Let’s do something I used to do. Thirty minutes, and thoughts I have about all things cricket.
- You might have noticed the lack of posts. As I said, I’m just about all written out and often can’t think of much new to say. But I’ll try to keep up with some stuff. Sometimes, and it is becoming more frequent, I wonder why I bother. I especially wonder that when all I’m doing is sounding an opinion. I can’t express into adequate words those who choose to ignore the malaise in the game, and instead attack those trying to put a case as to why things must change. I see my view, and that of many on here, now being jumped on as the DOAG bandwagon starts to roll. But some would rather creep up to a Selvey about online critics, than actually pose the question to him “why have you said nothing about the ICC?”.
- Which brings me on to Selvey. I have been excessively restrained on this. The frustration over his see no evil, hear no evil approach to the ICC changes and the lack of public critical judgement he has shown on them is palpable. What on earth has he got to lose, and do not answer that question? Both Chris and I are being careful not to print articles that are just about nailing this attitude from Selvey – we see it clearly enough. Articles of his spur on hits on here without us doing anything. We all know what’s wrong, you don’t need to read it. We’ve turned down a guest article on Selvey, and we hardly ever turn down articles! Instead of Selvey railing against his critics, and failing to address their points, he needs to realise what he’s doing. He’s abdicating his responsibility on these matters. I don’t know about office politics at The Guardian, but we have a sense of what is going on. This constant ignorance of the elephant in the cricket room is tainting him further and further.
- I still have a lot of anger. Don’t confuse my silence with not being angry. The fact is that the non-selection of KP for the World T20 has, finally, totally, closed the door. There was no reason to believe he would be selected, and I’m sure those whose work I see on the social media and BTL networks far too often for my sanity, are crowing with delight at us. That’s life. We weren’t wrong. We’ve been down this path far too often, and yes, we’ll go there again. The ECB have done nothing, no matter how much those who I thought more of contend that they have, to assuage my anger. Shut up. Pipe down. Move on. Pay your Sky Subs, and don’t you dare get any ideas.
- The proposed test match championship is just yet another wind-up. Well it is until I see the first ball bowled in it. I can’t but help get the feeling that this glasnost in the ICC is a temporary thing. A chimera (and I don’t mean the fire breathing monster type). It’s going to need TV deals to fund it, and it’s going to need India to be at the sharp end of it. That’s reality folks, and there are few guarantees for that. Also, I can’t also help thinking Manohar is gone when the next BCCI congress, or whatever, goes ahead. Or at least he’ll have his refreshing wings clipped. I have no faith in these people whatsoever, and their track record is not one of progressive thinking. I don’t blame India, but it doesn’t mean I have to like what they do. We can’t sit around dreaming up divisions and all sorts, when we’ve hardly heard a peep out of India as to if they want it. I have absolutely no reason not to be cynical.
- Believe it or not, I love watching Indian cricket, so please don’t take this as an attack on that nation, but good grief, their organisation on tickets for the World T20 is an absolute shambles. I know that in the case of matches not involving India it might be a little easier to secure tickets on an as and when basis, which for both test tours to Australia we did (even with the horrendous Australian Cricket Family ruse in 2006). But that’s not really the point. There’s been arguments over venues, politics being played out, and it’s just bloody wrong. Administrators and organisers need to get the effing basics right before they start lecturing any supporters about their issues. A potentially exciting tournament may not, in the end, be critically affected, but one day one will. Complacency for the people who go to games is the start of a terrible downward cycle.
- Of course I’m sad to see Brendon McCullum leave international cricket, although I don’t know about him doing it before a major tournament where his team may well have a decent shout. But you choose the time of your leaving. Of course his impact on the game is not to be judged by the numbers, because doing that over the whole of his career doesn’t make him anything out of the ordinary. Perhaps he wasn’t a great player but a player of great innings, eh? However, it is for his galvanising effect on the country’s almost moribund cricket team that he deserves all the praise. Last night I was transferring stuff from my hard drive recorder to DVD and had the end of the World Cup Semi-Final, with Grant Elliott’s six. They came a long long way under McCullum. I thought some went over the top in their paeans but that’s life. It’s not overly a sin to be nice to people, and say nice things.
- The thing with England, and it’s a theme I’m talking about on a more frequent basis, is that cricket is in the market with other sports for my time. Now, writing a blog has kept me interested for a couple of years, but now one of the key cogs, the KP issue, is dead and buried, there is a sense of what now? I have a full-time job, and things to do at weekends. I get home at 7:30 and then have a limited amount of time to do or watch what I want. So what do I do? I’m seeing an increase in the time I watch the NBA. The baseball season is around the corner, and I’m looking forward to that. I quite like watching the PGA Tour golf on a Sunday night, now that the NFL has gone. We have the Olympics and Euro championships coming up. Cricket has to fight for space, and it did, well, for my lifetime. But now I see it and go, why? Why should I spend my time catching up with England cricket? They sacked their main highlight reel over something they might tell us a long way down the line. Why bother with a sport that does that?
- It’s a little more than half an hour, but let’s finish off with some points upcoming. Anyone care to take a guess at the five cricketers of the year, which will be announced next month in Wisden? Stick ‘em in the comments. What about the World T20? Looking forward to it or don’t give a stuff? County cricket will be upon us soon. Are any of you interested? Do you go to games at all? Also, anyone want to write an article for us, the offer is always open.
- Chris and I will be meeting tomorrow night, in one of our quarterly editorial sessions. Any results from that, and I doubt there will be many, we will relay to you.
- Finally, to those that seek to do this blog down. I laugh at you. Have a nice evening.