Adelaide to Perth

Telegraph Cricket Editorial

It was a lovely sunny morning in Adelaide. We were mightily depressed, after the events of the day before. We’d been through the mill, watching England fail to see out the day and Australia clinch the second test. The four of us were bidding farewell to a city that had seen a fair bit of drama. I’d seen what self-confidence I had in the wake of my parents (both of them) deaths in the past 18 months had been destroyed. But it was time to leave Adelaide, and my wallet was left there too.

We arrived at Adelaide Airport, ready for the flight to Perth. We were a bit late, as the Western Australians had done something funky with their times. We gawped at the stars in and around the queue. Adam Gilchrist was whisked through (but he wasn’t on our plane) while Gladstone Small and Phil DeFreitas were in the queue behind us. Oh look, there’s Tim Abraham from Sky, and look, there’s Simon Barnes….

As we boarded the flight the sheer hilarity was apparent. Sitting two rows behind us were CMJ and Derek Pringle. Oh yes. So while we were squeezed up on a Qantas cross-country flight to Perth, so were CMJ and Pringle. However, let us remember. We’d paid for our seats.

What’s the point of this recollection, some of you may ask? None really. Just the juxtaposition that there was I, paying some fair sum out of my meagre resources, while on the same flight were the pros. The men paid to write, paid to watch cricket, paid to comment. It’s something that drives me a little. The little man with no say, other than being a cricket nut who would follow his team to the other end of the earth and not have our lamentable performances ruin his holiday, against the grizzled old pros, who owed their whole livelihood to the game, and now made money out of not participating.

This memory, of that Qantas flight, smacked me between the eyes on the way home tonight. I try, as a rule, not to write while under the influence of alcohol, but tonight I will make an exception. I should not get annoyed, but when I’m personally attacked, in an impersonal manner, I’ll fight on my behalf. The source of my ire is this:

Some of you picked up on it. I saw it at lunchtime. The mere fact he’d copied in numbers 1,2,4 and 5 in the pantheon of shame from last night had meant he’d decided to call me irrelevant. How absolutely hilarious. The reason for my irrelevance is, according to what I infer from the tweet in my honour, my anonymity. My hiding behind a supposed pseudonym. Well. old chap, that’s a shame as I’m sticking behind my nom de blog, as you call it, for now. The problem is that me, and the people who comment on the posts we painstakingly, and lovingly, write (and I know I speak for Vian on this too) are doing for free, for fun, for enjoyment and for the love of the sport, what those paid to write are singularly failing to do. We are arguing our case, cogently, persuasively, forcefully and passionately. The other thing is that, on too many occasions for comfort for people outside the cosy press chain, we get things right. While you anointed Peter Moores as the best coach of his generation with a tide of cosy copy after his appointment, there were deep, deep reservations on here. Were we wrong? While you blithely accepted the dismissal of KP, and absolutely believing it was a storm that would die down in no time, you’ve been proven wrong and you still can’t stop the furore, even now. While you lot fellated Paul Downton for his aplomb, who were calling him an absolute disaster from Day 1? After an ODI batting performance many of us only dreamed of seeing from an England team just two days ago, who thought that Cook should be opener in the World Cup just a few months ago? I could go on, but then I’d be accused of nastiness and guesswork.

Pringle has been a source of my ire for many a year. His casual snideness in his articles has grated. There was plenty of anti-KP nonsense, plenty of chipping away, and a dismissal of those sad people who actually pay to watch the game in many of his dismissive responses I’ve seen down the years on Twitter. There’s a reason he was #1 for many years in my most loathed journalist posts.

It takes a special type of genius to come up with this (lots more here):

All the ingredients to turn this Investec Test series from korma to vindaloo are in place: a chilli-red ball, a spicy Old Trafford pitch and some hot and sour players, most notably James Anderson and M S Dhoni, India’s crusading captain.

Yes. I remember that brilliance.

You see, I’ve never claimed to be something that I’m not. I went years in the wilderness, writing for love and for enjoyment of the life I have and rage at those who seem to want to do me or my friends down. I’m in a job I like, but get no respect from anyone outside our bubble, but get my head down and do my thing. I do things like this because I enjoy the game of cricket and am in despair at what has happened to the game I love (and I don’t believe I am the font of all knowledge, or always right). I treat my readership with respect, and although we have a few ups and downs, I get thrilled that people feel this blog is a place to visit. I’ve met some good people, got the inside track from some in the reporting game, and value all the commenters on here. Unlike the likes of Pringle, I don’t take them for granted, don’t believe I am always right, and I listen and read what they say. I was chuffed when Vian wanted to write on here, and thought it a real filip for all I’ve done.

And, like it or not, pal. I’m not irrelevant. I think our hit rates on here, without the benefit of a cushy gig on a national paper are amazing. And just when I might have doubts about my posts, or what I’m doing on here, I get my copy of this month’s Cricketer magazine.

“To disenchanted class warriors the superficial evidence – public school, university degree and an accent which clings defiantly to its aitches – would have seemed irrefutable. But Strauss…..has long shown his loyalties lie not with the old-boy network but to the game of cricket.”

Read that again. Please. Me? My beef was over the use of the word trust when he called the same person he excluded a cunt. I’m really sorry, but cling to your fucking aitches all you like, you muppet, but that’s my problem. He’s the establishment candidate because the ECB is the establishment. He was earmarked ages ago for this role. He courted it. You choose to deny that all you want, but that point is not irrelevant.

Pringle is a cause of the rage. When we wanted him and his ilk to find out what was going on, and to tell his readership why and how, he cocked us a snook. He let us down. He chose his loyalty and now he can stick with it. He can call me irrelevant all he likes, but my irrelevant blog, from nothing, got a whole page in this year’s Wisden Almanack without going all out for it. I’d blogged for years. I did it for love. I did it because I care about the game. And I’ll continue having a pop at you lot when you let us down. Wisden was a nice surprise, but also a tribute to those who made HDWLIA what it was, and have gone even further with this place. Pringle and his ilk had their readership handed to them on a silver platter. I had to fucking work at it. Hard.

I get angry because I am a fan of the game. No doubt some journos are. But we are different.

Because, old son, I paid for my tickets. I earned my money and chose to spend it on the sport. You’ve got paid. I’m an amateur, and I paid attention to my audience. You were paid and ignored yours. Still, only 9 wins out of 12 to go, eh?

Night.

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29 thoughts on “Adelaide to Perth

  1. Arron Wright Jun 11, 2015 / 9:40 pm

    *whispers*

    9. He needs 9 out of 12.

    (still not going to happen, obviously)

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus Jun 11, 2015 / 9:44 pm

      I’ll take your impeccable word. Why did I think 13 out of 17 and 4 out of 5?

      Like

  2. Jjulie Jun 11, 2015 / 10:12 pm

    IRRELEVANT !!!NEVER. we’re with you all the way, Dmitri even when you’ve had a tipple and are having a rant It is a really good rant and we need you to keep your eye on the ball especially where Strauss is concerned.Believe he may have a problem or two with Mr Bayliss.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. richbeat77 Jun 11, 2015 / 11:07 pm

    Derek ‘pass me another’ Pringle isn’t worth the steam off your piss Dmitri. Anyone with half a brain can see what an arse he makes of himself with comments like that. He either does it for the sport or he’s just an utter plank. I hope for his sake it’s the former. With Selvey I’m afraid it’s indisputably the latter. He’s been banging on about unique users! Ha ha it’s so funny! What percentage of them are looking at his articles I wonder? And of those that do what percentage are reading them for any reason other than the amusement of seeing just how far he can push the boundaries of fuck-wittery? Mike ‘bigger than Jesus’ Selvey. On your knees peasants

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arron Wright Jun 12, 2015 / 5:16 am

      While trumpeting the reach of a website, he was unable to quantify the positive marginal impact of social media interaction in the cricket comment section, and he didn’t say how many of the 130 million are bilious inadequates, fringe idiots, know-nothings, relentless churls or just people who like to engage in dialogue. Most disappointing.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. dvyk Jun 11, 2015 / 11:14 pm

    Congratulations, Dmitri/whoever. Congratulations. Accolades don’t come much higher than being insulted by Derek Pringle. I guess he thinks it was some kind of criticism and hasn’t realised how utterly irrelevant that comment is. (He really is as stupid as he looks.)

    As an Aussie fan I in fact know more about the English cricket team than I do about the Australian. That’s because I read your writing, Dmitri — because it’s honest and insightful. And I read usually barely registering whether its Dmitri of Vian who’s writing; and I read all the comments.

    I don’t read Pringle, because what he writes is dishonest, nasty-minded, stupid and irrelevant. The poor sod has no other way of making a living, and when amateurs start showing up and writing far higher quality pieces than he trots out, it obviously hurts — so he pretends to be a member of some sporting aristocracy, entitled to spit on the plebs when they get unruly. Well bad luck old chum. It doesn’t work. It just shows your character for what it is.

    And it’s largely his own fault that he’s being outgunned by people like Dmitri — it’s already hard enough to write things about the game that not many other people would have noticed, and if you start out by deciding to follow the ECB PR line with half a dozen other yellow journalists, then you’re just ruining own chances of saying anything sensible. It must be nice to get a little job security by begging to be an ECB lackey (and hoping to work up to being a cronie), but it means you will be forced to write extremely stupid things and repeat them regardless of how many people are laughing at you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. MM Jun 12, 2015 / 12:04 am

    I bet Pringle is one of them that used to pull the wings off flies, or burn ants with a magnifying glass, when he was a kid. Whilst laughing.

    Like

  6. waikatoguy Jun 12, 2015 / 3:03 am

    Hardly anyone reads the print media anymore. I wouldn’t even know who guys like Pringle and Selvey etc were if I hadn’t read about them here or on TFT. Its the same with journalists from my own country (NZ). I know who the radio commentators are but the people who write for the newspapers? Who the hell knows or cares who they are, or what their blabbering about.

    As for for being anonymous. People do that because generally they have a real job somewhere with a real life and don’t want their sports commentary affecting that. We all respect your privacy.

    Like

  7. thebogfather Jun 12, 2015 / 5:54 am

    It seems my ‘BilyUsInAdEq’ (nom de tweet v2) tweet yesterday morning, has awoken a now ‘freelance writer’…

    It’s interesting to note, that of the six names I invited to read Dmitri’s post and his love for the named MSM worriers (sic) -using my recently put together, solely cricket twitter account – only Selfie and Ficjam have blocked me… they are also the only two of the six who have blocked my main name too!

    Great to see that it encouraged Dmitri to come in off of his long run! Wonderful stuff!

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus Jun 12, 2015 / 8:06 am

      Lord. Is that the best that the reporting corps can come up with. Do I pay for my business flights?

      Liked by 1 person

      • keyserchris Jun 12, 2015 / 10:12 am

        Saw that, utterly nonsensical reasoning. Rather than reason out the argument about paying fans v paid-for journos attending the match, they come out with that. Honestly. Demonstrates a scant regard for travelling fans. Only ones they seem to meet are the ones on the organised tour groups (for whom they may make the odd bob or two off giving a talk to during a tour…)

        Like

  8. Boz Jun 12, 2015 / 7:44 am

    here’s a ‘Puzzle for Pringle’ – Pringle, you are an Andrew Strauss, know what I mean, mate?? Reckon he’d get it???? Nah, me neither ………

    Like

  9. @pktroll Jun 12, 2015 / 8:09 am

    I had the ‘pleasure’ of crossing paths with Pringle in Brisbane in 1998. Members of the Australian media were happy to have a chat with us simple folk who hadn’t spent astronomical, although not inconsiderable amounts to travel there and watch the cricket. He and a load of other English media journos could not hide their contempt at ordinary cricket fans from outside their social circle. Note how long ago it was. All I can say is that a leopard truly doesn’t change its’ spots. I guess that sort of proves that the average cricket fan has always been outside cricket to the likes of him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Jun 12, 2015 / 8:19 am

      Still going on about my gripe about business travel, which it isn’t. It’s about contempt for cricket fans and especially if they have a platform that gets attention. Just contrasting that it’s a job for them and a huge monetary sacrifice for us. If that point is missed well…….

      Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright Jun 12, 2015 / 9:39 am

        One thing that always bugged me about that unfortunate business with the “fruitfly” was the way even some of the more balanced voices still referred to touring cricket fans who had paid huge amounts of money as “average”. So a poll of “average” fans that revealed only 10-20% support for his return (itself a flawed question, of course), or a poll of attendees at a function showing about 1 in 3 in favour was somehow more relevant or representative than the polls on nasty old social media showing 70-80% support.

        And when a line is finally drawn under the “pest”‘s career, the thing that will bug me for years to come is how – in Paul Newman’s words – he will be remembered more for the last 18 months than for all of his achievements. The fact this is even *possible* just sickens me, and given the scale of those achievements it absolutely could not have been the case without several years of the most ludicrously biased, contorted, pro-establishment guff I’ve ever seen. And no this is not the same as arguing that he’s some kind of saint: the frequency of such a lame response (especially BTL) is one of the most laughable, depressing aspects of the whole saga. As is the notion that Strauss, Cook and (especially) Flower are men of unimpeachable integrity who should literally never be questioned about motive.

        But even all that is dwarfed in importance by the lack of scrutiny of the worst governing body in British sport. Though, frankly, the consistently supine attitude to the ECB appears to stem from exactly the same mentality as the demonising of Pietersen and canonising of the “Andocracy”.

        There’s a fundamental trust issue, chaps, sorry. What the hell you expect from the likes of us when “doos” by text turns someone into a pariah, but “cunt” on air humanises someone or becomes a highlight of your cricket year, is frankly beyond me.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. amit Jun 12, 2015 / 9:19 am

    i think i know now why he can’t find another paper that would employ him.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mark Jun 12, 2015 / 9:53 am

    It’s amazing how many of these clowns wasted a place at Cambridge university. Selvey, Pringle Atherton. Some poor sod lost out to these geniuses. And then they became cricketers, and then they became cricket writers. (Is it because they can’t do anything else?) Actually Atherton did use his education to write decent stuff.

    Poor old Pringle . Always the nearly man. He was going to be the new Ian Botham. He was bigger than Botham in size, but alas, not in talent. A middle order batsman and a medium fast bowler. Sadly he soon became medium slow, and then as the pounds piled on, slow medium, and then just slow.

    When Pringle could no longer haul his giant weight into bowl any more he moved into journalism, but alas he didn’t become the new John Arlott or E W Swanton. He once again didn’t quite have the talent. So he became a second rate vaudeville act that tried to be edgy while all the time sucked up to the establishment.

    Simon Hughes didn’t make it to Cambridge. He had to settle for doing arts at Durham. I kid you not this is an entry in his Wikipedia page. I promise I’m not making it up……………..”At Latymer Upper School he was an outstanding fast medium bowler of away-swing and captained the school XI successfully. ”

    FFS. I know he hasn’t any test wickets but is he that desperate he has to include what he did at school? …….” Outstanding fast medium bowler of away swing” Who knew? We were all pretty good at school Simon.

    Have you noticed how so many of these jokers were medium fast bowlers? Pringle, Selvey, Hughes, Agnew, Allott. Not quite athletic enough to become genuine quicks like Lillie or Thompson, and not technically good enough to become spin bowlers or batsman. The bargain basement of cricketers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • @pktroll Jun 12, 2015 / 10:04 am

      In fairness Aggers was supposed to have some pace when he was young and I remember Allott as a good county bowler for Lancs although short of top class.

      Like

    • NEMike Jun 12, 2015 / 11:10 am

      When Peter Roebuck died a lot of press articles commented on his obsession in his later life with Ian Botham.

      Seems to be something similar with Pringle, Hughes and Selvey (in particular the first two) with regards to KP. Bit of a pattern? Cricketers who were never in the top tier and who went to become overrated journalists and broadcasters (especially Hughes) unable to come to terms with somebody of outstanding natural ability not toeing their particular line?

      You have to wonder what they’ll do for material when KP finally calls it a day…

      Like

    • dvyk Jun 12, 2015 / 11:54 am

      “outstanding fast medium bowler of away-swing and captained the school XI successfully”

      THAT is funny!

      I remember seeing Pringle bowl. And looking at how he writes, all I can think is “yep, that’s him.”

      Like

      • amit Jun 12, 2015 / 11:59 am

        My memories of DP are of 92, when he had already become a slow medium bowler and obviously unfit. He was unlucky not to have got more wickets in the final including Javed, but then may be that was his career right there. Does anyone remember if he was ever really good?

        Like

  12. Silk Jun 12, 2015 / 10:33 am

    Superb! Just superb!

    Like

    • amit Jun 12, 2015 / 11:55 am

      Let me take a crack at the nonsense that this article truly is. Had I been born in the pre – independence India, the only thing I might have noticed would have been the mention of an “indian cement company” while ignoring the halls of MCC where this plan was hatched but no, I don’t quite have the colonial hangover. Far from it. To draw parallel between what’s happened at FIFA and at ICC would have been fine, had there been a mention of the time when it was just the Big 2. Not sure I read any of that. It might have been fine if there had been a financial scandal as big as that in fifa or a drug scandal as bad as cycling. Nah. Didnt read that either. Instead I read about “moral issues” against decisions to award world cups to Russia and Qatar. what the fuck has morality got to do with it? Where was morality in the first 3 cricket world cups being organised in UK? It was always money.

      P.S. – ignore the rant. others write better. 😉

      Like

  13. SteveT Jun 12, 2015 / 12:19 pm

    If you are so irrelevant why does he bother reading and then alerting his mates about the content? Keep up the great work your Lordship, keep asking the questions that they don’t. Incidentally has anyone noticed the absence of the words ‘South’, ‘African’ and ‘born’ in the plethora of puff-pieces about the recently retired Grand Fromage? Oh and I found the Bob Willis and Graham Yallop books upstairs so I’ll dust them down and give ’em another read.

    Like

  14. thelegglance Jun 12, 2015 / 12:31 pm

    This whole response has seriously pissed me off. So I’ve been writing something which will appear over the weekend when this match is out of the way.

    Like

  15. David Mutton Jun 12, 2015 / 5:14 pm

    Also worth noting that cricket has a long and pretty wonderful tradition of writers using a pseudonym. Tom Horan was one and I seem to recall that The Cricketer has a long lineage of them.

    Like

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