Opening Up 1 – The Open Thread

When I asked for some input in to further things we could do on the blog during the non-England periods, or when finding something to say proves difficult, one of the ideas that I quite liked was the “Open Thread”. A post where you can post anything on cricket in the comments.

I don’t want this to be a lazy “here’s an open thread so do your thing” type affair. I’ll tie it, if it proves successful to a week’s fixtures, and so given the start of the County Championship on Sunday and the IPL on Saturday, this seems an ideal time to give it a go.

County Championship – Division One

Durham v Somerset

Hampshire v Warwickshire

Nottinghamshire v Surrey

County Championship – Division Two

Essex v Gloucestershire

Northants v Sussex

Worcestershire v Kent

Then there is the IPL and the competition kicks off on Saturday with KP’s Pune team in action against Jos’s Mumbai (if he gets a game!)


9/4 – Mumbai v Pune

10/4 – Kolkata v Delhi

11/4 – Kings XI v Gujarat

12/4 – Bangalore v Sunrisers

13/4 – Kolkata v Mumbai

14/4 – Gujarat v Pune

15/4 – Delhi v Kings XI

Also, feel free to comment on anything else unrelated to our posts. It’s all in your hands whether this works or not!

On other matters, I will have a lot of spare time at the end of May/beginning of June so will look to update The Glossary. Any suggestion of definitions will be welcome. Where’s Phil A when I need him?


211 thoughts on “Opening Up 1 – The Open Thread

  1. thebogfather Apr 9, 2016 / 7:06 am

    For anyone interested in the IPL, but not having Sky or whoever is showing it, you might like to follow on talksport2 which is providing commentary on a number of matches, starting today with KP v Jos

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebogfather Apr 11, 2016 / 4:02 pm

      Interesting mix of radio summarisers for the first three matches – Jarrod Kimber, Derek Pringle, and today Don Topley…..sadly I missed all but the last five minutes of DelBoy yesterday…


  2. Tuntun Apr 9, 2016 / 7:08 am

    Well if you don’t have sky but do have android. One answer = mobdro.

    I’ll say no more


  3. CricketCage Apr 9, 2016 / 8:25 am

    9 years into the IPL and the ECB is still lagging behind. Jason Roy, David Willey, Chris Jordan, would be better off with regular T20 cricket. I was going to put Stokesy in that list but it may be too soon.


    • SimonH Apr 9, 2016 / 8:36 am

      Jordan was in the draft but didn’t get picked up.


      • d'Arthez Apr 9, 2016 / 8:58 am

        Well, if you price yourself out, you don’t get picked up.If you ask for $150 000, without ever having performed, chances are you are not going to get picked up. I think Broad or Anderson put their names in in the past as well , but if the starting price is $400 000, yeah, chances are small you’re going to get picked up.

        He was asking for twice as much as Badree got, nearly double of what Andre Russell got, the same that Tahir got, more than 3 times than what Albie Morkel got, more than 3 times of what Billings got, about 17% more than what Lendl Simmons got, all of whom have either performed in the IPL in the past, or have not looked like not belonging in international cricket, which Jordan has for 90% of the time.

        Oh, and then of course there are doubts about availability, since the ECB really like playing against opposition in May, who’d prefer to be in India to actually earn money …


      • SimonH Apr 9, 2016 / 9:12 am

        D, I only mentioned it to point out that this is one thing the ECB can’t be blamed for (and I’m not usually slow to blame them!). That’s unless there’s any evidence that Jordan was forced to set a high reserve price as part of the deal to let him go (as happened to Hales, for example).

        I expect Jordan to become a fixture on the T20 franchise circuit. As a bowler nearer 30 than 25, and with a history of back trouble that is now contained rather than cured, he’d be crazy not to.
        Whether Willey and Roy go the same route is more debatable. It depends on their Test hopes I would think.

        One of the consequences of the T20I WC campaign is that England players should be more in demand on the T20 circuit (and not many of them are on central contracts).


      • Mark Apr 9, 2016 / 12:19 pm

        I didn’t hear about this. Was Hales told to set a too high price so he would not get picked up? Wow. Wat deceit by the powers to be if true, pretend you are embracing 20/20 and then fix it so no players can go.

        Some at the ECB should go and work for the guardian. They have a problem in that direction also.


      • SimonH Apr 9, 2016 / 12:50 pm

        Hales’ reserve price wasn’t this year – it was in the past (2014 I think).

        I also didn’t say (although I can see it might have seemed implied) that it caused by the ECB – it was more a deal with his county as I recall. Didn’t Hales then not get selected by his county (Newell thought an opening partnership of Jaques and Mullaney better) and end up out on loan somewhere?

        My memory is a little fuzzy on this and I’m happy to be corrected if I’ve mis-remembered.


      • Mark Apr 9, 2016 / 2:04 pm

        I thought it was too good a story to be true Simon. It would have made the ECB look ridiculous.

        Not that they would have worried about it.,


      • Rooto Apr 9, 2016 / 5:33 pm

        Re: Hales and the IPL. Notts only agreed to let Hales, Lumb and Patel go in the draw on the understanding that their reserve price was £200,000. Unsurprisingly, none was picked up.

        It sounds wrong, but apparently ‘was’ is grammatically correct there…


  4. SimonH Apr 9, 2016 / 12:12 pm

    After those two terrible articles praising the tournament and praising Strauss, Vic Marks has apparently rediscovered his marbles with, first, some feisty comments lauding the West Indies for managing maverick players and now he’s criticised the lack of FTA coverage on TV.

    Guess who pops up almost immediately:

    Not that he “holds a candle” for Sky – just the two points he makes (one of which is disingenuous b*****ks), both of which happen to support the ECB-Sky nexus.

    At least he hasn’t yet told anyone they want to deprive the blind. However, the day is young.


    • LordCanisLupus Apr 9, 2016 / 12:17 pm

      On my feed it appears as if Selvey’s comment has disappeared. Plenty of people are replying to it.


    • Clivejw Apr 9, 2016 / 2:21 pm

      He doesn’t hold a candle for Sky, but the tiniest suggestion that a bit of terrestrial coverage would be nice is guaranteed to bring him swooping down like a deus ex machina to “correct” the misguided poster. It’s the only time he bothers coming down among us mortals nowadays.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Zephirine Apr 9, 2016 / 2:36 pm

        Isn’t it slightly bad form to turn up BTL on another journalist’s piece? Seems a bit like barging in to me..


      • Clivejw Apr 9, 2016 / 3:16 pm

        Selvey does that quite a lot, I’ve noticed. Probably more often than he appears BTL on his own pieces.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Tregaskis Apr 9, 2016 / 2:38 pm

      Sky may have in the region of 12 million subscribers, but most of the Sky bundles do not include sports. It is possible that sports subscribers represent a large proportion of the total Sky subscribers, though I do not think the figures are available.

      As I understand it, the majority subscribe to Sky Sports for the football. Viewing figures of 2-3 million for PL matches are not unusual. The last Ashes series enjoyed viewing figures of around 400,000.

      Selvey’s intervention BTL is puzzling. (It was not even his article! Is he policing every cricket article in the Guardian now?) He must have known that the proposition he was advancing was absurd. I might as well say that my blog is available to anyone with access to a computer, but it does not mean it gets 50 million hits. If he does not understand why his use of these statistics is misleading, I wouldn’t be in the least surprised – just another occasion when he prefers bombastic, shoot-from-the-lip nonsense in support of his prejudice of the day. If he did recognise the inherent faultline in his point, his disclaimer about not holding a candle for Sky (I think he means not carrying a torch for them) is dubious or at least misplaced.

      I recall that the finale to the 2005 Ashes, the last time cricket was available live on FTA, the viewing figures peaked at around 8 million. For the avoidance of any doubt, that’s not 8 million viewers potentially “available” to watch, but those that actually did. Any patronising tone here is exclusively aimed at Selvey. He is sure to be reading.

      Liked by 2 people

      • metatone Apr 9, 2016 / 5:09 pm

        I posted this there, but the solid estimates of Sky Sports subs (working from viewing figures for the football) is around 5 million – but a substantial percentage (20% last time I heard, so around a million) cancel over the summer to save money…


    • Northern Light Apr 9, 2016 / 7:46 pm

      I’m afraid I couldn’t help myself. 3 comments so far and I may not be able to hold myself back and come back for more.
      He’s such an…….. I don’t even think there is a word for it anymore. It would need to incorporate smug, defensive,entitled, ignorant, narrow, blinded, dull-witted, dense, misleading, malevolent and greasy.
      Is there such a word? Perhaps it could be invented? My bid is for a “selving”

      Liked by 1 person

      • jomesy Apr 10, 2016 / 8:33 am

        Agree NL but I think you missed a key one – he’s also a bully (which I accept is probably a natural consequence of the other character traits you list).

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Mark Apr 9, 2016 / 12:22 pm

    Essex in division 2. Should we really consider their opener for England and captain as he is playing such a poor standard?

    (Only pointing out an argument they have used against certain players in div 2 before.)


    • LordCanisLupus Apr 9, 2016 / 12:24 pm

      I, for one, am looking forward to the multitude of “easy” triple centuries against Leicestershire this season.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sherwick Apr 9, 2016 / 12:37 pm

        There have been millions over the years!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Clivejw Apr 9, 2016 / 2:04 pm

    Well, I’m off to Northampton for my earliest day of county cricket ever tomorrow (never been to a game this early in April).

    To be honest, the real reason I’m going is to see Michael Pennington in King Lear (twice). In view of the weather forecast (not exactly “cataracts and hurricanoes”, but rain is forecast for all four days), any cricket will be a bonus.

    The first thing I see when I visit the Sussex CCC website is a banner headline about a Tom Jones concert at the Brighton and Hove Ground in July. A glimpse of the future when the championship is scaled down even further?

    Also had an email to say that our team’s new sponsor is a firm of solicitors, so members are being offered a 50% discount if they make their will. The club knows its demographic!

    Anyway, I hope there is some cricket, because Ross Taylor is due to make his county debut.


    • Mark Apr 9, 2016 / 2:09 pm

      I wonder how many of these grounds will be housing estates in 50 years time?

      With road names after cricketing terms. Bouncer avenue. Fine leg way. Century view.


    • Zephirine Apr 9, 2016 / 2:42 pm

      Why twice, clive? I mean, he’s a fine actor and all, but…


      • Clivejw Apr 9, 2016 / 3:14 pm

        Well, a) I haven’t seen Pennington since 1991; b) to my shame, I’ve never seen Lear on stage, though it is my favourite play and I know large chunks by heart, having studied it for A Level. I have seen several film versions (Olivier, Michael Hordern, Ian McKellen), but nothing can beat live theatre.

        I’m also going to see Antony Sher’s Lear this year — thee times! So I’m really making up for lost time.

        Don’t think cricket was around in Shakespeare’s time, though King Lear does contain the insult “thou base football player.”


      • Grenville Apr 9, 2016 / 5:25 pm

        I can’t find the reference, (it’s in ‘you don’t play at revolution’), but CLR James claims that he went to watch Gieguld, I think, as Lear every night of its run. He was disappointed that Gieguld didn’t understand the class politics at the heart of the play. Clive is in good company.


      • Northern Light Apr 10, 2016 / 7:24 am

        I assumed that Macbeth had seen a vision of Cookie when describing a servant as a “cream-faced loon”


    • Zephirine Apr 9, 2016 / 3:36 pm

      Enjoy. Lear is an extraordinary story really, but then so are lots of Shakespeare’s. People going mad, getting blinded, usual stuff.

      There would have been an early single-wicket form of cricket around in Shakespeare’s day, but he might not have known about it as it was mostly played in Kent and Sussex..


  7. LordCanisLupus Apr 9, 2016 / 3:07 pm

    OK. Try again.

    I had a look at my favourite tweeter, and no, it’s not him, and wondered if (a) he was watching the IPL and (b) if he had anything to say about it, because it is hilarious. The Tweeter who compared KP being a pundit on an England game being the same as a notorious entertainer paedo at a children’s party.

    Well, according to this genius, and I quote:

    “…when are you lot at Sky going to realise that the guy is a complete irrelevance! Sky losing touch with your audience again”

    Part of the reason I’m watching the game is down to KP. The other part is to see how Jos does (and sadly, it was a duck).

    I just don’t get the logic. He’s not coming back…we know that.

    Mumbai currently 38/4. Got a lot of work to do.

    I also maintain that Danny Morrison is the voice of Snagglepuss.


  8. Clivejw Apr 9, 2016 / 3:32 pm

    At the rate the Mumbai Indians are collapsing, KP isn’t going to need to bat.


    • Clivejw Apr 9, 2016 / 5:33 pm

      Well, I was wrong, KP did get to make an unbeaten 21 off 14 balls. Crushing victory to Supergiants.

      Liked by 1 person

      • LordCanisLupus Apr 9, 2016 / 5:34 pm

        The first six of Bhaji ooozed (with an extra o) class.

        Dull game, though. Jos will do better (he could hardly do worse).

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Sherwick Apr 9, 2016 / 5:34 pm

    It’s KP time!


  10. Rooto Apr 9, 2016 / 6:35 pm

    Good luck with the cricket in Northampton tomorrow Clive. I’ll miss my usual updates (and more importantly I’ll miss ‘l’enfer du Nord’) as I’m out with the family, over the border in Italy. You’ll be hoping Sussex bowl first, especially if it’s overcast. Magoffin will probably be on for a bumper wicket haul in div 2.
    I’m very interested to see if and when Monty gets a game, as (and I’ve posted this elsewhere already) I don’t think he’s entirely trusted by the management, and captain Alex (Bedford School) Wakely in particular. What Wakely was doing using the 2nd conditional form to describe Monty’s chances of selection (“would be” rather than “will be”) when the occasion of his official signing demanded some hope and joy, I don’t know.
    I hope the first day throws up some interesting stories somewhere – maybe a Tresco ton, or Nick Browne getting runs while Essex collapse… Hants vs Warks looks like an interesting one for form guides at both ends of the table. (C’mon Ian!)


    • Clivejw Apr 9, 2016 / 8:29 pm

      Thanks, Rooto. I haven’t been to the Northants ground since the early nineties. Looking forward to it. If it’s wet and cold, I’ll sink a few in the clubhouse.


  11. LordCanisLupus Apr 9, 2016 / 8:07 pm


    As much as we pretty much all agree that Sky Sports costs too much and all that, I’m not 100% sure of the legal position of publicising ways around the contracts (illegal feeds).

    I’d much rather people didn’t do that. I know for other sites this can lead to complications.



    • fred Apr 10, 2016 / 3:49 pm

      Really, can you get into trouble for posting such links? better not do that then.
      Someone mentioned mobdro above. I hadn’t heard of it before. I certainly won’t be using it if it’s illegal. It’s coverage seems to be excellent (a mate at the pub told me). I wouldn’t encourage anyone to use it if it represents competition to Sky/ICC, even if they live in a country where ICC hasn’t bothered to make cricket coverage available.
      Mobdro is definitely one to avoid, because we need to respect the ICC and Sky.


      • LordCanisLupus Apr 10, 2016 / 4:12 pm

        I know of message boards that have, Fred.

        Everyone is responsible for their own postings on here, we’ve made that clear. But anything that I think might, even in a small way, jeopardise what we do, I will make a decision on that basis.

        It has the square root of eff all to do with respect for the ICC and Sky.


  12. zeitkratzer stockhausen Apr 9, 2016 / 8:58 pm

    Long time lurker – first time poster. I pure love county cricket. Article below is excellent. I never really got the wrong of the haughtiness because I got the tail end of an era where a lot of very knowledgeable workmates had a passion for it. That was a top legacy. In my reasonably limited experience there’s been something of a rebirth in interest in it and the numbers certainly at Middlesex seem to be on the rise
    Being the home of cricket might help though.


  13. Benny Apr 9, 2016 / 10:27 pm

    I’m delighted the season is beginning. However, living near Brighton, the nearest game is Southampton – some 2 hours there and 2 hours back – plus I reckon it’s a 3 sweater time at the very exposed Aegeas Bowl. I’m very keen to see a few matches at Hove and the Oval this summer and, if I’m lucky, meet up with our host again. County cricket has always been a little bit special.


  14. amit Apr 10, 2016 / 3:38 am

    Sky are hardly the only broadcasters worth complaining about. With the expat population in Singapore being what it is, IPL is still not being telecast this year. I just had to call and cancel my subscription in the morning – i duly did. Will be forced to try streams now but then if the batting in games to come is anywhere close to what it was yesterday when Mumbai began, then probably not going to be as exciting…


  15. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Apr 10, 2016 / 8:22 am

    All this talk of Sky packages made me realise I don’t really know what I’m paying for, or how my ‘bundle’ is made up. Anyway, had a look and noticed that Sky Movies are an expensive stand-alone that I have now cancelled. It’s only cricket that is keeping me with the Sports packages as well. I have to stream many football games anyway since so many went to BT. I still can’t believe intervention on behalf of consumers led to such a spike in costs to watch games.

    I think I’ll go to Trent Bridge today. Lovely ground of course and there’ll be a lot of exciting talent on display including several possible future England players.


  16. mdpayne87 Apr 10, 2016 / 9:38 am

    The first ever Championship matches that could have no toss of course – will be interesting to see if any visiting sides go for the bowl first option. I see Surrey have at Trent Bridge.


  17. Tuffers86 Apr 10, 2016 / 11:57 am

    Keith Barker with a Michelle before lunch on the opening day of the Championship.


    • d'Arthez Apr 10, 2016 / 5:02 pm

      Move along South African selectors, not a decent cricket player to see in that game. Keep picking the likes of Parnell and Behardien …


    • Zephirine Apr 10, 2016 / 3:43 pm

      It’s a total non-story, though.

      I note from a quick and unaccustomed look through the CC blog that Mike Selvey says he hasn’t seen Pietersen play ‘since the Sydney Test’.
      So he didn’t watch any coverage of the IPL, the Big Bash, the Caribbean League or indeed certain events at a Surrey v Leics match. Not even a YouTube clip, it would seem.
      What does a cricket correspondent do, exactly?


      • Sherwick Apr 10, 2016 / 3:50 pm

        Yeah but triple centuries are 10 a penny in the Championship..


    • LordCanisLupus Apr 10, 2016 / 4:17 pm

      He said the same things on a Q&A a few weeks ago but no doubt the press were too busy to notice.

      I’m in this stable…


    • SimonH Apr 10, 2016 / 4:34 pm

      They are all based on the same PA story – is that our old friend Rory Dullard at it again?

      It’s not enough the worst story in the press this weekend. That baseball story in the DT is even worse. Andrew Nixon and Peter Della Penna have eviscerated that one on Twitter.


      • LordCanisLupus Apr 10, 2016 / 4:41 pm

        As I said, he did say the same things on a Q&A and it barely registered.

        Was this about the amount of talent in Major League Baseball that could be T20 stars. Dear oh dear. Still there is someone who can talk to us about the cross over between baseball and cricket. Who knows, he might even write a book about it…..


    • LordCanisLupus Apr 10, 2016 / 4:10 pm

      A brilliant spot. Hostages to fortune abound. Calling him “Straussy” is toe-curling.

      As is making a just above routine slip catch a subject of sycophantic Tweets:

      Another rubbish game in the IPL, AB!!!!


    • Zephirine Apr 10, 2016 / 4:16 pm

      he was appointed and quickly put to bed the Kevin Pietersen situation Like a new tenant finally dealing with those weeds on the patio. How very splendid. Always a good idea to just get on with it when you’re going to screw someone else’s life up in an unprecedented kind of way.

      Liked by 3 people

      • LordCanisLupus Apr 10, 2016 / 4:18 pm

        How did “Straussy” do it, and my not inconsiderable part in it..

        A year ago, the two of us sat in the same resort discussing the state of English white ball cricket. It wasn’t in a good place. We had made poor choices in our selections, had awful strategies, we were fearful, over analytical and edgy as a team.

        This all reflected in the performance at the 2015 ICC World Cup.

        Straussy was asked if he was interested in the MD role during that very week.

        A few days later, he was appointed and quickly put to bed the Kevin Pietersen situation before setting about appointing a coaching team to push English white ball cricket forward into, and beyond, the 2019 ICC World Cup.

        12 months on and England have a side that almost – thanks! Carlos Brathwaite – won a World Cup. The side are great to watch, full of character, fearless, smiley and love playing cricket under massive pressure as a unit.

        It feels as if the English public is back in love with its team and that makes me feel very positive for the future.

        How did Straussy do it?


      • LordCanisLupus Apr 10, 2016 / 4:23 pm

        Mills and effing Boon alert…..

        “As the last ball sailed over the boundary, I placed a beer in front of him, put my hand on his shoulder and told him how proud I was of him.

        The Englishman next to me was Andrew Strauss.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Apr 10, 2016 / 4:28 pm

        “What I love about the way Straussy and Bayliss have done it over the past 12 months is that they go about their business quietly. They never talk about how important they are or what role they play”.

        Does Strauss need to when the entire press corps fall over themselves to do it for him?

        “How did Straussy do it? He appoint a world-class coaching team”.

        Farbrace and Gibson were already in place (some credit to Strauss for not sacking them, I suppose) and, as for Bayliss, it was a TINA appointment.

        Liked by 1 person

        • LordCanisLupus Apr 10, 2016 / 4:31 pm

          Can we learn from the Strauss example?

          It has taken Andrew Strauss less than 12 months to repair a totally broken ship before kickstarting England’s cricket Renaissance.

          He has set a very clear vision (to win the 2019 ICC World Cup on home soil).

          He has made great appointments and selections in line with his white ball vision.

          He empowers his staff and players.

          He does his business confidently, yet quietly and is not interested in his own press.

          If your club is struggling to find its identity and vision then could someone or a group of people follow Strauss’ lead and achieve some special things?

          If that was written on paper, I would say “a tree died for this”.


      • Zephirine Apr 10, 2016 / 6:43 pm

        Strauss had, of course, spent some time in the Sky commentary box listening to various knowledgeable people discussing where England was going wrong. Not that they would have given him any ideas or anything, because he did it all by his very wonderful self.

        In some South African traditional cultures, the ‘imbongi’ or praise singer composes poems and orations explaining to everyone the great qualities and accomplishments of the chief. Thus the chief has no need to boast, which would be undignified, and the imbongi attains high status in the tribe.

        Liked by 2 people

    • RufusSG Apr 10, 2016 / 4:22 pm

      Perhaps I’m being pedantic, but what I found annoying about it is that it’s not actually that well written – tons of unnecessarily short sentences and paragraph division, and some strange uses of punctuation. I’m all for getting to the point, but – ironically, considering one of the points made in the article – it doesn’t really set out a “clear vision” at all, and was very awkward to read.


      • LordCanisLupus Apr 10, 2016 / 4:27 pm


        The thing with this clear vision stuff, is that if it was that clear, anyone could do it.

        What annoyed me about this were the hostages to fortune in it. Let’s be frank, here, we were one badly missed LBW decision away from being eliminated by Afghanistan. Possibly. Then what? This shite?

        We’ve played well, got some breaks, which we all need, but there are things you can’t prepare for.

        The vast majority of these clear vision gurus are snake oil salesmen. The ones convinced most of their ability are those that stare back at them in the mirror.

        This is truly dreadful stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

      • RufusSG Apr 10, 2016 / 4:32 pm

        Yeah, I agree with you completely – what Strauss did was to tell them to play in the manner that people have been crying out for England’s limited-overs sides to do for years: whilst that in and of itself was a good decision, it wasn’t an especially remarkable and unique one, and shouldn’t be praised as such. Seems a bit emperor’s new clothes to me.


      • Clivejw Apr 10, 2016 / 9:29 pm

        Indeed. I’ve read more adult syntax in a Ladybird Book.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. amit Apr 10, 2016 / 4:33 pm

    When you think of it, the narrative hasn’t really changed. Get rid of KP to change the fortunes was how the suits saw it. That was nonsense then, it remains so now. We’ve surely got a few players in squad worth following, but the manner of the inquest and scapegoating will stink. Always, and for ever.


    • LordCanisLupus Apr 10, 2016 / 4:44 pm

      It was low pressure, because his team was going to win, but that first six KP hit off Harby was pure unbridled class. He wasn’t going to be tied down, he just smashed it.

      The fact is KP is really put in the shade now because the ECB have struck gold with Root. Without Joe, they’d be in an untenable position. The fact our test team is short of a #2, #3 and #5 (Taylor being talked up is going to wear thin soon) is ignored because Root is carrying more passengers than Emirates Air Lines.


  19. LordCanisLupus Apr 10, 2016 / 4:34 pm

    I did think we (Surrey) would struggle this season, certainly at the start. We didn’t get going quickly last year, and again we’ve come out of the blocks slowly.

    They’ve got a lot of learning to do, certain experienced pros aside, but I think we need to have patience and stick with the players we are developing / young players we’ve nicked off others.

    As I write, Notts are 400/5.


    • LordCanisLupus Apr 10, 2016 / 4:39 pm

      And now they’ve lost two quick wickets. 402/7. I see Clive got a century from Ben Duckett (178 when bad light stopped play). Hope he lets us know the quality of it when he finishes with King Lear!

      Also, Nick Browne reacted like all other promising openers sent in with Chef. Out for 1. England beckons!


      • Clivejw Apr 10, 2016 / 9:48 pm

        Unfortunately, Clive saw very little of Duckett’s innings, due to his terrible Sunday morning sloth (to be fair, I have been travelling to and fro rather a lot lately). I finally arrived with just half an hour to go until tea — after which the day’s play was suspended for bad light. By then it was terrifically cold as well, with a nasty strong wind.

        I did listen to the BBC commentary, and it seems it was a chanceless innings. He breezed to his 50 off a mere 60 deliveries — not bad for the first match of the season, in April, against the side tipped to win the Second Division, who chose to bowl first.

        It’s all my fault for telling people I would probably be gone for only three days as Northants weren’t strong enough to last longer, if the weather held. But they obviously have some very promising youngsters — Duckett is just 21. I learn from Cricinfo that he is one of only two Englishmen to average over 60 in the U19 World Cup — the other being ***k. Sussex were reduced to bowling spin from each end at him. I gather he signed off last season with a century against your boys at the Oval.

        Maybe the next lucky batsman to partner ***k in test cricket?

        Anyway, thankfully, tomorrow’s forecast is better and I aim to get a full day in. Staying at the conference centre on the university campus — incredibly quiet, there were more people at the cricket. I think I’m the only guest!


  20. Benny Apr 10, 2016 / 4:46 pm

    On another topic, I can’t get into the IPL at the moment. Maybe because I saw a lot of T20 cricket in India recently or it could be that an afternoon with Cork and morrison is too much for me. I’ll still be keeping an eye out for KP, Jos and Billings anyway.


    • LordCanisLupus Apr 10, 2016 / 5:00 pm

      Two rubbish games to be fair, though.

      Morrison – such buffoonery. It beggars belief. But get ready with the guns, prefer him to Knight or Botham for two…

      Cork – Robbie Savage of cricket. No idea how he gets the gigs, know no-one who likes him or finds him interesting.


      • Pontiac Apr 10, 2016 / 5:06 pm

        Morrison is for sure a good reminder to check that the volume control works. His CPL commentary is even worse than elsewhere.


  21. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Apr 10, 2016 / 6:07 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed my two sessions of CC today. Trent Bridge was resplendent in the Spring sunshine until the clouds and cool wind came over and, despite Notts’ growing score, the game was a good contest between bat and ball until Wessels and Patel took it away mid-afternoon. Mullaney looked every inch a player good enough to represent his country at youth level, and nothing like a player who has averaged 31 since. His innings was effortless on the whole and never felt like a run a ball effort, unlike the equally effective but more pugnacious Wessels who really put Surrey’s young attack under pressure.

    Despite Rampaul’s 5fer I thought he was fairly innocuous and TCurran and Footitt were the pick of the bowlers in the morning, the latter looking pretty rapid and the former finding a neat line outside off that the Notts batsmen did well to resist on the whole (exempt for the horrifically out of touch looking Taylor). Tom reminded me of Dominic Cork in his approach and delivery, while Sam has a more rapid whirring arm. Neither made the batsmen rush and at this stage of their career will need something special from seam and swing to step up further. Early days for them though of course.

    The English relationship with spin was all too evident, Surrey introducing it when control was lost rather than as an attacking measure and in the form of a 38 year old offie.

    Later on in the day I was less than impressed to hear that 2 of my fantasy team batsmen were at the crease in poor light in the dying embers of the day, but Hildreth and Burns came through.

    Cricket is here though! And fingers crossed my son can start his season on Saturday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Apr 10, 2016 / 7:22 pm

      Cheers, Paul. Thanks so much for taking some time out to give a little insight into today.

      Good stuff.


      • Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Apr 10, 2016 / 8:22 pm

        Thanks and no problem. Re-reading it Surrey’s attack is mixed-age rather than young isn’t it? 3 out of the first 5 over 30 I think.

        Loved the crowd using the outfield during lunch 🙂


    • Zephirine Apr 11, 2016 / 12:10 pm

      Nice riposte from tunaalbacore.


    • nonoxcol Apr 11, 2016 / 12:46 pm

      He’s so obviously a prime mover behind the Guardian’s “not censorship or safe space, honest” re-appraisal of its comment sections. I can imagine him writing screeds to the online editor at least once a month for the last 2-3 years.

      Incidentally, Wisden is out on Thursday. Bet he’s got the section on “the most important tour in the history of English cricket, like, ever”.


    • amit Apr 11, 2016 / 3:33 pm

      He is on a crusade against those with a differing voice 🙂 no wonder he gets what love he does from us 😉


  22. escort Apr 11, 2016 / 2:13 pm

    Good lord!!!!
    Andy Flower poking his head above the parapet, he’s on Sky’s IPL coverage


    • escort Apr 11, 2016 / 2:16 pm

      Also present- Shane Warne


  23. Tregaskis Apr 11, 2016 / 2:27 pm

    Another Guardian article on “building a web we want.”

    At a guess, I would say that 80% or more comments complain about over-zealous moderators and the perceived crackdown on dissident views either with the author or the paper’s editorial position. The other consistent response is “then stop writing clickbait articles.” The sceptic in me thinks this is an exercise in tokenism and the Guardian will ignore this input and just make the “safe space” reforms they planned in the first place.

    Interesting that Selvey has gone off the reservation to shout at golf fans now. He’s beginning to resemble the slightly mad, slightly drunk, slightly senile elder relative who goes round confronting complete strangers to rant about some slight that occurred 50 years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine Apr 11, 2016 / 3:06 pm

      It looks as if the G wants to move away from ‘comment is free’ to ‘online communities are nice.’. So the ideal in cricket terms will be the OBO and the CC threads. Which a lot of people do like.

      They’re obviously going to cut down massively on the number of news articles open for comment. Again, there’s something to be said for that, as particularly the UK politics threads get extremely repetitive.

      However, if anything controversial crops up, opportunities for expressing contrary views will be thin on the ground. Chances for readers who know something about the topic to expand the debate will be largely absent..

      Presumably all those indistinguishable young women will continue to write clickbait opinion pieces. And there’ll be even more ‘send us your photos of…’ Coupled with the ongoing Twitter harvesting, it seems as if what they want to be is a social media site with some added news items.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Tregaskis Apr 11, 2016 / 3:57 pm

        The Guardian OBO is pretty readable, but it is tightly controlled and it tends to import tweets/emails from those that support the line, don’t rock the boat or are entirely benign. It is astonishing how the ubiquitous Selvey’s tweet ouevre is a central feature on Guardian OBOs. It is not dissimilar to a political rally or a press conference when questions are only taken from onside toadies. But let’s be clear, this is not opinion management.

        It seems to me that the community guideline that requires comments either to be on-topic or face moderation is a mechanism to stop folk commenting on an important issue below a tangential article, when they have done so because the article they really want to address is not open to comments. But, let’s be clear, this is not censorship.

        Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol Apr 11, 2016 / 4:00 pm

        “It is astonishing how the ubiquitous Selvey’s tweet ouevre is a central feature on Guardian OBOs.”

        The OBO totally lost me because of this. It became absolutely ridiculous. They also kept publishing his emails, even when he was just correcting some poor sap who has to pay to watch his cricket.

        Liked by 1 person

    • SimonH Apr 11, 2016 / 3:21 pm

      ” it is important to get to the roots of where all the net nastiness comes from”.

      Does any of it come from ATL?

      Like making calling someone a c*** one of your highlights of the year?

      Selvey described it as “succinct” and “sharp”, not abusive.

      Like saying that someone who calls someone else a c*** didn’t lose any dignity?

      Like saying calling somone a c*** is “pithy”, not abusive?

      The latter was in anonymous piece as well with no right of reply. We know from Twitter what Selvey thinks of anonymity. One slightly encouraging thing in the piece Tregaskis linked to is that there is a comment from a Guardian moderator that seems to rule out scrapping anonymity.

      Less encouragingly, at the time of writing, while there are are superb replies the Guardian ‘Pick’ goes to one of their own contributors.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mark Apr 11, 2016 / 5:20 pm

        And that in essence is Selvey. A sanctimonious hypocrite who likes to dish it out, but moans when he gets a taste of his own medicine.

        Anyone who celebrates the calling of someone else a c…, and even has it as a highlight of the year is in no position to complain about other people’s insults.

        As Tregaskis says……..he is like some embarrassing uncle who says weird shit, and people just look at their shoes and grimace. Or perhaps he has Tourette’s?


      • Mark Apr 13, 2016 / 12:01 pm

        The only rising global phenomomen of online harassment is the Guardians editorial page which pretends to be liberal , and is now just neo con propaganda pumped out from talking heads in Washington.

        Now that’s harassment of their loyal readers. The problem for the guardian editorial and owners is people don’t want to be subjected to the propaganda anymore. So they will not sit by and be lectured too, and then accused of online harrasment.

        If the guardian wants less critiscim they should stop writing drivel, and own up about the political agenda of the people who now own the paper. It seems they want a captive audience of sheep who will not talk back.


    • Mark Apr 11, 2016 / 3:28 pm

      It seems some what ironic that he is attacking Golf fans when one of his biggest complaints is moaning about people who he doesn’t think know what they are talking about. Oh the irony.

      What does he know about golf anyway? Probably as little as he knows about cricket or the way it’s governed. He is a lucky man. He is paid to write the crayon scribblings he turns out, while being allowed to shout at his customers. It’s behond embarrassing now. I think the guardian keep him on only because they don’t want to admit how foolish they have been.


      • amit Apr 11, 2016 / 3:37 pm

        nah, they use him as the bait for the clicks 😉


      • d'Arthez Apr 11, 2016 / 6:57 pm

        They don’t need him for the clicks. Any moron can write KP, and about a third of them will get the surname right. There might even be a job in it for the guy at the ECB, who could not be bothered to get it right a few years ago. John Etheridge is still ceaselessly working on explaining that one to us mere proles …

        I suspect it is more expensive to get rid of Selvey, than to let him work until he is supposed to retire. The damage to the Guardian is merely collateral damage, but who cares about readers anyway?


    • nonoxcol Apr 11, 2016 / 3:48 pm

      “and – yes – to respect the wellbeing of our staff too”


      That’s a duty of care. What a coincidence. Everyone here knows how this works in practice. See the old “Pietersen No I in team” thread, for instance.


    • fred Apr 11, 2016 / 7:41 pm

      I don’t follow golf, and don’t understand much beyond the basics, but doesn’t that exchange demonstrate that Selvey correctly called out someone who made an ignorant criticism of the writer? And the person subsequently owned up to his mistake?

      Yes I think Selvey is a poor journalist (or rather, “journalist”) and is doing cricket no favours with his lack of curiosity, and I despise his arrogance. Appearing BTL to insult and attack a commenter is just modus operandi for him. (Whether it’s good form to participate on a colleague’s article BTL, I don’t know. Why not?)

      But in this case his comment was correct. The comment about not understanding a journalist’s deadline pressure is self serving rubbish, (it’s their job, after all), but it seems he was correct in this case on a matter of fact.

      There you go, I’ve vaguely defended Selvey, I’m going to go have a long hot shower, with copious Lysol.


      • SimonH Apr 11, 2016 / 8:03 pm

        Fred, I wasn’t defending the comment he was having a go at. The poster misread the original article – or is a bit of a twit.

        The point about Selvey was that he turns one mistake into a sweeping statement and he appears to be policing the threads of other writers which isn’t his job.

        If he ever engaged with constructively critical posts, then I’d give him the benefit of the doubt. As he’s spent the last four years lurking on threads ignoring intelligent criticism and pouncing on anyone who makes a mistake, he gets no benefit of the doubt at all.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mark Apr 11, 2016 / 8:26 pm

        Exactly Simon.


      • fred Apr 11, 2016 / 8:48 pm

        Yes, fair enough. Given he was a professional cricketer and is now a professional cricket journalist, it’s surprising how little he brings to the table. When you consider the humility of Richie Benaud or even Ian Chappell, the authority that Selvey tries to assume is just ridiculous. Even Gower and Hussein don’t pronounce from on high, they analyse.

        I was always bemused when he participated BTL to say something gnomic like “foolish comment from someone who doesn’t understand cricket”, and receive comments from people saying how great it was he participated BTL. Almost a sado-masochistic relationship.

        You’re right, although he did identify one mistake from one person, it was very unreasonable to respond with a “this is what us journalists have to put up with” comment.

        The likes of Dobell, Kimber, Ali Martin, Firdose Moonda, Denis Freedman etc enjoy cricket and enjoy life. They’re much more fun to spend time with.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. LordCanisLupus Apr 11, 2016 / 7:11 pm

    This was brought to my attention earlier:

    Ah, I recall those lazy hazy days of Andrew Strauss in the commentary box.


    • Mark Apr 11, 2016 / 8:11 pm

      They don’t do irony in the England cricket media box these days.


  25. LordCanisLupus Apr 11, 2016 / 7:11 pm

    Well, this is an open thread. Open season on The Guardian…..


  26. LordCanisLupus Apr 11, 2016 / 7:21 pm

    Surrey not off to a flier at all, I see. Made to follow on. Lots seemed to get in, then get out.

    Don’t think Northants can let Duckett make it to 300 tomorrow. They need to start getting wickets. But that’s a nice early season message.

    But hold the press. Keep those stories in the background. Because despite it being Division 2 runs, the man….THE MAN!

    Batted skip.


    • Mark Apr 11, 2016 / 8:09 pm

      It’s crazy they are pushing this seeing as when he who can’t be named scored 300 in a second division game last year it was written off as irrelevent.

      And when has it been the case that the ECB have to promote the captain as a sort of best mate? I have never seen the sycophantic promotion of the England captain like this. Even the FA don’t sink to this level of spin.

      By the way, do you think the person operating the Twitter feed is under orders like the Indian commentators to never say anything negative? They both seem to be working the same tyrannical play list. Just drives me further away from the game.


      • Rooto Apr 11, 2016 / 8:41 pm

        Your mention of the FA makes me wonder how badly the ECB would handle a John Terry-style captain scandal.

        Mind you, with the football press instead of the cricket press, we perhaps would already have had one or two.
        The headlines: “Cook sticks the knife in after World Cup disaster”,
        “Another Cook meltdown follows TV criticism”,
        “Gotcha! Even Bambi’s mother not safe from Cook’s aim!”

        Liked by 2 people

      • SimonH Apr 12, 2016 / 7:57 am

        One innocuous post on the Guardian thread (by the SF) enough to get one usual suspect frothing at the mouth.

        He’s also missed the point, as usual. Selvey will be along to correct him any minute now…..


      • nonoxcol Apr 12, 2016 / 8:22 am

        He can’t even do maths, the terminal dullard. Pietersen made 355*, which when multiplied by 28/105 and rounded gives you 95.

        Not out.


      • nonoxcol Apr 12, 2016 / 9:03 am

        Oh, and the next highest score against Leicestershire was 36, wasn’t it? Whereas someone actually made a higher score than Cook’s….


      • SimonH Apr 12, 2016 / 9:38 am

        Six of his teammates that day had international honours and two more (Ansari and Tom Curran) will have before long. There’s also the matter of his SR of 89 in that innings.

        Still, I’ve enjoyed the pretense that this is really about the relative merits of the Leicestershire and Gloucestershire bowling attacks.


  27. Escort Apr 12, 2016 / 9:32 am

    That’s bad news about James Taylor. Enforced retirement for medical reasons.


    • SteveT Apr 12, 2016 / 10:45 am

      Bugger!! Gutted for him.


      • LordCanisLupus Apr 12, 2016 / 10:59 am

        Absolutely stunned. Wish him the best in everything going forward.


  28. SimonH Apr 12, 2016 / 11:47 am

    Why is the T20 WC on a four-year cycle?

    “At an ICC meeting in 2013, as the distribution of events for the 2015-2023 rights cycle was being discussed, a representative from one of the Big Three teams made the point that some countries earned more from bilateral cricket than they did from the World T20. It was therefore in the interests of England, Australia and India to move the World T20 to every four years, creating more time for the countries to play bilateral fixtures, especially against each other. While this did not suit the other Full Members, much less the 95 Associate and Affiliate nations, the ICC restructuring of 2014 showed where the power in world cricket resided”.

    Tim Wigmore nails it again:

    Liked by 2 people

  29. nonoxcol Apr 12, 2016 / 3:10 pm


    He’s done it.

    He’s actually done it.

    MikeSelvey 13m ago


    You lump cricket in with crosswords, horseracing and jazz as ” respectful”? Maybe we have a different interpretation of what the word ‘respect’ means. It is certainly a sweeping generalisation. Many commenters on cricket threads are well informed, and interesting. Equally, many are not. I am aware of some who have been bullied from the comments.

    Moderation is papering over the cracks,not a solution in itself. It is a subjective process. I believe that I am the best judge of what i find offensive, not someone else doing so by proxy. The bottom line is that beyond the imperative to generate internet traffic, the Guardian has a duty of care to those whose work appears online.

    And he did not stop there, oh no:


    • nonoxcol Apr 12, 2016 / 3:11 pm

      Nor did he even stop there:


      • d'Arthez Apr 12, 2016 / 3:20 pm

        Yes, and we have the right to determine that you’re offensive Mike. Pity that what you deem to be offensive are well-informed comments, which often refer to the idiotic ramblings above the line. I mean how often have you pretended that you never wrote what you published under your name?

        The reason why comments by goldfish are not moderated: Mike Selvey does have a memory of five seconds, as evidenced by his persistent denial of having written what he has published, and feels at home with the goldfish who are blessed with five second memory spans as well.

        Sorry if I hurt the feelings of goldfish in this.

        The alternative would be quite the shocker: it would require a cricket correspondent to actually do his job. Now, I know that aristocratically minded people are sometimes allergic to such notions, but, hey, it is the 21st century …

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mark Apr 12, 2016 / 3:47 pm

        Unfortunately you should have lost the right to decide what is offensive due to your piss poor judgements on many other cricket issues over the last 3 years. How can anyone trust you to moderate the BTL comments section when your reporting has been so bad?

        You have show a propensity to allow conflicts of interest to colour your judgement. For example Your friendship with the former England bowling coach. Your refusal to criticize the goings on at the ICC, and the big 3 break away while apparently being a supporter of Giles Clarke. Your ludicrous fawning over the limited captaincy ability of A Cook. All of these ‘blind spots’ have made it impossible for anybody with a modicum of intelligence to be anything but suspicious of your motives when a post is removed from the BTL section. We now see you patrolling, like some deranged security guard other journalists BTL sections. This is not your job.

        I suggest that a substantial amount of posts have been removed not because they are offensive, but because they challenge your tablet of stone ‘opinions’ and in some cases reveal a truth you don’t seem to want aired. I don’t belive for one minute that the majority of people’s posts are taken down because of their offensiveness. Just another convienient red herring to hide behind.

        Liked by 1 person

      • rpoultz Apr 12, 2016 / 4:30 pm

        The man is a Grade A c**k! Offensive…yes. Correct….yes!


      • Clivejw Apr 12, 2016 / 5:23 pm

        Wow. Just wow. I was about to leave a comment, something about how Mike Selvey ought to take lessons from some of his more junior colleagues on how to conduct himself on interactive forums,when they closed comments until tomorrow morning.

        Selvey is simply the most thin-skinned, hyper-egotistical, comically lacking in self-awareness person this side of Donald Trump.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine Apr 12, 2016 / 5:16 pm

      The words ‘can dish it out but can’t take it’ spring to mind.

      Mike Selvey really, really should ask himself why other cricket writers on the same site and on other sites simply don’t get the kind of criticism that he receives and resents so much.

      Might it just be possible that calling one’s readers, for example, ‘bilious inadequates’ and ‘relentless churls’ might be, y’know, counter-productive?

      Just a thought.


      • nonoxcol Apr 12, 2016 / 5:41 pm

        So, he doesn’t think the moderation on his articles is protective *enough*.

        Just try getting your head around that level of self-regard.

        I really did have to restrain myself. Next in line were “impertinent”, the “Strauss saying cunt was a highlight but the Big 3 takeover not worthy of mention” article, the tone of so many pieces over the last four years (ATL trolling, basically), stating that Tregaskis knew nothing of cricket or cricketers after the Caesar’s wife piece, and the fact that I also know people who have been, in effect, bullied off posting – by him, by his own sycophants and by ridiculous moderation.

        What a waste of time that would have been.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clivejw Apr 12, 2016 / 5:55 pm

        King Lear isn’t about class, as CLR James apparently wrote (see above), but about finding self-knowledge and the ability to empathize with others. Which takes us to Mike Selvey, who it seems would also have to be turned out in a storm with only a fool and a madman to guide him and driven mad like Lea,r or have his eyes plucked out like Gloucester to acquire either of those qualities.

        Does he really have no inkling how he went from a well-liked and well-respected writer to someone held in contempt by at the very least a sizeable minority of commenters? Like Lear, he demanded to be loved and treated with deference, though calling himself a lord rather than a king. Like Lear he lashes out blindly when he perceives that he isn’t getting that love and deference. Like Lear he refused to listen to friendly counsel and now finds himself surrounded only by flatterers who will pack when it storms.

        At least Lear retains some kind of dignity, even in madness, and starts caring about other people for the first time in his life. Selvey remains within his own thin skin, pathetically sensitive to the pain caused to him by others and totally unaware of the pain he dishes out.

        Liked by 2 people

      • SimonH Apr 12, 2016 / 5:59 pm

        He’s been rumbling on all afternoon e.g.

        The county blog might not be such a haven come 2019. And perhaps his fondness for the CC might suggest the world he should have stayed in if his ego had let him.(Nothing wrong with that by the way – if I’d been good enough to play CC and lucky enough to report on it I’d have led a very contented existence).

        As for the “gentle” put downs on the CC thread, they aren’t so gentle if you’re on the receiving end of them.

        I’d also note that his comments on Bell’s century seem somewhat churlish – but churlishness, like offensiveness, is one of those things that only originates BTL.


      • Zephirine Apr 12, 2016 / 6:13 pm

        The CC blog is one of the few places on the Guardian where I don’t go because I feel excluded – not just because I don’t actively support a county but because it has become so overtly an in-group and it has been made clear by the regulars there that only a certain kind of comment and certain running jokes are acceptable. Basically, they lost me when it was declared that no comments were to be made about the national side or anything related to it – meaning, don’t say anything controversial, thank you very much, we’re eating our cake here. Pity, there are some nice people on there.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mark Apr 12, 2016 / 6:18 pm


        Essentially he became a courtier to the palace of the ECB. He got too close to power. He forgot that his job was to report what these people were doing, and not trot out endless ECB propaganda.

        Then, when he got called on it he railed against those he was supposed to be writing for. It’s what access journalism leads to. You get to rather enjoy being around the people your are supposed to be reporting on.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Simon K Apr 13, 2016 / 10:21 pm

      May it be recorded that I criticised the moderation of Selvey’s articles without being censored.

      Hopefully it reached someone notable who will take a look and have a think. (I take Selvey’s subsequent petulant mewling as an indirect acknowledgement that yes, he is directly responsible for the widespread and outrageous censorship of comments below his own articles.)

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Alec Apr 12, 2016 / 3:58 pm

    I didn’t want to put this on the James Taylor newsfeed, for obvious reasons. I’m not a football fan, but for once this is a story of administrators having the faintest clue about what they’re on about (even if it is almost literally “the faintest clue”). Admittedly this is a case of their 20-20 hindsight equalling everyone else’s 20-20 foresight, but baby steps at least. It also suggests that leadership from the ICC/ECB could benefit cricket fans everywhere.


    • Mark Apr 12, 2016 / 4:59 pm


      certainly visibility vs cash is an interesting dynamic in modern sport. I have mixed views about BT because I don’t want Sky as the only player in the subscription market. The problem is quite a few people will only/ can only afford one subscription tv company, and they won’t subscribe to BT and Sky. If you have broadband with BT you will get a good deal.

      Trouble is with cricket in the UK the ECB are getting a shed load of money from Sky which is mostly paid for by people wanting Sky’s premiership coverage. English cricket is effectively living off football. As for viewers numbers the cricket authorities seem unconcerned about the small audiences and as long as they are getting loads of wonga don’t seem that bothered if the game is fading away. It seems to play into their elite model of the sport. If you can pay, fine if not who cares?


      • alecpaton Apr 12, 2016 / 8:14 pm

        I’m a massive cricket fan and even I didn’t get Sky for cricket. I got it for the Formula 1. If there’s a test on, I’ll try and make sure I see as much of it as possible. For an F1 weekend I’ll get up at stupid a.m. to watch the practice and qualifying sessions. I can’t for sure I made the right choice but I am who a I am. Who I am is also “Alec” who posted above, in case that wasn’t blatantly obvious.


    • nonoxcol Apr 13, 2016 / 11:02 am

      It’s rubbish. And not only has she used the “If you’re drinking Bacardi” line before, *I* used it in a student newspaper film review in 1994. When the advert was still in cinemas…

      She also appears to be unaware of, say, Kepler Wessels; and (not surprisingly) is very snotty about his wife.


      • LordCanisLupus Apr 13, 2016 / 11:22 am

        Snivelling Wretch steaming in with blind fury. Big Brother will be delighted.


      • Clivejw Apr 13, 2016 / 2:56 pm

        Oh, I don’t mind her Marina. It’s not her job to be fair or accurate, but to be funny and do a hatchet job on her victims. Her recent pricking of the pomposity of that pompous prick Sting was a joy to read.


        • LordCanisLupus Apr 13, 2016 / 6:20 pm

          Whereas As KP hate pieces go, that was shite. Sub – Henderson quality.


    • LordCanisLupus Apr 13, 2016 / 11:04 am

      Ah. The old two minutes of hate. The comments section is bound to be a treat.


    • nonoxcol Apr 13, 2016 / 11:30 am

      You’re going to get moderated, you know that, don’t you?

      I meant what I said yesterday. I’m done with commenting there.


      • SimonH Apr 13, 2016 / 11:41 am

        We’ll see….

        By the way, the final score on that Selvey WI thread was:

        HAHL 24 LWP (“failed irony”) 8.

        There is more sympathy for our way of looking at things than the saturation bombing of Guardian cricket threads by certain posters suggests.

        Even if there wasn’t, I’m not letting them think they’ve won. Plus the thought that just seeing I’ve posted something boils **P’s piss cheers me up!

        I shan’t be reading the replies and please don’t link any – I’ve had my say and am leaving it at that.


      • SimonH Apr 13, 2016 / 11:42 am

        I mean the replies there of course! Always read them here.


      • nonoxcol Apr 13, 2016 / 12:34 pm


        The Wretch (member since February, all comments about football except when baiting the likes of clive & NL) has come for you!


      • nonoxcol Apr 13, 2016 / 5:54 pm

        Someone’s calling you Piers now.

        What devastating wit and repartee.


        • LordCanisLupus Apr 13, 2016 / 6:13 pm

          It just amuses me no end that it was “our side” of the argument that was singled out for its “bile”.

          And it never will cease to amuse.


    • Mark Apr 13, 2016 / 11:49 am

      Why are they wasting time writing about someone who they claim is irrelevent?

      Oh silly me. They can’t get anyone to read their terrible columns if they don’t throw the ultimate click bait in. They need him more than theymwould like to admit.


      • Zephirine Apr 13, 2016 / 6:12 pm

        There’s an interesting extra vibe to that Marina Hyde piece because she had an affair with Piers Morgan. Didn’t he leave his wife for her? I wonder how many of the BTL “Oh, is that you, Piers?” merchants are aware of that…

        Indeed, she was sacked by the Sun for emailing Morgan who was working on a rival rag at the time, positively Pietersenesque.

        Liked by 1 person

        • LordCanisLupus Apr 13, 2016 / 6:16 pm


          I have to say her snipes at a pop combo that had more success than we could ever dream of was worthy of that stuff. Really? Attacking former band mates for supporting one of their own? Sad.


  31. Clivejw Apr 13, 2016 / 2:54 pm

    I had to leave some kind of reply to Selfie’s self-pitying post on that Guardian article while it was still open. It’s hardly my best as I’ve not long come off the motorway after driving back from Northampton and I was woken up someone having a fit down the corridor from my room at about four in the morning and didn’t get back to sleep. Here it is, in case it disappears. Not that it matters if it does, because NL has left a far better one.

    Your cricket correspondent Mike Selvey is entirely correct. The cricket pages have hardly been all sweetness and light for at least the past three and a half years, and I suggest your survey is seriously flawed if you have failed to notice this. Posters who used to have a lot of respect for Mr. Selvey have been turned off by his one-eyed coverage of events and his slavish devotion to the ECB line at a time of mounting criticism of the board from those who have been made to feel “outside cricket.” If the Guardian won’t speak up for such people, who in the mainstream media will? Ironically, it is the Telegraph that has been asking tougher questions in recent times.

    Unfortunately, Mr. Selvey is his own worst enemy, as his de haut en bas Just Who Do You Think You Are? style of interaction with his readers has failed to appease his many critics. Perhaps there should be some kind of staff guidance on how to interact with the public, as well as “house rules” for the hoi polloi?

    Perhaps it should also be pointed out to Mr. Selvey that there is a Report button underneath every comment if he is not satisfied with the heavy moderation that comments on his articles already attract.

    Liked by 1 person

    • nonoxcol Apr 13, 2016 / 3:16 pm

      I see NL has just the one recommend though.

      I don’t like the way this is going.


      • Clivejw Apr 13, 2016 / 8:33 pm

        I should think that’s because most of those who frequent the cricket papers don’t know about this conversation. Also, comments were closed overnight, and many people may have lost interest in it.


    • fred Apr 13, 2016 / 9:26 pm

      A battle between anger and indifference; anger won out. Took a deep breath and logged back in. I suspect the personal references will see it gone.

      I gave up last year participating in the Guardian cricket blogs after a decade or so, due to the drop in quality, and the drag of wading through juvenile, nationalistic dross. I’ve come back to respond specifically for this comment by Selvey, because it encapsulates why I lost all respect for Guardian cricket.

      The cricket blogs used to be full of intelligent discussion about a complex game, and a lot of intelligent and at times affectionate discussion between the followers. That changed a few years ago, and I believe it was driven by the nature of the coverage by the writers. When there were fundamentally important things happening in the cricketing world (relating to the ICC and the ECB), the coverage was disintrested and dismissive. We learnt that the Guardian had information on the big three takeover of the ICC (a fundamentally important story), and decided it wasn’t worth reporting. The long list of ECB mis-steps was treated with complaceny to such a degree people started to assume there was some collusion between Guardian writers and the ECB. Eventually an article by Bull appeared warning against knee jerk reactions, (this, while all other serious cricket writers in the world were upset or outraged at events). Bull’s most recent take on this, a few months ago when the deal started to come unstuck, was a toungue in cheek humourous piece on how the ICC resembled a soap opera. Clever writing, but it’s a bit hard to laugh when the game is being eviscerated by self interest.

      Further, the awkward way the ECB managed Pietersen threw fuel onto the flames, as no single person in the Guardian seemed to consider there were two sides to the story. Pietersen became demonised, to the point where he, one of England’s best ever batsman, was described as a “serial pest” by Selvey, among other things.

      People started to wonder why the Guardian had nothing much to say about ICC corruption, ECB incompetence, ridiculous and injust international tour schedules, or the poor management of a star English batsman. The comments started to become polarised, following the lead set by the article, and the more thoughtful commenters became disillusioned and drifted away.

      Selvey’s response, as the senior cricketing correspondent of this proud newspaper, was extremely defensive, and at times insulting to people who loved and followed the game, and were simply seeking to debate the issues. He and sometimes Bull came BTL to brawl, rather than to inform and lift the debate. A combination of the wilful blindness to important issues, along with arrogant and at times insulting responses to cricket fans, turned the whole thing sour. I can’t speak for the rest of the Guardian’s comments sections, but I know the cricket section has lost its quality community mainly due to its poor reporting, the attitude to debate of its writers, and an incoherent moderation policy.

      Regarding the moderation policy, there are not normally any raging extremist death threat types on the cricket blog, just people who disagreed with opinions. But those contrary opinions were removed despite not contravening the standards. I’ve seen it happen to others, and it’s happened to me. Selvey got upset about a very poor taste joke at his expense a few years back, and I think that was a turning point, and he seems to consider every disagreement as a personal affront, and/or abusive and requiring moderation.

      I mourn the loss of the good community that used to exist, (as one of many examples, when Trescothic returned to England with mental health issues in 2006 the subsequent discussion BTL about this illness was sensitive and informative, and I learned alot). I’m angry at the Guardian writers who have brought this about by setting the tone, through their writing and their online interaction. I don’t understand why the editors responsible for the sports desk have not seen this happening and intervened.

      But, this is where we are today, the comments section has become a shadow of it former self, and other specialist cricket sites openly mock the Guardian’s cricket coverage. The worst thing is, it’s a selv inflicted wound.

      I get my cricket coverage elsewhere nowdays, but I do enjoy dropping into the Guardian from time to time, just for a chuckle. ie, laughing at the Guardian, not with it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • nonoxcol Apr 13, 2016 / 9:35 pm

        Bravo. Hear hear.


  32. whiterose76 Apr 13, 2016 / 8:12 pm

    Evening all.
    Long time fan of the blog without venturing my own fairly worthless opinions, but the Marina Hyde piece moved even me to comment.
    What a sad reflection on the media and a cross-section of those watching/reading to show such glee in disrespecting and being generally offensive to a talented sportsman who provided a great deal of entertainment and success. I would have thought that several recent episodes in the cricket world would have encouraged people to be a lot less judgemental in their views on someone they have almost certainly never met. Words can’t be unsaid. But I realise this is a forlorn hope – kudos to those, particularly some of this site’s worthies, for trying to maintain a semblance of sanity on the bearpit below that article. It all leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Apr 13, 2016 / 8:36 pm

      Thanks whiterose76 (not another Yorkie!!!) for the comments. Always good to get new commenters on board. Hope you are around for a bit more.

      I said it below, whiterose, but I’m struck by those of this parish were accused of vitriol and bile when you read stuff like that, you just have to shake your head.

      They won. They got what they wanted. But yet they still feel so insecure. We were told to move on, to get over it. To a large degree we have. But they haven’t.

      You have to wonder what they are really frightened of.


      • whiterose76 Apr 14, 2016 / 8:40 pm

        Thanks for the welcome LCL, Mark and Fred. Yes, another Yorkie I’m afraid – like Zulus there are thousands of us. However, I might disown one or two who can be found below the line at our favourite MSM outlet.
        Just wanted to say congrats on the half a million hits – definitely worth a pint or two of Wold Top in celebration I would have thought.
        For me, I started following this site and its predecessor as it was the closest thing to Fire Joe Morgan I’d found – their fisking of the ludicrous reporting/commentating on players such as David Eckstein was a hoot even for those who were not avid baseball followers. I’ve appreciated you and your commenters doing something similar for much of the nonsense we are fed as ‘wisdom’ by the mainstream cricket media.
        I was moved to finally comment as I hate to see injustice, ingratitude (Clive nailed it below) and people protecting their legacies and reputations at the expense of others.
        I’m particularly welcoming the debate on the Guardian’s moderation process. Top stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Apr 13, 2016 / 8:49 pm

      Welcome to the site.

      Yes, it’s pretty low even for this vintage of the guardian. Boy has that paper gone down hill lately. Kicking KP in the balls seems to be the de facto position of the English media.

      What is priceless is if they are not kicking him, they are pretending to ignore him. It’s almost as if they’re obsessed. Now where have I heard that allegation before? Oh wait……….


    • fred Apr 13, 2016 / 9:41 pm

      I’ve two comments:
      “Long time fan of the blog without venturing my own fairly worthless opinions”
      No one’s opinion is worthless! The more voices the better. If you believe your opinion is worthless, you’re already beaten. You don’t have to be an expert, just thoughtful:)

      Also, Yes, Hyde can write clever sniping pieces. And yes KP is often ripe for mocking. But why Hyde would mock KP today is beyond me. I laughed my head off when he did that stupid You Tube press conference with his PR guy, but that was back in the thick of the things, (and just before the ECB started to abuse him). Now it’s more like the awful drunk at the end of the party who won’t go home. “It’s getting late now Marina, OK? I’ve called a taxi, do you want me to help you find your coat? Yes, I know he’s got three lions, but look, give me a call tomorrow when you’re feeling up to it, OK?”


    • Clivejw Apr 13, 2016 / 9:53 pm

      As I said above, Marina is okay with me. It’s not her job to write insightful articles on cricket, her piece is aimed at the general reader and she tends to go for low-hanging fruit. There’s a place for that and she’s a very amusing writer. And I’ve laughed at Pietersen’s fortune-cookie-style tweets myself.

      It’s the cricket press that has been really disgraceful, indulging in character assassination at the behest of their ECB masters. You couldn’t get a fag paper between Selvey and the ECB, and gap for the rest of them is not much wider. In ethical terms, it stinks.

      Not just the press, though. In fact, it may be the sheer bloody ingratitude of so many so-called England cricket fans that is an even bigger scandal.


  33. Clivejw Apr 13, 2016 / 9:44 pm

    I urge Aaron and others not to abandon the Guardian altogether and leave it to the likes of westcork and so forth (although at least corkie does know his cricket and makes good comments when he isn’t stroking his establishment blazer and putting other posters down). There needs to be a consistent and strong corrective to Selvey and co. Don’t leave me!


    • LordCanisLupus Apr 13, 2016 / 9:53 pm

      Thinking about doing a piece on this stuff. BTL interaction deeply fascinates me.

      I dipped in to BTL in the early days of the rise of HDWLIA. Some of you were kind enough to link my stuff on there, so I thought I should try it out.

      I then thought, no. Sod this. Any good stuff wasn’t getting much in the way of attention, so I thought I’d save all my stuff for here. That and the fact that on something like KP, there was no seeing the wider picture for those who have that hatred, and no doubt they thought the same about us. I found it a deeply unsatisfactory experience, and have not posted much, if at all, for two years.

      I’ll have a think, and see what I can come up with. The Guardian is a scumbag paper, in my view, and I stopped reading it, and every other paper, when I saw its tactics in full cry. Call it personal experience.


    • Zephirine Apr 13, 2016 / 10:14 pm

      I’m still there, clive 🙂


      • Clivejw Apr 13, 2016 / 11:14 pm

        And I’m very glad you are, Zeph!


      • Zephirine Apr 13, 2016 / 11:54 pm

        NL has put up a gallant defence on the Hyde thread.


    • fred Apr 13, 2016 / 10:21 pm

      “I urge Aaron and others not to abandon the Guardian altogether…”
      Maybe they and eveyone else should be urged to leave it and create an alternative. Why Should the guardian be preserved?
      Dmitri is wondering where to go with this blog. Dennis Freedman seems dedicated in Australia, to the point of doing a frequent podcast as well as his blog. There is TFT. Hopps just wrote a piece about being made redundent by a robot. Roland Butchers Hook. Whiteline Wireless. Imagine them all rolled up into one, with a few resources.
      It would only take some rich cricket lover to throw in a little capital and these various things could be drawn together to create a genuine cricket community, writing and broadcasting. Look at what Kimber and Collins achieved.


      • Clivejw Apr 13, 2016 / 11:25 pm

        Because, for all its faults, the Guardian is still the best MSM organ out there — I’m not talking about the cricket pages here. I recently became a subscriber, because I realize that one of the problems it is facing is the need to publish increasing amounts of worthless provocative click-bait in order to make ends meet (it is reportedly losing money hand over fist).


      • Mark Apr 14, 2016 / 12:35 am

        Well it was losing shed loads of money before the new backers took over. If you turn news into only a capitalist enterprise that only stays afloat by attracting capitalist advertising…..guess what? The editorial policy will be determined by the advertisers. The paying subscribers just don’t provide enough money

        30 years ago the US TV networks news divisions didn’t have to be profitable. They could be subsidised by the networks other TV output. Films, dramas sport, comedy’s and so forth. Then the idiot politicians past a law that demanded news divisions had to be profitable on their own. At a Stroke network news went down the pan. Endless car chases, and frothing at the mouth talking heads replaced serious analyasis.

        I wouldn’t worry about the new owners of the guardian. They have deep pockets and are aligned to all the right people in Washington. The powers behind the throne are quite happy to run it as a loss just for the propaganda value. If they think the guardian can’t play a role in forming public opinion then they may shut it down then.


    • nonoxcol Apr 13, 2016 / 10:29 pm

      Look at the conversation between NL and Melmouth on the Hyde thread, compare it to 2012 or even something from as late as 2013/14 and ask yourself if ithe Guardian cricket comments section is really worth saving from itself. It’s just depressing, enervating and ultimately pointless. Especially when you know what the Guardian thinks of the plebs these days.


      • Zephirine Apr 15, 2016 / 10:15 am

        This offering from Melmouth tells us where he/she’s coming from:

        Right , as I expected you can’t name a more loathed pro than KP, far easier to avoid the question and just have a pop at me. The best you can do is cite Sangakarra who barely speaks English and does little more than publicly massage KPs ego with the proviso that he gets the same treatment back in return. I’ll leave you to your delusional anti Cook/KP fanboy world rather than embarrass you any further, I’m nice like that.

        ‘The web we want’, eh?

        Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol Apr 15, 2016 / 10:50 am

        Sangakkara “barely speaks English”. W. O. W.

        Tear him to pieces, someone, ffs.


      • nonoxcol Apr 15, 2016 / 11:13 am

        The mods have deleted the Sangakkara post and all replies.


      • Zephirine Apr 15, 2016 / 11:48 am

        Good, it was borderline racist – and then he claimed to have met Sanga and persisted with the can’t speak English thing, Nasty little troll.

        Liked by 1 person

  34. Mark Apr 13, 2016 / 9:53 pm

    If you want to know what the Guradian is really up to with its fake campaign to stop so called Internet abuse this article explains the real motivation……

    As usual it’s all about censorship. the people who controlle the guardian hate free speech, and want to help shut it down……All in the name of something slightly more fluffy and soft and cuddly. Don’t be fooled ,these people hate the free thought and opinion of the Internet. . If Selvey is on board with this agenda he is a disgrace.

    “The web we want” as they call it is nothing more than a new form of tyranny. Where they will be free to act as gate keepers to only the ideas and opinions that they have already vetted. Their views are losing traction around the world and they don’t like it. They want to shut down dissent. How Stalin esque?


    • fred Apr 13, 2016 / 10:07 pm

      Offguardian strikes again. Looking forward to their follow up. The guardians focus on the quality of BTL debate is ostensibly welcome, but I mistrust their agenda.


      • Mark Apr 13, 2016 / 10:31 pm

        And you would be right to distrust their agenda Fred. As far as I can see they still have not informed their readers that the new Guardian is a completey different political animal to the paper it was. Many Of the old guard are still there, but the paper has not told their readers who is really pulling the strings. I think this is very dishonest. The telegraph is open about its political slant, you can make your own choice. But the new guadian is pretending to be something it ain’t.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Clivejw Apr 13, 2016 / 11:20 pm

      The sinister thing is that the type of harassment from far right wackos that Owen Jones mentions at the beginning of his piece — and which is clearly shocking and a proper subject for the law enforcement agencies — is being lumped together with the comments left below the line by people who merely disagree with the author of the opinion column or article. And no matter how many times they say that comments are moderated only when abusive or off-topic, this is manifestly untrue.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Zephirine Apr 14, 2016 / 12:05 am

        I think Melmouth’s second comment on the Hyde KP thread is mindless abuse that drags the tone of the discussion into the gutter, but they won’t moderate it, because it’s abuse of someone who isn’t there either above or below the line and who is apparently fair game as far as the G is concerned. Apparently that sort of behaviour is ‘the web they want.’

        Like clive, I tend to feel the G is the least worst option, but it has certainly lost its way of late and is beginning to be a pompous version of the Microsoft ‘news’ page.

        I stay on the cricket threads because I refuse to be driven out by the likes of Melmouth or wctt.


      • Mark Apr 14, 2016 / 12:09 am

        Bingo! Exactly Clive.

        I can’t help thinking they want a sledgehammer to crack a nut. If some of these writers don’t want feed back then fine, don’t have an open thread.

        I don’t believe for one momemt that the majority of posts that have been deleted over the last 3 years have been abusive. They are more likely just disagreeing with the author. And that is what is much more concerning. Any power they claim will be abused by people just wanting to shut down debate. It’s like the govt trying to claim national security when in practice they are just trying to cover up their own failings.

        Owen Jones should be much more concerned that he will soon only be allowed to write columns on genda issues seeing as his bosses have already decided what the big economic and foreign policy goals are.


      • Mark Apr 14, 2016 / 12:12 am

        Zephirine your make an excellent point. There has been plenty of abusive posts aimed at the likes of us, yet bizarrely it never gets moderated. That rather lets the cat out of the bag as to the real agenda. It’s all about shutting down dissent.


      • SimonH Apr 14, 2016 / 7:56 am

        “no matter how many times they say that comments are moderated only when abusive or off-topic, this is manifestly untrue”.

        The trouble with “abusive”, like “excessive”, is that no-one can be in favour of it – it’s in the nature of the term. The questions are more: who gets to define it, on what grounds and how transparent is the process?

        The problem for the Guardian sports’ desk is that they’ve defined calling someone a c*** as not abusive. It is “sharp”, it is “pithy”, it is “cutting” – but it is not abusive. Anything they moderate for abusiveness must be worse than that.

        I also noticed that Selvey in his Tweet didn’t use the term “abusive” but instead used “offensive”. I’m no lawyer – but that seems to me to be a lesser test.

        I’d think there are two things the Guardian could change in its moderating process that would be practical and inexpensiveness – they could include a simple tick-box explanation of why a post was moderated and they could stop the procedure of completely ‘disappearing’ posts so that readers could see how heavily a thread had been moderated. If they won’t introduce those, it’s difficult to avoid concluding that they don’t have any intention of making the process more transparent.

        Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Apr 14, 2016 / 3:33 pm

        “Top commenters were selected by cross-referencing a list of the commenters who had the highest average of “recommends per comment” with a list of those with the highest percentage of “staff picks””.

        A water-tight methodology they’ve used there!


      • nonoxcol Apr 14, 2016 / 3:45 pm

        It’s bizarre isn’t it? It’s like Guardian CiF wants to win the web’s first Darwin Award.


      • fred Apr 14, 2016 / 4:57 pm

        If you sample some of the input from these master-commenters, it’s not very inspiring. I guess that’s the web they want, polite and docile.
        It’s extraordianry the focus they are putting on this, there really must be something afoot.

        Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol Apr 14, 2016 / 5:20 pm

        Someone on there praised the knowledgable cricket commenters.

        A staff member (not MS) responded, and singled out Mr “safe space” himself, palfreyman as his hero.

        It’s as clear as the nose on your face what they’re up to.


      • fred Apr 14, 2016 / 5:26 pm

        You mean they’re laying the ground to turn off or highly restrict comments?


      • SimonH Apr 14, 2016 / 6:44 pm

        Do you have a link to that comment about p******man?

        His/her late contribution to the Marina Hyde thread shows that BTL is only to be a “safe place” for some.

        I’m shocked…. etc.


      • nonoxcol Apr 14, 2016 / 7:14 pm


        My laptop is in a quite spectacular funk with the Guardian website, but it’s halfway down page 1. The original comment is by chimpo2k. p******man is a he – his tweets are sometimes used on the OBO. Remarkable coincidence I’m sure.


        Yes, and it’s part of something more broadly sinister, which I’m sick to death of already, hence the strength of feeling here. Namely the return to the old world of deference and the idea that the elites naturally know best.


      • fred Apr 14, 2016 / 8:28 pm

        one thing that annoys me about the gaurdian is that it can be preachy, it tells me how to do things. Headlines like “How to Wear Jeans”. Content mostly focussed on spinning an angle rather than reporting the facts.

        At least there were comments below to add balance, but now they’re going beyond that and trying to take control of the comments, to the ridiculous extent of promoting their favourites and doing rockstar photo sessions with them. It’s what Selvey does too, by trying to position himself as the inarguable authority who doesn’t even have to explain his statements, (take it from me, he’s a man of impeachable integrity etc etc), and someone who should be beyond criticism. It’s totally contrary to the egalitarian spirit of community debate. So yes, I can understand your concern about a platform for elites being created. At the guardian, of all places.

        So to answer my own question to you, no they’re not going to turn off the comments they’re just going to make sure they get the comments they want.

        Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Apr 14, 2016 / 9:55 am

      Sadly he’s followed it up with an awful one on Wisden.

      Like Dennis a lot but he nearly had me shaking my fist at it.


  35. Andy Apr 15, 2016 / 9:58 am

    From the times (paywalled so I’ve copied relevant bits below)

    Alastair Cook, the England cricket captain, should have been banned from batting for Essex this week after refusing to wear a helmet that meets new safety rules.

    Cook, however, is refusing to change from his old style of helmet to one that complies with the new standard. He began the domestic season playing for Essex against Gloucestershire in the Specsavers County Championship at Chelmsford wearing his England helmet, which had its badge taped over, rather than one with an Essex crest.

    Umpires have been advised that they should not allow players onto the field if they know their helmet does not meet the new rules, although the responsibility for proactively checking whether the helmet is legal lies with the cricketer and the team management. That would put the responsibility on England to stop Cook going out to bat in the first Test against Sri Lanka next month unless he agrees to change.

    His current England helmet is a pre-2013 design, which has a larger gap and an adjustable grille and has not undergone the rigorous testing as set out in the protective headgear directive issued by the ECB in November.

    The regulations also state that professional cricketers have to wear a helmet when batting � even against spin � when wicketkeeping standing up to the wicket, or fielding close to the bat. It is understood the ECB and the match umpires in this week�s County Championship second division match at Chelmsford were aware that Cook�s helmet was illegal but decided not to force him to change it.

    Despite being informed of the directive and the increased safety of the new helmets, Cook has refused to change for either first-class or international matches. The Times understands that at an ECB briefing to first-class counties on the new directive at the beginning of 2016, the specific issue of Cook�s helmet was raised by one county and the ECB implied he would not be changing.

    All first-class counties have bought compliant helmets for their players and have been advised to ensure spares that meet safety standards are available to their cricketers at all games. An approved Essex-branded helmet would have been available for Cook to use in this week�s match, in which he made 105 and 35 not out.

    Cook wears a Gray-Nicolls helmet and the manufacturer said it had offered helmets that meet the new standards to all cricketers that it sponsors. The company said most of them had accepted the helmets with the new design, but a handful had not.

    An Essex spokesman said they did not wish to comment, referring the matter to the ECB on the basis that Cook is a centrally contracted England player.


    Cook defies his bosses efforts to make batting safer. Arrogant or just set in his ways?

    Who will stand up to this monster!!! /s

    The part where the ‘ecb implied he will no be changing’ just makes a mockery of the whole thing though.

    on a side note – one of my mates ended up in A&E batting against spin with no helmet on so I can certainly see the logic of that part of the argument.


    • Zephirine Apr 15, 2016 / 10:08 am

      I find that really odd. The safer designs may be less comfortable, but after Hughes, why would anyone not want to change? Does he think God’ll stop it happening to him?

      Cook is quite weird at times.


      • Simon K Apr 15, 2016 / 10:16 am

        Being charitable, my guess is (given that he wears the same helmet for Essex) he is comfortable with the style he has and worries that anything else will disrupt his balance or concentration. And we all know how stubborn he is.

        He should be reminded that there are certain responsibilities accompanying the England captaincy, though.


    • escort Apr 15, 2016 / 7:04 pm

      If Cook is going against rules and regulations as regards health and safety then he may have signed a disclaimer of some kind perhaps?
      If Essex had any spine then this situation would not have happened would it?


  36. rpoultz Apr 15, 2016 / 10:47 am

    Ultimately it is up to him. He is risking his own personal safety if his current helmet is not up to sufficient safety standards.


    • Mark Apr 15, 2016 / 11:55 am

      There are two separate issues here. The first is the usual debate about ‘health and safety’ and what should be regulated, and what should be about free choice. That argument will rage on for ever.

      The second, and for me more important issue is ……..if the ECB are going to create rules on this then they must be enforced on all county cricketers. This just smacks of once again one rule for little lord muck, and one rule for everybody else. The test is what if KP was acting like Cook? Well, he would be in big trouble. For a start the umpires would have probably told him to change the helmet or be given out.

      I’m afraid this just adds to the view of some of us that Cook is a law unto himself, and the ECB is an elitist, hypocritical tin pot outfit that makes it up as it goes along depending if your face fits.


  37. nonoxcol Apr 15, 2016 / 11:08 am

    This is a real tweet:


  38. rpoultz Apr 15, 2016 / 11:11 am

    Simon Hughes comparing himself to Stephen Hawking….classic!! It’s so strange as I did actually enjoy his ‘Lot of Hard Yakka’ book. But the man has turned into a complete muppet


    • Mark Apr 15, 2016 / 12:04 pm

      Yes, but Stephen Hawking knows what he’s talking about above most people in his chosen field of expertise.

      There is no shortage of ex batsman out there. Now If Hughes had written a book called “How to be a mediocre medium paced trundler” you would feel confident the author was an expert on the subject.


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