World’s Apart

Tomorrow is the start of the World T20.  Well sort of.  In fact anyone could be forgiven for not knowing when the tournament actually starts, even with the fixture list in front of them.  Indeed there are 12 matches in two groups made up of the sides outside the top eight that might be called qualifiers, or might be part of the main tournament.  Or could be something else.  Does anyone know what is going on here?  There are two groups in the first round and then we go into into the Super 10s, where it starts properly.  I think.  So it starts on the 15th.  Or possibly the 8th.  You do have to take your hat of to cricket administrators, they do a fantastic job of trying to pretend they care about those not at the top table while at the same time making it as hard as possible for any not in the club to get anywhere.

It’s not exactly surprising it should be all confusion, given that until a few days ago no one knew for sure whether all the matches would go ahead, how to get tickets or even where the games might be.  For cricket tour operators outside India it’s been something of a nightmare, two weeks notice of ticket sales before a tournament is entirely impossible to organise anything.  Pointing fingers is the easy bit, the reality of things is that we go into this tournament with few outside of those paying religious attention to the thing having much idea what the hell is going on.  Tournaments that begin this way tend to then struggle to catch the imagination of the wider audience.  Having said that, it’s in India (well it had to be in India, Australia or England – the Big Three stitch up ensured that) which is to all intents and purposes the home of T20, despite what the ECB might think, so the crowds will be large and vocal, especially if the home team do well.

Yet how many in England are aware that it is happening, and of those how many know how it will operate?  This is not an idle question, for it is the only global tournament England have ever won, and should garner attention.  Yet the media coverage here remains somewhat limited, and newspapers in this day and age give their readers what they want – clickbait might be the term of choice, but there’s a commercial imperative behind that, and when cricket is buried away, there’s a good reason for that.  We can of course remind everyone that with the competition tucked away on Sky, it’s also out of sight and out of mind, and all debates around cricket’s wider popularity in this country seem quite content to skirt the elephant that has parked itself squarely in the middle of the carpet.

As for how the tournament will unfold, who knows?  T20 is the format above all others which gives weaker sides a chance, essentially in cricket the longer the game the more certain it is the stronger side will prevail, which is an excellent reason behind making sure that the bigger sides (by which read “wealthier and more powerful sides”) have several opportunities to make sure they get through to the latter stages.

The likelihood is that the winner will come from one of India, Australia, South Africa and possibly England or New Zealand, with the home side’s familiarity with conditions a big advantage, but it is still quite open.

Also today the ECB announced the new format for the county season, which appears to amount to a reversion to how it was three years ago.  There are of course a variety of opinions around this, and those dead set against any idea of city based franchise cricket pleased with the outcome.  The problem with this debate is that it’s forever around the fringes – this is not decided as some item of pure principle about the history of the game in England, it’s about county chairmen ensuring that the game’s revenues work for them primarily.  Understandable of course, for turkeys tend to be reluctant to vote for Christmas, yet the claims that this represents the finest form of T20 tournament this country can host is palpable nonsense, as even the most cursory of glances at the Big Bash should demonstrate.   There are always going to be opinions about what is the best thing to do, but let’s not pretend for a moment it’s based on adhering firmly to questions of integrity.

Since I’m spending the next two weeks in a variety of places around Europe that doesn’t include “home” for more than one night, I shall be mostly absent until the latter part of the month.  Hooray I hear you cry…see you on the other side.


113 thoughts on “World’s Apart

  1. pktroll (@pktroll) Mar 8, 2016 / 8:52 am

    I got the feeling that most of the issues surrounding this tournament was internal squabbling within Indian cricket and that no-one outside of their firmament could do anything but shrug their shoulders.

    Re English cricket, and the most obvious thing for me was the cut in the number of first class games in the top flight. This is a point that the more ferverent county cricket fan won’t take too well, although many will simply argue that for the most part, the vast majority of the time it is hardly locking people out of grounds.

    I think revamping t20 into franchises is something that will happen, but will occur alongside a county t20 tournament so pieces of the cake will get divided up and of course won’t be as big or profitable as India/Australia.


  2. nonoxcol Mar 8, 2016 / 9:12 am

    Wow, the BTL County Police got to the Guardian’s county cricket article quickly.

    In a few hours we will hear their sirens again as the inevitable Spin piece about how this is the “best compromise available” turns up.


    • nonoxcol Mar 8, 2016 / 9:17 am

      Here’s an interesting take. I wonder whether it might be related to that long-form article he published recently.


      • pktroll (@pktroll) Mar 8, 2016 / 9:22 am

        Well they may not play very much 50 over cricket in the first place with the games being played in April. I actually have a bit of sympathy for the administrators (not that much) but they are caught in a rock and a hard place getting something that is going to work for everyone. T20 is clearly the most profitable tournament for them so they are going to want to play it at the best possible time. That said the people that they end up alienating most are the longest standing county members who, a) care most about the CC, and b) care least about t20.


  3. SimonH Mar 8, 2016 / 10:31 am

    On the domestic changes, Nick Hoult is pretty clear that this is a short-tern fix and 2019 is likely to be the key date for a more profound shake-up:

    The ‘blocking’ of the 50 over competition in April is the craziest part of the new plans. It’s the sort of thing you’d do if you wanted to kill a format long-term (which Selvey’s tweet rather confirms). I can’t for the life of me see why the 50 over tournament needs to be blocked and it would be absurd if the English domestic season couldn’t be structured in some way to accommodate a 50 over competition.

    More seriously, the power of the counties remains the big issue. I’d favour a reform like NZ introduced a few years back where the board is made up of the ‘great and good’ of the game who can look at questions more long-term than country balance books. It’s the county-dominated system that produced and sustained Giles Clarke I’m afraid – it’s too easy to put everything down just to his noxious personality. NZ have a board of seven I believe – maybe nine would be more suitable for England? There are serious questions about how such a board would be selected and accountable – and no, I wouldn’t trust the current ECB not to stack it with ‘yes men’ – but it’s the direction in which I think things must travel. Scyld Berry has been banging this drum for a while and, although I disagree with Berry on quite a bit, he’s right here.

    On the T20 WC I’m hoping an associate can defeat a full-member (and preferably one of the ‘big eight’). However the draw means Ireland and the Dutch will struggle to get past Bangladesh – so it may be down to Afghanistan or Scotland. Likely SFs: India (probable winners), WI (if Andre Russell plays), SA, SL. England, Australia and NZ’s batsmen will all be under huge pressure to keep posting massive totals because of their bowling weaknesses and I expect them to buckle eventually. Pakistan haven’t been a good one-day side for several years now and have been left behind by the T20 revolution. Possible breakthrough new names: Milinda Siriwardana (SL), Ish Sodhi (NZ). (Apologies to them!).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Mar 8, 2016 / 10:55 am

      As a journalist Selvey is as much use as a chocolate tea pot. However, his only trait of any use is that he parrots the talking points of the Giles Clarkes of this world. So his claim that 50 over cricket should be scraped is probably the view of the cricket elite. Always good to know what they want and believe. You can rely on Selvey , as a trusted servant to relay their demands to us paupers.

      If you scrap 50 over cricket, and turn 20/20 into a franchise model with about 8 teams from the major cities who are owned by businessmen who look to make fortunes out of the game the counties will go broke. They can’t live on county cricket alone.

      I don’t know what the solution to these problems are, but a sport thst keeps changing its formats every few years is one that is is deep trouble. Looks like the future is mostly 20/20 with a bit of Test match cricket for us oldies. Who knows where the players will learn their skills for the test game? Probably won’t matter for long. Cricket will become almost all 20/20. A kind of colonial baseball.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Mar 8, 2016 / 1:23 pm

        The way different formats keeps being discussed as if it’s some sort of great problem in cricket is driving me potty.

        How many sports have all these different formats it’s asked semi-rhetorically? Quite a few is the answer. It’s like swimming carried out some survey, found the front crawl is most popular and announced they’re scrapping the back stroke and butterfly. Or athletics scrapping events between the 100m and marathon.

        Golf has individual and team formats, tennis has three and five set formats as well as singles and doubles etc etc.


      • Amit Mar 9, 2016 / 6:53 am

        Well I am not sure, if that group of “elite” would include any representation from India. ODI cricket has more followers that T20 internationals. In the T20 space, i would like to think, most people prefer the league cricket. Most international teams do not play enough T20 games I believe. ODIs are the cash cow that feed the business and i really can’t see BCCI agreeing to killing that format. That will mean more T20 leagues world over and potentially, less brand value to IPL. So money killed on both sides. Nah… not happening.


    • nonoxcol Mar 8, 2016 / 3:45 pm

      “England’s cricket board shares the initials “ECB” (poor Wales is left out) with the eurozone’s central bank.”

      Thanks FIC. What would us stupid plebs do without you? I cannot imagine a better way to spend £7,429. Oh, Mervyn King’s a speaker on the MA. What a coincidence.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tregaskis Mar 8, 2016 / 9:11 pm

        It’s like the New Statesman is funding the marketing campaign for the University of Buckingham’s MA in History of Sport.

        It makes me smile because I am reminded of John Lloyd as the Professor of Ignorance at the University of Buckingham in Radio 4’s Museum of Curiosity.

        Liked by 1 person

    • MM Mar 8, 2016 / 4:56 pm

      I truly believe Ed Smith is a human black hole, sucking in all hope and joy.


      • MM Mar 8, 2016 / 4:59 pm

        And, of course, crushing it.


    • Mark Mar 8, 2016 / 6:02 pm

      FICJAM is the ideal person to write about King. Because both say the opposite to what they did when they were in a position to influence things. King goes around attacking bankers and the system now he has retired, but he did nothing about it when he was head of the Bank of England. FICJAM writes all about being open to individualism and free spirits, but took the establishments side over KP.

      They both write a good game, but didnt practice it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. SimonH Mar 8, 2016 / 5:36 pm

    Good win for Afghanistan in the World-Cup-Its-Not-A-Prequalifier-Really-TM tournament. Their spinners were able to choke Scotland’s run rate once they broke the opening stand (which won’t be the last time that happens).

    No opening ceremony, no DRS, no Zing stumps today – still it’s the tournament for real going on of course. What’s the betting at least two of those appear next week?

    As always when watching the associates, Andrew Nixon’s crib-sheet on the commentary (newly updated) is a vital accompaniment:

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mark Mar 8, 2016 / 10:30 pm

    Pakistan have said they won’t play India at the proposed venue……….

    Good to get all these things sorted out before the tournament starts……….oh wait…..the tournament has already started!


    • Amit Mar 9, 2016 / 6:57 am

      We can blame the politicians for this fiasco. The chief minister of the state is not sure of the security they can provide. Can’t say I blame him. The terror attacks that almost always point needle at the Pakistani involvement do make it harder for most. I have heard the views on keeping politics separate from the sport, but it’s hard. isn’t it?


      • Mark Mar 9, 2016 / 9:33 am

        Surely they just have to play the game outside the country. Tensions are running too high. I have never bought into the keeping politics and sport apart. (It seems to be said by people who are not bothered by a certain political issue. Many of those who said there should be no ban on South Africa wanted the British team to boycott the Olympics in Moscow in 1980.) seemed rather hypocritical to me.

        They should have just bitten the bullet on this. Either that or Pakistan can’t play in the tournament. Which is not great for the image of cricket globally.


  6. Ian Mar 9, 2016 / 10:44 am

    Just logged into Bet365 and they are streaming the Bangladesh game now. An option for some if you don’t have Sky


    • SimonH Mar 9, 2016 / 1:25 pm

      Bangladesh won by 8 runs. The Dutch bowled well but let themselves down with some poor fielding and none of their batsmen could go on. Curiously the seam bowlers on both sides were most effective – van der Gugten and van Meekeren for the Dutch and Taskin and Mortaza for Bangladesh. TV’s ‘Winner Predictor’ put the Netherlands at 66% at one stage – so that’s a useful early guide of how much notice to take of that.

      Dharamsala is a pretty ground – but the empty seats were ugly. The organisation of this tournament has been a fiasco.

      Just when you think it can’t get any worse, there’s this detail lurking in the fixtures – Bangladesh play their last fixture against the weakest side in the group and it is the last game in the group (not scheduled at the same time as Ireland vs. Netherlands) so if it comes down to NRR Bangladesh would know how many they need to score. I like Bangladesh and am delighted about their great recent strides – but that looks designed to help the full-member side get through.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Amit Mar 10, 2016 / 6:03 am

        Those empty seats in a major ICC event held in India and in a non-regular venue should tell you something. It tells you that while Indians might like T20s, they wouldn’t necessarily pay to watch the teams at the bottom of the food chain.
        Cricket’s commercial model has been heavily dependent on revenues from India, but even that will fail to sustain cricket in some countries. If this is the condition in T20s, what’s the hope for finding viewers for test matches between these nations. A Dog and a janitor may be… Tragic, but true.


      • SimonH Mar 10, 2016 / 8:06 am

        Amit, I didn’t criticise Indian fans for not buying tickets.

        Bangladesh is a large cricket-mad country next door to India. How could their fans travel to the match the way tickets were organised? Tickets for events like the football WC went on sale 12 months in advance. If Bangladesh fans were given a fair chance and wouldn’t go, there are other ideas e.g. why not make offers to local schools?

        There’s also the question of price – how much are the tickets? Frankly, giving them away would be better than playing in such an empty stadium.

        As for these countries playing Tests, that wouldn’t be on neutral territory so the crowd it could attract in India isn’t very relevant. If a team like the Netherlands wanted to play the odd Test match and could attract sponsors and TV, why stop them? Currently cricket is organised so that no team except a full-member can play a Test match in any circumstances. I doubt any associate nations would be organising five Test series (or even three Test series) but I bet some would be able to hold combined T20-ODI-Test series using a points’ system like the women’s game.


      • SimonH Mar 10, 2016 / 10:13 am

        From today’s Scotland/Zimbabwe match:

        Fans are being told they have to go to another ground 20km away to buy tickets.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Amit Mar 10, 2016 / 11:19 pm

        that this world cup is going to be a logistical nightmare is a given i think. The way tickets are being handled will impact the ability of fans to plan a visit. That’s a shame because India has been largely ok in the events it has hosted previously. That this situation is loaded against the associates makes it worse. However, my general point was that as much as Indians like T20, you will still see empty seats in stadiums. Even at home, Indians aren’t necessarily waiting to catch Ireland play Oman. For most, the tournament kick starts next week. that’s the general sentiment, isn’t it?


  7. SimonH Mar 9, 2016 / 11:09 am

    Guess who thinks the ECB have got it right again?


    • SimonH Mar 9, 2016 / 11:14 am

      “In particular, the Indian TV market, hitherto considered a licence to print money by any country who played the India national team, has apparently become so parochial that not only are Indian viewers reluctant to watch any cricket that does not involve India, they are also averse to watching India matches staged abroad”.

      Parochial? From him?


      • nonoxcol Mar 9, 2016 / 12:05 pm

        I see he’s started early…

        MikeSelvey Paceandbounce 15m ago

        the information about Indian tv audiences comes from those who actually know and research these things ie those in the industry.

        Someone post “Have you watched DOAG yet?” and see how long it lasts.


      • nonoxcol Mar 9, 2016 / 12:16 pm

        Shoot, fish, barrel… yet another article from the shoe-dropping school that gave you “Peter Moores is the best choice for England”. Virtually everyone on here twigged the motive behind “my mate and his T20 outfit” a fortnight ago.

        And meanwhile we’re still waiting for him to argue against anything the ECB has done since 2009. Apart from that time the board criticised – shock horror – a journalist.


      • nonoxcol Mar 9, 2016 / 12:21 pm

        Ha, I see colesla is testing the hypothesis already!


      • nonoxcol Mar 9, 2016 / 12:55 pm

        And colesla’s comment has been moderated.

        Duty of care, you see.


      • nonoxcol Mar 9, 2016 / 1:48 pm

        Paceandbounce MikeSelvey

        Fair enough, I’m outside cricket so what would I know given my multiple visits to India.

        I really do not believe the line that Indian TV viewers aren’t interested in watching India play away or marquee series such as the Ashes or Aus-SA etc.

        As an aside my snippy tone might have something to do with your “what do you know, given you don’t work in the industry” type reply.

        A tad unnecessary.

        I mean, P&B could also add something along the lines of “how dare any English writer preach about the parochialism of others when we’re obsessed with the Ashes and when this paper barely covers cricket outside the Big Three, and only noticed the U19 WC because there was a Mankad?”

        Or he could refer back to how other experts Selvey wanted us to trust included the medical team which deemed Matt Prior fit to play with a four-inch tear in his Achilles.

        But that’s a nice start.

        Oh, and then there’s this, which needs no further comment:

        MikeSelvey AngryRedSquirrel 9 Mar 2016 13:37

        you so don’t understand the principle of independent thought do you.

        Take your duty of care and shove it up Giles Clarke’s arse.


      • northernlight71 Mar 9, 2016 / 4:13 pm

        I know the G is a bit bonkers these days, but I genuinely can’t belive my comment got deleted?! It was on topic, not abusive, fair, evidence based and polite.
        Still, his catty reply disappeared as well so every cloud and all that . . .


      • AB Mar 11, 2016 / 9:40 am

        “Someone post “Have you watched DOAG yet?” and see how long it lasts.”

        I did, 10 minutes later my account was permanently blocked.


        • LordCanisLupus Mar 11, 2016 / 12:17 pm

          Comment is free, of course…

          Lovely how this man appears to be the new Downton! That is, a source of much copy. I don’t even have to write posts on this nonsense.


  8. SimonH Mar 9, 2016 / 1:53 pm

    Surrey chief exec Q&A just finished. Sample:


    • Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Mar 9, 2016 / 10:31 pm

      Your work? Excellent comment. I didn’t know about Selvey’s views on artificial pitches. He seems to have an affinity for anything plastic if it relates to cricket.


      • nonoxcol Mar 10, 2016 / 8:30 am

        Not me, I just really liked it and it’s exactly the sort of informed, intelligent critique he never engages with, preferring to tar everyone with the same brush while pretending to welcome debate.

        Comment wise, I have been boycotting his articles for over a year, albeit with a handful of lapses. Certainly haven’t posted a comment of that length since the infamous moderation frenzy of October 2014 (which Tregaskis’s post on this thread is referring to):

        The above is, if not the worst cricket article I have read in the last five years, then definitely an exemplar of what pisses people off about the writer. The culmination of two and a half years of deeply nasty innuendo and hopelessly biased writing, and my word it opened the floodgates. (Although he still hadn’t finished, deciding to make Strauss’s naughty word a highlight of the year and then calling Pietersen a fruitfly and a pest)

        Not only were about 1 in 8 visible posts moderated, several others just vanished as if they never existed, and I can personally vouch for the fact that the number of recommendations on some critical posts has fallen since then. Burly and myself (first page) have 73 and 70 respectively according to the link; both of us had over 150 at the time.


  9. Tregaskis Mar 9, 2016 / 6:02 pm

    In reply to Nonoxcol, I am helplessly bemused by Selvey’s acerbic reply to AngryRedSquirrel – “you so don’t understand the principle of independent thought do you.”

    I presume this is post-modern irony of some sort, given that Selvey seems incapable of constructing a thought that does not wholly align with the ECB’s world view.

    Most serious journalists follow the maxim, never look at the comments. Selvey seems to trawl through them for affirmation or moderation. No journalist trolls his/her readers like Selvey. Maybe he has small hands, in the Trumpian sense.


    • nonoxcol Mar 9, 2016 / 6:40 pm

      I agree with you, and share Northern Light’s bewilderment at his deleted comment. Many have written something very similar, but praising MS for having the inside track. Presumably the moderator is an expert on tone and previous posting history.


      • northernlight71 Mar 9, 2016 / 6:55 pm

        I’m actually on Pre-Moderation now. For only the second time in 13 years! Mind you, the last time was because of a constant and justified campaign against the empty, right wing articles of Julian “left the G to work at Conservative Central Office” Glover. I wasn’t alone back then, either!

        Last time this happened, I made a new ID. I’m not sure I can be bothered this time, what with life being too short and Selvey being a worthless tinkling cymbal on which to waste my intelligence and time.

        If I’d called him an idiot, or accused him of understanding basic concepts of journalism, maybe I’d have got away with it.
        He does, after all.


      • nonoxcol Mar 9, 2016 / 7:14 pm

        F***ing hell, I’d forgotten Glover. That execrable thing he wrote about David Laws being “a man of exceptional nobility” pretty much marked the point at which I knew the Guardian was going badly, irreversibly wrong.

        Another favourite was “vigorous, glossy and unbending”, to describe the man he ended up working for.


      • Mark Mar 9, 2016 / 9:14 pm

        I think we have to ask the question now. Is Selvey moderating his own column? The speed at which any criticism is removed has become ludicrous and rather obvious. As Northern light has said you don’t even have to be abusive or rude to have your points taken down.

        This is today’s Guardian I’m afraid. A hollowed out shell. Propgandsts blowing smoke up the elites backside. Be it cricket, foreign policy or almost anything. It’s the dishonssty that grates with me. It’s still trading on its old name. But it’s a pile of dog vomit.


      • northernlight71 Mar 9, 2016 / 9:59 pm

        A thousand apologies for reminding you of the Glover era. It was, as it turns out, a sign of things to come.


      • Tregaskis Mar 9, 2016 / 10:06 pm

        I have declined to comment BTL on the Guardian since 2014 because of its zealous moderating of opinions that transgress simply through representing a different opinion. Selvey’s absurd “duty of care” observation is self serving and wholly contradicts his paper’s primary duty of care, which is to the truth and to its readers. It is astonishing how he dishes out abuse willy-nilly and then whines about folk objecting to his compromised world view. He is the worst kind of bully.

        I have no idea who is responsible for what is essentially Orwellian censorship. The most liberal, progressive newspaper in the land, with Pulitzer winner emblazoned on its masthead, indulges in the kind of back-page blue-pencilling you’d expect in an over-sensitive soviet. The disconnect between the values of the front page and the back page is chilling and hypocritical. I excuse Ali Martin, who I like a good deal, but the villain of the piece has to be the Guardian’s managing sports editor, who governs the back-page culture and values. Then again, Selvey’s larger-than-life influence must hold large sway, because I am not entirely sure these issues affect sports outside cricket. I suspect rather complex politics are at play, but it is about time they were revealed. We need a whistleblower to spill the beans. I doubt the Guardian would recognise the irony.

        Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Mar 9, 2016 / 10:57 pm

        “the Guardian’s managing sports editor”.

        Do we have a name?


      • Mark Mar 10, 2016 / 10:16 am


        I don’t think we really need a whistle blower. It’s pretty straight forward. The Guardian is under new management, but also a new ideology. It’s is now owned and run from Washington/New York by right wing neo con supporters. It’s new agenda is to support neo con foreign policy, hence its almost laughable anti Russia craziness.

        It now is no longer……. “The most liberal, progressive newspaper in the land”. It has become an establishment lackey. It’s has adopted the fake criteria of The New York Times and The Washington Post. Both these newspapers pretend to be liberal while filling their op ed section with far right wing neo con people. Both newspapers trade off their fake liberal bias. (Which does not exist anymore.) that in itself shows the contempt they have for their readers.

        The only liberal issues the Guardian writers are allowed any freedom to write openly about is identity politics. They can bang on about the rights of gays and woman, because this does not challenge the economic elite. What is interesting for this blog, which is a cricket blog after all is how the sports section has taken on the same pro establishment line as its political section. Selvey is obviously revelling in his Ivory tower where he can dispense his mad as a hatter views and then dismiss and criticism that comes back. As you say, a form of bullying. But it fits
        with the new ideology of the paper now.


  10. jomesy Mar 9, 2016 / 9:18 pm

    Answer = yes

    I replied to NL and was immediately modded. Posted reply as new comment, give it until selvey sees it


      • jomesy Mar 9, 2016 / 10:17 pm

        My post:

        The irony is he seems to like shoving things up people’s arses…whether it’s his (now deleted) response to angry squirrel’s perfectly reasonable comment or, as you can find in his article, the carrot and stick argument. Selvey is both a bully and a dinosaur.


  11. jomesy Mar 9, 2016 / 10:08 pm

    NL email me at

    I’ll send you the screen shots.

    Effing outrageous that I was modded.


  12. Sherwick Mar 10, 2016 / 7:53 am

    To all those having a go at Selvey, I have this to ask you: how will he ever again get an invitation to Giles Clarke’s birthday party if he starts writing critical things about him. Never mind his England exclusives etc.


    • SimonH Mar 10, 2016 / 8:46 am

      One of the implications of the ECB review is that the business model they’d been following under Clarke’s chairmanship has been an abysmal failure.

      How unsurprising that it isn’t an implication Selvey teases out for his readers. Almost as unsurprising as the fawning post from P******man that has appeared overnight.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Mar 10, 2016 / 9:50 am

        Also, am I imagining things or has the headline changed overnight?


    • Mark Mar 10, 2016 / 10:24 am

      I wonder how many of the Selvey supporters are in fact Selvey himself writing under various aliases?

      They say its a sign of madness when you talk to yourself. What it means when you invent imaginary characters, and then reply to your own columns probably needs a phycologist to diagnose.

      Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol Mar 10, 2016 / 11:59 am

        I am pretty confident that’s not true, at least.

        You will find, going right back to 2012 at least, an awful lot of people who seemed to take it personally that so many previously amiable commenters started questioning what their ‘Lord’ was pumping out. Several abandoned the international threads completely; others moaned about us during the OBO, describing us as “nutjobs” while simultaneously telling the county blog they were proud of doing so.

        I suspect you probably recognise the type from somewhere…


      • SimonH Mar 11, 2016 / 11:48 am

        If PurpleWoodpecker isn’t in house – and quite possibly Selvey personally – I’ll eat my hat*.

        A very brief posting history that is well worth the short time it takes to have a look at.

        * Not legally binding.


        • LordCanisLupus Mar 11, 2016 / 12:10 pm

          Finding it hard to track down this mythical beast…. where can I find a link to their comments?


        • LordCanisLupus Mar 11, 2016 / 12:50 pm

          Surprised if they are in-house given the hammering they gave to Polly Toynbee in one of their comments.

          It says much about UK Uncut & their brave mate Polly Toynbee that they have no problem with upsetting and intimidating the shop staff of Starbucks.

          Someone might want to point out to multi-millionairess Toynbee that reputable journalists report the news, not become the news. Not that I’m saying Toynbee is reputable, obviously.

          UK Uncut – bullies by another name.

          Please, no politics or comments on Polly. It’s an illustration.


        • LordCanisLupus Mar 11, 2016 / 12:41 pm

          Didn’t even think to look in the Liam Dawson article. Just thought it would be blowing smoke up a newbie’s rear end, which we do often and isn’t totally objectionable.

          But this is just, well, bollocks.

          “Flower’s a good man who’s viciously maligned at every turn by those who cannot see any flaw in Pietersen, in other words those who wear Pietersen-tinted glasses. Very odd indeed.”

          Cards on table, I think the criticism of Flower went a bit over the top. You don’t find a lot of it from me. Others are entitled to their opinions. But his treatment compared to that of Duncan Fletcher in his dog days, rankles. But the last bit is the red rag to my bull. I will point out the perceived flaws I have in KP. I think he’s arrogant. He could well be an arse. I think he could do with knocking back the media stuff a bit. The book wasn’t the greatest idea, but not the horror it is made up to be. I see flaws. I see a few. But what I don’t see is the definitive reason to sack him.

          I wish these morons would at least do me the service of getting my (and no doubt most of your) views correct, instead of wilful misrepresentation.


      • SimonH Mar 11, 2016 / 1:33 pm

        Reply to LCL re in-house comment,
        I’d only read the ones on cricket so hadn’t noticed that one. It could still be in-house (I’m sure there is plenty of mutual loathing among journalists) but perhaps it does more read like some crusty lion of the shires than Selvey undercover. He uses plenty of phrases that are straight from the Selvey handbook – but that’s probably just an inability to have an original idea.

        I liked the comments from 2012 that criticism of Flower had gone beyond the pale followed immediately by one saying Pietersen should be thrown off a balcony (but that was just jokey bantz, innit?).


      • Mark Mar 11, 2016 / 1:35 pm

        I don’t know about purple woodpecker. More like deep shade of brown woodpecker. His nose is so far up the cricket and British establishmemt it must be a darkish chocolate brown.

        He will fit right in a the new Guardian. He must wake every day thinking how he can engratiate himself further into the minds of his heros.

        His brown nosing of Stauss was particularly vomit inducing. A very stinky brown nose that day.


      • Mark Mar 11, 2016 / 2:00 pm

        Dmitri, you are very fair in what you have written about KP. You are not a Pieres Morgan lackey. And what respect have you been given by these ECB charlatans for your balance? None whatsoever.

        I will give them no quarter, because they have always misrepresented our views. KPs book was written because it was the only way he could get his side of the story out in public. None of the cricket writers would do anything but parrot ECB talking points. They were like Pravda in their disrespect for a balanced view.

        They are snake oil salesman and lackeys who wouldn’t know the truth if they met it in their bathrooms. Your attempt to be reasonable, has been met with disdain and more lies. I will never give them the time of day, or indeed respect them in anyway shape or form.


    • SimonH Mar 10, 2016 / 1:09 pm

      And Scotland blow it, mainly because of an early order batting collapse leaving Berrington and Mommsen too much to do.


  13. SimonH Mar 10, 2016 / 12:51 pm

    Remember how some “impertinent” posters asked questions about Flower’s influence over selection:

    After spending a year or so as the invisible man, it looks like there’s been some decision that Flower can start doing media again. We’re all so dumb we’ve forgotten of course. Flower likes “self-sufficent” and “low maintenance” players – who’d’ve guessed it?

    It’ll be interesting to see if these were comments in a pooled interview – or if it’s the kind of ‘exclusive’ that groveling coverage alone wins you.

    (None of this getting at Ali Martin of course).


    • nonoxcol Mar 10, 2016 / 1:14 pm

      “We had a wonderful, hyper-aggressive method at that time which gave us a real sense of freedom. The players thoroughly enjoyed that tournament,”Flower said. “You have to play in that aggressive manner to have a chance.”


      Honestly, they really do think we’re idiots.


    • Mark Mar 10, 2016 / 1:39 pm

      They are rewriting history. It’s shocking how blatant they are.

      His resignation as coach after the 5-0 thrashing was the biggest smoke and mirrors Magic act you have seen. Within months he was back at the ECB. Now KP is gone they can reinvent themselves as geniuses. Snake oil salesmen the lot of them.

      Liked by 1 person

    • nonoxcol Mar 10, 2016 / 1:42 pm

      The full conversation, in its unmoderated glory, is here:

      The highlights (look who’s first to throw the word “agenda” out there):

      Thepoetseye 6 May 2014 18:00

      According to the BBC commentary at Edgbaston, Flower was in company with Whitaker looking at the players. According to what we have been told by the ECB Flower resigned as selector and Gus took his place. Is Flower now a ‘shadow’ selector? The new era isn’t going to be much of a new era if the same folks are in charge, either through proxy or in the background. How can Cook and Moores make a clean break for England if the ex Director of Cricket is still pulling strings? No wonder Giles got the push. Flower still wants to run things. He is too powerful a figure to ignore. He hasn’t really accepted that he had a major role in England’s downfall.

      MikeSelvey Thepoetseye 6 May 2014 20:45

      Several points. Don’t you think it impertinent to presume Andy Flower’s business at Edgbaston? He has a different agenda. I doubt he knew Whitaker would be there.
      But as he was, and they met, would you not think it reasonable if they talked. And why, when they did would it be wrong to discuss what it was they were watching? Whitaker asks all sorts of people their opinion. He even asks mine.
      So do not jump to erroneous conclusions just because they suit your agenda.

      Paceandbounce MikeSelvey 6 May 2014 21:56

      Not wishing to sound like a shit-stirrer, is there an article in the pipeline that might suggest why it isn’t a good idea for a coach that’s just lost a major series 5-0 to be involved in the wider England set up anymore? A complete break from the past regime may be a more reasonable outcome.

      Duncan Fletcher got a much rougher ride in the media after his Ashes debacle against an all time great Aussie side. Both coaches had a lot success but clearly had come to the end of their shelf life.

      RodStark MikeSelvey 7 May 2014 3:35

      I completely agree with what you’re saying. Flower’s opinions are obviously valuable. But please don’t use words like “impertinent”. That just suggests an “us and them” attitude about cricket. Only those in the establishment are capable of having reasonable opinions. There are lots of opinions here btl, many of them probably quite stupid, but these are the fans who actually support the game.

      kurtvonn RodStark 7 May 2014 4:25

      Loving the irony of a journalist accusing a poster, who he doesn’t know, of having an agenda……

      clivejw MikeSelvey 7 May 2014 5:24

      To give Poetseye his due, he has been a consistently anti-Flower man since at least the dropping of Ian Bell after the West Indies tour in March 2009. Personally, I think this actually helped Bell’s development. It’s after the disasters of 2012 that I found myself in the same camp, especially after the Indian tour, which we won despite Flower, not because of him. He should have gone after the South African series — and not in retrospect either.

      With regard to P’s current accusations about Flower: well, we haven’t been given a full definition of his role or that of the new MD, for that matter. That is why the extent of their powers is a subject of speculation, except in our chronically incurious media. All we get is condescension when we question the operations of this private club.

      simonk MikeSelvey 7 May 2014 8:12

      Whitaker can speak to whoever he wants, but if he chooses to speak to the architect of the Ashes failure in public and ostensibly while he is supposed doing his job – just days after coach and captain insisted that a ‘clean break’ was being made with the old regime – then he can expect questions to be asked, by the public if not by our embedded press. While we’re at it we might also ask what Flower’s ‘agenda’ actually involves given the vagueness of his stated job description.

      Tom Easton MikeSelvey 7 May 2014 9:07

      “Don’t you think it impertinent to presume Andy Flower’s business at Edgbaston?”

      Yeah, pipe down you lot.

      Thepoetseye GramGram 7 May 2014 11:04

      The problem is GramGram I think England do need a clean break and they won’t get if Flower is hanging around dispensing advice to Whitaker. He is a very powerful figure with very set opinions who has never had to examine his failures in the way that might have been helpful (to himself and to England). This is because the media took to Flower as if to their own and have been very reluctant to criticise him compared to their endless criticism of certain (unfavoured) players. Some day a sports historian might ponder on the Flower era and quite why he managed to silence the usually vociferous British media. Or even how he managed to talk his way out of the Ashes debacle to be appointed to some vague prowling down the corridors of power.

      Very odd that Selvey should accuse me of “impertinence” as though it was wrong of me to even suggest that Flower might still have undue influence. The use of the word “impertinence” is interesting. In other words you don’t question the motives of the great man. More or less sums up the attitude of the media. But they aren’t his minions and neither am I.

      By the way, I haven’t edited out Selvey’s subsequent responses to these perfectly valid and entirely polite points.

      Because there weren’t any.


      Where’s your duty of care, internet?

      Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol Mar 10, 2016 / 1:46 pm

        (just by the by, this is also the article in which vested interest among selectors is swiftly dispensed with on the grounds of unimpeachable integrity. Draw your own conclusions.)


      • nonoxcol Mar 10, 2016 / 2:03 pm

        (and also the first BTL appearance, to my knowledge, of Tregaskis’s ‘Caesar’s wife’ analogy)


      • nonoxcol Mar 10, 2016 / 2:26 pm

        (AND a direct link to #AskMoores – it’s a thread of pure gold)


      • SimonH Mar 10, 2016 / 9:01 pm

        Take an overweening desire to defend the officer class, add a large dollop of idiocy and sprinkle with rudeness and condescension – and you have a classic of its type from a usual suspect in reply to NL on the Ali Martin thread.

        All Flower did wrong was lose his last Ashes and hate KP…..

        That, and the several dozen other offences that need to be taken into consideration.


    • Mark Mar 10, 2016 / 3:22 pm


      Doesn’t look great does it? And why now of all times? As the coach says they have been bowling this way for over a year. Of all the formats of cricket 20/20 is the least important for dodgy actions because the bowler only bowls 4 overs max per game.

      I’m sure the ICC will put out a statement saying we have to be vigilant and good of the game and all that. Never mind there is a ticket fiasco going on. And one team can’t play becuase of security problems.


      • Amit Mar 10, 2016 / 11:30 pm

        Disagree with you on the impact. if anything, it makes it harder on batsmen. Just look at the T20 record of Sunil Narine, who can no longer bowl because of his action. He’s not been a success at the longer formats but absolutely owns the T20 wherever he plays.
        I wonder, if they are going to fine the coach for his comments.


      • Mark Mar 11, 2016 / 10:00 am

        Have to agree to disagree Amit. Someone like Murali was huge at Test cricket. He took hundreds of test wickets. And yet there was always a question mark over his action.

        I think it’s more the point that 20/20 has become financially the most important format in cricket. It’s all about the money. Yet the individual bowler only bowls 24 deliveries a game.

        They shouldn’t fine the coach for his comemts. He is only saying it as he sees it. And he is right. They have done nothing about his action until this competition. Why now?


      • Amit Mar 11, 2016 / 10:57 am

        Murali didn’t have the T20 option when he emerged. It was going to be longer formats where he could ply his trade. He became a bowler we know, only after discovering the one that goes away.

        But, that he could spin a ball miles was known even when he started. I don’t really recall many complaints about him, till he started picking plenty of wickets. When he was called, I don’t think there were too many other bowlers with different actions. People might associate him with “dodgy” actions, but no one has had to go through as many tests as he did to clear name. I won’t deny that he had an impact on the games he played – his 800 test wickets speak for themselves. He also bowled a lot of overs.

        However, to my mind, in a condensed format, 20 percent of overs, seem to have more impact on the scores. Had he been younger, i have no doubt that his impact in T20s would’ve been every bit as significant in long formats because batsmen are forced to try and hit each ball.

        I won’t look at any controversy here. Bangladesh are not a title contender, despite their recent form. Most of their wins have been constructed on pitches home and they haven’t yet won any major event. I don’t think they are going to win this either, though they should beat a few teams.
        For Bangladesh this is bad timing indeed coz Taksin did look like a good bowler. If anything, I would’ve picked Al-amin as the one with a flex in his arm because of his action.

        But then Narine wasn’t called in any international game. Neither was Pragyan Ojha, who was an emerging spinner in the Indian team. So I don’t think there’s any controversy here. As for punishment for the coach, well that’s just for speaking his mind and criticizing the ICC in public. Enough precedence there…


  14. SimonH Mar 11, 2016 / 8:53 am

    Who decided to redesign the DT’s on-line cricket page? It’s like they looked at the Independent’s design and thought – ugly and confusing? we can do that!


    • LordCanisLupus Mar 11, 2016 / 12:25 pm

      I tweeted this last night

      Yes, I was looking for the Telegraph Q&A with KP, but went on their cricket page and couldn’t find it. What a brilliant thing to do? The stories are all over the shop, the paper now seems to have adopted orange as it’s corporate colour. It’s an abomination:

      Someone got paid a lot of monet for this shite. I quote Benny…

      Feel free to type lots, Benny!


  15. SimonH Mar 11, 2016 / 9:36 am

    “Athers top read on ICC reforms in yesterday’s Thunderbox. We have exactly the opposite ideas”. He must have somehow forgotten to Tweet that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Mar 11, 2016 / 9:54 am

      If Mike Atherton in thinking the same way as Selvey then Atherton must have lost the plot. His 8/10 for Cook seems to suggest that Atherton is becoming a pod person. Shame. He is better than that.


      • LordCanisLupus Mar 11, 2016 / 12:20 pm

        Atherton, in his playing days, was one of those who did very little but carp at county cricket. Not fit for purpose and all that. What I sense many of them really mean is once they get to playing international cricket in front of large crowds, TV audiences and the top international players, the humdrum of county cricket is just dull. Gower pretty much said that, and Eoin Morgan is now. Just some honesty would be nice.

        Sadly Athers is hidden behind a paywall put up by Don Rupioni ((c) Tim Fenton of Zelo Street) so he could be curing cancer and I wouldn’t have a scooby.


    • LordCanisLupus Mar 11, 2016 / 12:13 pm

      Well, bless my soul, knock my socks off and call me Auntie Daisy. We have a lovely back-up too….

      Independent thought indeed.


      • SimonH Mar 11, 2016 / 12:34 pm

        On his Twitter page, Atherton says he’s created an open link to his article – but it doesn’t work.

        From the bit I can see, he calls the reforms “as compromises go…. not bad” which sounds like damning with faint praise to me.


      • Mark Mar 11, 2016 / 1:25 pm


        Of course it’s snap. It’s bloody group think. They spend all the time in the same hotels, the same press boxes, they even go to the same parties. Their newspaper employers could save a packet and sack them all, and have one person write the same opinion for all cricket columns.

        Would anybody notice?


  16. SimonH Mar 11, 2016 / 12:15 pm

    This tournament is going well…..

    Forecast for Sunday is also poor so looks like that could be it for Group A (in which case Bangladesh qualify). At least Nagpur looks okay for tomorrow for Zimbabwe vs. Afghanistan. The winners of that one go into England’s group.

    There are no reserve days for any matches except the Final. I’m all for keeping tournaments compact and the forecast is so bad for tomorrow it probably wouldn’t make any difference in this case anyway – but is the lack of reserve days really a good idea?

    Gutted for the Netherlands, Oman and Ireland if their group is washed out.

    Expecting a “at least Srini could make the trains run on time” article from some MSM source soon.


    • d'Arthez Mar 11, 2016 / 12:32 pm

      Globalising the game ICC style: Lose one close game (8 runs is not exactly a walkover) against a team that gets plenty more playing opportunities and funding, get a washout in the next, and now shut up for the next four years.

      I’d be the first to say that plenty is only in comparison to the Associates; when is the last time Bangladesh toured a place other than the West Indies, Zimbabwe or Sri Lanka for a full tour?

      Globalising the game ICC style: Are the Zing stumps made in China?

      And the hilariously pathetic thing is: having an off-day was considered a disaster in 2007 (but at least Pakistan and India got defeated on the field, twice in their groups, so they actually had two off-days), but somehow the lesser teams ought to find this kind of thing fully satisfactory?


      • LordCanisLupus Mar 11, 2016 / 12:47 pm

        I’ve not been able to see the matches, but the scorecards imply plenty of close games, hard fought and plenty of talent on show.

        I also sense the standard is improving quite quickly. Bangladesh don’t look so out of place in the top flight of international cricket and teams are getting close to them. Of course, Netherlands have beaten us twice in this comp.

        Shutting them off is dense. Absolutely dense.


      • SteveT Mar 11, 2016 / 2:40 pm

        I’ve had the good fortune to be off sick this week and have seen a few of the matches and have thoroughly enjoyed them. Three or four blinding catches, close hard-fought contests, one major upset (Oman beating Ireland – that last over was horrendous – 3 waist high full bungers). What’s going on with DRS? Will it be introduced later on? or will it not be used as it’s in India? There was one absolute nailed on plumb LBW turned down yesterday for HK. Looks like the umpires are erring on the side of caution and are being not-outers. We might see ’em all again in four years time, assuming they are still playing.


      • SimonH Mar 11, 2016 / 2:46 pm

        Stevet, it’s an ICC event so India’s objections to DRS don’t apply.

        DRS isn’t used in T20. I know they want the game to keep moving but there should be one appeal in my view. There was a bad error in the last over of the Ireland game when Gaffney gave one of the Oman batsmen out caught behind when he’d hit the ground. As Oman won anyway, it was largely forgotten.


      • SteveT Mar 11, 2016 / 3:02 pm

        Right, cheers for the info. Saw that one in the Ireland/Oman game. If the umpiring is consistent throughout, it’s going to be a job getting an LBW decision!


  17. SimonH Mar 11, 2016 / 4:01 pm

    Some cricket! Bangladesh and Ireland are playing a 12 over match.


    • SteveT Mar 11, 2016 / 4:23 pm

      They’ve got through 8 overs and it’s p-ing down again. Bad as bloody England!


      • SimonH Mar 11, 2016 / 4:49 pm

        Some nice lightning though.


      • d'Arthez Mar 11, 2016 / 4:57 pm

        Ireland knocked out on rain as well, for at least the second time (the last time they were knocked out on rain, West Indies, whom they were playing won the darn tournament).

        Global sporting event, so let’s decide elimination on rain.


  18. SteveT Mar 11, 2016 / 4:57 pm

    Match abandoned. Saved Ireland from having to chase 72 off 5 overs (D/L does some funny things at T20 level)


    • d'Arthez Mar 11, 2016 / 4:57 pm

      They might not have made it, but at least they could have died trying. Now they’re eliminated.


  19. SimonH Mar 11, 2016 / 5:55 pm

    Peter Borren’s press conference video on cricinfo is pretty stomach-churning.


  20. SimonH Mar 11, 2016 / 5:59 pm


  21. SimonH Mar 11, 2016 / 6:10 pm


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