It has been a little while now since I’ve put up anything original on here. The Open Thread gives you a chance to put your views across but at this time I simply feel like I have nothing left to say. Some will be celebrating, some will be laughing, some will, if there’s something wrong with them, might be quite sad. Name dropper that I am, but when I was left alone with Lawrence (while Chris nipped out) he asked me how the blog was going. My response?
“Lawrence, I’m knackered.”
And I am. Mentally and enthusiastically knackered. I had a couple of posts half way drafted, but then decided not to finish them because I thought they weren’t good enough, or that they were too self-centred. One of them was on Hillsborough, which of course isn’t cricket related but is personally linked because I was there that day. Another was on the reaction to being outed by a true friend of the blog, who now contends she has my full name. I’ve wrestled as to whether I should do it myself, but then something that was also said on Friday stuck with me. “Why do you bother when no-one listens to these people, when, as we show, we read what you say.”
There’s also the chances of recalling this weekend last year. The sacking of Moores, appointment of Strauss and the 355. But why? That’s all in the past. As we’ve said, the battle has been decided.
I didn’t watch much of the Notts v Yorkshire game. I couldn’t be arsed to go to Surrey on Sunday. I’ve been watching the NBA playoffs, sorting out life, following the Red Sox and cricket has taken a back seat for the first time in a couple of years. And when I see the sort of nonsense around points for results in formats to make something more interesting because the game has been so damaged, I wonder why I should be bothered. I’m away for the second and third tests in May/June and I’m not even bothered to find out how I might catch up with them.
And then I read Jomesy’s comment. And I know why I do what I do. The community we have here is worth persevering with. The fact he’d put his thoughts on here like that is immensely touching. It gives the lie to the criticism that this blog is a one trick pony. It is chock full of people who deeply love the sport and feel betrayed by the past two years. Betrayal is a strong emotion. You need to care to be betrayed. You need to give of your soul to be betrayed. And when it happens, the corrosion of your soul from the betrayal is worse than the act itself. One day these people might understand what they did. Evocations to “get behind the lads” fall on reasonably deaf ears. Yes, it is only a sport, but no, it isn’t just a sport.
But let me get something clear. Here’s why I use a pseudonym. I wrote this in one of my aborted pieces:
I’m exhausted. You’ve probably already gathered that. It’s a really long run, and I’m knackered. There are times this week I’ve thought I’ve nothing left to give.
I’m an emotional kind of person. Wear my heart on my sleeve. You could say that I can dish it out but not take it. I’d say you were wrong. When emotions pile on top of each other, and when you know there’s a breaking point imminent, you have to take action.
I started blogging in 2006. It was on Blogspot. It was a general thing, talking about life in general, politics, my less developed views on certain issues that I wince at now, and my main passions in life. My football team, Boston Red Sox and cricket. I started it because I loved to write, and thought of it as an online diary. I still feel it was some of my best writing.
2006 was a time of huge change in my life. My parents, as you might know, died within 9 months of each other. Losing one was an immense shock. My mum was amazing, and the sort you thought would go on forever. Then my dad also passed away, and I was left with no-one other than a brother with a family to help me through those times at home. A brother grieving himself. My future wife was not on the scene. In short, once away from friends and colleagues I was alone. So I needed to fill the time. So I blogged.
Then came the problems of 2008 when I was threatened. I’d written an article about an issue involving my football club’s supporters (it was an election) where I’d pointed out, with evidence, a candidate’s unsuitability, in my opinion, for the role. For that, I was threatened. I wasn’t anonymous. People knew me, knew my face. That wasn’t comfortable. So I was faced with a choice. Fight or flight. I took the latter and closed the blog. I avoided confrontation.
In some ways the problems were that I was betrayed by someone who read my blog (I got 5 hits a day tops and was for my mates more than anything) and grassed me up. You wonder why I reacted the way I did to someone earlier in the year? That’s beyond the pale.
So you wonder why I post under a pseudonym? Experience. I’ve met plenty on the blog who know my name. I am in e-mail contact with a few more who certainly know my first name. I started a new blog, new pseudonym and the one that lasts until today.
Just saying to me “don’t be bothered by these people” is not going to work. You are who you are. Jomesy puts that in true perspective.
One thing I am sure about is that there will be something. There always is. Maybe I’ll finish this piece:
The Marvellous, Mad Month of May 2015
I always said I’d do a blog review of the events of last May. It was an absolutely nonsensical month, if truth be told. It started, on the first of the month no less, with Alastair Cook finally making that elusive test hundred. And there was much rejoicing in his heartlands, and much braying at the naysayers (who weren’t wrong, you know). A couple of days later and England had spewed up a test match and given away a series win to a frankly mediocre West Indies team. Instead of looking at the disastrous performance, journalists were telling us to “look over there” at Colin Graves’s statement before the series. A few weeks later Australia went over there and tore the home team apart. But we won the Ashes, so no-one remotely cared.
Meanwhile, in the wake of Paul Downton’s dismissal, there were manoeuvrings afoot on the new appointment of a Director of England Cricket. For all intents and purposes it came down to three men. The establishment candidate in Andrew Strauss, virtually offered Downton’s role a couple of years ago, but who honed his skills in the Sky Commentary Box, most notably in the wondrous ability to call someone a “c***” and have the press think it great. Then there was rent-a-gob Michael Vaughan, at one point the nailed on favourite until he seemed to realise that he couldn’t have it all ways like he has now. He started to beat the retreat early in the process. We might have known then that it was for Strauss, and Strauss alone. Finally there was Alec Stewart. He’d been doing the job for Surrey (not brilliantly, but he inherited a hell of a mess), was an England stalwart, had not too great a distance from today’s players and was highly respected. The fear with him was that he might want the man with those initials back, and that he’d very publicly supported him in the Genius Twitter affair.
I knew it would be Strauss. He was born to this role. A man who loves management theories, who has his own consultancy, and who was putting his ducks in a row to get it. When it was leaked, of course, in advance of a formal appointment, it wasn’t a shock. What followed the leak was.
Meanwhile, back in England, Kevin Pietersen was making waves. After Colin Graves’s statement that KP couldn’t get picked for England if he wasn’t playing county cricket, serial dunce and naive KP jacked in his beloved IPL for a shot at getting back into the team. He signed on with Surrey and had already hit a massive ton against the University (Chris Stocks…I still remember that tweet) and the world went mad. His early form wasn’t world-beating but something was around the corner. Something very, very big.
Also there was a tide of consternation around Peter Moores. A horrendous World Cup and an inauspicious tour of the West Indies left him with fewer supporters. However, despite things look ing bleak in hindsight, there wasn’t a thought that we were serious about getting rid of the “best coach of his generation” a year after he was appointed. However, in hindsight again, it was obvious. The key decision makers, Downton and Clarke, were both gone – one sacked, the other booted abroad. Strauss was reported to be one of those unimpressed by Moores in his first go around, but conveniently allowed KP to blow his own head off and assume the captaincy as a result (I’m sure Moores being coach during the only time Strauss was dropped had nothing to do with it).
I was in the States when it all kicked off. England were playing another rain-interrupted ODI against Ireland when rumours went around the ground that Moores had been fired. As we’ve won the Ashes and the South Africa series all this nonsense has been forgotten, but Strauss got off to a brilliant start. Before a formal announcement he had the job, he’d sacked a coach, had the decision leaked, and while I was no fan of Peter Moores, even I felt this was truly wretched stuff. A dead man walking, he conducted himself with dignity and honour, two traits we never doubted in him, and the ECB, frankly, looked like the lovely word Strauss had used against KP.
However what happened the following weekend would top that. Surrey commenced their fixture against Leicestershire on the Sunday, and Surrey had bowled out Leicestershire for 292 and were 105 for 2 in reply – KP was on 35 not out. The Monday saw the heavens open in terms of runs for the former England batsman. As I journeyed up and down the Garden State Parkway, following the scores on my limited mobile package, KP passed 100, then 200 and ended up 326 not out at the end of the day. A message? Some message. An irresistible reminder of the talent. The next best score in that innings? 36 by Sangakkara.
Some were ready to say it “was only Leicestershire”. They looked daft. This was the reminder that this man was still the best in this country to bat alongside Root in our middle order. “There are no vacancies” was the call. It wouldn’t be long before there were.
Which is where I stopped! Maybe I’ll start again…
And then there’s my excerpt from “Hillsborough”
To go forward to 1989 and how a Millwall fan ended up at Hillsborough. My mate at Uni, called Jon, knew a Nottingham Forest director. We were on Easter leave when he gave me a call and told me we had tickets for the Semi courtesy of the. This would be the biggest match I’d ever been to. I had a bit of a cold, and finished my temporary work assignment a couple of days early and drove up to Liverpool in my little Vauxhall Nova on the Friday. We were to take two others over the Pennines with us. One writes a fair bit on Liverpool now (Rob Guttman) and Jon and Rob’s mate Julio. Rob had a seat, Julio had a terrace ticket. We discussed what time to leave in the pub. We thought there’d be a bit of traffic but estimated it to be 2 and a half hours to Sheffield. I suggested 8:30, picking the other two up shortly after.
It was a nice Saturday morning, and the Brown Bomber that was my Nova set off from Sandown Lane in Wavertree. Our house had a pub on the other side of the narrow road, The Edinburgh, and was yet another example of the locals taking to us because we just wanted to blend in. Lovely people, full of reds. We passed the pub, picked up our two Liverpool fans and took the M62 out of Liverpool.
As we drove around Manchester we started encountering traffic, which was pretty bad. Suddenly the 2 and a half hour drive looked to be one that would be nearer 4. I’m one of those who left super early for football matches, accounting for traffic. Many don’t. It’s always been a question of mine that there might have been a few people caught up in that, but it’s conjecture.
The mood was one of excitement, of course. The FA Cup was massive then. We drove over the Pennines (pretty sure it was Woodhead) and came from the north into Sheffield. I remember we parked in a side road up the hill from the ground. It was the third time I’d been to Hillsborough so it wasn’t new to me. But it would be the first time in the home end. We said cheerio to our Liverpool fan colleagues, and Jon and I walked around to the Kop. I passed a pub, which was full, with fans having a drink before the game, but really, that was nothing odd.
I walked down the main road to the Kop and thought it really odd. There wasn’t the throng of people I was used to in big matches. I produced the ticket, went through the turnstiles, walked up the steps, and we went to the top, and looked out. And I will never forget my first words “where on earth are all the Liverpool fans?”. The two pens in the middle were reasonably full, but those on the side were nigh on empty. It was around 2pm.
There’s the issue folks. I can’t finish pieces at the moment. Maybe these 2000 or so words can fill the void.
Have a great week…..
Dmitri, I don’t care what you call yourself. You are you and I would have exploded during KP’s problems if it hadn’t been for you saying all the things I felt and not knowing how to express.Please know you are respected and loved by many people and needed by one silly old lady who still hasn’t given up hope that one day that unmentionable man may come back. There is still time.Please stay with us and just for the books, I always thought your name was Dmitri.💛💛
Dmitri, I agree with both comments. I totally agree with all you wrote about being disillusioned with it all. I’m quite busy at work and so far have not renewed my club membership, and am
questioning whether to do it or not. I find I’m not as enthused about cricket as I once was and even sitting in the oval doesn’t mean as much to me anymore. When you write your blog it’s as if you are writing the words in my head. Please continue as i need to know it’s not just me thinking these thoughts.
Thanks Vickster. We are the casualties of the revolution. We either accept our fate or move on. If we do accept, we won’t be willing conscripts.
Please….not for us (or them), please, find the time and the passion to write these posts… do it for you, It’s your blog, your feelings, your belief . please
You should feel no pressure – self imposed or otherwise. Write when you feel you want/need to, but don’t feel that there’s a need to post something every few days or even every week. This blog isn’t going to go stale any time soon. There’s too much history and, I sense, too much invested here by too many people for that to happen.
As for your anonymity, I entirely understand your reasons for wanting to preserve it. I would really hope that no one would “out” you in public. That would be childish and/or vindictive and a betrayal of a confidence entered into in good faith. Anyone considering doing such a thing (for whatever reason) should know that, quite apart from damaging you and possibly this blog, they would just look like an untrustworthy, attention-grabbing opportunist. They should think long and hard about how much respect they would lose in the eyes of others before they make such a move.
Absolutely right, both paragraphs.
I really liked those two half posts. Whenever you get the inspiration back, I look forward to reading them.
All the best.
Dimitri, I think that the Hillsborough piece is perfect ending there. God only knows how it must have hurt you to get that far, but the haunting silence of an implied ending works, for me, in representing the sheer fucking horrors of what would transpire over the next hour and a half better than any words.
It is one of the reasons I keep coming back to your blog again and again. There is a humanity to your writing that is reflected by the commenters. I think it was Clive who wrote so movingly about his depression on the earlier post. I know it was originally posted on the Guardian, but it sat right here.
For sport is important and it helps when it comes to understanding each other, even in the smallest of ways.
You know my feelings on KP as I don’t need to explain my feelings about Hillsborough, but even were we to disagree we could have a conversation about it, and we could find a common ground. I moved to a foreign country nine years ago and it was the unfettered acceptance of a football clubs fans that allowed me to feel at home here. That is why I think it is important, and that is why I come back here.
I’m off to work now, then I’ll play cricket with a load of Sri Lankan ex pats about whom I know nothing apart from their love of the game. And you know what? I might just fucking learn something new.
Cheers to all of you. You are important. Localboy.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I would love to finish it just for a “kindness of strangers” part at the end. An act I will never forget.
Don’t tell them your name Pike…
This blog articulates beautifully what and how I feel.
Not only that, the responses you get in the comments on column are spot on by most of the posters. I enjoy them as much as your writing.
I get how your ideas and thoughts can dry up. I wonder if Lawrence gave you any tips. It must be difficult to try and come up with original thoughts and ideas all the time.
As for the anonymity, it’s your blog and your business alone. Most of us here respect that.
I hope you continue to keep up the fine work.
I think you should change the title of this piece from ‘Void’ to ‘Pause’. And don’t worry about it. It’s all good.
Ah, but once you lose your audience it is hard to get them back.
Thanks Z, but you know and I know that I’ll continue writing. Just thought I’d put out the problems of writing without enthusiasm. Always said I needed petrol in my tank.
The cricket elites decided to use the Vietnam stratergy, namely we must destroy the village to save it. Their desperation, and hatred of one man allowed them to go insane. They were prepared to destroy all of English cricket to rid themselves of one player. There was nothing they would not do. Lie, Leak, and distort. They were even prepared to create a dossier, and put a player under 24 hour survilence. Think about that for a minute. A player was being watched by the England management, and everything he did and said was noted down. Even a look out of the window was remarked upon. This is straight out of Nazi Germany. These same SS like guards were prepared to say people were geniuses, before stabbing them in the back. Downton, Moores. They even stabbed Cook in the back and dropped him from the ODI team. There is no limit to the lengths they will go to.
In doing so they revealed themselves to be horrible people. The mask was ripped off, and the people who run English cricket, and cover it in the media were revealed, with a few exceptions as venal, lying scum. If they were sticks of Brighton Rock they would have the word c*** running through them.
It was quite a revelation. I never thought for one minute these people were saints. Too many dodgy dealings in the past. The D’Oliveira affair for example. Or the welcoming back with open arms to those cricketers who walked out on England. Even cynical me was gob smacked at their moral bankruptcy. But they got what they wanted, ( they were prepared to anything to achieve it.)
So now they bask in their victory. A game that is dying on its arse, and has become invisible to the general public. The idiot media who hated that one player are reduced to writing hit pieces about him to get any interest in their bankrupt proffesion. They so hate him, and yet they so need him. Some will say a poetic justice.
Cricket has left me, and I am currently deciding to end my Sky contract. Why pay any more money to these scumbags? It all could have been so different. They could have handled it with more sense. But they didn’t want to. They wanted to make an example of someone. They wanted to send out a message that they, the pygmies that run cricket are more important than the people who entertain the public.
As for this blog it was about a subject you once cared about. But now you don’t. (Well done ECB) That’s not your fault, you were driven out like most of us. Take a rest for 6 – 12 months. Find something you do care about. Cricket does not care about you, so why bother with it? Like so many sports you are just a wallet or purse to be emptied for the pleasure of some elite arse hole. Find something else better deserving to be passionate about. As for your real identity? They are always saying you, and your blog is irrelevant. Why would they care who you are?
Finally, the biggest compliment that can be paid to you, and those who fought the good fight was watching the media congratulate the England team for re connecting with their fans. If ever there was an admission of guilt that was it.
Let’s see if any press outlet runs a piece on KP’S comment on the Blast that he made on Twitter this morning/last night?
Jos Buttler has already written his eulogies about the IPL and that how he thinks the Blast is behind.
I wonder if they will. Of course as usual he was right in what he said but oh dear, KP sometimes you should think first.
I watched the Ram Slam. It really wasn’t better than the standard of the Blast. He’s conflating format with standard. Sometimes he should hold his mouth before going off on one.
Dmitri (William? Gregory? Barnaby? Definitely Angus right?)
It matters not to me what you are really called – you will always be Dmitri to me as a reader of the Blog. It shouldn’t matter to anyone else but everyone has some form of agenda (for better or worse).
Given the history you describe it further reinforces the desire for anonymity. I think some just can’t understand why because they seek the limelight – no matter what, or they seek to undermine others (again, no matter what).
I am Andy here, but is that really my name (yes BTW), but am I going to put my surname out there. I have no desire to do that. Other places I comment I go by more diverse names and very rarely even put my real name ‘out there’.
I may not be a massive commenter on here, but I probably come to the site several times a week – more when big & interesting things are happening. All because the community here is engaging and thoughtful.
It’s been a genuine pleasure to see this place (and it’s previous incarnation) develop, grow and evolve. I get as much from the diverse comments BTL as I do from above.
I can fully understand that you flag at times and there is no point forcing yourself to do something that your heart is not in – but I honestly hope you continue (even at a reduced rate). Diversify your writings. The Hillsborough piece was really interesting. I think you have people here who may find your other inklings interesting. In a weird way I feel like you are a friend – but it’s a weird relationship where I know a lot more about you and how you think than you know about me.
Some might call it stalking, but this version is called blogging.
Your interpretation & investigation of events allows a window that is not presented by the MSM, and I thank you for that.
You have helped me to develop a more critical eye when I read things.
I couldn’t do what you do here, but I am thankful that you (and Chris of course) do.
I genuinely didn’t want this piece to be another “oh he’s looking for sympathy” post. I view the regulars here as the most valuable thing to me. I want to explain that at this time it’s hard to be original and interesting. These posts don’t write themselves.
Went on the Mail page today. All PA and Reuters. Sadly there is no blogging equivalent!
It doesn’t at all to me read like a sympathy piece. It just tells me/us how you feel and there is nothing at all wrong with that and I can say its healthy to do that.
Like Ian, I didn’t read it as a ‘looking for sympathy’ piece. I was just taking the opportunity to say what I feel about this blog and to say thank you (which is something that is easily overlooked in today’s read it and move on culture)
I reckon there’s little in life that engages you all the time. Sussex were at home this week, 7 miles away from me but I couldn’t be bothered to go. However, I sat through every ball on TV of the gripping Notts v Yorks match yesterday. Wish I’d been at Headingly.
I have no intention of using my real name on the internet and I don’t have to. I once had Nigella misunderstand a tweet and incurred the wrath of her supporters, of which there are quite a few. So I changed my pseudonym from @benny to @oncebenny and normal service was resumed. Anyway, Dmitri just works like Sting works. It’s more than a name.
Doh! Trent Bridge
I also had the chance to go to Hove or Southampton for the last round of CC matches – but chose not to go. I spent my money instead going to the theatre (Ibsen’s ‘An Enemy of the People’ – pertinent to some of our discontents!) and playing golf.
I didn’t watch a ball of the televised match. I thought I would but in the end just wasn’t interested. When I discovered it had been a close finish…. I wasn’t bothered that I’d missed it. The thought that the counties supported Giles Clarke, combined with the insufferable CC-supporting types on the Guardian threads, have killed my affection for it stone dead.
My only slight interest in the forthcoming Test series is how much ‘Revenge for 2014’ shapes the reporting. SL “refused to worship at the altar of Sheep” (in Clive’s immortal phrase) and now they are going to pay.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Oh yes , and the magic 10,000 runs. It’s going to be the summer highlight. I’m sure the BBC will have it as reason for sheep winning sports personality of the year award. It fits the bill because like many other former winners sheep has no personality at all.
I am waithing for Selvey to write a piece attacking feminism now Saker has said that Gayle should come back next year. I m sure that will go down well with the guardians female writers.
These is a piece on Cricinfo about London test matches and attendances. Many venues outside London just can’t fill their grounds apparently. Durham have thrown in the towel after failing to sell out the Ashes in 2013. But the worry is there may not be enough test matches to even have two Lords test matches a season soon. What will the MCC do? Never mind, they can have 5 20/20 games instead.
Keep rollin’ D’metri. I know who you are and am very happy not to admit that on a regular basis. Support as always. Sir P
Good luck mate.
Newman rowing it back a bit from that earlier bullish article about who was going to get the batting berths:
Strangely, Newman’s analysis of how much better Compton did in SA than Cook seems to have been left out again. Averaging 7.62 more and all that. Must be those pesky sub-editors again.
Cook attending a home selection meeting? Seems odd to me. Even Newman said he rarely does so.
Three Essex openers mentioned in a piece by an Essex supporter about an Essex player. The only way is Essex indeed.
LikeLiked by 2 people
When in Rome?
I know not everyone on here is a fan of Michael Vaughn. But I like him. And I like the fact he has come out against this new point system. As he says, 3 different formats, 2 captains , different sponsors, and what? Say 45 players on the podium at the end? Ha ha ha Brilliant!
A bit tongue in cheek, but I bloody well agree.
But never mind, because Ebony-Jewel Cora-Lee Camellia Rosamond Rainford-Brent thinks it’s a spiffing idea. And as she is obviously the the future of cricket we must go with her.
LikeLiked by 2 people
I agree. It is total and utter bollocks. And you can quote me.
I still think the idea is worth a try. The trouble is the points’ allocation the ECB seem keen on (3 for Tests, 2 for one-dayers) undervalues Tests and raises suspicions about what they intend for Test cricket in the future. There was a problem in the women’s game of overvaluing the Test but they seem to have gone too far the other way.
I’m afraid I see Vaughan as much as part of the problem as part of the solution here. He’s part of the officer class that kept English one-day cricket in the doldrums.
Points in cricket have equivalents in other sports like the decathlon, heptathlon, three-day eventing and the Davis Cup in tennis. All test skills in different formats of the same sports.
I don’t care about the post-match podiums and ceremonies. To let them dictate the actual competition would be daft. Some egomaniac captains would have a problem sharing the limelight? Oh dear. I’ve usually turned off before they start anyway (unless Giles Clarke has to present a trophy to an opposing captain…..).
Each format needs to retain its own trophies and prize-money which is, as I understand it, the intention. Of course it would be wrong if there is any suggestion of awarding the Ashes to the cross–format winner on points rather than to the Test series’ victor.
It isn’t the main issue in the game. Compared to financial doping, match-fixing, the Test Championship and PEDs it’s peanuts. That’s why it’s being mooted – it’s far easier than those much tougher questions. But it’s worth a try, in my opinion.
“Each format needs to retain its own trophies and prize-money which is, as I understand it, the intention. ”
Therefore I see no point in a hotch porched points system imposed on top of this. Why? How many people are really going to care that we won the Tests, but lost the ODI s but under a strange new points sytem we come out on top in eveyrhing? I Just don’t see the point of it Simon, and I don’t believe it will suddenly bring thousands of new people into cricket. Sorry, but there are other things they could do to increase interest in the game.
I may be wrong, and I am certainly out of touch with the youth of today, but I don’t believe it will attract a single new person to cricket. It smacks of a gimmick to me.
Whether the points’ system they use is hotchpotched or not depends on the one they adopt. As I said, I don’t like the proposed Test-ODI-T20I system of 3-2-2 at all. I think I’d prefer 4-2-1 but am open to persuasion on other weightings. I would have liked Tests to be worth 5 or 6 but accept the danger is it tends to breed risk-averse Test cricket which is definitely not what’s required.
The point of it is to decide who are the best all-round team (like the decathlon decides who is the best all-round athlete or three-day eventing decides the best horse-rider team).
Will it produced thousands of new fans? No. As I said, I think there are more important things – I also favour action on those and don’t see that using a points’ system need make these other changes less likely. However I think it may help a team that has won a Test series keep its motivation up for the one-dayers which has to be a good thing. It may also force teams that don’t take Tests so seriously to rediscover their virtues.
The other thing it might help with (which nobody likes to mention because they’re trying to ignore it) is match-fixing. Dead rubbers are the most vulnerable games to match-fixing. Points should ensure that there are fewer games with nothing at all riding on them. It isn’t more than one small piece in the jigsaw of tackling fixing but any weapon the game can get is helpful.
“However I think it may help a team that has won a Test series keep its motivation up for the one-dayers which has to be a good thing. It may also force teams that don’t take Tests so seriously to rediscover their virtues.”
Nah, they’ll come up with reasons why they can’t have Tests, so they’ll play more ODIs. Alternatively, the ECB, BCCI, and CA will starve good Test nations of funding, by insisting on long Test series, which will leave a massive funding hole in the budget of the other teams. Machiavellian? Undoubtedly. Do I have any reason to suspect the various cricket boards won’t resort to it? No.
LikeLiked by 1 person
A hurr..hurrr..hurrrr …. cricket-speak trained…..hurr…hurrr, ….. if she turns up on TMS for a Test Match this summer, then BBC will have reached the lowest common denomentator…
You really aren’t a fan. ….
LikeLiked by 1 person
Nope…. being purely a radio commentary live cricket follower these days, I want intelligent insight, variety, knowledge and yes, some entertainment. With talksport2 having taken live feeds from various organisations during the worldT20, and these being generally non myopic and definitely not over excitable, I actually enjoyed it – plus the fact that they had every match, unlike the BBC selective picks which seemed to revolve around where Aggers/Daggers/Ebony fancied being (obviously not the truth but the non Eng match coverage was invariably odd!)
Before and after match coverage/insight was minimal at best with BBC whereas TS2 had extended, generally knowledgeable discussion.
TS2 have now also covered nearly every match in the IPL, with their own commentary team – a mixture of in house (Jon Norman +) and summarisers/commentators such as Pringle (glum but good) Don Topley (good), Jarrod Kimber (also part of their weekly cricket prog).
It’s also been announced this week that TS2 will have commentary on 30+ T20 county games and whatever the 50 over comp final. They’ve not gone down the Sky route of ‘names’ with nothing to say, and, as much as I’m not a T20 fan, their coverage has been worth a listen.
Quickly, glad to have returned a favour LCL in some small way through a post. I am still heavily indebted for what HDWLIA and BOC have given me.
Secondly, thanks for people’s nice comments but I’m not sure how brave my comment was. The truth is, when I recovered from that episode, I was horrified. Been pretty open about it since as it helps me (selfish but important) but also to (try to) help others. When I do, that’s a huge lift…so another control…sorry).
Finally, like others, I understand fatigue can set in … and there isn’t loads to talk about at the moment which can’t help.
Do what you want LCL.
You built this from nothing into what it is such that Wisden has to acknowledge you.
People love the way you write – see comments above.
I also vaguely recall predicting bods like Fred and others would be back in email, no?
You’re a bigger part of the future than you might realise but whatever you do, I know I’ll come back.
I think talking about your mental health, for want of a better phrase, is brave. Well, brave may be strong, but risky. I have been in some very low places (I actually have a blog post I go back to, written somewhere out there, that reminds me of a time when I was in real strife) and recognised a lot in what you said. So thanks for producing that comment.
Cheers for the kind words on my writing. I’ve got worse taking praise as I get older, I’ve got worse at taking criticism as well. So look for me to be even more thin-skinned going forwards.
Judging from the current papers, Cook was giving some interviews and Newman, Hoult and Stocks (in The Cricket Paper) were invited along. Hoult’s critical angle doesn’t seem to have lost him any ‘access’. The Guardian, for all its positioning itself embedded somewhere near the ECB’s colon, doesn’t seem at the moment to have been invited.
Further grist to my mill that the Guardian’s position has little to do with access and everything to do with the views of its chief correspondent and the lack of any apparent editorial oversight.
Hoult’s account has this line from Cook:
” To score 10,000 is a massive milestone for any batter because you can’t really argue with a bloke who has scored 10,000 no matter how they have gone about it because that is a lot of runs in a lot of conditions and someone who has been tested for a long period of time.”
Maybe it was just a throwaway line – but it doesn’t do anything to dispel the impression that he really doesn’t like being argued with.
As for scoring 8000 Test runs – well, you obviously can argue with that and consider that it didn’t include many match-saving innings, was a career of two halves, was scored at the expense of team unity, was too flash, not technically correct enough, too selfish, all just about him etc etc etc.
Cook……..” To score 10,000 is a massive milestone for any batter because you can’t really argue with a bloke who has scored 10,000 no matter how they have gone about it because that is a lot of runs in a lot of conditions and someone who has been tested for a long period of time.”
But they did argue with someone who was on course to score 10,000 runs, and they did argue with the way he went about it. They sacked him , and said they would rather he was more a team player.
Is Cook really this stupid? Probably can say any old shit now. His supporters went down the rabbit hole years ago.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Cook managed to get rid of his competition very nicely. Am sure KP would have made the 10,000 first if given the chance but now we’ll never know.Wonder if Cook’s conscience ever bothers him.
The piece on Cook in the Cricket Paper is not going to do him any favours. All time great? Really? I know I’m not a fan but there’s a certain insecurity in the writing. As if they are trying to convince themselves.
Alternatively, they are card-carrying cultists and really believe it…..
I’ll be counting how many mentions there are of how Cook’s average compares to other members of the 10k club. He’s three behind the next lowest, Jayawardene, who’s the only other one to average below fifty.
I’m expecting to have plenty of fingers to spare.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Just back in from Malaysia. Want to support what has been said by all here.
Love this site, love your writing (and Legglance), love the comments and community on here.
Thank you. But there are no obligations. Just let it come when it does. I for one will be waiting….
PS – say it often enough and it will stick: “Or, like Kevin Pietersen, you may have texted the opposition captain your own skipper’s batting weaknesses”