Those of you with me last year will remember my awards at the end of the year called “The Dmitris”. Last year there were 10 in my initial Hall of Fame, who got in there for all sorts of reasons. The main thing that gets you in is that you had to play an important part in my blogging year, been a main subject, a top player, a good writer, a bad writer, an inspiration or a source of despair.
While I had 10 inductees last year, there won’t be that many this year. I have six in mind already. You can only go in as an individual on one occasion – so you people who think all I do is talk about KP or Cook are fine, they are both in already – but you can enter as part of a collective and as an individual.
Last year’s 10 were:
1. George Dobell. For services to keeping us sane with proper cricket reporting.
- 2. Kevin Pietersen. For being a source of news and copy all year.
- 3. Paul Downton. For being a disaster.
- 4. The Full Toss Blog. For being better than me.
- 5. Ali, Ballance and Buttler. For being the new hopes of English cricket.
6. Outside Cricket. The phrase that united the anti-ECB collective.
7. Brendon McCullum. For being a captain we’d all love to have, and I’m a sucker for 300s.
8. Some (not all) Cricket Journalists. For various misdemeanours throughout the year.
9. Day 4 at Headingley. For summing up when pig-headed philosophy goes wrong.
10. Alastair Cook. For defining the year.
So, all cricketing journalists are in play because they were all included in number 8. The only one who won’t be in is George Dobell.
Happy to hear your views, but at the end, this is my choice. I have been known to be influenced.
Thought I’d add last year’s acceptance response from George Dobell.
Thanks for this. It’s hugely appreciated. Probably far more than I should let on.
There maybe a couple of reasons for that. Firstly it’s a long time since I won anything. That under-7 Scripture essay prize really is some time ago. And while I did win a fast bowling cup about 20 years ago, the gloss was slightly tarnished when it turned out to be a case of mistaken identity.
But mostly it’s gratifying to be recognised by the people I’m writing for: spectators; cricket lovers. You know the ones: the fleeced, patronised and taken for granted. Whenever cricket’s ‘stakeholders’ are considered and consulted, it is the spectators who are over-looked. But where are the players, the media, the sponsors and the administrators without them? The ‘outside cricket’ comment, you may recall, was made in a statement not just from the ECB, but from the PCA as well.
It’s been a tricky year in some ways but this is a welcome reminder of the reasons to KBO as Churchill would have put it. Thank you. Sincerely, thank you.
Graves, for briefly making cosy journalists’ lives that bit more complicated. How to support the institution while discrediting its Chairman?
Strauss, for solving that problem by arriving on a donkey and being strewn with palm fronds (while simultaneously walking on water?).
Eoin Morgan, for picking up the baton from Graves, and (for the time being, at least) introducing another cognitive dissonance into cricket journalism. He’s a successful England captain, but we need to hold him in disdain somehow.
Trevor Bayliss gets a vote from me for being a breath of fresh air. If there were a category for “I told you so” – James Taylor.
Still laughing at Etheridge’s “you don’t understand how journalism works”. So for me, that’s Rocket Science, the Hadron Collider and now journalism.
FICJAM for taking ‘self interested pomposity’ to a new stratosphere.
For services to the shoehorning of irrelevant classic literature into cricket articles.
Ficcy absolutely has to be in there. That nasty triumphalism after Trent Bridge (when he somehow managed to limbo under Dominic Lawson’s very low bar) would be enough on its own, but when you add The Prisoner’s Dilemma, Homer and endless barely endurable commentaries I always seemed to catch straight after work, well, he’s a shoo-in. [insert homophone gag here]
Probably worth including Tom Harrison somewhere
James Whittaker needs an ineptitude award.
Reasons (that I can think of, but there are many many more)
1. James Taylor
2. Not recognising that Roy and Hales should have been playing odi cricket together for the last 3 years at the top of the order.
3. Moeen opening the batting
4. Not picking Mark Footitt
5. Having no backbone over kp.
6. Liam Plunket not going to SA.
7. Continued selection of Jade Durnbach
8. The squad to the odi world cup
9. No idea who should open the batting with Cook.
10. Continued selection of busted flush players like prior, bell etc
11. Dropping of carberry
Please feel free to add you own!
You could even call it the James Whittaker award for ineptitude.
Number 6 might actually be the single most inexplicable decision since Bresnan/Panesar/Ahmedabad.
Meanwhile, 2 off topic thoughts. First, as ever for me, the flippant one. Looking at the list of last year’s Dmitri winners: Downtown, KP, Buttler, Ballance, The Full Toss… Is there a Curse of Dmitri?
Second, with the current day-night test, are we seeing the birth of a fourth international format? On this small sample size, it seems time management (avoiding batting at the end of each day) is everything. Time your charge to be able to put their top order in under the lights. A legitimate, but different, game to day-only tests. Aus won the two-match series 1-0, and are on course to win this one-off 1-0 too.
Time management? Yep, that has always been a key part of test cricket. Time management and the weather playing as much of a part as all those hours down the gym, in the nets, and eating quinoa based meals.
1. TheLegglance – for adding another dimension to this already extraordinary wonderful blog.
2. All the correspondents here, with special thanks to Arron, Mark, D’Arthez, SimonH and Chappers for such a wide and varied and informative collection of replies.
3. DOAG team – for opening the eyes of a wider audience (except Selfry) to the ineptitude and greed of governing bodies
4. BBC – for local radio and national DAB coverage of county matches
5. FICJAM – for providing us all with so many laughs
6. NZ – for waking up England cricket to the idea of playing positively and with good grace (hasn’t quite reached all areas yet…)
7.ECB – for keeping my blood boiling all year with their hypocrisy, ignorance and bluster.
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None of 1 and 2 will be admitted….. sorry. If I let one of them in, then…..
I am now newspaper free, so I don’t read any of their offal. So I come here and get the snippets from people with stronger stomachs than mine. They read it so I don’t have to. Thanks!
But I would like to nominate Newman after having licked the butt of the ECB for years, he then suddenly changed 180 degrees and started attacking them after Graves rather woolly olive branch to KP. If anybody should get the award for only being about KP it’s him. It must have been horrifying to see all your years of leaks and hard work about to go up in smoke. Pricelss! Fortunately for him Strauss stepped in to save him.
I would also like to congratulate those journalists who argued that Cook should stay on as captain till the 2019 World Cup. Still gives me a chuckle that one. A bit like the man who turned down the Beatles.
My …….must try harder award goes to dear old Nasser. He has had a bad year. Maybe he is easily distracted or its his age, but this year he has just not put the work in. Must do better. He has the talent, he just needs to get his head right.
My Ladbrokes prediction award goes to Pringle for his win predictions for the England test team. I forget where we are up to. I think we need 9 wins in 3 or something. Poor old Pringle is one of the few casualties of the war. He paid the ultimate price, unlike many others in his industry for their output. Thankfully for him there is always a room at the old rest home for injured cricket writers at a certain cricket publication.
My Jack of all trades master of none award goes to Selvey. I’m not sure how many overs of spin he bowled in his career or if he is qualified to coach spin bowling. However, that has not stopped him from writing pages of “how to” advice to England’s spinners. It would be like me writing pages of advice to the country’s best brain surgeons. Pointless.
My ECB rare brave decision award for to Strauss for sticking with Morgan as ODI captain. Especially as he had some of his biggest supporters attacking him for that choice. Slightly more worrying is the demotion of Root. Is this a way of keeping a certain farmer as captain for eternity?
Finally, and I know this will have an element of brown nosing but I must congratulate the host of this site for creating a place where those who see it differently can have a voice. There is nothing the elites hate more than having something they can’t control. This is a real free press. However, I know it is difficult to keep it going as the KP issue subsides, and work and life keep you busy. Never feel you are obliged to write something regularly..
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Forgot to say, few of my nominations fit any of your criteria.
if any of them do then please use them.
Root is best left alone to flourish and enjoy his batting without the sometimes gruelling burden of captaincy for the moment. Best not to let an adverse reaction to Cook impact negatively on Joe Root.
Plenty that have been mentioned so far that I’d agree with (especially DOAG, Pringle’s prediction, Harrison, Whitaker, and, sad to say, Nasser “redemption for Cook” Hussain).
Geoff Lemon’s C9 demolition
That ****ing Sky Ashes promo song
I would like to also nominate Mark Butcher for being one of the best pundits around.
If there was an award for speaking common sense in language everyone one can understand he is on his own.
With his Dad a close second!!
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+1 for the DOAG team. Sam & Jarrod took a ballsy call to change the angle of the film when the ICC palaver occurred. It may not directly be down to the film, but there are definite breezes of change in the Dubai area now. Bravo.
Oh, and buy the film if you haven’t seen it already. Now available at all the usual outlets etc!
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Great to re-read Dobells acceptance speech, but please, don’t give FICJAM the main award, we may drown in mythological references if he speaks….
Mike Selvey deserves one for reviewing DOAG despite not having seen it.
The Trent bridge pitch curator for brilliantly erasing our memories of the abomination that was 2014 and giving me the most fun I’ve had during a working day for a long time.
Steve Finn for his ball to Adam Viges at Esgbaston, causing the entire ground to go cave-full-of-guano insane.
I wanted to nominate Brendan McCullum, for almost single-handedly inspiring a situation where the majority of England supporters wished the Australians would stay at home and we could go on playing NZ all summer instead. But I see he’s already in the Dmitri Hall of Fame.
So I’d like to add Eoin Morgan for his juggling skills. He’s retained his characteristic independence of mind and has managed both to keep the peace with his bosses and to work with the new coaching team to build an ODI side that is aware that the 21st century has actually started. All this while still openly saying that the IPL is a good thing and always improves him as a player, statements for which others have previously been scorned and derided.
Absolutely Strauss keeping him as captain and his performances since have been brilliant.
From being total flops at the 50 over world cup we are now one of the favs for the 2020 cup.
Actually whilst on Strauss his decision to sack moores was done efficiently and with clear explaination and rational. Every agreed (apart from maybe one decenting voice! )
Rather than the trust issues bs he should have done the same with KP.
But he couldn’t and I think we can guess why.
The actual sacking of Moores wasn’t done very efficiently, Philip – if you remember, he was in Ireland with the team and half the media already knew he’d been sacked and were watching to see when he’d find out.
But Strauss has got some things right, Morgan being one.
If NZ’s contribution to the year is to be recognised and McCullum is ineligible, how about Ian Smith?
I know this is terrible but I want to nominate me for still being there having faith in KP and never giving up on him.Till he pulls up stumps I’m with him.
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Demonic Cork – ignoramus, truly bilious. So ironic that he criticises those whose face does not fit/are difficult/approach things differently, when he was the ultimate ‘showpony’ in his playing days.
Charles Colville – for looking at Cork like he has 2 heads when he spouts rubbish on the verdict. For being prepared to criticise England when it’s due and praise when it’s due…..
Simon Hughes – just an irksome toad……
I’d like to nominate Sam Collins and Jarrod Kimber, too. Death of a Gentlemen was a game changer. It has created awareness and influenced an emphatic shift of opinion that has anticipated and, maybe, nudged a change of attitude within the ICC. Cricketing Oscar nomination.
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At the end of the UAE series, a huge vote for Eoin Morgan. Cleverer than any of us picking Jordan for the super over, then taking responsibility to see England home. Couldn’t have done it better.