The Tedium Of Irrelevant Controversy

A shortish post, but hopefully getting to the point.

I didn’t see Stokes’s dimissal live. I was flitting backwards and forwards between the England cricket match, and that international fixture against San Marino. I did switch back to see Smith conversing with his team as we waited for the third umpire to make his decision. I have to say, my first reaction was “out”. I have some sympathy with those who think “not out” based on the full speed version, but I still tend to weigh the balance of probabilities as “out”.

But that’s not what this post is all about. There’s a greyish area and everyone will pile into it. I might come at it from an “anti-England” perspective as far as others are concerned, but there are those who come at it from an England fan standpoint. Hell, I know how that feels. I’m still mad at Sol Campbell’s goal being disallowed in St. Etienne, even though Alan Shearer impedes the Argentinian keeper! That’s 17 years ago now. Don’t even mention Keith Hackett to me either, and that’s 24 years ago.

But I’m jaded, and knew this would bring out a tedious debate where everyone thinks their line is right, and if you don’t, well you are an idiot. There is a grey area. It can be debated all you like. In the context of the match why is it different from a dodgy LBW or a nick that is missed? Because, and you knew when it happened the media outlets are seriously punching the air, this stuff is clickbait. Pure and simple. Twitter got full on it, look at how many comments the Guardian BTL has today on this (over 1200 combined for both pieces), and all arguing the toss. I like debates over sports, but this sort of stuff does my head in, invoking spirit of the game, recalling players, and the search for precedents as if, in the heat of the moment, players remember them. At the end of the day, only Stokes knows what he was doing.

Now, you’ll recall not so long ago, that Dmitri has been called vitriolic. A number of times. Bilious too. A little unhinged. A person who lacks understanding. Well. That’s nice. But then you read something like this, and you think, am I really the one not grounded here?

See, this is why being nice to them is never right.

When they get the slightest chance, they screw us over.

And we give them guard of honours. The difference in class.

If it was up to me, I’d have asked Finny and Broad to aim at his back and give him “a broken fucken back”

Looks like Starc got influenced by the ol’ Warnie’s criticism and decided he needs to be a w@nker for him to “play the Australian way”. And Steven Smith is a chav who will regret moments like this when the drives stop flowing and he becomes a pale shadow of himself whom people ridicule when he walks out to bat.
PS: Before I get accused of racism, this is by no means a generalization of all Australians. It is just aimed at the snakes like Steven Smith, Michael Clarke, David Warner, Mitchell Starc and co.

I’ve re-printed this because I want to be reminded of it every time that cretin picks on people putting arguments against the England team and the authorities. Steve Smith is a “chav” on the back of one incident. He’s also a snake, as are three other players. And while he’s climbing up the moral mountain, he’s wanting people to have broken backs (and please, spare me the ManInABarrel stuff – this is very different and you know it if you cared to read what surrounded that). Hey, there’s no misinterpreting that is there? “When they get the slightest chance, they screw us over” as if England play like some Corinthian outfit who never stretch the lines.

Of all the people to blame here, Steve Smith is somewhere near the bottom. As a captain I would have seen an opposition player stick out a hand to block the ball hitting the stumps to stop a run-out. I’d have appealed. Then, as players and pundits are wont to say, it’s up to the umpire to make a decision and then you accept it and carry on. Only everyone who debates this at length has the training to reach the level of an international umpire, a few hours to look up rules and precedents, and then becomes the expert.

24 hours on, I don’t know if it was the correct call. What I do know is that my vitriol is against such irrelevant controversies that seem to give vent to people’s base instincts of what it is to be a fan. To give this particular fan a reference, he believes the answer to England’s struggles in chasing down totals of 300 is to not have excluded Alastair Cook. Well, there you go.

The double standards with Hales and Cook are hilarious, but I don’t want Cook back in the side – it damages his test game. The anti-Cook mob are learning that it’s so much easier to attack someone who’s playing than one who isn’t.

Ha, because we are acting like “the mob” with comments like his first one. He’s a live one all right.

An update or two. I’ve not been up to writing much this last week or two. Writing the blog full time is a pretty draining experience and sometimes it’s worth taking a break (although it kills the hit rate, as we are finding out).

I can’t say I give two shits about this ODI series, because it has little context to me. The Ashes are done, and even a 5-0 thumping is going to be glossed over because winning that series is the be-all-and-end-all. If we win the series, which looks hilariously unlikely now, then the ridiculous nonsense that followed the Ashes win is going to be augmented. This is a team that needs time to grow, time to fit together, yet we’ll need to rest some elements of it because of an over-burdened schedule that will turn our players to dust if we don’t stop it. Root is having a break, and Buttler should probably have joined him as playing isn’t exactly having a postive effect on him.

I’m also still lacking a lot of the fire in my belly to really get angry, and that’s where the blog (or my pieces) works best. I’m downhearted, and almost in a place of acceptance that the game doesn’t need to be criticised if most of the people are happy as it is. Reading the Comic you’ll see why I’m downhearted. I’m surprised the ECB haven’t taken it in-house. Alec Swann is doing a magnificent job of living down to his brother.

Finally, an interesting link I came across today….

https://uk.sports.yahoo.com/news/death-gentleman-throws-many-questions-123155150.html

ECB TV, writ large.

I am putting together the final Ashes Panel, I have a piece by Sean B on county cricket that might get some discussion going, and the Bogfather is preparing a review of Sundial In The Shade, the biography of Barry Richards. So some stuff to look forward to this week, I hope.

Dmitri

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64 thoughts on “The Tedium Of Irrelevant Controversy

  1. metatone Sep 6, 2015 / 5:18 pm

    I fear that so far the ODIs are an advert for what it’s going to be like in the UAE (where there isn’t much swing) on the bowling side. And it’s not pretty.

    I hope The G is making plenty of money off the “click bait” type articles – because they need to and I would be sorry (still) to see them go. (Although more for other parts than the cricket reporting, given recent trends.)

    England were odds on to lose before Stokes got out, so I can’t get too exercised about it.

    Like

    • OscarDaBosca Sep 7, 2015 / 6:13 am

      I spoke to someone who works in local newspapers this weekend. Unfortunately unless they put up a paywall, ‘click-bait’ is one of the main revenue streams.

      Like

  2. escort Sep 6, 2015 / 5:40 pm

    A storm in a teacup or genuine controversy?

    Like

  3. Ian Sep 6, 2015 / 6:18 pm

    Who wrote that comment?

    Like

    • Rooto Sep 6, 2015 / 6:35 pm

      Commenter was kpatel24 (think their name is more complicated, but I can’t remember the additional parts). I think it was the first comment under Ali Martin’s Guardian article.

      I am constantly amazed how articles can generate so many comments when 95 % of them are so binary (“yes, it was” vs “no, it wasn’t”).

      Like

  4. SimonH Sep 6, 2015 / 6:24 pm

    Like

  5. SimonH Sep 6, 2015 / 6:48 pm

    Bairstow has been called up to replace Buttler.

    At least they’ve acknowledged the error – although better still not to have made it in the first place.

    Like

    • SimonH Sep 7, 2015 / 7:08 am

      I’d blame James ‘100% fit’ Whitaker if I thought he had any power over anything.

      Like

  6. Craig Sep 6, 2015 / 7:57 pm

    Simon Hughes not knowing Law 37 and then bitching about how it should have a provision that is already in it, was shameful. What garbage.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arron Wright Sep 6, 2015 / 8:51 pm

      He only edits a national cricket magazine and broadcasts on FTA TV and radio. We obviously expect too much of people in his position.

      Like

  7. Craig Sep 6, 2015 / 8:00 pm

    Must say I don’t mind the looks of Bayliss either. He told the players, basically, to shut up about it and play cricket. Could have a bit more of that.

    Like

    • Rooto Sep 6, 2015 / 8:56 pm

      Agreed. “Move on and play better”. Well done!

      Like

  8. Sean B Sep 6, 2015 / 8:19 pm

    Didn’t bother getting involved with the arguments on Stokes, partly because I was at the rugby, but more because I couldn’t be bothered. The vitriol flying around on Twitter yesterday was ridiculous..

    Very much agree with Tim Wigmore’s tweet and the theme of the article. It was such a storm in a teacup compared to what’s happening to world cricket at the moment, that it seems churlish to even focus on it. Supposedly current players and ex-players are unable to comment on DOAG for fear of losing their livelihoods, would be a far more worthwhile discussion to have surely…..

    Like

    • escort Sep 7, 2015 / 6:52 pm

      Fat git meets spotty twat!!

      Like

  9. SimonH Sep 6, 2015 / 8:50 pm

    Would we know if England players had gagging clauses in their central contracts?

    Like

    • Zephirine Sep 6, 2015 / 9:28 pm

      I think you can assume they do. There’ll be something like ‘Must not do or say anything that might bring England cricket/the ECB into disrepute’ and probably also ‘Must not reveal confidential information or discussions’.

      Like

  10. Mark Sep 6, 2015 / 9:43 pm

    I just laugh when the moral majority of English cricket climb out of their Ivory towers to lecture on how the game should be played, and that England are always whiter than white.

    Never mind the fact they overlook WG Grace telling an umpire when given out that the crowd had come to see him bat, and not you umpire. So much for Jardine pushing the laws to the edge to bowl leg theory at Bradman. And then the managment blaming the whole thing on Harold Larwood.

    And what about the authorities who cling to their whiter than White image as they leak like drains to the media about certain players? Or how about The English fans booing one of the greatest run scorers of all time? English cricket lecturing on standards and morality is about as credible as Adolf Hitler giving a speech on passivism.

    Funny thing is it keeps happening to England . People have mentioned the Collingwood incident or how about the Butler business against Sri Lanka last year. Or what about Ian Bell being run out against India after turning his back arrogantly and walking off to tea? Later to be reinstated. Those pesky Indians always on the fiddle. But they backed down like good colonials are supposed to do. Don’t get me started on Basil D’Oliveria and his so called non selection after the English authorities were secretly negotiating with the South African govt. English cricket was allowing a foreign govt to have veto power on who should play for England!! There was a time when such treason would have ended with a trip to the Tower for a grizzly execution.

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    • LordCanisLupus Sep 6, 2015 / 10:01 pm

      Perilously close to Godwin’s Law, Mark….

      There’s a great example of our nonsense on this. If you can find the clip of Inzy being run out in 2005 when Harmison luzzed it at the stumps, Inzy jumped out of the way, and as he was in the air when the ball hit the stumps he was given out.

      Remember the furore? No. though not.

      Like

  11. Benny Sep 6, 2015 / 9:44 pm

    Just thinking that a player who averages 19 with the bat may or or may not have been given out incorrectly ain’t a big deal.

    For Dmitri – this is a blog. It’s not Wisden. Do your thing. We enjoy it.

    Like

  12. Boz Sep 6, 2015 / 9:57 pm

    How much more do you have to take before you say P**S O*F to England and the ECB. This self-righteous nonsense highlights once again the hypocrisy and delusional element within English cricket. Morgan’s delusional stance has been made without him even seeing the incident with Stokes – he was running to get back into his ground – watch the video – all he has said has been planted by those greater than us and he spews it out as if it was first hand information – he’s lying, he did not see Stokes dive like Grobelaar at his finest :0)

    The fact it has taken so many column inches betrays the notion that this distraction relegates the poor performance of the team, again. The booing of Starc and Smith was out of order but will be encouraged by Giles Clarke as the true meaning of patriotism – the stench at the ECB is getting worse – it’s time to leave because there’s no quick fix here

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus Sep 6, 2015 / 9:59 pm

      But you’d miss me if I packed it in, Boz! Come on, admit it……

      Like

    • Burly Sep 7, 2015 / 9:36 am

      Oh come on. Morgan had the benefit of the multiple replays shown at the ground.

      Like

  13. Boz Sep 7, 2015 / 6:50 am

    Give it up man! Send me a postcard every now and again to keep in touch – highlighted with scenic views and dazzling coves, twisted trees and old bottles of wine, cobalt blue shutters and pots full of daisies, the shadows cast by glaring sunlight, the boats in the harbour – Sowf London at its finest!

    It’s true, I don’t really come here for the cricket, it’s the banter, the debate, the writing and most of all the surrealness of it all ……….tralala :0) Ever thought of writing about badminton?

    Like

    • Boz Sep 7, 2015 / 9:57 am

      Larch Tree Caber Tossing World Championships?

      Like

      • Boz Sep 7, 2015 / 10:02 am

        Or, the World Cheese Championships to be held in Wisconsin …

        Like

  14. SimonH Sep 7, 2015 / 7:20 am

    Michael Klinger gave the top county in the CC a battering yesterday. Klinger was top scorer in the BBL which wasn’t ‘all that’ according to the likes of Newman:

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/big-bash-league-2014-15/engine/records/batting/most_runs_career.html?id=9351;type=tournament

    Anyone notice how the recall of Plunkett doesn’t fit with the policy of only selecting players who might play in the 2019 WC? Nothing against Plunkett but is a 34 year old paceman going to be playing in 2019? One might almost think that policy was designed solely to exclude ‘him’ and now they’re assuming we’ve safely forgotten ‘him’ (who? you’re obsessed! move on……) the policy is quietly forgotten.

    Australia have young bowlers (Coulter-Nile at 27 is their oldest) and more experienced batsmen. So did NZ (McCullum and Elliott). England have young batsmen and old bowlers. Genius.

    Like

    • metatone Sep 7, 2015 / 8:06 am

      Well, Yorks might have performed better against Klinger if they’d had Plunkett and Rashid bowling. I’m not entirely thrilled that Notts get to have Broad for their game.

      Willey must be wondering what it will take for him to get a game…

      Like

  15. SimonH Sep 7, 2015 / 7:36 am

    What a surprise:

    I like the way that Clarke now he’s safely retired has suddenly become some sort of touchstone for higher morality for those who took a slightly different angle when he was still playing.

    Like

  16. SimonH Sep 7, 2015 / 7:40 am

    Anyone who gets the ST know what he said?

    I’d assumed that when he became Director Comma Strauss stopped writing for the ST – isn’t that the case? But then those gagging clauses have only ever worked one way…..

    Like

    • Arron Wright Sep 7, 2015 / 7:56 am

      I don’t know what he said, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it involved a lot of business speak that is superficially impressive to those who don’t spend their working lives bombarded by it.

      Meanwhile, tomorrow is the 10th anniversary of one of Dmitri’s favourite underrated innings by an England batsman; a far better way of remembering Andrew Strauss and his contribution to English cricket.

      A hundred against Warne, McGrath and Lee on the opening day of the “biggest sporting event in England since 1966”, and his fifth in ten Tests against the best opposition in world cricket at the time. It’s the kind of innings that garners you an 8/10 rating from Nasser Hussain, while two fifties in massive defeats get you an 8.5.

      Like

      • Rob Sep 9, 2015 / 10:40 pm

        There was nothing interesting in the p 14 article of the ST – I had to reread it after just 20 mins to reassure myself.

        Quarter page gurning pic of Straussy with a sensible tie, Ed Smith’s Q and A softballs for the rest,
        – “everything’s better now that we’ve won the Ashes” (something only I forsaw),
        – “no we did not doctor the pitches…anymore than the Australians or Indians”,
        – “half the coaches I have played under have reduced player performance…it is only the 30% who have increased player performance”,
        – “everyone cares when we’re crap at the World Cup but two months later nobody minds”,
        “I might have had doubts – with the wife over a glass of wine (bless) – but I have been proved right in the end”.

        Not much business speak but rather tedious use of his undoubted intelligence,

        Like

      • SimonH Sep 10, 2015 / 8:12 am

        Many thanks for this Rob.

        On coaches, Strauss seems to saying that Flower made players better, Moores made them worse and Duncan Fletcher made no difference. Nice.

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus Sep 10, 2015 / 8:26 am

          Yet when his captain raised the issue of Moores, Andrew sat on his hands. Then took the crown.

          The more I hear the less I like.

          Like

      • d'Arthez Sep 10, 2015 / 9:04 am

        Yeah, until you mention that captain Pietersen wanted to get rid of Moores, Simon …

        Like

      • SimonH Sep 10, 2015 / 10:55 am

        Andrew Strauss interviewed by Ed Smith?

        That must be the soundtrack in hell….

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus Sep 10, 2015 / 11:19 am

          Did Pietersen raising concerns about Peter Moores provide you with an elegant escape narrative so you could start as captain without a coach you did not respect.?

          Like

      • Arron Wright Sep 10, 2015 / 11:18 am

        Here’s The Essayist on The Director,

        http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/577362.html

        Wonderful second sentence.

        Oh, and of course:

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cricket/32703824

        To save you scrolling:

        Former England and Kent batsman Ed Smith on Kevin Pietersen: “Fans are not divided. Social media is divided and social media is a poor reflection of cricket.”

        On Andrew Strauss: “Do you want someone to be interesting or good at their job? There’s a massive misconception that the way to connect with the cricket public is by saying a lot.”

        If he’s not top 3 in the forthcoming poll I’m flouncing off Selvey-style.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mark Sep 10, 2015 / 5:10 pm

        “Fans are not divided. Social media is divided and social media is a poor reflection of cricket.”

        If ever you wanted an example of the arrogance and moronic stupidity of the people who regard themselves as inside cricket I give you exhibit a. Ed Smith.

        First, who appointed you as judge of what constitutes a fan Mr Smith? Do you pay for the numerous test matches you attend? Or do you scrounge your tickets off the various fools who employ you to write gormless ECB puff pieces? You make the basic, and childish mistake to assume that unless people agree with you, and the establishment they are not real fans. No wonder cricket is dying out with people like you claiming to be the real fan with special insight into how everyone thinks.

        “Do you want someone to be interesting or good at their job? ”

        How do you know Strauss is good at his job? He has only be in charge for a few months. So far he has sacked the previous coach who you seemed to have no problem with. You have written numerous articles defending Cook as captain. He is neither interesting or good at his job.

        The real problem with Smiths work is that he spends his time and uses his platform in settling scores with genuine fans who regard him as a complete pillock.

        Liked by 1 person

      • BoerInAustria Sep 10, 2015 / 6:01 pm

        From Aaron’s Guardian link – Ed Smith in 2009:

        “So Strauss gets what Pietersen asked for, but Pietersen isn’t captain to enjoy it. The person who fronts a petition gets fired, the person who waits gets promoted, and the people who made the decision say their hands were tied. It’s a salutary tale, not just about English cricket, but about English life”

        I think I know who I will describe as a clint.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Arron Wright Sep 7, 2015 / 8:10 am

      Without clicking, is it that “control” thing?

      Like

    • Burly Sep 7, 2015 / 9:38 am

      That’s amazing. Why yes, we should definitely laud his control, and Adam Voges and Jos Buttler too.

      What a pointless bit of stats-wankery.

      Like

      • Rooto Sep 7, 2015 / 10:10 am

        If control was the primary aim, we’d now be lauding Cook on the leading role he played in the fabulously drawn 0-0 Ashes.
        Perhaps Cook missed his metier when attending Bedford School instead of Eton. What a talent for the famous Wall game!
        As Arron said last week, there’s a total lack of transparency about this, seemingly very subjective, stat.

        Like

    • d'Arthez Sep 7, 2015 / 11:29 am

      According to the control stats, Lyth did a better job than Warner. Percentage of people who have that impression: 0%.

      Like

  17. Topshelf Sep 7, 2015 / 10:20 am

    I think the control figures are more interesting for Smith’s high rating than anything else. It’s no surprise that compact technical batsmen like Cook and Rogers score highly and more “dashing” batsmen like Bell, Warner and Ali score lower. Buttler’s figure is more of a blip for me – perhaps to do with his pat-pat-whack approach in Tests.

    What it means therefore is that, annoyingly, Smith might actually be as good as 508 runs at 56 suggests he is, not the “lucky” player his screwy technique makes him look.

    As to Stokes, I thought not out in full speed – I think the hand goes up for self-preservation, but the 3rd Ump only saw slow-mo, and on that view it looked pretty awful. So it comes down to an umpire’s decision, which is how cricket is supposed to work.

    However… I played yesterday and an oppo player turned for a second run, and somehow lost a shoe! He instinctively looked back at it and ended up tripping himself, finishing sprawled on his face mid-pitch. Meanwhile a surprisingly (for us) accurate throw arrowed in from the deep and the keeper whipped off the bails, unaware of the beached batsman behind him. An appeal ensued and the batsman trudged off.

    After a long – he was nearly off the pitch – discussion, we called him back. Despite even the oppo umpire agreeing that the batsman would probably have been gone even at full speed, we decided that we didn’t feel comfortable sending off a batsman who had to pick up a shoe on his way back!

    I suppose it comes down to how you want to play the game – my stuff is social Sunday fare, and it costs us nothing to do what feels like the right thing. I’d be surprised if every one of the Aussies was comfortable with the appeal, but it matters a bit more to them, which is a shame but understandable.

    A final thought – my rabid England fan son was desperate for it to be given out! His reason? “I’ve never seen anyone given out obstructed the field.” It’s a pity he’ll probably have to wait a long time to see a captain withdraw an appeal…

    Like

    • d'Arthez Sep 7, 2015 / 11:10 am

      Actually, in the aftermath of the farcical runout of Elliot, a few years later New Zealand found themselves at the other end of the equation (I think it was against Zimbabwe). New Zealand withdrew the appeal, and the batsman was allowed to continue batting.

      Oh, and did he not see Dhoni effectively withdrawing that appeal against Bell in 2011?

      Like

    • Zephirine Sep 7, 2015 / 11:14 am

      As to Stokes, I thought not out in full speed – I think the hand goes up for self-preservation, but the 3rd Ump only saw slow-mo, and on that view it looked pretty awful. So it comes down to an umpire’s decision, which is how cricket is supposed to work.
      That’s exactly what I thought, Topshelf, and I don’t find it ‘irrelevant’ as it provides a nice controversy in an otherwise somewhat pointless series. Unfortunately it brings all the ‘Aussies are scum’ posters out of the woodwork. But it’s all clicks, innit? Newspaper website advertising managers are happy.

      As for Cook and control, d’you know what? I don’t even want to think about Alastair Cook. He just bores me.

      Like

    • d'Arthez Sep 7, 2015 / 11:16 am

      When Buttler started from the non-strikers end more often than not in the ODI series, Sri Lanka gave a warning, without appealing for the wicket (they could have, and Buttler would have been out).

      So, that is just a few instances in which appeals were withdrawn, or not even made. When is the last time England withdrew an appeal?

      Like

    • SimonH Sep 7, 2015 / 11:34 am

      Reply to Topshelf and Zephirine,

      It’s probably be-labouring the point somewhat but:
      1) If Stokes was protecting himself, why was his arm stuck out to the side rather than across his body or around the back of his head?
      2) Wouldn’t his helmet and other padding be adequate protection?
      3) How many batsmen have you seen injured by a bowler’s or fielder’s throw? I can’t remember one example. Plenty of batsmen run deliberately on the line of a throw and take a bruise to protect their wicket (one of my pet peeves that this is never given as obstructing the field).

      Like

      • Zephirine Sep 7, 2015 / 1:00 pm

        SimonH, when I saw it live on Sky, admittedly with a camera angle from behind the bowler’s arm which shortens the distance, my immediate thought was ‘Bloody hell, Starc’s thrown it straight at him.’ It was fast and from close to, I think most players would rather get out of the way than wear that one.
        What I saw was that Stokes twisted his upper body sharply away to get out of the way of the ball and in the same movement was diving to get back into his crease. His arm went out blindly as part of this movement – blindly because he was looking away, having turned to his right. More by luck than judgement. the arm and hand encountered the ball, but of course being Stokes’s hand, when it met the ball it held onto it.
        To me he was trying to avoid injury. Other people have seen it differently.
        It was clear the on-field umpires didn’t want to give it out, and I thought they were weak to send it upstairs.
        I don’t blame Smith at all, he had a match to win, and if he’d backed down what could he have done, hold up a big sign saying, “This is not a sign of weakness, I am making a generous gesture”?
        Anyway, as I said elsewhere, file under ‘Sh*t Happens, subfolder Only Stokes’.

        Like

      • SimonH Sep 7, 2015 / 2:38 pm

        We’ll have to agree to disagree about Stokes.

        I thought the on-field umpires were right to refer it. The problems with the umpiring were that the third umpire didn’t look at (and doesn’t appear able to look at) a real-time replay and that umpire Robsinson let the crowd’s behaviour influence his decision on the subsequent Buttler LBW (I don’t know how else to explain that decision which was – as Jimmy Adams likes to say – plumber than the guy who comes to fix your pipes).

        Although I disagree with those who criticise the third umpire’s ruling I can see the logic of their position. I can’t see any sense at all in those who criticise Smith – and those who were chanting “cheat, cheat, cheat” at Starc were nauseating. I thought Morgan’s words afterwards were poorly chosen and while I don’t blame him too much (heat of the battle plus he’d had a nasty blow to the head) they reflected badly on Bayliss and Farbrace who should have offered wiser counsel.

        I remember last year it being said how Mathews would come to regret not withdrawing his appeal on the Mankad-ing. I don’t think Mathews has regretted it for a moment – or even thought about it again. The same types having been saying it about Smith and the same will apply.

        Still, looking forward to tomorrow which will be a coconut-shy of bowlers throwing it at batsmen if some are to be believed……

        Like

      • Rooto Sep 7, 2015 / 6:57 pm

        Agree to disagree? WTF is that? This is BTL on the internet, we expect you and Zeph to be ripping each others throats out about now.
        Come on people. That’s not how we Outsiders are supposed to behave, is it?

        A pleasure to read.

        Like

      • Pontiac Sep 9, 2015 / 7:29 pm

        I looked at it full speed the first time and thought he was completely out.

        Intentions don’t matter. The ball was going toward the stumps and Stokes’s head and body were not in the path to the stumps. Done.

        Like

  18. SimonH Sep 7, 2015 / 12:38 pm

    From the start of the Guardian’s review of England’s chances in the World Cup:

    “As rallying cries go, it needs a bit of work: ‘We can win the World Cup but we’ll be better in 2019.’ Welcome to English *****, where planning for a rosier future can sometimes obscure far more urgent priorities”.

    The ***** is rugby of course – but sound familiar?

    By the way, during England’s match with ireland on Saturday I noticed signs around Twickenham flashing ‘Let Them Hear you’ to the crowd. As the ECB have copied other ideas from rugby, how long before something similar starts happening at cricket grounds?

    Like

    • metatone Sep 7, 2015 / 1:20 pm

      To be fair, I don’t think Lancaster has been anywhere near as inept as Moores was.
      England RU may crash out of a tough group, but unlike the cricket, they no longer look 20 years behind the rest of the world in approach.

      Like

      • pktroll (@pktroll) Sep 7, 2015 / 5:02 pm

        Well England RU actually won their world cup 12 years ago. England’s 50 overs team has never remotely got close for 23 years.

        Like

    • Mark Sep 7, 2015 / 6:02 pm

      “By the way, during England’s match with ireland on Saturday I noticed signs around Twickenham flashing ‘Let Them Hear you’ to the crowd. ”

      Sigh….

      This is so depressing, and just turns sports events into an an episode of The Price is Right. “Clapp now”……..”Cheer here” “go and buy your burger and fizzy drink now please.”

      Sport reduced to a shopping mall.

      Like

      • SimonH Sep 7, 2015 / 7:09 pm

        Maxie made a great comment last year that after the RFU put St George’s flags on top of the rugby posts it wouldn’t be long before the ECB put them on top of the stumps…..

        Like

      • d'Arthez Sep 7, 2015 / 7:25 pm

        They’ll go one further: speaking stumps. Everytime a commercial ought to be broadcast, the stumps will blare: “St. George’s flag, proudly brought to you by Investec.”

        Like

  19. SimonH Sep 7, 2015 / 9:58 pm

    Pretty damning stats about England’s ODI bowling from a Guardian article:

    “Only once in the seven one-dayers this summer, with 408 on the board against New Zealand at Edgbaston, has the attack taken more than two wickets in the first 25 overs, while in their 19 matches this calendar year England have bowled the opposition out only four times, compared with Australia’s 12 times in 16”.

    And then there’s one with the thoughts of Director Comma……

    Liked by 1 person

    • pktroll (@pktroll) Sep 8, 2015 / 7:51 am

      Good to see that this trend has been pointed out. I thought that the poor opening spell when there was seam movement a plenty was the key reason why Australia posted 300. If you don’t take wickets first up then a set upper order can utterly make hay without needing to consolidate.

      Like

      • SimonH Sep 8, 2015 / 8:48 am

        Also worth pointing out how tough this makes it for the spinners when they regularly have to come on to bowl at, say, 90-1 rather than 70-3.

        Something Selvey will allow for when he launches his next broadside at Rashid no doubt…..

        Like

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