The Fast And The Furious

There have been a number of interesting things, shall we say, that have occupied minds over the past few days. I note that in the comments today, for instance, there has been some views expressed on TV contracts and media relations; a request to talk about what is happening in Australia with Chris Gayle; and, of course, some general hilarity over some reporting and scoring.

I really didn’t want to say anything on Gayle. All has been said. His attitude to women, his tiresome nonsense meant long ago that I unfollowed him on Twitter. His approach is dreadful, and he doesn’t have a clue what the consequences of his actions are. Don’t give me straw men about women doing it to men too – they don’t get the sort of abuse women do who “make a big deal about this”.

Mark asked me if I’d given any thought to commenting on what has been happening in Australia. Yes, I’d given it some thought. But then who needs to hear another voice outraged at Chris Gayle’s conduct? Because of his actions female reporters are going to be scarred by it, abused for it, made, in some eyes, culpable for it and have to take the sort of stuff on Twitter I would have nightmares about (and no doubt they do too). Why? You can’t move on the internet for people sticking their views up. The initial reaction is incredibly important, and it isn’t a blog like mine that’s going to be a key player. It is those directly affected who matter.

This isn’t a bloody cop out. I listened to the podcast Dennis put up on his site. It’s powerful stuff. Listen to it. I can’t walk a mile in Melinda and Neroli’s shoes because I am not a female reporter subjected to this shit. I won’t be the one copping the abuse, the rape threats, the outright disgraceful misogyny that this stuff elicits. It would have been miles more effective in getting the message across if each newspaper across the land had just written out the transcript of this podcast, conveying the emotion of Melinda Farrell especially, rather than a special paid columnist to air their “I’m so fucking important” view, as so many have.

Yes, that might sound like me being a touch hypocritical. But let me give you an example of hypocrisy. Jonathan Liew wrote a very decent article today in the Telegraph, actually approaching it from a slightly different angle. I’m not a fan of all Liew’s work, but this was worth reading. He says, as others (men) do that when they meet Gayle he’s charming, humorous and good company. But he also condemns totally what he did to Mel McLaughlin. It’s a decent read.

So, we have a serious article, written by a bloke with a reputation for being a bit smart, and who you could listen to. Then, right below it, are those links – you know the ones, the “Outbrain” ones, those paid for adverts that induce to click on them for salacious stories and gossip – and the first one is a picture of Neymar with a blonde woman with, let’s face it, a large chest and the headline “Neymar parties with UFC stunner” (or something like that).

I mean, that bloody well says it all. Look, in our newspaper we’re berating a sports star for acting like a prick, treating women like trophies, having one of our top journo’s go into depth and thought – and look, click on a picture of a sports star with a woman in a very small bikini? Leave off. You wonder, you really do….

No blame on Liew, all the blame on the muppets (being kind) who ignore this thing. Takes me back to Keays and Gray, and the Mail Online having a lead story getting all self-righteous about their sexism, and the picture next to the story on-line was of Cheryl Cole, as then was, with a tattoo on her back and the headline “Nice Tramp Stamp”. Spare me the newspaper moralising, please.


I now realise I’ve done precisely what others have. I tell you what I won’t do. I won’t publicise this on Twitter (other than the auto notification on the LCL Twitter Feed) to get those nodding hits of approval or the scathing admonishments. I won’t go all out to call people knuckle-draggers because they might have a different view. I won’t be vicariously offended by something that did not happen to me, but will support whatever stops this shit happening again. The ONLY voices we needed to hear were the victims.

Instead some journalists bring in their own stories, like Russell Jackson, put it at the front of their piece, their first evidence. Then, when called on it, you claim the person “wasn’t one of the big beasts” (as if that matters), and that it wasn’t representative of the overall article (you mean your first piece of evidence, and the most striking, is not to be taken as your most convincing point?). Chuck in another story about an OBE, in pure TTT (Tyers Twitter Tendency) mode and then attack the critic. It’s been a time.

But, these are my opinions. Others apply. It’s my view of the current world we live in.

Meanwhile the Big Bash goes on in full swing and breaking all sorts of records. It’s the perfect size, played in mainly perfect weather, and with just enough blend of international talent and home-grown stars to make it work. Six teams might be too concentrated, ten teams a dilution without the Australian internationals. They play in the six main population centres and the two largest conurbations get two teams. The structure is almost perfect. Australian domestic cricket pretty much covers all the bases for quality players and it works.

So what about the T20 in England, I hear the cry? The Big Bash works, so why don’t we apply it here? Well, one, I don’t want it, so that’s a start. Two, we don’t have the massive stadia to play it in and don’t talk to me about football grounds. Three, yes the block wouldn’t work in a bad summer. Four, it would be the death of county cricket. Oh, it’ll carry on as a niche sport, but players won’t want to get injured in that if they miss the Big Blast, because that’s where the money would be.

If you had eight teams, got the international players over to play it, and did it in a three week slot at, say, the middle / end of August, it might work. Football might get in the way, but I’m not sure why it would decimate it. There would be big crowds, there would be interest, you might even get FTA to cover it, but given that the bidding power of satellite providers dwarfs that of FTA, I think wrong trees are being barked up. It would work, and at the same time leave the counties beholden to it. Sooner or later a franchise owner will say “why am I subsidising these clowns?” and off we go. Sports clubs owners in the UK aren’t exactly known for seeing the bigger picture. This isn’t an American sporting organisation that looks to grow the whole sport.

Don’t go searching for the golden answer because it doesn’t exist. Ramble on with our Blast and you’ll get good county standard matches. Go for a franchise tournament and the better players get richer, while the rest go to hell in a handcart, but the public laps it up. County cricket would wither on the vine, a dependent relying on the success of others – for some counties it is like that now, this would accentuate it. Run two T20 comps, one for the counties, one for the franchises, and it will be the equivalent of BDO/PDC darts. If that’s a price worth paying, so be it. Talking about expanding the current arrangements is arrant nonsense. Enough teams in the Blast jack it in when they’ve lost three early games, the standard is variable and introducing more teams will dilute quality, and more games will take away the special nature of the fixtures, turning it into a Sunday League type affair.

We have an 18 county structure. If we were to start from scratch we wouldn’t have. We do not have that luxury. I don’t know what will work, and don’t pretend that I do. That would be a position many would do well to take.

Finally – Pringle on a sensitive topic. Can’t wait…

Finally, Bunkers’ final day report is a beauty. Read it.

Always happy to have you comments….


52 thoughts on “The Fast And The Furious

  1. Benny Jan 7, 2016 / 9:46 pm

    I think you’re right. The Gayle thing has been done to death. Thought about it, changed my mind a couple of times and decided Gayle is a fool. I also suspect that, if it had been the tea lady he’d propositioned, we’d never have heard about it. Doubt we’ll hear any more about the wider issues being raised re treatment of women in the cricket world.

    As for cricket in England, I rather like the structure we have. I just wish someone with organisational skills would appear and make a success of it. The game is run by dummies. Just heard it has suddenly occurred to Leics they can make a few bob by renaming their ground. How long did it take to figure that out? Meanwhile, in county cricket’s misty beyond, marketing is crap, advertising is crap, customer awareness is crap and the beer’s not great either.


  2. Burly Jan 7, 2016 / 9:50 pm

    Just wanted to give my appreciation for this post, particularly the acknowledgement that it’s not some sort of isolated incident but part of a huge, huge problem that transcends sport.

    Unfortunately in my favourite sport a lot of fans are hugely reactionary when it comes to this sort of thing, and see any regular push back from women as some sort of conspiracy – something to be mocked, belittled, marginalised. Something to use an excuse to talk about men’s problems.

    Sod that.


    • LordCanisLupus Jan 7, 2016 / 9:52 pm

      Thanks Burly. Was agonising over it. Even got TLG to look at it too.


  3. Sean B Jan 7, 2016 / 10:25 pm

    Very short comment from me. Gayle is unfortunately a sexist idiot and what he (and the boys in Oz) thought was funny, clearly isn’t and has no place in modern society; however the screams of outrage (as well as the idiotic support from the Twitter ‘lads’) haven’t helped much either. Gayle has come out of this looking like a total turkey, end of.

    Russell Jackson’s piece did not help matters, in fact it inflamed them. A kiss, tell, then run story if ever I saw one (now being backtracked furiously, but hey it helped the hits). DDC’s response was spot on IMO:

    Also do read the the thoughtful piece from The Roar. I don’t think I would do the same thing in the same situation, but it’s a very insightful piece that’s worth a read.


    • Burly Jan 7, 2016 / 10:36 pm

      The “screams of outrage” (what lovely wording – making the disgusted reaction to Gayle’s actions a negative!) did no harm and a lot of good. How exactly has widespread condemnation not helped?


      • Sean B Jan 7, 2016 / 10:53 pm

        I agree with the condemnation, as you would’ve seen from my first paragraph. I don’t think there is any place for it in this society. I’m simply trying to paint a balanced picture from all the accusations and I must say, point scoring, that’s been appearing on both sides on Twitter for the past few days.

        IMO, the less coverage the sexist idiots get, the less likely they’ll do it again. I would sincerely hope that Gayle has realised what a complete tool he looked and might think twice before opening his mouth again.


      • Burly Jan 7, 2016 / 11:21 pm

        There’s no evidence to suggest that not making a big stink about it helps at all. For decades this sort of thing has been swept under the carpet. Has that helped? You should listen to what people like Melinda Farrell and the various other female journalists have to tell the rest of us how the world actually works for a woman in sport (and in other walks of life, obviously).

        I cannot understand why you think that not covering it is a good idea or why there’s any need to find a “middle ground” when this is a pretty black and white situation of a powerful bloke yet again doing whatever he feels like, in this case sexually harassing a woman who was just trying to do her job.

        If Gayle’s comment had received less coverage, there’s zero chance he’d change his ways. Now that chance is non-zero.


      • Sean B Jan 8, 2016 / 12:34 am

        Burly, not trying to underestimate this at all. I think Melinda is a great journalist. I’ve tried to keep out of this for a reason, because it’s so emotive. Don’t think we’re miles apart, but I think I’ll leave this topic to rest (as I should’ve done all along)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Sean B Jan 7, 2016 / 10:32 pm

    Also a little quote from Mr Nixon on Twiiter yesterday:

    I guess calling someone ‘fucking shit’ isn’t that nasty. Slight hypocrisy alert


    • Burly Jan 7, 2016 / 10:39 pm

      It’s not like Stokes is playing mind games either. He just loses his temper when things aren’t going his way – loses his temper then abuses someone.

      See also Anderson, Jimmy.

      Liked by 1 person

    • MM Jan 7, 2016 / 11:08 pm

      Jeez. Great stuff Paul Nixon – not. I’ve come over all Wayne’s World, there.

      Who needs to be sporting when after the match it’s beers all round and ‘full respect’? To me, that makes all the caveman stuff look pretty fluffing fake, actually.

      Probably shouldn’t comment though. I’ve not been a professional sportsman… just a human being who was raised to appreciate good cricket and demonstrate good sportsmanship. And if you can’t say anything funny or constructive you’d best stay quiet.

      It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt, or summat.


      • Mark Jan 8, 2016 / 12:14 am

        I couldn’t agree more MM.

        Why should I or any one else have to respect someone off the field who been calling me a c*** all afternoon on the field? There is something rather Smashie and Nicey about professional cricketers. Something rather fake. It’s all a bit too …..” Hello best mate, you’re my best mate, would you like to do some Charrrrrrrrrity work with me?”

        Liked by 1 person

      • ArushaTZ Jan 8, 2016 / 12:47 am

        I’ve always thought that philosophy to be ‘absolute shit’. So being sporting and respecting your opposition now boils down to shaking their hand and offering to drink beer with them?

        Apparently you can say anything you like to them on the field, call them all sorts of mindless, abusive names but if you shake hands afterwards, that means you’re a good sportsman.

        I’d refuse to shake hands with morons like that. Presumably that would make me unsporting?


        • LordCanisLupus Jan 8, 2016 / 11:50 am

          Read the Daniel Harris piece in the Guardian. Despite the writing style being akin to FICJAM being tortured, there’s a bit about how Viv saw sledging. …

          “After being abused by a guy you don’t expect him to come over and sat ‘how are you doing? You want a Tooheys?’ You don’t do things like that. When I draw the sword, I draw the sword. When I draw it, that’s it”

          Liked by 1 person

      • AB Jan 8, 2016 / 9:01 am

        I hate sledging. Its boorish and childish and needs to be stamped out of the game. In recent surveys, endless sledging and intimidation was listed as one of the main reason people are giving up the game, and I’m not surprised. Games where both sides start laying into each other are no fun at all. Who wants to spend every Saturday afternoon being called a cunt and a cheat and a crap player etc etc?

        and what happens in the professional game, amateurs copy. There needs to be a zero tolerance policy on all personal, insulting or disparaging remarks across the board. The umpires simply write down everything they hear, pass it on to the match referee, and automatic match bans are handed out. If there is a stump mic, have the referee turn it on and listen in.


      • pktroll (@pktroll) Jan 8, 2016 / 11:53 am

        Toohey’s! I’d hardly call sharing that chemically induced cats **** after a game a sign of friendship. That would for me be a form of mental disintegration greater than that that could be achieved out on the pitch!


      • paulewart Jan 8, 2016 / 9:10 pm

        The most fearsome bowling attack I’ve ever seen rarely wasted their energy sledging. They let the ball do the talking.


      • Pontiac Jan 8, 2016 / 10:55 pm

        People acting like that is entirely a way of enforcing power dominance. There’s no way Anderson, Broad, Stokes, Warner v1.0, etc etc could possibly get away with what they do if they were not backed up by a structure with inherently more power in the game than that associated with those they’re yammering at. The idea that it’s all to be left on the field is nonsense that doesn’t hold up at all.

        Consider for instance that incident between McGrath and Sarwan years ago. How astonished McGrath was when he got back some shellfire of a similar caliber to what he was throwing out, and how indignant he was, because after all *he* is the one who gets to determine where the line is, whether it’s just ‘banter’ or not. I believe that incident occurred in the Caribbean as well. Fighting words are fighting words, and if you wouldn’t say it on your own to some rando in a bar then you ought not say it in front of a bunch of spectators.

        Another mental experiment. Imagine the West Indians had decided to set the field through pantomime for a while the way Cook and so on did after being told to cool it with the verbals by the umpires. Would that be considered ‘amusing’ or be considered outrageous undignified insubordination? Of course, it depends on who’s making the judgement but it doesn’t strike me as a risky hypothetical to imagine many commentators having an entirely different attitude.

        Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Jan 9, 2016 / 11:03 am

        I’m not here to defend sledging or some of McGrath’s behaviour – but in the specific incident you mention Sarwan made a reference to McGrath’s wife who at the time (unknown to Sarwan) was diagnosed with cancer. As I understand it, that’s why McGrath took such exception to it.


      • PaulE Jan 9, 2016 / 11:29 am

        There’s no defending McGrath, Simon. i know the history, but there’s no defending him. If you’re going to give it out like that you have to prepared to take it. He was a bully. Had he not abused Sarwan, his wife wouldn’t have been referenced.

        Liked by 2 people

      • sidesplittin Jan 9, 2016 / 1:23 pm

        C’mon fellas, let’s not get too pious here eh……

        In the early 90’s, I was fortunate to play a couple of games in NZ at a decent level. Martin Crowe, then NZ’s Test Capt, nicked one off me, which our keeper dropped. In my frustration, I suggested to him that he was a “……. lucky …….”. He replied that I was “……. lucky to be here” and immediately unfurled a couple of sumptuous cover drives to put me in my place.

        Later in the day, I managed to dismiss him, only after he’d made plenty. Post play, he was good enough to seek me out and complement me on my bowling – I had been uncouth to him and he in response to me, but there were certainly no hard feelings and I felt 10 foot tall that he’d even spoken to me.

        In the heat of the moment we’ve all probably acted the goat and then subsequently regretted it, cricketers are no different.


      • sidesplittin Jan 9, 2016 / 1:49 pm

        The suggestion (Paulewart) that the all conquering West Indies were paragons of virtue is, at best, naive.

        Check out the Second Test in 1980 on YouTube, at Christchurch, between NZ & WI. Firstly, Colin Croft physically assaults the umpire, by deliberately shoulder charging him. Umpire Goodall, clutching his shoulder, then walks towards Clive Lloyd at first slip to remonstrate with him. Lloyd contemptuously moves not one iota from his station, nor bothers to even engage with Goodall, in essence condoning Croft’s actions.

        In the previous test match, Mikey Holding had kicked the stumps out of the ground in dissent at a decision going against him. Granted, the umpiring in that series was arguably piss poor, but the Windies had tonked the Aussies in the series immediately prior to this and expected the little old Kiwis to roll over too. When they didn’t, they got the hump and acted like boorish oafs. With stronger officiating, their 20 minute sit in post tea in the Christchurch test should’ve seen them forfeit the match.

        Viv Richards antics with the officials in the Caribbean in 1989/90 and the Windies blatant time wasting in the Trinidad test of that series weren’t exactly holier than thou when the odds were against them.

        They were undoubtedly a fantastic side for nigh on 20 years, but they weren’t without fault.

        Liked by 1 person

      • paulewart Jan 10, 2016 / 8:39 pm

        Where did I say they were ‘paragons of virtue’? Colin Croft was a notoriously ill-tempered individual. Nonetheless, you have singularly failed to address my point which was not that they were paragons, but that they didn’t tend to sledge.


    • Zephirine Jan 8, 2016 / 1:31 am

      “tough as it gets”. That’s a give-away phrase. Who’s he trying to kid? “Tough” is coal-miners or paratroopers, not a bunch of well-paid cricketers trying to sound hard by swearing a lot.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Escort Jan 9, 2016 / 8:27 pm



  5. AB Jan 7, 2016 / 11:34 pm

    “There would be big crowds”

    But how, exactly? The current competition already sells out the biggest cricket stadia we have. How do we improve on this without either building bigger stadia or playing more games?


    • LordCanisLupus Jan 7, 2016 / 11:44 pm

      I picked headingley at random. Average attendance was 8,800ish for its t20 matches. That’s not selling out. Still has room to grow. Whether it will? I don’t know.


      • AB Jan 7, 2016 / 11:55 pm

        Funnily enough, Headingley isn’t the best example, as Yorkshire were one of the worst managed and marketed teams under Graves’s watch.


        • LordCanisLupus Jan 7, 2016 / 11:59 pm

          Edgbaston 11k approx average. 65k for all T20 home games. Assuming 6 home matches. Stadium holds 24k. Good growth of 30+% last season. Still plenty more capacity.


      • AB Jan 8, 2016 / 12:03 am

        … and I’m still not entirely convinced how renaming Birmingham Bears vs Nottinghamshire Outlaws would miraculously attract 10,000 extra fans simply by being rebranded as Birmingham Bears vs Nottingham Outlaws.

        Are 10,000 people genuinely put off simply by the presence of that single “shire”? I find that hard to believe.

        The argument that “more famous names” would attract bigger crowds is nonsense as well. To the English non-cricket-loving public there ARE no famous names – and never will be whilst cricket is kept off the tv. The quality of the actual cricket played is excellent – take it from me, I go and watch enough games.

        The bottom line is, we’ve trying rebranding, we’ve tried cheerleaders and loud music, we’ve tried packing it into a small 4 week window. If anything, these initiatives just annoyed people and didn’t attract a single extra fan.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Mark Jan 7, 2016 / 11:43 pm

    Thanks for writing about it Dmitri. I understand your reservation about saying anything.

    What has shocked me is the number of other woman who have now claimed he has embarrassed them. One wonders if this should have been brought out into the open before. Maybe Gayle would have changed his ways. But then again the woman would have copped a lot of abuse. You only have to see what Mel has had to put up with.

    What is worse in many ways is the reaction to the reaction. Woman or men who support Mel have had a whole hurricane of piss poured all over them by a bunch of bigots. Crys of “free speech,” and “get a sense of humour” have been the put down for those who say this is wrong..

    Yet right, let’s imagine Mel had turned the tables on Gayle live on TV in front of millions. Let’s say she had slapped him round the face or said……. “oh grow up Gayle, we all know about your creepy behaviours.” Yea, I’m sure all these morons would have been lining up to support Mel on the concept of free speech.

    It would have been……. ” how dare she embarrass a world sports star on live television. ”

    As for Pringle, shouldn’t the headline be…………..”Was Cook just a TINA captain?”

    Liked by 2 people

  7. SimonH Jan 7, 2016 / 11:49 pm

    Newman reckons SA’s captaincy change has distracted us from England’s flaws:

    But what are these flaws? It turns out there’s only one:

    “It appears that too many England batsmen are struggling to strike a balance between the attacking methods Bayliss encourages and the need for application when conditions dictate a more cautious approach”.

    At least no individual is singled out (although looking closely I thought I could see where “especially that weirdo Compton” had been edited out).

    Newman’s own take – or has somebody been whispering?

    Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Jan 8, 2016 / 10:58 am

        It’s just one sentence and if all goes well in Joburg it’ll soon be forgotten.

        But I’m putting my deerstalker on and seeing certain things here (2+2=5 no doubt). Newman is known to be close to a certain player, said player isn’t having a good series (because of all those attacking shots he’s being forced into playing, ha ha) and said player has a history of, shall we say, not being averse to the finding of scapegoats for his failures.

        I thought when Bayliss was appointed that things could turn ugly quite quickly. The main thing protecting Bayliss now is that, having spouted off about what a genius appointment it was by Strauss, to turn on Bayliss would a) treat readers like complete idiots and b) assume readers have the memories of mayflies. As protection goes, not exactly a suit of armour…..

        Of course I’m not a proper journalist and this is all guesswork. I’ll do what proper journalists do and ask my mates what they think. They think I was right all along! Case closed.

        Liked by 2 people

    • paulewart Jan 8, 2016 / 7:30 pm

      My feeling, and it is only a feeling, is that Cook is far more vulnerable now that his human shields have been removed. He’s free to captain the team as he sees fit but Bayliss will not dole out preferential treatment: he wouldn’t get away with 2 years poor form under Bayliss.


      • Rohan Jan 9, 2016 / 10:57 pm

        Excellent point Paul. However, in a battle of Cook v Bayliss, who would the ECB side with. I fear it would be Cook. I think you are right though and if the ECB have given Bayliss free reign, as they gave to Flower, then Cook would be treated as you state.


      • Rohan Jan 9, 2016 / 11:02 pm

        Basically you make an excellent point, but I can’t make my mind up😀, in relation to my post above.


  8. Zephirine Jan 8, 2016 / 1:20 am

    It’s very odd, that interview. It’s almost like Gayle feels he has to come out with that stuff, and he just rattles it off and then they talk about the cricket.

    I’ve only just watched it, and before I saw it I thought it might be him deliberately trying to unnerve her and put her off her interview, because there are men who enjoy doing that sort of thing (usually followed by “Only teasing, can’t you take a joke?”). But it doesn’t seem to be. Looks like he just thinks if you automatically chat up every woman you set eyes on, you’ve got to get lucky some of the time. Or something. His Mum needs to have a word.

    I’d guess that Mel’s had plenty of nastier stuff than that from male journos, though less public.


  9. Andy Jan 8, 2016 / 10:30 am

    Slight tangent topic, but interesting non the less;

    Summary – Bayliss saying Buttler might be encouraged/released to play in the IPL if he is not required for tests at that time.

    yet there is arguably a better tournament (or as good at least) going on right now while Buttler is carrying the drinks for England.

    Arses and Elbows come to mind


  10. Mike Jan 8, 2016 / 10:54 am

    A note on outbrain

    I’ve commented on the machinations of publisher models before, advertising sales charlatan that I am – with Outbrain, they pay a lot of money back to publishers, knowing what my company gets and knowing that the telegraph is slightly smaller, they’ll still be paying a decent 7 figure sum per annum. Whilst you can, dependent on the terms of the contract stipulate, what sites they surface content from, you can’t police each individual article to see what outbrain is showing, so I’d cut the Telegraph a little slack in this instance, which isn’t something you’d normally here me say. In the case of publisher own content being wildly contradictory re misogyny and gender politics, the MailOnline of course is the cesspool of all humanity.

    It’s a flawed system but in a world of ad blockers, Outbrain is a necessary evil for every single media owner that isn’t called Facebook or Google to get some much needed revenue on the books.

    Anyway, haven’t commented in a while but have been keenly reading, great work as always by all above and below. Thanks.


    • LordCanisLupus Jan 8, 2016 / 11:21 am

      Fair comment Mike on Outbrain. Checking the story last night and none of those links were particularly salacious so the Neymar one might have been an outlier. I love Football 365’s Mediawatch column and the links on the right side of the page make it almost NSFW.

      The Mail’s Tits and Hate column online is, of course an amazing abomination and hypocrisy.


      • paulewart Jan 8, 2016 / 7:32 pm

        The Mail’s an abomination full stop. Never forget, the Rothermeres supported Mosley and Hitler.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Mark Jan 9, 2016 / 11:45 am

    Surprised the ECB haven’t asked him to change his name to Alastair Waitrose.

    Don’t know why people buy newspapers these days. You are paying for the privilege of being sold adverts pretending to be story’s.


    • SimonH Jan 9, 2016 / 2:08 pm

      People used to speak of ‘infotainment’ – but it’s ‘newsvertisements’ that have taken over.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Rohan Jan 9, 2016 / 4:38 pm

    You know we discuss and talk a lot about the ECB briefing against players, either subtlely or blatantly, either way, I think we are not beyond the realms of possibility to deduce that it has happened. We have not, to my knowledge, however, discussed the influence that powerful MSM journalists can have. Sure we have talked about them briefing against players, for example Selvey going on and on about Rashid bowling too slow to play international cricket (ahem Mr Mike, did you know Rashid is currently the top wicket taker in BBL 15-16!) or loads of the current MSM briefing against Compton because he scores too many runs too slowly.

    Look, you know all of the above, but have we considered the influence that journalists such as Selvey might have on the ECB, their scouts and the England selectors (I don’t think this has been mentioned before, apologies if it has, or if I am way out of line here). Just as the ECB brief against players to the MSM, are some journalists in the ear of prominent ECB types, about who should play for England and who should not. Just imagine, journalist to England selector ‘yeah Alisdair will come good, I agree, you gotta keep him in, anyway there is no other alternative,’ ECB type, ‘yes, that’s what we intend to do,’ MSM journalist ‘you know that player X, I am not sure he has the skills for international cricket,’ ECB stooge ‘okay, we will take that on board.’ These guys have access, they understand how cricket works and we do not, they are on tour with the ECB, England management and players for many months at a time. They are in each other’s pockets, they trust each other, they generally (I would imagine), like and listen to each other. So this could happen; they could have a huge influence.

    But hey, what do I know. I am just a pleb with a test average of 0, although, I do have an experian credit rating of over 600, and 3 points on my licence, does that count? Hey, I am just thinking out loud here, but I reckon these things we discuss, go both ways………


    • jomesy Jan 9, 2016 / 9:02 pm

      Of course, but then like any gentlemen’s club it’s hard to prove – but that’s the raison d’etre of a gentlemen’s club. Flower is the one man I really want to see gone from the whole structure for these reasons. If Bayliss does then he’ll have my full respect.


  13. SimonH Jan 10, 2016 / 10:54 am

    Nick Hoult:

    A divisional structure does feel like it’s getting closer. The option, mentioned as under discussion, of four divisions of four would be wretched and I’m inclined to think it’s an outlier designed to make the desired two divisions of six seem more reasonable. If the Big Three can manoeuvre themselves into the top four (which looks distinctly possible) I’m not so sure though.

    Elsewhere, the injury news on Steyn doesn’t sound encouraging for him making Joburg and there’s the first news (on cricinfo) of Yasir Shah’s drugs’ test since the story first broke.


    • d'Arthez Jan 10, 2016 / 12:18 pm

      England are extremely lucky with injuries to Steyn, whenever they tour South Africa. Though Viljoen at the Wanderers would certainly not be the worst pick imaginable.


    • SimonH Jan 10, 2016 / 12:24 pm

      Thinking about it more, divisions of four doesn’t seem so improbable (although no less wretched). The Big Three and NZ/SL/Pakistan already exist in de facto mini-leagues with repeated matches against each other. SA are presumably envisaged as the other D1 team – India and Australia seem keen to play them. WI might start as the other D2 team but I’d suspect replacement by Bangladesh would be fairly rapid and the disintegration of the WI with the main constituent islands ending up in D3 and D4 seems a distinct possibility.

      The stumbling block – as always – would be the question of possible relegation for one of the Big Three. I suspect there’s some thinking going into how that can be made effectively impossible while maintaining a slight facade of meritocracy.

      There are some big issues here – no doubt The Spin will be avoiding them until it’s too late.


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