Open Thread III – In At First Drop

While not quite as fierce as the first open thread, the second certainly had its moments, although not many of them were related to the actual cricket going on – though some posted in their match reports or views and they are most welcome.

So far a lot of the attention has been on the high scores for April and the proliferation of double hundreds. Ben Duckett’s 282 not out against Sussex on the opening week was joined by three first division double centuries – Jonny Bairstow making 246 against Hampshire, Sam Robson making 231 (and 106) against Warwickshire and Jonathan Trott compling an unbeaten 219 in the same match. There may be some concern that this “no-toss” rule isn’t providing spinning tracks, but roads. It’s a small sample size thus far (and I remember plenty of early season games at The Oval with large scores) but the portents are that the rampant green tops aren’t in evidence. It’s early.

This week’s matches are as follows:

Division One

Durham v Middlesex

Surrey v Somerset

Warwickshire v Yorkshire

Division Two

Derbyshire v Glamorgan

Essex v Northants

Gloucestershire v Worcestershire

Leiestershire v Kent

If anyone is remotely interested I’m thinking about going to Day 1 of the Surrey v Durham game next week, and more firmly, the first day of Surrey v Middlesex on 15 May.

Meanwhile, the IPL keeps churning along, spewing out fixture after fixture. I tried to get into it with the early matches, but I sort of share thelegglance’s attitude towards it. The content, thus far, hasn’t been gripping and emotional investment, certainly outside of India, is always going to be tough. It becomes a thin line between top class sport and exhibition stuff. Just an impression, but some of the intensity on the field isn’t there. But let’s keep an eye on it with this week’s matches:

23 April – Delhi v Mumbai

23 April – Sunrisers v Kings XI

24 April – Gujarat v Bangalore

24 April – Pune v Kolkata

25 April – Kings XI v Mumbai

26 April – Sunrisers v Pune

27 April – Delhi v Gujarat

28 April – Mumbai v Kolkata

29 April – Pune v Gujarat

Of course, with today’s IPL season-ending injury to KP, I’m even less interested in it than before.

There’s been a bit to talk about this week. The punts on Nick Browne (second division runs, eh) and James Vince in Newman’s article were very interesting. There’s the foiling of Giles Clarke’s ambitions, but even so, the brave old ECB will leave him on that unpaid gravy train for a while yet, and then there’s the boring crap about the helmet. Lord, it was a good story by Lizzie, but hell on earth, what a fuss.

Do you remember that terrible furore when one of our number said that the only way that the English medical team would learn is if one of our fast bowler’s career ended due to their mis-diagnosis or willingness to play with injections? Well, he put it a little less subtle manner and the you know what hit the fan. Now Strauss wants answers over Wood? I do hope that penny is finally dropping. Good luck Mark Wood on your recovery. I want to see you back when you are fit and ready, and as pain-free as possible.

Anyway, fire away on here. I would ask you to respect the conditions regarding the blog. I’ve let a lot of the semi-political stuff go. I really don’t like it, but I can’t be the dreaded censor. I just really don’t have the time.


48 thoughts on “Open Thread III – In At First Drop

  1. Burly Apr 22, 2016 / 9:37 pm

    Wasn’t it George Dobell who repeatedly warned that the selectors were risking Wood’s career with his workload?


    • northernlight71 Apr 22, 2016 / 10:44 pm

      As a one-time student of medicine, I recall casting aspersions on the supposed “management” of injuries by the England hierarchy and mentioned that I didn’t think constant injections of cortisone were a good idea either in the short or long-term. I have a faint memory that this was one of the first times the good lord of Selvey actually replied to me and ticked me off with a “the England medical team are highly qualified and know what they’re doing, little pleb. Now stop getting above your station…”
      But I was right then and I’m right now. They’re a bunch of idiots. Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad, Jonathan Trott to name but three who have suffered at their inexpert and careless handling.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Mark Apr 22, 2016 / 11:41 pm

        Selvey’s refusal to stop brown nosing the England set up for the last few years has made him look a complete fool Pity his sports editor isn’t paying attention.


      • Sean B Apr 23, 2016 / 10:10 am

        I think Simon Jones said that you can have a maximum 3 cortisone injections in a career before your body falls apart. They gave Mark Wood two last summer!

        I really like Mark Wood and hope he recovers but the England physio team have a lot to answer for in terms of managing his workload and treatment.


      • SimonH Apr 23, 2016 / 11:03 am

        Broad said he had “four or five” – so it was probably more. They got away with it in his case.


      • sgtcookieblog Apr 23, 2016 / 11:42 am

        Must be so difficult as a player not be tempted by the ‘cortisone cure’ to get you through a test/series. The Cheese has found a new lease of life on a bike, how would he have felt if that had been prevented by too many quick fixes to joints. Mark Wood seems a lovely lad and I hope he recovers and fulfills his potential.


      • Benny Apr 23, 2016 / 10:15 pm

        Shouldn’t a “highly qualified” medical team have been aware that one of the team had a genetic medical condition and been prepared for a problem?


  2. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Apr 22, 2016 / 9:44 pm

    I keep hearing about the run-fests on flat tracks but my perfectly reasonable fantasy team top-order of Carberry, Stoneman, Ballance, Lees and Hildreth cannot collectively buy a point currently.

    Thank God for Tim Ambrose getting not only a stumping but coming on to bowl and getting Adam Voges out. Oh, and the skipper Jake Ball, the one man team.

    Right now Div One is looking very interesting before Yorkshire inevitably take control. Surrey vs Durham has a lot of interest in my view. Alec Stewart very vocal on the radio a couple of weeks back, wonder what his ambitions are?

    Tomorrow afternoon for me is on the boundary of a Warwickshire League Division 4 game. Heaven.


  3. Mark Apr 22, 2016 / 9:56 pm

    Having seen the retreat of the green tops because of the no toss rule, is it not going to look a bit naff when England prepare Emerald green seamers come the test matches? Last years ashes pitches set a massive president in my view.

    It’s all very well producing roads, but we don’t tend to produce the mystery spinner or the genuine very fast bowler you need to bowl sides out on. Remember on the two flat tracks last summer (Lords and The Oval) England got hammered.

    Liked by 1 person

    • northernlight71 Apr 22, 2016 / 10:40 pm

      What did you say? England got hammered? I don’t think so, son. You’d better go back and check again. This new, exciting England team crushes all in its wake and is not to be badmouthed by anybody, least of all the bunch of scruffy ne-er-do-wells that populate this fetid sewer of a website.
      See me after class, and don’t you dare say anything nasty about the glorious new England team again. Did I mention how young and exciting they are? Gary Ballance Gary Ballance Gary Ballance….er I mean Joe Root Joe Root Joe Root.



  4. SimonH Apr 23, 2016 / 8:08 am

    Over 24 hours and still no press release from the ICC meeting.

    Can’t they find a ‘good journalist’ to leak it to?


  5. fred Apr 23, 2016 / 7:05 pm

    Sorry about the non-cricket posts on the last open thread. I can understand moderating would be a tedious burden, but a shortcut might be just to keep an eye on Zephirine, she started it all.

    There was apparently an ICC meeting yesterday, but it seems to have disappeared without a trace. Obviously there is nothing in the guardian about it, but nor is there in the SMH, the Australian, nor cricinfo. Very curious. Must have been inconsequential.


    • northernlight71 Apr 23, 2016 / 8:29 pm

      Aren’t all ICC meetngs covered by a secret superinjunction these days?
      Er, I mean….. what meeting? Look over there, a squirrel!


      • fred Apr 23, 2016 / 9:44 pm

        Mystery solved. Meetings of various committees have started but the big cheeses don’t sit down until Monday 25th.


    • Zephirine Apr 23, 2016 / 8:58 pm

      It started out as a comment on spending too much time online and was therefore of some relevance to all our good selves. After that, not so much. Sorree.


  6. Benny Apr 23, 2016 / 10:12 pm

    Just had a thought, after a bottle of excellent italian red, if we went back to 3 day county matches, would it change the way counties prepared their pitches, as well as giving the poor lambs who have to force themselves through so much effort (at least apart from the many hours sitting on a balcony watching) some rest?


  7. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Apr 24, 2016 / 8:26 am

    Does anyone have any overview of how many Counties are providing some sort of coverage of CC games? I enjoyed the Notts cam (albeit it looked like they were playing on a slope!) and I think someone mentioned another County had a set-up with sound and commentary as well. Seems like an easy and cheap way to connect with people who follow the county game but cannot get to games.


    • SimonH Apr 24, 2016 / 10:38 am

      I’ve heard a mention that Notts’ next match against Yorkshire, starting May 1st, is going to be on Sky. Can anyone confirm this?


    • Rooto Apr 24, 2016 / 1:36 pm

      The other county is perhaps Glamorgan. Or to put it more clearly, Glamorgan are doing the stream-plus-commentary on their website. However, they’re playing away this week.


  8. Mark Apr 24, 2016 / 9:41 am

    What’s the thinking to starting county championship games on a Sunday? Why not start games yesterday on a Saturday, and have two days of weekend cricket when people might come to watch? Now you have 3 days of county cricket on a Monday , Tuesday and Wednesday if it goes that far?

    I’m sure there is some logic to it, but it seems barmy to me. Perhaps they just don’t think it will make any difference in spectator numbers.


    • Rooto Apr 24, 2016 / 1:46 pm

      I completely agree, Mark. I feel they listened too much to ECB members, licence-holders and subs-payers, who may play on Saturday. A more precise survey would have looked further afield, at potential spectators.
      Later on in the season, Saturday becomes a rest day after Friday night T20, but to leave it fallow at this time of year is crazy.


  9. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Apr 24, 2016 / 10:06 am

    Just 2 out of 7 games today had uncontested tosses this morning, which may or my not have any significance. Wonder what the rate was in the earlier rounds of games?


    • Mark Apr 24, 2016 / 11:04 am

      The Legends described the WICB as “an oligarchic structure that considers itself answerable to no one but itself”.

      “Although the WICB might see itself as a private entity, it is there for the public good and should therefore be accountable, in some way, to the governments and people of the Caribbean,”

      Sounds very familiar

      “their statement added, reinforcing the point by citing a similar point made by India’s Supreme Court to the BCCI earlier this year.”

      All these boards behave as if they were private corporations. Governing bodies my arse! It’s a gravy train of self interest, and jobs for the boys.


      • escort Apr 24, 2016 / 5:37 pm

        Are the “legends” the same as those involved with Allen Stanford?


      • SimonH Apr 24, 2016 / 6:07 pm

        In some cases, yes – and it’s the same WICB that okayed Stanford….


  10. mdpayne87 Apr 24, 2016 / 1:14 pm

    Just seen Sean Dickson’s handled the ball dismissal. Talk about a brain fade.


  11. Gambrinus Apr 24, 2016 / 2:06 pm

    Sangakkarra is quite the player isn’t he!


    • pktroll (@pktroll) Apr 24, 2016 / 7:08 pm

      I was lucky enough to go today. A real pleasure to watch. If I needed any reminding to myself that I prefer longer form cricket to t20 then just being around the game today was enough. Not only was it his batsmanship but the unbridled way that Jason Roy also decided to set about Somerset’s bowling. Perhaps a bit typically he left with the job only 3/4 done, he should have gone and got a big hundred, but he’s more than a bit careless. I guess Dmitri will probably tell you that better than what I can. It looked a real flat deck, apart from a bit of mild green tinge that disappeared as the day went on. Somerset bowled awfully in the first few overs and only got a little better when the opening bowlers swapped ends and Craig Overton got Harinath. After that it was one way traffic once Sanga set about his work (he was dropped early on by Trescothick and that was that). I’m afraid I was disappointed by Overton, especially when he seemed to try sledging Sanga. That was muppetry of the worst order.

      I am not entirly sure Surrey are yet totally in the box seat. A score of less than 450 could let Somerset back in given the nature of the pitch and their choice of Rampaul, Footitt and Tom Curran to go with Batty and Ansari.


      • LordCanisLupus Apr 24, 2016 / 7:13 pm

        I am hoping to go next weekend, but it will depend on the weather.

        Jason is Jason. It’s what makes him the destructive player he is, and to change him will be difficult.

        I notice the county championship twitter feed is puffing Cook up for a 60-odd in Div Two cricket, when arguably the more interesting thing in that match is Dan Lawrence making an unbeaten 44. He’s really one for the future.


      • pktroll (@pktroll) Apr 25, 2016 / 1:35 pm

        I ought to rectify that I had Tresco down as the man who dropped Sanga! My apologies, it was Peter Trego.


  12. escort Apr 24, 2016 / 5:50 pm

    Any opinions as to what the batting order should be for the first test against Sri Lanka?


    • LordCanisLupus Apr 24, 2016 / 7:29 pm

      “But they are division two runs”

      “A bloke playing for the oppo has 282 runs and not been dismissed yet”

      “Anyone can score runs at that level”

      Not this year….

      Iconic performances. Ah, watch the highlights…


      • Mark Apr 24, 2016 / 7:43 pm

        Aren’t they contractually obliged to mention him in every round of county matches he plays in now? In the first match they were congratulating him on his slip catch. They should rename the Twitter feed………. @CookChamp

        If he was called Saddam you could understand it, but it just looks ludicrous. And as you say it’s second division runs, which by their own standard don’t count. But then rules are only for the little people, not the England captain.


      • Escort Apr 24, 2016 / 10:29 pm

        As captain Cook apparently has nothing to do with social media can we assume he knows nothing about this dross?


  13. fred Apr 24, 2016 / 6:35 pm

    The sport vs money debate is being played out everywhere. It’s great that Australia is exploring new ways to play the game, but it cannot be done in face of opposition from the players.

    When I was young, a cricket ball was a cricket ball; it was red and round and generally scuffy. Now it’s become something almost more important than the pitch in determining how the game is played.

    I like this piece because it’s a bit reminiscent of the way Dennis Freedman recently invoked the wrath of English cricket by suggesting Wisden may have had just one or two minor flaws, and was subsequently dispatched to the boundary. Lovers of the game get grumpy when you poke them, and Knox is grumpy about messing with Tests to improve TV ratings.

    “Some time later this year, Channel Nine, through their fully owned subsidiary Cricket Australia, will “compensate” the Australian and South African cricketers for playing a Test match under lights with a pink ball in Adelaide. Again. Last year’s inaugural day-night Test match had cricketers “compensated” to put on happy masks over their disappointment with the quality of cricket they were producing, and their discomfort with how the bespoke ball and pitch distorted the contest that five-day cricket should be. Not just a group of grumpy mercenaries, they genuinely believed that Test cricket ought to be better than a game of TV trial and error.
    Boo hoo, said the television audiences, the broadcaster and CA. Think of the bigger picture, saving Test cricket from irrelevance.”–the-pink-ball-didnt-pass-the-test-20160421-gocahw.html

    Liked by 2 people

    • pktroll (@pktroll) Apr 25, 2016 / 12:13 pm

      Shame they wouldn’t get any big tournament at this current time even if their house was in order.


    • d'Arthez Apr 25, 2016 / 1:15 pm

      So, who is still claiming there is no political interference in South African cricket?

      Mind you, if the politicians could actually govern, instead of running the country down in the ground, … CSA is being punished for the general incompetence of South African politicians.

      At least courtesy of the Big 3 stitch up it won’t make one iota of difference.


    • SimonH Apr 25, 2016 / 3:13 pm


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