20 Questions

Ah yes. The unanswered ones….

  1. Has Mike Selvey watched Death of a Gentleman yet?
  2. How many times since January 2014 has Alastair Cook “almost resigned”?
  3. Are there people out there that believe that the reinstatement of Kevin Pietersen to the England team means we wouldn’t have lost major test series since?
  4. Why was Kevin Pietersen sacked?
  5. Why wasn’t Kevin Pietersen picked for the World T20?
  6. Does asking Question 1 above Below The Line on The Guardian mean you are banned from posting?
  7. Why is Giles Clarke gainfully employed by the ECB?
  8. Could India and the ICC give less of a f*** about the “Qualifying Tournament” for the World T20?
  9. Do any of our print media still believe the Big Three carve up is a good idea, or as compromises go “not bad”?
  10. What do we do with county cricket?
  11. Is Colin Graves allowed out in public yet?
  12. Precisely why doesn’t Andrew Strauss trust a certain individual?
  13. And what the hell has that to do with team selection?
  14. Who at The Cricket Paper thought it a terrific idea to give Derek Pringle two columns a week?
  15. Which state-run media organisation trained the people responsible for the Team England Twitter feed?
  16. Are the ECB embarrassed at the fact they will be hosting a 10 team World Cup in 2019?
  17. Why is James “Gary Ballance” Whitaker still gainfully employed at the ECB?
  18. Can the media give us a reason why Duncan Fletcher was hounded from office after a disastrous Ashes tours, with lots of harsh words, but Andy Flower is sanctified?
  19. Just what is Paul Downton doing now?
  20. Will the ECB be voting for Giles Clarke as ICC head honcho? (nicked that one from Sam Collins, but good grief, it needs answering)

There’s loads more, and it’s blatant filler, but hey, add some more of your own. It’s not as if anyone wants to answer them, after all.


80 thoughts on “20 Questions

  1. nonoxcol Mar 11, 2016 / 8:16 pm

    No.2: Once, after Lord’s v India. Not after Headingley v SL. Definitely not after failing to reach his average even once in the SL ODI tour. His wife helped talk him round. Paul Newman did his bit re Ian Bell. The Holy 95 did the rest and the puffery went into hyperspace. But he keeps mentioning it because it feeds the mythos.


  2. Sean B Mar 11, 2016 / 8:42 pm

    I’m sure I could add loads more:

    What is the point of Tom Harrison?
    Why does FICJAM insist in putting obscure historical or poetic quotes in all his writing
    Why did no one question the fact that India put out tickets to the WT20 2 weeks before the event?
    How does the ECB plan to spin the awful attendances at this year’s tests?
    How much of a cosy ex professional, do you have to be to write for the Cricketer?
    Is Paul Newman actually human?
    When Alastair Cook guns down 50 England fans, how long will Mike Selvey’s ‘brave young captain” piece be?
    How many people have actually read a piece by John Etheridge?

    That said, I would pay good money to see the ECB and those MSM accomplices being made to answer the questions above…anyone know where I can locate some truth serum?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. sgtcookieblog Mar 11, 2016 / 8:43 pm

    Is Colin Graves, and I hate to bring this up, but is he still with us? After the High Court’s recent decision to declare Lord Lucan dead rumours were circulating that Mr Graves family were lining up a similar case for the Court’s judgement. Since he reversed over that olive branch last year nobody seems to have heard anything from him. Really Insipid Person but sad nevertheless.


    • LordCanisLupus Mar 11, 2016 / 8:59 pm

      From last year’s accounts…

      “Colin Graves, a member of the ECB Board since 7 June 2010, is the chairman of Yorkshire
      CCC. He has personally given a guarantee in favour of ECB of £1,800,000 under the 2011
      to 2019 perimeter advertising agreement between the ECB and Yorkshire CCC. This was
      signed on 22 October 2010.”



      • Sean B Mar 11, 2016 / 9:15 pm

        Wow, there’s damning and then there’s that. Pay to play these days, as long as you don’t forget the golden rule, which Mr Graves did, hence why he is now reduced to hob-nobbing with the counties.

        I only wish George Orwell was with us, so that he could’ve based 1984 on the ECB and the Guardian rather than the USSR, far more material available these days.


        • LordCanisLupus Mar 11, 2016 / 9:36 pm

          Click to access ecb_annual_report_2014.pdf

          Always a fascinating read for a sad so and so like me. Note 20 to the account is always an interesting read. Note 4 has a very mysterious “loss of status” payment of £192k (which could be Collier for “retiring”, so looking forward to this year’s for Uncle Giles, Peter Moores and Paul Downton, possibly) and the amazing increases in the amount given to the charitable entity in Note 3.

          Liked by 1 person

    • nonoxcol Mar 12, 2016 / 2:43 pm

      I urge regulars, especially from the Guardian BTL, to visit “sgtcookieblog.wordpress.com” (there is a proper link on TFT).

      You’ll know which pieces to start with…


  4. Inside cricket Mar 11, 2016 / 8:45 pm

    4 . KP was sacked because he said that the style of cricket being played was too defensive.
    He dared to challenge the coach and captain and apparently tried to split the team, new younger players vs cook, broad, swann etc.
    As the team was losing they needed to blame someone so they picked the person the media were most jealous of.
    And he can be a nob.

    Oh and he was right to which didn’t help him.

    In fact it turns out he was right about almost everything which is why he can’t be trusted and that answers 5 and 12.

    Giles Clarke does not take a wage from the ECB, which makes ditching him difficult and no one has the balls to stand up to him.
    Just remember how he abused Booth for his wisden article.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jomesy Mar 11, 2016 / 9:03 pm

    Q.15 looks rhetorical. Can you share the answer? Thanks


    • Sean B Mar 11, 2016 / 9:07 pm

      Yep, I can’t see it on Mike Selvey’s Twitter handle. Must be an oversight…


  6. SimonH Mar 11, 2016 / 9:33 pm

    Three real questions:
    1) Why did Gideon Haigh stop writing for the Guardian around 2009? (I’ve read ‘Spheres of Influence’ and ‘Corridors of Uncertainty’ recently and it’s noticeable that quite a few of the articles in the former were for the Guardian but none in the latter).
    2) Is rain unusual in Dharamsala at this time of year? (One comment on the Guardian thread says it isn’t).
    3) Why hasn’t Mustifizar Rahman been playing?

    One of the other sort:
    If I set up a fake Guardian account, sort of like EnglishDollop only funnier (hopefully), and sent in comments like “Magnificent article Mike. Thank you so much for this. Your limpid prose and independence of judgment make Neville Cardus and C.L.R. James look like talentless hacks they were. It’s a national disgrace you haven’t been awarded an OBE and I shall be writing to H.M. The Queen to complain forthwith. It can only be those Pietersen fanboys in high places blocking your deserved recognition”, how long would it take for it to be understood as a parody and how many recommends from thinkers and woodpeckers would I pile up first?

    Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Mar 11, 2016 / 9:59 pm

        The last Guardian article in those two books is March 2009. There’s just one from The Times in 2010 and then nothing in any English newspaper.

        What I’m curious about, of course, was if this was for some innocent reason – or if the paper’s emerging editorial line had something to do with it. I’m probably in 2+2=5 territory but the timing of the divorce seems about when the Guardian (along with much of the England press) started disappearing up Andy Flower’s fundament.


    • nonoxcol Mar 11, 2016 / 10:02 pm

      Number 1

      I don’t know, but I observe that Lawrence Booth also stopped writing for the Guardian in 2009.

      I make the further observation that both were highly critical of Giles Clarke in columns from early 2009.

      Some other stuff happened in 2009, and was extensively linked here last week.

      And there I will leave it.


    • d'Arthez Mar 12, 2016 / 6:23 am

      According to wikipedia, (take it with a pinch of salt), monthly rainfalls in Dharamsala in March are about 100 mm. That is about double the average of most months in say London.

      Pretty sure a venue like Jaipur (3 mm monthly for March) would have been better, but
      a) it is too big and thus more expensive, for these worthless teams
      b) internal BCCI politics are more important than a global tournament.
      c) I honestly would not know if you can actually prepare a decent wicket at this time of the year in Jaipur. But seeing that IPL never really had issues with wickets in Jaipur, that seems doubtful.


    • paulewart Mar 13, 2016 / 3:04 pm

      You could call it #MSGenius.


  7. Mark Mar 11, 2016 / 9:49 pm

    Why are the media so excited about Cook reaching 10,000 runs? (When KP was closing in on 10,000 runs he was told it was no big deal, and he should be concentrating on winning for the team. )

    Why did Colin Graves want to be head of the ECB?
    Why does the Guardian still employ Mike Selvey?
    Why does anybody employ Pringle?
    Is Andrew Strauss Andy Flowers son?
    Is Paul Newman a human being?
    Why has the 2016 20/20 World Cup been divided into two tournaments? (The main event, and the ICCs version of Its a knockout)
    Is Giles Clarke an alien?
    Does anybody even know a cricket World Cup is taking place? (A woman tennis player is getting more coverage for taking drugs.)
    Is The Cricketer magazine a comic?
    Why is grass green?
    How much cake can one person eat? (Ask Mike Gatting?)
    Is Lords a secret space ship?


    • Sherwick Mar 12, 2016 / 9:29 am

      Not too distant future..


    • Escort Mar 12, 2016 / 9:36 am

      Don’t expect to hear anything from Cook at this time of year, he’ll be busy doing things with sheep.😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sherwick Mar 12, 2016 / 12:56 pm

        Published on April 1. Maybe it was a hilarious April Fool?
        FFS I cannot stand Cook.


  8. Sherwick Mar 12, 2016 / 9:30 am

    What is wrong with that photo, John?

    Liked by 1 person

    • man in a barrel Mar 14, 2016 / 6:50 pm

      PBH May would say that these shots were not in the MCC coaching manual, so he had ordered his squad not to play them. This prelim tournament might be more fun than the “big boys” tournament. If only a Russian oligarch could be asked to fund it and more of these associate matches.


    • Sherwick Mar 12, 2016 / 12:52 pm

      Sorry, I’ve got a dentist appointment.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Mar 12, 2016 / 1:36 pm

      Why is the cricketer magazines Twitter feed being used to flog Simons Hughes book on batting? It’s bad enough that an ex bowler is still hawking this nonsense about, but should his employers be part of the grift?

      It would appear they can’t even give copies away now. Take out a subscription and get a free lump of bog roll.

      Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez Mar 12, 2016 / 6:33 pm

      Is this a competition where you get the prize when you spot the spelling mistake(s)?

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Sherwick Mar 12, 2016 / 12:53 pm

    Oh yeah, I forgot.
    Why was Kevin Pietersen sacked?


  10. SimonH Mar 12, 2016 / 1:09 pm

    Can cricket make itself look any more ridiculous?


    • nonoxcol Mar 12, 2016 / 2:21 pm

      Harsha Bhogle is a lot of a twit. See, er, Twitter.


  11. SimonH Mar 12, 2016 / 3:48 pm

    At the time of writing, about three hours after the match, the Guardian have no report on the Afghanistan match while carrying a puff-piece with Alex Hales and a report on England’s meaningless warm-up game.

    Who accused the media in other countries recently of being “parochial”?


    • SimonH Mar 12, 2016 / 3:56 pm

      Lawrence Booth learnt five things from that warm-up game….


      • nonoxcol Mar 12, 2016 / 4:11 pm

        “Five things we learned” should have been strangled at birth.


      • d'Arthez Mar 12, 2016 / 6:35 pm

        With one being, that cricket is the only global sport which has warm up games going on as the World Cup is already under way?

        Liked by 1 person

  12. SimonH Mar 13, 2016 / 10:11 am

    Oliver Holt constructs the anti-KP:


    The Pietersen affair is just ignored of course – as are the “difficult winter”, Root’s history of sledging, his non-nomination for SPOTY and the ODI WC campaign.

    (Not getting at Root here who is mostly a very good thing – but the whole thing reeks of “no go areas” and puff-piecery. It’s so much second nature they probably don’t even realise they’re doing it anymore).


    • LordCanisLupus Mar 13, 2016 / 11:13 am

      “It is about the team for Root. It is about the camaraderie. When you ask him about his ambitions, he does not talk about regaining the No1 batting spot from Smith or trying to reach 10,000 runs in Test cricket or becoming England captain at some time in the future, as most assume he will when Alastair Cook moves on.”

      Hang about! Isn’t this having a pop at Alastair Cook?

      When you look up the word “sanctimonious” in the dictionary, the first definition is Holt, Oliver.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mark Mar 13, 2016 / 11:15 am

      Oh please……

      Oliver Holt. The Hold the back page generation who have all been promoted to so called sports feature writers. In other words, Jack of all trades, masters of none. They no longer have Alex Ferguson arround to eulogise. So they have moved onto being experts on every other sport.

      You would hope they would bring something new to the stuffy, group think of the usual cricket writers. But alas no……

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Mark Mar 13, 2016 / 11:33 am

    Yesterday I was listening to fighting talk on radio 5 live. I always listen to Danny Bakers show on Saturday mornings, and fighting talk follows afterwards. It’s a light hearted, knock about show where a panel of ex sportsman and comedians review the weeks sport, and have a laugh. It’s not David Attenborough, but it’s harmless.

    The reason I bring it up is because yesterday they asked a question on cricket as it was the start of the 20/20 World Cup. One of the panel,a female Olympic badminton player admitted she knew nothing about cricket, and the only player she had heard of was Ben Stokes. Another panel member, a comedian I think, said he didn’t even know any of the players, and all he could offer was that he had heard it was raining a lot in India at the moment.

    Now this is of course just one example , but bare in mind the panelists get the questions in advance, so they can do a little research. They are not completely blind. But neither was interested or bothered to look up anything, and knew nothing about cricket. They both showed a good knowledge of other sports. Football, rugby, athletics. But cricket might as well have been invisible. As I say this is just one small example, but the sport really is invisible to the public. Most people couldn’t recognise Joe Root if he walked into their local. Way to go Giles Clarke, and Andrew Strauss, and Mike Selvey. Your doing a heck of a job growing the game.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebogfather Mar 13, 2016 / 12:08 pm

      Ah, but does Ben Stokes have red sauce, brown sauce, or no sauce at all?
      I’m sure one of our investigative cricket reporters is on it as we speak…

      Liked by 2 people

    • Zephirine Mar 13, 2016 / 6:21 pm

      Cricket in the UK is going to end up like rowing – a sport practised by public-schoolboys plus a few hefty types from the former colonies, with the Lord’s Test the equivalent of the Boat Race, a vestigial event whose importance is an utter mystery to most of the British public.


  14. SimonH Mar 13, 2016 / 2:05 pm


  15. nonoxcol Mar 13, 2016 / 2:22 pm

    Tim Wigmore understands that it was England who pushed for the World T20 to move to a four-year cycle, in order to create more space for bi- laterals.

    Insert Captain Renault quote here.

    Anyone seeking to excuse Giles Clarke anything, on any grounds at all, is part of the problem. That is my independent thought on the matter.


      • nonoxcol Mar 14, 2016 / 3:11 pm

        Enlightening in the sense of “absolute bollocks”?

        The long discussion of moderation further up the page is equally “enlightening”. I composed a short post about the infamous and extraordinarily rapid modding on “no I in team” and referred to a well-known blogger quitting BTL in disgust as a direct result. But I decided that I had no chance, up against such Socratic levels of debate.


      • SimonH Mar 14, 2016 / 3:35 pm

        “Enlightening in the sense of “absolute bollocks”?”.

        That’s the one.


      • nonoxcol Mar 16, 2016 / 10:22 am

        Well, SimonH, that p******man really is an awful little sanctimonious creep, isn’t he?


        • LordCanisLupus Mar 16, 2016 / 10:38 am

          Link it, non. Or cut and paste it. I have seen it all.

          You are permitted just the one frustrated outburst.


      • nonoxcol Mar 16, 2016 / 10:52 am


        We’ll be no-platformed next, so people like him and wctt can have their safe space back.

        Apparently a load of regular posters, who had been perfectly polite for years, just randomly turned into relentless campaigning churls sometime in 2012, getting worse between November 2013 and February 2014, and poor ickle innocent Selvey and the people he serves with his perfectly fair and balanced columns had nothing to do with it at all.


        • LordCanisLupus Mar 16, 2016 / 10:54 am

          I suppose bilious inadequates was just a figment of this social media zealot’s imagination?


      • nonoxcol Mar 16, 2016 / 11:01 am

        Well, the shameless fawner has been very careful to state that he’s never seen “an ATL article” that snaps at people BTL. So actual words on Twitter and below the line, and draconian moderation, do not count. Never mind all the other things a well-informed community is aware of, such as DOAG, the Cricket Writers edition that covered it, previous articles on the ICC, previous articles on the Olympics, previous TMS comments about Srinivasan, and certain birthday parties.

        Amazing how convenient these things are, when you think about it.


  16. thebogfather Mar 15, 2016 / 1:52 pm

    Apparently there’s a World T20 Cup starting in 10 mins….. the proper one, that is….
    Also talksport2 is bringing live commentary as well as TMS. Round one to talksport for some mainly interesting and extended lead up…. round two as well for not having Ebony ‘giggle each over and inform by numbers’ RB in their commentary team… Apparently Mr Kimber will be part of the talksport team too..


    • Sherwick Mar 15, 2016 / 2:09 pm

      Is this like the darts world championships – one full of great stars and the other one a little bit rubbish?


      • thebogfather Mar 15, 2016 / 2:16 pm

        could be….will reserve judgement until ENG v WI tomorrow, and you never know, even our hosts here may have noticed there’s a tournament occurring by then … 🙂


        • LordCanisLupus Mar 15, 2016 / 3:23 pm

          Thought some people might have noticed the county cricket post. No smiley.


      • Mark Mar 15, 2016 / 4:26 pm

        I did notice and read your county cricket piece Dmitri. Unfortunately I don’t know what to say. It’s is all a mess of self interest and a competing models of the game.

        Don’t know what the answer is. But the game I grew up with is dying off. What replaces it who knows? Wall to wall 20/20 by the looks of it.


      • thebogfather Mar 15, 2016 / 4:56 pm

        My thought exactly Mark, cricket as we knew and loved it, will become WWE


    • Mark Mar 15, 2016 / 3:05 pm

      Hoisted by their very arrogant petard.

      They can’t help themselves. Their smugness always shines through. Even their twiter feed exudes self satisfaction.


  17. SimonH Mar 15, 2016 / 4:38 pm

    India 42/6!


    • SteveT Mar 15, 2016 / 4:46 pm

      45-7! It’s a bunsen, NZ have played 3 spinners as well and are playing them at their own game


  18. thebogfather Mar 15, 2016 / 4:57 pm

    ICC currently having emergency meeting to reinstall associate members to competition to ensure India can win enough games to get out of group…. 😉


    • Mark Mar 15, 2016 / 5:20 pm

      What a joke. They prepared a Bunsen for a 20/20’game? They got what they deserved. Is this what the so called leader of the cricket world could come up with?

      But never mind, because Zippy, the cricket writer at The Guardian informed us that Giles Clarke was right to prostrate himself at the feet of India because they might leave international cricket.


      • SimonH Mar 15, 2016 / 5:57 pm

        Have a look at Ashwin’s wicket if you want to see how much it was turning at the end (not on cricingif though – they’ve been suspended which is curious….). The earlier wickets were more down to the ball stopping than turning. NZ, as always, were a delight in the field and Williamson marshaled them well.

        India may well still qualify but their NRR took a pounding.

        Those who didn’t see the SA Test series in India and thought it was down to the “hapless” batting of the visitors against spin might have a rethink – but I wouldn’t bet on it.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. d'Arthez Mar 15, 2016 / 7:38 pm

    Raging turner prepared in India. Win toss, win game. Who could have guessed?


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