A Time For Contemplation

We’ve had a busy old winter, and now, before the World T20, we have a time for a little reflection and recuperation.

I thought I’d set up a new post as the previous one had 110 or so comments, and very few of them related to the post itself! Incidentally, if you do follow the basketball at all, Stephen Curry performed one of his miracles last night. But if things merit your attention and comment, fire away here.

There was a very small kerfuffle this week. Don’t want to go into it too much, for fear of giving the individual too much attention, but sad to say as a result I’ve turned my Twitter Feed private for the time being. I have no idea why what I say about our authorities and our media upsets the pearl clutchers so much, but that’s the way of the world.

Yes, I still need to finish Blackwash, but I had other things to do this weekend.  Pietersen has said he’s off social media for a while, Dobell writes the odd article but he says he is off it too while he finishes the Trott book, and all said and done, there’s not a lot going on.

I read an Ed Smith article in an old edition of the Wisden Cricketer about pre-season training. He didn’t show off. He didn’t put in some obscure classical reference, or cultural anchor point. It was really, very good. I wish he’d write like that rather than wanting to be recognised as the smartest guy in the room.

I really can’t be bothered about the T20 and CC changes. Deckchair rearrangement. That may be an excess of cynicism. But it’s how I feel.

Have a good week, all.



50 thoughts on “A Time For Contemplation

  1. Escort Feb 28, 2016 / 10:12 pm

    Take it easy, you sound as though you are harassed😐


  2. Mark Feb 28, 2016 / 10:26 pm

    Don’t let the pearl clutchers grind you down. They are not worth it. Can’t you just block the offenders? If they don’t like your opinions why are they following you?


    • Sean B Feb 29, 2016 / 8:54 pm

      Could have 3 guesses as to who the “pearl clutches” might be, but I guess I’d probably only need 1 or 2. As Mark said, don’t let their weird obsession with the blog and constant sniping grind you down. Block and move on (more the pity they can’t do the same),


      • LordCanisLupus Feb 29, 2016 / 8:59 pm

        Not at all down, chaps (and chapesses). Just a bit “all written out”.


      • Mark Feb 29, 2016 / 10:20 pm

        Glad you are not down Dmitri. But I was talking more about your Twitter account rather than this blog. I think it is a shame you have decided to take it private. That’s why I said can’t you just block the blockheads? If some wannabe village idiot wants to follow you just block them.

        Don’t let the fake, nice cake munchers drive you out.


        • LordCanisLupus Feb 29, 2016 / 10:30 pm

          The twitter feed is still seen by all those that follow me. So it isn’t as if I’m completely hidden. Also, I think my latest tweets are also on the blog (down the side).[Actually just checked, they are not] So it’s really no biggy, and those that want to hate won’t be given Twitter ammo to do so.


  3. Nicholas Feb 29, 2016 / 12:05 am

    Re. Ed Smith, I would defend his diary of the 2003 season to the hilt. I know it led to his falling out with Kent teammates, as he was brutally honest about them in print, but his honesty is a joy to read, it really is. There are interesting discussions about batting technique, the county schedule, the mental side of cricket and then his brief foray into the England squad. I mention this, because it sounds like he channelled some of that into the old article you mention, Dmitri. You’re right, it’s a pity that he writes bollocks now.


    • Sherwick Feb 29, 2016 / 11:38 am

      “I know it led to his falling out with Kent teammates, as he was brutally honest about them in print”.

      Hmmmm, reminds me of something else…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nicholas Feb 29, 2016 / 10:33 pm

        Yep, I think the difference is that Smith was apparently completely oblivious to the fact that his diary might ruffle a few feathers. Wasn’t it Andrew Symonds who refused to talk to him after its publication? I still think it’s a wonderful insight, though, coupling the life-on-the-county-treadmill that a few diaries have managed to convey with Smith’s eloquent writing style and his ‘other life’ as author. It’s a shame that he’s not still writing in this style, as his 2003 stuff is infinitely preferable to his current stuff.


        • LordCanisLupus Feb 29, 2016 / 10:42 pm

          Gideon Haigh is a highly educated fellow when it comes to his writing. He is erudite, his pieces are constructed well, he has the culture references and the long words, if that’s your thing.

          He is revered. I know I do. Anyone who writes Mystery Spinner, and then follows it up with “The Big Ship”, which is magnificent but not in Mystery Spinner’s class, has to be looked up to. Gideon communicates. You never feel like he’s talking down to you. That you should be honoured by his presence.

          I can’t say that of our equivalents – Syed and Smith. Perhaps they should stop telling us how damn smart they are, and instead tell us what they want to tell us. Assuming it isn’t how damn smart they are.

          Hey, it’s personal taste. I just find it incredibly patronising. So much so, that any reversion to that easier style won’t be tolerated any more.

          The first book of his I read, the baseball one, was tosh. Actually, might be the only one I read! I’m a huge baseball fan, and it wasn’t what I’d hoped it would be.


      • SimonH Mar 1, 2016 / 11:16 am

        Haigh’s piece ‘Crowds and Powerlessness’ is one of my favourite bits of recent cricket writing. It’s in ‘Spheres of Influence’ but not, sadly, anywhere on-line (that I can find).

        I’m just trying to imagine any of the English media clique even asking themselves the question “what’s it like to watch the game as a spectator these days?” – let alone producing anything remotely as insightful about it.


    • amit Feb 29, 2016 / 10:29 am

      This should really rattle the cage at WICB. A long due step and one that needs to be implemented properly and urgently. What I don’t get is why the separate discussion with BCCI?


  4. Bob Wilson Feb 29, 2016 / 10:14 am

    Looks like the page has a virus on it as I cannot access it as my security won’t let me.


    • nonoxcol Mar 1, 2016 / 9:27 pm

      Hilarious responses re Clarke from ‘ahmrbond’ on The Spin, Simon.

      We’re just not “analysing the outputs” and instead have been following a “populist agenda propagated by certain media outlets”. Oh, and TINA.


    • Sherwick Feb 29, 2016 / 3:34 pm

      Maybe he’ll invite all attendees to his party beforehand?
      The only way we’ll get rid of him is if he becomes persona non grata in cricket circles due to his sullied reputation.
      We’re a long way from that happening.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Benny Feb 29, 2016 / 8:50 pm

      Interesting. Can’t see Clarke bullying those people so that’s his main weapon gone


      • nonoxcol Mar 1, 2016 / 10:22 am

        I’ve been re-watching The League of Gentlemen for the first time in over a decade.

        I’m hoping for the questions:

        “Would you say you’re a fairly egregious person? Do you have an egregious personality?”


      • SimonH Mar 1, 2016 / 11:19 am

        Clarke will try to wrap himself in the flag. “I’m not apologizing for putting the interests of my board first” etc.

        Someone on the committee must have the intelligence and guts to demolish that idea – or they won’t lay a glove on him.


  5. RufusSG Feb 29, 2016 / 5:07 pm

    Since I suspect a few of you would be interested in this, Tim Wigmore, Peter Miller, Andrew Nixon and Bertus de Jong are doing an AMA on Reddit today about Associate and Affiliate cricket, as part of the promotion for Wigmore and Miller’s related book. They’ll be answering questions from 10:30pm UK time onwards – just create a Reddit account and you can submit queries away. The AMAs are a great opportunity to interact with journalists of all stripes – Jarrod Kimber also stops by once in a while, so watch out for those if you can. (Plus, we got Jimmy Neesham to do one a while back – no idea how…)



    • d'Arthez Mar 1, 2016 / 4:57 pm

      Thanks for that.


  6. hatmallet Feb 29, 2016 / 11:46 pm

    Don’t fall of your chairs, but the Guardian had a report up about Clarke. About 8 hours after the rest. Ali Martin cleverly waiting until Selvey had gone to sleep perhaps?


    • Zephirine Feb 29, 2016 / 11:57 pm

      “This is a crucial moment for cricket,” Collins said. “We have put six key questions to the ECB, because the cricketing public deserve to know how their game is being run.

      “England, along with India and Australia, are the most influential boards at the ICC. In August I accused them of orchestrating a back-room power grab that saw these three countries taking over the game at the expense of the other 102.

      “We welcome the news from the recent ICC board meeting that the ICC is considering governance reform but we want to know what the ECB thinks that reform should look like.

      “It is hugely important that cricket does not miss this opportunity to embrace meaningful reform, and that the ECB are at the forefront of ensuring that the international game gets the independent, transparent and accountable governance it deserves. And if the ECB disagrees, we need to know why.”

      Collins’ email to Graves was sent last week before a special screening of Death of a Gentleman at the House of Commons on Monday night, the award-winning documentary by filmmakers Sam Collins and Jarrod Kimber that charts the so-called “Big Three” takeover of the ICC.

      Tory MP gets something right shock!

      And the G now knows what DOAG is about!


      • BoredInAustria Mar 1, 2016 / 5:47 am

        “With the select committee having spoken to Greg Dyke, the FA chairman, over Fifa corruption, the athletics chief Sebastian Coe regarding doping and Chris Kermode of the ATP on the subject of match-fixing in tennis, it will now turn its attention to..”

        …. T20?


      • SimonH Mar 1, 2016 / 10:18 am

        Here are the six questions:

        Strange lack of coverage from the DT (Nick Hoult on holiday?) – nothing either from the BBC or Independent.


  7. Clivejw Mar 1, 2016 / 12:52 am

    Very interested in this story but no time to comment now as I’m packing up to go away for a few days. When I saw this afternoon that DOAG would be screening in the HOC, I was very excited because I knew that the Guardian would have to swallow hard and admit its existence at last. More from me tomorrow!


      • northernlight71 Mar 1, 2016 / 10:54 am

        Where do we start with Selvey. I mean, really. Is he truly stupid, just ignorant, or just pretending? I genuinely can’t work it out.


        • LordCanisLupus Mar 1, 2016 / 10:57 am

          A fully paid up subscriber to the “plebs shouldn’t worry their pretty little heads about sports administration” society.


      • nonoxcol Mar 1, 2016 / 11:05 am

        Whatever the advanced stage of “inside cricket” is, he’s it. And that’s what matters to him, a damn sight more than giving readers anything like a balanced and objective view.

        I don’t think he’s pretending at all. He’s just so far in he genuinely cannot see how preposterous he appears to us poor know-nothings on the idiot fringes.


      • Amit Mar 1, 2016 / 12:43 pm

        Mike’s take is going to be as follows:
        1. GC was not wrong in prioritizing the interest of ECB – after all he is the boss at ECB.
        2. I always said Big 3 takeover was wrong.
        Classic case of a response that is neither here nor there.. shifty… what was that saying about cakes?


  8. nonoxcol Mar 1, 2016 / 11:25 am

    For anyone who wonders about Lawrence Booth running this story while Mike Selvey asks questions on Twitter that can be answered with the two simple words “journalistic scrutiny”, read the following from SEVEN years ago:



    Nothing much has changed. Right down to the fact that one of these two put the Stanford All Stars in his top five highlights of the decade 2000-09.

    No prizes, etc.


    • nonoxcol Mar 1, 2016 / 2:33 pm

      Those who were following events last week will delight in the knowledge that the Stanford All Stars were of greater significance in his review of the decade than India’s win in the inaugural World T20 and the subsequent emergence of the IPL…


  9. Mark Mar 1, 2016 / 11:49 am

    So Tory MPs (bastions of privilege) are more interested in the governing body of English cricket than The Guardian’s chief cricket writer. What an indictment of the Guardian newspaper that they still employ this ECB speak you weight machine.

    But then the whole Guardian model these days seems to be about pissing away their investigative journalist heritage. They seem to revel in becoming the mouth piece for power. They would rather purge their comments section rather than admit their new agenda.


    • nonoxcol Mar 1, 2016 / 1:17 pm

      Oops. My mistake – the number of comments wasn’t shown next to the little box, so I assumed there were none rather than, ahem, 349.

      Still, if you put ‘ICC’ into the search function, you won’t find comments enabled on an awful lot.


    • northernlight71 Mar 1, 2016 / 1:57 pm

      The Spin has become rather an apt name for that column. Assuming most people see the word “spin” and assume a rather derogatory, underhand and not always very honest way of presenting unpleasant political ideas . . .


  10. nonoxcol Mar 1, 2016 / 7:06 pm

    The Cricketer is advertising for an Editorial Assistant.

    The ad makes three references to proof-reading, fact checking and spelling/grammar.

    It also refers to “story telling know how and journalistic principals”.

    Sic, as they say. 🙂

    I found it on Jarrod Kimber’s timeline. If you’re tempted to have a look.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nicholas Mar 1, 2016 / 10:39 pm

      They could do with a good proof reader tbh. The spelling and grammar is a joke atm. As is the editorial direction, natch.


  11. d'Arthez Mar 1, 2016 / 7:44 pm

    Nothing wrong with the ICC. Nothing wrong with the big 3 hogging all the money in the game. Any bets how long it will take Surrey to play with 11 South African born players?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s