Amour (and the preview for ODI #4)

Everyone’s happy. England are playing a really exciting brand of ODI cricket. There’s thrill a minunte stroke play, a new approach, a wonderful fresh positive attitude. It’s New England. Wow. Get it. New England….

So feel free to add your comments below as the 4th ODI takes place at Trent Bridge. I’ll be stuck in a dreary training course, licking my wounds from a horrible day, both personally and professionally, and feeling bitter that people will be enjoying the crash bang wallop of cricket.

At about 12:30 in the latest Switch Hit, George Dobell said something along the lines of “after two years of cynicism about the England team and the ECB, the public are falling back in love with English cricket again, and that’s the most important thing”.

I can’t get angry with George. I really can’t. He’s the only one who could possibly have said that and got away with it. But it got me thinking. Stand by for an even greater load of old nonsense. I’m gonna tell you a story…..

Let’s go down memory lane, and have a bit of catharsis along the way. A good few years ago I went out with a woman who, it is fair to say, I was batting over my average with. I hadn’t a lot of self-esteem, and this brought confidence and a verve to my life. I walked with a swagger, I felt good about myself. It was great. Then I found out I was being used. Used as an emotional crutch, and things turned. Suddenly I found that I was miserable with her, and even more miserable without. Then I was dumped.

Oh, don’t be a tart, I can hear you say, but stick with it. In cricket parlance, the early 2000s were that woman. We had a tremendous team, flawed but exciting, and it was arguably more than we deserved. We knew it couldn’t last, but effing hell, wasn’t it great? Beating South Africa away, seven test wins in a summer and then the Ashes…. the Ashes in 2005. But then things were never the same, and the following few years I followed the team, even away to Oz, but this wasn’t a new era. It was good, but it was also making me miserable as our team floundered.

Anyway, after the first dumping, we got back together. It was nice, for a while, but we knew it wouldn’t last, there were too many fractures, hey, even a lack of trust (ho ho ho).

That period is England 2010-12. Great at times, so much so that you forget the big losses like Pakistan or South Africa. But there were some good times, very good times. But again, you knew a let-down was coming, and some of the rough periods….

Then we split up, permanently. Oh, I didn’t give up, but it was not going to happen. She’d toy with my affection a bit (India 2012….) but then slammed me down with an embarrassing put down (Ashes 2013/14). Then came the waste period, as I had bitter recriminations and couldn’t, as the cricket parlance said, move on….

A few years later, when I first was going out with my lovely wife, I was at work one day when I heard that voice on the phone. “Hello Dmitri, how are you…” I now found myself in a dilemma. Should I seek out the familiar seductive voice on the phone, or move on permanently and ignore it. “I’m down the pub, near your work. Would you like to meet me?”

That, my dear friends, is the current England ODI and test team. Pulling on your heartstrings. You know they haven’t really changed, and that it’s better with the life you live, but you aren’t a silly lovesick puppy any more, in need of a relationship where the other party effects care, but actually doesn’t really need you. But, but, but…….That ex is the ECB. Writ large. Flashing their seductive voice with new eras, and flashy play. But they don’t really care about you. You are there when they want something, and nothing else.

So, George, I’m not going to stop being cynical about the ECB at all. Not at those ticket prices. Not until I hear a mea culpa from them over outside cricket that doesn’t pin it on the bloke they chose to employ. Not with their attitude to the supporters. Not even if England’s players play an exciting, wonderful brand of cricket. I’m not coming back to the fold on the back of the cricketing equivalent of one bloody phone call.

Here endeth the oddest post in Being Outside Cricket. On a day when I was told I didn’t get that promotion, after I’d been told that a client of our’s had passed away at the weekend, it’s been a day. A really bad one.

Lord knows what will happen tomorrow. I only know that it really can’t be worse than today.

Send the men in the white coats. I’m prepared to be laughed at. Because after this day, laughter’s about all I have!

Good night, good people. Keep smiling and ignore that bloody phone call….


65 thoughts on “Amour (and the preview for ODI #4)

  1. man in a barrel Jun 16, 2015 / 10:59 pm

    Too true Dmitri. How many of the scribes talk about Dpwnton and his aplomb nthese days? perhaps Selvey will talk about how right Downton was to want Cook to continue as captain at the World Cup.

    Justg writing this makes me think the world has moved on its axis…we pick aggressive stroke-players rather than cautious, patient but ungifted, nurdlers as the captain of an ODI team.


    • dvyk Jun 17, 2015 / 8:54 am

      Typo or no, Dpwnton is brilliant, though a year and a half too late– pwned!


    • SteveT Jun 17, 2015 / 9:53 am

      Although I am starting to like the ODI team again, this does not mean the last two years have not happened. Also it makes the farce of the last World Cup even more infuriating. Just imagine what the poor sods who forked out huge sums to go and watch that crap must be thinking now. They deserve a bloody refund and a public apology.

      Sorry you had a shite day mate. My wife screwed up a promotion interview the other month, she is now happy she didn’t get the job.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Topshelf Jun 16, 2015 / 11:26 pm

    First, I’m sorry you had a crappy day. May tomorrow be a better one. The cricket might help, but I wouldn’t count on it – we must be due a disaster soon.

    I have often thought in similar terms about the England team over the last 30+ years. But more as that mate everyone has who’s brilliant to be around but is always likely to let you down in some way. You know the one – always great on a night out, but you know if you let him crash at yours your best whisky will end up emptied and the place will somehow get trashed.

    But the good times make up for the inevitable irritations, and you learn to put up with the foibles because the rest is worth it. In fact, you grow to expect them. Just don’t leave him alone with anyone’s girlfriend, or ever lend him any money, and you’re all good. You will definitely have some fabulous times together.

    The problem comes when he does something unforgivable, like treat you like a fool, or dismiss you as outside cricket, and the fun seems to seep away. You know there’s still fun to be had, but the price starts to look a little steep.

    To row back from the somewhat tortured analogy, most, maybe all, of the current ODI team are blameless in recent events. We suddenly have some fantastically exciting players – I’d pay just to watch Chris Jordan field, if not bowl* – and we’ve finally woken up to the right approach.

    But it’s still hard to live and let live. It might never be the same again. And that is a massive, massive shame. Maybe time really does heal all wounds. Let’s hope so.

    * For Sussex/on TV. I’m still not giving the ECB any of my money this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine Jun 17, 2015 / 12:15 am

      Yes, I was just thinking that it was like David Niven’s description of being friends with Errol Flynn: “You knew exactly where you were with him. You knew he would always let you down.”

      Sorry about the bad day, Dmitri. You didn’t want that job, though. It would have turned out to have hidden pitfalls. Trust me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • BoerInAustria Jun 17, 2015 / 2:12 pm

        Wise words Zeph. Sorry for your S— day Dimi.


  3. Simon K Jun 16, 2015 / 11:32 pm

    Not only are the public not falling back in love with English cricket, they by and large aren’t aware that English cricket is actually happening.

    Dobell, bless him, can be as guilty as anyone else in the embedded press of checking the view outside the bubble a little too infrequently.

    Liked by 2 people

    • wrongunatlongon Jun 17, 2015 / 9:52 am

      From 1/6 of the country watching in 2005, to, what, 1/60th in 2015. Great work.


    • metatone Jun 17, 2015 / 10:10 am

      Made me smile – thanks.


  4. Boz Jun 17, 2015 / 7:14 am

    This is “So MoneySupermarket” …………………….. :0)

    and what’s with Dobell and Melissa? – he’s bonkers!


    • Boz Jun 17, 2015 / 4:58 pm

      latest news:

      George and Mel to star in new Top Gear


    • thebogfather Jun 17, 2015 / 5:22 pm

      he is a bit like a love-lost puppy when they report together (jealous? Moi?)


      • LordCanisLupus Jun 17, 2015 / 5:29 pm

        Mine was a rubbish post. Tried to find mirth yesterday. None today.


      • thebogfather Jun 17, 2015 / 5:38 pm


        Pull on a chilled beer
        Take a break and relax
        Every post of yours brings us cheer
        And something for our brains to be taxed


  5. Sherwick Jun 17, 2015 / 7:22 am

    What I got from that was, your ex was Giles Clarke and he left you for another?

    Anyway, some possibly familiar words to cheer you up:

    I saw two shooting stars last night
    I wished on them but they were only satellites
    It’s wrong to wish on space hardware
    I wish, I wish, I wish you’d care (ECB, but I know you don’t)

    I don’t want to change the world
    I’m not looking for a new England
    Are you looking for another girl?
    I don’t want to change the world
    I’m not looking for a new England
    Are you looking for another girl?


    • BoerInAustria Jun 17, 2015 / 2:18 pm

      Blood on the Track always works for me.

      Idiot Wind clearly written about the ECB
      “Someone’s got it in for me, they’re planting stories in the press…”

      Or a few individuals I could think of…
      “….Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth
      You’re an idiot, babe, It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe”


  6. Mark Jun 17, 2015 / 9:53 am

    The reality is that The ECB is a sub section of the English establishment. They don’t listen to anyone, and they don’t like change. Sometimes for financial reasons they pretend to change, and clear out all the dead wood who refused to listen to those who knew better. Then they appoint someone from within their ranks to carry out the minimal changes needed. That is what the Strauss appointment is about. He is one of them.

    Anyone with the smallest cricket brain knew Cook should not have been in the ODI team let alone captain. They also knew that Peter Moores was the wrong coach. Unfortunately not the English ECB. But they have now realised they were wrong, but because of their arrogance they can never admit they were wrong. The media should have been all over this, and giving them a hard time, but they are just pathetic servants of the establishment who make a minor living crawling to power.

    The key thing is the establishment must never let it be known they were wrong, and that the little people were right. In the grand scheme of things the minimum will be done to keep the gravy train going. After all, there is not point to the gravy train, if the benefit is going to those outside the club. It a special club, and us outsiders are not allowed in. Our Mony is welcomed but not are opinions.


  7. thebogfather Jun 17, 2015 / 9:55 am

    Hi Dmitri, sorry to hear about the job and the work acquaintance – life truly does suck at times.

    Jenny tweeted me last night suggesting I try and cheer you up a bit! So, pinching a few ideas from above, here goes…

    That unkempt shiny hair
    Those dark mysterious eyes
    That wicked smile, rarely there
    Those voluptuous, yet hidden, thighs

    The loose clothing in many shades
    Hiding a multitude of wanton sins
    Immoral thoughts of duplicitous ways
    Can you afford not to be let in?

    You wonder whether to grease or anoint
    For the right price, your silence sought
    You pander to each mess of press-ure point
    My advice, don’t let yourself be bought

    So, with heavy heart you onward trudge
    Staying outside, ignoring the wiles
    Even our leader’s eyeliner had smudged
    At the loss of the true love of Sir Giles…

    Keep A Smile!

    Liked by 3 people

    • jennyah46 Jun 17, 2015 / 1:18 pm

      Well done nom de Bog! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. SimonH Jun 17, 2015 / 10:07 am

    Pity the first day between SL and Pakistan in Galle was rained off (the Test between the two there last year was one of the matches of the year).

    Interesting article on the two teams here:

    Both teams are currently in the mid-rankings table pack where sides tend to be winners at home but not travel well. Pakistan haven’t beaten any top eight side away since 2011 and haven’t won in SL since 2009. On paper, their bowling looks better than anyone’s outside the top two and it is time they started delivering. Pakistan’s batting has been their weakness but the middle order now looks settled at least for the short term until Misbah and Younis retire. Improvements in their fielding and one-day cricket are overdue.

    SL may be entering tough times/a period of transition. Curiously, the batting and spin departments look their main concerns. Mahela has gone and Sanga is about to (after the first Test of the next series according to the latest reports). Whether the likes of Thirimanne and Karunaratne can fill those shoes must be doubtful. A recall for 34 year old Mubarak doesn’t suggest much young batting talent coming through. Although it hasn’t attracted as much attention the potential loss of Herath (world leading Test wicket-taker in the last three years – now 36 and increasingly prone to hamstring injuries) would be as big a blow to SL. The young off-spinner Kushal hasn’t impressed yet – and his action may get into trouble. The more orthodox off-spinner Dilruwan Perera fell away after a promising start. The seam attack looks reasonable with three from Eranga, Prasad, Pradeep and Lakmal (Pradeep looks like he could be the best of the lot if he can start to sustain his bowling for longer periods of time – at the moment the difference between his first and third spells is huge). Mathews’ captaincy has also to step up with Mahela no longer there.


    • metatone Jun 17, 2015 / 10:14 am

      Good article – esp. the note about this historical moment. SL and Pakistan are both in danger of becoming scheduling backwaters as the ICC focuses ever more on the 3 countries who increasingly rule the roost.


    • SimonH Jun 17, 2015 / 10:15 am

      Oops, that stat about Herath was right last time I checked before the WC but now he is fourth on the list:

      Only twelve fewer wickets than Anderson despite playing thirteen fewer Tests…..


      • metatone Jun 17, 2015 / 10:20 am

        Anderson is much like a spinner really.
        Devastating on some tracks – less fearsome on others…


    • SimonH Jun 17, 2015 / 11:34 am

      Worth pointing out that England are scheduled to play Pakistan in 7 Tests and 10 ODIs in the next 15 months.


      • escort Jun 17, 2015 / 12:16 pm

        Don’t we usually get some sort of controversy when we play Pakistan to regularly❔


  9. metatone Jun 17, 2015 / 10:20 am

    Well, yesterday was an incredibly gruesome day for me too.
    So – if misery loves company, here I am…

    For me the greatest sense with the ECB is one of wasted time.
    I don’t know if Bayliss is the man for the job, but we could have had him last time around…
    Even if he is the right man for the job, from the place that our Test team is at right now, it’s really hard to see us doing well in the upcoming Test series.
    We haven’t really played well against the teams with good bowling attacks in a long time…

    Finally of course, it’s really hard to feel good about the wider state of the game.
    Participation is down – and I think the lack of TV coverage really does bite…

    Liked by 1 person

    • @pktroll Jun 17, 2015 / 1:02 pm

      The biggest problem England has is that their policies are those of the Flower/Strauss coach/captain axis. They tried to replicate it with Moores/Cook. It absolutely didn’t work. What is even worse is that Flower/Strauss now have positions of power at the ECB still. I really believe that a whole purge of those personnel and game plan would be a breath of fresh air to the England team. What is ridiculous is that all those mentioned seemed to have an entrenched position, with one re-appointed so to speak.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Benny Jun 17, 2015 / 12:32 pm

    I’m looking at this ODI team as welcome, light relief from the usual dreary confused stuff the ECB serves up over 5 days. Pretty sure the performances have taken them by surprise too. ECB will have provided laptops, acceptable family histories, diet sheets and approved media question & answer sheets. Farbrace seems to have said “blow all that. Just go out, score lots of runs and take loads of wickets”.

    Looking forward to some entertainment this afternoon. I’m not viewing it as significant, serious stuff – simply as some cricket fun with the edge that it’s our team, whom I’d be delighted to see do brilliantly (maybe like a sexy bit on the side, to continue the thread’s analogy)

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebogfather Jun 17, 2015 / 12:54 pm

      ‘Sexy’ is better than than the ECB ride we deride…


    • thelegglance Jun 17, 2015 / 4:47 pm

      I’m really starting to think that the way the ODI side have approached this new era™ ® © ECB is going to highlight the plodding nature of Cook’s captaincy. I suspect if they try and grind then it’s going to get mentioned. Nothing has led me to change my mind that Cook is likely to get the elbow at the end of the Ashes unless he a) has a belter or b) wins the Ashes.

      Liked by 2 people

      • d'Arthez Jun 17, 2015 / 5:10 pm

        If they would, it is yet another act of backstabbery after someone got dumped after their “use and abuse by” date.

        With management like that, who needs an opposition?


      • thelegglance Jun 17, 2015 / 5:17 pm

        Well of course. Why would that be surprising? The way they sacked Cook 2 days after talking about how wonderful he was from the ODI side was hardly something other than backstabbing after all.

        The thing I find significant is the way it’s been a constant TINA drone, and now they’ve appointed a vice-captain who is nailed on to get it at some point. So it’s now TIAA.

        Liked by 1 person

      • escort Jun 17, 2015 / 6:49 pm

        Agree with you about Cook. He has to do something exceptional this summer. Would not shock me if he was gone by the 4th test


  11. metatone Jun 17, 2015 / 5:35 pm

    I missed the NZ innings – anyone have some thoughts on the bowling?
    Obviously some of the stats are a bit horrorshow – but there’s usually more to the story than just the numbers…


  12. SimonH Jun 17, 2015 / 5:38 pm

    Most expensive ODI over in England:

    30 Yuvraj Singh 2007
    28 Adil Rashid today


    • escort Jun 17, 2015 / 6:10 pm

      Hasn’t James Anderson gone for 28 in an over in a Test? Last Ashes tour was it?


    • Burly Jun 17, 2015 / 9:05 pm

      Showed serious bottle with a great last over after that though!


  13. thebogfather Jun 17, 2015 / 6:28 pm

    Is it just me, or is anyone else bored by these ODI’s now…?


    • escort Jun 17, 2015 / 6:43 pm

      Not me.


      • "IronBalls" McGinty Jun 17, 2015 / 7:26 pm

        Not me either…this is bloody marvellous stuff..especially after the dross we’ve been served up of late!


  14. paulewart Jun 17, 2015 / 7:56 pm

    Ian Smith to Gower: ‘England have played some magnificent cricket this series: what a turn around. Gower: stony silence. They really are on message, aren’t they?


    • Zephirine Jun 17, 2015 / 8:16 pm

      Although Gower did say (like all the rest of us) that he’d like the Kiwis to stay for the whole summer. Or perhaps he just meant Ian Smith.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. paulewart Jun 17, 2015 / 7:58 pm

    Uh oh. Bohtam’s off message: ‘How thing’s have changed. And for the better.’


      • escort Jun 17, 2015 / 8:05 pm

        Am sure he will think of something. Wrong logo on the bat perhaps?


  16. escort Jun 17, 2015 / 8:04 pm

    What a shot that was to go to a century. Great stuff.


  17. hatmallet Jun 17, 2015 / 8:09 pm

    Feeling a bit silly having said pre series that Morgan should be dropped. Remarkable turn around in form for him.


  18. paulewart Jun 17, 2015 / 8:20 pm

    Magnificent innings by Morgan. The crowd stood up to a man to applaud him from the field. Hats may have been thrown into the air. What could this possibly mean? A crowd celebrating a century by an England captain? Shocking. Someone, somewhere /presumably outside cricket) is kicking a cat biliously……


    • escort Jun 17, 2015 / 8:28 pm

      Biliousley is a funny name for a cat isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Zephirine Jun 17, 2015 / 8:27 pm

    God, this must be depressing for Peter Moores.


    • paulewart Jun 17, 2015 / 8:31 pm

      Indeed, particularly as his assistant is doing so well…..


    • escort Jun 17, 2015 / 8:40 pm

      It could easily be a nail in Cook’s coffin as well. Imagine if you were either Joe Root or Ben Stokes. They are playing this series with a smile on their faces. What’s it going to be like for them when the test team assemble again with Captain Cook in charge?. Like returning from a dirty weekend with your mistress and getting home to your wife and her telling you the lawn needs mowing, the car needs a wash and she also has a migraine that will last a fortnight.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sherwick Jun 17, 2015 / 9:25 pm

        Sounds like my life… apart from the exciting mistress bit.


      • dlpthomas Jun 18, 2015 / 3:27 am

        I suspect seeing Broad and Anderson could wipe the smile off a few faces.


  20. paulewart Jun 17, 2015 / 8:27 pm

    Can anyone imagine a team coached by Moores and skippered by Cook doing this?


  21. paulewart Jun 17, 2015 / 8:42 pm

    What a batting performance! Great stuff from England. The shackles are off. This one day team have finally liberated themselves form the joyless Flower/Moores/Cook regimes. If only the selectors had the gumption to make the change at test level. Great to see Root and Morgan up the order too.


    • escort Jun 17, 2015 / 8:53 pm

      It would be interesting to know who is responsible for this change in attitude to ODI cricket. Whoever it is deserves as much applause as the players.


      • Zephirine Jun 17, 2015 / 9:34 pm

        I think it’s the players, mainly Morgan and Root. Remember that T20 against India, the game nobody was interested in so they let Morgan captain it? That was the first glimpse of this kind of assertiveness and freedom.

        And I think we owe a hell of a lot to New Zealand, not only on this tour but in the World Cup, for showing the way.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. pktroll (@pktroll) Jun 17, 2015 / 8:52 pm

    Just so pleased that the likes of Hales, Roy and the other new breed are bringing the energy. Roy for one has not set the world on fire but he is one that I really believe that they have to back. He plays with freedom and there is more to come from him in the first class game. Then again I think the same of Stokes, Wood and some others. Fair play to Farbrace for going with this mob and indeed (if true) Bayliss from afar.


    • Burly Jun 17, 2015 / 9:04 pm

      Roy looks like Hales did when he first started the 50 over stuff.


      • @pktroll Jun 18, 2015 / 8:30 am

        Exactly. You can’t expect him to set the world on fire straight away given that it is as step up in class. Back him and you may get the results. There is no guarantee but at least give him an opportunity and don’t do the horrible cluster**** that saw him get a couple of games here and there while they tried to shoehorn Cook into the side.


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