The first interview granted by Peter Moores was to George Dobell on Cricinfo. The text of it you would have read by now (well most of you would have). This piece is written on the tablet, with not so much ability to cross-refer and post links. I have limited time and ability with the tools at my disposal to do a thorough job. But I thought I should post some initial reactions.
“Peter Moores, the head coach at Lancashire should succeed Andy Flower, of that I have no doubt. Were I Paul Downton, I would scan the list of contenders – some self-promoted, others having hats thrown into the ring by third parties – and then I would get in touch with the man who is not only arguably the most accomplished coach in the county system but one of the best in the world, whose skill deserves to be on the international stage” – Mike Selvey (12 Feb 2014)
“I have to accept that my time as England coach has gone. But Iam frustrated. The portrayal of me as a coach in the media is just wrong. If people said “I don’t rate you as a coach” then fine. But when it’s not what you are, it’s really frustrating.” – Peter Moores (interview with George Dobell) (22 June 2015)
George Dobell’s interview is fascinating, but I found it frustrating. Peter Moores, despite grave reservations from this parish and others was allowed to have a go at a job he failed in before. The portrayal of him as a coach hasn’t really changed and it has little to do with his use or otherwise of data. That’s a point he is zeroing in on the BBC for and he is abjectly wrong to do so. He’s using it is as a fig leaf. I don’t really care that Nathan Leamon nearly went home because he wasn’t being used enough (that sounds an interesting conversation, me being a former scorer and all that), or over the slip or otherwise about looking at the data. Peter Moores first obstacle was that he had failed before. Ordinary rebuilding would not have done, it had to be better. His second problem is that he is English, and I find it hard to believe a man from these isles can be a long-term successful coach. His third problem was that he was English and did not play international cricket. Lots of egos had to be checked at the door for that to work, and given what we are reading from those not in that inner sanctum, those egos ran amok. Fourthly, he accepted the job with the strings attached, and although tied to Downton through that infamous “best coach of his generation” statement, it was his acceptance of the KP ban that immediately set a good number of people against his appointment.
None of us are denying he’s a good bloke who treated his players with great respect and attention. Try going to a job interview though and say that I should get the job even if results err on the disappointing side, I blew the World Cup, but the players like me. It’s a results business, and it’s a perception business. Moores is not, in my eyes, hooked to the data quote, but to, as one person said to me “an alarming inability to get his point across”. No-one I know perceives Peter Moores as robotic, something he thinks he’s thought of. Many believe he’s a management speak man, a safe company appointment, a man not to ruffle feathers. Most of us, when he was appointed, when Selvey was blowing smoke up his arse, thought “er, wow. That’s an interesting one. He was a failure. Good luck with that.” I’ll bet a number of senior pros thought the same.
Interesting to in this interview are the copious mentions of the BBC apologising for the “data/later” issue, but nothing about Sky saying it (other than George’s mention) and the later role Sky (and one member of their team in particular who, if not the conduit, has a fair number of fingers pointing at him as being so) had in the disgrace that was the handling of his dismissal. No, it seemed, from my purely guesswork point of view that Moores refusal to speak about his dismissal by the ECB is either (a) the ECB showing their usual sensitivity and not allowing it and/or (b) Peter Moores wish to work for them again. Yet again, another dismissal, another cock-up by the ECB, shrouded in secrecy and mistrust. Yeah, just a bunch of KP fanboys, us.
Peter Moores, in my view, gave the authorities the chance to sack him because of the World Cup. When Strauss moved in as supremo, it was clear that the rumours of Jazzer not rating him were true. Strauss then took the decision to fire him because he wanted one man in the job, but at ODI level, Moores was hopeless. Whether Strauss fit the reason to sack Moores, or Moores was going to be sacked due to it seems the point. It had, in my view, naff all to do with Moores’ perception or otherwise. Attacking the BBC is a fig leaf. A comfort blanket.
I didn’t go in hard on Moores. He did what we’d probably all do if we were him and in the position he was in. He was Downton’s appointment and that never helped. But don’t mythologise him. I love the bit where “he made Swann England’s number one spinner”. Well yes, just. Swann played the role inhabited by Blackwell, Dawson, Udal, Swann and Tredwell, as being the second spinner selected on a tour – Swann behind Monty. Unlike the others he out-performed Monty. But let’s not go mad about it, eh? Moores being credited for Joe Root also seems a little odd. Sure, he’s come on a bundle in the recent tests, but let’s see him up against top notch stuff this summer?
Moores is a genuinely decent guy who had a bad thing happen to him. His interview is not the worst of its type, but leave off the I deserved longer schtick. You may well get the plaudits later on in life, but for now, the ODI team’s performance without you at the helm speaks volumes, Peter. It’s pretty damning. It may not have been all your fault, but you cannot be surprised.
Read George Dobell’s interview on cricinfo. Link to follow later.