Publish and be damned

As has been said before, there’s only one thing worse than being talked about – and that’s not being talked about.  It is of course hardly surprising that Dmitri’s posts didn’t meet with approval, yet the particular nature of said disapproval cannot be ignored.  The content was dismissed without qualification, and without reference to what it said.

John Etheridge then supported his friend:

And further saying:

There are a whole number of issues surrounding this.  The first thing to say is that I have nothing but respect for someone defending their friend.  Irrespective of perceived rights and wrongs, it’s the EM Forster principle, and I wholeheartedly approve.

If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.

But there are wider issues here.  Firstly Derek Pringle’s dismissal of the whole piece on the grounds that Dmitri writes under a nom de plume is precisely the kind of playing the man and not the ball that he receives so much criticism for.  Derek Pringle is not unpopular as a person, because as John says, he might be a decent bloke – Mr Etheridge himself is popular amongst his colleagues.  But his writing is, and the criticism that is directed towards it is based on that.  Whether it was his endless, tiresome and extremely personal anti-Pietersen ranting which was exceptionally personal, not based on cricketing merit, or his prediction of England winning 11 out of 17 Tests, his record as a cricket journalist invites the criticism it has received.

And let’s directly address the point about using a pseudonym.  My real name is accessible on here because I work for myself, and thus everything I write I am happy to have attributed to me.  It’s nice and easy because ultimately I’m only responsible to myself, and can do that.  Dmitri cannot because of his work, he is not a journalist and does this for fun, and for free.  He is not anonymous in his employment in just the same way as a journalist is not anonymous in his or hers.  To try and make the comparison when journalists are paid to be known in public for their work is ludicrous.   Their identity is their currency – being anonymous would make their job interviews somewhat problematic.  It’s after all why they are on things like Twitter in the first place, to promote their own work.  And that’s fine.

Nor was it a complaint about journalists having their expenses paid to travel, and seizing on that is a straw man. The issue at hand is the dismissal of the blog as being anonymous and therefore something to ignore – which is not what Mr Etheridge himself said, it must be pointed out.  John Etheridge whether one agrees with him or not has never tried to make that argument and didn’t here either. It’s an argument that is constantly made, whether it is below the line comments or Twitter comments, and avoids the question constantly.  People who take the trouble to write comments in the newspapers or in places like this tend to be cricket tragics, who care enough about the game to want their voice heard.  Those people aren’t paid to do so, they pay to do so, indeed while the question of how comments reflect a wider view is up for debate, newspapers allow it because it directly benefits their bottom line.  These commenters are working for the newspaper, unpaid.  They also buy Sky subscriptions, they buy tickets, and many of them travel abroad following the England team, spending thousands of pounds in the process.  The very idea that such people can be dismissed and ignored as a lesser voice is insulting on the one hand, and downright stupid on the other.  Journalists are not inherently a superior voice to be listened to ahead of those who support, and it’s nothing but arrogance for any of them to believe so.

That doesn’t mean that such criticism is always deserved.  In my own case, I was exceptionally critical of Nick Hoult a few years back, believing his articles to be nothing but rehashes of Derek Pringle’s.  For whatever reason, a flowering of his output, the additional responsibility of becoming the main cricket correspondent, or the development of his own sources, his writing in recent times has been excellent.  When the facts change, my opinion changes with it.  Quite simply, I was wrong about him and for what it’s worth he gets my apology.  The only purpose in so mentioning that is to counter a suggestion that this place is nothing but an attack on cricket journalists, because it isn’t at all.  Good ones get lots of praise.  At the Guardian Ali Martin has been a revelation, and demonstrated the wisdom of that paper giving him the break which he is now repaying in spades.

In my own line of business, I do indeed have travel expenses.  The difference is that I am not contemptuous towards those others on the aircraft on holiday, because they have paid for it themselves, and they, ultimately, pay my wages.  Without them I don’t have a living.  What Derek Pringle did by dismissing the post as being written by a “nom de blog” was to consider someone who ultimately paid his wages as irrelevant, not for what he said, but because of who he is or isn’t.  And make no mistake, cricket supporters do in  the end pay the salaries of cricket journalists, because if they don’t go and don’t watch, then the press won’t publish articles on it, and they won’t have a job.  How many tiddlywinks correspondents are there?

Now that doesn’t mean that any journalist has to agree with what is said by any one of us, but the piece in question detailed Dmitri following England around on tour, with the thousands of pounds spent accordingly.  Pringle might not like what was being written, but an unwarranted attitude of superiority displays a complete lack of awareness and rather inflated sense of self. The same applies to the criticism about the Barmy Army.  They may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but those who actually paid for their tickets and dislike it have the right to object.  Those who are paid to be there do not, when those in the pleb seats have spent thousands of pounds of their own money to be there. The criticism that has been directed at him has been on the basis of what he has written, not who he is – a standard he has singularly failed to apply in his own articles on far too many occasions.  There is more than enough there to be criticised after all, and that has been repeatedly detailed on here and elsewhere.  He can defend himself based on that if he wishes, but the point is he doesn’t.  He doesn’t have to of course, it’s up to him.  But he can’t then complain when people respond on the basis of his writing.

What a good journalist will do is to hold those in power to account, without fear or favour.  It’s precisely this that Derek Pringle gets criticised for, given his output has been nothing but attacks on one player, without ever asking the questions that needed to be asked.   It is possible to be critical of more than one side of the issue; a complete failure to do that is what marks out the propagandist.  The conduct of the ECB has been shambolic for the last two years, yet rather than offer up even the slightest criticism of that, instead it’s been nothing but praise on each occasion.  The style of cricket the ODI team have played in the last two matches should be an indictment of the manner the team was run for many years – yet few have joined the dots and recognised that their own support of the incumbents throughout that time might not have been correct.  The simple reality is that the nasty Dmitri has been a lot more correct in what he has said than most of the mainstream cricket journalists.  I’m sure that does grate, but it remains true.  Has he been right on everything?  Of course not.  But consistently questioning, observing and refusing to be blinded by bullshit is all a person can ask.  It is to the shame of a number that Dmitri’s posts on here have been of a higher critical standard than  many in the cricket press.

The press journalists have a job to do, the problem is that many of them simply haven’t done it.  The ongoing FIFA debacle was partly prompted by a journalist doing his job exceptionally well.  Andrew Jennings spoke about the behaviour of the press corps, and much of what he said was as damning an indictment of the cricket press as it was the football one.  No one is suggesting the ECB are remotely in the same category, but it doesn’t mean they are above reproach or above being questioned.  The failure to do so has been the biggest failing over the last twenty-seven months.  One of the worst parts is the use of Kevin Pietersen as a straw man in this; you don’t have to like him, you don’t even have to disagree with his exclusion.  But what you must do, if you are a journalist, is question everything.  Now, when it comes to this, the response is so often that they have tried and not received answers.  I rather suspect their political correspondent colleagues would find that amusing as a justification – can you imagine any of them faithfully reporting the government line just because the No. 10 spokesman didn’t answer?

“When I looked into the IOC, I discovered the president, Juan Antonio Samaranch, who was universally sucked up to by the sports press, was a Franco fascist. He thought the wrong side won World War II.”

Giles Clarke might not be a Franco fascist, but anyone in such a position who says that “Alastair Cook and his family are very much the sort of people we want the England captain and his family to be” should not remotely receive the deferential treatment he often does.  If that were an isolated example, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.  It isn’t though.  Repeated statements of lofty arrogance fail to be challenged, to the point where the new “Director, Cricket” can say to a cricket correspondent “I don’t need to spell [the issues] out for you Aggers” and not be asked to spell them out for those listening, presumably because they aren’t considered sufficiently important.

“Reporters are moving away from me as if I’ve just let out the biggest smell since bad food. Well, that’s what I wanted. Thank you, idiot reporters. The radar dish on top of my head is spinning around to all these blazers against the wall, saying, ‘Here I am. I’m your boy. I’m not impressed by these tossers. I know what they are. I’ve done it to the IOC, and I’ll do it to them.’”

The very name of this blog is “Being Outside Cricket” and of the journalists only one to my knowledge has even referenced that simple insult which came from the ECB in any of his writings – Jonathan Liew.  The usual response is that it was a dig at Piers Morgan, not anyone else, but it needs repeating that Morgan plays club cricket and goes to watch England.  If he is “outside cricket” then so are all the hundreds of thousands up and down the land who play and watch.  This simple point seems to be beyond the media, who have fundamentally failed to even acknowledge this wasn’t the brightest thing to say, and which still hasn’t even been “clarified”, let alone apologised for.   It’s a minor offence in the conduct of the ECB, but is entirely symptomatic of the embedded nature of the cricket press.  You are meant to be writing for the public, it might be an idea to consider the interests of that public rather than your mate at the ECB.  That doesn’t mean writing hagiographical articles about a new MD handling things “with aplomb” when it’s blatantly obvious it’s been a car crash, and then pretending that it didn’t happen a year later when it all goes horribly wrong.  Perhaps even an acknowledgement that those horrible below the line people might actually have been right in the first place could be a start.  If that sounds as dismissive of the cricket press as they are about the bloggers, it shouldn’t do.  The point is that cricket journalists are needed, but they aren’t doing their jobs.  Why do they imagine that places like these attract attention in the first place?

Of course, if you are paid to cover cricket, you don’t ever get to see the world in which that public live.  Journalists don’t end up missing anything up to a session queueing for a pint, journalists don’t have to shell out for dreadful food at an extortionate price.  Journalists don’t have a terrible seat crammed in which costs anything up to £100 for the privilege of a day’s backache.  Even football journalists write about the lot of the supporter more often than cricket ones.  When was the last article any of them wrote about it?  When you have a former Test cricketer expressing astonishment on air that Test tickets are a lot more than £20, and it being viewed as amusing not scandalous the disconnect is entirely clear.

It goes further.  Only Scyld Berry in the English press made a point of repeatedly attacking the ICC stitch up recently.  It might not be the most glamorous of subjects, and a defence that the newspaper wasn’t interested would be a reasonable one.  But Mike Selvey instead went on air saying he didn’t understand it and wasn’t worried about it.  That’s no excuse, it’s your damned job to understand it and worry about it.  Even if you then write a piece about why it’s a wonderful idea and not to fret about it.

So obviously all I have written is correct and can’t be argued with, right?  No.  And this is the point about engagement.  You can disagree with every single word I’ve written and tell me why I’m wrong if you’ve got as far as reading it all.  My opinion is just that, it’s not an objective truth.   What I won’t do is try and tell you that I know more than you, but I can’t tell you why.

Everyone knows that a journalist will have sources they can’t disclose.  That’s hardly the point.  No journalist worth his or her salt would try and defend criticism on that basis, it’s simply arrogance.  The thing is also, that the assumption that they know more than those criticising isn’t always true.  That thought appears not to have crossed their minds when talking down to the masses.  I’m not a journalist and have no desire to be one either.  But I know enough about honour to be absolutely certain no blog post of mine will contain a reference to something I know but can’t tell you.  It’s treating anyone who reads like an idiot who can only be spoonfed the information I choose to convey.

It’s an interesting statement.  I wonder if Hughes and Newman have the same view about the masses who bought their books?  I’m one of them in the past, so gentlemen, since I helped provide you with an income, does that still apply?  Ever heard of Gerald Ratner?  When you have such contempt for the masses, don’t be surprised when the masses have the same contempt for you.  Did it even occur that anyone reading that would think twice about buying another book?  How did your publisher feel about rubbishing prospective customers?

One of the defences of such points of view is that as former professionals, they have an insight into the game that the plebs do not.  And yet it’s interesting that this particular line only seems to apply to the preferably passive readership.  I wonder how John Etheridge or Nick Hoult would feel about this particular point if it was applied to them.  Being a cricketer and being a journalist are two separate things.  And then let’s take it further, if it were true on any level, then a Mike Selvey has no right whatever to talk about batting and no right to talk about batsmen on the grounds of lack of knowledge – certainly the drivel that’s routinely written about wicketkeeping by those who palpably know nothing about it is a case in point.  A good club level batsmen would be much much better than he was, and therefore his perspective is far superior, right?  Which is precisely why Selvey calling one of England’s best batsmen of the last forty years “a pest, a fruitfly” is deserving of such contempt.  Whether you like him or not has no relevance, because if you invoke the right to say it on the grounds of having been there and done it, then you deserve having the comparison of playing merits made.

And by the way, that’s why you won’t hear a word of criticism from me about Derek Pringle the player.  He was good enough to play international cricket, which means he was a bloody good player and a lot better than me.  That he wasn’t quite good enough to be a truly successful international player is beside the point.  He was a terrific cricketer by any measure except the very highest.  As was Mike Selvey.  What it doesn’t do is entitle them to pontificate as though their word is law and the “masses” have no value.  Not unless they want to then admit that the view of a Kevin Pietersen (or an Alastair Cook, or an Andy Flower) is inherently superior.  Somehow I doubt that would go down well with them, and nor should it.  Their view has as much merit as anyone else’s, and no more.

John Etheridge made the entirely correct point in his defence of Derek Pringle that were we to meet, we might get on and like each other.  That is of course entirely true, and the corollary of it (which he swiftly acknowledged) is that the obverse is also true, they might even quite like us – although I was mildly amused at the certainty that we’ve never met these people.  It’s not the point. The criticism of them is not of their person, it is of their professional output.  Just because a person might be likable doesn’t for a second provide any kind of justification for what they say.  The criticism over the various blogs and the various comments below the line have been often entirely valid.  I understand why they don’t like it, few people do like being criticised, but it doesn’t make it any less astute or accurate.  There are of course some who will simply throw abuse, and that’s no more acceptable or justifiable when it’s in the article or in the comments.    Using those as a crutch to dismiss all rational questioning is the problem, especially on the grounds of saying that criticism from those they “respect” is ok.  That cuts both ways.

The cricket media as a whole have had a dreadful couple of years, abrogating their responsibility to question, criticise and remain objective.  The ECB is English cricket’s government, and the press have on the whole singularly failed to hold them to account, preferring instead to focus on petty personal dislikes and remaining inside the tent, and thus being the ECB’s useful idiots.  It doesn’t apply to all and the ones who have done well do not need to be listed because they know who they are; deep down all cricket hacks will have a fair idea of whether or not it is true of them.  Defensiveness is often indicative of personal dissatisfaction in all walks of life.

The most infuriating part of it all, is that as a body, we need them.  But we need them to be journalists.  British journalism runs the range between the worst and most scurrilous there is, right up to the very best, most incisive anywhere.  There’s been far too much of the former, and nowhere near enough of the latter.  Everyone wants to be noted in their chosen career and I doubt being held in contempt by many of those they supposedly write for was the aim when they started out, they had visions of being Andrew Jennings.

There’s little worse than a feeling you’ve let yourself down.



52 thoughts on “Publish and be damned

  1. cricketjon Jun 13, 2015 / 11:38 am

    This is tremendous critical reasoning in action.


  2. thebogfather Jun 13, 2015 / 11:47 am

    Brilliant – nothing more to add – yet… thank you


  3. Sherwick Jun 13, 2015 / 12:11 pm

    Well said TLG. Though I not sure that we need them anymore. What useful purpose do they serve? Unless it is to be the mouthpiece of their masters, the ECB? Pravda is now being questioned and found out. Investigative journalists cannot (or refuse to) investigate (Stanford, 5-0 whitewash, KPGenius, KP’s sacking etc. etc.) and The Analyst is unable patently unable to analyse due to his bias. Oh how I used to look up to them all in the 90s ans 2000s, but now I hold them in laughable and pitiful contempt.


    • thelegglance Jun 13, 2015 / 12:12 pm

      Because of reach. Much as it’s pleasing to see the number of visits we get here, it’s tiny in comparison to a single article on any of the newspapers.


      • LordCanisLupus Jun 13, 2015 / 12:22 pm

        Jarrod Kimber told me distinctly otherwise last year 🙂

        Never is awfully sweeping. How did Newman block me on Twitter when I don’t think I’ve ever tweeted him directly, ever? Selfey I can believe. Pringle knows I blog under an assumed identity….


      • thelegglance Jun 13, 2015 / 12:27 pm

        It doesn’t matter whether they do or they don’t. None of it was about how they regarded you or I or this place specifically, it was about their attitude towards people outside their own little circle.


      • Zephirine Jun 13, 2015 / 12:44 pm

        A critic writes a review of a play regardless of whether or not the actors are going to read it.


      • Arron Wright Jun 13, 2015 / 1:30 pm

        Said before: some coincidence, those tags in the “irrelevant” post.

        Liked by 1 person

        • LordCanisLupus Jun 13, 2015 / 2:04 pm

          It was a reply, not copied, to the Bogfather who alerted them all to the post!

          I got a fair few hits from all the islands we visited in the West Indies this spring……

          Liked by 1 person

    • BoerInAustria Jun 13, 2015 / 4:26 pm

      Brilliant piece.

      The fact that the said gentlemen supposedly do not read the blog – and Selvey does not “invite” a conversation – is in indictment to their journalistic integrity.

      The emotional nonsense of the “nice chap” argument is indicative of the lack of critical engagement with any of the issues, as well as the lack of awareness just how poorly the media is viewed in general at the moment.

      And finally the arrogance of the insidious “insiders” club remains astounding.

      Thank you for the critical questions asked here, and the debate that is being held.


  4. Arron Wright Jun 13, 2015 / 12:20 pm


    Might be time for a couple of timely reminders. In February 2014, two days after Pietersen’s sacking, I found Dmitri’s previous blog by googling “press coverage of cricket”. I was relieved that someone had been doing what I wanted to see, because I had been losing trust for 18 months already. But – and I really can’t emphasise this enough – Pietersen was just a tipping point for me. Most of my ire and rage was due to the pathetic response to the ICC stitch-up (Haigh, Berry, Booth, Atherton and the entire staff of cricinfo excepted), which had taken place but two weeks earlier and was the biggest cricket story since spot-fixing, with implications dwarfing anything I had seen in 33 years following the sport,

    The second reminder: Switch Hit podcast review of the year, about half an hour in, and former Test cricketer Mark Butcher is asked for his “low of the year”. Every single member of the cricket press should listen to the next 30 seconds. I suspect none of them have.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gambrinus Jun 13, 2015 / 12:44 pm

      What did Butcher say?


      • Arron Wright Jun 13, 2015 / 1:25 pm

        Can’t find my transcript on HDWLIA, but he nominated the press reporting of the Pietersen saga as “a real low in a year of lows”, citing the replacement of simple fact with obviously biased opinion, and also said that the experienced journalist David Hopps agreed with him about the issue. Probably my favourite 30 seconds of listening last year. Still available in the Switch Hit archive at cricinfo: 17 Dec 2014, 26:00 to 26:30 approx.


  5. Zephirine Jun 13, 2015 / 12:42 pm

    I do find it interesting how very touchy some professional journalists are about bloggers and BTL commenters. They appear to be remarkably thin-skinned, repeatedly bustling about to contradict and defend while reiterating that what the polloi have to say is irrelevant because we don’t know, and they do.

    I don’t quite get this – either we matter or we don’t matter, which is it?


    • paulewart Jun 14, 2015 / 4:14 pm

      And repeatedly using the same defence: ‘if you met him, you’d like him.’ How is that remotely relevant? I’ve now seen it applied to Selvey, Pringle and Newman. It’s an old boy’s club.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. jennyah46 Jun 13, 2015 / 12:42 pm

    Good points raised, made and clarified. Very well done LLG.


  7. Dave Jun 13, 2015 / 12:51 pm



  8. Ross Jun 13, 2015 / 12:59 pm

    Thank you TLG for a thoughtful and well considered piece. An object lesson for most journalists…ah, but it is “irrelevant”, so they won’t read it because of the “nom de blog”. John Etheridge says that the other members of the journalists ‘club”, for whom he is apparently acting as defence advocate, “have never read” this blog. They could do a lot worse than do so.


    • thelegglance Jun 13, 2015 / 1:18 pm

      No journalist could publicly endorse it, even if they agreed with it.


  9. Mark Jun 13, 2015 / 2:38 pm

    Excellent writing Sir, and far too logical for the usual suspects. The fact they are now resorting to the ……”we don’t read your blog anyway” defence after complaining about a list that was on a blog that they don’t read is priceless.

    “Journalists are not inherently a superior voice to be listened to ahead of those who support, and it’s nothing but arrogance for any of them to believe so.”

    Indeed!! And notice how this arrogant attitude has mirrored their great hero Captain Cook. A sense of entitlement, an arrogance, and a bewilderment that he/they should be called to account. Cook should have been marched out of the ODI side 2 years ago. Michael Atherton questioned his appointment as ODI captain from the start. He was proved right, the munchkins were proved wrong. The truth is they got too close to power, and that was accompanied by a deep seated hatred of KP. Not a good combination for impartial clear thinking.

    I am glad you got in the jab about who is entitled to criticise , and the idea that taken to their illogical position Selvey should not comment on batting technique. A point rammed home by Geoff Boycott about Simon Hughes a few weeks ago. How can you analyse something you were never any good at Simon? If you can be the analyst of batsman, I can be the analyst of your journalism.

    Anyway, seeing as they don’t read these blogs they obviously are not going to learn anything. Instead Simon Hughes can hold another of his famous come dine with me dinners with his chums. They can eat the best caviar, peach and peacock and drink from the finest wines Waitrose has to offer. Then they can congratulate themselves on how brilliant they all are.

    I wonder if the dig about Pringles travel expenses hit rather hard as he can no longer order his tickets on the Telegraph account?


  10. LordCanisLupus Jun 13, 2015 / 3:17 pm

    I’ve been told that I shouldn’t bother writing about journalists before, for the wrong reasons. That to do so is to inflict more harm on myself than I should. That these people are not important enough and they don’t care. I’ve had an interesting conversation with Jarrod Kimber this afternoon, which as it was on DM on Twitter I can’t really go into, who put an interesting perspective on things, but understood why I did the journalism thing. Fact is, I’ve gone easy on them this year. It’s not as a response to the Wisden article, it’s just that they bore me. They act like a cosy union closed shop, unwilling or unable to embrace the new world, seeing every challenge as a threat to their existence. You can’t please everyone, but I wouldn’t advise trying to please no-one.

    This piece from thelegglance captures the essence of it all. John originally just seemed to want to pick me up on business expenses, which was mad to be honest given 10 days before I’d just gone to Monaco with the firm for a day meeting. Of course I wasn’t asking them to pay for their own flights. I was asking them, no, telling them, that those on the flight with them that day were not an irrelevance, whether my name is Dmitri Old, Pope John Paul II or John Etheridge. By this time I was getting an image of the one without a brain in the Wizard of Oz, and left the party. thelegglance stepped in.

    This blog, and the previous one, have never been about wanting to be a journalist. I’ve had that one thrown at me before too, and it was as absolute bollocks then as it is now. It was fun writing my own opinion on stuff. It’s easy to snipe from the sidelines, which is probably why I do it. What isn’t easy, as my previous 7 years blogging indicates, is gaining any traction. In fact, for much of the time, I didn’t want any. When it came my way, as I said to the Bogfather, I was a wreck. Now I’m more used to it. But it’s not out there to do anything other than share my opinion, say what I think, and if the press boys at all don’t like it, well, sorry, but that’s life.

    Journalists can, and do, speak to me on Twitter. I’m sure, if we put things to one side, we’d all get along with a few of them, and despise others. That’s the world we live in.

    It does amuse, though, that although we are irrelevant, how the media posts seem to get the most hits, the most interest on Twitter from journos etc. How very irrelevant.


    • Mark Jun 13, 2015 / 4:15 pm

      The problem the worst cricket writers have is they can’t defend their actual work because it has proved to be pants. At the start they hid behind “we have these special secrets that you don’t know about, trust me if you did you would see it differently.”

      But as time went on, and their judgement about Downton,Moores and many others was also”shown to be pants you began to distrust them on almost everything. Selvey is perfectly entitled to think KP is a c***, but when he has it as a cricket highlight of the year, you know who the real c*** is.

      They should also ponder why sites like Dmitri’s became popular. As he says he was writing in the dark for many years. Then the KP thing blew up. As Arron points out, KP was just the straw that broke the camels back. I am not on Twitter but I knew Piers Morgan was a fan of KP and I was curious to know what he had to say about his mate being kicked in the teeth. It was Morgan who gave the link to a TFT article and from there it lead to here. Finally I found some people writing the complete opposite of what was being churned out in the MSM.

      So now with Moores gone, Downton gone, Cook gone as ODI captain, Clarke gone the best they can use to defend themselves is …….its not fair, your invisible.


  11. metatone Jun 13, 2015 / 3:46 pm

    The condescension is pretty infuriating, IMO.

    I’ll note on the matter of expertise that I can very confidently state I have experience of, success with and knowledge of management that goes far beyond that of any of the cricketing journalists who have disagreed with me BTL about ECB management issues.

    And indeed, a moment’s reflection would suggest that being a cricketer or journalist isn’t necessarily going to give you the life experiences to automatically understand/judge the running of a large organisation.

    But that never seems to stop them, nor even send them to ask questions of one of their colleagues in the business section…


  12. SimonH Jun 13, 2015 / 4:15 pm

    Some terrific ball-striking from Jason Holder at Sabina Park (80-odd not out off 60 balls) to save the follow-on (which probably wouldn’t have been enforced).

    Roach and Taylor gone to Hazlewood who has his second test five-for. Australia leading by 179 on first innings.


    • d'Arthez Jun 13, 2015 / 4:30 pm

      Looks like West Indies may well get whitewashed in the West Indies. Don’t think that has ever happened to them before at home?

      The bowling is simply not there to be too threatening. Permaul is no Bishoo. Roach is just a shadow of himself, and Holder is more a #6 than a #8. That just leaves Jerome Taylor, and he can’t do it on his own. And remember the one Test England did win, was when West Indies were without Taylor.


  13. d'Arthez Jun 13, 2015 / 4:45 pm

    A gem of a response TLG.

    If these journalists feel so offended by some of the stuff that we post here, they could simply take the advice of reading their own articles. And let them think of what they would feel like if they get called, “a pest”, “fruitfly”, “keyboard warriors”, “malcontents”, “billious inadequates”, making disparaging remarks to spouses (the stuff Mrs. Pietersen has to endure for instance). If they don’t like it, then they should not be dishing it out either. Hell, she even had to teach Agnew Internet 101.

    And if they get offended by one measly blog with “no audience”, then they might understand why people who are consistently abused by these luminaries, in full view of a massive audience don’t take a liking to them.

    That is nothing to say of the outright lies that have been repeated ad nauseam in national newspapers. But I suppose they feel that their unsubstantiated prejudices are worthy of being facts, because that is what they prefer. But journalism it makes not. It makes them worthy of contempt. They’re not unique in that. Politicians have quite a bit of experience in that as well.

    If anything, Dmitri’s line on these luminaries is soft, but fully understandable.


    • Mark Jun 13, 2015 / 5:25 pm


      Perhaps these people should ponder on what it was like to be KP for the last 3-4 years on the wrong end of their vile copy and character assassination.

      If Pringle is smarting at just one mild article he should think hard at what he has been dishing out. My respect for KP has just increased 10 fold.


  14. man in a barrel Jun 13, 2015 / 4:49 pm

    Don’t get worried by the responses of people who claim to be above the status of lowly bloggers. You know they read your articles. You know they are smarting at your insights. The fact is that for 2 years at least, most of the MSM have been going along with the party line issued by the ECB. They have not asked questions nor registered doubts. The fact that they categorise people who raise doubts as inadequates or bilious numpties is strange….they should be the bilious numpties but they are unwilling to risk being “unfriended” by the likes of toads such as Strauss, Cook and the great and almighty Giles. To my mind, any article about the Giles-monster that did not insult him was dereliction of journalistic duty.

    You and other bloggers such as Maxie and James have called them to account for their lack of journalistic credentials. They will always hate you and pretend not to read you beause they are stuck in a world of their own inadequacy, clinging by their fingernails to acceptance by the ECB powers.

    For the last few years, the fact that every article by them has fed an agenda of KP-bashing – sometimes in terms that might be thought to be libellous, so far were they devoid of factual backing – while supporting the fantastic “Cooky” has been surreal. For them to complain about bloggers harping on about KP is surreal…who was it who kept bringing the name of KP into every article? Who was it who was intent on burying the KP “issue” under the wafer-thin successes of “Cooky”.

    Well done for revealing the lack of clothing worn by the MSM.


    • metatone Jun 13, 2015 / 6:53 pm

      Fascinating stuff indeed.
      The thing about “knowing when the cricket on” is still a frustration for me.
      County scheduling is still a mess. I have a comment from a couple of years ago where I went through Yorkshire’s home schedule in detail – turned out there was over a month in the middle of the summer with no home games. This year is better – although not for me, as an exile I can’t get there very often…


  15. Benny Jun 13, 2015 / 5:53 pm

    Excellent TLG. Splendidly reasoned and explained, as a heavweight journalist would do. It’s certainly the very nature and style of this blog, which is why I keep coming back.

    Forgive me for being repetitive but I do not have a need for journalists. Haven’t read a paper for years and I don’t miss them. The circulation figures for May come to a total of 7 million so, in a country with 60 million population, I am hardly unique.

    I can understand people reading papers for news, if they had more faith in the accuracy than I do but I have no interest in the critics be it sport, art, films or music. I remember years back a review of an Eric Clapton concert by a journo who stated that he didn’t like long guitar solos! I stopped reading at that point.

    As for anonymity, you just know that a particularly irritating blogger, using their real name,would find him/herself exposed to the public as a serial bigamist, drugrunner with 3 houses on the social by an amusing, stimulating journo who wanted to reduce their reputation. No, I’m not aware of any bloggers like that before you ask.


  16. Maxie Allen Jun 13, 2015 / 6:52 pm

    The really tragic thing is that the average cricket hack might read all these comments here, and mutter under their breath, “they’re all wrong”.

    Never has a branch of the media reacted so bizarrely to a wave of criticism. Imagine if, say, X Factor lost a tranche of viewers amid complaints. Would Simon Cowell adapt his approach to regain his audience, or tell people they were stupid and he knows best?

    Too few cricket correspondents have realised the world has changed, Consumers no longer have a deferential attitude to a paternalistic media. Readers and viewers expect equity and a degree of parity in the relationship, and the right to scrutinise and disagree. Some cricket hacks still think we should simply respect their positions in themselves.

    And imagine if it had been cricket journalists covering the FIFA story. You can imagine one or two of them saying, “it really is time to end the disrespect and impertinence hurled at Mr Blatter, a good man who has suffered much unwarranted abuse”.


    • metatone Jun 13, 2015 / 6:55 pm

      The big frustration for me is that I don’t care if they respect me and my views, but they don’t do any investigating of their own.

      e.g. We don’t know what’s happening with the England medical team in the Bayliss era. But going by all the evidence, both of injuries and the hearsay (KP’s book and little bits from others) things aren’t right there. But who is asking questions?


  17. Larry David Niven Jun 13, 2015 / 6:53 pm

    Dimitri you need a new pair of trousers, because Pringle is in your pocket. And you just know all of the lickspittles read this blog, so a big hello to all our readers 😘


  18. Nick Atkinson Jun 13, 2015 / 6:58 pm

    Great article. I think that the journalists discussed have 2 traits running in parallel. They have very low curiosity, intellectual curiosity. This prevents them from being able to understand concepts such as objectivity, evidence and knowledge (and the limitations of these concepts). They also have very large egos with low awareness (so they are perhaps not aware of the role of ego). This manifests itself in the complete lack of nuance and ability to analyse. The fact that derek wants the others to join him in criticism of people that they purport do not matter in such a childish manner hints at low self confidence in both career and/or personal life. Has derek got any career problems at the moment I wonder? I first observed derek’s modus operandi a few years ago when he launched an attack in an article on Trott, it was very personal and seemed to lack any balance. The kp episode followed a similar pattern. On one level I feel sorry for him. on a professional level it must be very unsettling to be well and truly out of your depth in such a public role.


    • Benny Jun 13, 2015 / 10:17 pm

      I was thinking that. “Help Paul, Brenkers, someone calling himself The Analyst. These people outside cricket are being beastly to me”


  19. Narelle Jun 13, 2015 / 8:26 pm

    Great article. I have to say reading English cricket newspapers here in Sydney is often so laughable and disbelieving. e.g. Butler is the equivalent of Dhoni and Gilchrist. Nearly choked on my cornflakes!!!

    That is why blogs like yours and TFT are so important. It puts reality and truth into English cricket.

    On another matter, can someone enlighten me on who the new (or unfamiliar to me) Sky commentator on the ODI 2 game was?
    He maintained that England were in front when NZ were 1 for 114, again when they were 3 for 303. This is the illogical claptrap that makes jokes of commentators and journalists.


    • Burly Jun 13, 2015 / 8:46 pm

      New commentator? Matt Prior.


    • LordCanisLupus Jun 13, 2015 / 10:05 pm

      Matt Prior indeed.

      Heard him talk about building bases when we were 200 odd for whatever and needing 9 an over. At that point he was just another empty vessel on what is rapidly turning into ECB-TV. He’s not going to say a controversial word on there at all, is he? He’s Cook’s main man….


  20. keyserchris Jun 13, 2015 / 9:28 pm

    Cracking piece, sums up my feelings about the cricket press at present far better than I could hope to do. Said it before that I welcomed John Etheridge (and others of course) commenting on here & the Full Toss, but he had a tendency to try & shift the argument rather than directly answer points. The “suggestions” made about the Pietersen gift story, with the follow-up promise to elaborate further (only to withdraw completely from here and TFT rather than answer) did him for me. All mouth and no trousers. He also tries a lot to shift the argument when on twitter. Will say it again, seems a decent guy, and certainly puts more effort than others to appear to make/find stories & criticise, but I struggle to stomach his end product (or lack of).

    More importantly, “outside cricket” still makes me fume the most though. I would like someone to take this head-on, but no-one will in the cricket media. It was a disgusting, patronising comment to make, yet no-one at the ECB or in the media tries gives a toss about it. Move on, old news etc etc. That’s why the paying to be there vs the paid to be there schism really exists. Not questioning it at all creates the easiest of easy impression of a cosy ECB-media cabal, despite some like John Etheridge claiming the ECB can be impossible to deal with (which I do have a lot of sympathy for). Never let the truth get in the way of a good legend is great for pub stories with mates – but not in journalism it shouldn’t.


    • thelegglance Jun 14, 2015 / 10:57 am

      As one told me, they don’t do apologies, pointing out that they haven’t apologised for Stanford.

      Jonathan Liew has referenced the “outside cricket” thing on more than one occasion.


  21. Rooto Jun 13, 2015 / 10:04 pm

    Quick point about pseudonyms: what does it matter to us haven’t met the journalists? To me ‘Mike Selvey’ means as much or as little as ‘Dmitri Old’. A name. I know what to expect, and I know who I can trust. If it’s your given name or not is irrelevant (that word again).

    Great work. Keep the momentum rolling.


    • Benny Jun 13, 2015 / 10:21 pm

      Very very good point. My parents christened me with a horrible name. I’ve shortened it and everyone, except my bank and the Inland Revenue, uses my preferred name. Problems – none


  22. dvyk Jun 13, 2015 / 10:14 pm

    “Pringle has never read your blog. Nor have Selvey or Newman.”

    So they’ve gone to all the trouble of dismissing the blog, blocking the authors abd complaining about what they’ve written, but have never read the blog.
    But they have gone to the trouble — all three of them — of discussing the blog and confirming for each other that none of them have ever read it.

    1. They should fucking read it
    2. They shouldn’t complain about it if they have haven’t read it
    3. Their emotional reaction suggests that they have, and it hurts to see amateurs and their commenters giving far better balanced, intelligently discussed and more objective coverage than they are capable of
    4. The content of their criticism strongly suggests they indeed have *not* read it — because they haven’t addressed a single one of the serious accusations and damning conclusions about their work and their views expressed on this blog; as ewll as in KP’s book (especially favouritism and ECB pressure on the media); nor have they responded to Ian Chappell when he made exactly the same observations/accusations made on this blog
    5. How noticeable it is it’s the most mediocre, condescending and stupid journalists who are most upset by accusations that they claim they haven’t read.


    • Benny Jun 13, 2015 / 10:23 pm



    • LordCanisLupus Jun 13, 2015 / 10:26 pm

      For factual accuracy, neither Selfey or Pringle have blocked me. Paul Newman did. It’s laughable blocking anyway, because there are always ways around it. But I openly wonder why he blocked me when I’ve never interacted on Twitter with him (to my knowledge). He’s been told I’m a wrong ‘un?

      I’m getting a number of sources saying that they very much believe some of them have. 🙂 And one source that says no. This is good fun.

      I don’t really care, to be honest. The mere fact we are still talking about “outside cricket” and “fans needing to fall in love with the team again” shows we’ve been anything but irrelevant.


      • thelegglance Jun 14, 2015 / 10:59 am

        And equally for factual accuracy, none of them have blocked me.


    • Pontiac Jun 14, 2015 / 12:31 am

      That flipped the timber.


  23. Amit Garg Jun 14, 2015 / 2:19 am

    I wonder if the publishers for some of these journos read this blog and wonder whether the next book by them needs printing. I think these publishers can do a lot worse than actually asking this blog and TFT for a serialisation. That will get them far better readership and clicks than “the analyst”, “Mike F******** Selfey” or any of the self centred, big ego pricks we have working in a union we refer to as “MSM”.

    Brilliant response to DP and rest, by the way. Those tweets make me LMAO.


  24. escort Jun 14, 2015 / 9:33 am

    Great stuff TLG. Good points well made.


  25. man in a barrel Jun 14, 2015 / 9:28 pm

    When “Jim ” Swanton gave his opinion in the Telegraph, you knew it had been ratified by Gubby Allen and “Billy” Griffiths. The journos now are not at all well connected.


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