A Brief Review Of The Madness

In the city of Birmingham, starting with a grey day on Wednesday, Australia were made to shut up, having put up a performance that could best be called an embarrasment, hoping all along for one better day, but being destroyed in our house, the house of fun, our fans braving the sun and the rain, and with England going one step beyond the Aussies in the test race. They may think that tomorrow’s just another day, but Australia were riding the ghost train in this match, and although my girl is happy there’s no play this weekend, there’s a suspicion that the visitors may be yesterday’s men.

Yes, it was madness alright. I’ve seen some daft tests in my time, but this one is up there. Where do we go from here? I would fancy Australia to come back strong again, but just like after Cardiff, there are major distress signals. The captain is in appalling form (hey ho, we know that feeling) and you have to wonder why the Mitches are so damn inconsistent. Meanwhile, England are weathering one opener having a Weston, while finding enough from their line-up to eke out the runs when needed. This is a 2009-type series, lacking in consistent quality, but with enough to keep the fans engaged.

TLG was there today, so I’m not going to cut across his piece over the weekend, but this was sheer lunacy. Like Michael Caine in Jaws 4 madness.

OK, I mailed that one in, but that’s the effect this series is having on me.

I thought, while I was here, that I’d offer a little comment on the furore on The Full Toss over Maxie’s inclusion of the picture with Cook and a dead deer. I saw that picture a year ago (for the first time) and it filled with me revulsion. It looks like someone pleased to have killed a junior deer, posing with the gun etc, and smiling. I’m sorry, that really doesn’t float my boat, and yes, at a time when I was being told what a lovely guy he is at regular intervals, as against you-know-who, I thought it was hypocrisy. But I didn’t add it on to a post. I’m one of those that doesn’t like seeing pictures of dead animals on my Twitter or Facebook timelines. They horrify me, and in the same way I don’t watch horror movies, I would love not to see them. So for me to put it on here would be something I wouldn’t want me to see. But I’m not criticising TFT for putting the picture up.

What some of the malcontents, and yes Nash again proves that stupidity and wild accusations are her watchwords, don’t realise is that bloggers put in massive efforts to bring the blogs to you (she asserts that TFT does “shock”  for money – she’s as off beam about that as she was about my motivations when she snitched to Steve James a few weeks back). You’ve seen the sheer volume TLG and I have put up in the past few months, and what I did at HDWLIA. We do it, well I do, because I enjoy it. I love it (most of the time).

I have never questioned the people who disagree with me’s passion for the sport. You know I’ve told you that many times. I therefore don’t think it is right to be accused of some of the crap I’ve been over the last year or so, and the sort of stuff flying about our motivations, our secret agenda, our cultish, yes cultish, tendencies. I’m not Uncle Sam….

The people moaning that Maxie’s post is clickbait, then going on to the site to say how horrified they are, and then replying to those who say they disagree is about as daft as it gets if you genuinely, moronically, think it’s clickbait. You fools.

I get so angry when our commitment and our love of the sport is questioned. We, like those who oppose my view, are entitled to them. I’ve been privileged to meet Maxie and TLG, and would love to share a beer with many more of you one day, but I’m pleased there’s a community here, and if you think I stray off line, you’ll tell me, and I will always consider it carefully. But as I put on the comments on there, if the main driver of writing a blog is to write for others, then you lose the thing that got people there in the purpose. You have to be you. Maxie was, in short, being Maxie. If people don’t like it, they don’t have to read it.

Edit:  TLG here – just adding my wholehearted agreement with Dmitri on the above.  We write what we think, not for other people.  Dmitri and I write differently, and have different perspectives.  Maxie does exactly the same and read him on that basis.


31 thoughts on “A Brief Review Of The Madness

  1. Arron Wright Jul 31, 2015 / 10:02 pm

    I’ve got to admire the way you shoehorned one last song in there, which a casual music fan (or someone under 30) probably wouldn’t even spot.

    No cardiac arrests either, just as I suspected.


  2. Fred Jul 31, 2015 / 10:15 pm

    There will be a stampede to draw conclusions from this: that Clarke is finished, that the old MJ is back, that Voges is hopeless, that Bell is the No. 3 forever (that’s actually a quote) that Finn after one good game is the genius we all knew he was, that Smith doesn’t really have the technique needed for test cricket etc etc etc.
    I wish I had such certainty. I don’t know what’s going to happen next week. It was nice to see Bell batting so well and authoritatively, it was nice to see MJ deliver two searing bouncers to get wickets, and it was nice to see Nevill show composure, but aside from that there are no indicators as to what’s going to happen next.


    • LordCanisLupus Jul 31, 2015 / 10:20 pm


      I have no clue what is going to happen on Thursday. It’s lunacy, this series. Sheer, damn, lunacy.

      I would love a close, reasonably high scoring game – a la Old Trafford 2005 – which would define the series.


      • Fred Jul 31, 2015 / 10:50 pm

        A competitive match would be good, but some decent cricket would be even better! The bowling from both sides has been poor to OK and ocassionally good, but the batting has been atrocious.
        For the sake of the series, lets hope Australia wins next week, one way or another. And it’s entirely on the cards.


    • paulewart Aug 1, 2015 / 7:05 am

      Without questioning the non selection of Bell at 3 18 months ago or the utter vandalism that came close to destroying Finn’s career at the top level.


  3. SimonH Jul 31, 2015 / 10:34 pm

    So, 2-1 up and Anderson out injured. The temptation is going to be to go defensive and play for the draw. Hang on to what we have. Prepare a featherbed. Dig in.

    A recipe for disaster in my book. Australia can be rattled if attacked. Let them get on top and Lord’s is what happens. Only a complete muppet would advocate going that way –


    • Fred Jul 31, 2015 / 10:59 pm

      This attacking approach is an interesting question. It’s a new philosophy for England post Flower (putting aside things like Trescothic, Flintoff, Botham, Randall etc). Are they going to drop it now they have a lead? Apparently they should continue to exprss themselves, according to their mission statement. I certaintly can’t imagine Bell being cautious the next time he comes to the crease, he must feel like the king of the world today.
      It’s complicated by the fact that both sides have screwed up badly, and both sides could have won a match they’d lost if they’d been a bit more sensible, a bit more test cricket-like.
      It’s complicated.


    • MM Aug 1, 2015 / 10:06 am

      What does Pringle hope to achieve by “hosepipes off”?

      Produce a wicket that’ll fall apart for Lyon after two days, and go vertical/subterranean for the nastiest bowler on Earth and his tall mates?

      Look, I’m a cricket pitch dunce really, but how about just flooding Trent Bridge?


      • paulewart Aug 1, 2015 / 2:57 pm

        Poor Derek, he’s a tiny bit dim.


    • Arron Wright Aug 1, 2015 / 10:33 am

      Didn’t think he’d want a draw. It would leave him needing 7 wins in 8 Tests. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. escort Jul 31, 2015 / 10:42 pm

    A good victory for England. Given how the media are going to react it’s probably a good idea if “Sunday mornings papers are left outside the front door”


  5. Mark Jul 31, 2015 / 11:03 pm

    Tinfoil hat alert………

    Anyone else find it a teeny weeny bit suspicious that England invite Sir Ian Botham to address the team, and then, voila, the ECB in hoise fanzine…….. The cricketer magazine…….just happens to put Botham on the front cover of the magazine with a full feature interview? Hmm

    Simon Hughes then has a ludicrous piece about how the media and the players are no longer at each other’s throats. As if the England team has had any bad press from the written media over the last 2 years.

    There is no doubt England are putting on a major PR offensive since the shambles of the World Cup. They are playing a positive brand of cricket and they are even smiling. Cook gave quite a passable interview today. But why do I get this rather cynical feeling that it is all being orchestrated by PR consultants hired by the ECB?

    As for the dodgy photo of Cook, didn’t it orginally appear in the Daily Mail? I would have thought that’s Pams favourite newspaper. (They specialise in fake niceness) So why is she whinging? Did Cook shoot the deer? Did Cook then pose with the dead deer in photo? . Was the picture given to the Mail to be used in a shameful puff piece? So stfu Pam


    • Arron Wright Aug 1, 2015 / 7:50 am

      Yes it was. I posted the original article on TFT to show the pearl-clutchers what we’re actually dealing with. Absolutely hideous puffery, that fails miserably to do what one poster urged Maxie to do, ie “stick to the cricket”. Then I was told the article was from four and a half years ago. Well, two things: first, so is Cook’s last Test century against Australia (yet we still hear that he’s the most vital batsman). And second, his life outside cricket was used shamelessly and repeatedly in 2014 to shore up his reputation as an ordinary, down to earth, decent guy. But, amidst Alice and lambing and Bedford and Goochie, the deer wasn’t mentioned once. I wonder why. And as you have pointed out several times, they only started on his soapy hinterland when his form fell through the floor. No-one else, regardless of seniority, receives this treatment. See Bell, IR. Or see the contrast between George Dobell and the MSM when writing about Trott.

      That’s the point. That people still choose to miss it just shows how our bête-noires are still a lot more influential than Dmitri and Maxie, and their readers still can’t tell the difference between propaganda and dispassionate analysis.

      Liked by 1 person

      • LordCanisLupus Aug 1, 2015 / 8:23 am

        Ah. I wake up to be told I’m part of a sad bunch, and that this blog is quite pathetic.

        I think my job is done.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mark Aug 1, 2015 / 8:28 am

        Yes, exactly right Arron.

        Pam just sums them up really. Ghastly hypocrites. They have created a narrative and nothing must disturb their rosy image. Nothing must impinge on their Disney like view that Cook is an angel.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mark Aug 1, 2015 / 8:39 am

        I love the Pams of this world. They bring home to me how something like Nazi Germany can get started. Charismatic leader spouting clap trap. Rather stupid people who have a deep hatred of certain others. A spineless media who long to be on the inside. A love of authority and order,and a fear of indivdulism. A love of the right sort of people, the right sort of institutions.

        They will be invading Poland next.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Arron Wright Aug 1, 2015 / 10:27 am

        LCL, I did spot that. Don’t forget “utter drivel”, or his comments on Maxie. Perhaps one day the love child of George Orwell and Dorothy Parker might produce an actual counter-argument.


      • SimonH Aug 1, 2015 / 11:34 am

        On Arron’s “we still hear that he’s the most vital batsman” about Cook:

        In this WLW run, Root averages 132 when England win and 9 when England lose. It is stark staringly obvious who is England’s most vital player – except for those who’ve already written their narrative and will bend light round corners to fit reality in with it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Aug 1, 2015 / 11:41 am

        Just checked the same stat for Cook and his average is virtually identical whether England win or lose in this recent run (55 in wins, 58 in losses).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright Aug 1, 2015 / 11:59 am

        There is, genuinely, an omertà on Cook’s pathetic home record v Australia (or indeed his record against them anywhere since 2010/11). Anyone else and it would have been rammed down our throats, the way my all-time favourite “Bell (who bats at five or six) only makes hundreds when someone else (one of three men with a historically high number of centuries, or a fourth with a great record during a period of sustained success) already has” used to be.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Pontiac Aug 1, 2015 / 1:31 am

    Hm, I’ve got a couple comments about the deer business, but fearing they may be too off topic, I’d like to email them to Our Hosts instead of posting them. But I’m unclear as to where best to send this.


  7. paulewart Aug 1, 2015 / 7:10 am

    Madness, madness, they call it madness. I’m about to explain, that someone is losing their brain, madness, madness they call it madness.


  8. SimonH Aug 1, 2015 / 8:33 am

    Australia team changes for TB:

    Shaun Marsh in for Voges seems highly probable (unless Voges’ experience at TB saves him but I doubt it). Smith and Clarke could then drop a place in the order. Cases could be made to recall Haddin, Watson or Siddle but I expect they’ll be resisted. Nevill’s fifty probably earns him another try over Haddin. Starc is more likely to help get twenty wickets than Siddle. Mitch Marsh looked good at Lord’s and it isn’t only Anderson who can hit Watto’s front pad. One change and telling the team “You’re our best Eleven – play better” seems the way to go.

    Warne wanted Cummins but it would be a massive punt on his fitness.

    I’m a big fan of Clarke, and it won’t happen of course, but even the slight possibility that Clarke could be dropped for Watto is quite amusing (I’ll get my “I’m a shit bloke” T-shirt on…..).


    • Mark Aug 1, 2015 / 8:51 am

      Australia have already had the most important selection change. Namely the injury to Anderson.

      Without Jimmy I can see the Aussies making 350 quite easily. Yesterday morning without him England struggled to wrap the innings up. I know it was the best day for batting and all that, but Jimmy is a huge loss.

      If the Aussies can get a decent score their bowlers can do the rest. England may need the help of rain to escape without a loss. Of course Captain fantastic could make a ‘daddy’ and then everything would be fine.

      As Englands record has gone WLWLWLW the media has alternated from Cook the great captain to Cook the great batsman to Cook the great captain to Cook the great batsman, to Cook the great captain, to Cook the great batsman, to Cook the great captain again today!


  9. SimonH Aug 1, 2015 / 9:25 am

    Our old friend Hubris popped around again:

    “Win or lose this series, doesn’t England’s future look a little brighter?”

    From George Dobell – and he means compared to Australia because their squad is so old. We’re one win away from ‘Is Australia’s decline permanent?’ articles again.

    Australia A have just thrashed an India A side including Kohli and Pujara in India by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Aug 1, 2015 / 9:39 am

      I have nothing against Ravi Shastri, in fact I quite like him, but why is he brought on to the Verdict for the Ashes? Could this now be the format of the carve up of International cricket? Broadcasters must include One Englishman, one Australian, and one Indian?


  10. MM Aug 1, 2015 / 10:30 am

    I’m not so worried about Jimmy’s absence. Granted he bowled up a storm in the first innings and his Trent Bridge stats could hardly be any better. But I’m happy with Wood if he’s fit again. I’d happily see Plunkett come back again. And would Footit be a bad stand-in? It ain’t like we’ve got to find a spinner for a sub-continent wicket. Yet.

    I would love to see England go all-out to nail the Ashes at Trent Bridge. They’re more likely to there than at the Oval, aren’t they? I would not like to go to the Oval with a 2-2, or even a 2-1 still. I’d be expecting disappointment from then on.



  11. Zephirine Aug 1, 2015 / 11:03 am

    LWLWLW…. Sometimes I wonder if we’re all being massively conned and the whole thing is scripted….

    Still, another victory for Brendon McCullum. Having sorted out Morgan’s morale, he’s apparently been playing golf with Bell.


    • SimonH Aug 1, 2015 / 11:29 am

      Did you catch George Dobell on Switch Hit blaming Warne for convincing England to play attacking cricket and causing the defeat at Lord’s? (Not that I saw much attacking cricket from England at Lord’s).

      Now attacking cricket has produced a win we can go back to thanking lovely BMac…..

      Liked by 1 person

    • MM Aug 1, 2015 / 11:30 am

      Talking of Brendon McCullum, does anyone know if he is staying on at the Bears for the T20 quarterfinal and potentially the Finals day?


  12. LordCanisLupus Aug 4, 2015 / 2:13 pm

    You might be aware that someone who is no fan of this blog and this blogger called this post a pathetic blog and those who come here a “sad bunch”. I’ve read this again.I’ve even to inject humour into this piece.

    I mean what the serious fuck is he on about?

    I’ve varied what I’ve done. Put up memory slots. Taken pics. Do stats. Book reviews when appropriate. I’ve done the ashes panel. We have TLG.

    I mean what the serious fuck is he on about?

    He says he doesn’t read me. Don’t effing bother.


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