Statement Of The Oblivious

You know when there is trouble ahead. When an ECB press statement is delayed is a pretty decent indication that this one is a bit tricky. The last time one of these was delayed like this we got the gems of outside cricket and the moaning from the ECB that someone else was leaking. So we expected something interesting…

http://www.ecb.co.uk/news/articles/ecb-chairman-colin-graves-comments-week

And they delivered with something so totally “lawyered up” that a new remake of LA Law was interested in it for a script.

I would like to start my stewardship of the ECB looking forward to next week’s Investec Test series against New Zealand and the Ashes later in the summer.

That’s very nice. I mean, you could say that if you’d been hiding in Paul Downton’s cupboard at Lord’s, but this takes wishful thinking a bit far.

But first there’s another point I want to address.

Ooooh. I wonder what that could be. If it’s what I’m thinking it might be, “want” might be a strong word.

Clearly, the question of whether Kevin Pietersen will play for England again has been a debate for media and cricket fans alike.

Er. Yes. Arguably you re-created the debate in a move welcomed by many. The odd concept that teams being picked on merit, good performance rewarded, clean slates and all that. I mean, we are debating whether these are good things, which seems odd to me, but it takes all sorts…

I understand why people feel it’s important. So I’ll tell you what I said to the First Class County Chairmen, at yesterday’s AGM, and our people across the ECB this morning, on my first full day as Chairman.

I understand why people might be a ickle bit cheesed off that our top run scorer was dumped without a reason given, and that for a year or so we’ve been chasing for an explanation as to why meritocracy takes second place to personal feelings, and despite what that two bob muppet Pringle says, we aren’t fairweather fans but passionate supporters of our team. That’s our team, not the ECB’s. So do tell me.

In the past few days my integrity has been called into question, something I can’t accept. Throughout my business career and my years at Yorkshire, integrity has been my watchword. It governs everything I do and is an important part of what I bring to the ECB.

You’ve not just joined the ECB, Graves. You were part of the gang who instigated this. So when you ease the position on his potential for selection, as you evidently did despite some less than convincing denials, we, and KP took note. So don’t try the “aww shucks, I’m new to this nonsense”. Now if you are bringing integrity into it, say what you said to KP on those phone calls. Admit you had them and say what you said. Then we won’t think of questioning your watchword.

So it saddens me that what was a private conversation with Kevin in March has been used to do just that.

What did you say? You said in private that there was a “clean slate” (you’ve not denied it) and now you are getting pissy because someone who might have relied upon it has used it to defend their position? Are these people for real? Don’t insult me with this faux naivety, Graves.

Back then, when we talked on the phone, Kevin asked if I thought his England career had ended in the right manner following the last Ashes series in Australia. I agreed that nobody particularly emerged with much credit from the whole episode, particularly given his achievements for England.

So, saddened as he was with private conversations being made public, he’s making some of it public. Note also that those who did not emerge with much credit, such as Flower, A and Cook, A are both still well entrenched and enjoy the full backing of the ECB. There’s not much credit going round, but they kept some.

Kevin felt he had a lot to offer and was interested in a dialogue with the ECB, sorting things out and working together. He would love to play for England again but he wanted to contribute, whether as a player or not.

Chairman of ECB indicating KP’s not a purely selfish pig. The zealots on the other side won’t be pleased, but this is all puffery. Did you say he had a clean slate, Colin? This stuff matters. It’s the key accusation against you old son, and you know it. So stop pretending.

I didn’t make any promises. There were no guarantees that if he chose to exit his IPL contract, play County cricket and score runs he would be selected for England.  And I said he should make any decision on his future on that basis.

Deny an accusation that wasn’t made. Colin, this should not fool anyone with half a brain. He never sought guarantess for selection. He sought a clean slate. He sought an indication that he wasn’t wasting his time giving up a still lucrative IPL contract to play county cricket because he had a chance. Come on now. Stop letting the lawyers write this, you bluff, gruff, Yorkie.

I can see something has been misunderstood around the conversation and in the following debate – and perhaps how that happened.

You told him it was a clean slate. And it wasn’t. Ooooops. Someone cocked up. Probably you.

What I did stress was that when I took over as chairman I would back those people whose job it was to take decisions on team selection. I stand by that.

That’s very nice, but if you told them it was a clean slate, as leader of that organisation, they would have to listen or they would be out of jobs. Also, Andrew Strauss took the decision and he confirmed that he isn’t a selector, if we’re going to get all strictly legal on this. Also, you are his boss too. I don’t know, but I don’t reckon Giles Clarke gave a stuff about his underlings’ sensitivities, given he is supposedly one of the key drivers for KP’s exclusion and made it a key part, along with Downton (miss him) in the selection of a new Coach for England last year.

Ahead of a big, busy summer of cricket, a clear decision needed to be taken. Given the history and the book, the simple fact is that bridges have still not been rebuilt and trust needs to be restored.

Details, details. Still not there. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. What history are we talking about now and can you perhaps shed some light on it? The book was post-sacking so we can’t be using that as a reason for the original decision. You were there Colin, in post as Deputy Chairman, weren’t you? Were you dozing at the time? Were you on “Integrity Watch”? As for the trust, well, we’ve been down that road. Trust = Alastair Cook veto. Allegedly.

That takes time – as Andrew Strauss made clear this week.

The time it takes to lose an Ashes series and see KP sod off. Andrew Strauss is talking nonsense.

Kevin was told on Monday and I completely support the decision that was taken. He may not have liked what he heard but it allowed him to look at his opportunities.

A bit late for that. You had 355 reasons why your strategy has gone per-shaped. As for the last part of this particular sentence, he and his lawyers have to be taking the piss.  He gave up a ton of money because of you. Don’t you dare say this allows him some freedom. This was a stitch up from the start. Whether you meant to lie to him is neither here nor there. You’ve not denied the key allegation, that KP took it from you that there was a clean slate, one made by Alec Stewart as well, so we’ll take that as truth. So don’t go acting as if you’ve done him a favour now by trashing what he thought he might have a chance, that’s all, a chance, at.

Despite everything, he can work with us to re-build the relationship and make a further contribution to English cricket. It was important he knew where he stood.

Hey, despite the fact we’ve led him up the garden path, leaked against him on many occasions, briefed against him, had the press slag him off, encouraged him to play county cricket and made runs, we can still trust him in the future. Jesus, do these people ever listen to themselves? Is anyone buying this drivel. KP’s no saint, I know that, but the last part of this statement is a kick in the teeth, He thought he knew where he stood in March. He acted on that. Did no-one think to tell him “no” then? When he gave up his IPL contract? You certainly don’t appear to have, Colin. That’s integrity if you are relying on your statements now.

Of course, I would like us to move forward and concentrate on the important matter of winning cricket matches. I don’t want to add any more or go deeper into private conversations.

Of course you would. Look over there. News for you mate. They tried that last year and won a test series as well. How did that work out? Of course you don’t want to go deeper into private conversations because you would be Donald Ducked if we did, and you know they will. I wish you luck if you stick to this line, Colin, because you will be shark-bait.

I want to look to the future. I’m excited by the England team that is evolving and I look forward to giving them my full support this week.

Rah-Rah. Another charlatan.

UPDATE:

Look who pops up later in the comments to put an even-handed, I’m not an ECB stooge, spin on things. Well, lookie-here.

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226 thoughts on “Statement Of The Oblivious

  1. Sherwick May 15, 2015 / 2:08 pm

    “In the past few days my integrity has been called into question, something I can’t accept. Throughout my business career and my years at Yorkshire, integrity has been my watchword. It governs everything I do and is an important part of what I bring to the ECB.”

    Erm, nope. Your reputation, which you spent decades building up, has been torn to shreds in a couple of months.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ann Weatherly-Barton (@xpressanny) May 15, 2015 / 7:19 pm

      Bloody hell bells. He doesn’t have any integrity. And he is an ECB lackey. He could have sorted out any “misunderstand” weeks ago. He saw KP give up his IPL games to play for county in order to put himself in with a chance, and now he says KP is mistaken. And now he is bleating like a stuffed pig because his reputation has been called into question. His reputation has been called into question because it bloody well needs calling into question.

      Nick Hoult’s piece was quite clear to me what Graves was saying. Blimey even Bob Willis understood what he was saying as did a great deal of journos. And one might add that Selvey was incensed with Graves over it. Hell bells.

      I am more angry than I have ever been up to this point. I thought last year was bad enough but this bloody stuff really takes the biscuit. These miscreants always trying it on: “my integrity” “my reputation” boo bloody hoo. He has made this mess all by himself. Making this damn presentation of lies in an attempt to absolve himself of the lies he told KP? He’s got to be bloody joking.

      I’ve just signed the petition set up by The Full Toss and tweeted it around. Good to sign it.

      This is absolutely the last straw for me. I am seething and utterly incensed at what has happened this week. No confidence in the ECB? No bloody way. My patience has completely and utterly run out.

      Disgusted of Lincolnshire.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sherwick May 16, 2015 / 9:48 am

        Well, I completely agree with you Ann.

        Signed: Disgusted of Esher.

        Like

  2. paulewart May 15, 2015 / 2:11 pm

    Very disappointed. I had high hopes for Graves until the appointment of Strauss.

    Like

    • Mark May 15, 2015 / 3:57 pm

      Yup,

      You knew the writing was on the wall. Or rather giant shit stains smeared all over the wall.

      Like

    • BoerInAustria May 15, 2015 / 5:48 pm

      “The more the England and Wales Cricket Board changes, the more it stays the same.”
      – Boycott (on Strauss’s appointment…)

      Like

      • Ann Weatherly-Barton (@xpressanny) May 15, 2015 / 7:22 pm

        That has certainly come right. I notice that Boycott has gone silent on Twitter. He really believed that Graves would be a man of his word. A great deal of anger will undoubtedly ensue.

        Like

  3. thelegglance May 15, 2015 / 2:11 pm

    I am looking forward to reading Nick Hoult on this. He spoke to Graves and got the quotes. He is in a position to destroy him if he chooses.

    Like

    • Roger May 15, 2015 / 2:31 pm

      Graves deserves everything coming to him

      Like

    • metatone May 15, 2015 / 2:59 pm

      Bet Hoult won’t do it.

      Like

      • thelegglance May 15, 2015 / 3:57 pm

        Maybe, maybe not. The statement is actually an attack on his reporting.

        Like

  4. keyserchris May 15, 2015 / 2:12 pm

    Not even some sort of apology for his part in the mis-understanding from his public comments

    The more things change, the more they stay the same. I expect that will include the press reports on the statement.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pontiac May 15, 2015 / 2:20 pm

    The statement was clearly crafted to let those who need to support their article of faith to be able to select and trim and edit the past.

    In particular, the phrase in KP’s article that clearly indicates that he wasn’t expecting (say) to kick Ballance, Bell, or Root out of their spots the way they are performing now, but just that if he maintained activity and form to be eligible if for one or the other reason a place opened up, is what is going to be ignored by those who have already made their conclusions.

    Like

  6. Sherwick May 15, 2015 / 2:20 pm

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/cricket/kevinpietersen/11442941/Kevin-Pietersen-could-make-England-return-says-ECB-chairman.html

    “It is very simple. What happened in the past is history and there is no point talking about it,” Graves told Telegraph Sport. “I was deputy chairman when the decision was made [to sack Pietersen] and I supported it so there is no point pulling that to bits. But if he wants to play for England then he has to play for a county. That is his decision.

    “If he does that and then comes out and scores a lot of runs they can’t ignore him I would have thought but that is up to him. You can’t pick someone when he is not playing.”

    “Forget personalities,” said Graves. “Selectors pick the best players in form, taking wickets and scoring runs. That is their job.”

    Like

    • Ann Weatherly-Barton (@xpressanny) May 15, 2015 / 7:31 pm

      Well I don’t know about you but that statement was very clear to me in its meaning. A lot of journos asked if Graves knew what he was saying and suggesting. Boycott said that Graves had better make it clear to KP, because he should be taken for a ride. Selvey was apoplectic, Bob Willis was astounded and so was that runt Dominic Cork. It was in the papers for weeks. Graves said absolutely bugger all about it. The time to clarify the matter was there and then. Graves lied to KP and the public. He can do his “poor me” act as much as he likes. It certainly comes to something when Bob Willis feels sorry for KP. So Bob was not confused about it. Unbelievable rubbish from the new ECB supremo. What a week. First Strauss talking crap and now Graves. Thanks for putting all that down again Sherwick. I was being questioned by someone on DT and couldn’t find it. Cheers.

      Like

  7. SimonH May 15, 2015 / 2:20 pm

    Superb fisk – only slight point is that I’m sure Strauss did say he would continue as a selector.

    We don’t know what Graves said to Pietersen on the phone. He should have met him personally for a start. We do know what Graves said to the DT back in March –

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/cricket/kevinpietersen/11442941/Kevin-Pietersen-could-make-England-return-says-ECB-chairman.html

    (Nick Hoult again – give that man an OBE or at least a SJYA).

    He doesn’t use the phrase ‘clean slate’ but he does say “history is past” and “forget personalities” (what is trust but a personality issue?). That was the interview that was later ‘clarified’ by an anonymous “ECB spokesman” to include the “positive influence” rider. Crikey, I’d forgotten that.

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus May 15, 2015 / 2:22 pm

      He said he would sit on the selection committee, but not be a selector – that he would look at that structure in the future. Yeah, I know what that means in practice, but Strauss said that.

      Like

      • SimonH May 15, 2015 / 2:51 pm

        Someone who isn’t such a big fan of Nick Hoult is back on Twitter. Let’s just say the name rhymes with Trash.

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus May 15, 2015 / 2:55 pm

          My dream isn’t to see KP play for England to see him bat for us again. It is to see KP play for England because the individual concerned said she would give up everything she owns if he did.

          Make it so, ECB. Make it so.

          Oh. And she loves Derek Pringle. He was the only unbiased one there.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. amit May 15, 2015 / 2:21 pm

    Let’s see if he decides to sack Cook, after the losses to kiwis and Aussies, and decides to “build for future” with Root.
    On the evidence of today’s release, unlikely, but then seeing as how quickly positions have changed, who knows.
    Would be some irony if Root decided to drop cook and bring KP back 😉

    Like

    • amit May 15, 2015 / 2:41 pm

      pretty much sums up the opinions of most objective cricket fans across the globe who can’t quite believe what has been happening but watching for the fun of it, and with a touch of disappointment for KP.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Sherwick May 15, 2015 / 2:33 pm

    R Kaushik: “I find it interesting, intriguing, even baffling, that no one else outside of England who has shared a dressing room with Pietersen has had one unkind word to say about him. Pietersen has played franchise cricket across the globe, interacted with peers and youngsters, and drawn admiration for his professionalism, his work ethic, his ability to integrate into the environment, his willingness to share his knowledge and experience and assume a mentoring role that England are so happy to ignore, if not ridicule.”

    Yes, it is a little bit baffling.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. "IronBalls" McGinty May 15, 2015 / 2:53 pm

    We’ve just been slimed over!

    Like

  11. SimonH May 15, 2015 / 2:54 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  12. dvyk May 15, 2015 / 3:10 pm

    Where did Pietersen ever claim he was told he’d be guaranteed a place?

    Graves is a bigger idiot than even Selvey ever suspected if he thinks people will swallow that load of pigswill.

    So there you have it folks — The chairman says “You’ve got a clean slate” and the new D.C “Oh no you haven’t” and the chairman backs down and starts lying through his teeth. (It’s a straight up lie that KP expected a guarantee.)

    The chairman says “If you get enough runs you’ll be considered” and the captain and the friggin backroom staff say “Oh no he won’t” and the chairman backs down.

    The captain publicly ridicules the chairman (and all other Yorkshiremen) and the chairman says nothing. First day on the job and he’s already been turned over and shafted by Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss. He’s proven himself to be weak willed, cowardly, stupid and wholly contemptible. He’ll fit in perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus May 15, 2015 / 3:15 pm

      Selvey’s there – backing it up. On the ECB Twitter feed and up there in the post update.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Roger May 15, 2015 / 3:26 pm

        Typical ad hominem smokescreen

        Liked by 1 person

  13. alan May 15, 2015 / 3:27 pm

    Brilliant Dmitri. You gave it everything it deserved.
    The usual suspects in the MSM will lap it up as usual. No forensic analysis from them.
    So Graves turns out to be just another weasel worried about his integrity. There’s as much chance of finding integrity at the ECB as finding gold in a sewage tank

    Like

  14. Benny May 15, 2015 / 3:41 pm

    Don’t know about “lawyered up” but from my long experience, business executives and managers are all trained and experienced in this form of expression. I think you were quite economical with your, shall we say, reflections (see, I can do it too) Dmitri. Every sentence could be critically analysed or indeed ripped apart.

    “Integrity governs everything I do”. So, integrity not profit then?

    Again from long experience in a far bigger and more important organisation than ECB, no boss backs his administrators unequivocably. “Hey boss, I’ve decided to offer the England captaincy to Nick Knight”. What to you reckon? A. “I back the people whose job it is to take decisions” or B. “Bugger off”

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Mark May 15, 2015 / 3:43 pm

    Graves ” the simple fact is that bridges have still not been rebuilt and trust needs to be restored”.

    Oh no, more f********g bridges! This organisation should go into permanent bridge building.

    Like a bridge over troubled water……………

    Classic bait and switch. Give the appearance of giving someone, KP a second chance. Then appoint someone else ( Strauss) who you know won’t give said person a second chance. Then pretend it’s nothing to do with me gov, take it up with the experts I appointed. Genius.

    Move along, nothing to see hear!

    Graves has decided that he will align himself with the Village elders of the media. Selvey, Agnew, Newman etc etc. Their pearl clutching routine has worked, and he has now given them a man in Srauss they can trust will give them exactly what they want. Same as it ever was.

    The English Establishment in all its rotten glory, and cheered on by the scum media. FU

    Like

  16. dvyk May 15, 2015 / 3:46 pm

    What Graves has just done is the most disgraceful thing I have ever witnessed in cricket — he’s taken that place from Strauss at the start of the week.

    I knew they’d blame the book. But what did he write in it — he accused them of double standards and of strategically leaking his private conversations to the press, as well as putting pressure on certain editors and journalists to support their side of the story.

    Those are serious allegations, and all the ECB has ever done is duck them…. while mentioning the book over and over again as an excuse for why they don’t trust him.

    Hate is an emotion that I’ve only felt fleetingly when it comes to cricket. But in this case I genuinely hate several of the main protagonists in this disgusting piece of deceit and corruption. And I’m Australian, I want your team to lose! But this is just infuriating and an insult to anyone who loves the game.

    And all because Cook considers being called Ned Flanders “extremely insulting” — which in itself rather confirms the epithet.

    Liked by 2 people

    • paule May 15, 2015 / 5:10 pm

      Worse than the Chappell brothers v New Zealand? 🙂

      Like

      • dvyk May 15, 2015 / 9:10 pm

        Yes. What the Chappells did was entirely within the rules. The worst decision G C has ever made, without a doubt, but within the rules as they stood. Plus it was made on the spur of the moment under pressure.

        To be honest, I even think jelly bean-gate was worse than the underarm, as it was pre-meditated and done by Engli-…… I mean…. – was counterproductive for the rest of the team!

        Like

    • Rich May 15, 2015 / 5:56 pm

      Its not half as insulting as it is for Flanders.

      Liked by 2 people

      • northernlight71 May 15, 2015 / 10:18 pm

        I heard that Harry Shearer was leaving The Simpsons because he can no longer bear being compared with Cooky.
        He was promised a clean slate in the next series, but decided to go anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

    • MM May 15, 2015 / 7:10 pm

      DVYK: “And I’m Australian, I want your team to lose!”

      Fella, I’m English and I sooo want us to lose 7-squit, each time by an innings inside three days. I want this rancid organistion out of pocket by September. I want the ECB so hated that Waitrose drop them like a bag of tramp sick. I want Sky to abandon Team Waitrose because people are cancelling their subs in their thousands.

      Every new verbal turd that falls out of the ECB makes me hate them more. If KP is driven by money why the chuff would he back out of an IPL contract on the basis of no guarantees, no promises, and whatever horsecrap this stupid new chairman thinks will pass as justification.

      They are trying to baffle us with corporate doublespeak but it’s not really English. It’s a string of consonants and vowels that makes an approximation of language. Dmitri’s rightly slashed it to bits.

      Graves is a grey shape occupying a space where a strong man should be. Strauss is his now his boss. Flower is undoubtedly Strauss’ boss. Farbrace will do nothing bar get sacked. Cook will have a major media tantrum before Warne delivers any kind of criticism this Summer. He will be sacked. At some point Flower 2.0 will take the reigns as a crisis measure. Then the real crisis will turn up. By Christmas no recognisable ECB figure will be in post. It’ll be like the penultimate scene in Reservoir Dogs – everyone pulling the trigger at each other. And, on reflection, I quite like the sound of that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • dvyk May 15, 2015 / 9:17 pm

        Yes, it’s a parallel language that uses some English words. When they do say something clearly in good old Anglo Saxon vocab, it’s a PR disaster and they wind up apologising.

        To be honest, I would have wished England an Ashes win, if it were won with a magnificent comeback from KP.

        Instead they can all go and —— ——- with a rubber hose.

        Like

  17. Ross May 15, 2015 / 3:53 pm

    Spot on Dmitri. By the way, when will the mediocre team “enquiry” start, do you think ?

    Like

    • Sherwick May 15, 2015 / 4:02 pm

      2019 Ross. 2019.

      Like

  18. man in a barrel May 15, 2015 / 4:12 pm

    I’ve been looking at England’s openers since Strauss left the scene. It is quite fascinating. Cook has scored a total of 2,136 runs and the people at the other end have scored 1,507 between the 5(!) of them. It is not such a great difference if you bear in mind Cook’s original purple patch and the fact he was settled in his position throughout whilst the others have gone through the selectorial revolving-door.

    Cook scored 969 runs against Compton’s 479. Compton was dropped for some reason that was never explained. It seemed to be that he irritated people. Great reason. Cook’s performances were trending down while Compton was trending up.

    Cook scored 277 runs while Root got 339. Root was moved down the order.

    Cook scored 246 runs while Carberry scored 281. Carberry was dropped.

    Cook scored 376 runs while Robson scored 336. Robson was dropped. Those 40 runs made all the difference.

    Cook scored 268 while Trott scored 72. Take out that gruesome century in Barbados and it is not as if there is a massive cause for optimism in Cook’s form.

    It is not as if Cook was doing Brearley-like feats of captaincy to justify his position. Can you imagine Brearley letting the WIndies win in Barbados? All credit to Bravo and Blackwood but any team with a competent leader should have beaten them on that track.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Mark May 15, 2015 / 4:16 pm

    Graves, a grocer from Yorkshire.

    Today I will mostly be calling him Arkwright. And his boy apprentice Granville.

    Arkwright and Granville will run England cricket. Pass the scotch and the revolver. F sake.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. BoerInAustria May 15, 2015 / 4:17 pm

    My quick transcription:

    01 Mar 2015
    BBC – “Is there any chance at all that you could review the Pietersen position. Michael Vaughn also said he should be playing for England. Is there any chance, as you are new people, you have sort of come in and are sweeping things clean. Is there any way back at all for Kevin Pietersen now that there is a new regime there, in terms of the management?”
    CG – “Look the first thing he’s got to do certainly if he wants to get back, and he says he wants to get back, is starting to play county cricket for (somebody?). You know the selectors and the coaches are not gonna pick him if he is not playing, it is as simple as that … so eh, you know, and I will leave it at that.”
    BBC –“Yes, if he did play county cricket, you are saying that the door is open?”
    CG – “At the end of the day it is down to the selectors, it is down to the coaches and what they see what is best for English cricket and they will make their decisions and I will support them when it comes to that decision.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02l2cmq

    PS – who are the coaching currently?

    Like

    • BoerInAustria May 15, 2015 / 4:58 pm

      and.. Geoffrey Boycott on 02. Mar, Five Live:

      “It is not that clear. It would appear that Colin is wanting the door open. But we also have to re-member that it was Paul Downton, the new Managing Director, with James Whitaker, the chairman of the selectors, who are still there now, who were at that meeting, who dispensed with Kevin Pie-tersen’s services. And then our new chairman says, look it sound as if he wants the door open, but then he says he is gonna back the selectors.

      Well if the selectors are still there, that is James Whitaker the chairman, and above him is his boss, his managing director, Paul Downton, who still sacked him, and have kept on saying through the summer, that there is no way back for him. Wow, I mean, are they gonna do an about face, you know, are they gonna be too embarrassed to change their mind, or are they gonna be big enough to change their mind?

      Kevin needs to get a meeting with Colin Graves as soon as he can and preferably with Paul Down-ton and James Whitaker, there after he had spoken with the chairman. Because he wants to be clear. He … has the chairman saying he’s got to play county cricket, but if he plays county cricket and gives up an IPL contract, which is fairly lucrative, and he plays county cricket, but then Down-ton and Whitaker are still not gonna pick him, well that is kind of like leading him on , isn’t it? That’s not fair.

      It needs to be put clear to him that if he plays county cricket, if he plays well in county cricket then there’s going to be a genuine – and I mean the word genuine – change of heart, and a change of opinion, that he is going to be open for selection.

      Because I am out here now and it looks with the captain Morgan and the coach Moores, they are the same way, they are just sticking their heads in the sand of the England performances and not changing the team. They are just saying – we are gonna do what we do to hell with the ex-players and media commentators on TV, Radio who say certain this should change.

      And maybe it is the same with Downton and Whitaker. They’re gonna say well, if the chairman says he is gonna back us, we are not gonna pick him, even if the chairman wants him, and so Status Quo.”

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02l3z5q

      Liked by 1 person

      • Zephirine May 15, 2015 / 6:01 pm

        Geoffrey B knows what he’s dealing with. He’s predicted the whole situation in that one interview.

        Liked by 2 people

  21. dvyk May 15, 2015 / 4:18 pm

    I actually tweeted the ECB today and asked them if they’d blocked Selvey for insulting their chairman. Obviously they haven’t. #ecbindoublestandradsshock

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rich May 15, 2015 / 4:48 pm

      What as in:

      YEA GRAVES TALK NAH. #mediocre— mike selvey (@selvecricket) April 13, 2015

      And:

      @pgpchappers its his fault he referred to WI as mediocre. Idiot comment.— mike selvey (@selvecricket) April 13, 2015

      Wonder if he reminds him of his idiot comment when he meets him? More likely Graves will open his back pocket for Bedford School’s second finest to jump right in!

      Liked by 2 people

  22. I shall remain anonymous May 15, 2015 / 4:22 pm

    Just seen Dominic Cork spewing bile on Sky Sports News. Extraordinary attack on Pietersen.

    Like

      • Boz May 15, 2015 / 4:48 pm

        Pietersen should sue him – what a cxxt

        Like

      • paule May 15, 2015 / 5:14 pm

        Wasn’t Cork a notoriously bad egg with about a quarter of Pietersen’s talent (though he probably thought he was better)?

        Like

      • Rich May 15, 2015 / 5:37 pm

        On reflection perhaps Cork has a point. Having your kit bag thrown off a balcony by someone else is a pretty terrible crime. Meanwhile in rugby players are assaulting police officers and in football you have to be convicted of rape to cause debate as to whether you should return. Adulterers, alcoholics, drug addicts, womanisers? Not a problem.
        The reason KP probably announced he was leaving Hants on Sky was that he couldn’t bear to spend another second in close proximity to the pea brained, cretin that is Dominic Cork.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jomesy May 15, 2015 / 7:13 pm

        I predict that one day it will be shown that the ECB paid SKY/it’s pundits to come out with this shit

        Liked by 1 person

    • alan May 15, 2015 / 5:45 pm

      Thought I’d watch some IPL the other night
      Turned on the TV. First thing that came on was Cork ‘punditing’
      Turned it straight off. With brazen hypocrites like him inside I’d rather be outside cricket.

      Like

    • Zephirine May 15, 2015 / 6:08 pm

      I can’t remember who the player was who was it told the story about when they were playing for Derbyshire with Cork, and they had a disagreement. So while the guy was batting Cork took all his equipment and gave it away to some kids and then moved his car and left it a mile away. The first of which is theft and the second is taking without owner’s consent, punishable by law I believe in both cases. But of course Pietersen is much worse…..

      Liked by 2 people

  23. Rich May 15, 2015 / 4:34 pm

    Great piece, spot on!

    Lets see who is banned for longest KP (trust issues) or Tuilagi (lamps police officer)

    Pringle’s been on fire today, a personal favourite is:

    @pensionschamp 2 years ago Govt said ECB was best run sports body in GB. Make tough decision that divides fans & it's the worst. Perception— Derek Pringle (@derekpringle) May 15, 2015

    So nothing is wrong with the ECB its just the perception of the public! And most of the ones who are critical are only fair weather fans anyway! Everything is fine and dandy! Tickety boo!

    And the government said it was one of the best run sports bodies! The government? They just stand back and say everything is well run until just after the point it goes tits up! Banks, football clubs, their own bloody parties! 2 years ago they probably saying the same thing about Tesco what do they know! Are these people really this dense or is this all just a massive wind up?

    And as for Dominic Cork he has lost the plot completely. He has spent the last few months saying on TalkSport ‘Kevin needs to find himself a county and then get some runs before he can be considered’. He didn’t think for one minute that is what he’d do! As soon as he does it he slaughters him and says on Sky he’s a bad egg and always has been, listing all his heinous crimes. What a hypocrite, of course he was always universally popular himself wasn’t he? The man is a 24 carat ….!

    Liked by 2 people

    • LordCanisLupus May 16, 2015 / 1:01 pm

      Apologies this took too long to put up. Missed it on the mobile comments page. Usually first comments need moderating so welcome!

      On safe ground here having a go at that muppet.

      Like

      • richbeat77 May 16, 2015 / 8:44 pm

        No worries admitting, this is a great blog. Its good to see so many people are passionate about cricket and are not going to accept being spoon fed bullshit by the ECB and their cronies in the press.
        I can only assume Pringle’s Twitter account is a parody one because surely he can’t be that pig ignorant can he?

        Like

    • BoerInAustria May 16, 2015 / 3:01 pm

      I see the Guardian report manages to not make any reference as to where Tuilagi was born. I therefore assume he was NOT born in Pietermaritzburg.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. alan May 15, 2015 / 4:38 pm

    Paul Scholes in his football column in the i today talks more sense about the Pietersen situation in a few short paragraphs than Brenkley, Selvey, Newman and Pringle have managed between them in 16 months. This from an ex footballer with no agenda whatsoever.That tells you all you need to know about that quartet of ‘cricket writers’

    Liked by 2 people

  25. paule May 15, 2015 / 4:58 pm

    From this day on Colin Graves shall be known as CJ.

    Like

  26. SimonH May 15, 2015 / 5:10 pm

    Cock-up or conspiracy?

    Have they been stringing him along all the time? Was it a strategy to silence Pietersen by dangling a carrot in front of him? The ECB have shown an obsession with controlling the narrative and a fevered zealotry in shutting down any alternative voices and ‘noises off’.

    Or was it more improvised? Cook issued an effective ultimatum at some stage during the West Indies’ tour and they’ve been blundering about ever since? The ECB can’t even sack their coach without shooting themselves in the foot so could they really maintain a two-month strategy?

    Fools or knaves?

    Liked by 1 person

      • Zephirine May 15, 2015 / 6:13 pm

        Despite everything, he can work with us to re-build the relationship and make a further contribution to English cricket.

        Remind you of anything?

        It’s reintegration all over again.

        Let’s make Kevin jump through some more hoops.
        Let’s invent some more things he has to do to be forgiven for something he hasn’t done.
        Let’s indulge our very, very weird desire to humiliate him.

        Flower, Cook, Strauss.

        Liked by 2 people

      • dvyk May 15, 2015 / 6:50 pm

        @boer
        From the article you linked-
        !The time has come, surely, to question the value of such exercises. England’s players convened for five days in Bavaria, where they were compelled to hike, abseil down cliffs, spar against each other, and visit the Dachau concentration camp. Quite what they might be expecting in Australia is unclear”

        It’s clear now — they were psyching themselves up for sharing a change room with KP. And it wasn’t enough.

        If anything demonstrates that these stupid exercises achieve nothing, just look at Team Waitrose. Visiting Dachau can’t prepare you for being called Ned Flanders or having your kit thrown off the balcony.

        Like

      • BoerInAustria May 15, 2015 / 8:00 pm

        DVYK, The cult of Flower:

        Andy Flower: “The importance of team culture, and how winning isn’t everything when it comes to long-term success.”

        AF – “Without a doubt successes and losses, especially over a longer period of time, are results of what is happening in your environment at the time. And if I spoke briefly about our little journey, Strauss and I formed a very close and successful leadership partnership in English cricket. And then we had a couple of major changes.

        Number one, Strauss went, he retired. Number two, I had personal issues, to step back a little from my commitments with the England side, so I ended up only coaching the England Test side. And I shared the coaching, so we brought in a one day and 20-20 coach in Ashley Giles, a very good operator.

        But those 2 major shifts in our leadership meant that there was a change in culture and I think in a number of ways we drifted away from the strong pillars that formed a strong foundation of our cul-ture, stuff like honesty, personal responsibility, respect.

        These sort of things started dissipating. I was ultimately responsible for this, so I know. But with that dissipation in those strong pillars, we found some cracks starting to appear. And once those cracks start to appear, you know, certain things drive them wider. It could be tricky players, it could be media issues, it could be a few tricky results. And all of a sudden those cracks widen very quickly.

        So your culture and your development of your people, serve you well, they serve you better in times of trouble, that is when the real pressure comes on obviously. And if you are only looking at this narrow focus of winning, I think it is a dangerous road to go down. That is my experience of it.”

        http://www.leadersinsport.com/insight/articles/275/andy-flower-ecb/

        Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez May 15, 2015 / 5:37 pm

      Despite spending more money on PR than the Associates can muster between them, the ECB is perennially messing up. Despite having all the cards in the deck, they still manage to deal themselves losing hands.

      That means the PR companies they ECB are incompetent. Or, more likely, that the target audience is so markedly different from the general audience of cricket supporters, that these cock ups are illusionary. Would probably suggest that the target audience are a bunch of sado-masochists, who get off on instilling absolute obedience in their “lessers”.

      The players are fully aware of that. That is one of the reasons all the new kids have to back Cook. The only ones who can speak with a bit of freedom are the established players.

      Cook, but whenever he opens his mouth comes across as an absolute spoilt brat. At best.

      Broad, but whenever he opens his mouth, comes across as a plonker. #stayhumble

      Anderson, but whenever he opens his mouth, even his captain has to rush in to defend him.

      Bell, but whenever he opens his mouth, the media has to brief against him, to shore up the captain.

      Liked by 1 person

      • d'Arthez May 15, 2015 / 5:38 pm

        * That means the PR companies the ECB employ are incompetent. Or, more likely, …

        Really wish there was an edit function for the grammatically challenged among us.

        Like

      • Rich May 15, 2015 / 6:15 pm

        The PR company won’t be to blame. My mate Del Boy told me that two years ago the government said it was the best run PR company in GB!

        Like

  27. paule May 15, 2015 / 5:53 pm

    I’ve got a lot of time for Owen Gibson but they just don’t get it, do they? Pietersen hasn’t played a PR blinder he’s simply done what was asked of him. Told to find a county and score runs in red ball cricket, he did so. That is why so many sympathise with him. No spin, no artifice, just trying his damnedest to play cricket at the highest level.

    http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2015/may/15/colin-graves-england-kevin-pietersen-chairman-recall-ecb

    Like

    • Zephirine May 15, 2015 / 6:26 pm

      Pietersen has definitively won the sympathy of the wider public by playing a blinder in PR terms. Nope. Pietersen has played a blinder in cricket terms and reminded the wider public what the England team is missing.
      Questions have then, quite reasonably, been asked.

      Liked by 1 person

      • dvyk May 15, 2015 / 7:01 pm

        Yes, all this stuff about JP winning the PR war is utterly stupid. His defenders most often express regret that Piers Morgan is speaking up for him — thank gawd at least one prominent media person has the guts to do it. But all he really does raises the profile a bit.

        You can’t even start a PR battle against people who put someone like James Whitaker in front of a camera. It’s done and dusted as soon as the camera rolls.

        What KP has done is put a quarter of a million pounds on the table that said “I trust you, Colin Graves, that you are telling me the truth and I will indeed be considered for selection if I get some runs.” And then step 2, hitting 355 not out.

        But Graves is indignant that people call his integrity into question.

        And I notice the ECB has stopped using those dreadful pics of him grinning manically and replaced them with dreadful pics of him trying to look serious as one can straight after swallowing a box of uppers.

        Liked by 1 person

      • escort May 15, 2015 / 7:09 pm

        Pietersen doesn’t need to play a blinder. The ECB will always act and look like what they are. Incompetent, dysfunctional,vindictive,self serving, dis-loyal,and just bloody deceitful.

        Liked by 2 people

    • SimonH May 15, 2015 / 7:35 pm

      I had some hope for Owen Gibson after that ECB article but this is insidious stuff –

      “All of this semantics and parsing of previous interviews and statements for meaning, hidden or otherwise, doesn’t get us very far. Both sides have at times interpreted, or misinterpreted, the other to suit their agenda”.

      I suppose it is slight progress on Selvey to acknowledge that both sides have agendas but dismissing the difference between a clean slate and a guarantee as “semantics” is obtuse in the extreme. Garside’s it-was-early-morning-so-doesn’t-really-count argument from earlier in the week was only marginally more dense.

      Like

  28. Boz May 15, 2015 / 6:33 pm

    It’s getting to the point now where if you turn up to watch England this summer you will be viewed as agreeing entirely with the ECB and their strange set up – beware you are not misrepresented – better still – stay away

    Liked by 2 people

  29. MM May 15, 2015 / 7:24 pm

    Yea Colin talk whatever.

    We are passing through his fart cloud now. Try to remain calm. He’ll be gone soon, sacking himself off whilst trousering a tidy wedge,a big tray of hors d’oeuvres and his imagined integrity all lovely and shiny.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Grumpy Gaz May 15, 2015 / 7:37 pm

    Dashed hope. England cricket has been a mess for the last 18 months. Finally there was light at the end of the tunnel. Downton gone, a new guy incharge who looked as if he fully understood why the ECB had lost the supporters.

    All they had to do was be fair. Either be fair from the start and tell KP he had no chance, or be fair when he did all they asked.

    But no. Mr Integrity, who is no fool, is taking all of us for fools with that ‘promises’ tripe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • BoerInAustria May 15, 2015 / 9:00 pm

      Appropriate today: “The Thrill is Gone”
      RIP BB

      Liked by 1 person

      • Benny May 16, 2015 / 11:26 am

        A legend without question

        Like

    • alan May 16, 2015 / 4:20 am

      Dashed hope indeed
      It’s quite an achievement to make even bigger cockup than Downton managed to

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Maggie May 15, 2015 / 7:38 pm

    To be fair to the PR team, they can only work with what they’re given. You can picture the scene in the press office:

    PR1: What you got there?
    PR2: They want us to ‘give this a bit of a polish.’
    PR1: *Blinks* That looks like…is that a turd?
    PR2: Yup
    PR1: For fucks sake, how many times do we have to tell them, you can’t polish a… oh fine, give me the gloves and the air freshener, and I’ll see if I can at least get some of the stink off it.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. SimonH May 15, 2015 / 7:50 pm

    Does Brenkley get it?

    “What Graves appeared to be saying was that Pietersen mistook a door not being slammed in his face for it being opened wide”.

    What a surprise. Then as Brenkley says in the very next line they wanted to slam the door completely and are stopped from doing so only by employment law –

    “At the heart of this may be the stark fact that England can simply not say that Pietersen will never be picked again, which is why Strauss used the term about the foreseeable future”.

    So that offer about the future is completely bogus and the door is in fact slammed shut – and Brenkley has no problem with that.

    Any mention that the issue is about a clean slate? None.

    Like

    • Rich May 15, 2015 / 8:06 pm

      Given his recent batting displays I’m not surprised he’s turned to drink with Boult, Johnson, Starc et al on their way.

      Like

    • escort May 15, 2015 / 8:57 pm

      I do hope this is a true story.

      Like

      • SimonH May 15, 2015 / 9:25 pm

        If it is true (and there may be denials) it would be interesting timing with Gillespie having just acted on a lesser breach of discipline by Plunkett and Strauss wittering on about “trust” and “personal responsibility”.

        Like

    • paule May 16, 2015 / 5:28 am

      And what was Selvey’s take on it? No mention of Broad (who is a bowler, after all), just a snide remark about Bell’s agent. Iron can’t win can he?

      Liked by 1 person

  33. SimonH May 15, 2015 / 9:04 pm

    Mike Walters has an article saying Pietersen is “deeply unimpressed” by Graves’ response and he had been told “the past is in the past” (“a clean slate” isn’t mentioned).

    They’ve been using that phrase to avoid talking about the past. Downton used it endlessly. It was almost a robotic mantra they trotted out without thinking. It would be amusing if it was that that returned to bit them on the arse.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Rohan May 15, 2015 / 9:05 pm

    Graves talks of integrity, but again, like all of the other ECB bods he misses the point completely. If he were to admit that he made the remarks that he did (as clearly evidenced above) and then admit that he was left with no other choice than to backtrack, his honesty would be greatly appreciated.

    The honesty to come out and admit he made a mistake, or to explain what happened, i.e. Cook’s ultimatum, would in my eyes, confirm that he was a man of far greater integrity than the one who made ‘that press release’ today. I say that ‘press realease’, because to me this is up there with ‘outside cricket’ in its complete and utter contempt of a great majority of English cricket supporters!

    I am incredulous at his complete and utter disregard of generally intelligent folks in the public, who know full well what he said and implied and now he is trying to change/bend the truth. It was too obvious to change, but Graves is trying. What must Boycott be thinking/feeling…..#shocked

    Like

  35. lionel joseph May 15, 2015 / 9:06 pm

    The poster, Aaron Wright, went to a charity function with Agnew on Thursday night, which broad was supposed to be attending, but Stuart pulled a sickie and subbed in his dad.

    so he lied to renege on a commitment he made to a charity to go out on the lash instead.

    What a guy.

    What a great great guy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lionel joseph May 15, 2015 / 9:08 pm

      sorry got my timing wrong. was out on the lash the night before and pulled a sickie to deal with his hangover.

      Like

  36. SimonH May 15, 2015 / 9:12 pm

    Six consecutive sixes for Alex Hales – and all Moores could ever see was what he couldn’t (supposedly) do.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. SimonH May 15, 2015 / 9:23 pm

    If anyone else had been wondering about this record:

    Liked by 1 person

  38. dvyk May 15, 2015 / 9:41 pm

    Maybe I’ve missed something, but why on earth did Strauss even do this anyway? Every time KP was mentioned up until then, it was to say that there would be no place for him in the middle order. They could so easily have simply not selected him on those grounds.

    1. Did Strauss think it would be easier to head off a potential public clamour for KP sooner than later, so he officially pulled the plug — or

    2. Did Cooky kick up a tantrum (with Clarke’s backing) and demand that KP be immediately and explicitly excluded as soon as the new D,C takes over ????

    It’s already clear that Cook was massively pissed off with Graves, and that Graves is scared of him or lacks the power to do anything about his public insults. He’s an utter wimp to let Cook do that to him in public and say nothing at all.

    This must all have been done purely to placate Cook.

    Or am I missing something?

    Like

    • dvyk May 15, 2015 / 9:49 pm

      Or, as some have already suspected here, it was done deliberately to publicly humiliate KP again.

      I remember thinking years ago after they really only named him captain in order to eventually sack him and cut him down to size. Since then it’s just been repeated and repeated. We already know they don’t care how stupid they look.

      Like

    • Maggie May 15, 2015 / 10:07 pm

      This is what I don’t get – why bother? Why stir it all up? It just piles even more pressure on Cook & Co because if the summer goes badly and he keeps playing for Surrey – and I really really hope he does – and keeps smacking the ball to all corners of the park they’re going to be crucified. The sponsors must be having a long hard think about where they’re putting their money, because who wants to be associated with a organisation that’s now regarded as a mean-spirited laughing stock.

      They could have just let events play out and hope that the middle order did well enough that they could say ‘sorry Kevin, but we’re sticking with the guys we’ve got, but we would like it if you could help us with the one day game because we know you have a lot to offer.’ That meeting didn’t have to happen, there was no immediate expectation that he would be picked for New Zealand, so why on earth did they decide to force the issue now?

      Like

    • pktroll (@pktroll) May 15, 2015 / 10:18 pm

      I simply can’t believe that Cook has or should remotely have that power? In the last year of test cricket, what the media remind us is our strongest suit, we have won, drawn and lost a series against some average to down right ‘mediocre’ sides. Mr captain fantastic who has no tactical insight into how to use his bowlers or set fields, especially when you have pesky late order partnerships deserves absolutely no indulging.

      Like

      • dvyk May 16, 2015 / 12:22 am

        Yes, I also find it hard to associate such a wet sock with wielding power over careers and having such a diabolical effect on the sport in England as a whole.

        But he has the backing of Giles Clarke — and who knows what idiotic psychological drives that man. Plus, as a long time English captain, he is guaranteed status and power within the ECB in his post playing career. I can only think that it’s Clarke’s support that has been decisive here. Why else would he feel secure enough in his position to publicly ridicule Graves?

        Downton nailed his colours to Cook’s iron rod and backed him as ODI captain when it was probably even making Annie’s little doggie start barking at the mere mention of it. He misjudged it and was a gonna from the moment Cook was sacked, but even sacking him must have taken a massive rebellion in the corps.

        And Moores has also gone. Sacked officially for the WC debacle, but actually, that can’t be the reason. It wasn’t his fault he was forced to sacrifice the entire the preparation period on trying to prop up Cook’s captaincy, until it turned out that he was an even worse captain than they thought and they had no choice but to drop him or face the consequences of global ridicule for keepign him there. The job of copping the ridicule was passed on to Morgan instead.

        It was quite unfair to sack Moores over that. In fact he delivered them exactly what he was supposed to. The refused to give him a workable team. Not just lacking KP and the right to pick his own team on merit, but even worse, being forced to keep Cook in the side. Ditto with the tests.

        I think the real reason he was sacked is because Cook was furious he was dropped from ODIs. that was what cost

        Fear of Cook is the only explanation that makes sense. Not Cook personally, but fear of his position and the supporters he has. The blind and idiotic support he has in the yellow press is also a symptom of it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • PepperSydney May 16, 2015 / 3:05 am

        It is odd, to say the least….. over time, since the Ashes began, England has had twice as many Captains as Australia.. I merely put that out as a statistic, I don’t know why it is, is Australia reluctant to change captains? are AU captains that good they don’t need to be replaced? is England addicted to novelty.. .? I don’t know.

        But in the light of that , here is England grimly, crazily, madly hanging on to a captain. And the reason for that is not clear at all. So why is THIS English captain being gripped onto ( when so man others, relatively speaking have been promptly discarded without so much as the blink of an eye.) … in the face of all common sense?

        I dunno!… but it’s interesting to watch..

        Liked by 1 person

      • alan May 16, 2015 / 5:04 am

        Pepper
        Yes England have rarely been reluctant to ditch captains over the years at the drop of a hat or the sniff of a barmaids apron in Gatting’s case. The four captains in one series against West Indies was the peak.
        I think it was Downton’s ludicrous decision to ‘invest ‘ in Cook as captain after he’d overseen one of the worst ashes hammerings ever that’s behind it. They’ll twist themselves into any contortion to avoid losing face. Then of course he’s definitely ‘one of us’ ‘right sort of family’ etc.They’d never throw him to the wolves for Pietersen,definitely not ‘one of us ‘ wrong sort of family (pop singer wife), wrong sort of ‘South African born’ (not Strauss). Add to that the shit storm Cook’s groupies in the media would kick up and you have it.
        Perhaps it will suit them if we get stuffed this summer. Then they can let him go with much fulsome thanks for his sterling service. Jo Root has now been lined up crown prince ready and waiting.
        If that’s the case I wouldn’t bet on it going well. Their ‘cunning plans’ tend to be Baldrick level as this last week has shown .

        Like

      • dvyk May 16, 2015 / 7:33 am

        @Alan,

        I’m just guessing, but I don’t think it was Downton’s decision at all to hang onto Cook. I think he was either instructed to by Clarke (as in Giles Clarke — although maybe Michael Clarke had some spare cash lying around and wanted a laugh)….

        Or Downton sensed the support Cook from Clarke and thought he’d be safe if he supported him fanatically. He obviously had no idea how to run a cricket team, and was hoping to buy himself a bit of job security by backing the boss’s favourite. Didn’t reckon with Cook being so useless.

        Like

      • alan May 16, 2015 / 8:21 am

        DVYK
        Yes I agree that Clarke’s fingerprints were all over it (not Michael! ).I’d just add that I think Flower was the prime motivater but he was just pushing at an open door
        Downton wanted to impress his new boss and make a mark in his new role by taking a ‘tough ‘ decision
        Of course he didn’t have what it takes to forsee the consequences of singling out a scapegoat from that failed team and ‘investing in its captain.
        A year later he becomes a scapegoat himself and walks the plank from the good ship ECB. Clarke,Flower and Cook sail on in one capacity or another

        Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine May 16, 2015 / 12:09 pm

      It’s worth a read, isn’t it? Interesting to get the perspective of someone who’s in the coaching game, and he tries hard to be fair to all. I think he’s a bit starry-eyed about Flower, but even since that was written more stuff has come out and he might not write the same now.

      I liked his acceptance that teams naturally flourish and wither and the trick for a coach is to get out before it all goes sour!

      Like

  39. Pontiac May 15, 2015 / 10:51 pm

    I wonder if there is any link with the news about that lot behind the ICL having another go?

    Like, ok if I were some Essel Group person I would sure be claiming in selected circles that I had a KP connection.

    Like

  40. Clivejw May 15, 2015 / 11:06 pm

    Let’s just remind ourselves of what sort of person Dominic Cork, who calls Pietersen “a bad egg”, is.

    1. Giving away county captain’s kit and stealing his car.

    There’s one ugly incident that has not gone past the dressing room door until now. It happened in 1997, when I was playing for Derbyshire against the touring Australians. I’d had some stern words with Derby problem child, Dominic Cork, about his attitude and fitness. After we’d spoken, and while I was in the middle batting, he proceeded to distribute the contents of my ”coffin” – five bats, many pairs of gloves and a host of other pieces of equipment – to a heap of kids, leaving me with nothing.

    He then proceeded to move my car from the car park to a street some two kilometres away. I informed police, thinking it was stolen, and it was found 48 hours later. Suffice to say I didn’t stay too long with that club.

    2. Refusing to bowl to the field he was set and throwing the ball at the England captain.

    DOMINIC CORK was at the lowest point of his bleakest year when he committed the sin which would have seen a less talented cricketer banished from the England team for ever.

    He was bowling in a Test in New Zealand when he and skipper Mike Atherton clashed over the positioning of a fielder.

    With a flash of the petulance which frequently returns to haunt him, Cork thrust the ball towards his captain and said: ‘Right, you ******* bowl then.’

    Even now, more than a year later, Cork will not help the incurably naive by filling in even the initial letter of the missing word.

    He confesses, though, that ‘it’s not one a good Catholic boy should have used to a man in any walk of life, let alone the England captain.’

    3. “Often involved in on-field tussles with the opposition, even if it meant going up to batsmen and pushing them intentionally for virtually no fault of theirs” (Abhishek Mukherjee) — the evidence:

    4. Humiliating an England team mate and a fellow fast bowler, one who had a better career average than anyone has subsequently managed for England:

    Moreover, my colleague Angus Fraser told me the other day that Cork was the only fellow England player he nearly punched, that once on a tour to South Africa he was serving as 12th man and Cork had him running this way and that fetching him things, as if to prove the point that he was playing and Fraser wasn’t.

    5. Making public allegations and refusing to back them up. Alleged that Pietersen “squared up” to Cook in the dressing room in Australia, then tried to climb down by calling it an “altercation” rather than “squaring up.”

    Dominic Cork – there was no 'squaring up' to Alastair Cook or 'off-field antics' in Australia – you are lying,plain & simple.— Jessica Taylor (@JessicaLibertyX) February 5, 2014

    Challenged on a radio program by Piers Morgan to repeat his allegation, Cork once again retreated behind the “altercation” claim. When pressed that he had originally said “squaring up,” Cork denied that that suggested Pietersen was getting ready to punch his captain.

    But Sky Sports reported Cork as saying “I heard there was nearly a dust-up, a fight in the Sydney Pavilion – you can’t do that to a captain.”

    6. Character references: “A show pony and a prima donna with an attitude problem…so unpopular with England players on last winter’s tour of New Zealand that they wanted him sent home.” (Geoffrey Boycott). “A big spoiled brat” (David Graveney). ‘A misfit…all too often he becomes the type of character who can be as unpopular with his team-mates as he is with the opposition” (David Lloyd). “You can’t keep acting like a kid. You’ve got to grow up.” (Darren Gough). “…a sad little man who’s always been stupendously jealous of KP’s greater talent.” (Piers Morgan, but probably right on this occasion).

    As this is an apolitical blog, I’ll steer clear of his nauseating, strident political views.

    Liked by 2 people

    • amit May 16, 2015 / 4:32 am

      Cork was almost obnoxious on the field. Never once, have I found myself liking him while playing or afterwards.

      Liked by 1 person

    • alan May 16, 2015 / 5:25 am

      You could send that to The Cricketer Clive . I’m sure that remorseless monitor of Kevin Pietersen’s ethics Mr Simon Hughes would be delighted to publish it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • volkerelle May 16, 2015 / 8:07 am

      People in glass houses throwing stones. What a tool. I guess it keeps him in the media circuit.

      Like

    • thebogfather May 16, 2015 / 1:52 pm

      CliveJW – Cork is not worth but a moment in our thoughts – well done for your piece tho’! I’ve been on at talksport to be rid of him regularly for being clueless, self-interested, implicitly ignorant etc for a while – at least Irani on talksport was just thick

      Like

  41. Amit Garg May 16, 2015 / 1:44 am

    So, what we’ve indeed learnt, is that you can go on behaving like an arse on the field or off it (broad drinking too much to join the sponsor’s event?) but all is forgiven, if your name is not KP.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Pontiac May 16, 2015 / 2:44 am

      The sledges, they write themselves….

      Like

      • d'Arthez May 16, 2015 / 9:47 am

        Write themselves?

        They’ll be rather slow, since Cook will have to wait for drinks to come on after an over, get the messenger boy to report the sledge to Flower / the member(s) of the backroom staff responsible for responding to sledges. I’d be surprised if the ECB did not employ a person for that, since every shred of creativity has been coached out of the players. Said member of the backroom staff has to think about a “witty” response. Another drinks break, and the messenger boy can scuttle back, to inform Cook how to respond.

        Otherwise Cook is too stupid to actually comprehend the sledge(s).

        One thing is certain: Rashid showed too limited potential for messenger boy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • d'Arthez May 16, 2015 / 9:52 am

        And lest you think I am too harsh on Cook, he has effectively acted as if we’re all too moronic to see through the obvious ploys, the spoilt brat persona, the whining, the lack of grace when defeated, and all the cringeworthy statements he has made in the past 18 months. And that is before I even bring up his “creative” captaincy, and the rabbit in headlights batting on too many occasions. If you want to be generous to Cook, it is a form of learned helplessness.

        Liked by 1 person

  42. Grumpy Gaz May 16, 2015 / 6:09 am

    I don’t think this was any pre-planned malicious set up by the ECB, I don’t think they even remotely that organised.

    I think the South-African born Director, Cricket did it for one simple reason; as Ricky Ponting says, it’s all about the runs. If you keep scoring runs they just cannot ignore you. The public, all those outside cricket where the money comes form, get to see an exciting, entertaining player with a proven test track record making relentless big scores over and over at a time when the both test and ODI teams are a bit pants and sorely in need of a middle-order match winner.

    That sort of thing gathers momentum, the papers follow public opinion and soon there is a clamour to get that player reinstated and that kind of momentum costs jobs when they don’t re-instate and the team gets its arse kicked.

    I don’t think this was malicious at all, I simply think Graves saw the problem, recognised that sacking KP with no explanation was pretty unprecedented in the game and a lot of people got upset over it. He recognised that basing your selection process on having ‘the right sort of family’ is making us an international joke.

    Consequently, he made assurances that he thought were valid and then I think he got properly stitched up by Clarke. Strauss & Cook have demonstrated they are unable to put the good of English cricket above their personal feelings and will only let KP put on an England shirt over their cold dead bodies and as Graves wasn’t in post yet he couldn’t do a lot about it. How would is look to the world if Graves sacked Strauss first day in office, said KP was eligible for selection and had Cook quit. Yeah, we would all be overjoyed but as an organisation the ECB would look even more of a mess than it already does. All that just before the Ashes? Never going to happen.

    If he insists on undoing it all once in post he would essentially be starting a civil war within the ECB and remember, he can’t just do as he wishes, he has the board to answer to and you can bet Clarke still wields a fair bit of power within that organisation.

    Ultimately, Graves made assurances when he didn’t have the power to enforce them and now he finds himself between a rock and a hard place and thus we get lawyered-up weasel-words about promises and guarantees that we all know KP never wanted or expected.

    All KP wanted was to be fairly considered for selection based on his cricketing ability. All we have ever wanted is a proper and full explanation as to what ‘exactly’ were the reasons he got sacked.

    We all believe he was sacked for nonsense, bullshit, politically motivated personal issues that had nothing to do with his cricket performances. In the wake of England cricket’s worst ever Ashes defeat we believe Pietersen was used as a scapegoat to settle personal grudges and this meant the real issues were ignored.

    The results over the last 16 months certainly indicate we were right. The lack of any meaningful explanation from the ECB during that period also indicates we were right. Clarke appointing the South-African born Stauss as Dictator, Cricket who appears unable to get over his personal grudges against KP was a reinforcement of the fact that we were right. It also shows nothing has changed within the ECB.

    We STILL have not addressed why we got thrashed 5-0 and until we do, things will not improve.

    Liked by 3 people

    • BoerInAustria May 16, 2015 / 7:35 am

      “So your culture and your development of your people, serve you well, they serve you better in times of trouble, that is when the real pressure comes on obviously. And if you are only looking at this narrow focus of winning, I think it is a dangerous road to go down. That is my experience of it.”

      http://www.leadersinsport.com/insight/articles/275/andy-flower-ecb/

      Do watch the Flower video above – incredible how elitist he sees leadership and how he is still on about a culture / legacy. He talks about a cricket team like a bunch of boy scouts (also see his militaristic methods of camps in Germany and visiting Yppes).

      The “reasons” you search are clear – Pietersen does not accept to be moulded and formed into a collective of “soldiers” given their marching orders and willing to ride into the valley of death even if the command to charge (fitness training, bowl half trackers) is wrong.

      Flower believes that under pressure “tricky” players cause the “culture to crack: “we drifted away from the strong pillars that formed a strong foundation of our culture, stuff like honesty, personal responsibility, respect.” (sound familiar?) …”

      They are busy rebuilding the “leaderhip” and “culture” that form the foundations. This is the regime in power at the ECB that is “institutionalising success” by “Develop a culture where the team is always greater than an individual (however talented) but that allows for different personalities and player styles to flourish.”

      http://www.fticonsulting.com/global2/media/collateral/united-kingdom/drawing-parallels-between-business-and-sport.pdf

      It is obvious that the cult of Flower is well established at the ECB. The partnership with Strauss now renewed. There is no way back for KP. The empty talk of “future” etc. is all designed to keep the employment lawyers of their back.

      This legacy stuff. And certainly Mr Pietersen will NOT have the oppertunity his name/legacy on some batting record. Hence Mr Cook needs to stay.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pontiac May 16, 2015 / 1:39 pm

        Yeah, it probably all comes down to Pietersen probably being smarter at how to win cricket matches than various people who think he should be taking instruction from him. Unforgivably correct. Perhaps it all goes back to Cook wanting to do physical training 4 tests into the tour and Pietersen saying, “What, are you high?”

        In that light, Cook = Robert Scott, Pietersen = Roald Amundsen. I’m seeing a lot of parallels here…

        Like

    • Grumpy Gaz May 16, 2015 / 7:55 am

      Ugh, need and edit button for typos and grammar… that Dictator, Cricket one can stay though 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Zephirine May 16, 2015 / 12:05 pm

      Excellent summary, and probably right about Graves.

      Like

  43. dvyk May 16, 2015 / 8:05 am

    Another question the yellow media has ignored — if KP “hasn’t been banned” and “might play at some point after this summer” as Strauss said, then that revokes Downton’s sacking. In other words, it’s an acknowledgment that Downton’s decision was wrong.

    Graves, when he declared KP would be available if he played CC, directly contradicted Downton’s decision and effectively revoked it.

    That can only mean that the ECB owes Pietersen an official apology.

    Or he is still sacked, and Graves owes him an apology for lying to him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Boz May 16, 2015 / 9:36 am

      Pietersen has not been ‘sacked’ – they really have no grounds to sack him otherwise they would have done so last year. The ECB knows it’s on tenuous grounds and would be challenged. What they have set about, with their lackeys in the media, is to undertake a character assassination job and ‘set him aside’ in the most ridiculous fashion. This has created the monster we have today. Strauss played into this scenario on Monday, being enabled to bring all of his personal spite into play – much like Cook’s diatribe against Graves – and they get away with it. The ECB can’t help themselves as they are never going to admit they got it wrong and are never going to apologise.

      Graves, to most people’s dismay, gave the impression of wanting to sort things out – all he has done is dig himself and the ECB into an even bigger hole. The ECB is truly the laughing stock of world cricket and regularly spurns any opportunity to make things better. Not one of them can see the wood for the trees whilst English cricket dies – these people are not custodians of ‘our’ game – they are egotistical, moronic wasters. Note the difference in ECB approach to Pietersen and that to Broad in the last couple of days. The ECB accept Broad being ‘ill’ despite rumours to the contrary because it suits their narrative. I’ve run out of suitable adjectives to use about the ECB – they will not change unless people stand up to them – the only way to do that is hit them where it hurts most – don’t pay and don’t go to cricket – the ECB relies on people turning up despite the hassle – direct action is what it will take and even then change won’t happen overnight………………

      Like

      • dvyk May 16, 2015 / 10:05 am

        It reminds me a bit of the Darrel Hair court case, where the head of the ICC stood up in court and sack “sacked? We didn’t him” and clearly didn’t have the slightest clue what the case was all about or who was involved in it. (He thought Billy Doctrove was South African.) Graves seems to me to have done something a bit similar — not really knowing what it was all about and naively thinking he could stamp his authority on the situation.

        As for Broad, yes I noticed that the “spokesperson” for the ECB didn’t deny the reports, and simply said “he said was ill” and clearly won’t bother to look deeper. I know that papers make up rumours sometimes, but not usually over such trivialities, and not usually naming two other well known figures. Prior and Flintoff could easily deny it if it wasn’t true.

        I also notice the Barmy Army has also been roped in by the DM to tell the fans that “everyone is sick of hearing about it”. Well, first up, fans are more angry about favouritism, double standards, lies, management speak, and corruption, as well as losing their best player, plus seeing a player — any player — being treated so badly.

        And secondly, I’m sorry — maybe I’m way out of turn being an Aussie on an English fan blog, but let me say this — I heard the Barmy Army trumpeter playing “Country Road take me home” over and over again in the last test series. You want to know what I’m sick to death of hearing???? Just fucking ask me.

        Like

      • Mike May 16, 2015 / 11:48 am

        Not one to condone violence by any stretch, but anyone who brings a trumpet into the ground should be aware of the consequences…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Pontiac May 16, 2015 / 1:42 pm

        This hyena grew up in West Virginia; inflicting that song on an unwilling audience should be grounds for ejection.

        Liked by 2 people

  44. Boz May 16, 2015 / 9:21 am

    Just in from the EnglishCretinousBastards at Lords:

    “Don’t get carried away with Alex Hales’s 6 sixes off 6 balls last night. He couldn’t even manage them all in one over. It’s a good job he’s going to the IPL where he can learn how to play cricket. If he does well he may have an opportunity to play in the ODI/T20 side maybe batting at No 5 but don’t forget we have stars already in Rooty, Ballancey, and Ali-y.”

    Like

    • thebogfather May 16, 2015 / 1:57 pm

      Yet, on form, Hales should be opening with Sheep next week, however sad that is for Lyth who has been saddled with no match practice by the ECB selectors… Or has Hales been cast astray for wanting to bat with/learn from KP as he said?

      Like

  45. SimonH May 16, 2015 / 9:45 am

    Simon Barnes has argued this before but it is still a good point about the lingering Victorian public school attitude to sport as a morality play:

    “Sport and morality are always getting confused, and most often on the issue of The Team. Victorian educationists loved sport because it taught unquestioning obedience to authority and the virtues of sinking self into common cause: best way to produce manly chaps to run the Empire. Part of sport still hasn’t moved on – and you can double that whenever an England team is involved”.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/cricket/kevin-pietersen-a-morality-play-when-england-take-the-field-10254231.html

    He’s still repeating the fabrication that Pietersen leaked team secrets to the South Africans, mind.

    Like

    • paulewart May 16, 2015 / 10:37 am

      Orwell was, as ever, more honest about it all:

      Sport is war by other means.

      Like

    • amit May 16, 2015 / 11:15 am

      Quite a balanced article I think, given the usual coverage in MSM.
      Massively positive, for not using the “south african born” tag.
      But, i would have so loved to see the texts being omitted – how can they still be an issue after him getting fired for them once?
      And then the book. Oh “THE BOOK”.
      What was supposed to be his side of story, in the context of an unjustified firing and continued character assassination, has been turned into an act so vile and unprompted, without provocation. Only in England, can such a dark comedy be played out in public.

      Liked by 1 person

    • BoerInAustria May 16, 2015 / 11:25 am

      I see the caption under one of the images say:
      – Andrew Strauss there were “massive turst issues” with Pietersen
      Is this MINDFLICK speak?

      PS – in the Flower video he expresses the Victorian views 100%

      Like

  46. SimonH May 16, 2015 / 10:00 am

    Cricinfo poll stands at 82% for a Pietersen recall (with another 4.5% for ‘yes – but not yet) out of 100000+ votes. This is almost exactly the figure in the polls in the DT, Mail and Mirror.

    Internet polls have all sorts of flaws – but the results are remarkably consistent. They certainly say more than what Derek Pringle reckons he found at various “functions”.

    Like

    • amit May 16, 2015 / 11:18 am

      Mind sees what it wants to see. DP is a joke anyways, a PJ so bad, that it’s best ignored.

      Like

  47. thebogfather May 16, 2015 / 11:20 am

    Cowardice, as distinguished from panic, is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend the functioning of the imagination – Hemingway

    Like

    • thebogfather May 16, 2015 / 11:23 am

      Dishonesty, cowardice and duplicity are never impulsive. – George Knight

      Like

      • thebogfather May 16, 2015 / 11:59 am

        Basically saying that the ECB knew what they wanted to do, didn’t know how to do it, and were scared of doing it but did something hoping no-one would notice their ineptitude, as ineptitude is their only skill…

        Like

    • "IronBalls" McGinty May 16, 2015 / 1:15 pm

      It’s utter cockwaffle…is what is! Their batsmen not up to much? Must’ve been just their bowlers took them to No 1 then?

      Like

      • amit May 16, 2015 / 1:50 pm

        With this sort of “analysis” England didn’t make it to the knockouts at WC. We seem to have quite a few of this type. Don’t we?

        Like

    • thebogfather May 16, 2015 / 2:02 pm

      please all – don’t promote such drivel on this site! 😉

      Like

      • alan May 16, 2015 / 3:08 pm

        Bogfather
        It’s only fair to draw attention to it
        These poor people spend a great deal of time submitting one entry after another trying to take the coveted position at the top of Dmitri’s list. It would cruel to ignore them

        Liked by 1 person

      • thebogfather May 16, 2015 / 3:20 pm

        @Alan – the only cruelties are to Dmitri with such a multitude of msm patheticity, and to us all where the pathetique of the cricket critique is so laughably poor – we should thus ignore… It’s the ECB who we should now fully direct our derision and stance, the MSM will continue to um and err in their ivory tower ignorance…

        Like

    • dvyk May 16, 2015 / 2:39 pm

      Nice to see someone talking about the Ashes and bristling with confidence about England’s chances…………….. of avoiding a white wash.

      (Now we know how the Anal-est defines success for this series.)

      Like

      • thebogfather May 16, 2015 / 2:57 pm

        He has a once wonderful monthly rag to drown in his and his fellow plot losers drivel – Selfie, Prug et al… TheCricketer is on it’s death knells due – so sad, I bought every copy from 76 to 2012, even some back issues prior – now it’s no more than an MSM bleat – RIP TheCricketer…

        Like

    • BoerInAustria May 16, 2015 / 4:49 pm

      be careful – that could become the inside??

      Liked by 1 person

  48. Arron Wright May 16, 2015 / 9:38 pm

    Christ, that Strauss piece in the Guardian makes me feel like I wasted 34 years following English cricket.

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus May 16, 2015 / 9:41 pm

      You are my minion.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright May 16, 2015 / 9:49 pm

        Saw that. Ignorance is bliss. Honestly though, this man was a magnificent batsman for two years, a very fine one thereafter, a good captain, he’s associated with many of the greatest moments I have enjoyed watching England. How can he overshadow all that with a c-bomb, a poxy grudge and a few days of corporate white noise? It’s quite an achievement.

        Liked by 1 person

        • LordCanisLupus May 16, 2015 / 10:02 pm

          He does himself discredit. He had so much in the bank too. Even in ODI. No-one seems to notice that he scored a 158 in a World Cup match chasing down 340 I believe, and was out in the early 40 over mark. He could play that game.

          This is just bland corporate speak, repeating the same old mantra. In fact, I’d go as far to say it’s inane bollox.

          Liked by 1 person

    • paule May 17, 2015 / 6:19 am

      Good job he didn’t cite the ‘no dickhead’ rule as he clearly doesn’t understand it.
      The man’s a fool and a prig who puts personal pride above the national team.
      Bang goes any chance of hiring a reputable coach Go Stauss! Well done you. C**t.

      Like

  49. SimonH May 16, 2015 / 9:45 pm

    More good stuff from Ali Martin:

    http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/may/16/andrew-strauss-england-coach-kevin-pietersen

    Liked this line on Strauss – “His true brief is to set a four-year plan in motion that will release England from the constipated cricket that turned their World Cup into a long walk off a short pier and has left the Test side seemingly only ever one defeat from requiring open-heart surgery”.

    The quotes from Strauss are the key part –

    The coach – “Any coach who comes into the England environment will know the situation. And he also, if his philosophy is aligned with mine, will understand the importance of trust in a team environment and why we made the call we made [on Pietersen] – because trust doesn’t exist. So I would have thought he’d understand the situation and be willing to work on those terms.”

    Style of play – “Everyone wants people to go out there and take the game to the opposition, whack them for 500 in 30 overs and bowl them out for 10. That would be perfect but that’s not the reality. The style of cricket comes with the level of confidence of the players, the ability to get on top of opposition and that is going to take time, it won’t come overnight. I can’t go into the dressing room next week and say ‘lads, you need to score five an over’ – that’s ridiculous.”

    Team culture – “The All Blacks have a very strong team identity and that sort of philosophy is absolutely spot on. England cricketers have got to be unbelievably proud of pulling on that shirt and there has got to be a whole culture that is associated with it. It’s not just about putting it on and going out and playing cricket, there has got to be something much bigger than that.

    “That drives everything and it’s got to be policed and bought into by the players themselves. That’s the only way culture works properly. Part of my job is to look at other sports and work out what we can take from them.

    The Ashes – “There’s been a lot of people saying we don’t have a chance of winning this Ashes series – I don’t believe that for one moment. I’m not holding my hands up and saying we will lose this Ashes series to Australia, I think we have got a good chance of winning it.”

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus May 16, 2015 / 9:46 pm

      Been all over it on Twitter, Simon. It’s like Downton never left.

      And got an insult in the process! Inane Bollox.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH May 16, 2015 / 10:02 pm

        I’ll toddle over and have a look…..

        Good article (one obtuse comment aside) from Vic Marks as well.

        Like

    • dlpthomas May 16, 2015 / 11:40 pm

      So does Strauss think England had a good “team culture” when he was in charge?

      Liked by 1 person

      • BoerInAustria May 17, 2015 / 6:14 am

        Yes, they do (They, the CLINTONs: Flower and Strauss)

        “Number one, Strauss went, he retired….Number two, I had personal issues, … step back a little from my commitments with the England side, so I ended up only coaching the England Test side. …And I shared the coaching, so we brought in a one day and 20-20 coach in Ashley Giles, a very good operator. …But those 2 major shifts in our leadership meant that there was a change in culture and I think in a number of ways we drifted away from the strong pillars that formed a strong foundation of our cul-ture, stuff like honesty, personal responsibility, respect. ” AF 2015

        That means Flower believes until Strauss went, the culture of “honesty, responsibility and respect” was in place. The golden past. We were one happy and succesful family.

        Leaks, bullying, KPGenius. Never happened.

        Liked by 1 person

      • hatmallet May 17, 2015 / 9:15 am

        There was, it just didn’t last. From 2009 to 2011 everything was rosy. In 2012 everything went tits up on and off the field.

        Liked by 1 person

  50. Zephirine May 16, 2015 / 10:18 pm

    Good piece by Vic Marks in the G, Still ‘more in sorrow than in anger’ but a lot more acid than he usually is.

    Liked by 1 person

  51. SimonH May 16, 2015 / 10:48 pm

    “I just happen to respect Cook as a human being”. Guess who?

    Like

  52. SimonH May 16, 2015 / 11:15 pm

    Brenkley’s take is pretty tedious. There is –

    “Cook might have indicated that he would resign the captaincy were Pietersen to return”

    – which isn’t exactly a denial.

    Oliver Holt is the one that needs breakable objects placed at a safe distance before going over there.

    Like

    • Zephirine May 16, 2015 / 11:59 pm

      Ironically, Pietersen’s criticisms of Cook in the book were that he was a docile company man who would do whatever the bosses wanted. Now Cook seems to be issuing ultimatums and setting ECB policy, so surely he has no need to be still holding a grudge about accusations of meekness.

      Liked by 1 person

  53. Clivejw May 17, 2015 / 3:44 am

    I expect the Guardian mods will take fright at my description of Harrison in my latest post, so I’ll share it with you here:

    Handy cut-out-and-keep guide for the new England coach to who’s in charge of English cricket. Caution: subject to change without warning after latest cock-up.

    Tom Harrison, CEO. Sacked Paul Downton and appointed Paul Downton II. Word of advice: get anything he promises you in writing and witnessed by at least a dozen lawyers. Don’t forget to record any conversation you might have with him. So shifty he makes the rest of the chiselling little crooks seem like George Washington.

    [b]Andrew Strauss, Director, Cricket[/b]. They’ve still not given him a job description, but he does have a comma. Word of advice: Whenever he uses the word “trust,” count your spoons. You are sure to have one or two short. Once had a decent cricket brain and plenty of common sense. Then read a business management textbook and says things like “use the life-raft or the foundation as being what is in the best interests of English cricket going forward.” Try reading that to your dog slowly and see what happens, as no human has ever been able to understand it.

    [b]Alastair “Dear Boy” Cook, England captain [/b]– also known as: Sheep and Tantrum Boy. Got all in a fret when he lost his Uncles Paul and Giles, but now his Big Brother Andrew is there, all is well again. Known to stamp his foot and scream if he doesn’t get his own way. Pat him on the head and keep telling the press about his “inner steel.” The press laps that up.

    [b]Andy “Herr Fuhrer” Flower [/b]– power behind the many thrones of English cricket, currently in a padded cell in his bunker in Loughborough, but frequently escapes to issue ultimatums under the name of “ECB Admin.”

    And last and most definitely least:

    [b]Colin Graves[/b], ECB Chairman. Nominally in charge, but in practice has delegated all his powers to Harrison, Strauss, and the Lord’s tea ladies. Likely to say something wildly off message from time to time, but can safely be ignored.

    Liked by 2 people

    • dvyk May 17, 2015 / 7:46 am

      Rather than copy and paste the whole thing, just this bit–

      “If Pietersen was found guilty of disagreeing with Cook’s captaincy then they’ve hung the wrong man. England should have dismissed those players who agreed with Cook’s captaincy.
      England have obsessed over who should be the new director of cricket and whether they needed a different coach, while avoiding the most important question: can England win the Ashes with Cook as captain?”

      Liked by 1 person

      • waikatoguy May 17, 2015 / 8:28 am

        Chappell’s been saying this sort of thing about Cooks captaincy for some time. In fact last year I think he wrote an article about who was the worst test captain, Cook or Dhoni? He decided that it was Cook.

        Liked by 1 person

    • dvyk May 17, 2015 / 8:47 am

      @bogfather

      I guess that explains why Strauss is looking to other sports to get ideas for his “philosophy” — because everyone who knows anything about cricket would tell the same things Chappelli said.

      Liked by 2 people

  54. dvyk May 17, 2015 / 8:37 am

    A few thoughts about the tidal wave of nonsense in the UK press this press this morning–

    Looking at the papers today, a fews things strike me. Strauss wants English cricket to emulate the All Blacks. Didn’t Downton do that? Strauss wants the the new coach to implicitly admit that he also would not have been able to deal with KP. Strauss doesn’t know the difference between fact and subjective experience. He should be allowed to ride public transport without supervision, let alone run a cricket team.

    Broad lied to the ECB about going out on a bender, no doubt without realising Flintoff had tweeted about it and it was already in the papers. An anonymous spokesperson from the ECB confirmed they would believe his story rather than the evidence. Now Broad has realised everyone knows he was lying, and told an extra lie to cover it up — that he “stayed out later than he professionally should have” but did really have a migraine and not a hangover. The ECB will accept that too because it suits them.

    If Gillespie were coach I doubt he would have accepted that, given he disciplined Woakes last week. Another article I saw late last night and can’t find again was already gloating about how Aust will “rue” not getting Gillespie. Listen you idiots, get first, gloat later, and also the ECB doesn’t even want Gillespie. They won’t even offer it to him.

    Another thing I notice (sorry for rambling like this) is that journalists ALWAYS talk about KP’s book in terms of the effects it supposedly had, rather than its contents. Yes it would have upset Andersen to be called a bully, but if their response to it is to bully the guy who wrote and keep him out of the team, that confirms the accusations.

    The book didn’t “burn bridges”. Downton burned the bridge. Graves built it back again using KP’s money and the ECB’s reputation, and Strauss burned it again.

    If players were upset about what KP wrote about them, I would suggest they do some personal growth and corporate training exercises and learn to get over it. That’s what those kinds of exercises are for.

    “Strauss has scanned the world’s top sports teams for ideas and will be picking the brains of leading coaches in other areas.”

    Go on Straussy off you go. Go and ask all those rugby playres how they would deal with their hurt feelings if someone called them a doos or Ned Flanders. And make sure you take careful notes. And watch your tongue too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • paule May 17, 2015 / 9:59 am

      This (all blacks) campaign started under Downton. For quite some time the ECB have been suffering from a delusion: that cricket and rugby are the same sports. This explains Steve James, Downton et al profiling Stuart Lancaster right, left and centre. Problem is, Lancaster may have developed a good team culture (who knows?) but he’s won diddly squat.

      Like

      • BoerInAustria May 17, 2015 / 10:50 am

        Downton was speaking pure Andy Flower.

        They are all speaking the same (see links above for Flower quotes):

        Alistair Cook 20.04.2014:
        Cook suggested that the new regime could well take inspiration from the way Stuart Lancaster has rebuilt the England rugby team following the failed regime of his predecessor Martin Johnson.

        “The England rugby team has evolved particularly well and it would be wrong not to look at the way they’ve done that,” said Cook. “That kind of stuff, the Englishness, the legacy you want to leave behind, of the culture we want to create…”

        http://www1.skysports.com/cricket/news/12173/9275480/alastair-cook-and-peter-moores-prepare-to-start-rebuilding-the-england-team

        Stuart Lancaster 1.11.2014
        “Fundamentally my belief is that the culture is set by the head coach,” he says. “The high-performance environments which have won consistently have all been driven by the head coach, rather than anyone else.”

        He omitted 13 players from the squad … told his players “to be humble, not to be arrogant, to re-spect each other and everyone else, to accept the responsibility of being an England player.”
        Lancaster is in thrall to the All Blacks… I asked him what book he was reading. … ‘Legacy. What the All Blacks Can Teach Us About the Business of Life’ by James Kerr.

        “It’s about leadership, based on the principles the All Blacks have used in their culture and their identity, and some of the values they live by,” he said.

        Mavericks? Kevin Pietersen would have no chance of earning a place in a team led by Lancaster. … .. If a team isn’t strong enough culturally then that can destroy a team.”

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/international/england/11196506/Revealed-How-Stuart-Lancaster-transformed-England-from-national-laughing-stock-into-World-Cup-hopefuls.html

        And Strauss now…

        MINDFLICK…

        Liked by 1 person

      • paule May 17, 2015 / 4:16 pm

        And what is it that Stuart Lancaster has transformed England in to? Oh…..They might just be better off studying Clive Woodward’s England, y’know, the ones that won stuff, or closer to home Michael Vaughan and Duncan Fletcher’s England: now there’s a thought.

        Like

      • Burly May 17, 2015 / 11:01 pm

        Not keen on people putting the boot into Lancaster. He’s put together a good side and completely transformed the team after the utter humiliation of the 2011 world cup (where bad attitudes were tolerated).

        And he’s taken one of those guys ditched after 2011 who was somewhat scapegoated – Nick Easter – and given him a recall in his mid 30s because his form and experience earned it…

        England rugby are at the very least as good as the sum of their parts, with a clear and sensible approach to the game. England cricket? Don’t make me laugh.

        Like

    • Zephirine May 17, 2015 / 11:17 am

      Great post, Dvyk.

      Like

  55. hatmallet May 17, 2015 / 9:20 am

    The Oliver Holt article is…interesting. To bring KP back would have torn the side in two. But apparently it would have the easy choice. And 1 + 1 = 3

    Chappell article is very good.

    Like

    • SimonH May 17, 2015 / 10:01 am

      “People talk about me and Kevin not getting on but I don’t know where that comes from. I’m not aware of any issues between us and it’s frustrating when things get spoken of as fact when it’s not the case”.

      So Oliver Holt’s claim that Broad would have walked out rather than play with Pietersen is shown, within hours, by his own newspaper, to be an absolute crock.

      Like

  56. dvyk May 17, 2015 / 10:48 am

    A couple more things about KP’s book.

    They keep banging on about how nasty it was, but really, there was absolutely nothing in it at all that deserves such a reaction. He wrote nothing about anyone’s private life, Yes, he was particularly hostile and personal towards Prior, but Prior isn’t playing anymore. The bullying stuff was obvious to anyone who watched — I noticed it already in Moores’ first gig, and was sickened by it. KP just confirmed it.

    KP was not, as the press insist, merely grizzling and attacking team mates. Rather he was complaining about double standards. Tony Cozier in his latest (truly dreadful) piece has failed to understand this.

    Others did worse things than KP did and went unpunished. And this is continuing. The press keeps mentioning doos-gate, but Cook’s public ridiculing of Graves is never mentioned, nor framed as what it was. Had KP said that they’d still be talking about in 6 years time.

    We also see Broad missing an ECB event because of a hangover after staying out all night, then lying to the ECB that he had a migraine, and repeating that lie after being forced by the press to admit he was out all night. There are two or three misdemeanors there, but the ECB see nothing wrong. Yet they claim they had a list of 50 misdemeanors for KP.

    Plus he accused the ECB of leaking information tot he press about confidential conversations he’d had with Flower and Cook. No one in the press ever even mentions that, but they have continued printing leaks.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. Clivejw May 17, 2015 / 10:49 am

    Have we mentioned this, from Stuart Broad’s article in this morning’s M***?

    People talk about me and Kevin not getting on but I don’t know where that comes from. I’m not aware of any issues between us and it’s frustrating when things get spoken of as fact when it’s not the case.

    Hmm. Also contains his carefully worded not-quite-denial of being on a drunken binge before missing England sponsor function due to “migraine.”

    Like

    • volkerelle May 17, 2015 / 6:01 pm

      That just made my evening! Hope it’s true!

      Liked by 1 person

    • SimonH May 17, 2015 / 12:18 pm

      “There is no ‘i’ in team, but there is an ‘i’ in toxic”.

      That’s one of his better arguments. Seriously.

      Like

      • d'Arthez May 17, 2015 / 12:48 pm

        There are two ‘i’s in idiot. Guess the captain is nailed on then.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright May 17, 2015 / 1:59 pm

        We really needed that dose of “common sense”, thanks Jim.

        I am amazed he can even tie his own shoelaces.

        Meanwhile, guess who’s having a really topical pop at Michael Clarke, with a wisecrack so stunningly bitter and irrelevant even Malcolm Conn pities him?

        Like

      • paule May 17, 2015 / 4:17 pm

        Aye but there’s a u in c*nt Jim.

        Like

  58. I shall remain anonymous May 17, 2015 / 12:44 pm

    Another ECB suit speaks. Lord Ian MacLaurin: Kevin Pietersen is not a team player

    “Look at the last Test series in Australia and see what Mr Pietersen did,” added MacLaurin. “He scored two 50s in 10 innings and averaged under 30. I might actually go out and do that.”

    Like

  59. Phil May 17, 2015 / 12:56 pm

    Jim could make Dmitri’s top three with just two articles. Quite impressive really.

    I hope Dominic Cork merits a mention, the odious hypocrite just can’t shut up.

    The papers are back to their best. I constantly talk to cricket fans who know knothing of the MSM / ECB love in, who are finding England difficult to support. Pringle was correct then, the ‘fair weather supporters’ are losing interest.

    Like

  60. Sherwick May 17, 2015 / 1:05 pm

    I’m a fair weather supporter. I supported England for 40 years and it was all fair weather (ha ha ha), but no more.

    Like

    • Pontiac May 17, 2015 / 1:47 pm

      I think that’s actually how this is going to unwind. There are a lot of people who have not followed all the details of this situation and to date the media and ECB have been holding the line by the usual techniques of omitting facts and false analogy, and this will work for quite a while.

      But these people probably do know someone who has better information. If the results on the field are bad – and this was starting to happen last year, losing both series to Sri Lanka, up through the first couple tests to India – conversations will start and more and more of the public will start to evaluate the whole narrative.

      Like

    • alan May 17, 2015 / 3:56 pm

      I’m also a so called ‘fair weather’ supporter sadly of almost 60 years. My love of the England cricket team has withstood many storms, on the field and off.
      This latest MacLaurin intervention merely confirms that there are no depths those ‘inside cricket ‘ and their cheerleaders are prepared to stoop to. I’ve had it with them now.
      I can never identify with any team that is representative of these people . Patriotism has nothing to do with it. This team for me is not representative of England as a nation. It is representative of an elitist, self entitled clique who have nothing but contempt for the likes of me. I return their contempt with interest. That wouldn’t bother them in the slightest of course. But please Jonathan Agnew or anyone else in the media spare me your guff about rallying round ‘our’ team. They may be your team but they’re certainly not mine and I’m as fond of my country as any of you are

      Liked by 2 people

  61. thebogfather May 17, 2015 / 1:40 pm

    Let the thunderstorms flow
    En-Lightning the ECB and their luvvies to know
    We will not stop and ever show
    All their patheticities, in our outside rich glow…

    Like

  62. SimonH May 17, 2015 / 1:52 pm

    Harrison seems to have changed his tune on the importance of FTA coverage as well (judging by the report in the DT).

    Like

    • thebogfather May 17, 2015 / 2:04 pm

      What or whether, It’s fair weather blether… The ECB admin hierarchy with pronouncements so sarky, should not take away our view, from the Cook/Flower/Strauss impregnable crew – let’s concentrate on that, so much floss and silently violent dross from them, with such insular phlegm…

      Like

    • thebogfather May 17, 2015 / 2:07 pm

      Harrison is tuneless, like an X-Factor contestant who didn’t get past the blips fun bit, yet didn’t understand as to how and why he’s a complete tit…

      Like

  63. thebogfather May 17, 2015 / 2:16 pm

    Has anyone seen either of our beloved leaders? Or have Dmitri and Leggy legged it and left it to us ‘minions’? :))

    Like

    • Zephirine May 17, 2015 / 2:34 pm

      Maybe they’re having an afternoon off. They deserve one.

      Liked by 1 person

  64. Cricketjon May 17, 2015 / 3:07 pm

    I really wish more could be made of Cook’s despariging comments about Colin “Integrity” Graves. If he is such a man of integrity and given his “serious enquiries” approach to any malfunctioning of the Team England machine, I’m surprised he hasn’t taken this up with The Chosen One. Then again, I’m not surprised..

    Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez May 17, 2015 / 4:05 pm

      And the silence from Strauss with regards to Broad’s night out is staggering. Oh wait, it was his personal responsibility to come up with a lame excuse. Broad succeeded, so apparently Bell took one for the team and all is fine.

      Never mind that it was not truthful. Are any laptops or media devices going to be confiscated to look into the deleted tweets? Thought not. Any attempts to grill Strauss about issues of trust and personal responsibility? Thought not.

      The day English cricketing media becomes honest again, is the day England can start to seriously compete on the field again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • paule May 17, 2015 / 4:26 pm

        Indeed. They should put their own house in order before talking of culture.

        Like

    • dvyk May 17, 2015 / 4:34 pm

      Oh come on, all he called him was a Yorkshireman, and he implied that it was not just him but all Yorkshiremen who are ridiculous. And all Selvey called him was an idiot. It wasn’t as if they called him a doos or Ned Flanders. And both Cook and Selvey are certified Englishmen, just like Strauss and Ballance and Flower and Trott and Prior and Stokes (perhaps – decision pending).

      Like

  65. Ann Weatherly-Barton (@xpressanny) May 17, 2015 / 9:23 pm

    Now boys and girls. I know I read this on a thread somewhere that Agnew said that Alistair Cook is not on Twitter. Now I could do with a link to that? Tregaskis needs it.

    I’ve had a good goosey on Twitter and the only Cook twitter account is “I’m not Cooky”. I remember looking before to see if he is on Twitter and I cannot find anything.

    Thing is. Did Graves say that Cook and his wife were very upset by tweets received? However, if he is not on Twitter how can this have happened? Or is it that tweets about him have been passed on?

    Facts would be good.

    Like

    • BoerInAustria May 17, 2015 / 9:30 pm

      “There is an agenda out there, which can be seen by anyone on social media. Cook is not on Twitter but he has been made aware. These personal, vitriolic attacks by some high-profile individuals are out of order and have stepped over the mark.

      However, Cook is such a steely individual that they might even make him dig his heels in even more. If that is the case, certain issues need addressing.

      http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/cricket/28005387

      🙂

      Like

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