Colley Street

So. I was walking out of the office, down to the station, and on the train home, and I’m wondering. What do I write tonight? Anything? Leave things alone and have a night off?

I don’t think I can. The atmosphere among cricket circles is, certainly, from what I can see, venomous. The vast majority of England cricket fans don’t give two hoots about how the game is run, and just want to enjoy the game. There is, I know, widespread ambivalence to the ins and outs of cricket administration, office politics, personal disputes. But I’ve been on this trip for a while, and I know others feel like me.

Now. Let me get this straight. I didn’t want to do this, because it is a bit like dick waving, but here goes. I’m going to set down, in words, my cricket life.

  • I’ve been a member of Surrey CCC for about six or seven years. Gave up because I had to make savings.
  • I went to the Oval test for 15 years, often organising all our group’s tickets, outlaying the cash when I could afford to do so. Plus ODIs. Plus visits to Lord’s. Plus Trent Bridge. Stopped
  • Two Ashes tours of two tests each – Brisbane and Adelaide 2002; Adelaide and Perth 2006. Took the chance to see the SCG (NSW v South Australia) and MCG (Victoria v Queensland) on those trips.
  • A tour to South Africa in 2004-5 – Cape Town test and two days of Joburg (days 2 & 3, worse luck).
  • Played cricket at school. Scored for England Schools (one game – Mark Ealham, Chris Lewis, Mark Alleyne all played, and Paul Farbrace kept wicket for Kent). Played club cricket for 16 years. Captain of my work team for a few years, occasional social player until injury finished me off.
  • I used to record all cricket that I could. I had a library of VHS tapes with cricket (no, none of that, please) on that, once the DVD age came and the video they were recorded on died, I couldn’t play any more because the tracking was f*cked. I could have rivalled Rob Moody on Youtube, except copyright freaked me out. I still have most of England cricket on DVD since 2005 (first series was Pakistan), and as much of the international stuff that I can record. I’m a cricket nerd.
  • I have Wisdens dating back to the early 70s. I have mountains of cricket books. Lots and lots of them. I scour bookshops for some old accounts of tours gone by. Love bargains.
  • I keep all my ticket stubs, my match programmes, those silly things they hand out at games.
  • I yearn to be able to go on England tours again, or any cricket, but money is a lot tighter these days.
  • I’ve been cricket blogging for 5 or 6 years, first on HDWLIA and now here.
  • I blogged on a previous host, frequently talking about cricket on there too.
  • As you know, I’m a mad keen photographer of the game. Every game I go to, I try to take pictures of the action, to get that great shot. Like this one….
Justin Langer bowled first ball - 2nd Innings, Perth 2006
Justin Langer bowled first ball – 2nd Innings, Perth 2006
  • I have written about how I hated nets. I have written about the traumatic experience of making a diamond duck. I have written about bad press well before the incidents of early last year. I’ve written of my tour to Australia in 2006. I’ve written pieces on here about how the 2005 Ashes were so important to me because of family events (and I want to send out my thoughts to one of our regular commenters, not naming them, but they know who they are, going through some awfully tough times at present). I’ve made lifelong friends, like Sir Peter, Danno, and the many, many top guys at Old Josephians, and with the business colleagues we play against.
  • I owe this sport a hell of a lot.

DON’T

ANYONE

EVER

F*CKING

QUESTION

HOW

MUCH

I LOVE

THIS

SPORT

I do not question those who do not agree with me on their’s. I do not hold myself up as a better or worse supporter than anyone else, just that I love the sport of cricket and care deeply about it. I really didn’t want to list this, but it needs saying, as evidence of track record, of loving the game, especially tests. For once I’ve done it. If you’ve been a long-term reader of this blog, then you’d know it. I don’t need to tell you, you don’t need to tell me.

I muted someone on Twitter – yes, I know – who absolutely gets on my tits. I don’t block. This wouldn’t piss me off as much except that I know that a number of others feel the same, but won’t say it. I warned Maxie not to talk to him, but he did. When he’s not telling someone they are beyond parody, he’s churning out this line.

and again

and again

He’s an insignficant little so and so, I know, but I’m not letting this lie, and he can spout off all he likes on his Twitter feed. But this is my home ground, and I’ll comment here. I don’t give a shit if he’s an “England supporter”. So am I.

Oh, I got this:

Look, I know. I shouldn’t give this pathetic excuse the oxygen of publicity he so certainly craves. The effort, the sustained effort to put logical thoughts into words to craft posts etc. is something we can all look forward to from him when the time comes, although, like me, Jack Byrne, James Morgan and Maxie Allen, it’ll be beyond parody. And no, none of this was directed at me, but it was directed at some of our blogging comrades, and I’m not having it. Je Suis Maxie and James and all that.

You see, we attack the ECB.  I’ve given up trying to get into rational debate about Alastair Cook, every bit as much as I am about getting into a rational debate about KP. As for Strauss, well. Let’s see on this one, eh?

Some can separate the ECB from England.

I UNDERSTAND

HOW

YOU

CAN

DO

THAT

Now, when we attack people from having the opposite point of view, its usually aimed at journalists, ignorant people on social media or, most importantly, the ECB.

When they attack someone of the opposite point of view, they attack us. Nice. And when we go back at you, we get that drivel.

James Morgan, today, tried to tread the middle path. I tried that last year when I was sick of all the rows, and nothing happened. Of course it didn’t. The schism remains, and neither side of it can wish it away. Wounds run too deep. They aren’t petty, they are deep. To see my blog described, and it’s mine and Maxie he’s having a pop at, as “anti-England”, I just get angrier and angrier. I do not see life through your damn prism, so don’t keep telling me you have it right.

I am royally pissed off. If people take pleasure in that, that’s up to them. I don’t. There’s no hint at rapprochement here. People want blood. I’m not pretending for one minute that I’ve been a model citizen, and I’ve lost my rag every now and again, but I see precious little of that from the opposing view.

I say “beware the man who claims he is honest, because he’s usually a liar, and that’s his first one”, but you get honesty on here from me. If someone cheeses me off, then I react. Big or small. I’d fisk Dominic Lawson’s dog whistle article if I could be arsed, but he’s a toffee nosed prick who thinks there’s not a sliver of difference in KP and Cook’s commercial attitudes, and then denigrates an entire England legend’s career. You haven’t found me doing that to Cook. I’d rage on about Ed Smith, but he’s just ingratiating himself with authority, and he’s definitely their kind of person. See SeanB, who knows a thing or two about Middlesex, about that man’s credentials. Then there’s the BTL buffoons.

I return to James Morgan’s piece. Can’t we all just get along? Public Enemy, in my one culture reference of the piece, in their track “Whole Lotta Love Goin’ On” say “Rap is a contact sport”. This has been a contact sport all right. Some are sick of it. I think it’s just starting. I’m prepared for it. I’ve been doing it for a long time now.

I wish I could be more positive, but it ain’t happening. We were always going to be attacked, and we were always going to respond. I wanted to let the situation breathe. It hasn’t.

Anti-England. You precious idiots. Bring it on…..

Have a good evening.

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98 thoughts on “Colley Street

  1. Zephirine Aug 11, 2015 / 9:17 pm

    Once upon a time, when I first started going onto a sport blog to talk about cricket, I was struck by how often people would say “it’s not like the football threads/blogs”. So, being utterly ignorant of all things football, I went and looked at some football blogs to see what they meant.

    It seemed to me that on those threads the sport was irrelevant. These were simply people who wanted to shout abuse. All their team gave them was a tribal pretext for shouting.

    I’ve got to say, from a female perspective, it was very very weird indeed. Just endless back-and-to arguing and aggression. I couldn’t see the point, it was meaningless. In contrast, indeed, the cricket threads were mostly very nice at the time.

    Unfortunately, cricket on the internet has become footballised. This person who tweeted you, Dmitri, isn’t interested in cricket, that’s obvious. He’s interested in finding somebody to shout at. There are commenters who are more literate, but they’re just the same, it’s all about picking a fight.

    At the risk of sounding like Ed ‘Word’ Smith, this is a social media phenomenon. I don’t think people are having violent arguments about KP vs Cook in every cricket club up and down the land. Maybe I’m wrong. But social media has provided people who wouldn’t have the confidence to argue with you in the pub with a platform to indulge their inner 8-year-old.

    The problem is how to deal with it, because they take your silence as weakness. I haven’t worked that one out yet. I just spent ten minutes composing a reply to a really crude and offensive remark by someone on TFT, and then decided that I didn’t want to engage, on the principle of not wrestling with a pig.

    It’s too stupid. Perhaps we should just put ‘ts:dr’.

    Liked by 2 people

    • LordCanisLupus Aug 11, 2015 / 9:28 pm

      The “sand in the vagina” one? Yeah. Real classy.

      I’m not sure I agree with you about the football-ised thing. But that’s a debate for another day.

      Although I said I didn’t write posts for other people, there’s no doubt the people out there like a rant!

      Like

      • OscarDaBosca Aug 11, 2015 / 9:47 pm

        I personally love a rant

        Like

      • Zephirine Aug 12, 2015 / 12:18 am

        Ranting is fine, venting is fine. Yah-boo arguments, not fine. IMHO.

        Like

    • emasl Aug 13, 2015 / 7:56 pm

      There is a guy called William who surfaces at regular intervals on the DT. He hurls i sults at everyone and at one stage I was his target. Now when he appears I do not reply and merely flag up his abuse until he is kicked off. Afyer about a month he is back. I genuinely cannot understand why people do this. I made a comment a out the Great British Bake Off and he zoned in on me there. WHY?

      Like

    • Pontiac Aug 16, 2015 / 12:38 am

      Is there any connection whatever to be made between how the election went and how this cricket argument is going?

      Like

  2. The Nibbler Aug 11, 2015 / 9:22 pm

    Having read Mr Smith’s piece for Cricinfo I would like to retract my previous comments on him. I still admire his writing skills but he’s proving to be a right royal arse with his “mob” and “student Marxist” comments.
    I can’t see an end to this schism but feel the cause would be better served if both sides stopped going over what is broken and started looking for solutions.
    I’d be interested to know what would need to happen for you to fall back in love with England again.
    Of course the likes of Smith don’t see there’s much of a problem in the first place as they get to ride the ECB gravy train so I don’t expect reasoned analysis from that mob.
    Keep fighting the good fight.

    Like

    • OscarDaBosca Aug 11, 2015 / 9:48 pm

      The immediate resignation of Giles Clarke would be a start

      Liked by 1 person

      • LordCanisLupus Aug 11, 2015 / 9:49 pm

        It would be a promising start. Then we’d need to see Graves step up as this bluff, gruff Yorkshireman, rather than the mute he’s become after he was packed into Downton’s cupboard.

        Like

      • Andy Aug 12, 2015 / 9:37 am

        re Graves becoming mute,

        I don’t see any surprise that his has disappeared off the radar since he messed up the KP come back/go away situation.

        He offered KP something (apparently a way back from exile) which KP grasped and played county cricket for.

        This was then unceremoniously rescinded by Strauss (at the behest of Clarke?).

        Since then, Graves has either been told to shut up, or has been keeping quiet on his own given how that situation turned out (be it significant misunderstanding / out right lies / or just changing of minds).

        Liked by 1 person

        • LordCanisLupus Aug 12, 2015 / 10:10 am

          Not surprised. It’s their modus operandi. However it’s a hell of a difference when the head of an organisation, known for being forthright, appears to be silenced. One might think he isn’t running the show. Then you ask. …. who might be?

          I know who I think it is.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright Aug 12, 2015 / 9:48 am

        It was interesting, wasn’t it, how some journalists jumped all over Graves for offering Pietersen a way back, and then the “mediocre” comment regarding the West Indies.

        Yet Clarke can say things like “right kind of family”, mess up schedules, annex the ICC, create a new post for himself and meet with relative apathy. Amazing really.

        Liked by 1 person

    • thelegglance Aug 11, 2015 / 10:52 pm

      On the subject of mending fences, I’ve been idly thinking that if the ECB were clever, they’d select Pietersen for the World T20 next year. It would be an exceptionally smart way to diffuse a lot of the bile over the last year.

      Unlikely I think, but it would be smart on their part.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Zephirine Aug 12, 2015 / 12:26 am

        Yes. I’ve never thought he should be back in the Test side because players who have that knee surgery don’t ever seem to be really fit enough for the longer game afterwards, cf Vaughan. But rather than talking about advisory jobs, Strauss could have been paving the way for an eventual short-form return.

        Sadly, I think what Strauss actually told Pietersen was that as long as Giles Clarke is anywhere near the England set-up, he isn’t going to play.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Bob Aug 11, 2015 / 9:24 pm

    I am Kevin Pietercus…
    Okay I am only joking. (Sorry I was watching the Ian Dury film the other night and was reminded of Spasticus Autisticus, a play on the words from Spartacus)
    I totally agree with you and actually I find when discussing the situation with England cricket fans they in the main agree with you. The problem is the apathy that exist amongst the fans. When England are winning well that is all they want. When England are losing, well it is a different matter then..

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus Aug 11, 2015 / 9:41 pm

      Hi, Bob. As I had to approve this post, I’m assuming this a first time comment. Welcome.

      Feel free to comment away.

      I don’t think the answer has ever been to question a fellow fan’s loyalty. Their insults, their arguments, their debating points, but never loyalty.

      Like

      • Bob Aug 12, 2015 / 8:37 am

        Thanks for the welcome, this is a great blog. I look forward to reading many more posts.

        Like

  4. Maxie Allen Aug 11, 2015 / 9:29 pm

    Firstly, sorry you were offended by a TFF comment, Zephirine. We do try to keep order, as far as possible, but moderating comments only exacerbates conflict.

    What was striking about the Jamie Cook exchange was that after he called me a “fucking idiot” he was then baffled when I stopped replying. Not being a cricket correspondent for a national broadcaster, I didn’t drop him.

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus Aug 11, 2015 / 9:30 pm

      The “you win” throwaway line after I told him not to bother had a similar effect!

      Like

    • Zephirine Aug 12, 2015 / 12:36 am

      No problem, Maxie, as I said I decided life’s too short to try and explain things to that kind of person.

      Like

  5. OscarDaBosca Aug 11, 2015 / 9:40 pm

    Well said, it is clear from your blog how much you love cricket, if morons can’t see that it is their issue.

    Some might say that Foi Gras is lovely, a lot will say yes, but I cannot see past the way it is produced and that affects my enjoyment of it, and some won’t even get what I am on about.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. thelegglance Aug 11, 2015 / 10:48 pm

    Trolling is trolling. Abuse and insult automatically loses the argument.

    Like

  7. Mark Aug 12, 2015 / 12:11 am

    You really shouldn’t give the Jamie Cooks publicity. He is a plastic fan. Have you looked at his Twitter feed? He has 21 followers, and half of those look computer generated. He talks as if he won the ashes in person. “We won the Ashes” Another Cook who contributed little. He’s not worth the effort.

    However, he is the ECBs target audience. A simpleton who requires endless sugar hits. The Jamie Cooks of this world are a rich goose to be plucked by the ECB every year. Plastic fans like him don’t do nuance. They don’t understand or care if cricket is going down the crapper. The fact this is the worst Australian touring team in a hundred years is not important to plastics like him. All that matters is we win easily. He is just what Giles Clarke wants. They have carried out a power grab of cricket with village idiots like him in mind. He is not a fan,but a customer to be served ,and exploited with endless commercial possibilities. A life size Cooky duvet cover is probably on its way to Jamie’s house as we speak. £49.99 from all Good cricket shops.

    I’m not backing down because we were right. If they think this win could not have been achieved with out Cook as captain they are are morons. I don’t begrudge the players, particularly the younger ones from celebrating this win. They deserve it. Many of them contributed a lot more than their flakey captain did.

    The ECB media have ruined this ashes victory because they have used it as a war cry to demand total surrender.. The media could have learned from the team they claim to support. They could have shown some humility, admit mistakes were made. That’s what Cook did on Saturday. Shown a happier more smiling face to the fans. But no, they roped in establishment charlatans like Lawson, and an assortment of phoney tup thumpers to dance on KPs grave. They even tried to bring back from the dead Paul “Dracula” Downton. They have no interst in a common ground. Well they can fuck right off because I will never surrender to liars and charlatans.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Lydia Thayer Aug 12, 2015 / 5:59 am

    This blog and TFT are the very best cricket blogs. I for one are grateful for all the time and effort, time and talent, you put into it. In the name of truth, you’ve taken on some powerful entities, and sacrificed the pleasantries and perks you could get if you were a shill for the powers that be. I personally think getting nasty Tweets is a compliment. It means your work here is noticed, and I think in this world there is usually a high ratio between those who enjoy something quietly and those who whine/complain/antagonize. You are reaching people, probably more intelligent people than the knee-jerkers.

    On Twitter, I happen to still support KP, loudly 🙂 and I get all kinds of interesting reactions. I think he should be available for selection to play for England in some capacity, based on his talent. Unless I get a death threat, I really don’t care what those who disagree throw at me. Guess they just need something to do… I respect their POV, they don’t respect mine, and it is what it is.

    But for me KP’s treatment (which I think was horrific) was a symptom of a deep pathology. The Powers That Be are hurting cricket in many ways that have been discussed here and at TFT and…nowhere else, much.

    The Ashes win is glorious! And our team deserves praise!

    And at the same time, the ECB hasn’t announced that they won’t banish terrific players, keep cricket off of free TV, advocate for the Big Three Exclusive Club, wear the players to the bone instead of appropriately resting them and preserving their health and careers…I’m tired of writing which to me underlines the fact that they have a lot of room for improvement, since I could go on. And it is not dissing our team to remain concerned about things that need fixin’

    Thank you so much for being here and providing a place where we don’t have to kiss anybody’s ass. I hope there will always be ways for you to enjoy cricket.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine Aug 12, 2015 / 11:13 am

      “I respect their POV, they don’t respect mine, and it is what it is.”

      Very neat, Lydia, that says it all.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lydia Thayer Aug 13, 2015 / 11:24 pm

        Thank you Zepherine…I always enjoy your comments btw!

        Like

      • BoerInAustria Aug 14, 2015 / 5:05 am

        Lydia, I can only second that. Z is one of the very few posters I still read on the Guardian. Always worthwhile.

        Like

  9. Lydia Thayer Aug 12, 2015 / 6:01 am

    Please excuse typos above…

    Like

  10. SimonH Aug 12, 2015 / 8:57 am

    Australia have named their ODI squad – no Finch (injured); no Faulkner (banned); no Haddin (family); no Hazlewood or Lyon (?). Just four specialist batsmen and one specialist spinner (Agar – on the back of a five-for against India A) with a stack of all-rounders (or, as they become known when you’re losing, bits-and-pieces cricketers). It doesn’t exactly look unbeatable – although a number of England’s ODI team against NZ have had slumps in form and several players are candidates for resting.

    Elsewhere, the three-Test series in SL is under way in Galle. Sanga says goodbye as India seek their first series win in SL for 22 years. If SL win the series they can rise above India in the rankings. India are having the best of it so far with Ashwin’s first five-for outside India against a top eight team – and they’d be even more on top but for their traditional dropped catch (although they’ve held a few as well).

    Like

    • SimonH Aug 12, 2015 / 9:12 am

      Wicket highlights from SL are on cricinfo.

      Have they done that before? I’ve not noticed it.

      Like

      • SimonH Aug 12, 2015 / 10:42 am

        There’s a link to see every wicket through the scorecard which I’ve definitely not seen before.

        I wonder if this is a one-off deal with a new broadcaster (Sony) – or a permanent new feature? Like most good ideas, my first thought is why hasn’t this happened before.

        Like

    • Mark Aug 12, 2015 / 9:19 am

      I see a major row has broken out in the Aussie camp between team and journalists about the role of the wives and girlfriends on tour. I thought bust ups about WAGS was only related to the English football team. Always good to see the Aussie media, who are nothing but cheerleaders , according to Steve James in dispute with their heros.

      Who will be the first cuckoo of the summer and demand Cook be brought back to captain the ODI team since the ashes success is down entirely to his genius as leader?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Pontiac Aug 16, 2015 / 12:46 am

      They’ve not been using Lyon in ODIs for quite some time. I don’t think that’s the smartest idea but as I think Lyon’s going to be around for another 8 years at least, well, he’ll get his chance.

      And Sri Lanka, gosh, they’re always worth watching, it seems.

      Like

  11. Arron Wright Aug 12, 2015 / 9:19 am

    “To see my blog described, and it’s mine and Maxie he’s having a pop at, as “anti-England”, I just get angrier and angrier.”

    Like a cod therapist, he understands your anger, so that’s all right:

    I just can’t see how this comes across as an anti-England blog to anyone who actually reads it properly. For one thing, I’ve been here since it exploded in February 2014, and there’s no way it feels as radical (someone in 2014 described it as “samizdat”!) as it did then. For many reasons, but chiefly the relative calm since Downton and Moores were pushed, the Ashes victories, and the introduction of TLG and then the Ashes panels.

    Not one of your Ashes panellists was “anti-England”. I know this because it surprised me, every time, how they all used “us” and “we” in a way I for one simply can’t when talking about the present side. AndyinBrum was probably the most radical and disillusioned, and I don’t think he wanted Australia to win. Ah, ok, maybe I’ll concede TheBogfather. But that’s one out of a dozen or so?

    What I will say is that this, and HDLWIA, have been consistently anti-cant and anti-bullshit, and sadly there’s been an awful lot of both surrounding England for the last 18 months and beyond. To deny even this is what we really find preposterous.

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus Aug 12, 2015 / 9:36 am

      He’ll make his mind up. Said he didn’t read it a while back because I’m obsessed with KP. Then said he read a post only because “he’d been sent it” and then called the blog “pathetic” and the people on it “a sad bunch”.

      Maybe he should read the panels, the ashes memories, the century watch, look at the photos, read my pieces before throwing about toss like that.

      Hey. I said I was supremely indifferent. When Wood took the last wicket and Hussain bellowed his totally rehearsed line to be used on Sky ad infinitum “Redemption for Cook” I switched over. I had no interest if that’s what they thought. I’ve seen more of that baloney since.

      I’m the least radical person there is. It makes me laugh. I do wonder what people think I’m really like. I’m just a cricket fan. Like you. Those fools don’t threaten me, nor even upset me. Not really. But I ain’t letting their nonsense stand.

      Like

      • Mark Aug 12, 2015 / 10:44 am

        The only thing they have left to fight us with is to accuse us of being “anti England.” It’s a village idiots version of patriotism. And we all know that only scoundrels hide behind that label.

        They can’t fight us on Giles Clarke or Paul Downton or Peter Moores, or the bowling coach or the negative style of cricket or the players surly un likeable demeanour, or the lack of visibility of test match cricket or the daft scheldule, or the big 3. Because they would lose.

        So all they have left to cling onto is Cook, who they think England can’t do without, and KP. But if you swapped those two over and had kept KP and sacked Cook the result would have probably been exactly the same. And deep dowm they know it. Hence the bizare mad “howling at the moon” we get from them now.

        Like

      • Zephirine Aug 12, 2015 / 11:17 am

        “if you swapped those two over and had kept KP and sacked Cook the result would have probably been exactly the same.”

        Yes!! I was thinking exactly that, yesterday.

        And sadly, they do know it. To a large extent, it was simply that stupid technique of having a key executive walk out of the building with his belongings in a cardboard box, just to show the CEO is ever so tough.

        Like

      • Neil Harris (@njhhcricket) Aug 13, 2015 / 12:34 pm

        “I just can’t see how this comes across as an anti-England blog to anyone who actually reads it properly”

        That’s a fair cop, I don’t read it properly. I gave up probably around the time of “that” book.

        “AndyinBrum was probably the most radical and disillusioned, and I don’t think he wanted Australia to win”

        I’ve seen many people on twitter, who comment on here & the Full toss hoping for an England defeat.

        “He’ll make his mind up. Said he didn’t read it a while back because I’m obsessed with KP” – Yes that’s why I stopped reading it, The book made my mind up for me, I didn’t need to keep reading about the details.

        “then called the blog “pathetic” and the people on it “a sad bunch” – That was this one I believe https://collythorpe.wordpress.com/2015/07/31/a-brief-review-of-the-madness/ – And to be fair I was coupling it with Maxie’s Cook blog which I really did find pathetic 😉

        Dmitri I know you are a massive cricket fan, I always used to enjoy your writing and your twitter feed, but I’m sorry the last 12 months have just driven me away. Whilst I agree with a lot of your gripes, I don’t agree with yours and Maxie’s methods.
        I try to stay away, but I regularly get asked my opinion on both your blogs (probably because they know I’ve challenged before) – It’s only polite to answer.

        I support the England cricket team and the people playing for the England cricket team, the politics takes a back seat, especially when there is a series on.

        Like

      • Zephirine Aug 13, 2015 / 1:57 pm

        Neil (excuse me calling you Neil as I don’t know you) if as you say you ‘regularly get asked for your opinion’ about this blog and TFT, might it not be a good idea to read them before giving said opinion? Alternatively, a formula such as ‘to be honest, I don’t read them much now’ might come in handy.

        You could also bear in mind that many people who comment on blogs aren’t on Twitter, so any judgements of the two blogs based on some commenters’ tweets will be far from accurate.

        Like

    • man in a barrel Aug 12, 2015 / 3:08 pm

      I’m glad that I was not perceived as anti-England, because I really did not want them to win, mainly because of the storm of bullshit that would be hurled at us. I knew that winning the Ashes would be seen as proof that KP is not needed and that his views on the dressing-room culture were invalid. However, it is instructive that nos 3-5 in the batting order scored a grand total of 812 runs at 45, of which Root scored 443! The second-highest scorer has been Ali, at 8 for God’s sake. But it’s ok, there are no issues with the batting. However, when I wrote for the panel I wanted to try to be dispassionate, something way beyond anyone in the media other than Holding and Ponting.

      Like

  12. BoerInAustria Aug 12, 2015 / 10:13 am

    My wife always says if she stops having comments on my behaviour I should start to worry. That will mean she stopped caring.

    England will be well served with more supporters like you LCL. Critical. Analytical. Demanding.
    Not always comfortable. Not always what one wants to hear. But always sincere.

    Because you care.

    Like

    • Arron Wright Aug 12, 2015 / 11:10 am

      LOL (ugh, that’s a first for me I think) re the Jimmy comment.

      Ah, it does say “memorable domestic deliveries”. Arse-covering sub.

      Like

      • Arron Wright Aug 12, 2015 / 11:18 am

        No, I’m wrong, aren’t I? Domestic being balls bowled “in England”, not “by England”. Plenty of scope to choose Warne or Wasim or Donald or Marshall or Hadlee or Chandrasekhar or Murali…

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus Aug 12, 2015 / 11:22 am

          They choose a Brett Lee delivery to KP. If I was being ultra ultra cynical it might have been chosen to remember KP was dropped early in his breakout test innings. Just to remind you.

          Paranoid? Me?

          Like

        • LordCanisLupus Aug 12, 2015 / 11:51 am

          Mine was the one from Ravindra Jadeja at the Ageas Bowl that our captain nicked to Dhoni. A million articles had to be re written.

          Like

      • SimonH Aug 12, 2015 / 11:22 am

        The use of “favourite” or “most memorable” instead of “best” will be banned when I’m king.

        Anyway, I’ve commented for Holding bowling Greig in 1976 which happens to be best, favourite and most memorable all rolled into one.

        Like

      • Mark Aug 12, 2015 / 11:47 am

        They just can’t leave KP alone. Like I said before he is crack cocaine for them. If they are not celebrating his omission from the team team, they are replaying his failures.

        It’s a mental illness.

        But it also shows a complete disrespect for their readers from their editor who is allowing them to use company time to work though their addiction.

        Like

  13. paulewart Aug 12, 2015 / 11:15 am

    These people are idiots and they are, in their own way fascists (with a small ‘f’). By telling you to choose another sport they are effectively seeking to excluded from both the sport and commentary on the sport. What’s more, they confuse patriotism with jingoism:

    Have some Orwell:

    By ‘nationalism’ I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labelled ‘good’ or ‘bad’(1). But secondly — and this is much more important — I mean the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognising no other duty than that of advancing its interests. Nationalism is not to be confused with patriotism. Both words are normally used in so vague a way that any definition is liable to be challenged, but one must draw a distinction between them, since two different and even opposing ideas are involved. By ‘patriotism’ I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality.

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus Aug 12, 2015 / 11:27 am

      Matt Cleary’s article in the Guardian strikes a similar vein, and again impersonates the pillock behaviour of the Aussie press when they win.

      Example – who the hell claimed Smith as the best since Bradman. Please eff off.

      Like

      • Arron Wright Aug 12, 2015 / 11:28 am

        The Guardian, roughly since it shut down the World Cricket Forum in the watershed year of 2012, has become embarrassingly parochial.

        Liked by 1 person

      • metatone Aug 13, 2015 / 8:31 pm

        To be fair to Cleary – he’s an Aussie writing for Aussies – you may disagree with him, but he’s part of a different discussion.

        Like

    • Arron Wright Aug 12, 2015 / 11:27 am

      Are they smoking what Pringle’s smoking?

      Like

      • Zephirine Aug 12, 2015 / 12:05 pm

        Drinking what he’s drinking, more likely.

        Like

      • Arron Wright Aug 12, 2015 / 2:07 pm

        I’m not all that familiar with his work in geenral, so the key driver for me is that he gave Strauss’s “Driving Ambition” the Wisden Book of the Year award in the 2014 edition, and every excerpt I’ve read increases my total and utter bewilderment at that decision.

        Like

      • Mark Aug 12, 2015 / 2:17 pm

        Have you noticed in all this articles there is a subtle attempt to have you believe cricket only existed in the last 10-15 years?

        It’s like the rewriting of football. AP & BP…….. After Premiership, and Before premiership. Football did not exist before AP in the minds of the media. I suspect we will see a similare move to before the big 3, and after the big 3.

        Like

    • Bob Aug 12, 2015 / 7:09 pm

      Cook ‘Seeking advice??!’ Seriously? He admitted he is stubborn himself..
      No doubt his captaincy did improve his summer but that is down to the back room team and the fact that he couldn’t be any worse as Warne and others pointed out early this summer and before..

      Like

  14. Sean B Aug 12, 2015 / 6:01 pm

    I want to get the hashtag #inanimateobjectsthatknowmoreaboutcricketthanedsmith trending – anyone with me?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. BoerInAustria Aug 12, 2015 / 6:26 pm

    Dear LCL, what is the photo with the impressive slip cordon up on the banner? Fantastic image!

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus Aug 12, 2015 / 7:54 pm

      It was taken at Lord’s in 2005 (by me) and I think Adam Gilchrist is the batsman.

      Like

      • BoerInAustria Aug 12, 2015 / 8:41 pm

        Cheers – great photo – I suppose 1st innings 87/5?

        Like

      • Sean B Aug 12, 2015 / 9:01 pm

        I stumbled upon the bilious inadequates quote from our friend Mr Selvey the other day – was actually looking for another one of his belters. Sums up MSM attitudes in one unfortunate quote

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus Aug 12, 2015 / 9:17 pm

          In case anyone is wondering, we’re taking a night off tonight!

          Like

  16. SimonH Aug 13, 2015 / 10:15 am

    Bit of a fightback from SL after breaking (somewhat fortuitously) the long Dhawan-Kohli stand but India still well on top.

    Heart says ‘boo’; head says a competitive India in away Tests can only be good for Test cricket.

    Virat Kohli now has Test centuries in Australia (4), SA, NZ and SL. Joe Root has one outside England – in WI. Just saying.

    Like

    • Mark Aug 13, 2015 / 10:36 am

      Trouble is India’s problem is fast bowling. Either short hostile bowling on bouncy pitches in Australia, or seam movement as in England. Low pitches with little pace are meat and drink for Indias batsman. If they can’t win in Sri Lanka where can they win?

      I m not trying to be derogative about India for the sake of it. However, they are one of the so called big 3. So like England and Australia they should be held to a higher standard than other countries.

      Like

      • SimonH Aug 13, 2015 / 10:54 am

        I thought India would have a decent record in SL given the apparently similar conditions – but they haven’t won a series there for 22 years.

        Recent SL pitches also seem to be changing. There’s only been one score over 400 in the last six Tests in SL. It isn’t just the spinners who’ve been getting help e.g. Imran Khan’s five-for in the last Test of the Pakistan series. Tests at the Colombo grounds in particular have not been especially high scoring in recent years.

        Like

      • Mark Aug 13, 2015 / 11:05 am

        The last 25 years has coincided with a pretty good Sri Lanka side. Murili probably played in quite a few of those series.

        Again I’m not trying to have a pop at India, but a series in Sei Lanka is not one I would put much store in judging then by. The good news (snark) is we will be having yet another 5 test series coming up again soon in English conditions. They come round like buses.

        It will be interesting to see what happens when England next go to India without KP and Swann though.

        Like

      • amit Aug 13, 2015 / 2:38 pm

        In ODIs, India hasn’t lost a bilateral series to them since mid 90s even when Jayasuriya was going crazy but in test matches, Murali / Vaas had our number. We made a star out of Mendis. But then, Lanka has been winning tosses and batting big. That sets up the game for them and has their MO for many years now. And, while that sounds like an excuse, it really isn’t. Both India and Lanka have struggled to beat each other when traveling. Now that the greats of both sides are gone, and the sides are in transition, it should be relatively easier for poor travelers like England to do better in both these countries. Indian spin isn’t what it used to be and with a relatively inexperienced middle order, they are vulnerable. SL will have a Sanga sized hole in a week with very few players having stepped up. And Herath alone isn’t going to bowl the sides out all the time. So, yeah, I do think this is an opportunity for England to do better. Of course I would prefer to see raging turners to render their all rounders useless. Home advantage. Right?

        Like

    • Arron Wright Aug 13, 2015 / 10:40 am

      He’s the best young batsman in the world though, “in all conditions”, and probably the best English batsman since Len Hutton. You will conform.

      Like

      • SimonH Aug 13, 2015 / 11:00 am

        Have you noticed how Selvey doesn’t even consider Kohli worth mentioning now when considering the best young batsman in the world. All between Root and Williamson for him.

        One bad series in England (the only one Selvey will have watched) is enough to damn him in the Seveyverse. Plus he’s a bit flash and if there’s one thing Selvey can’t stand it’s a bit of flashiness.

        Like

      • Arron Wright Aug 13, 2015 / 11:18 am

        Embarrassingly parochial. Unless it involves New Zealand, his second home. That pretty much sums him up.

        (I particularly liked the way he cited *one* Test in Nagpur as proof of Root’s credentials in Asia)

        Like

      • ArushaTZ Aug 13, 2015 / 2:29 pm

        They’re all embarrassingly parochial. They seem to only watch cricket that they’re being paid to cover. Hence all the rubbish written about Steve Smith this summer. Plus we have a living legend playing in our generation who gets little to no attention from our media. While they lionise and venerate one J.Anderson (who I think deserves the praise btw), another bowler got to 400 test wickets last month at a ridiculous rate, not a peep from our glorious media. Hopefully they will give him the respect he deserves later this winter when they are forced to watch him.

        Incidentally, on the subject of away form. Morne Morkel has played in 35 away test matches and only lost 5. While the media go on about the trend for home advantage and teams struggling away from home conditions, there’s one team that seems to have failed to pick up on that trend. There’s no excuse for being shit away from home. Ok you might lose series, especially in UAE, SL, Aus, they’re tough places to go, but there’s no good reason to be thrashed. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. South Africa have managed for years to find ways to win/not lose away and it’s about time England came up with a strategy.

        Like

      • amit Aug 13, 2015 / 2:40 pm

        I wonder how long will the golden touch last coz every single batsman out there looks like bradman in a good run.
        Oh, and Kane W is the better batsman for all conditions.

        Like

      • amit Aug 13, 2015 / 2:46 pm

        Simon has already pointed out the Kohli anomaly below and I think that man is going to be a force to reckon with. IN ALL CONDITIONS.
        He is already the second best ODI batsman (behind ABD) and is now beginning to get his act together in tests. Has 11 hundreds already with 4 in 4 as skipper. Has total commitment to his craft and is hungry to prove himself. Should be a good few years ahead of him and i for one want to see that early promise being fulfilled.

        Like

  17. Bob Aug 13, 2015 / 2:19 pm

    Please stop it…. That is painful to read.
    Actually if Cook had any sense he’d hop off the captaincy ride while things are going well for him. Then his name would be up in lights forever more sadly.
    If he stays too long then you can be sure the fickle journalists will be all over him like a rash.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Aug 13, 2015 / 3:27 pm

      ” the fickle journalists will be all over him like a rash.”

      I don’t think they ever will Bob. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I have been watching cricket since the late 1960s. I saw Tony Grieg get a real kicking when he went off to Packer. I’ve seen Botham criicsed and people forget Brearley was always under pressure because of his batting. Gower, Gatting, Gooch all had media people who criticised at various times. Some of them demanded that Atherton resign over the dirt in the pocket affair. Which prompted him to call them “gutter journalists.” He apologised for that mind. Although he probably shouldn’t have.

      But Cook is like a member of the Royal family. Perhaps it’s his Christmas Day birthday. They think he’s the second coming of Jesus?

      The bizare thing is they keep covering for him and then claim that he is getting terrible criticism. Who? Who are these pundits and journalists who criticise him? I haven’t seen them. And they can’t be talking about us because we are all a tiny minority of no importance.

      They keep rolling out this stat now about how many Ashes he’s won as captain. But Ahes series come round like buses over the last 3 years.

      Like

      • man in a barrel Aug 14, 2015 / 1:03 am

        agreed…it is unreal. If EM Wellings were still around writing for the Standard, then Cook would have about 3 recta and the middle order would be selling groceries in Asda and Anderson would be doing haircuts in a salon.

        Like

  18. Arron Wright Aug 13, 2015 / 6:48 pm

    Over at TFT, Maxie still as mad as hell.

    And right.

    I cannot let politics take a back seat while a series is on. Because, these days, a series *is* politics. They made it so, not us. You only need to look at almost any article on the Guardian site this summer to see just how little people know (or care) about the full implications of what Maxie calls the Big Three “protection racket”. And these are bloggers; the more passive consumers are already Giles Clarke’s foot soldiers.

    Like

    • Mark Aug 13, 2015 / 7:25 pm

      The virtual media blackout on the big 3 has made me revise my view of Selveys bizare comment on CWOTV last summer that he didn’t understand the workings of the ICC. At the time I thought it was an arrogant complacent response from a so called MSM journalist.

      But now I am begining to queation if journalists as deliberately not understanding what is going on because it is not in their interest to poke around in these matters? When Kimber had threats to take away his access you know it doesn’t pay to start asking too many questions.

      Like

  19. man in a barrel Aug 14, 2015 / 12:30 am

    I participated on the full toss, simply because I do not care for the way that people who call themselves Neil Harris or Penguin decide that everyone born in the UK has to support the ECB and suck up to Clarke and Cook….what happened to Graves? The selection process is fucked …mainly because they did not sack Cook last year. End of. You cannot have a rational selection process when a crap batter gets more outings than his betters,

    This is a flaky England team…let’s not call them worlkd-beaters yet…perlease. If Andersonn has any sense (unlikely) he will get a strategic strain that stops him going to the UAE.

    Like

  20. SimonH Aug 14, 2015 / 8:24 am

    Only UK newspaper with anything of interest this morning that I’ve seen is the DT which has an interview by Tim Wigmore with Monty Panesar and Scyld Berry on a planned protest during the Oval Test on DOAG-related issues.

    On the latter, Giles Clarke is looking for a model on how to respond –

    Liked by 1 person

    • BoerInAustria Aug 14, 2015 / 8:37 am

      Nice interview – Respect Monty. And good luck.

      PS – Not only did he take 4 wickets in the first innings for Essex, he hit on four and a SIX in his 11* in 4 balls! Cricinfo: “..,warm applause that accompanied him as he walked out to bat at No 11 were a good way to dispel them. So, too, was heaving his third delivery for a clean six over long on. “

      Like

    • Mark Aug 14, 2015 / 8:55 am

      The ECB won’t want any protests or dissent at the Oval. This is a test match that is going to be turned into a golden jubilee of score settling, and flag waving. English crickets version of The Nuremberg Rally. Every Establishment toady will be paraded and indulged. Anyone who in any way goes off message will be escorted from the building like your video clip.

      Cricket no longer belongs to the people. It is a commodity that has been stolen by some deeply unpleasant individuals,and will now be exploited until every last $ has been extracted.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. SimonH Aug 14, 2015 / 9:27 am

    Tea in Galle after a rollicking session of SL fighting back. Having been effectively -187 with 7 wickets remaining they now lead by 71 with 4 wickets left.

    Chandimal is on the verge of a run-a-ball century. He has so much talent – if only he can sort out his brain and physical fitness. Mubarak got off a pair by dancing down the pitch and bopping Mishra for six. Rahane has held two fine slip catches including one to end Sanga’s last innings at the venue.

    Another hundred runs and this could start to get seriously interesting with quite a bit of turn on offer for the spinners. Are ECB-TV showing it? I can’t find any indication that they are.

    Like

    • d'Arthez Aug 14, 2015 / 10:55 am

      Chandimal is playing a blinder. Lead now 150, just 2 wickets left, and Chandimal is on 147*. The kind of outrageous innings that are now being written out of the history books in the ECB-verse. Simply because the player in question has been proven right on most of the major gripes he had with the ECB.

      So of course the ECB have no interest in this Test.

      Like

    • SimonH Aug 14, 2015 / 10:55 am

      SL lead now 150 with 2 wickets left. Absolutely brilliant Test cricket.

      Two records have gone – Chandimal has the fastest Test century for SL (100 balls beating Jayasuriya’s 104 in 2001) and Rahane has a world record 8 catches in the match (although I’m not convinced Herath hit his).

      Chandimal played an amazing switch hit six off Harbhajan.

      Like

      • SimonH Aug 14, 2015 / 11:34 am

        India set 176 as the SL tail couldn’t stay with Chandimal once the second new ball was taken. SL have defended fewer at Galle and the pitch is turning – but India must be heavy favourites.

        Ashwin took 10wm making him the sixth Indian spinner to manage that in an overseas’ Test.

        Like

      • SimonH Aug 14, 2015 / 2:15 pm

        The umpiring errors (by Llong and Oxenford) have been building up in this game although at the moment they are fairly evenly distributed between the two sides.

        Cricinfo have gathered some of them together and that doesn’t include the dismissals late today of Herath and Kaushal both of which had elements of doubt about them:

        http://www.espncricinfo.com/sri-lanka-v-india-2015/content/story/909467.html

        I’ve got big doubts about ball tracking on LBWs (especially some of the projected heights that are shown) but it seems beserk in this day and age that technology isn’t being used at all. Even just basic slow-motion shows some of the mistakes.

        Like

    • Mike Aug 14, 2015 / 2:52 pm

      What a load of old shite. Christ the Guardian’s cricket writing really has gone to seed.

      Like

  22. SteveT Aug 14, 2015 / 2:23 pm

    Sadly looking a bit grim for England Women, 65-5

    Like

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