The Open Thread 2 – You Take First Strike

The first open thread seemed to work well, so let’s go for it in week 2 of the County Championship and the second week of fixtures in the IPL.

First up, the matches….

County Championship – Division 1

Lancashire v Nottinghamshire

Middlesex v Warwickshire

Yorkshire v Hampshire

County Championhship – Division 2

Glamorgan v Leicestershire

Gloucestershire v Derbyshire

Sussex v Essex

and in the IPL

IPL – 16 April – 22 April

16 – Sunrisers v Kolkata

16 – Mumbai v Gujarat

17 – Kings XI v Pune

17 – Bangalore v Delhi

18 – Sunrisers v Mumbai

19 – Kings XI v Kolkata

20 – Mumbai v Bangalore

21 – Gujarat v Sunrisers

22 – Pune v Bangalore

The last thread went in many directions, and not many referring to the cricket. That’s fine. We are well catered for in terms of county blogs and such like. But still, if there’s something on your mind, then let’s have it here.

I’ve been out of commission all day today, having had to go to Germany for work, but was amazed at some of the stuff I was reading. Did someone really say Kumar Sangakkara struggles with English? Really?

You do have to wonder.

I’ve also got a piece on the Wisden Almanack to put up (it’s missed the boat a little, but still, let’s do it) but I’ll do that later tomorrow after this thread takes hold.

All the best.


135 thoughts on “The Open Thread 2 – You Take First Strike

  1. nonoxcol Apr 15, 2016 / 10:22 pm

    Yes they really did say that, and we’re in no position to argue because he’s actually spoken to Sangakkara himself.

    He is Melmouth and he is an absolute tosser. My first experience of him was when (just after Strauss and “trust”) U wrote a very long and detailed post about how I could no longer support England because the ECB had taken the piss one too many times. None of the grievances were taken into account, he just wrote: “bye then”.

    He is what the Guardian wants though, just as long as he doesn’t accuse brown people of not sounding like the Queen.


    • Zephirine Apr 15, 2016 / 11:28 pm

      That ‘can’t speak English’ post was up for quite a while, and several of us responded to it before it was eventually taken down. His abusive post about Pietersen is still there. Very unpleasant creature, I’ve always ignored Melmouth before and will certainly do so in future.

      Still they did leave my somewhat sly posts about Marina’s past private life unmodded, so she’s obviously made of sterner stuff than our own dear cricket correspondent.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Clivejw Apr 15, 2016 / 11:32 pm

        I still don’t understand why people are wasting their energy on Marina. She’s employed to be rude about people, and she’s very good at it. Surely it’s the cricket press that we need to train our fire on!


        • LordCanisLupus Apr 16, 2016 / 9:04 am

          One person’s “employed to be rude about people” is another’s “bilious inadequate” or “relentless churl”.


      • SimonH Apr 16, 2016 / 8:26 am

        Two problems with it, Clive:
        1) The feeling that she is using it to settle some personal scores (without any acknowledgement of them).
        2) The place the article has in what feels like an editorial line of relentless hostility to Pietersen.

        Taken in isolation, I’d agree that its just a sarky piece deflating a celeb ego. If there were pieces deflating the egos of Giles Clarke, Andy Flower and Alastair Cook as well then that would be okay.

        Inclinations to give her the benefit of any doubt tend to stumble over memories of:

        Liked by 2 people

      • Mark Apr 16, 2016 / 9:00 am

        Bingo Simon.

        This is typical of The Guardian’s dishonesty, and their deceitful agenda. They claim they want to outlaw trolls who are abusive. They claim they want a warm, fluffy, softer newspaper. While all the time employing a proffesuinal poisoner to stir the pot.

        F………. Hypocrites. As long as it is they who are doing the abuse they are quite happy with it.


      • Zephirine Apr 16, 2016 / 11:25 am

        I’m with Simon on this. Marina Hyde can be very funny, but to me she typifies the excellent neologism ‘snark’, with its implication of underlying spite.

        And her personal history with Piers Morgan does make one question her attitude to KP – although I suspect that he and Morgan aren’t actually as closely linked as their detractors like to make out.

        And yes, let’s see her do the same sort of piece on Alastair Cook.


      • Zephirine Apr 16, 2016 / 11:57 am



      • fred Apr 16, 2016 / 1:17 pm

        I missed the whole “can’t speak English” business, but I did click on that link: excellent! No wonder people love and respect the guy so much.


      • fred Apr 16, 2016 / 1:35 pm

        Oh shit. I just clicked on your second link, dammit. I’ve seen that laughable Austin Reed thing before, but then Youtube suggested this gem, which was new to me. Really, can you blame Australians for laughing so much at the English when someone like this is the captain?
        Warning: do not follow this link if you cannot stomach information on Cook’s eyebrow toilette:


  2. Clivejw Apr 15, 2016 / 10:30 pm

    Blimey. If Sangakarra struggles with English, so do I and 99.9% of people born in England.


  3. Mark Apr 15, 2016 / 10:33 pm

    The…… “Sangakkara struggles with English”…….. comment is typical of some of the knuckle dragging that has e been attacking us for years. Now it must be said that it has been taken down by the moderators. However, I maintain that this crap has been encouraged by the Guardian’s moderating policy of taking almost everything down that was a critique of their writers, while letting abusive posts aimed at us stay un moderated. I would suggest that the Guardian has been a defender of a certain type of troll. Namely one which supports its positions.

    Seeing as the guardian is conducting a fake enquiry into abusive posts I would argue that their policy has been responsible for a climate of abuse which the Guardian has protected these last 3 years. If you want to kick a KP fan your were give an open door.

    The Guardian also claims that out of the top 10 writers receiving abuse …..8 were woman, and 2 were black. The last time I Looked Mr Selvey was neither a woman, nor a black man. Which only goes to show he Stfu about so called abuse.


  4. nonoxcol Apr 15, 2016 / 10:37 pm

    Oh by the way, our top journo has thrown his splintered arse out with the Friday night trash.

    (the subject being, how the hell do I take my usual side when it’s Cook v the ECB on helmets)


    • BoredInAustria Apr 16, 2016 / 5:13 am

      Selvey: “All of the England team have subsequently received an email from Strauss reminding them of their responsibility. It does not go as far as pointing out the possible insurance ramifications should any injury result from what might be termed wilful negligence in not using the latest safety measures to comply with the regulations.”

      Compliance alert. This is the type of internal company E-mail that should certainly not be leaked to outside!

      Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Apr 16, 2016 / 6:58 am

        Anyone know more about insurance in English cricket?

        My first thought when I heard about the new helmet guidelines was that insurance issues were involved. I might even have said that the ECB does nothing without a commercial imperative. Any such statement, however, would of course be grossly unfair.

        Liked by 1 person

      • BoredInAustria Apr 16, 2016 / 7:02 am

        “the ECB does nothing without a commercial imperative”

        Like “re-integrating” KP in 2012 to avoid some unfair dismissal claims?


      • Mark Apr 16, 2016 / 8:55 am


        So the captain of England publicly refuses to abide by the ECBs own rules, and the man In The suit who we are told is running English cricket runs off emails to all England players warning them of their responsibility.

        Once again the special treatment for Pitt the Younger is jaw dropping. If I was one of the other players I’d send the email back to Strauss and tell him to send it to the man who has refused to comply.

        Strauss seems very reluctant to deal with Pitt the Younger. Perhaps he is worried the media will turn on him if he dares to stand up to their media hero.


      • Alec Apr 16, 2016 / 12:02 pm

        While it was Cook who has attracted the attention, his reasoning and actions certainly aren’t without either logic or support from other players; even if I think for the time being he should just suck it up and follow the rules.

        He feels that the new helmet design is uncomfortable to wear and distracting with its fixed grill. Given that a cricketer’s first defence against injury is the ability to either dodge or get bat on ball, then it’s a reasonable stance to state to say you prefer to use your old helmet if it helps you in that regard. His team mate, Ravi Bopara, has gone on record agreeing that the ECB’s current solution to the problem causes problems that it’s been seeking to solve.

        Actually, on the last point I think we have the ECB’s new motto:

        The England (and Wales) Cricket Board: “Causing Problems (and Wales) that we’re seeking to solve”.

        Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Apr 16, 2016 / 12:14 pm

        The DT has a Nick Compton interview where he says he’s not happy with the new helmets, However, Cook is the only player on the CC circuit who’s not worn them.

        Cook’s next match is Hove tomorrow. Umpires Tim Robinson and Paul Baldwin will have to decide whether to refer him if he repeats the action.

        Weather forecast looks dry but temperatures barely in double figures!


      • oreston Apr 17, 2016 / 12:55 am

        I’m probably just displaying my ignorance of the way these things work in sport, but I’m a bit confused about this from the ‘elf and safety perspective. Presumably, following incidents such as Stuart Broad’s broken nose, ECB will have updated their risk assessments (no?) and identified the adoption of a revised helmet design as a control measure to reduce the risk of such injuries in future. So then how can we have a situation in which England players will all be required to wear the new helmet in this summer’s tests but (suspending my disbelief for one moment and assuming that what Selvey reports can be taken at face value) the Sri Lankans and Pakistanis won’t – even though they’ll be exposed to the same risks and playing conditions? Don’t the ECB’s corporate duty of care and responsibilities under workplace health and safety legislation extend to visiting teams using its facilities? Come to think of it, how does this apparent anomaly square with the “…possible insurance ramifications” ? I’m not saying that all players should have to wear the new helmet – by nature I’m against that sort of prescriptive approach – but from the point of view of governance this story does seem to pose one or two questions.


    • Alec Apr 16, 2016 / 1:44 pm

      No, Cook’s the only player on the CC circuit who got noticed. Given that there can be almost 180 players it would surprise me if no another player also defied the rules.

      Even the enforcement method is moronic as the umpires/referee have no power to enforce them during a match and can only refer them on for disciplinary measures. If safety is tantamount then match officials need to be empowered to actually enforce them there and then.


  5. Clivejw Apr 15, 2016 / 11:01 pm

    Have to admit, I think westcork has made some excellent posts on that thread.

    It’d be mean-spirited of me to suggest that it’s only because ***k is not toeing the blazers’ line for once, so I won’t.


    • nonoxcol Apr 16, 2016 / 8:24 am

      Whatever goodwill he may have built up has been pissed away in the space of two replies to NL. The second one could almost be a wctt bot, it’s so tediously predictable.

      Can’t stand him, I’m afraid. It never takes him long to patronise, bully, mock or police.


    • jennyah46 Apr 16, 2016 / 8:41 am

      Well done Clive! 🙂


      • LordCanisLupus Apr 16, 2016 / 9:08 am

        A broken clock and all that.

        That’s clock with an “l”.

        He deserves nothing but contempt from me. Because he shows my views, and that of people on here little but that.


  6. Clivejw Apr 16, 2016 / 12:56 am

    John Crace (who has previous when it comes to anti-KP satire):

    The Wisden dinner in the Long Room at Lord’s is always one of the highlights of the year; a celebration of the publication of the cricket almanack, and a sign that summer is not far off. This year’s dinner was all the better for lacking some of the spice of last year’s when the outgoing chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board, Giles Clarke, managed to pick a fight with almost everyone. Including himself. Not surprisingly, Clarke was not invited this time round. Some of the fun of the evening, which included a lovely speech by the novelist Kamila Shamsie, was tempered by the news that the England cricketer, James Taylor, had been forced to retire after being diagnosed with a serious heart condition. Jonny Bairstow, one of Wisden’s cricketers of the year, paid a moving tribute to his team-mate. Just how thrilled Taylor will have been to have received commiserations from other colleagues is anyone’s guess. Not so long ago, Kevin Pietersen was rubbishing Taylor for being the worst batsman ever to play for England; this week he has been sending sympathetic tweets. Keep it classy, KP. It’s not all about you.

    Right. Because Kevin Pietersen may not have been complimentary about Taylor’s batting at one time (and we all know that KP claims this story is the result of remarks made in confidence to Flower at the latter’s request anyway), this debars him from expressing human sympathy to him for all time. Note how one tweet becomes “tweets.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mark Apr 16, 2016 / 9:03 am

      This pillock wouldn’t know the meaning of classy.

      He is employed to write snark aimed at certain targets. Another Guardian hypocrite. Likes to dish it out , doesn’t like taking it. Isn’t that the definition of a bully?

      Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Apr 16, 2016 / 9:07 am

      That Crace thing is disgraceful for the very reason you said. Unless he’s said something more, which I’ve not seen, it was one tweet. And Tweeting isn’t making a story “all about him”.

      This relentless, unyielding, perpetual antithesis to KP is getting out of hand. You won. You got what you wanted. But still the seam has to be mined because mentioning HIM gets you hits. It’s as shallow as a puddle.

      Liked by 2 people

      • SimonH Apr 16, 2016 / 10:15 am

        There is just the one Tweet.

        There are a number of replies to haters since then. Some of their tweeting histories are worth looking at if you fancy spending some time in a human cesspool.

        One in particular makes Jamie C**k look like Albert Schweitzer.


        • LordCanisLupus Apr 16, 2016 / 10:28 am

          They really aren’t. It’s the same old, same old. The same old twisted histories, press-fed shite and ten minutes of hate.


      • nonoxcol Apr 16, 2016 / 10:23 am

        And that relentlessness was foreseen by many of us in 2014, because we already had 2009 and 2012 to go on.


      • Mark Apr 16, 2016 / 10:26 am

        Their KP hatred has become a madness.

        As you say…..They won, they got what they wanted. But their madness has overpowered them. KP may be gone, but their madness is ingrained in them for ever.

        We always knew they were bad losers, we have discovered they’re bad winners as well. (A deeply unpleasant trait)


    • escort Apr 16, 2016 / 11:04 am

      From memory Pietersens comments about Taylor were made either on the field of play or within the dressing room and were then leaked to the press, they certainly were not made in public. I can remember a certain England captain saying on live TV that he thought Jos Buttler was not yet good enough for Test cricket and that was immediately after Buttler had hit one of the fastest ODI centuries ever made by an England player. Which is worse? or does is simply come down to who said it and do we like them?

      Liked by 1 person

      • LordCanisLupus Apr 16, 2016 / 11:10 am

        Well, KP said in his book he was talking to Andy Flower about it. Next thing he knew it was presented as him slagging Taylor off in front of the whole dressing room. Who knows?

        What we do know is the England selectors were so keen on Taylor that he didn’t play a test for 18 or so months of KP-free England, and over three years in total. When there were vacancies in the middle order, Taylor didn’t fill them. When they became available again, Taylor wasn’t called on for the Ashes.

        KP’s point about his size was stupid. We know that. I’m not here to agree with him when he’s wrong, despite this effing annoying KP Fanboy shite. But people need to look at the whole here.


      • Mark Apr 16, 2016 / 11:14 am

        Exactly! Another example of the double standards.

        As I understand it KP was asked to give his opinion in private, and then it appeared in the papers shortly afterwards. That was when people still thought the England management had some integrity.


      • SimonH Apr 16, 2016 / 8:06 pm

        Clive, you have a respondent calling Pietersen an “odious little toad” and asking if you’ve read the book….

        Not the best ground to pick a fight with you on! Hope you have the time to boot his sorry backside into the middle of next week.


      • Clivejw Apr 17, 2016 / 2:00 am

        Simon, I assumed he was talking about Flower, so I replied accordingly.


  7. thebogfather Apr 16, 2016 / 10:27 am

    Dear all… I’m getting bored of all this btl grauniad sniping on here…. ok, slam the journos, praise a journo if absolutely necessary, but please… wctt, palfreyman, melmouth, whoever….who cares? Stop giving them publicity there and here, as well as NJH and other multi name nobodies. I’m sure the G is loving this free click bait publicity here, even Selfry probably secretly loves this – it keeps him in a job and proves to his employers that he is ‘relevant’ and can add numbers to the corporate agenda.
    By all means, let’s keep on at the ECB, ICC3, MSM stenographers and the paywall of the press and media (obviously why the G, despite our anger, rates so highly in comments here – it’s not the quality but the accessibility) – let’s talk cricket FFS!


    • thebogfather Apr 16, 2016 / 10:33 am

      ello…being pre-modded here now…is this the new G? lol


      • d'Arthez Apr 16, 2016 / 10:48 am

        The Guardian new style. Holding the powers to be to account … all the lovely lies that they want the populace to be spoonfed.

        You wonder how long the remaining decent journalists will last there.


    • Mark Apr 16, 2016 / 10:51 am


      Normally I would very much agree with you about not giving them free publicity. The problem I have at this moment is the Guardian are letting these trolls run riot, at the very same time they are pompously, and dishonestly running a campaign to ……Er…… Reduce the number of so called abusive trolls. You can’t make it up!

      They have encouraged this troll like behavior over the last few years, and were quite happy as long as it was people like us getting a good kicking. Now suddenly they are wailing about abuse.

      As for the cricket I am fascinated by this Cook / ECB / helmet debate, and how timid the ECB is in dealing with their hero. It is a good example of the way he is treated differently to everyone else. Is Strauss a man or a mouse?


    • LordCanisLupus Apr 16, 2016 / 11:15 am

      I was mildly amused at the tangents the open thread took, yet I’m always a bit wary in people saying “who cares” when it is evident that a lot on here do care, deeply, about what is happening. I think it’s important because the KP thing, as it is easily labelled, is a great example. We weren’t engaged on debate, we were vilified. We’ve been called all sorts. The presentation of cricketing facts that we all had access to -runs – were rebuffed BTL by media-fed lines to take. Now even querying that these behemoths of the press might be being economical with the actualite, or bringing personal grudges or favours into it is beyond the pale? They cannot be questioned? Who the hell do they think they are?

      This is a cricket blog, but we do focus a ton on the media. That’s what we do.

      To say “who cares” is on the same lines as those with 57 followers saying to KP “no-one is interested in what you have to say” when he has over 3 million!!!! 🙂

      But yes, I would like some more cricket discussion. I agree with you to a degree there, sir!


      • Zephirine Apr 16, 2016 / 11:37 am

        Sometimes it’s better for one’s mental health to have a little whine about a troll over here than to get involved in an endless slanging match over there. Being as, over here, we can be sure that the readership has a brain and pretty much knows what we’re on about.

        But bogfather’s point is taken. I used to go on the Guardian Poster Poems blog back in the day, and one reason I left was finding out that some of the regulars had private blogs where pretty much all they did was bitch about other regulars. We’re better than that.


      • Mark Apr 16, 2016 / 11:44 am

        The reason the media gets so hight a profile is because in many ways the media became the story. The real story should have been about KP and the ECB, but the media decided for their own self interest to act as PR agents for the ECB. Hence, sites like this became havens for those who could see through the fog of bullshit.

        As Dmitri says ……they won. KP lost, but the media has become the story. They won’t let it drop because they need KPs name to get people to read their articles. But even worse, they are still acting as ECB stenographers when they have nothing to fear from KP. He ain’t coming back. So you can now call out the ECB on other issues. They are refusing to do that because they have come to enjoy the home comforts and corporate hospitality for themselves and their editors. They have become the yellow media.


      • fred Apr 16, 2016 / 12:09 pm

        “I used to go on the Guardian Poster Poems blog back in the day,… ”
        Which reminds me, Billy Mills is another refugee who appears to have fled the guardian war zone.


      • Zephirine Apr 16, 2016 / 12:58 pm

        Yes, Fred, though I think Billy always had limited patience with BTL anyway.


      • Benny Apr 16, 2016 / 1:23 pm

        I sympathise with Bogfather’s view, although for me people can post whatever they want. The thing is I can’t really contribute to discussions about the guardian because I gave up newspapers years back, when they gave up printing news and went for opinion, invented stories and winding up the readers instead. I did try btl for a little while but lost interest. Suspect a lot of the contributors there feel the need for some peer approval – “hey look, I’ve posted something very rude about KP. Please let me join the gang”.

        At the moment there is no cricket, outside the IPL, so the papers, as ever, have to find other ways to fill the blank pages.

        Might venture to Hove v Essex, family demands permitting. Today is cold and damp in the area.

        Still pondering a CC membership. It’s Sussex at £200 (!), Div 2 and not far away or Surrey at £140, Div 1 but a couple of hours travel and a train fare on top.


  8. Zephirine Apr 16, 2016 / 11:46 am

    By the way, the Guardian’s current operation is surely all about selling advertising. The print paper is dying but they’ve got a massive website with a truly huge but amorphous readership – and isn’t it all about targeted advertising nowadays?

    So they’re wanting to corral readers into ‘communities’ that can be defined for marketing purposes. ‘You clicked regularly on the CC blog in April, so we know you’ll like these adverts for warm jumpers and hip-flasks’?

    Hence, they need readers to feel comfy going to their favourite spaces. Clicks, it’s all about the clicks. Advertisers don’t care about debate.


    • fred Apr 16, 2016 / 1:02 pm

      that’s interesting. Mark thinks it’s the noecons in Washington taking over free speech. Nonoxcol thinks it’s English authoritarian elitism trying to reassert itself. You think it’s about ads and money.
      I haven’t made my mind up, I can’t work it out.


      • nonoxcol Apr 16, 2016 / 1:04 pm

        Could be all three, quite easily.


      • Mark Apr 16, 2016 / 2:45 pm

        I do think that is the main argument and agenda, yes Fred. But there can be others as well included. The western powers are getting very worried that their propaganda is being bypassed on the interenet. You had some very pro establishment places like for example Chatam House claiming a few weeks ago that Putin is winning the propaganda war. Facebook has been censoring critics of the German Chancelors policies on immigration into Germany. Facebooks workers have asked the owner if they should be helping to stop Donald Trump from becoming president.

        I’m not arguing for or against any candidate, I’m just pointing out that control of the Internet is becoming a very hot potato. The western powers would like to erect gate keepers who control what is on the Internet, and what we read. With those so called gate keepers, people like Murdoch, and others who can be relied on to sing the right tune. Just like the newspaper industry. (And look what a mess they have made of that.) But they can’t admit this is the real agenda otherwise they look worse than the so call bad guys they claim they are fighting.

        So instead you make it about protecting you from nasty trolls who say nasty things. Then you get rather silly people like Owen Jones on board an agenda that he doesn’t really understand, and he is being used for far bigger issues than shutting up some moron racist troll.


      • fred Apr 16, 2016 / 4:32 pm

        “Then you get rather silly people like Owen Jones on board an agenda that he doesn’t really understand, and he is being used for far bigger issues than shutting up some moron racist troll.”

        Whatever he his, I don’t believe Owen Jones is silly or ignorant. He’s possibly smarter than me, and certainly spends more time thinking about these things, since that’s his job. This is what I don’t understand, how a bunch of aggressive bristling lefties could be co-opted so easily. What have we heard from Monibot or Poynbee? I looked up Catherine Viner, she’s hardly an establishment pawn, and is a natural successor to Rusbridger. It’s not as if Paul Wolfowitz was installed as the editor.

        I do agree that control over the internet is a hot potato at the moment, and the guardian is caught up in that. I’ve more or less given up on the guardian, but I am also thinking about clive’s comment that it’s something worth fighting for.

        Sorry Blogfather this is not very cricket oriented. But cricket has become one of the places this thing is being played out. I see that IPL ground choices are now being influenced by climate change-induced drought. But sport and politics don’t mix?


      • Mike Apr 18, 2016 / 9:32 am

        Hello all, haven’t posted for a while.

        Just to weigh in on the Guardian stuff, as you may or may not know, I work there in the commercial team.

        It’s not about clicks, frankly, a click is worthless unless an ad is delivered in view to n actual person, increasingly advertisers now wnat to know more about who that user is so as to cut down wastage, so now it’s increasingly about signed in users, being delivered ads, unblocked in view around content that you know they’re interested in.

        50p of every pound spent on digital advertising goes to Facebook or Alphabet (Google/YouTube) in the UK. It’s an extremely difficult place to compete when your saddled with the cost of 700plus journalists, hence the announced cuts last month, which are affecting all areas of the buisness.

        The thing I’ve noticed in the 2 years I’ve now worked here, is there defeinitely isn’t an agenda to shut down free speech, fuck me these people talk all the fucking time, endlessly. With regards to shutting down the debate BTL, seeing as there are no ads down there, it’s dead space and has no value to advertisers beyond the sign in data for ad targetting. What people are saying down there has never once been mentioned in any meeting internal or external I’ve had.

        To the wider point about agendas, my take on it is the Guardian is essnetially, broadly well meaning and at least it is not owned by some pan global oligarch. It frequently gets things wrong and is guilty too often of trying to be all things to all people, rather than focussing on it’s strengths.

        As infuriating as my time there has been, and believe me it’s been horrific at times, I think it’s one of the few places online where you get a proper range of opinions, many of which I disagre with, and thats probably a good thing.

        Sorry I’ve kind of gone off on a tangent there. Needed that.


      • Zephirine Apr 18, 2016 / 9:53 am

        The thing I’ve noticed in the 2 years I’ve now worked here, is there definitely isn’t an agenda to shut down free speech, fuck me these people talk all the fucking time, endlessly. Mike, I laughed out loud at that. Especially having worked at the BBC in the past…. They’re not called the chatterati for nothing.


      • Mark Apr 18, 2016 / 11:04 am

        Sorry Fred , we will have to agree to disagree. This isn’t really the place to get into this so I will make this my last on this subject. IfOwen Jones thinks shutting down free speech helps democracy I think he is deluded.

        He also seems to be quite clueless as to what has been going on in Syria, and what the real agenda of the west has been. (Again this is not the place to go into detail) but some of the things he seems to be spouting make me think he is clueless and rather stupid. (Sorry that’s just my opinion.) or maybe he just wants to keep his job.

        It’s a big test for Jones and Ponybee. Will they go on taking the Guardian cheques they get for writing their columns knowing full well the editorial of the paper has completely changed? Will they start to write a different line of opinion to keep their jobs?

        As I say, this is not a political site and I will not say anymore on the politics of this. But I am very suspicious of the Guardian’s so called ” The Internet we want” campaign. Look at OFF Guardian. They have a couple articles up about the Guardian campaign and Owen Jones rather neieve views about this issue.


  9. Zephirine Apr 16, 2016 / 1:51 pm

    And Christopher Walken has a lesson for us all….

    “I didn’t go into that,” he says. “I don’t have a computer. I don’t check stuff.”

    You don’t have a computer?

    “My wife has one. I don’t have a cell phone.”

    How does your agent get in touch with you?

    “They call the house.”

    On the landline?

    “Yeah.” There is an extremely long pause. “And I have a fax machine.”


    • fred Apr 16, 2016 / 2:39 pm

      Brilliant stuff. Reassuring. But this is my favorite Walken:


      • nonoxcol Apr 16, 2016 / 3:31 pm

        Mine is still Captain Koons. I think I must be in double figures, and I still haven’t got through it without laughter.


      • fred Apr 16, 2016 / 4:04 pm

        I haven’t made up my mind if I like Tarrentino or not, but he has his moments. It’s around “But I’ll be dammed if some greasy…” that I start cracking up. Poor Butch.


      • nonoxcol Apr 16, 2016 / 5:22 pm

        It’s the timing and delivery of “…of dysentery” that does it for me. Not sure I even heard the next line until the 6th or 7th viewing.


      • fred Apr 16, 2016 / 8:13 pm

        Thank God I don’t live in the same country as you Nonoxcol. If you ever said to me, “shall we just pop out for a quick pint?” it would end badly. The same applies to you Zephirine.


      • nonoxcol Apr 16, 2016 / 10:06 pm

        This evening I also watched a DVD of a 15-year-old comedy Christmas special which features vampirism, frustrated pederasty, a transsexual taxi-driver, a warring married couple, voodoo, murder, cursed monkey’s bollocks, many dead animals, and a serial kidnapper of women.

        I laughed my ass off.

        Sorry. I must have the kind of sick mind the Guardian does not want.


      • Fred Apr 17, 2016 / 12:27 am

        You see? Youre a bad man. I knew it. Youre not the sort of person cricket needs.


    • Zephirine Apr 16, 2016 / 8:54 pm

      I like him best in Catch Me If You Can, he steals that picture right from under de Caprio’s nose:

      Sorry for the digression, Dmitri. I’m sure Christopher Walken can play cricket. I see him as a slightly wayward but impassive middle order batsman. With great footwork.


      • fred Apr 16, 2016 / 9:44 pm

        Haven’t seen the film, but the scene is pure Walken.
        I researched a Walken/cricket connection to keep the moderators happy that we really were talking about cricket but unfortunately I found nothing. However Google said “Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe.” Ha, as I suspected: a neocon, Tory, advertising executive conspiracy.


    • Rooto Apr 16, 2016 / 3:14 pm

      They did? Wow! They were miles behind with 4 wickets down when I checked.


  10. LordCanisLupus Apr 16, 2016 / 5:57 pm

    Meanwhile, personal goals seem to be OK again..

    ‘In the back of my mind, I think I can get 500 test wickets and what has helped me during the last four years has been thinking about staying as fit as possible so I can get on the field and contribute to us winning. I would like to play in the 2019 ashes. I will be 37 then.’

    I suppose the proper briefing went out to make sure you mention a team goal.

    Nothing wrong with this, by the way. Absolutely nothing wrong with it.


    • rpoultz Apr 16, 2016 / 6:49 pm

      This just makes me sick. Shame when a certain Mr Pietersen showed ambition to reach a certain milestone it was held against him. However when Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy Anderson does it or recently Captain C**k it is received totally differently. You are 100% right that there is nothing wrong with having personal goals at any level. Even at my level I have certain goals and achievements I still want to get out of the game and would never expect my team mates to take that as anything other than a positive. Afraid it’s another case of the double standards we have become used to.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Escort Apr 16, 2016 / 9:00 pm

      they just don’t realise what they’re saying do they?????


      • rpoultz Apr 16, 2016 / 9:15 pm

        I would never give them enough credit for them to be actively trolling the fans. It is as you say they just don’t realise what they are saying and what has gone before.


  11. MM Apr 16, 2016 / 10:46 pm

    I really wish KP would set up a crowdfunding/kickstarter style plan to buy out the ECB, sack the feckin’ lot of them off and bring into being a new UK cricket thing. Could be nothing but T20s… could be the current mix. Doesn’t matter. The main thing would be the top brass standing there on the pavement wondering what the hell just happened, and Cook[y] dropped from the Test team for killing a baby deer, whilst stuck on 9999 runs. Unless he promises to bat in the choirboy suit and correct headgear for the next decade.

    That mushroom biryani was quite nice tonight.


    • Zephirine Apr 17, 2016 / 11:42 am

      It’s good of him to state it publicly, but would anybody doubt that Taylor could visit the dressing-room if he wanted to?


  12. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Apr 17, 2016 / 8:07 am

    Has the EU referendum debate been settled now that one IT Botham has come out campaigning on the side of Brexit? Boris Trump appears very happy with his new acquisition, but it is food for thought for the rest of us to hear the views of someone who is both a very fine cricketer and wrong about almost everything. I look forward to hearing the specifics of Beefy’s policies post-Brexit but worry it will be the equivalent of posting three fine legs after the ball has has already been hit there.

    Well, you said this was an open thread 😉


    • Nicholas Apr 17, 2016 / 5:42 pm

      Well, after David Gower and Darren Gough came out in favour of First Past the Post in the AV referendum in 2011, a cricketer stepping into a political debate isn’t without precedent. We just need someone coming out on the ‘remain’ side now, to make it a fair fight. Atherton, perhaps?


    • Clivejw Apr 17, 2016 / 9:01 pm

      I’m pretty sure Beefy would be in favour of direct rule from Windsor.


    • escort Apr 17, 2016 / 9:36 pm

      Why not discuss Brexit? anything has to be better than chewing the cud about how shite the Guardian is.


  13. SimonH Apr 17, 2016 / 12:35 pm

    Selvey on the CC thread:

    ” [Warwickshire] are missing a brace of internationals, too, in Chris Woakes, who has a knee niggle sustained in the first match against Hampshire, while Boyd Rankin has the semblance of a side-strain”.

    Is Selvey’s assessment on Rankin’s fitness based on a detailed medical report – or that Flower/Saker told him during the ‘difficult winter’ that Rankin is a serial shirker? Not much in itself but the kind of needless, gratuitous unpleasantness that makes Selvey what he is.

    Score-settling from that tour seems something he can never tire of.


    • Mark Apr 17, 2016 / 5:23 pm

      And here is the first comment below the line…

      ” T20 cricket is the best form of cricket and the way forward for cricket in general. I have grown up watching test and ODI cricket but now with a busy life I just do not have enough time to follow test and ODI cricket. T20 is the form I can follow. Cricket has evolved and so has the majority of the audience. I have admired test cricket and ODI, and now I ask- why would you play one game for 5 days, or for 8 hours for that matter? Just give us 4 hours of intense, high-skill game.”

      I think the corporations who want to profit know their audience.


      • SimonH Apr 17, 2016 / 6:04 pm

        The T20 WC will be in the USA before it’s next in a non-Big Three nation.

        Somewhen between 2024-28 I reckon.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Clivejw Apr 17, 2016 / 11:52 pm

    This is nothing to do with cricket, but I found it pretty amusing and maybe you will too. If not, my apologies. It’s by John Crace, mentioned above, who cannot resist writing anti-KP satire that is both unfair and, more importantly, not very amusing. But occasionally, he excels himself, as here: [url=]The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington – digested read[/url]


  15. nonoxcol Apr 18, 2016 / 5:08 am


    A rather good poster has replied to you on the Emma John thread.

    Usually this would be pleasing.

    But this time he thinks Andy Bull is a better writer than Gideon Haigh….

    Blue touch paper, red rag…!


    • SimonH Apr 18, 2016 / 6:25 am

      The ‘Guardian Picks’ on the other Emma John thread don’t exactly dispel the notions of what ‘the web we want’ meant:

      “A beautiful read, this. Looking forward to the book”.

      “A very good read, if the book’s anything like as good it’ll be going straight on my summer reading list”.


      • nonoxcol Apr 18, 2016 / 6:31 am

        Have you ever wondered what p-man’s fawning:insight comment ratio is?

        I’m going with a conservative 6:1


  16. Clivejw Apr 18, 2016 / 7:42 am

    So what did we learn yesterday? Ian Botham supports Brexit (what a big surprise — I expect what he’d really like is direct rule from Windsor Castle) and Kevin Pietersen has met Zac Goldsmith and thinks he’s a “good man” and we should all “get round” him.

    Don’t care. You don’t love your sporting heroes for their political judgments, and let’s face it, most sportsmen are Tory shits. Must be something to do with the mentality that can only see winners as having any value.


    • nonoxcol Apr 18, 2016 / 7:53 am

      I’ve always found it very easy indeed to separate sporting talent from personal foibles, which is why you’ll never find me going on about Shane Warne, for instance (and why I like to pretend that my first sporting hero, Sebastian Coe, ceased to exist after about 1988). The same goes for popular music.

      But dear lord, Pietersen makes it especially hard.


      • Zephirine Apr 18, 2016 / 10:03 am

        Goldsmith’s tall, good-looking and eye-wateringly rich, and probably spouts entrepreneurial gobbledygook with a bit of faux environmentalism thrown in. Right up Kev’s street, I guess. What’s his golf handicap?

        It’s easy to forget that KP went to the South African equivalent of Bedford School. Those places leave their mark.


    • Clivejw Apr 18, 2016 / 6:32 pm

      To be fair, a lot of even lefty people had a soft spot for Zac Goldsmith (he’s very good on the environment, apparently — doubt if this is what attracts KP) before his current mayoral campaign. But he’s employing the unsavoury Australian spin doctor Lynton Crosby, who is known for his dirty campaign tactics. This campaign will go down as one of the most racially charged in British history since the days when the Tories used to run with slogans like “If you want a n– for a neighbour, vote Labour.” Goldsmith himself has been trying to associate Sadiq Khan with Islamist extremism and voters have been racially profiled (for example, if you have an Indian-sounding name, you will be targeted with literature telling you to lock up your jewelry if Labour get in).

      Fortunately, and despite the usual smears from the LES, the campaign is having no impact. Maybe this country isn’t so bad after all.


      • Grenville Apr 19, 2016 / 12:07 pm

        Wasn’t Zac Goldsmith’s sister married to Imran Khan? I’m sure Jemima is the same family.


      • Grenville Apr 19, 2016 / 12:16 pm

        Thanks. In that case maybe she can have a word with a brother.


      • escort Apr 19, 2016 / 6:54 pm

        Some would say that all spin doctors are unsavory. Is Lynton Crosby any worse than the Labour party spin doctors? If Alistair Campbell is the yard stick then perhaps he is not.


  17. SimonH Apr 18, 2016 / 10:04 am

    Oh dear, this sounds grim:

    I’m not a doctor, but isn’t injecting him with cortisone again crazy?

    Meanwhile, centuries yesterday for Lyth and Robson could make it interesting if Hales doesn’t make a score in the two matches he’s going to play.

    Compton copped a first-baller but Ballance didn’t cash in.


    • BoredInAustria Apr 18, 2016 / 11:53 am

      2.1 Magoffin to Cook, OUT
      AN Cook c Nash b Magoffin 1 (9m 5b 0x4 0x6) SR: 20.00


      • Clivejw Apr 18, 2016 / 6:37 pm

        Unfortunately, I was unable to follow the cricket today, otherwise I would have cheered out loud at ***k’s cheap dismissal. Magoffin isn’t express pace, but he’s quite sharp (and England-qualified this year, which is why Sussex have been able to sign Ross Taylor). Not what you want to face when you’re struggling to get used to an unfamiliar helmet.


  18. BoredInAustria Apr 18, 2016 / 1:16 pm

    Sorry Dmitri: Some multiple links (I hope it works), but I found this interesting:

    1. Cooks batting helmet today(I think):

    2. His batting helmet last week:,835,14,42&resize=685

    3. His batting helmet as seen in a Telegraph article in July 2014 on his batting problems:

    It seems he has tried the new helmet, might be part reason for his batting slump?


    • Zephirine Apr 18, 2016 / 1:56 pm

      I’m surprised the new approved design doesn’t include the extra side bits that many batsmen have adopted post-Hughes.


      • BoredInAustria Apr 18, 2016 / 5:27 pm

        I googled the photos over lunch – just a quick follow up on my analysis:

        Looking at the design the grill seems very similar, but appears if the the new helmet has a very different position on the head than the older one (clearly seen on the photo taken last week in the Times) – it sits flatter and the line of the helmet is slanting backwards (a bit like a huey-dewey-and-louie cap instead of the Clint Eastwood Kelly’s Heroes helmet!)

        The effect is the grill sits well above the nose, very clearly visible. It looks therefore that you need to keep your head in a very different position when batting (chin down) and I wonder how much this effects the batsman when used to another stance.

        From the evidence above it seems C**k (trademark Clive) has worn this somewhere in mid 2014 (photos I looked at from the Ashes 2014 seems to indicate the “older” design. Did anybody perhaps notice if his batting improved when he change back to the old helmet?

        And yes Z, it also means this design pre-dates the Hughes incident, and therefore has no neck-guard.


  19. Nicholas Apr 18, 2016 / 3:44 pm

    Mervyn King has resigned from the Villa board. Where does this now leave Ed Smith’s Masters course?!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. escort Apr 18, 2016 / 7:18 pm

    Rob Key has decided to retire, i always thought him to be a good player who perhaps should have played more international cricket than he did. He is good value when he commentates or provides analyses for Sky and i hope he is now employed full time by them, he would be a fine addition to their Test match coverage, lets be honest, he can’t be any worse than Sir Ian.


    • Grumpy Gaz Apr 19, 2016 / 10:20 am

      Always liked Rob Key and he tends to present a surprising amount of common sense for a pundit on Sky.

      He has also given this Kent supporter a huge amount of entertainment over the years. Top player, top bloke.


  21. SimonH Apr 19, 2016 / 8:38 am

    Another morning, another article that doesn’t so much to dispel concerns about where ‘the web we want’ is heading:

    The conflation of violence with reading something nasty on-line has run through these articles. I’m no great fan of Selvey (it’s no secret) but I know the difference between reading something by him and being punched in the face.

    The whole article reads like the opening of the door to any commenters who want to pile in to critics of the paper’s writers. There aren’t enough people doing this! Anything less is tantamount to a crime!


  22. nonoxcol Apr 19, 2016 / 11:17 am

    This whole business really is like they decided to push the exact buttons that confirm my (and plenty of others’, it seems) worst suspicions about the Guardian, its philosophy and the people who run it.

    If you’d asked me, a few months ago, to name the two worst things about the operation, I’d have said its excruciating obsession with identity politics and its contempt for readers who don’t quite toe the line.

    So yeah, why not combine the two? Brilliant.


  23. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Apr 19, 2016 / 1:36 pm

    More on helmets today (the things batsmen put on their head, not the ECB President for Life). Turns out Jonathan Trott was told to change his helmet when resuming his innings this morning. I’m assuming this was for similar reasons to Cook rather than anything else. Doesn’t seem to have done him any harm, but I’m wondering why the ECB are going so strong on grill design and not the stem protectors?


    • pktroll (@pktroll) Apr 19, 2016 / 5:48 pm

      I’m afraid I find all of this rather confusing with regards to the helmet. I have a bit of sympathy with the players who are protesting at this, including Cook. My bad………….


      • Benny Apr 19, 2016 / 6:27 pm

        If it’s just the player who is affected, OK. However, if it causes distress and concern to others e.g. Club medics, the bowler, others on the field, those watching, family and friends, then no.


  24. SimonH Apr 19, 2016 / 3:27 pm

    I won’t post a direct link – but should anyone wish to know what FICJAM thinks about Donald Trump, then pop over to the New Statesman.


    • LordCanisLupus Apr 20, 2016 / 11:54 am

      Stunned that gluck’s comment on the Emma John piece has been allowed to stay. The reply to BobFisher’s tale is also worth a read.


      • Sean B Apr 20, 2016 / 12:55 pm

        It’s absolutely brilliant. I bet if that had been on a Selvey piece, it would’ve disappeared within minutes. Don’t want to upset the poor little lamb now.


  25. Grenville Apr 19, 2016 / 7:16 pm

    Just back from Hove. I now know where Cook learnt the art of captaincy. Sussex, having been racing to an inassailable lead, promptly lost 6 wickets for not much after tea. At which point, with the game in the balance and Shezad batting with Maggoffin, Essex spread the field for Shezad so they could keep the rangy sussexer on strike. To make things even more Cooktastic they bowled Porter and Napier unchanged for, I think, 24 overs. Needless to say the last pair put on an unbroken stand of 40. Madness, as they say in Essex.

    PS. No suggestion this is cookie-wookie’s doing. He stood quietly at slip. His only non-contribution being to not move to his right as the ball whistled low between him and 2nd slip for 4.


    • Mark Apr 19, 2016 / 7:40 pm

      Is he the Essex captain for this game?


      • Grenville Apr 19, 2016 / 7:52 pm

        No. Essex are being skippered by ten Doeschate. I forgot to ask Cook if they’d confused Hove for Headingley and Shezad for Matthews. Shame about that. My brother told him that he looked disengaged though.


      • Mark Apr 19, 2016 / 8:29 pm

        He was probably rocking his new Che Guevara look as ECB revolutionary.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Clivejw Apr 20, 2016 / 2:28 am

      And credit to Chris Nash, the Sussex opener, for scoring over 200 runs in the match and then trolling a certain Essex opener by crediting the new helmet with saving him from a broken nose. Thanks to the fixed grill, he was able to carry on after just a few minutes’ treatment.

      New helmet didn’t stop Trott from scoring an unbeaten 200 yesterday either.


      • Tuffers86 Apr 20, 2016 / 6:29 am

        The Trott innings was delicious because of the helmet issue.


      • LordCanisLupus Apr 20, 2016 / 11:56 am

        Sam Robson flowing again in the second innings. Interesting.


      • SimonH Apr 20, 2016 / 12:12 pm

        4 off 36 balls against the injury-hit attack of everyone’s favourites for relegation hasn’t done Gary Ballance’s case much good.

        I’ve also noticed that Hampshire got Liam Dawson back from England and he hasn’t been fit enough to bowl. What do they do to them?

        Liked by 1 person

  26. d'Arthez Apr 20, 2016 / 6:11 pm

    Seems that the world cup has continued. 13 out of 14 matches in the IPL thus far were won by the side chasing.


    • d'Arthez Apr 21, 2016 / 6:33 pm

      Make that 14 out of 15, with the latest being a ten-wicket demolition job by the Sunrisers against the Gujarat Lions.


  27. Clivejw Apr 20, 2016 / 7:40 pm

    I’ll just say one thing. **** you, Danny Briggs. (For those who don’t follow county cricket, Briggs, whom Sussex poached from Hampshire over the winter, dropped ***K on 1 today, an absolute sitter. Actually, ***k could have been out half a dozen times in the early overs of his innings, but went on to score an unbeaten century.)


    • SimonH Apr 21, 2016 / 8:23 am

      Curiously that dropped catch isn’t in the ECB’s highlights’ package of the day’s play. Mind you, as they seem to have slashed the length of those to 90 seconds, they would have trouble fitting everything in. Didn’t they used to be about 5 minutes?

      Am I right in thinking Briggs was at first slip? I haven’t seen a huge amount of Hampshire in the last couple of years but I don’t think he fielded there – or in the slips much at all – for the county. Sean Ervine has been Hampshire’s first slip for years and Dawson and Vince have usually been at second and third.

      The experiment with the toss seems to have got rid of early season green-tops but is just producing run-gluts rather than pitches that turn. Of course it would help if some counties actually played a specialist spinner (e.g. Middlesex leaving out both Rayner and Patel). At least Hampshire’s injuries should force them into giving Mason Crane a match or two.


  28. Clivejw Apr 23, 2016 / 5:15 am

    Belated reply — I don’t know if you’ll see this; but yes, you’re right, Briggs was at first slip, as a substitute for Joyce, who was off the field due to injury. To be fair to Briggs, he took an excellent catch off the Essex captain there in the first innings.


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