!


  39. thelegglance May 14, 2015 / 10:30 am

    I’m trying to find an article with detailed quotes. Never seen any England player be so forthright about it before. He’s said he should be given the chance to fight his way back into the team.

    Ian bloody Bell doing this!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arron Wright May 14, 2015 / 10:44 am

      “There will come a day, I promise, when we don’t have to say the words ‘Kevin’ or ‘Pietersen’ any more. May that day come soon. For now, alas, like a tickly cough, or an annoying song, or the smell of a dead mouse as it lies rotting on a hot water pipe, the name of Pietersen lingers on. And on.

      He has become the Rasputin of English cricket: no matter how many different ways they try to whack him, the c*** (Andrew Strauss’s word, not mine) won’t die.”

      I’m sorry (I’m not) but this is fucking disgusting. I have *never* seen anything like this in 35 years following sport.

      “”But Dan!” I hear you bleat, as though KP’s cheerleader and best ‘bud’ Piers Morgan had popped his hand up your bum and were operating you like a glove-puppet, “Kevin Pietersen is a great English batsmen, who was unjustly dropped for whistling! He represents our only hope of regaining the Ashes this summer! He has been unfairly singled out by the ECB: a pariah merely on the basis of his obnoxious, self-regarding, childish, guileless personality instead of his cricketing record and… and… and… it’s not fair!””

      It doesn’t get any better, does it? For those who haven’t clicked on the link, these are the FIRST FOUR PARAGRAPHS and I haven’t even read any further yet.


      • Roger May 14, 2015 / 10:56 am



      • amit May 14, 2015 / 11:06 am

        The truth as someone else has pointed out before, is that there was never an expectation from people with right sort of families, that KP would give up IPL, secure a county and then score as many runs as he did to put himself up in contention. They had truly written the obituaries with “we told you, he was finished”. The expectations were that he would die and go away quietly.

        But the 355* was like the tail risk that wasn’t budgeted for.
        It has knocked the wind out of everyone’s guts.
        Now with their whole hypothesis proven incorrect, there’re no pillars to construct the bridge on.

        As for Cook (I actually like the moniker sheep) we have known him to be a sturdy bat in the past albeit in a decline, not too dissimilar to KP.
        We have also known that he is a lousy skipper.
        But, I didn’t actually think he would stoop so low as to issue ultimatums.
        I stand corrected.
        Andy Flower. Nuff said.

        Liked by 1 person

      • keyserchris May 14, 2015 / 11:07 am

        I know, I’ve read it all, but for sanity my mind’s safety mechanism has already forgotten most of it.

        Would like to think Tom Collomosse has a harsh word for his colleague when he sees that

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mike May 14, 2015 / 11:26 am

        The point Cambridge educated historian Dan Jones is spectacularly missing is in the furore is that apparently you can only play for England if:
        a) Cook likes you
        b) unnamed “admin” staff (Hello Andy Flower) like you
        c) You haven’t lost the ECB’s trust
        d) form and ability don’t really factor into selection

        If it was Sainted Cook who was being excluded because of a cabal of state school educated shell suit wearing wide boys had taken over the ECB, what would the reaction be.

        Why can’t these people see beyond their own dislike of Pietersen, a dislike they are perfectly entitled to harbour if they wish, to see that this farce betrays a deep cancerous rotten core at the top of how our game is run?

        The sneering and character assasination ultimately reflects poorly only on him and betrays a contempt for a large percentage of people who want to watch the best players play and couldn’t give a hoot about “culture” or “trust” or any other bullshit comparsion with the fucking All Blacks or Stuart I’ve yet to win anything Lancaster.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine May 14, 2015 / 11:32 am

      Why is it all right to describe Pietersen like this? why do editors allow journalists to call him a fruit-fly or the smell of a dead mouse? Have we ever seen this kind of epithet used about other athletes with difficult personalities? Did they write things like this about Gascoigne or Best when they were falling-down drunk? or footballers who beat their wives?

      Even though distinguished players from cricket and other sports have leaped to his defence in recent days, it really is as if Pietersen is in the virtual stocks and it’s permitted, indeed encouraged, to throw anything you like at him.

      Frankly, it amounts to bullying. Quite, quite bizarre.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Roger May 14, 2015 / 12:05 pm

        I’m writing a letter of complaint to his editor. He can’t get away with that


  40. Rav Roberts May 14, 2015 / 10:49 am

    Circling the wagons… again lol


  41. SimonH May 14, 2015 / 10:50 am

    Speculation on Twitter who might be the “several players” who threatened to walk if Pietersen was recalled. Morgan reckons it wasn’t Anderson but might be Broad. Lizzy Ammon reckons it wouldn’t be Broad but might be Anderson.

    It’s been pointed out that Strauss ruled out Cook as a factor on his decision so if what the Mirror are reporting is true then that was, errrrr, not exactly the full picture.

    New Geek&Friend has been posted.


    • Zephirine May 14, 2015 / 11:43 am

      Supposing that there actually were several players and all those admin staff, and they weren’t just as real as all those ‘senior players’ that Downton talked to, i.e. they consisted of Cook, Cook and Cook with Flower hovering in the background.


      • SimonH May 14, 2015 / 12:24 pm

        I would be genuinely surprised if there wasn’t at least one other player involved. I’m no Cook fan but I don’t think it would be tenable if he were that isolated. I would guess, given his role in the Melbourne team meeting and other things, that most probably Downton also asked Prior. I doubt it went much further. This time what would a senior player (or players) do if cornered by Cook and possibly another and asked to back a resignation threat? Saying ‘no’ would have massive consequences for you whereas saying ‘yes’ knowing it was a bluff almost certain not to be called would be the much safer option.

        The rot starts with the notion the senior players can select who they play with. They’ve been treated like co-members of a management group rather than players down a chain of command for too long and it has bred this intense cliqueyness and narcissism. Flower’s idea that players take more responsibility sounds great until you realise this is what it leads to.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Zephirine May 14, 2015 / 1:01 pm

        Northern – yes, doing the mood-hoovering in the background like a tyrannical cleaning lady…. and kicking the fridge from time to time.

        I love that nickname of Flower as ‘the fridge-kicker’, only found out about it recently. It dates back to when he was Moores’s deputy, I think.


      • paule May 14, 2015 / 2:55 pm

        To Simon H:

        Something Darren Lehman nipped in the bud immediately.


      • SimonH May 14, 2015 / 3:28 pm

        Lizzy Ammon has since tweeted that apart from Strauss and Cook the rest are ‘meh’ about it. John Etheridge thinks more dislike him than that – but not to the extent of sacrificing their careers about it.


    • thelegglance May 14, 2015 / 11:15 am

      “As a bloke, would I have faith in him and trust him? Yes I would.”


      • volkerelle May 14, 2015 / 11:18 am

        Shame he is talking about Strauss there, the comma-director, one of the emperors-without-clothes.


    • Grumpy Gaz May 14, 2015 / 11:21 am

      “while Strauss was battling to justify snubbing the South Africa-born player across town at Lord’s.”

      They just can’t help themselves can they? Can’t remember Jordan being referred to as Barbadian-born, Ballance as Zimbabwian-born, the New Zealand-born Ben Stokes or of course Eoin Morgan.

      I also wonder if it occurred to the idiot that wrote it that Strauss is also South Africa-born! Fuckwits!


      • Zephirine May 14, 2015 / 11:41 am

        Not to mention the Zimbabwean Flower.


      • Amit Garg May 14, 2015 / 3:40 pm

        Can someone compile this list of “foreign” players who played for England?


      • BoerInAustria May 14, 2015 / 3:41 pm

        Andy Flower – South African Born

        PS — took a few days holiday and …. F*ck! Still catching up with all this. Or did I miss a time warp and we went back in time?


      • d'Arthez May 14, 2015 / 5:49 pm

        New additions:

        Ben Stokes (New Zealand)
        Gary Ballance (Zimbabwe)
        Sam Robson (Australia)
        Chris Jordan (Barbados)

        Missing on the list:
        Eoin Morgan (Ireland)


    • Zephirine May 14, 2015 / 11:39 am

      “Certainly English cricket is not in the place we’d like. We’ve had some really good times, but the last 12 months has been tough, on and off the field it’s not been great. Now we have to change that.”

      Ian Bell, master of understatement.

      Actually it’s a good interview, he’s a bit of a diplomat is Bell. Nothing there they could hang him with but he’s scrupulously fair.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tuffers86 May 14, 2015 / 4:46 pm

        Which is why he should be the bloody captain. England right now needs a MJK Smith, one to let the young players find themselves rather than be dictated into robots and two, because the laissez faire approach might just win a few hearts and minds back.

        Why wasn’t Cook here to front up? Broad pulled a sickie. Hiding again.

        Liked by 1 person

      • thebogfather May 14, 2015 / 4:54 pm


        Cook is busy ‘lambing’ and deerKPstalking/shooting….. Broad was there but backed away behind the Waitrose hoarding


      • Zephirine May 14, 2015 / 5:04 pm

        Cook wasn’t safe in front of the cameras because he would have given away what a personal issue it is for him and how much his considerable ego is involved.

        Liked by 1 person

      • thebogfather May 14, 2015 / 5:13 pm

        @Zeph it would also have meant him having to convey his superiority to us bilious inadequates… too much of an unnecessary effort.

        Still waiting to hear whether Graves will speak tomorrow on his ‘coronation’ day…


      • Ann Weatherly-Barton (@xpressanny) May 14, 2015 / 9:07 pm

        And they tell us that he would not make a good captain. Well in the interview stakes he is a damn sight better than Cook anyway of the week.


  42. volkerelle May 14, 2015 / 11:15 am

    Ian Bell, delicately late-cutting the “message” to bloody ribbons. Something must be done!


  43. Rav Roberts May 14, 2015 / 11:43 am

    Giles’ reign ‘ends’ in an omnishambles with England failing at Test, ODI and T20, a huge number of fans alienated, and the best players NOT being picked now an ECB policy.

    What a legacy Giles has left!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine May 14, 2015 / 11:48 am

      And has he really gone?


      • d'Arthez May 14, 2015 / 11:53 am

        No promoted upwards after he had presided over massive omnishambles. Like Flower. At some point the ECB will run out of positions to promote incompetents to.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Zephirine May 14, 2015 / 12:00 pm

        Exactly, d’Arthez – positions which enable them to continue exerting influence or even power. There’s obviously all sorts of stuff going on within the ECB and Colin Graves’s position is odd to say the least – he seemed to be brought in to be the anti-Clarke but has he now changed tack? Is Clarke really letting go?

        Meanwhile sensible journalists and observers say that Flower is still ‘a very influential figure’.

        These people are going to go on playing stupid games while English cricket is bought out from under their noses. And perhaps that will be the best thing for the sport.


      • d'Arthez May 14, 2015 / 12:21 pm

        The bigger worry for me is that this willful mismanagement of the game will result in more limited interest. At first corporate gigs may mask that. At some point, probably in the not-to-distant future hardly anyone inside the ground will pay any attention to what is going on there, except when the camera is aimed on specific members of the audience (just to let the people “home” know that you were there). But the appeal will decrease. That will result in more limited turnover (through rights, through fixtures), decreased public participation.

        This will pose a threat to standards as well, which may well mean that England end up playing the South African rejects, the Zimbabwean exiles, and the occasional Australian that did not make it in the Sheffield Shield, or British Indian (who are playing the games in huge numbers recreationally) who flunked law or medical school.
        In short the kind of Kolpak filled teams that the English fans presumably abhorred in county cricket. The kind of “English” team that Cook and Giles Clarke supposedly do not want. People will be lured by the pay, rather than a real attachment to England.

        Couple that with the huge debts most counties now have, having redeveloped the grounds to possibly host international fixtures. The fact is that the counties receive more money from Sky than they can spend on players’ wages. And still they struggle to stay afloat.

        From a business perspective, it makes little to no sense to run a CCC. It is a losing proposition, and your exposure is rather limited, certainly compared to football and rugby.

        The problem with short-termism, is that people pay too much attention to the subgoals, and lose track of the bigger picture. Clarke’s reign of (t)error is one example of that.


    • Ann Weatherly-Barton (@xpressanny) May 14, 2015 / 9:16 pm

      A fine bloody mess. And it is said that it was Clarke & Graves who made the decision about KP. It is also alleged that the other board members are seething because such a decision didn’t come to the full board. I see trouble brewing. Time for the ECB to be taken over by an independent board with no members from the right sort of family unless they have the management skill of Brearley. In addition to members of the public voted for by the public.

      All this rubbish about Administrative staff being unhappy is just yet another ECB leak, like the one about KP returning all his ECB gifts to them? That was a lie.

      Bell said in that interview that he didn’t see anything untoward in the dressing room? So how can that be with the other senior players leaking their stuff. Bell is so quiet most of the time and hardly ever says anything about anything. My feeling is that when Bell says something about what has or hasn’t happened the press should listen to him.


  44. Rav Roberts May 14, 2015 / 12:19 pm

    ECB annual revenues are apparently £140m. That’s peanuts in the grand scheme of things. Wonder if a LBO could be arranged, swiftly followed by a very public and humiliating sacking of Strauss, Flower, Glies and Cook?

    Just a thought..



  45. paule May 14, 2015 / 12:25 pm

    “You’d be crazy to apply for the England coach’s role because with a director, you are the man the establishment is going to kick. You’re going to have no control whatsoever,” Hayden told the BBC.


    • Ann Weatherly-Barton (@xpressanny) May 14, 2015 / 9:26 pm

      And Matty Hayden is absolutely right. Of course Gillespie would have no say in the players and basically no power to get on with the job.

      This however flies in the face of what Vaughan said was a “limited” job. Not saying Vaughan was telling porkies, but it leads me, rightly or wrongly, to believe that what Vaughan was offered is not the job Strauss has now got. That in turn leads me to believe that the ECB never did want Vaughan or Stewart. By limiting the job to Vaughan he left the “circus” and in comes Strauss with a more or less free hand, whereby the coach’s job is now limited. I am sure you have all come to that conclusion as well but it has been on my mind now for a few days.

      I utterly loath the ECB and have zero respect for Graves, and the cry babies: Cook and Strauss. Before long he will be seen for what he truly is and hopefully sooner rather than later.


  46. Mark May 14, 2015 / 12:41 pm

    Ian Bell has just shown himself to be more, captain material than captain Doofus. Funny how they leaked all those managment test failures of his. The tests must be a crap tool for judging a players leadership ability, because he is way out in front of Mr Entitlement. Can we start linking The ECB with Sky in one logo? Sky/ECB or SKYECB or ECBSKY has a ring to it.

    As the layers of the onion at the ECB are getting peeled away we get closer to the real source of all the problems. Can you guess who it is yet?

    Finally I’m so glad I don’t contribute to Kevin Garside salary anymore. If there was ever an example of the meme “jack of all trades master of none” it’s him.

    Liked by 2 people

    • SimonH May 14, 2015 / 3:12 pm

      Broad was scheduled to take the press call but called in sick leaving it to Bell.

      Not sure i trust him.


    • Ann Weatherly-Barton (@xpressanny) May 14, 2015 / 9:27 pm

      Glad to say he is getting a right pasting by commenters including me. The man needs to lie down before he self-combusts with all his lies and innuendo and abuse.


  47. amit May 14, 2015 / 12:43 pm

    Read Mark Nicholas on Cricinfo and man, did he write some tosh.
    I usually like his writing, but this one was well…

    As an outsider, if i never knew his cricketing background, this article confirmed that was a product of the ECB with may be a private school background.

    He says England can shut up everyone by winning. No, they can’t.
    It may prove that the current lot is up for test cricket, which is good indeed, but victory won’t necessarily make their reprehensible leaks away, nor their shabby treatment of Moores or KP or any number of players in recent years. This may mask a few problems at ECB, but it won’t shut people up.


    • LordCanisLupus May 14, 2015 / 12:49 pm

      Thought he’d butt in. Never misses a big story. A shame he’s absolute crap but hey ho. This isn’t a game for meritocracy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nick May 14, 2015 / 3:12 pm

        Terrible article by Simon Barnes as well, which is a real shame. I’m reading Frances Edmonds’ account of the ’85 WI tour at the moment, and she goes into detail about the damage caused by Barnes’ biography of her husband which came out just before the tour, and which some of the other players saw as a betrayal.

        She protests that the worst of it was written by Barnes without Phil’s involvement, and although she’s much more interested in wit than the truth, you would have thought Barnes would have had a bit more sympathy for tell-all biographies that infuriate team-mates, particularly as his was written for someone who was still in the team.

        Comment to this effect not published by Cricinfo…


      • metatone May 15, 2015 / 8:26 am

        @Amit – Zaltzman’s phrase – cricketer of unbelievable natural talent gave me a dark chuckle.


    • Ann Weatherly-Barton (@xpressanny) May 14, 2015 / 9:29 pm

      I read that and tried to post but I was so incensed with him that I went on too long. As is my wont so to do. Bloody hell he really did get my goat more than Garside. I used to like him on C4 C5. It seems strange really that the past 2 years has really shown just how truly awful and hypocritical a lot of these people are. They are all so disgusting.


  48. Roger May 14, 2015 / 12:53 pm

    Ian Bell;

    “So when [Test skipper Cook] decides not to do it any more, we’ve got a guy who’s already been involved in decisions and being involved in leadership skills.”

    That’s the only way he’ll lose the captaincy!


  49. Arron Wright May 14, 2015 / 1:48 pm

    Who was it said he sounds like a speak your weight machine?

    When asked how the ECB have continually played all this so badly, MS replies:

    “abysmal pr and lawyers”


    • Roger May 14, 2015 / 1:55 pm

      Compare Bell’s reaction to losing the vice captaincy with Fauntleroy’s reaction to losing the ODI captaincy

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ann Weatherly-Barton (@xpressanny) May 14, 2015 / 9:31 pm

        Indeed. Me and old man have always admired Bell. When you read the usual suspects in the press they are always having a go at him. I despise these rotten to the core press miscreants.


  50. thelegglance May 14, 2015 / 1:49 pm

    Oh how sweet:

    Truly pathetic, but sweet.


    • Arron Wright May 14, 2015 / 1:56 pm

      Spoken like a man who never has to ask himself which side of his bread is buttered.


      • amit May 14, 2015 / 2:03 pm

        or may be that’s why he can empathize 😉


    • amit May 14, 2015 / 1:59 pm

      What an a$$! When is he going the Pringle way?


      • amit May 14, 2015 / 2:00 pm

        He can’t mod me here. can he? hehehe

        Liked by 1 person

      • thelegglance May 14, 2015 / 2:05 pm

        Now that would scare everyone – a note under a post saying “modded by Selvey”. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    • paule May 14, 2015 / 3:00 pm

      What a tosser. He might interrogate other players’ management arrangements. Don’t Cook and Strauss share the same agent? But that might entail some proper journalism rather than talking to your mates down the pub.


    • Simon K May 14, 2015 / 3:21 pm

      What a nasty, bitter little man he is. The Guardian surely can’t indulge his prejudices for much longer. I did note that their KP coverage this week has been exponentially more balanced than in the past, and that Selvey’s bilious tirade dropped off the cricket pages rather swiftly.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ann Weatherly-Barton (@xpressanny) May 14, 2015 / 9:35 pm

        I see that the comments on his pieces has severely reduced given the excessive modding. Ali Martin on the other hand is far better and nowhere near the modding of Selfey’s pieces. Selfey is like a bitter and twisted old man. Sad really as he used to write some good stuff now it is just complete rubbish.


  51. Mark May 14, 2015 / 2:37 pm

    I have to hand it to posters like Arron and SimonH, and many more of you who battle Selvey BTL. I can’t be bothered to get involved. He has been wrong about everything. He attributes bad motives to anyone he disagrees with. He talks to people in an abrupt. pompous manner.

    All their arguments are bogus. They keep using the texgate thing in 2012. But from the moment they brought KP back into the team that argument is over. If texting was akin to cheating on your wife then they should not have brought him back. But they did because they wanted him to score runs in India, which he delivered.

    The only thing they have on him from Australia is he looked disinterested. Well England are 4-0 down.,the number 3 went home after the first test match. After the 3rd test match the Ashes had gone. The spin bowler has retired and buggered off from the tour. Frankly I would be disinterested.

    They say he can’t come back because they don’t trust him and they claim is a moral bankrupt can be offered an advisory role in the ODI squad. This is nonsense. Selvey you have no argument worth a toffee.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Roger May 14, 2015 / 2:42 pm

      They seem to have given up the “disinterested” argument, as it’s blown away by “top scorer in the series”.


      • amit May 14, 2015 / 2:48 pm

        :nut_and_bolt: missing at ECB thinktank.

        :chart_with_downwards_trend: is read as

        Liked by 1 person

    • SimonH May 14, 2015 / 2:48 pm

      Mark, I don’t battle him BTL and am trying to boycott his threads – but mistakenly I posted some comments this time because there have been so many threads recently I forgot which one I was on! Also it may have been early morning and, using the Kevin Garside defense, therefore it didn’t count.

      The most depressing thing (or one of them) in the threads was how many still apparently believe Pietersen betrayed team secrets in 2012.

      My favourite ridiculous comment was one that claimed Mark Cosgrove dropped Pietersen deliberately as part of an Australian plot to destroy English cricket. (Regular Guardian readers may be able to guess who that was – and would not be far wrong).


      • paule May 14, 2015 / 3:04 pm

        Yes, I saw that. Deluded.


      • dvyk May 14, 2015 / 4:48 pm

        Careful with the way you use the word “boycott” — that may soon be taking on a new meaning!


    • lionel joseph May 14, 2015 / 4:09 pm

      The only thing they have on him from Australia is he looked disinterested. Well England are 4-0 down.,the number 3 went home after the first test match. After the 3rd test match the Ashes had gone. The spin bowler has retired and buggered off from the tour. Frankly I would be disinterested.

      you missed the bit about him being completely failed by his fellow batsmen in Melbourne which effectively rubber stamped the whitewash.


    • Ann Weatherly-Barton (@xpressanny) May 14, 2015 / 9:39 pm

      Nor moi Mark. Because of my comments on his rubbish I became part of the pre-modded gang. I think it is because the moderators have our handle and it gets flagged up and bingo whatever you say your comment is removed. I wrote to them 3 times and said I did not want to have my name associated with such a corrupt newspaper that doesn’t like free speech. Told them I would sooner go over and subscribe to the DT and at least be able to say something without being modded all of the time. Funny thing is, well it was to me, I went on our other computer and went in on a number and lo and behold my comment remained there! Showing that the Guardian and/or Selfey definitely over modd. Basically chaps and chapesses, they have our number!!!


  52. Arron Wright May 14, 2015 / 3:04 pm

    Exciting Test squad eh?


    • metatone May 14, 2015 / 3:12 pm

      Alastair Cook (capt, Essex), Adam Lyth (Yorkshire), Gary Ballance (Yorkshire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Jos Buttler (wkt, Lancashire), Chris Jordan (Sussex), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Mark Wood (Durham)


      • metatone May 14, 2015 / 3:15 pm

        Wood for Jordan, Lyth for Trott the only changes?
        (And they may yet give Jordan another go…)


      • Grumpy Gaz May 14, 2015 / 4:16 pm

        Adam Lyth; dead man walking, sorry mate 😦

        Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez May 14, 2015 / 3:16 pm

      The only thing that was missing was (drinks carrier) behind the name of Wood. They tried it with Cook for the World Cup preliminary squad, after all …


      • man in a barrel May 14, 2015 / 5:43 pm

        I think that Tredwell is a more authoritative drinks’ carrier than anyone in world cricket. He has been specially trained by the ECB in this crucial role and has years of experience. The side never looks right without Tredders carrying the drinks.


    • Roger May 14, 2015 / 3:50 pm

      Sadly, quite a few of those players were exciting when they first broke into the team.


  53. Nick May 14, 2015 / 3:20 pm

    Great article.


  54. Grumpy Gaz May 14, 2015 / 4:53 pm

    How’s the blog traffic LCL? We anywhere near last year with all this drama yet? 🙂


  55. Zephirine May 14, 2015 / 5:14 pm

    Grant Elliott at the press conference:

    I asked Belly beforehand: ‘Is it always like this?’ and he replied: ‘Yeah, pretty much.’

    I just love that.


  56. Arron Wright May 14, 2015 / 5:15 pm

    At cricket charity event tonight with Agnew hosting. Stuart Broad has pulled out due to illness. Replaced not by Belly, but by his delightful father. Will try and post updates if anything interesting said.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebogfather May 14, 2015 / 5:32 pm

      Arron – Iff only you could ask Agnew what the ‘trust’ things that Strauss intimated that Agnew knew, but Agnew didn’t follow up by asking him to elaborate for the public…


  57. dvyk May 14, 2015 / 5:49 pm

    Just saw this on twitter–

    “@ashsaha79: How Ironic that @KP24 left SA years ago so he could play in a country where players get picked on merit @ECB_cricket #shameful”

    @ecb seems to be receiving rather a lot of tweets at the moment.


    • thebogfather May 14, 2015 / 5:57 pm

      but, as with all their statements about ‘improving public relations’ – no-one gets a reply… still, Graves is enthroned tomorrow, I’m sure he’ll quickly dispel any fears we outside have…


      • dvyk May 14, 2015 / 6:30 pm

        Any idea what he’s got up his sleeve? I suppose he won’t say “I’m mortified. I apologise unreservedly to Kevin. I just didn’t realise that thanks to Giles’ backing, Cooky has the power to veto anything I say. Christ, even the backroom staff have more power than I do. I was wrong to assume to that the team would want to win. I apologise to the fans and tender my resignation.”

        As far as I can see it will be either “Kevin misunderstood and I hadn’t noticed he’d come back to county cricket, or I would have said something earlier.” Or perhaps most likely — “He hasn’t been sacked. He might still play in the future. There’s nothing more to discuss.”

        Or ????

        I think he should resign. He’s been shafted by Cook and his position is untenable.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Roger May 14, 2015 / 6:39 pm

        I think he has two options; blame everything on a scorched-earth policy by Giles Clarke and sack Strauss and Harrison, or resign.

        But yeah, he’ll probably say it was an unfortunate misunderstanding blown out of proportion and we should look forward to the exciting future.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Boz May 14, 2015 / 6:42 pm

        Quite! I’m sure he’ll march into his freshly hoovered, polished and air-freshened office, put his overcoat on the back of the chair, roll his shirt sleeves up and call for a nice cup of tea, sit quietly and reflectively, ask for a call to be put through to Geoffrey Boycott, await the call and answer by stating “now Geoffrey, what the fuck am I doing here?”

        Liked by 1 person

      • thebogfather May 14, 2015 / 6:43 pm

        there is no news from ECB or MSM as to whether he’s even making an appearance tomorrow – no leaks, seeps, or even a dribbly bit…


      • Roger May 14, 2015 / 6:49 pm

        When trying to predict the next ECB action in the absence of any leaks/seeps/dribbles, it’s usually best to ask;

        “What would be the most disgusting, shameless and despicable thing they could possibly say/do?”

        Call KP back for another meeting, and sack him again?


      • Grumpy Gaz May 14, 2015 / 7:07 pm

        @DVYK He said a clean slate. Not getting picked becuase of past trust issues is not a clean slate.


      • dvyk May 14, 2015 / 7:38 pm

        I really can’t see how he can back out of it.

        It will also be interesting to see how all the Cook bootlickers in the press deal with him. They’re furious with him for inviting KP back in the first place, and even more furious with him because he frightened poor baby Cookie with nasty thoughts. They’re not likely to let it drop either.

        I think I’d bet on him simply saying nothing.


      • Grumpy Gaz May 14, 2015 / 8:03 pm

        He cost England’s leading international run scorer a £250,000 contract because he gave him what turned out to be false assurances.

        That’s pretty damning; your first major action as head of the ECB is to show your word is worthless and you cost a player, who has been instrumental in this countries cricketing successes over the last decade, a hell of a lot of money.


      • MM May 14, 2015 / 9:14 pm

        Graves currently ain’t worth a damn. He says anything – it can’t be believed. Does he genuinely have power? If YES he reiterates the clean slate and shows Strauss Harrison and Cook who’s the daddy. If NO, he’ll blabber on about moving forwards, young team, 2019, trust issues…

        We’ll know tomorrow, either way.

        Someone in this septic wound of a sporting organisation is gonna have to put their head up outta the pus and cry ‘enough’. In a massively gentle way, I thought Ian Bell was trying to do that. If Gillespie actually vocalises a reason not to be England coach, the wall may start to properly crumble.

        I’ve got a feeling, 7-nil aside, Strauss and Cook won’t make Christmas in situ.

        And just how young is this England team? I’m guessing 27 is the average. Not exactly in nappies.


    • Ann Weatherly-Barton (@xpressanny) May 14, 2015 / 9:44 pm

      The ECB twitter page has been modded due to the amount of “abuse” the ECB say they have been getting. Not half as bad as the abuse that KP and his wife have been getting I’ll wager.


  58. Arron Wright May 14, 2015 / 8:08 pm


    More to follow….


    • Zephirine May 14, 2015 / 8:27 pm

      Is that a term of praise or blame? Just checking…


  59. Clivejw May 14, 2015 / 8:31 pm

    As John Etheridge tweeted, the ECB’s silence over KP’s allegations are a tacit admission that they are at least broadly correct. They have piled treachery on treachery, misled, humiliated, and belittled our greatest player, and they dare to talk of trust. It stinks.


  60. SimonH May 14, 2015 / 9:10 pm

    “Kevin Pietersen remains the name on everyone’s lips and it has become increasingly clear that his absence could hamper the search for a new coach to replace the sacked Peter Moores”.

    And again:-
    “Strauss recognised that it would not be universally popular but he might not have factored in the prospect that potential coaches might be unwilling to take the job. There are wide mutterings that he has already been too prescriptive….. One of the top names on his list for coach, Jason Gillespie, Yorkshire’s coach, may have wanted much more of a free hand”.

    Hang on – did I dream Brenkley repeatedly pushing for the ECB to say the c*** is never going to play again for England? Did he not quite think it through? Now the joy of hearing Pietersen being told to do one is wearing off it isn’t looking quite so clever?

    Watch out – you might get what you’re after…..


    • dvyk May 14, 2015 / 9:40 pm

      Brenkley– ““Strauss… might not have factored in the prospect that potential coaches might be unwilling to take the job.”

      If Strauss didn’t think of that he’s even stupider than he sounds when he opens his mouth.

      But I think that was all part of the deal. There is absolutely no place in the ECB at the moment for a powerful clear-thinking coach making decisions based on winning games.

      Flower was given too much power and bent everything so far out of shape that the only kind of person who would fit in now is a yes-man who feels he owes them a favour and will support Cooky. Strauss will never call Gillespie or anyone else.

      When they talk about “stability” really they’re only referring to their own positions.


      • Ann Weatherly-Barton (@xpressanny) May 14, 2015 / 9:49 pm

        I rather suspect that Strauss’ stupidity was what the ECB required. Another nose with a ring on the end being pulled round by the ECB. Which is why Vaughan didn’t want the job. He could see what would happen. Strauss wanted to look the Big I Am. He doesn’t even care if England loses two tests because his job is safe: “I’m fireproof!” Can you imagine a Premier team manager saying such things? Did he and Clownton’s brother think they would get away with saying such things not have it leaked to the press? Unbelievable. If Strauss thinks that his “building for the future” gambit is going to wash with the fans, then he is in for a very sticky time. Bring it on I say.

        Liked by 1 person

  61. Zephirine May 14, 2015 / 9:21 pm


    It seems that a revitalised T20 contest is very high on the agenda of both Colin Graves and Tom Harrison – who quite possibly got the CEO job because of his past experience in setting up and marketing T20 competitions.

    They could have access to the knowledge of a world-class expert in T20 who regularly plays in the most successful competitions world-wide. Indeed, it looks as if Harrison thought this person would be ready and willing to have his brains picked (“we want to work with you”).

    Only they screwed him over to please Cooky and Straussy and now he won’t help them. Sorry, guys. It’s a trust issue.


    • Rohan May 14, 2015 / 9:37 pm

      This is exactly what I mean in my comment below! Wow, wow and wow, this is gonna blow big time at some point, surely…….


    • dvyk May 14, 2015 / 10:10 pm

      Great, so Cook threatens to resign if KP calls him Ned Flanders again, and goes out and fails and loses the match and fails to win a “must-win” series…. and gets his way. KP gets 350 and plays one of the best Sanga has ever seen, and gets shafted.

      And the reason they hate him so much is that he complained openly about double standards. Though only wrote about it after they wrongly sacked him.

      Yep, as that county exec said, it’s worse than Stanford-gate where they got sucked into a Ponzi scheme.

      (Is there a chapter in Moneyball on how to deal with this kind of thing?)


      • SimonH May 14, 2015 / 10:57 pm

        The ECB suffered grievously because of Stanford. All those resignations.

        Hang on a moment……

        Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez May 14, 2015 / 10:13 pm

      So, now it is okay for Cook to hold KP accountable for the behaviour of his fans? Okay …


  62. Rohan May 14, 2015 / 9:31 pm

    Well well well. We all knew that if Strauss was to shut the door on KP, that it would come back to bite him. We all knew that it would be a PR disaster, we all knew Strauss would fudge the explanation. We all knew this could impact on the future employment of a world class coach. We all knew it was wrong, not because we necessarily wanted KP back, but because selection must be open, fair and based on picking your best players, not based on ‘trust’. What we did not expect (well at least I didn’t), however, was how horrendously, terribly, atrociously even this would go for Strauss and the ECB. Did anyone else foresee the resultant Twitter, MSM, public, ex-player and even current player reaction bring so damning? I am actually shocked at how bad it is, but in a good way…………..could we really be on to something this time. Something has to give, when Bell is basically saying enough is enough KP should be available, you know things are not right.


    • Zephirine May 14, 2015 / 10:28 pm

      300 not out is a Roy of the Rovers dream and every batsman at every level can imagine what it would be like – and how it would feel to have that spoiled for you on the very same day. Not to understand the emotional impact of that on the public is startlingly stupid, especially from someone who was a top level batsman himself.


      • Rohan May 14, 2015 / 10:34 pm

        Very good point and therein lies a major stumbling block. They do not realise we are emotionally invested in the team. That as supporters we desperately want them to win and do well, it is our team as much as the ECBs, which they just don’t understand! Hence the ludicrous decisions….


      • Roger May 14, 2015 / 11:14 pm

        This might be finally reaching “critical mass”


  63. amit May 15, 2015 / 8:56 am

    thanks for links to the list. i am about to use this reference hence forth.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s