The Gaffer…

I had a copy of the first TWC out today, released in the late season of 2003. It has a great reminder of one of my favourite test matches – England v South Africa at The Oval – I saw the first three days, including Tres’s 219, Thorpe’s glorious return and the last test innings of FICJAM.

But I thought I’d share with you a wonderful article by Mr Henderson on Alec Stewart. Man-o-man…..

Henderson Stewart

Bloody hell. He didn’t like him, did he?

Mr Conformist, Mr Team Man (Steve Waugh thought he wasn’t though), Mr Straight And Narrow, I reckon he might have ruffled feathers after the 1999 pay schmozzle. Can’t be upsetting the suits now. He ended his career with reputation diminished (really). His choice to try media work is dismissed. His captaincy reign slagged off because he had shown no signs of leadership while in the ranks and in charge of Surrey (oh, the contrasts with Cook).

This man still has a monthly column in The Cricketer. I’m so glad our criticism is labelled as “personal” “mean spirited” and “trolling” but this is fair and above board.

A little late night nostalgia…

Plus, no points for guessing who said this:

“My double-first does nothing for me at the crease, I’m afraid”.

Sadly, Pringle’s article is of the present day. A magnificent piece of work. At no point does he give any evidence of the actual trolling. At no point does he say where it has an effect. At no point is there any tangible evidence that this is “a thing”.


Oh, and well done England. More of that, perhaps, later.


31 thoughts on “The Gaffer…

  1. Julie Mar 27, 2016 / 12:49 am

    Does Pringle have any idea what Twitter is?????


  2. Julie Mar 27, 2016 / 12:54 am

    Our friend Mr Henderson certainly isn’t impressed with Alec.Silly man. Not much of a judge of people.Alec is a good and caring man and though I didn’t know him when he was young am sure he was much the same then.🐰🐰


  3. Clivejw Mar 27, 2016 / 12:55 am

    Henderson is a mean-spirited intellectual snob. In 1998, Stewart as captain gave England its first win in a five-test series for 12 years (however much umpiring errors may have contributed to the victory) and was unfortunate to be sacked after the next year’s disastrous world cup. He came back to captain England again (Hussain being injured) in probably England’s most important test victory of the modern era — Lord’s 2000, when they were bottom of the world and a national joke –, and led them to a famous victory against the West Indies.

    As a player, he scored the magnificent feat of scoring two centuries in a test match against the West Indies while they were still in their pomp (having been bowled out for 46 in the second innings of the previous match), and his keeping, while not in Russell’s class, was top notch at his best (a diving left-handed catch to dismiss Lara at Lord’s sticks in the memory), though it did deteriorate in later years (he was 39 when he retired).

    Yes, the ECB did go with the establishment man after Atherton’s retirement rather than with the rebel, Hussain, and subsequent history proved, with hindsight, that they got it wrong. But none of that is Stewart’s fault and absolutely no reason for belittling his achievements.

    I have read Pringle, I’ll wait till after my blood pressure pills tomorrow morning.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Clivejw Mar 27, 2016 / 12:56 am

      That should read “I haven’t read Pringle.” But you knew that.


    • pktroll (@pktroll) Mar 27, 2016 / 9:36 am

      Personally speaking Clive, I’m not sure that I see someone who makes comments about his poorly hidden prejudices as being worthy of being referred to as an intellectual.

      Speaking of Stewart, it is conveniently forgotten by many that his record without the wicket-keeper gloves was of the highest class, i.e. about 45-46 and that was in an era where he was up against Ambrose and Walsh, the 2Ws and Mushy, the Australians, the likes of Donald and Pollock in SA, i.e. higher class bowling attacks quite comfortably than those that are around today.

      I was at Lord’s when he took that catch to get rid of Lara. That game will probably be remembered for Cork’s 7fer but that catch off Gough did much to swing the game in England’s favour.


  4. Mark Mar 27, 2016 / 12:57 am

    I wonder if the press rule of not applauding a hundred still exists? Ho, ho.
    Do you think they all stay silent when Cook scores a hundred?

    Of course in fairness to Henderson this was in the age when the media saw their job to write what they believed, and if that meant attacking, and criticising so be it. No worries they would be on a black list, and refused access to the holly order. Unfortunately today they are all ECB Pravda so this sort of hard hitting piece would not be written.

    It is priceless mind that hard work and loyalty and all the things they say a certain KP does not share was once seen as a negative. Where were the pieces moaning about Strauss going off into the media? Why is there no Henderson piece on why Andrew Strauss is not doing an umpires course?

    As for Pringles nonsense what rubbish. Cook happy in his own skin? I think not Mr Pringle. The reason Cook stays off social media is because he has a very thin skin. Exhibit A ” I thought he was a so called friend.” Or who can forget his broadside against Mark Butcher after he made a light hearted comment about ” watching the ashes from behind the sofa.” Cook wasn’t so happy in his own skin to let that one go. And who will ever forget his meltdown and curled lip when he was dumped from the ODI team, and then his whining about the World Cup and how he should not have been sacked?

    Me thinks Mr Pringle doth protest too much. Because it seems the real point of the piece is the trolls attacking the media not the players. It seems Pringle is hiding behind the players. A giant picture of Cook and baby to hide behind hey Derek?

    Liked by 6 people

    • Rooto Mar 27, 2016 / 7:16 am

      Excellent comment Mark. The few knee-jerk fools who lash out mid-match are easily dismissed, and are often ridiculed BTL. They are the equivalent of the football crowd, but then it appears Derek Pringle was easily got at even by cricket crowds when he was playing. If the purpose of his story was to belittle the crowd, then I’m afraid it backfired.
      The real danger of social media, and I use the word danger quite wrongly, is the forum it provides for thought-out attacks on the suits and their press supporters. Again, DP is taking it personally, but at least he has the self-awareness to deflect it onto the players for public consumption.
      To be fair, I can imagine myself in my early-twenties (like a lot of the players are) being more easily riled and liable to angry ripostes. Maturity comes with age. Doesn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

    • sgtcookieblog Mar 27, 2016 / 9:25 am

      ‘Pring’ was the first England cricketer I couldn’t stand and not just for his crappy nickname. He ruined Chariots of Fire, the reputation of England all rounders after (Tony) Grieg and Botham and the conclusion of the 1985 Nat West Final (which you could have read ‘here’ if I had the first idea how to perform such trickery.)
      Anyway, on a jollier note happy Easter to all, and thank you.


      • Clivejw Mar 29, 2016 / 4:16 am

        I believe in trying to be fair to people I dislike, so here goes: Pringle damn near won the 1992 world cup final for us single-handedly, and would have done so if the umpires had had some acquaintance with the LBW law. That was his finest hour. Apart from that, his England career was worse than mediocre.

        How he ever managed to become the cricket correspondent of a major newspaper, however, is a far bigger mystery than why he was picked for England (the latter was surely a case of beggars can’t be choosers). He writes even worse than he batted (which I long ago compared to a schoolboy pissing down his leg) or bowled. It can only be a case of knowing, or more likely, being related to the right people. He is a pisspoor writer, and I thought that long before he showed himself to be a vindictive and obsessive shit over his vendetta against Pietersen.


      • nonoxcol Mar 29, 2016 / 7:13 am


        “No-one is better connected than he.”

        Selvey on Pringle when the latter was dismissed. There was also this, when he first got wind of his pal’s impending doom:

        I agree with you about the rest – would also add his 29 in support of Gooch’s 154* at Headingley 1991 though.


      • SimonH Mar 29, 2016 / 8:50 am

        “Pringle damn near won the 1992 world cup final for us single-handedly, and would have done so if the umpires had had some acquaintance with the LBW law”.

        TV ran the notorious LBW appeal against Javed through ball-tracking and, guess what, it was correctly given not out. The point of impact was outside the line of off-stump.

        Please put this tiresome myth to bed!


    • Escort Mar 27, 2016 / 12:46 pm

      The press aren’t against heaping unnecessary praise on a scratchy 95 against a defeated Indian team though


  5. Rooto Mar 27, 2016 / 7:32 am

    Rob Bailey was my number one hero when I was young, even ahead of Allan Lamb and Ricky Villa. It began with his (dare I say Cook-esque) breakthrough century against the touring West Indies, when playing for Northants in 84. I was thrilled when he finally got called up for England, and when playing at school I, too, would lunge hugely forward to every ball.
    But even I wouldn’t try and compare him to Alec Stewart.

    As an aside, it’s interesting how Stewart, the supposed establishment man, was so easily out-establishmented by Strauss last spring. What would Henderson think about Strauss’s later career, when his average was in freefall and his team riven by dressing-room splits?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Rooto Mar 27, 2016 / 7:42 am

      What I mean is: Strauss went on too long and chose the moment of his farewell, too. But did anything change in the intervening decade to make it acceptable for Henderson?


    • dlpthomas Mar 27, 2016 / 1:00 pm

      Did Bailey play a season of district cricket in Melbourne in the late 80’s?


    • Mark Mar 27, 2016 / 11:21 am

      Henderson seems a bit confused about what constitutes Englishness. Or rather his version of Englishness. According to that previous article he thinks Stewart was too English. No hinterland. Not prepared to explore other cultures. Yet here he finds another player not English enough for his tastes.

      Henderson sounds like Goldilocks and the three bears. Too hot, too cold, Make yor bleeding mind up!


    • Escort Mar 27, 2016 / 1:16 pm

      On this occasion Henderson did make a good point didn’t he?


  6. Nicholas Mar 27, 2016 / 12:01 pm

    Worth pointing out (perhaps) that Henderson lost his column two years precisely into The Wisden Cricketer era, and was replaced by Kevin Mitchell. My TWC/Cricketer back-issues are at my parents’ house, so I can’t double-check, but I’m *pretty* sure that Henderson only came back on board when the magazine was revamped following the TestMatchSofa take-over in the summer of 2011. That was the summer when the magazine went very conservative for six months (in between John Stern and Andrew Miller’s editorships) so I guess it’s no surprise that Henderson was brought back into the fold. And he’s been there ever since.

    And don’t forget that it was Miller who gave Selvey his column in the Cricketer – pretty sure his first appearance was the first issue of the Miller-revamped magazine (May 2012, I think it was).


  7. MM Mar 27, 2016 / 2:21 pm

    Jeez, I really dislike Pringle. He makes my piles bleed just looking at his stupid face.


  8. Maxie Allen Mar 28, 2016 / 1:24 pm

    In his book ‘Rainmen’, the author Marcus Berkmann came up with a barely-improvable summary of Derek Pringle’s stature.

    “[He was] one of those players who went from promising young shaver to wily old pro, without the usual good bit in the middle”.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Clivejw Mar 28, 2016 / 7:24 pm

    I have read the Pringle piece right now, and my first and only reaction is that it consists almost entirely of projection. When Pringle writes of the pressures on modern cricketers from social media, what he means is that he, Derek Pringle, attracts almost entirely negative comments on Twitter and below the line in the comment sections of newspapers, and he doesn’t like it.

    On the other hand, what Mark said about ***k is spot on — he is a thin-skinned individual who reacts poorly to criticism. I still cannot forgive the MM’s orchestrated attempt to portray him as a “man of steel” — they obviously think we’re idiots.

    Liked by 2 people

    • MM Mar 28, 2016 / 9:20 pm

      Hey Clive, just so we are all totally clear, I never said ***k was a man of steel. Never would ever.

      Or did you mean MSM? I bet you did! : )


      • Clivejw Mar 28, 2016 / 11:18 pm

        Oh yes, so I did. Apologies for confusion!


    • Maxie Allen Mar 29, 2016 / 5:00 pm

      Derek Pringle has only ever been able to write about the game from a player’s perspective – or specifically, as an ex-pro who is interested in, and feels he has some equity in, the realities of life as a professional cricketer.

      He is seemingly unable either to observe or discuss cricket from the perspective of the people he’s actually supposed to represent – his readers, and by extension, the wider cricketing public.

      This is why he’s fixated by criticism of Cook but so incurious about why so many people felt compelled to make that criticism. It never occurs to him to wonder why so many cricket followers are angry about what they witness and need to give vent to those feelings.

      But what else would you expect when retires and then immediately accedes to the press box, without any real life experience in between. What has Pringle ever done, professionally, away from a cricket field? How many cricket followers does he know, or has ever spoken to, who have no personal connection to the professional game? When did he last pay to attend a match?

      All this, of course, is even truer of Mike Selvey, who has far more empathy with the people he writes about than the people he writes for. Who else could have come up with these?

      Liked by 1 person

      • LordCanisLupus Mar 29, 2016 / 8:21 pm

        Those two tweets, one attacking Sean because of the number of followers, shows why respect for him is so low.

        Pringle amuses me no end. He doesn’t get it. He was the Telegraph’s main man, and now he’s just a hired old grunt for The Cricket Paper, in contrast to the lively reporting of Tim Wigmore who has been a joy to read recently on there. The contrast is stark. Wigmore all hard work, great background, insight and knowledge. Pringle consulted Oman. We respect the former, the old hacks worship the latter.

        This is the world we live in.


      • MM Mar 29, 2016 / 8:59 pm

        I reckon he gets up real early every day just to practise this smug crap.


      • nonoxcol Mar 30, 2016 / 10:58 am

        Rejoice, heathens!

        It’s the coach first, then his side. As ever, in the event of success.


  10. sgtcookieblog Mar 29, 2016 / 2:52 pm

    Can I just clarify that just because I couldn’t stand ‘Pring’ as a 15 year old socially inadequate adolescent doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate his skills looking back as a 49 year old socially inadequate adult.
    Why, I am the first to admit that during his 10 year England career he enjoyed several glorious seconds that may have even run into minutes. That World Cup final was so nearly tagged as the ‘Pring the Merciless’ match and had he not run out of batting partners who’s to say his 18 from 16 wouldn’t have become 41 from 20 to seal the win. Man of the match (3-22 from 10) (overs) would have been his, garlands would have followed, knighthoods, dukedoms whatever was Pring’s thing. How do you get over being on the cusp of such greatness only to be let down by your colleagues?
    You go into the written media and let your bitterness spew forth I guess. Instead of anecdotes of WC triumph, tales of falling out with your own supporters.


    • MM Mar 29, 2016 / 8:56 pm



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