Outside Cricket Day

Outside Cricket Day 9 Feb

I love an anniversary. I’m into that sort of nonsense.

You have to admire the timing of the latest nonsense. Eoin Morgan exclusively reveals to the Daily Mail that the door is shut on Kevin Pietersen. We knew it was, of course we did. For to say it isn’t would mean answering many, many questions more than reinstating him would. To reinstate him wouldn’t placate us, and would only enrage those who so “loyally” follow the team, and we can’t have them upset too. And, most importantly, it would require the authorities to say they were wrong. They might even have to profer a little apology. We’ve waited two years for that. We’ve waited two years for someone to tell us – you know us, the cricket fans who actually liked watching him play, who thought England teams on merit. Two years? Yes, two years today….. when those in charge told us truly what they felt.

It was a Sunday evening two years ago when the ECB and the PCA (and my God we must never forget that the PCA were co-authors of this press release. Never forget that) issued that infamous press release that gave the game away…

It is still there. On line. No remorse, no regret….

It has been a matter of great frustration that until now the England and Wales Cricket Board has been unable to respond to the unwarranted and unpleasant criticism of England players and the ECB itself, which has provided an unwelcome backdrop to the recent negotiations to release Kevin Pietersen from his central contract.

Those negotiations have been successfully concluded and whilst both parties remain bound by confidentiality provisions the ECB would like to make the following comments.

The ECB recognises the significant contribution Kevin has made to England teams over the last decade. He has played some of the finest innings ever produced by an England batsman.

However, the England team needs to rebuild after the whitewash in Australia. To do that we must invest in our captain Alastair Cook and we must support him in creating a culture in which we can be confident he will have the full support of all players, with everyone pulling in the same direction and able to trust each other. It is for those reasons that we have decided to move on without Kevin Pietersen.

Following the announcement of that decision, allegations have been made, some from people outside cricket, which as well as attacking the rationale of the ECB’s decision-making, have questioned, without justification, the integrity of the England Team Director and some of England’s players.

Clearly what happens in the dressing room or team meetings should remain in that environment and not be distributed to people not connected with the team. This is a core principle of any sports team, and any such action would constitute a breach of trust and team ethics.

Whilst respecting that principle, it is important to stress that Andy Flower, Alastair Cook and Matt Prior, who have all been singled out for uninformed and unwarranted criticism, retain the total confidence and respect of all the other members of the Ashes party.

These are men who care deeply about the fortunes of the England team and its image, and it is ironic that they were the people who led the reintegration of Kevin Pietersen into the England squad in 2012.

It is just a work of art. The Canaletto of condescension. Read it again and again, and the eyes still focus, laser like, not on their pathetic efforts to nudge-nudge, wink-wink their accusations against Pietersen, but on that phrase “some from people outside cricket”.

As usual, we will be accused by our critics of saying “well, you know they meant Piers Morgan so why do you get upset?” but that spectacularly misses the point. They cast the phrase “outside cricket” to mean anyone outside the playing, running and reporting of the game. Pure and simple. Morgan plays the game, watches the game and is a fan of the game. They knew that. Oh no. Don’t sell me that twaddle because I’m not buying. You can’t just pass off high-handedness that easily. We’ll have the usual eye rollers, the usual discounting of the views, pissed off less at the comments being made, more that we’re still making them.

I love that press release. It’s the petrol in my engine. Whenever I feel doubts as to why I write, I read this. The author, because, as we’ve seen from some little background research that the outside cricket phrase had been used by this key player, was spectacularly bad at his job and was removed (we’ll wait and see if the compo package appears in this year’s annual accounts, as David Collier’s appeared to be stated in the last one). We remember how those “inside cricket” said he had aplomb, was impressive, was helpful behind the scenes, while those outside were a little more careful in jumping to such lengths of adoration.

But what I’ve found in the last two years as that we’re no more inside cricket now than we were two years ago. The ECB felt a successful England team would be the antidote to the rage and fury, but it really hasn’t. Indeed, it is the ECB that leaves people less than keen on the team’s progress. The ECB of the Big Three stitch-up, something no-one should be interested in according to their man on the ICC top table. The ECB who thinks “trust” is a viable selection criterion. I’ll give them one thing – they’ve cured most of the leaking, which is nice, but I’m wondering if that is coincidence as it seemed to dry up a lot more once Clarke was shunted off to the ICC.

But there is hope. The ICC might be coming to their senses, and India may be a more receptive figure to change, which rather casts the remaining head honcho of the Big Three still there in a different, more challenging light. Death of a Gentleman played a small part in saying what many “outside cricket” fear – test cricket is dying, the game is run as a closed shop, and fans are there “to be monetised” (and never have a say). The journalists now feel a bit more reinforced now the test team has stabilised and won a couple of impressive series, but they still preach to us as mere neophytes, rather than lengthy watchers of the game, just like them.

So much made over two words. Oh yes. Because they spoke volumes. After all, you lot are still here after two years. It meant something. It still does. We are outside. We are not welcome. We are the irrelevant ones.

Two years on, it applies every bit as much as it did then. My thanks to Paul Downton. A legacy for a lifetime. Oh. And don’t forget the PCA. They agreed it. That’s important.

Wooden Outside Cricket Sign
And don’t come back….

44 thoughts on “Outside Cricket Day

  1. nonoxcol Feb 9, 2016 / 6:22 am

    Morning! Happy anniversary!

    You could have used the phrase “not invited to the party” (we all know whose).

    Bit too on the nose?

    First time I’ve read the whole 9-2-14 text in a long while. It really is sickening. My jaw, already reeling, drops through the floor at the “should remain within that environment” bit.

    Thanks for being one of the very few voices to call it (and the utter plum who fronted the message) out for what it was, straight away.


  2. Danny Feb 9, 2016 / 8:48 am

    It’s always been the fact that the PCA co-signed this statement that angered me. I expect the ECB to be arrogant, out of touch with the public and, perhaps most crucially, incompetent enough to actually publish something like this. The PCA on the other hand represents the players I like and respect, so for them to both agree to this statement at the time and then not renounce it for at least two years after? It felt like a betrayal.

    The other thing I’ve never understood is that the ECB never edited the statement on the website. Of course the original text would always be available online in other places, hanging like a stench over whoever was involved, but it’s not like it was carved in stone. If they meant to say “Piers Morgan”, they could have changed the wording to say that. They even had an opportunity last year when the heads of both the PCA and ECB were stepping down to make a “new start” and separate themselves from the mistakes of the past, but both clearly chose not to take it.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Mark Feb 9, 2016 / 10:15 am

        Here is an interview with Angus Porter in 2010, the day he got the job. In it he says The IPL was a huge opportunity for cricket and cricketers. Pity the ECB didn’t listen to him. Unfortunately as time went on he became sucked into the vortex of ECB thinking. By the end of his time the PCP had become a mouth piece of ECB thinking.

        Trouble was he was a corporate man through and through. Not sure that is the right sort of person to represent a union.



      • SimonH Feb 9, 2016 / 11:23 am

        It’s the thing that strikes about the Dobell piece is how indistinguishable from an ECB manager he sounds. “Not sure cricket’s business model is sustainable”? Neither am I – but it isn’t the role of the PCA to be coming up with business models. Coincidentally or not, many of things he wants in his business model sound very much like what the ECB leadership are thinking.

        The sound finances and PDAs are all good. His main concern though was that players were playing too much. Judging by the schedule Collier-Clarke signed off for 2014-19, on his own terms Porter was a failure. He gives the impression that he became, in his mind, part of the management team and his role was communicating downwards what management were going to do. I’m struggling to see anything the ECB did substantially different because of the existence of the PCA – and that, in my book, is the test of relevance, not warm words in press releases.


      • Mark Feb 9, 2016 / 11:56 am

        Dobell spells it out in the second paragraph you linked to Simon……

        “He understood, unlike one or two of his predecessors, that the PCA’s most important work is not conducted at high-profile events or antagonistic exchanges with governing bodies, but in quiet classrooms and conference facilities where young players can be warned and prepared for the pitfalls that wait.”

        Talking to young players about the dangers of match fixing is all laudable stuff, but it is not in anyway going against anything the ECB would want. I never heard form him in the media ever challenging the ECB while his time in office.


        • LordCanisLupus Feb 9, 2016 / 11:59 am

          I think a telling quote was him “wincing” at the outside cricket quote saying it “implied elitism ” ( just us loonies, eh? ) but to my knowledge never repudiated it.


  3. Mark Feb 9, 2016 / 9:10 am

    I will always be outside cricket now. And the more they whine ” move on” the more I dispise what they did, and what they stand for. In some ways nothing is new here. English cricket has always been run by horrible people. (Look how Harold Larwood was treated? or Bail D’Olivera? An ex British Prime Minister conspiring behind the scenes with a foreign govt while lying to the England cricket fan) It always makes me laugh how retired ex players who gravitate into the media seem to develop amnesia about how badly they were treated as players.

    There Is no difference now between the cricket media and the ECB. They are joined at the hip. We have known this for most of the last 2 years. Journalists, seemingly clueless about how terrible it looks all skipping and giggling to Giles Clarkes birthday shin dig or deluding themselves that by going on golf days with the players they are somehow doing their job.

    The new look ODI team that plays today helps them move on. It’s everything we asked for, and were told we didn’t know what we where talking about. Now they demand we celebrate this new team. Notice how they steal the good ideas of others, and sell them as their own, and pretend their own bad ideas never happened. When you have a compicit media in your pocket it’s an easy crime to get away with.

    Liked by 3 people

    • LordCanisLupus Feb 9, 2016 / 9:14 am

      It’s always amused me that Downton got the arse about a leak. That this was the premise when the dressing room leaked live a sieve. Then to top it off he had that outside cricket pop.

      Some will shrug. Say there’s nothing to be angry about. Fair enough. I just say you are wrong. That’s all.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Sherwick Feb 9, 2016 / 9:48 am

      Agree with you completely Mark. I’d say that the ECB and their sycophantic media know full well that they have lost a certain % of fanatical England cricket followers for ever. However, it was a sacrifice they were, and are, willing to make for whatever reason.
      They are now hoping that they get enough new followers who never knew or saw KP and/or are convinced by the media briefings against KP. If these new England followers, together with the ones who never liked KP/ones who are ambivalent towards him/ones who don’t care one way or another form a critical mass of supporters, the ECB will be happy enough.
      the schism will never go or die down though.
      They know that now and many also know that they are tainted with reputations ruined.
      Very many cricket people I used to admire and repect, I do so no more. All because of their silence or meek compliance over the KP affair.

      Liked by 1 person

      • "IronBalls" McGinty Feb 9, 2016 / 9:57 am

        New followers? I think that’s a tad optimistic Sherwick. There’s a few die hards listening on TMS, and probably a lot less watching on Sky? I know, it’s regurgitating the old FTA gripe…I feel particularly gripey this morning after reading the tripe the ECB/ PCA came out with, and with one fell swoop killed the love for many!!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Sherwick Feb 9, 2016 / 9:55 am

    One more thing. I believe that they think that if they all stuck together as one tight unit and hold the line on KP, that the fuss will disspate.

    Unfortunately for them, they couldn’t be more wrong.


    • Sherwick Feb 9, 2016 / 9:57 am

      stick* not stuck


    • "IronBalls" McGinty Feb 9, 2016 / 10:01 am

      The only strategy they could adopt was to play ‘ the long game’ and with the ” fearless and independents” in their pockets, they were comfortable that time was on their side!!


  5. Sherwick Feb 9, 2016 / 11:14 am

    Yes, I (continue to) question the integrity of the England Team Director and some of the England players.
    And I will do so until I know exactly what happened when KP lost the captaincy; what happened with the leaks from the dressing room finding their way to the fake KP account; what exactly happened after the players only team meeting and who ran and told Flower; what Flower said to Downton about KP.
    They and their ‘journalist’ friends no longer know the meaning of the word!
    What a farce!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Arron Wright Feb 9, 2016 / 12:12 pm

    To anyone who might still be a bit confused, please note that this press release came not just 5 days after the sacking of one player (which was, in substance and manner, unprecedented, but let that pass for now), but also:

    – 5 weeks after the worst England Test cricket tour since at least 1992/93, and (imo) the worst I have ever seen in terns of on-field performance and, crucially, off-field management.

    It was a 5-0 whitewash against an Australian side some way short of the one that did the same to England in 06/07, the bulk of which had just been beaten 3-0 at home.
    Just to remind you: two players left mid-series; one played with a broken rib and conceded a record number of runs in an over, against the opposition’s least distinguished top seven batsman; three lanky fast bowlers were picked for the squad but were, respectively, “unselectable”, short of pace and a walking sicknote who broke down in his only Test; the keeper and vice-captain was dropped; the captain averaged below 30 for the fourth Ashes series in five; the next most senior batsman had just enjoyed the best summer of his career, volunteered to replace his county colleague at three but was overlooked in favour of a man who had played nine Tests; the senior remaining spinner, recalled after personal issues, was treated like a leper and replaced by someone not in the original squad; the bowlers conceded well over 400 runs per innings when Australia batted first yet copped nowhere near the flak of the batsmen. It was a top to bottom shambles, and everyone should have been held responsible.
    And almost none of this had been addressed in the coverage of the tour. I repeat, almost none of these issues were being tackled, except BTL. I should know, because I’ve probably never been more angry or involved below the line than I was then (ask Fred for one). Instead, people like Selvey (in The Cricketer) wrote contemptible, one-eyed guff about how the players owed Flower more after all he’d done for them, and how nothing was Cook or Saker’s fault. And then the AF/KP ultimatum whispers started even before the Sydney Test was over.

    – 3 weeks after the Big 3 stitch-up story broke
    – 2 weeks after England lost an ODI series 4-1
    – hilariously, just eight days after Paul Downton’s formal appointment. No-one in the ECB saw this being at all controversial? Someone who’s been “outside cricket” for a generation, and his first action is to dismiss England’s leading run-scorer in all formats, with platitudes about being “disengaged”?
    – 1 week after England lost a T20 series 3-0

    I think I speak for a lot of us in that the wider context is also of some importance in explaining both the magnitude and longevity of our anger towards the ECB and its apologists. Namely:

    – ‘Textgate’, the accepted narrative of which simply never satisfied that constituency of cricket fans that found their way here. Or, perhaps to be more specific, the presentation of that narrative, which (as previously stated) reminded me of nothing more than Peter Cook’s famous satire of Justice Cantley at the Jeremy Thorpe trial.
    – The curtailing of the South Africa series in 2012 to three Tests, the re-scheduling of the Ashes, the Big Three domination that was obvious well in advance of the formal stitch-up.
    – The fact that Clarke escaped scot-free from the Stanford debacle.
    – The Pietersen/Moores farrago of January 2009, when even those journalists who backed the ECB to the hilt in 2014 were highly critical of its conduct towards the captain.
    – And the sell-out to Sky.

    And seriously, in the full context, we were meant to excuse or respect *anyone* involved in the drafting of THAT whiny, whitewashing, self-justifying piece of crap?

    Not a chance. Massive trust issues, you see.

    Liked by 3 people

    • LordCanisLupus Feb 9, 2016 / 12:21 pm

      Might be worth me cutting and pasting the other leaks which seemed to get into the Daily Mail. They were acceptable though. Because they were good journalism.


      • LordCanisLupus Feb 9, 2016 / 12:39 pm

        PS if you would like access to the HDWLIA site please email me. You need to have been a long-standing contributor to the blog and someone I believe won’t abuse my trust. Dmitriold@hotmail.co.uk


      • Sherwick Feb 9, 2016 / 5:33 pm

        Excellent article NONOXCOL,thanks!


      • Arron Wright Feb 10, 2016 / 10:38 am

        I should also have added to the wider context the treatment of previous middle-order batsmen who were also discarded too early, i.e.

        – David Gower
        – Robin Smith
        – Graham Thorpe

        Subjectively they (and KP) happen to be my four favourite England batsmen of the last 35 years, and favourite England cricketers after Botham. However, it’s difficult to make an objective case that these three weren’t poorly treated. All of them averaged well over 40 in periods when this was still pretty rare. Gower was dropped for a massively, insultingly inferior apartheid tourist; Smith had to watch as a load of absolute no-marks were selected for the middle order for the rest of the 90s (only new improved Nasser, and briefly Ramprakash, came even close to replacing him, but only Thorpe ended up averaging more than Smith did); and Thorpe being dropped for Bell one series too early was just mindless cruelty (to both parties).

        All of that played a part in my reaction to this situation.


    • Sean B Feb 9, 2016 / 12:57 pm

      Aaron, you are absolutely spot on. I really can’t add add anything else of substance to your comments (as well as those above) and Dmitri’s piece.

      That statement still makes me so angry. It’s a complete hatchet job – “move along, there’s nothing to see here.” We’ll get our mates in the media to tell you what to think, and if you don’t like it, then you’re bloody well “Outside Cricket”.

      As for the ECB’s attempt at revisionism by insisting that the statement was purely aimed at Piers Morgan, well that’s complete and utter bollocks. We all know who the statement was aimed at, those who dared to dissent and wouldn’t buy the crap that the ECB was spouting as gospel.

      It’s never really been just about KP, it’s more about the contempt the ECB has for it’s own fans….


      • nonoxcol Feb 9, 2016 / 10:41 pm

        Bravo to you for that piece about the mug punter and the horse (linked by Dmitri on Twitter).


    • paulewart Feb 9, 2016 / 7:34 pm

      Bravo Aaron.The worst tour in living memory, and by quite some distance. The martinet was exposed (Jarrod Kimber was very good on this), the bowling coach ruined our best young pace bowler and the captain was exposed as the Prince Hal of English cricket.

      Liked by 1 person

    • OscarDaBosca Feb 9, 2016 / 9:39 pm

      Arron, just read this and totally agree with it all. It started way before the sacking, for me the original sacking and its subsequent reporting started it.


      • LordCanisLupus Feb 9, 2016 / 10:18 pm

        Just to indicate that the breach of trust was so serious, here’s my favourite piece at the time….

        Those of us with memories longer than that of the average goldfish will remember the KP dismissal as captain. Asked to write a report to the ECB on his concerns over Peter Moores, it was promptly leaked, made both Moores and KP’s positions untenable and the ensuing schmozzle made the world wonder what on earth was happening. I remarked about it a bit at the time.

        Someone all over that story, as an apparent vehicle for Leak City was the Daily Mail’s cricket correspondent Paul Newman. Just as he was the useful vehicle at that time, so, back in the immediate aftermath of the 5-0 whitewash did he become the main focal point for the public release of the official England anti-KP sentiment.

        To wit:

        Jamuary 7 – 15:08 – Its-KP-England-coach-Flower-resign-Pietersen-isnt-dropped-team

        January 7 – 22:06 – Flower Driven To The Edge

        January 8 – 12:00 – Time For KP To Go

        The case is set up. The quotes are leaked. Paul Newman makes the cry for the parting of the ways.

        No, what. The ECB, Andy Flower or players had nothing to do with this co-ordinated attack? They wouldn’t desecrate the inner sanctum, would they:

        Such has been the deterioration in the relationship between the two that Flower has suggested to England’s new managing director Paul Downton that Pietersen must go before the rebuilding programme can begin after the abject low of their 5-0 thrashing by Australia.

        How did he know that?

        but now the team director is adamant that there should be no place for their most talented batsman in this ‘new era.’

        Who told him that?

        Sportsmail revealed on Tuesday that Pietersen’s international future was in jeopardy but now it has emerged that the situation has already reached breaking point, with Flower deciding that he cannot carry on if Pietersen is reprieved

        Oh yes, it came out of the ether. It emerged like Excalibur….

        Flower has been fully backed by the ECB in the aftermath of the Ashes horror show. And while the coach denied he had delivered a direct ultimatum, but for Flower to effectively say ‘it’s him or me’ makes it clear his relationship with Pietersen is at breaking point.

        Shane Warne wasn’t the only spinner in attendance at the SCG that day.

        Sportsmail understands Flower believes Pietersen to be a divisive influence in a dressing room that will need to be united behind captain Alastair Cook in what the coach admitted will be a ‘painful’ transitional period. So bad has it become that Flower is risking his own position to bring the matter to a head.

        “Sportsmail UNDERSTANDS” = Someone told them. All that understanding, and how remarkable that the United Behind Cook meme was floated back in January! I understand when someone is being briefed…

        There has been anger at Pietersen’s attitude to warm-up games, which neared contempt here in Sydney ahead of the first Test, the manner of many of his dismissals in the Test series and what Flower sees as the undermining of Cook.

        Sounds like someone breaching the inner sanctum to me.

        The problem has been so serious, in Flower’s mind, that disciplinary action has been considered by England but they held back until after the final Test so as to try to seek damage limitation in the series before fully assessing the situation

        This is making Piers Morgan look like a mute. Who is telling Newman this stuff? Given what has happened, this clearly wasn’t a figment of his imagination.

        If the relationship between Flower and Pietersen has never really recovered from that point there had been a truce between the pair for the good of the side until the text scandal of 2012, revealed by Sportsmail, when the South African-born player sent ‘provocative’ phone messages to South African players about England captain Andrew Strauss during the Test series between the two.

        Someone leaked that out of the inner sanctum as well….

        Pietersen, who is very publicity conscious, attempted to get his retaliation in first after Sportsmail reported that his international career was in jeopardy by tweeting that he remains committed to England and wants to help them win back the Ashes in 2015. Clearly, if Flower wants him out then he is going to make it as difficult as possible for him and England

        The publicity conscious KP. That one again. Yes he is. He also knows a bloody stitch up when he sees it. What should he do? Keep letting Newman talk to the flower in his garden without responding? He hardly got his retaliation in first when the paper leaked he was on the way out. Newman having it the Daily Mail way, that is both ways.

        England want all their players to earn their Test places again with performances in county cricket, and will want Pietersen to play for Surrey under his old mentor Ford rather than cash in on India. If a deal is already in place for Pietersen to play for Delhi, as he was due to last year before injury forced him out, then clearly the situation is untenable. It is that piece of ammunition which Flower, who this week called the IPL ‘a tricky situation’ will want to use most keenly in what has become a hostile battle with Pietersen.

        Which is not acceptable when it is KP, but it is for Ian Bell and Stuart Broad (my apologies, Stuart Broad wasn’t put forward for the auction. Other potential international cricketers were, though, including, amazingly, Jade Dernbach)…. Again, Newman seems to know a lot about what Flower is thinking.

        There will be outrage from his high profile supporters like Shane Warne and Piers Morgan and he will make sure he acts the victim but it would be both a huge surprise and mistake if the ECB did not fully back Flower now.

        Newman rather underestimated the outrage, underestimated Flower being backed to stay on when he clearly intended to, and the game is/was given away by how much of this came from sources within the inner sanctum.

        It’s just hilarious. Because in his own views, Newman just about gives the game away…

        Yes, for the record, there were times during this Ashes when Flower considered disciplining Pietersen for poor behaviour and, yes, patience is wearing thin about his attitude towards practice matches and his general attitude in the dressing room, where he can set a bad example.

        For the record. Then some pretty assertive statements for the record. Leaving you no doubt someone wanted it on the record. Someone who would never defile the sanctity of the inner sanctum.

        I give Paul Newman his due. He never sat on the fence. He did some reporting. He may have an agenda, but he didn’t hide behind nonsense. It’s pretty clear he had sources in the dressing room telling him stuff. He did what a journalist is supposed to do. Fine. Just don’t throw that accusation back at Pietersen when he does it. That’s rank hypocrisy and everyone with a brain can see through it. Newman tries to re-write history regarding his role in the Moores nonsense – with friends like him, who needed enemies – but is putting a view out there and not hiding. The rest seem to just want to hide.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Mark Feb 10, 2016 / 10:56 am


        Now you see why all the players had to go and attend the shit birthday party. I wonder if they all had to sing happy birthday to him. Is it written into ECB contracts now?

        And he probably thinks it’s because they all like him?

        It’s a cesspool of shite. Watch your back Stokes and Root and all the other free thinkers. They will destroy you if you don’t obey.

        Shit, when’s Selveys Birthday? Get your party hats and cake ready boys, and get ready to be frogged marched to that soulless gathering.

        HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO Paul, or Mike, or Nasser, or Simon, or Derrick or whoever. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!


  7. SimonH Feb 9, 2016 / 5:17 pm

    The Spin is on the ICC reforms.It was all those nasty Indians. Giles Clarke had no agency. Let’s pretend amnesia about the media’s role in it all. It’s all a jokey soap opera!

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Feb 9, 2016 / 5:31 pm

      Truly dreadful. I can’t think of any other thing to say. So many low points.


    • Sherwick Feb 9, 2016 / 5:34 pm

      Damn those nasty Indians! Thank the Lord we have a fine, upstanding Englishman in Giles Clarke to sort it all out and keep them on the straight and narrow!


    • nonoxcol Feb 9, 2016 / 5:49 pm

      What the actual fuck have I just read?

      I regret every nice thing I ever wrote about that columnist.


    • nonoxcol Feb 9, 2016 / 6:02 pm

      Any bets on how long our angry northern light red squirrel’s comment will stay up before modding…?


      • northernlight71 Feb 9, 2016 / 6:12 pm

        Well, just in case it goes….. I’ll copy it here for posterity 🙂

        So, Giles Clarke has been closely involved with a now convicted fraudster – Stanford – and a man who, whatever else he may or may not be guilty of, lost his position due to a “nauseating conflict of interest.”

        The same Giles Clarke who invited many of the so-called “cricket journalists” that write about the game for us here in the UK to his 60th birthday party. And many of them tweeted as to how much they enjoyed it, and how lavish it seemed.(Some might say it seemed rather tacky. But that is why we are on the outside, no doubt)

        Guests included one esteemed member of the sports desk here at the Guardian, I believe.

        What was it they said about Srini again? Nauseating conflict of interest?

        I’m guessing Andy wasn’t invited 🙂


      • northernlight71 Feb 9, 2016 / 9:18 pm

        It’s gone 🙂

        Oh, and I prefer “Angry Red Northern Light . . . ” 🙂


      • nonoxcol Feb 9, 2016 / 9:26 pm

        Although what you wrote was demonstrably true, and not defamatory, your post has gone. Of course it has.

        I would answer MildredPlotka’s question in the affirmative. On no planet is that piece good enough as the first and only coverage of a major story that broke a week ago.

        Guess who thinks Andy did a “good job”, though? I would respond by asking whether Bull would *ever* adopt that tone about the Warriors, or those local clubs, or match fixing/Amir, or any of the other deadly serious subjects Weekly Whimsy addresses. Even The Book, which lent itself to facetiousness and satire, was met with an emotional outburst about how such a good team fell apart.

        The Guardian has taken sides. It did so long ago. Compare that to the piece on the Woolf Report (Feb 2012) I linked last week, for example. Or Booth’s stuff at the time of Stanford. It has published literally nothing since August 2012 that makes me reconsider my view of its stance.


  8. paulewart Feb 9, 2016 / 7:16 pm

    Always remember that the PCA isn’t like other trade unions. They’re a conservative, nay, a reactionary bunch: Jack Bannister used their august offices to source players for the ‘rebel tour’ * of South Africa.

    *Apartheid legitimating tour.


  9. SimonH Feb 9, 2016 / 7:42 pm

    Double dose of new FICJAM today:

    1) 3000 words that add up to “good batsmen sometimes score on the off-side” on cricinfo.
    2) A NS piece that kicks off with one of his trademark transparently made-up anecdotes.


    • sidesplittin Feb 9, 2016 / 9:15 pm

      Someone keeps commissioning his articles & giving him a gig on TMS – but why ?


      • SimonH Feb 9, 2016 / 10:16 pm


    • thebogfather Feb 9, 2016 / 11:30 pm

      Oh joy…. I think I’ll save them to choke on over breakfast in the morning 🙂


    • paulewart Feb 10, 2016 / 6:54 pm


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