A Serious Commentator of Restricted Ability Writes…

There now commences a ramble…..

It’s really quite difficult at the moment to think about what to write. Even the tedious Twitter bores, one of who called me “a KP groupie” yesterday are not exactly getting the fire in me going. In short, we are in calmer times, the world seems a much smoother place in terms of cricket, and thus blogging is a little bit sparser. I mean, what could I write that gets you to respond and energised when I don’t feel that way myself?

But let’s have a quick chat about the last week. I think the most important story is that of the ECB’s chosen man, El Presidente for Life, Giles Clarke having that charming effect on his international colleagues. They ran away from him faster than Usain in an Olympic 100 metres final when his patron, the love Srini, was booted out of his roles in the BCCI reshuffle. That the individual governing bodies saw what we’ve known for years is not surprising (that it took that long is probably testament to how the Indian authority pervades the sport like a genial mafia don) but for some reason I don’t feel like cheering.

Because one by one our source material is being eroded away. There’s no Paul Downton, who is the patron saint of BOC in my eyes. There’s no Peter Moores, a decent man but really not a shocker that he wouldn’t cut it again in the top job, yet those in the media who sang his praises still tell us we know nothing. But even they are disappearing one by one. There’s no Derek Pringle in the mainstream press, the Indy’s newspaper presence has gone and so has Bunkers, which leaves us just Newman and Selfey of the four horsemanures of the Cricket Pops. With Clarke going too, what are we to do, except to say, god, we were wrong about that lot weren’t we, us bilious inadequate, know-nothing KP groupies?

The question for the ECB now needs to be what we do with Giles now his one aim for remaining, to become ICC President (or whatever), has gone. His presence is an utter embarrassment to us all. The backer of the big three takeover, he now stands alone from that unholy trinity and yet the ECB would rather ignore this. They don’t have the balls to stand up to him, instead focusing more on making sure the right messages are coming out over social media, as County Championship Live on Twitter seems to be falling over itself to buff up our beloved skipper. But Clarke remains a polarising figure. Loathed by the majority in the cricket-loving fanbase, be it pro- or anti- the other focus of opinion,  Clarke seems to have the skin of a rhino.

I can get angry at him staying, but that’s almost like being angry at a pantomime villain now. We await what the ICC does in the near future, but everyone who speaks about it seems to say this is a bright new era of world governance. Only there’s not a lot coming out except Giles being rejected. In a world where England cricket needs to build bridges and maybe show a little humility, there is no place for Giles Clarke. Let’s see how our board cope with that.

I didn’t feel like commenting on the issue of Cook’s headgear. This seemed like a peculiar story, raised because our captain wasn’t playing with a helmet meeting our domestic standards, and then morphing into a story that showed Cook to be either a stubborn man or one who thought he could defy his own board and being bigger than their rules. I think it is the former rather than the latter, a man for who having the right things in the right place, and being used to certain set-ups is crucial, but there are good reasons to believe it COULD be the second one. This blogger is not about to set up the Alastair Cook Fan Club, that is for sure, but this story got right out of hand. It truly jumped the shark when Ian Botham, in a pathetic outburst, said it was “political correctness gone mad”. He’s entitled to his views, boring as I find them on cricket, but that’s just utter shite. If you are going to get your retired colonel schtick correct, it should be “health and safety gone mad”. Boycott saying the game has gone “cissy” is also just as stupid. Sometimes I weep. I really do.

The piece Chris put together on the IPL really did hit the spot. I’ve tried to be interested but it doesn’t work for me. In the whole scheme of things that doesn’t matter, because it is the Indian audience that needs to be excited, not me. They seem to still care about it, the players genuinely appear to like playing in it, and that’s probably going to trump everything. That most games seem to be won by the team chasing also appears to be a concern, because when sport becomes predictable it loses excitement. Then when excitement goes, people might be less inclined to watch. The odd Kohli hundred isn’t going to make up for that. We’ll probably be saying this about the IPL in 10 years  time, so to spend too much time on it is probably counter-productive.

Of course, I am, or was, following KP’s progress in the IPL. It’s one of the rare chances we get to see him in this country, and yet again he has had injury problems to curtail his participation. To those who think that this is obsession, if I am guilty of wanting to watch the finest player I have seen for England in the past ten or so years, then I’m guilty of obsession. But not as guilty as someone who goes out of their way to criticise anyone who dare praise him, and fill their timeline up with their obsession! I was pleasantly surprised we didn’t see too much gloating, but THEREALTRUTH on the Mail covers it nicely..

No problem for the “EGO” no doubt the DM will soon carry an article written for the “EGO” TO THE EFFECT THAT HE THINKS HE BATS BETTER ON ONE LEG than the whole of the current England top order put together. Delusion cannot be cured !

Delusion. There’s great mirrors in your house….look in one for evidence of delusion.

I am still waiting for the publication of the 2016 Accounts for the ECB. Last year the Company Secretary (Brian Havill, who left on 18 November 2015) and Auditor statements were signed on 9 April 2015. Last year they were formally filed on 24 April.  It’s now the 25th of the corresponding month and there is no sign on the ECB’s website and the other data repositories I can go to, but they must be imminent. Why am I interested? Because I’m a nerd, and I can’t wait to see how they compensate certain individuals for “loss of office” (£192k last year, and this appeared to be, though I can’t confirm it, David Collier). The interesting thing is that Havill doesn’t appear to have been replaced (there’s no formal notification on data sources) as Company Secretary. Does make you wonder what happened there! Once I get a copy, I’ll have a sweep through and see what I can see.

Lovely to see Kumar make a big one for Surrey yesterday. It’s a wonder he could communicate so well with his partners in major partnerships when he can “barely speak English” but do remember, the bile and vitriol is all our side. Interesting to see Daniel Bell-Drummond make a ton for Kent on what looks like a wicket doing something for the bowlers. I find those who make centuries when all about them are falling are a lot more valuable than the flat trackbullying. Bell-Drummond is local to me (indeed, I do believe I might have played against him when he was a kid) and been mentioned a few times as one for the future. I have a little local bias here, even though he plays for the wrong mob. Also going to be following Dan Lawrence, who looks to have a great future ahead of him, as he’s 44 not out overnight, and at 18 definitely one to watch.

I’d like to thank the commenter (Fred?) who linked the Geoff Knox piece on the Day Night test. There’s a whole epic post in me on sport and money but this seems like a good place to start. Players apparently bought off to say everything in the garden is rosy and do the board’s bidding? Poor sight for spectators? People drifting away early? We weren’t told this at the time. Infantilising your “customers” is so symptomatic of the world we live in. Media management is more important than letting opinions out. It’s because we are too soft to take the truth, and dish it out. The reason people question motives, and think we all have an agenda, is because of these insidious techniques.  You only have to look at how Maxie was questioned because he’d worked with Piers Morgan. I’ve been called a Piers Morgan front despite hating the man. We live in a world where managing the message is more important than the message itself. I’m just a blogger, writing what comes into his mind. I have no ulterior motive, I speak what I believe, open to hear counter-arguments (not abuse) and perfectly happy to admit I’m wrong when proven to be so. I’m not managing media or messages, other than moderating some small things. I’ve always felt my heart is in the right place.

Mark Wood’s career is on hold as what appears to be a farcical approach to his injury has meant that the poor bloke has been rehabbing for months to get over a temporary fix in his injury, only for the injury to get worse and another, more permanent fix put in place. That’s how I understand it. Sadly this has been the way with England for too long. While they sort of got away with it for Stuart Broad and James Anderson, they didn’t with others. I often recall Andy Flintoff’s injuries being prescribed “rest” as a cure, only for him to rest, rehab and then break down again, meaning operations. KP almost had his career ended by an Achilles injury. Matt Prior played on with one, and had his career ended. We play too much international cricket, and players will also chase the big pay cheques. There’s no end to this in sight, so protecting them is key. Best wishes to Wood in his recovery.

This should help move things on for a bit, and hopefully there will be some stuff up later in the week. Or earlier.

Let me leave you with some mirth. Someone actually wrote these two tweets to me:

“Apologies for challenging your restricted abilities. If you wish to limit yourself then I suggest you use your privacy settings”

But instead of heeding my request not to tweet me, I got this absolutely glorious addition:

“Read Wisden thought you were a serious commentator on cricket. Just read your blogg (sic), Didn’t realise you were just a KP groupie.”

This from the same person (not, I’ve been advised, a bloke – my bad for assuming that) who compared KP appearing as a pundit on England cricket to Jimmy Savile appearing at a kid’s party. I do get ‘em. Humility, intelligence, rationality and perspective. Fancy calling me a “serious commentator”? These people really must think I have the ego the size of an aircraft hangar.

Have a great week folks.

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43 thoughts on “A Serious Commentator of Restricted Ability Writes…

  1. alecpaton April 25, 2016 / 7:51 pm

    On the subject of Bell-Drummond, it seems cruel that he’s always going to be judged by the standards of 2nd division cricket. This is likely to remain unfair because playing for a team that’s likely to struggle to escape the lower tier of 1st class cricket carries its own pressures.

    While the quality of any single bowler that he may face is lower than that faced by a player for Yorkshire or Warwickshire, the responsibilities of a batsman are not just how one plays any particular delivery. Taking Yorkshire as an example, they have a team where most of their top order (and a significant chunk of their lower order as well) have experience of playing test cricket. It must surely be easier to play to the best of your ability of you know that there is a wealth of experience and talent still to come should you fail. It may hurt, but it’ style difference between annoyance and calamity.

    By contrast (and I thank Gideon Haigh for making this same point much better a long time ago), a team like Kent has less of a wealth to draw upon and their best players will bear a significantly greater responsibility time after time to perform. That Bell-Drummond did so in this match is a big mark in his favour. I doubt he’s currently in the frame for one of the 3 open positions in England’s top 5 (my money’s currently on Hales, Ballance and Bell) but given that there’s apparently a contractual requirement that a new opener is selected after a maximum of 9 matches, it can only be a matter of time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • RufusSG April 25, 2016 / 11:50 pm

      To be fair, Moeen Ali got selected for England after he was the leading run-scorer in the 2013 Championship despite playing in Division Two, so it’s not an insurmountable obstacle, although I agree playing for a Division One county probably helps when you consider how far the standards of teams like, say, Yorkshire and Leicestershire have separated.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. northernlight71 April 25, 2016 / 8:32 pm

    Dmitri, I’m afraid I must correct you on one very important point…..

    Daniel Bell-Drummond plays for the right mob. You, unfortunately, support the other lot.

    Sorry, but the readers of this blog deserve the truth.
    🙂

    Like

  3. fred April 25, 2016 / 8:55 pm

    A few comments:

    “Because one by one our source material is being eroded away. There’s no Paul Downton,…”
    Don’t really agree. Depends what you see the mission of this blog to be. I thought you were offering a skeptical and intelligent critique on the way cricket is managed. That often involved criticising key people who were underperforming, but that’s not its reason for being. Even if the lunatics are no longer running the asylum, there’s still a need for a blog like this, given the changes and challenges cricket is facing. Plenty of meat to get your teeth into.

    Regarding Mr Clarke, surely he has faded into insignificance now, and can be ignored? His position as ECB El Presidente was created solely to push him up to the ICC, and now that has come to nothing, surely he will just now quietly fade from memory?

    Regarding Day/Night Tests (yes that was my link), we need more information. I agree with Knox, we need to protect the game as it is. But I’m conflicted because I also agree with those commentators who say we must embrace change, and give things a try. Packer’s intervention in the ’70’s was not universally well received, and yet it created a fantastic ODI format which has served well for the last 30 years. South Africa should just shut up and get on with it in Australia later this year. Give it a try.

    Like

  4. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) April 25, 2016 / 9:01 pm

    That’s a beautifully even scorecard Essex are building there. Maybe young Lawrence and Bopara can do the decent thing and join the top three back in the pavilion with 60 something to their name. Bizarrely they might be joined there by Extras. I didn’t actually know that no-balls are worth 2 runs. When did this start?

    Like

  5. Mark April 25, 2016 / 9:32 pm

    Its good to remember the scalps that we have on our mantlepiece. We didn’t win the KP one, but frankly there is a sizable section of England fans who are KP insane. Their obsession with killing KPs career was pathological. It’s quite sobering to see how many people they would throw under the bus to keep KP down and out. Oh, how they ridiculed us when we said how bad the likes of Downton and Moores were. Yet when they thought KP might have a glimmer of hope to come back they removed these people with aplomb. (One for the teenagers.)

    What a shame the current head of the ECB didn’t feel confident to go Man on man with Clarke to win the position out right. Clarke would have been ousted both home and away. Instead they created this white elephant position of nothingness. Be interested to see if the they try to reintegrate him into the domestic set up. Surely not?

    What was it Richard Nixon said when he left office? …….”you won’t have me to kick around any more” Cant help thinking some on the other side miss KP to kick around, and we won’t see him playing again. So it’s rather ended in a anti climax. The truth is the ECB screwed up, not once but many times, and they never had the integrity to admit it. neither did their band of merry men in the media. But they got what they really wanted, namely to boot out a man who they hated for all kinds of idiotic reasons. Just to see them fawning over Cook scoring runs in the second division, reveals how insane their positions were.

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus April 26, 2016 / 3:17 pm

      The tweeter in question has now blocked me.

      As you might expect, I am heartbroken.

      Like

      • Mark April 26, 2016 / 3:37 pm

        I bet!

        Like

      • Sean B April 27, 2016 / 7:23 am

        You should’ve introduced him to Nashville. They could spend hours together spewing bile on Twitter!

        Like

  6. Benny April 25, 2016 / 11:54 pm

    You are indeed “just a blogger writing whatever comes into his mind” (not said in a belittling way). That’s how blogging works. I am contemptuous towards people who tweet the equivalent of “I think you’re crap”. What does it achieve? I suggest nothing, so why do it?

    I am pretty much in love with the internet, having been involved in a very small way in the beginning of the Web in 1995. It does amazing things – I’m so stunned watching my foreign wife making video calls to her family back home, for one. Unfortunately, at the other end of the spectrum (the amoeba end) there are those who use this technology to punch out insults, because it’s effortless. My suspicion is that this is their only communication with the outside world.

    On Bell-Drummond, I watched Rob Key praise him on TV recently. Div 2 isn’t the toughest arena but a fine player should still be able to produce attention grabbing performances, providing they haven’t lost Strauss’s trust. I too think of Kent as the Old Enemy but wish them well and respect that they have produced some of England’s greatest players in the past

    Like

  7. SimonH April 26, 2016 / 9:31 am

    The ECB has seen a sudden outbreak of dull competence? Possibly. I have every confidence that another display of idiocy laced with mendacity is just around the corner. It’s what they do.

    Amid all the talk from their courtiers of “roaring success” I keep remembering that they were willing to keep losing up until 2019. The team’s recent success was not required and, to some extent, has taken them as much by surprise as anyone. They were willing to lose two Ashes’ series and every ICC tournament under the mantra “it’s a young, inexperienced side – we’re building for 2019”.

    The amusing thing is, we know this because they told us. If they weren’t so keen to control the narrative, we wouldn’t know how much failure they regarded as acceptable.

    Like

    • Mark April 26, 2016 / 11:30 am

      Very good point Simon.

      And the reason for this low expectation was they would rather lose for years to come than bring back KP. It is what their so called mission statement really meant. When Strauss kept talking about building for the future, what it really meant was not bringing back to a certain world class player. And if the losses piled up well so be it.

      As you say, the so called success was as much a surprise to them as it was to anybody else. But it allowed them to buy time to brazen it out, and convince the sheeple that this was some great plan. It is all complete balls of course. That’s the beauty of Strauss’s leadership by self help book. He just spouts meaningless platitudes that can be reinterpreted to what ever they want later on. Building for the future is a never ending construct that can always have the goalposts moved to what ever is required.

      Strauss is the arch politician. Spouting stuff that can mean anythining you want it to mean, and therefore never being held responsible for the outcome. It’s all left to yours and his interpretation. if the Ashes had been lost, this would have been written off as building for the future. It’s a great way of avoiding any responsibility for anything.

      Like

  8. "IronBalls" McGinty April 26, 2016 / 11:06 am

    There’s still plenty of fodder Dmitri. The “Establishment” is the edifice that has to be challenged at all times. They speak for no-one, only themselves and their own self serving money grubbing antics.
    I note the ICC has aligned itself with the WICB and has accused Sammy and Samuels of bringing the game into disrepute?? No they didn’t, they just highlighted the disreputable behaviour of their own board! They spoke for the West Indian cricket lover, and of course, that kind of dissenting voice has to be nullified by the administrators.
    For me, the culture of the English cricket Establishment is no better exemplified than at Lord’s, with the MCC members, ridiculously garbled, flaunting their elitism and exclusivity to the plebs, and reminding them that cricket is not a sport but a vehicle with which to demonstrate their alleged superiority and “guardianship” of the game!
    Like you, I’m just rambling, but, I truly believe that the “culture” endemic within “our” game has to evolve and change, and “tradition” is the absolute killer of that notion!
    You got a mention in Wisden Dmitri, a wonderful accolade for brilliant cricket writing on behalf of you and TLG. Like many others on this blog, yours is the first, and many times only thing I turn to when I want to read about cricket, genuinely and honestly written.
    In my view, this blog has become a National Cricketing Treasure…long may it continue!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Maxie Allen April 26, 2016 / 12:19 pm

    The ebbing away of source material – one factor here is that the ECB have behaved less provocatively in recent times. They haven’t done anything *really* obnoxious since last May (the re-sacking of Pietersen). The board may have continued to make policy selfishly, and short-sightedly, in many areas, but at the moment they aren’t actively insulting and degrading the cricketing public.

    Why? Did they make a conscious decision to act less toxically? Or is it just a matter of chance, because the agenda have been different and less tendentious?

    Colin Graves is a nicer man than Giles Clarke (admittedly, so was Genghis Khan) and not by nature an especially provocative, rude, or confrontational type of person. I’d guess he cares more than Clarke about the ECB’s image and reputation and became a bit fed up of all the animosity his predecessor inspired. So it’s not inconceivable that Graves made some kind of deliberate decision that the board should present itself slightly less dreadfully.

    Re Helmet-gate, I’m sure someone else has already made this point, but I’ve been away for work and out of the loop.

    What would the ECB have said, and how would the press have spun it, had Kevin Pietersen refused to wear the officially-required style of helmet?

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus April 26, 2016 / 3:19 pm

      Afternoon Maxie. Much to ponder. Not sure I agree with the hypothesis that the ECB are behaving less provocatively. I just think they are better at not leaking.

      Like

      • Mark April 26, 2016 / 3:37 pm

        Well, they were forced to carry out some of our ideas. Sacking Downton, and Moores etc etc. They will never admit we were right of course.

        Also almost by default the big 3 model hasn’t worked on a global basis, and Clarke has been rejected. So they don’t have to defend that anymore, and they got some better results on the field. More by luck than judgement from the elites at the ECB, but it buys them time and space.

        The whole operation was ” stop KP at any price.” That has been achieved so they can now take their foot of the obnoxious pedal. They are now the happy, smiling, supporter loving friendly new whiter than white ECB.

        Like

    • d'Arthez April 26, 2016 / 4:09 pm

      Not completely unrelated. Why blow your marketing budget on an unknown sportsperson? That is not going to attract too many customers …

      Like

  10. Mark April 26, 2016 / 4:18 pm

    Northampton were 15/5 today. They managed to scrape up to just over 100 and are now following on. Is this an example of the so called new excellent quality of the second division?

    Like

  11. Mark April 26, 2016 / 4:39 pm

    I know Dmitri doesn’t like politics on this site, but this is a cricket and national politics story. . Have a look at Dennis does crickets twtter feed from about 10 hours ago. All hell has broken lose with the opinions of Jacues Kallis saying that politics and sport shouldn’t mix. Some of the replies are not exactly very complimentary.

    Now I’m not sure what the solution is in SA, and quotas are notoriously blunt instruments to try to fix problems by. But this a very sensitive issue in the contex of SA history.

    One Twitter user said this……”no one cares. We remember that you refused to sing the BLACK part in the national Anthem. We’ll take Hansie over u!” WOW

    Like

    • Mark April 26, 2016 / 4:48 pm

      Here are some of the responses to Kallis’s tweet..

      “Stay in your lane @jacqueskallis75 there was certainly place for politics in sport when black players WEREN’T allowed to play professionally”

      Someone calling themselves The analyst (not our hero at the cricketer I hasten to add) said this…

      “The issue of transformation reveals people’s true colours. @jacqueskallis75 was always against the inclusion of black players.”

      Or how about……. “@jacqueskallis75 @News24 JK I am ashamed that I ever have been a fan of you. Thinking that you alone is entitled to sports is wrong.

      This is going to run and run. What a mess.

      Like

      • d'Arthez April 27, 2016 / 6:06 am

        You know, I wonder how popular it would be in England if 10 out of 11 players on the playing field for team ECB had to have gone to a state school. Would there even be a slot in the middle order for Root then? Yeah, good luck arguing that would strengthen the English team. Oh and good luck arguing that such a policy would increase the interest from state school educated people in cricket, if these state schools are not given facilities to play the game.

        A recent report from South Africa indicates that Black children were better educated 20 years ago than they are today – and this is not from some biased agency, no this was from Statistics South Africa. That is not exactly a ringing endorsement of the South African government overcoming the legacies of apartheid. Despite spending about 220 billion Rand per year on education.

        The South African politicians refuse to invest in the poor, and then they complain that people, who are mostly poor (Blacks, due to apartheid), are underrepresented in elite sports. Geez, if they have no access to sports facilities, I wonder why they don’t get to play sports. This is true for just about every sport in South Africa, with the exception of football (and let’s be honest, South Africa are not exactly a continental powerhouse anymore). Swimming? Athletics? Cycling?

        They have done some research on age-level rugby too. Turns out that Black youth players are physically behind in development (both in height as in weight). Turns out that Black people in South Africa are less tall than they were 50 years ago. Of course that is due to apartheid – poverty has this uncanny natural tendency to result in reduced quality meals – the cricketer Ngam being a case in point. And of course something needs to be done about that. But to suggest that height or muscle-weight are inconsequential in the game of rugby is probably stretching it. So, instead of actually feeding the children, and providing them with textbooks, government is actually often in court, trying to weasel themselves out of the very same responsibilities (the Limpopo textbook saga being the most well-published), that they are abdicating to several sports federations, without actually funding them to take on these tasks.

        It is not like CSA runs a budget of billions of rands to provide meals to children in schools, fix dilapidated sports fields, etc. National government has, but they are busy stealing the money left right and centre from those who need it the most.

        That is not to absolve the provincial boards from their responsibilities. They need to do more. But given the constraints that they are operating in, it is not realistic to expect them to work the miracles that government itself is not achieving, with a budget that is several orders of magnitude bigger.

        It is not like Rabada is from the most disadvantaged background – far from it. The sons of Jacob Zuma are considered to be more disadvantaged than the children of white informal settlement dwellers (and they do make up a fair proportion of the white population). But it is a fair reflection of the crude racism that has crept into South African politics, that class is completely ignored, and only (lack of) melanin counts.

        Like

  12. SimonH April 27, 2016 / 2:17 pm

    Good news that NZ and Bangladesh are going to play a tri-series with Ireland as warm-up for the 2017 CT.

    Like

    • SimonH April 27, 2016 / 3:38 pm

      That’s if Ireland don’t insist on XIV a side matches that don’t even have List A status.

      You know, like those horrible Associates are always forcing on the FMs.

      Like

      • SimonH April 28, 2016 / 8:06 am

        If Ireland get to the Final of that tri-series, NZ or Bangladesh will play them three times (weather permitting).

        That would be as many completed ODIs, outside ICC tournaments, as England played against Ireland during Giles Clarke’s entire reign.

        Like

  13. Mark April 28, 2016 / 4:43 pm

    So Sky have informed me that the price of my subscription is to rise by just under 8%. Which considering what the rate of inflation is running at seems rather extreme. But they have this huge new deal with the Premiership starting next season to pay back. (Or rather their customers are going to have to pay it)

    I’m thinking of cancelling. I have lost faith in the whole model. Do I want to pay for over paid footballers latest sports cars? I think not. I have BT with my broadband, and although they have less sport it’s way cheaper.

    Any opinions? Have others jacked in Sky sports lately?

    Like

    • jomesy April 28, 2016 / 7:08 pm

      NowTV?

      Like

      • Zephirine April 28, 2016 / 9:25 pm

        I use Now TV. It’s good for just following international cricket, because you can buy a day or week pass to stream the Sky coverage of matches and you don’t have to pay for anything else. If you wanted to watch other sports as well, though, it would quickly get as expensive as a Sky contract.

        Like

    • sgtcookieblog April 28, 2016 / 8:12 pm

      Hi Mark, I knocked it on the head a few years ago and although some days are hard to cope with my cycling and guitar playing have improved. Reading these blogs and other worthy cricket sources while listening to TMS can be a pleasurable past time or watching the highlights having done a ‘Terry and Bob’ (avoiding the score) is another option. Good luck with your decision.

      Like

      • Mark April 28, 2016 / 9:04 pm

        I have been with Sky for a long time, but I think it’s getting to the point that is just too much money. And I don’t really watch it much. I hardly looked at the cricket kast summer because of my disgust with the ECB.

        Simon, I see what you mean about Friday night premiership football. That was a good article. Less is more is not a concept in modern capitalism. You just crank it out until collapse. I think it’s time to say enough is enough. Now what can I spend my £700 a year on instead?

        Like

  14. thebogfather April 29, 2016 / 8:07 pm

    Ramble on
    Ne’er relent nor repent
    Scramble on
    The eggs and egos with your pure dissent
    With which we all share
    Because being ‘outside’ means we care
    Keep the ECB and MSM weeping
    At every mention of their incestual creeping
    And even if Prug Pringle relates on tS2 solemn
    While Selfry self fries on his G hate columns
    and..oh my tears so fall
    For GIles, feared now drowned in his own oiled appal
    Oh let him now wallow in his own choking swallow
    For we ‘OUTSIDE’, will continue to ride
    Roughshod and with an uncorporate ‘Iron Rod’
    Over their sanctimonious secrecy of ‘Do you know?!’
    With our ‘Outside’ knowledge and Cricket love flow….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) April 30, 2016 / 6:48 am

      The quote in the last paragraph is sickening. They really see themselves as the wealth generators don’t they? Their only asset is the group of players produced by the counties and they then give themselves massive pats of the backs (and no doubt trebles all round) for selling the media rights when the hard work is done at the counties and at the clubs.

      Like

      • SimonH April 30, 2016 / 8:56 am

        It’s also concerning that the mooted points’ system involves three points for a Test win and two for a one-day win.

        I look forward to Selvey presenting that as further proof that the ECB are in the vanguard of preserving Test cricket as the pinnacle of the game.

        Like

      • Mark April 30, 2016 / 9:34 am

        Once again the ECB show they are clueless at promoting the game of cricket. As governing body they are about as much use as a chocolate tea pot. Stacked with face fitters who only seem interested in generating short term cash for their own lavish life styles and ludicrous salaries. So County cricket must be restricted from promoting their sport because the idiot governing body has sold its soul to a TV company. Who runs English cricket, Sky or the ECB?

        Whether it be International cricket or domestic cricket they seem genetically modified to do everything in their power to keep cricket invisible. They only seem to want to promote their sponsors, but not the game itself. They seem determined to keep cricket as an elite sport that is slowly dying away in this country, while a small pack of hyenas feast on its carcass.

        Like

      • "IronBalls" McGinty April 30, 2016 / 10:07 am

        I smell “rebellion” in the air, as some of the Counties are going to carry on doing it? Good on them I say, if they’ve got the balls to do it!!

        Like

      • Mark April 30, 2016 / 10:34 am

        Yes, rebellions are breaking out all over the place. Even the Engalnd Test captain staged a rebellion.

        We could have the priceless situation of Sky pursuing counties like they go after landlords of pubs who haven’t paid for their pub season ticket.

        As Monty Python would say…….it’s all getting rather silly.

        Like

  15. SimonH April 30, 2016 / 12:16 pm

    Interesting piece by Ali Martin comparing tomorrow’s Notts vs. Yorks match to Test trials of old. Farbrace, Whitaker and Newell will all be there (plus the TV cameras). Curiously, he seems to say that Bayliss is in Australia and will return to see only two days of CC before the First Test.

    He confirms what Newman said about James Vince being highly regarded among England’s coaching staff (the Hants vs. Middlesex is almost a shoot-out for the Test No.3 berth except Ballance is in the mix as well) and adds that Jake Ball impressed “the Lions management” in the winter (with the first reserve seamer place in mind).

    Like

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