Schism – def. is a division between people, usually belonging to an organization, movement, or religious denomination.

Around 15 months ago, after the acrimony of Summer 2014, I mentioned on HDWLIA that the divide between the supporters of the Cook side of the argument and the KP side of the argument, if we can simplify matters here, had shown no signs of being bridged. At that time the former were firmly of the view, exhorted by a compliant press, that the moves by Downton and co to rid themselves of the turbulent KP were absolutely correct and that the team, and therefore, by extension those running it, needed our support. On the other side, those of us sick to death of hearsay, rumour, gossip and leak, having our most exciting player removed from the scene with nothing to say why (those cursed lawyers) also had the Big Three Stitch Up to get our teeth into.

I may not be a totally unbiased member of the jury, but I think the latter bunch absolutely slaughtered the other in the debate. We’ve been down the road about what we got right many times – most notably Downton and Moores – but there’s no doubting we got people talking in our own way, and got some terminology out there to guide us. You know, that “outside cricket” thing that won’t go away.

I thought, at the beginning of 2015, there was hope. A new head of the ECB, a disastrous World Cup that used up any goodwill anyone should have had, some moves towards a settlement of divisions with KP. It looked hopeful that the divide, which was becoming a chasm, could be bridged. But could it really? Because, as we know, the strength of feeling out there against KP, and that’s what it is only about to those on the other side of the debate (what else is there, that we are a grumpy bunch? That I offend the misuse of the Question Mark Society?) is immense. Absolutely immense. Not in quantity, as the unscientific polls show, but in sheer venom. By the end of 2015’s summer, and the Ashes win, the divide was becoming wider, not narrower.

Now this blog has been accused, on a number of occasions, of being spiteful and nasty. It’s been accused of being full of guesswork. Tonight it has even been accused of being a “bunch of oddballs” and not “real cricket fans”. You know, that might be what you think, but I doubt it. We give a toss. I didn’t spare criticism of Alastair Cook during those times for in my view, he deserved to be criticised. I fail to see how any sentient cricket fan could watch a series losing storm of nonsense like Day 4 at Headingley and not be moved to paroxysms of rage. It was woeful. Whether it was entirely him, his bowlers or Moores, it was extraordinary. There was anger at performance as well as anger at his appearance as being, in part, responsible for the exclusion of KP.

Bloody hell, I’m not saying I’m without sin here, without going overboard maybe, or said everything in the way I wanted to. But here’s what I do. I understand the frustration some have with us, keep harking on about bringing KP back, keep mentioning when he’s making the basis on which all selection decisions, with extremely few exceptions should be made, look a joke (the other side of the debate taught me many ways to discount an innings of 355* in first class cricket), keep saying what we’re saying. I understand people telling us we should move on, that this is a fight that’s over, that he’s never coming back so “get behind this new exciting team”.

I make one request tonight of those on the other side of the debate. Why do you think we’ve not totally embraced this new future? Do you seriously think it is man-love for one player? Because if you do, you are not the intelligent people I give you credit for.

The schism remains, and will continue to do so. I feel cut adrift from England cricket, I feel betrayed by the authority that runs the game, both in terms of domestic teams and on the international administrative stage, and it shows no signs of abating. It’s both sides to “blame”, whether you like it or not. Where there’s no signs of meeting in the middle, we’ll continue being torn apart.

Have a think, next time you question our support for the game. Have a think. Because I’ve never questioned yours. Just your judgement. As you, on the other side, no doubt do with ours.


86 thoughts on “Schism

  1. Sherwick Jan 25, 2016 / 8:42 pm

    Didn’t Cook say that he was going to tell us why KP was sacked in due course (only he couldn’t at the time for some reason he couldn’t mention)?
    I’m still waiting, like I’m still looking at that photo Brenkley told us to study.


    • LordCanisLupus Jan 25, 2016 / 9:02 pm


      Pieterson has so much in common with Ronaldo and can’t accept its not all about him. Team unity is far more important. Remember this is the guy who texted the opposition with tips on how to dismiss his own capt

      Get his surname wrong….CHECK.
      Team UNity…..CHECK
      Mention of Texting……CHECK
      Tips to Get The Captain Out…..DING DING DING DING DING…

      We have a winner. Bought it. Hook, line and sinker.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thelegglance Jan 25, 2016 / 9:33 pm

        I’ve been looking up Tim Ethic and Tim Unity on Cricinfo, but it keeps returning no results for some reason.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rohan Jan 25, 2016 / 10:03 pm

        What about quoting that ‘he falls out with every team he has ever played in’……

        Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright Jan 25, 2016 / 10:26 pm

        One recommend for that comment. You (Vic Reeves voice) would not *believe* who it was.


        • LordCanisLupus Jan 25, 2016 / 10:29 pm

          Meanwhile, at The Mail, a “get behind the lads speaks…” oops…

          I would rather England lose at the 20/20 World Cup, than have this ego centric, self-serving traitor back in the side. England have a group of promising, young,talented and most importantly loyal players in the squads now.


        • LordCanisLupus Jan 25, 2016 / 10:54 pm

          And one for this stream of…. well, you fill in the rest…

          I think that I can recognise a trouble-maker when I read about their antics in the past.They never change, like the spots on a leopard. The Saffers found this out, as did the England team later on.
          He might be very talented and a nice chap, when it suits him. In India the teams are made up from mercaneries, so teamsmanship does not matter, but the England team is different and he would always be an untrusted ‘outsider’ Nick Compton does not have that problem, as it is a matter of personality. The guy is ‘flawed’.

          Has he missed the whole “Nick Compton has not played for 2 1/2 years thing?” Oh, and big chuckles for “I think I can recognise a trouble maker when I read about their antics in the past”. Yes, those unimpeachable press stories. Lock solid gold.


        • LordCanisLupus Jan 25, 2016 / 11:00 pm

          I’d also point out, because remember I’m an oddball, I’m weird and I’m obsessed that that individual has gone down the Telegraph comments page an up-voted nearly every single one of the anti-comments.

          And I laugh.


      • Zephirine Jan 25, 2016 / 10:29 pm

        85% when I voted. And a good number of sensible comments along with the gullible ones trotting out the usual crapola.


  2. Arron Wright Jan 25, 2016 / 8:47 pm

    This time next year they’ll be waving his knighthood in your face.

    These will seem like the good old days, mark my words!


  3. Rohan Jan 25, 2016 / 9:05 pm

    LCL, a very honest and balanced read. Of course you are completely right, we have got into a ‘them and us’ situation, which is neither healthy, nor beneficial for either side.

    It’s a shame as there are probably many on the other side of the argument who are genuine cricket fans and would be good to debate other issues (outside of those which cause the rifts) with on forums such as this.

    Ultimately it’s a shame we can’t unite against the real bilious inadequates, such as certain ECB types etc.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Rohan Jan 25, 2016 / 9:09 pm

    Should add, I am a fan of KP and would love to see him play for England again. THIS SHOULD NOT, however, preclude me (or others of the same persuasion) from having a view on other matters (big 3 etc.) or automatically indicate I am biased; we are all entitled to an opinion!


  5. Mark Jan 25, 2016 / 9:32 pm

    You would make a much better diplomat than me.

    I didn’t leave English cricket. English cricket left me. A whole bunch of lies, distortions, leaks, dodgy dossiers, double standards, face fitting. Frankly I could not give a s*** what the other side says. They have proved themselves to be liars, and incompetents. (And that’s just the media)

    The truth is that hardly anyone else cares about English cricket. It’s invisible. It’s dying on its arse. Because the people who run it are incompetent. They invented 20/20 and then pissed it away. It’s now a huge money spinner all over the world except here. Because the morons can’t organise a piss up in the proverbial. Par for the course in England. Right type of school always trumps merit.

    Too be honest I find it more amusing and entertaining laughing at the English cricket media and the The ECB than watching the cricket. (What an indictment that is of the job they have done) To see the bile on Twitter yesterday, and then be told to get over it, and move on. If that is the target demographic the ECB is pitching to then good luck. I’d rather watch snail racing.

    I don’t like being told I must cheer louder because it will make their job easier. And I don’t like being told that something is much better than it is. To be told that something should be worshipped when in fact it’s the Emperors new cloths. This is an average England team that if they played the Australian team of 2005 would be flattened. And the media know it. Deep in their bones they know it is true. But they won’t say it because they have sold their souls. If they have no respect for the truth, why should I respect them?

    Liked by 3 people

    • LordCanisLupus Jan 25, 2016 / 9:41 pm

      I think I’ve learned one thing, old bean. I never had you down for one of those Foreign Office, Sir Bufton Tufton The Ambo sort.

      Now Viscount Palmerston…. that’s a different story.


      • Mark Jan 25, 2016 / 10:08 pm

        Palmerston was far too serious.

        I just think it’s all hilarious the lengths they will go to to keep one player out the team, and another in situ as captain. In fact it’s probably been one of the most bizare and funny periods of English sport.

        Liked by 2 people

        • LordCanisLupus Jan 25, 2016 / 10:13 pm

          Hard not to laugh at this….

          He was ditched by other Counties before Surrey and he walked out on Ssurrey after using them to score in only one innings of significance, against 2nd Division Dross; hardly a World Class, bowling attack.

          There’s a Pam on the Telegraph too. BTW, thanks for the links, Pam. We appreciate them.

          Liked by 2 people

    • MM Jan 25, 2016 / 9:56 pm

      Jeez Mark, you’ve articulated my thoughts better than my brain has. Yet again.


  6. northernlight71 Jan 25, 2016 / 9:33 pm

    I was never a big KP fan before all this happened. I cursed when he got out to an extravagant shot. I didn’t like his haircuts or his tattoos. I found his earnest attempts to be English a little….earnest. I preferred Ian Bell, all in all.
    But I know a stitch up when I see it, and I detest unfairness, mob rule and the success of the large of mouth and tiny of brain. Anyone with any sense of reality or fairness could see objectively that KP was one of our best batsmen, someone who constantly tried to improve, someone who helped other players when they asked or need help, and someone with a far more perceptive reading of the way the game was and is going than most of his peers.

    Cook, on the other hand, is a very good batsman who probably trains quite hard. Inspirational he is not. Game changing he is not. Captaincy material, he is not. Imaginative he most certainly is not. Willing to subsume himself under the ECB marketing machine he is.

    The contrast between the two is stark. Even to me. Someone who, as a natural response, has never really warmed to KP.

    Liked by 4 people

    • amit Jan 26, 2016 / 1:17 pm

      Well said.

      I am not English and I certainly don’t have any particular liking to him, but the nonsense being spouted for the last few years has certainly made me despise ECB. And Cook. And anyone who thinks that what transpired was in line with the principles of natural justice.

      There will always be those that don’t quite fit the mediocrity around them.
      The result of this in a group is easy to guess. Despise the man with talent and quite frankly, the only one with balls to call a spade a spade. This comes with an inherent insecurity about your own skill and it certainly makes it easy for people to remain true to their kind.
      But then this is not a psychology lecture. Just an observation. I might have as well said this about any office.

      The true irony is that KP has been responsible for putting bread on the table for these jokers even after he is not playing any more. He is now a symbolic punching bag – to be kicked as a distraction, every time his holiness loses a game. Not one article on how shitty Cook was in SA but plenty to criticize KP and his views, i am sure. I just wonder what these journalists would have had to talk about, if he had never fallen foul of the men at ECB.

      If anything, they should be thankful to him.


    • Rooto Jan 26, 2016 / 4:36 pm

      Thanks Northern. At the risk of using a boring meme, this. A thousand times, this.


    • paulewart Jan 26, 2016 / 6:51 pm

      Precisely. I didn’t care too much for or about his personality to be honest. I just loved watching him bat. As did (and do) thousands of other cricket fans. He was a once in a generation player. That he was scapegoated to protect a failing coach and captain is the main reason I’ve fallen out of love with the England team. Like others I don’t like being a) taken for granted or b) taken for a mug. There are, however, clearly a lot of mugs out there.


  7. thelegglance Jan 25, 2016 / 9:35 pm

    My concern about it is less about Pietersen himself, who is one player, and who will manage perfectly well, though stitch up it undoubtedly was – especially second time around.

    But it’s the fact it’ll happen again. I have serious concerns about Ben Stokes. When it suits, wait for the stories about him being disruptive to surface. It’ll happen.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sean B Jan 25, 2016 / 10:33 pm

      Well he wasn’t from the right type of family after all..


    • paulewart Jan 26, 2016 / 6:53 pm

      Quite, they’ve set a precedent and know they can rely on a complaisant media and supporter base.


    • Mark Jan 25, 2016 / 10:37 pm

      Bogfather you can’t say that!!!

      It will not please a Mr N Harris of no fixed abode.

      Liked by 1 person

      • LordCanisLupus Jan 25, 2016 / 10:41 pm

        Meanwhile in a “I don’t do irony at all” from the Mail…

        Just when English Cricket seems to be doing well, there is always this big walking EGO KP with his opinions which frankly no one even cares anymore!

        So far – replies to this article…40

        All other cricket articles combined….25

        Yeah, no-one bothered about his opinion. By the way, nice touch with the capitalised “EGO”.


      • Mark Jan 25, 2016 / 10:50 pm

        Yes it is priceless watching the usual suspects who say we are obsessed by him, showing that they are in no way also obssesed by him.

        They are in a right state again because of the mere whiff he might come back. It’s Like the summer and Colin Graves all over again. Cook is not in the 20/20 team so it is all about Strauss, and his ego, and his so called trust issues.

        Strauss won’t have him in, and the media will cheer Strauss to the heavens, and you thought they all went to Newmans party because they liked him.


    • jennyah46 Jan 26, 2016 / 5:49 am

      I’m going to add you to my list of trouble makers! πŸ™‚


  8. Sean B Jan 25, 2016 / 10:21 pm

    Yep, we’re all oddballs because we dare to question the foundations of English cricket – the ECB, which is as morally corrupt as FIFA. We’re all oddballs because we don’t buy the Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss ‘saviours of English cricket’ line. We’re all oddballs because we’ve dared to highlight the clusterfuck of a decision motivated simply by greed, stupidity and ruthlessness which has allowed the big 3 to destroy world cricket.

    Tell you what, I’d rather be an oddball than a blind sheep…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • MM Jan 25, 2016 / 10:57 pm

      Sean B – you’ll do for me, brother. Anyone who manages to use the word ‘clusterfu*k’ gets my love.


  9. Rohan Jan 25, 2016 / 10:33 pm

    Just as an aside, the whole Cook nearing 10000 runs and sacking KP (the only player who could challenge him on this) and the fanfare that will surround this eventual achievement, has made me think. If KP had not been sacked, who would have won the race?

    Let’s assume KP would have played all the matches Cook has, since he was sacked. Let’s assume KP scored a similar amount of runs in this time, to his last 2 years of playing for England. This link shows the test runs scored by top batsman from 1st January 2012, to 20th January 2014, this easily covers KP’s last 2 years –;spanmax1=20+Jan+2014;spanmin1=01+Jan+2012;spanval1=span;template=results;type=batting

    We see Cook is second on this list and KP third. In his last 2 years he scored 1820 runs in 26 matches. Since then England have played 24 matches. So a similar amount to KP’s last 2 years. Let’s assume, therefore, that KP would have scored a similar amount of runs in the last 2 years, let’s say 1800.

    He would now be on 9981 runs. Cook is currently on 9964. Now admittedly this is not the most scientific way of going about this, but I think it’s a fairish representation!

    I should add the caveat that for quite a bit of his last 2 years KP was carrying injuries and could not perform at his best. So he may well have scored more runs, if he had played, in England’s last 24 matches and could, therefore, already have passed 10000 runs.

    Equally his last 2 years may have been a precursor to a gradual decline in the longer format. He could have scored less than the 1800 runs I have assumed and be some way off 10000 runs, having been dropped due to poor form.

    It’s all ifs and buts and purely hypothetical. It certainly shows though, that KP had a fair chance of 10000 before Cook!


    • LordCanisLupus Jan 25, 2016 / 10:37 pm

      I don’t think the 10000 runs thing comes into it at all with Cook. I have plenty of problems with him, but this isn’t one of them.

      Others are free to form their own views.

      KP would have missed a large part of the following domestic season to repair his knee. I’m actually still not buying that it’s 100% right now. But that’s not the point at the moment.


      • thebogfather Jan 25, 2016 / 10:50 pm

        As I said in my reply to Jenny in a previous post, it’s not Cook reaching 10000 that I have a problem with – he has been a damn good opener, even if his fallow periods were, shall we say, put up with. Why I didn’t want him to reach it in this match was the prospect of 4 months fawning and puff piece platitudes before another test series which would overshadow the T20 world cup etc, as well as give the MSM reason to ignore anything relating to KP’s form in T20 leagues which have seemingly resulted in a clamour for his inclusion in the England squad.
        I, like you, have other more relevant problems with Cook, but chose to highlight this in a light-hearted way – or so I thought! lol
        Keep it up all, keep it clean, keep it outside!


      • Rohan Jan 25, 2016 / 11:02 pm

        Woah, hang on! Definitely not saying I believe Cook was involved in sacking KP because of 10000 runs, just the comments of others got me thinking about it πŸ˜€. Just fun to see and definitely not unfeasible that KP *COULD* have been closer than Cook, as we now stand.

        When Cook gets there, it will undoubtedly be a very good achievement, agree about the asterisk though……


        • LordCanisLupus Jan 25, 2016 / 11:06 pm

          We’re not on the same wavelength tonight, Rohan πŸ™‚

          Still, you could uptick a comment accusing KP of a mental illness. That would be classy….

          The poor chap clearly suffers from NPD – he needs counselling and treatment.


      • MM Jan 25, 2016 / 11:11 pm

        I’m with you Bogfather.

        This may well be old hat but I quite like old hat. Cook shoots / shot baby deer, yes? Now, I’m sure this is all very rural and farmy. But I would just like to say this… as a vegetarian who adores all creatures except for them big foreign spiders…

        Cheers Cook[y] – another reason to believe you’re an entitled micro c*ck.


      • Rohan Jan 25, 2016 / 11:37 pm

        Sorry Dmitri I’m not following, lost, confuzzled πŸ˜‚


      • Mark Jan 26, 2016 / 1:10 pm


        This is a great find. Something to dig out when the media are telling us that Cooks 10,000th run is the the most important thing in English cricket.

        I would have preferred you to focus on winning matches for England. Thanks Mr Downton!


    • jennyah46 Jan 26, 2016 / 5:36 am

      The only problem I have with this is that I can’t see why it matters.


      • jennyah46 Jan 26, 2016 / 5:40 am

        Sorry, my comment was in regard to the post of who might have reached 10.000 first. To me it’s simply a fine achievement in itself. If it was an academic exersise I am happy to accept that.


      • BoredInAustria Jan 26, 2016 / 6:20 am

        The 10,000 run milestone is for me a symbol always tainted by this:

        “The first conversation with Downton finished with Pietersen being asked what his ambitions for the future were and he picked out the 10,000-run target which has been his oft-stated aim. Pietersen says the response from Downton was “I would have preferred you to have said, I would like to help England win matches.”

        Liked by 2 people

    • paulewart Jan 26, 2016 / 6:55 pm

      In the end it comes down to this: in years to come people will still be discussing Pietersen’s innings. Cook will be footnote.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. man in a barrel Jan 25, 2016 / 11:07 pm

    So another opening bat with results comparable to the immortal cookness has to go.


  11. man in a barrel Jan 25, 2016 / 11:10 pm

    Some folks were saying Moeen was a better spinner than Piedt. Let’s see. I hope the weather does not get in the way. Leading run scorers. Leading wicket takers. You can sneak series but don’t tell me you are dominant.


  12. LordCanisLupus Jan 25, 2016 / 11:13 pm

    Last comment before I shut down the laptop.

    Tonight has been interesting. I am, as you know, a big fan of KP the player. That’s not a shock, it’s not a surprise. You know this.

    I have had a few things lobbed at me in the past year about this, and yes, it gets on my nerves. Sure it does. But when I see what is going on across the newspaper wires from people who question whether I am odd etc., I am strangely reassured.

    The schism is not going to heal. It can’t. For the reasons Mark delves into so eloquently (!), and for the reasons Northern Light put up as well. And for the reasons that the very mention of KP and England makes some on the other side, well many, lose their whole sense of reason.

    Thanks for all the comments – this post has had a phenomenal amount of hits in one evening and loads of feedback. We can, still, do it.

    Day 4’s report and Day 5’s comments will now be placed at the top for tomorrow’s action. Another famous England rearguard? Would be good.

    Have a good night.


  13. man in a barrel Jan 25, 2016 / 11:36 pm

    2 words, Pamplona Nash…. I would love to see her Cape technique


  14. Grenville Jan 25, 2016 / 11:41 pm

    Hi, I feel like I should apologise for my comment earlier. It was much to flippant a way to put a serious allegation like that. I hope that it is clear that I don’t think that the ecb are a bunch of white supremacists or that there is a colour bar in selection.

    I do have a feeling (could be a result of my prejudice against the types who run the show) that non-white players have a tougher time of it. Why recall Compton but not Carbs, the later had the better CC season. Boycs, who is a good judge of cricket, reckons he shouldn’t have been sacked. Bopara never got a good crack at test cricket and was in and out of the one day team. He was Colly’s obvious replacement, but somehow it was try Morgan, or Bairstow or Taylor. Solanki and Shah promised much but were dropped pretty smartly. Monty, despite being bloody good, was dropped for not getting Smith at Birmingham (?), and he was treated a little bit like Tufnell (do we have to pick him, really? oh, ok, but lets just try…). None of those selections are terrible. Hildreth, Lyth, Gale and some others white players whom I’ve forgotten could probably make the same complaint. I’ll be swayed when a talented, but erratic, non-white kid is given the sort of support Bell, rightly, received.

    I’m not trying to open up a can of the wrigglers. I just want to try to point out that I’m not frothing at the mouth or hateful, and to say sorry for forgetting that this was a public space and not a bunch of friends who read each other charitably. I hope that I didn’t bring too much bile down on our hosts head.


  15. jennyah46 Jan 26, 2016 / 6:03 am

    Bogfather – I couldn’t find an option to reply to your Cookie puff piece! Very nicely said and I do understand. Apologies for missing the levity in your original post. I should have known better.

    Btw – Not seen your previous reply. On holiday and I miss some important bits and pieces. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  16. BC Jan 26, 2016 / 6:12 am

    What a downbeat blog!!! Why choose to fester like this two years on? Life’s too short surely. As you say, the rift isn’t going to heal, the wins clearly don’t taste good so why not move on and find another sport of hobby to write about you enjoy.


    • Arron Wright Jan 26, 2016 / 7:44 am

      I’m thinking of popping on to a Man Utd supporters blog and telling them to stop moaning about mismanagement or legacy fudging, and simply “move on”. Perhaps they could even find another club to write about and support. I’m a total stranger. How do you reckon it’ll go down?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Sherwick Jan 26, 2016 / 8:09 am



      • Sherwick Jan 26, 2016 / 8:13 am

        Perhaps the Man U supporters could move on and find another sport or hobby (like tiddlywinks or train spotting?) to write about?
        Ditto Liverpool supporters.
        I’ll tell em that life’s too short to fester on and on like this.

        Liked by 1 person

    • OscarDaBosca Jan 26, 2016 / 8:29 am

      Neil’s back


    • SimonH Jan 26, 2016 / 10:54 am

      You’d actually prefer people to stop following the game that have a different opinion to yours?

      Just think that through…..

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mark Jan 26, 2016 / 1:15 pm

        Yes they would Simon.

        They would rather 2005 had not happened (some have said so in black and white.) they would rather England lose all matches than ever have him back in the side, and they would like us to either become cheerleaders or go away.

        They are not sports supporters, more members of a strange cult.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Benny Jan 26, 2016 / 2:46 pm

      Indeed life’s too short. Why spend part of it reading a blog you don’t like? Beats me.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. PaulE Jan 26, 2016 / 8:57 am

    I’m disappointed Dmitri. I was expecting a disquisition on the Catholic v Orthodox split….


  18. PaulE Jan 26, 2016 / 9:03 am

    Some goon in The Guardian even managed to use Jack Bannister’s obituary to have a go.


  19. Grumpy Gaz Jan 26, 2016 / 1:13 pm

    Three years ago, if England had been playing South Africa, I’d have been watching it without question. The last two weekends I have been watching the Big Bash live instead and not regretted a minute of it. Er.. except some of Freddie’s commentary, trying way too hard mate.

    English cricket? I finally stopped giving a toss about it around the time the Aussies decided not to turn up for the Ashes and the press thought it was all down to the marvelous leadership of old Steelback. Cook’s redemption, my arse.

    There are many things to be sad about over this episode and one of those is the transformation of Gower from rebel to ECB lickspittle following the ‘something must be done’ saga.

    He was talking such utter bollocks with Nasser the other day about how Cook is so prolific you only really notice when he doesn’t perform. Rob Key actually looked a bit embarrassed by it all. Two years of cricketing history completely forgotten by the host broadcaster. Cook’s brief return to form apparently means all the failures didn’t occur.

    I’m with Mark, I didn’t leave, they did and I can’t support that team with that captain. Not that the ECB cares, they are loaded, they don’t need my cash that’s for sure… but they might just run out of fans in a few years.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mark Jan 26, 2016 / 1:22 pm

      You would think Gower would be a bit more understanding after Gooch got rid of him, and then broke the records he could have had.

      Another member of the Essex Mafia.

      Liked by 1 person

      • pktroll (@pktroll) Jan 26, 2016 / 1:53 pm

        Probably he has to think about how his bread is buttered when he works for sky. When you read Gower’s book he had many similar issues with Gooch and Mickey Stewart to that which Pietersen had with Cook (and Strauss)/Flower in terms of the way that their relationships failed even if the circumstances weren’t entirely similar.

        Liked by 1 person

        • LordCanisLupus Jan 26, 2016 / 2:42 pm

          Our “favourite journalist” who, in our poll, never bothers the scorers. Though I do like his stuff. Read this. Nothing new. Same old points. Same old acceptance they won’t be answered.


    • northernlight71 Jan 26, 2016 / 7:27 pm

      That’s fantastic. I mean, in one sense, fair enough, he’s nearly got 10,000 runs in Test cricket so it’s a little different . . . but it shouldn’t be THAT different. Especially after the two year period which coincided with many in the MSM suffering some form of collective early-onset dementia, which, Ernest-Saunders-like, has now miraculously receded again.


  20. Grenville Jan 26, 2016 / 3:03 pm

    I don’t think this chap posts here, but he does like poetry.
    He shares the analysis, and points out that that dressing room is probably as horrid as ever. (Makes Cooky-Wooky comments more sinister, if they are read in that light).
    Anyway, the point is that this little blog isn’t just an echo chamber. Some of those outside outside cricket are on the same wavelength.


    • man in a barrel Jan 26, 2016 / 4:59 pm

      “With this way of bringing in decent players and then ruining their confidence, their technique and sometimes their mental health, can you see England beating Pakistan at home this summer?”

      He sounds like me!


    • paulewart Jan 26, 2016 / 7:15 pm

      Good piece. Still, he’s just a blogger, not a real journalist etc etc…..


    • Grenville Jan 26, 2016 / 11:04 pm

      I’m glad you all liked it.


  21. Benny Jan 26, 2016 / 4:22 pm

    Curious statement by Agnew on the beeb website – “we’re not exactly sure what Trevor Bayliss does”. Maybe he could ask one of our flock of all-knowing, party throwing journos or, maybe, the BBC could pay someone to interview him.


    • Mark Jan 26, 2016 / 5:32 pm

      Perhaps they could have a golf day out with the team and find out.

      Or wait till his birthday, and then go along to the party and ask him.

      Liked by 1 person

    • paulewart Jan 26, 2016 / 7:16 pm

      Let’s hope they’re not preparing the ground….


  22. RufusSG Jan 26, 2016 / 8:10 pm

    Interesting read, Dmitri – I think your comments about why the discontent continues to fester are very perceptive, and clearly explaining why people are still angry in the first place. However (and this is meant as a totally constructive piece of criticism, just my thoughts) I think a mistake that gets made a lot on this blog is to assume that, whilst the most vehement Pietersen haters you regularly bring to attention certainly do exist, they’re in a far greater quantity and represent a far greater body of opinion than I think is actually the case. Outside this blog, I’m presuming that most of the people here engage in a lot of their cricket discussion on Twitter or in the newspaper BTLs, both places where numerous Jamie Cooks operate and general chaos ensues: I do pretty much all of my cricket discussion on Reddit, where the feelings towards Pietersen are roughly 50/50 liking him or not (and more or less everyone agrees he got stitched up) and there’s nothing like the sort of ill-feeling towards him that you highlight here at all. Furthermore, although obviously I don’t know what your own experiences have been like, the number of the many people I’ve spoken to in real life about the Pietersen issue to, whether they’ve liked him or disliked him, who have wished he’d never played for England or that he’s this evil person is literally zero.

    Obviously my experiences aren’t meant to be a complete representation of everyone’s, but whilst the kind of complete cretins who would rather have lost the 2005 Ashes than see Pietersen ever play for England again, or that losing every match is preferable to picking him, are certainly out there, I truly don’t believe they represent this huge body of public opinion that you make them out to be, and that they’re a behemoth of a “side” that needs to be defeated in order for the discontent to heal. Most of them just hang around in the places you happen to frequent (this isn’t meant to be specifically Twitter-bashing snobbery of the sort journos regularly engage in), which creates what I believe to be a false impression that they’re representative of the overall public body of opinion, which I think would be far more sympathetic to Pietersen in general were we somehow able to survey everyone. I guess I’m more positive that, with a bit of luck and a lot of time/administration changes, the wounds can potentially be healed. (That’s not to say that a lot of people don’t dislike Pietersen, and that a divide between supporters does exist, but by and large it isn’t the sort of frothing hatred you describe, even if you still think they’re wrong.)

    Perhaps I’m being naive, but hey ho. Just what I think.


    • Tuffers86 Jan 26, 2016 / 8:40 pm

      Well here’s the thing. You’ve probably wrote around 400-500 words there. 25 on the big problem at the top (the ECB, cricket management, etc) and the rest on KP. In theory it should be the other way around Around these parts, the KP situation is a symptom of the big problem. We all see it as that, but everyone is blinded by it. It gets everyone seething and I’m not surprised if the ECB themselves fan the flames.

      Here, we look at the big picture, but we too get can get caught up in the saga. At times, I really do wish it was just about KP, but it bloody well isn’t. And while he is there, being a thorn, showing up these tossers for what they are, we will continue to call for his selection based on bloody meritocracy.

      This will keep on happening. We are all waiting for things to turn sour with another prodigious talent in Stokes. And it will.


      • RufusSG Jan 26, 2016 / 8:45 pm

        Fair points (heh, shot myself in the foot a bit there with my words-per-subject ratio, as you point out – oops, guess I’m obsessed). I certainly agree with you that the Pietersen issue is a symptom of the bigger problems faced from cricketing administration, not the be-all and end-all, and it definitely wasn’t meant to be a criticism of the arguments made about cricketing issues on the blog at all.


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