The Batting Armchair – Open Thread 5

County Championship fixtures on the way today. My mob are up in Yorkshire, where we try to avoid losing to the champions! Essex also host the Sri Lankans, so given we are going for this new point nonsense, and the Essex Mafia run cricket there must be something at stake to make this match have “context”. As you might have guessed, I’m not a fan. Of the Essex Mafia and the points system.

If you have any views on the upcoming England selection, put them down here. The name on everyone’s lips is James Vince. We know why he might be being pushed by Michael Vaughan, but Pringle has been banging this drum for a while. Seriously, is he any good?

We had a bit of a scare overnight with the taking down of Dennis Does Cricket. At first Dennis was blaming the BCCI, then it seemed to be some reason unknown. Of course, I’ll take D’s tweets on face value, and you have to admit that the blogging community is as welcome to the authorities as a fart in an astronaut suit, so I put up that post last night. Even if this wasn’t the BCCI, there are also hits on Rob Moody’s video channel (increasing copyright claims – see my last post on TV and cricket to see what I think of that) and AltCricket’s Facebook page. I’m not paranoid (alright, maybe a little) but I am also protective of what we have. We go down, we have a number of alternate sites we can immediately switch to. But that’s not the point. We write because we love the sport. The sport is all of ours, not the preserve of corporate fly-by-nights, no matter how much they think their love is proved by financial commitment.

Thanks for the hits this week, and thanks to a number of you who provoked me out of my slumber, as well as Newman and Fowler for a quite ridiculous article that stoked some of the flames, but interestingly, wasn’t overly re-reported. This seemed to have a “test the water” theory behind it. If so, not sure what to make of it from an outside “Outside Cricket” perspective.

Any other comments you might have, including how you’ll celebrate 10000 test runs for Alastair, then fire away. If you are going to a game, let us know how it went.



97 thoughts on “The Batting Armchair – Open Thread 5

  1. metatone May 8, 2016 / 10:02 am

    Yorkshire are a bit off colour at the moment, good chance for your lot.

    The very few times I’ve seen Vince live he’s looked ok, but (for example) Root always looked better in County Cricket against the swinging ball. On the other hand, Duncan Fletcher was pretty good at picking out batsmen, and he likes the look of Vince.


  2. nonoxcol May 8, 2016 / 10:14 am

    “how you’ll celebrate 10000 test runs for Alastair”

    Big fat raspberry or total indifference, at best. The nature of the coverage, and the universal ignorance of those statistical anomalies, will doubtless provide enough fuel to drive BOC for the whole year though. So there is that to look forward to.

    Oh sorry Master Dauphin, I forgot that “you can’t really argue with a bloke who’s scored 10,000 runs”. Forgive my impertinence.


  3. escort May 8, 2016 / 10:31 am

    I personally cannot wait for the 10000 moment. I’m especially looking forward to the inevitable Sky montage of Cookies best innings, all those game changing attacking innings that you would expect someone who is very often referred to as the best batsman not only in the England team but the whole country to have played.
    All joking aside, it is a fine achievement to get there but when you look at who is already in the 10000 club Cook, along with Kallis are the comfortably the least entertaining or charismatic.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rooto May 8, 2016 / 10:55 am

    13779 plays 13229 (latter figure includes Cook’s 61 runs in 4 T20s).
    After all, every run counts for those important overall series points. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. CRICKETJON May 8, 2016 / 11:07 am

    “how you’ll celebrate 10000 test runs for Alastair”

    I am mulling over the prospect of logging onto BBC iplayer and watching Jodie Comer again in Thirteen so that I can fantasise what it’s like to be confined to a dark isolated cell for an extended period of time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. northernlight71 May 8, 2016 / 11:41 am

    I popped my head onto the CC blog on the big G this morning. Saw a tragic tale told by the Lord of all that is hypocritical, and responded rather sympathetically, I thought . . .

    Still hate them all, mind you.


    • LordCanisLupus May 8, 2016 / 11:45 am

      It was not my place to tell it to his face, but instead, put it across the Guardian Cricket blog.

      One might call that an act of a “keyboard warrior”. Those social media zealots. Those vile ignoramuses. You know the type!

      PS – I have an alibi.


    • nonoxcol May 8, 2016 / 12:58 pm

      What a predictable response from DaddyPig there. Their little heads must have exploded with the confusion right around this time last year.


  7. SimonH May 8, 2016 / 12:09 pm

    So Flower and Vaughan back Vince and he gets run out for a duck! If only the Germans had a word for it….

    Seriously, I’m a Hampshire fan so am naturally keen on Vince but those two backing him has put me right off. I was never particularly lucky with Vince in the flesh – when I saw him he’d look a million dollars then throw it all away with a brain-fart. Even when he did finally make some runs, when I saw score 140-odd at the SWALEC when Hants won promotion, he was dropped off an absolute sitter at deep square-leg hooking Michael Hogan.

    Meanwhile, as another example of how ‘new era’ England take the pressure off, we have:

    He’s too intense, you know. And weird. Intense and weird.

    Where does all this stuff (which looks orchestrated to me) come from? I’ve noticed it doesn’t seem to happen any more around the one-day team.

    Liked by 2 people

    • LordCanisLupus May 8, 2016 / 12:17 pm

      I posted this Tweet on Friday:

      Here is how Pringle went into this, in depth, in the article:

      England’s selectors will also be looking to fill numbers three and five in the batting order, the first because Nick Compton looks too overwrought for international cricket (he even looks jittery against county bowlers)….

      And that’s it.

      I saw Compton take a ton off the champions last September and help turn around a great game. Didn’t look too jittery to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mark May 8, 2016 / 12:34 pm

        Funny how this doesn’t fit in with last summers talking point that ” there are no vacancies in England’s middle order. ”

        They just make it up as they go along, oblivious to the previous mantra. 10,000 runs was once an irrelevant , selfish landmark for self obsessed loners. Now it is the mark of greatness.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Mark May 8, 2016 / 12:24 pm

    If you have the stomach for it you can read Ed Smith.

    Where he discovers baseball,and even name checks Babe Ruth, (one for Dmitri) He then claims that it was Joe Root, and Virat Kohli who were the real stars of the 20/20 World Cup. Technique over the muscle of Carlos Brathwaite?

    If that is not enough cleverness for you he then segways into Pep Guardiola vs José Mourinho to show his knowledge about different styles.

    You too can write like Ed, if you think you’re a God dam genius.


    • LordCanisLupus May 8, 2016 / 12:31 pm

      There’s a club in the Champions League Final who are the extreme that he talks about, but given I reckon he’s only just watched Leicester to give him a culture reference that might be asking a bit too much.

      Not sure the lengths of Brathwaites sixes, but if he hit those straight 100 metre sixes, the out fielder will be nestling quietly under them on the warning track. Nice to know that he knows that Ruth called a shot in the 1932 World Series. It’s not a matter of fact, but it’s a great story. Ruth supposedly pointed to centre-field, and then smashed a home run over it on the next pitch.

      But Ed knows what equipoise, and I don’t. So I lose.


      • Pontiac May 8, 2016 / 5:13 pm

        A baseball’s got a hell of a lot more bounce than a cricket ball, weighs less, and one’s not ever lifting it off the ankles – and it’s fresh and new every time. Not that Dmitri doesn’t know all this – the way I try to explain it to people is that a solidly hit six is far more… menacing… to hear than a home run.

        It’s not any big deal to hit a home run (especially with an aluminum bat) if you commit to the swing and make a solid connection – it’s making the connection that’s hard. IMO there’s a lot more power in what Brathwaite did.

        Liked by 1 person

    • AB May 9, 2016 / 12:32 pm

      “A baseball’s got a hell of a lot more bounce than a cricket ball, weighs less”

      1/4 oz doesn’t make much difference. Its certainly not bouncier. Are you thinking of tennis balls?

      Have you ever hit a 120 yard home run? I have. Its not easy, certainly no easier than hitting a big straight 6. Why do you think baseball hitters are all build like mobile troop carriers?


      • Tuffers86 May 9, 2016 / 6:57 pm

        Exactly. It’s why Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds and their ilk were on the steroids.

        I have a soft spot for the St Louis Cardinals because of McGwire who’s home run chase in 98 captured my imagination and interest as a young man. It was hurtful that he admitted to using “performance enhancers” a few years back.


  9. SimonH May 8, 2016 / 1:33 pm

    Hales into the seventies and nailing down his place.

    Finn’s returns have been mediocre so far – anyone seen him this season and have a theory what’s wrong?


    • Ian May 8, 2016 / 6:45 pm

      Saw Finn last week at the Ageas. Bowled ok but with not much menace and guess he is finding the flatter pitches harder like most bowlers.


  10. Ian May 8, 2016 / 5:16 pm

    Lucky enough to watch Vince regularly since 2009. A quick scorer who looks to dominate the attack, The only criticism is that he often looks great but then gets out in his 20s which could be a big problem at test level. If he is in and stays in though he can score game changing runs.


    • LordCanisLupus May 8, 2016 / 9:45 pm

      The counties are being held to ransom by the ECB. The poorer counties are being asked to sign a declaration of surrender to be allowed to live. But in doing so they will die. Meanwhile five England players are bringing in over a million quid a year, and the ECB has a war chest.

      What a way to run a sport.


    • Mark May 8, 2016 / 11:30 pm

      Was this interview conducted by the same clown who interviewed Flower the other day?

      ‘Cooky has done amazingly well,’ says Flower. ‘He’s got genuine resilience and strength. He was under a lot of pressure in that post-Ashes period. He took a lot of the brunt of the Pietersen fall-out and has always been a stubborn b****r which is one of his great qualities.

      ‘He was stubborn enough not to back down personally from the challenge in front of him as England captain and I’ll always respect him for that. ”

      So which is it? Stubbon man who was never resigning or wimp who was on the brink of jacking it in? They never get their stories straight.


  11. Zephirine May 8, 2016 / 11:45 pm

    ‘I’m not sure whether Trevor Bayliss’s arrival was a catalyst for our progress or coincidence but Cooky has done a fantastic job and certainly since Trevor’s come in he’s taken more responsibility. Cooky is the figurehead in the dressing room, the one people look up to, and he’s in charge. Trevor has given him that responsibility. It’s Cooky’s team now.’ So whose team was it before, then?


    • pktroll (@pktroll) May 9, 2016 / 7:16 am

      I still don’t always think it’s Cook’s team when he seemed reluctant to take off Anderson who was bowling poor spells in South Africa, nor when the old 3rd slip vacant area concedes a few runs but hey ho I do agree with the general point that it is far better than this time 2 years ago.


  12. TheVickster May 9, 2016 / 9:34 am

    So who is going to be travelling to Abu Dhabi over the next 3 years to watch some Lions players/Eng nearlys play a North/South 50 over game? Anyone? Bueller… Bueller?

    Plus we have finally reached peak-‘Computer-led England’. The PC will pick the team. Makes you wonder what was the point of paying zillions for all of those England coaches and managers if an Apple Mac can do a better job.

    In response to Cooky’s 10,000 runs, I’ll send a tweet to KP to say it should’ve been him. I’ll then send a tweet to the ECB and Sky to remind them not to go overboard on it, as it’s meant to be all
    about the team & we shouldn’t be focusing on individual milestones……

    Liked by 1 person

    • SimonH May 9, 2016 / 9:59 am

      An idea designed solely to provide material for Dave Tickner:


      • SimonH May 9, 2016 / 12:50 pm

        And others…..

        One guess who is reliably defending it as a splendid idea – like he defends everything else the ECB comes up with.


      • Mark May 9, 2016 / 2:19 pm

        He doesn’t even try to be a journalist now does he?

        All his pieces should be pre faced with the following health warning……

        “There now follows a party political broadcast on behalf of the ECB.”


    • Zephirine May 9, 2016 / 3:58 pm

      “In response to Cooky’s 10,000 runs, I’ll send a tweet to KP to say it should’ve been him. I’ll then send a tweet to the ECB and Sky to remind them not to go overboard on it, as it’s meant to be all
      about the team & we shouldn’t be focusing on individual milestones……”

      Excellent ideas! I may finally have seen the point of Twitter.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH May 9, 2016 / 4:12 pm

        Cook’s average puts him in the Justin Langer-Gary Kirsten class. Langer didn’t make 10k runs because of Australia’s phenomenal batting strength when he played and Kirsten didn’t make 10k runs because SA don’t play enough Tests.

        There’s nothing wrong with that. But there won’t be one comparison in the MSM between Cook and those players when the great day dawns – but there will be attempts to link him to, for example, Sachin Tendulkar and Kumar Sangakkara. Even Graeme Smith would be pushing it.

        Expect, too, lots of claims that opening the batting in England is uniquely difficult (green tops, swing, Duke balls, blah blah blah) despite 1) a quick check on Statsguru revealing that is simply not true in Cook’s era 2) such claims being mysteriously absent when it comes to assessing, for example, Jimmy Anderson’s career.

        Liked by 2 people

      • nonoxcol May 9, 2016 / 4:35 pm

        Home, where Cook has averaged over 40 in only two of the last seven summers…;home_or_away=1;template=results;type=allround

        By way of comparison, his immediate predecessor managed to do so in five of his seven home summers as an England opener, and even topped fifty in four of them.;home_or_away=1;template=results;type=allround


        • LordCanisLupus May 9, 2016 / 7:28 pm

          Yet another puff piece that seems to go out of its way to blow smoke up Cooky’s arse….

          At the centre of it has been Anderson’s close friend Cook who came close to quitting in the aftermath of that miserable Headingley defeat by Sri Lanka but who held on to the captaincy and is now at the helm of a vibrant young side.
          ‘The way the team has progressed since then has been far greater than anyone could have imagined,’ said Anderson. ‘The last 12 months in particular have been a real breath of fresh air in the way we’ve been allowed to progress.
          ‘We’ve been given the freedom to go out there and enjoy playing. International cricket can be highly pressurised but the captain and coach have done a great job in taking that pressure away from the players and allowed them to enjoy themselves on the field. Our guys have got bundles of talent and they try to get that out there for people to see now.
          ‘I’m not sure whether Trevor Bayliss’s arrival was a catalyst for our progress or coincidence but Cooky has done a fantastic job and certainly since Trevor’s come in he’s taken more responsibility. Cooky is the figurehead in the dressing room, the one people look up to, and he’s in charge. Trevor has given him that responsibility. It’s Cooky’s team now.’

          So you didn’t rate Mooresy either, Jimmy?

          OH – in case I forget…
          *Jimmy Anderson is the new face of Brut Sport Style. Follow @BrutForMen for more.


      • Mark May 9, 2016 / 8:10 pm

        Yes Dmitri , it’s so contrived. When they have to keep telling you how great he is it makes me cynical.

        And another thing, I think it’s quite clear now he was not the captain before. They keep talking about freedom now, and how free he is. That means he wasn’t free before. Shame Newman didn’t ask Flower about that. . Flower seems to have been the coach and captain. I never believed Cook was making declaration decisions.


  13. AB May 9, 2016 / 12:37 pm

    “Plans are believed to include introducing a mobile commentating booth at the side of the playing area”

    Yeah, if there is one thing that will get millions of kids interested in cricket, its a pointless and frankly insulting gimmick on a channel they can’t watch. If you want to “refresh your coverage” how about you just show more games? How’s that for an idea?

    Oh FFS.


  14. AB May 9, 2016 / 12:41 pm

    “Derbyshire will take more money at the gate on one Sunday afternoon at Chesterfield when we play Yorkshire in a T20 than we will in the entire championship season”

    Surely everyone can see that if the ECB banned several counties from entering the T20 competition, that would effectively be the end of them as first class cricket teams?


  15. SimonH May 9, 2016 / 12:57 pm

    I’m probably as weird as a Compton (out for single figures this morning – there are parties on the streets of Chelmsford tonight) but I found this on cricket in Argentina fascinating:

    Seven years ago, Argentina were in the same league as Afghanistan and lost narrowly to them. What’s happened to them since is sickening.


    • TheVickster May 9, 2016 / 2:25 pm

      Great article. It’s upsetting and frustrating to see the Associates treated like trash by the ICC as well as the idiots running US cricket. There’s so much potential as well as untapped wealth. I’m amazed the ICC aren’t throwing huge amounts of cash at them all.


    • Mark May 9, 2016 / 2:45 pm

      Both the ECB and the ICC should not be classed as governing bodies of the sport. They are run more like hedge funds.

      If you are not trying to grow the sport you don’t really have the long term good of the sport at heart. Now not all these countries are going to become major cricket forces. But the governing bodies seem to have a demented relish for discouraging future growth of the sport. And it’s not just nation states, but even the supporters of the game in the big 3 nations.


      • hatmallet May 9, 2016 / 9:18 pm

        And by not trying to grow the global game, or by barely giving it more than lip service, they are going against their own official vision statement, strategic direction, mission statement, and values.

        Their whole damn purpose is to look after the game, grow it, as well as run great tournaments. They are just about managing the latter, though that’s down to the teams and players more than them.


    • d'Arthez May 9, 2016 / 2:50 pm

      Yeah. I am guessing they get as much budget for an entire year, as Watson gets for bowling one over in this years IPL.


      • Andrew Nixon May 9, 2016 / 3:42 pm

        Argentina’s annual funding is currently US$110K or, to use the standard measurement for associate and affiliate funding – 2.75 sets of Zing Stumps/Bails.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. man in a barrel May 9, 2016 / 11:32 pm

    if Hammond, Hobbs, or Hutton had played the number of Tests that Chef has played, controlled by age, who would be the winner? I anm sure someone has the programme that says that Hobbs would have won. Chef in last place.


    • d'Arthez May 10, 2016 / 5:54 am

      Or even Sutcliffe. Sutcliffe and Hobbs have an insane record as an opening pair.. 15 century stands in 38 innings. The only pair to have had more century stands was Haynes-Greenidge. 16 such stands from 148 innings.

      Cook-AN Other seem to have racked up records as well in the past seasons. But those were records such as the worst opening partnership (minimum of 5 innings) for England in the 21st century (with Hales). Moxon-Gooch (1986-1988) and Boycott-Rose (1978) were the only other ones to have worse averages in the past sixty years. In the case of Boycott-Rose, that probably had something to do with playing Pakistan and the West Indies quite a few times.


      • SimonH May 10, 2016 / 10:47 am

        The Boycott-Rose partnership came about because Brearley had his arm broken in a warm-up match in Pakistan. They opened for the 3rd Test against Pakistan and for two Tests against New Zealand.

        Brian Rose came back a couple of years later at No.3 against the West Indies and batted very well against them. Sadly, he then had eye trouble, played in one more Test in glasses and then had to quit the game.

        It’s a pity most people remember him for the 0-0d in a domestic one-day game. I remember those three matches in 1980 when he went toe-to-toe with Roberts/Holding/Garner/Croft and wasn’t bested.


  17. SimonH May 10, 2016 / 9:32 am

    They’re getting ready to bring back Flower, aren’t they? If Bayliss doesn’t keep winning (especially in India), he’ll be back. Ten points for the prosecution:

    1) The ECB love succession planning – it’s how they justify their large salaries to themselves.
    2) It creates a win-win situation. If Bayliss wins, they win. If Bayliss doesn’t win, they get Flower back.
    3) Flower only lost the job because he didn’t want to keep it and he sounded like he wants a return to international management. Bayliss could be shunted into being one-day coach with arguments about divergence and specialisation being trotted out.
    4) Flower is a genius at “upward management” and will play them like a fiddle. Expect him to be linked to jobs with other teams that then mysteriously fall through.
    5) The ECB have no problem reappointing failed coaches.
    6) The ECB are devotees of repeating history. They reappointed Moores to repeat the trick of bringing the side through a transitional period. They’ll be convinced there’s no one like Flower for pushing a team on to the next level.
    7) Somewhere deep down, it boils their piss that they need a foreign coach – and especially an Australian. Flower isn’t really foreign, is he? He’s a citizen of Essex and Loughborough and you don’t get any more English than that.
    8) “It was fascinating to watch how people were dealing with what we went through and how I dealt with it myself. Coming out the other side and evaluating why things happened. Hopefully I’m stronger and wiser for it”. There’s the line about the ‘difficult winter’ – write it up as a learning experience and sort of portray it as if it happened to someone else. Flower says twice in that Newman interview how fascinating it was as if he wasn’t in charge. And blame it all on that bastard, mercenary Saffer bastard of course….
    9) The press box will be at worst compliant and in most case enthusiastic cheerleaders.
    10) The thought of Flower coaching and Cook captaining the team to an away Ashes win must send a little shiver of anticipation through Strauss’s anatomy.

    So keep winning Trevor love or you’ll be looking over your shoulder as cricket’s Machiavelli lurks waiting. That’s the thing about this ‘new era’ England, they take all the pressure off.

    (P.S. That Newman article is full of the Flower myth that there was nothing wrong until Day Two in Brisbane – “the Ashes disaster that brought his distinguished reign at the head of the England team to a crashing halt”, “the 5-0 Ashes thrashing that saw one of the best of all England teams unexpectedly disintegrate spectacularly and then bitterly”, “‘It fell apart very quickly and much quicker than I hoped,’ reflected Flower on those tumultuous times in Australia”. 3-0 in UAE, 2-0 against SA and 0-0 against NZ never happened. There is also no mention of how England’s recent success is largely down to players like Finn and Bairstow who didn’t, er, flower under Flower, Newman may miss all that but he isn’t one to miss another gratuitous aside at Pietersen describing the circumstances in which Flower got the job as “the wake of another Pietersen fall-out in 2009”.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark May 10, 2016 / 10:47 am

      Good spot Simon. And yes, they like to heap pressure on certain people, while pretending (lying) that they take pressure off.

      Their model also seems to take a high priority in rubbing people’s faces in it. They are not tolerant of those that point out their faults. Cook as captain, Flower as coach all under the umbrella of Strauss is the classic f… you to everybody else.

      The only light on the horizon of this giant circle jerk is if the results were no good. Then they would be forced to turn on each other. We would all be given a delicious schadenfreude sandwich as the three musketeers used their macavelli tactics on themselves. Who would Newman and Selvey support more? Oh the irony of Flower creating a dossier on Cook, and then leaking it to Newman.


  18. SimonH May 10, 2016 / 9:57 am

    A few weeks “among friends” and Selvey’s showing his true colours. On the CC match thread, he calls one commentor “a dolt” and asks if another has been “in a coma”.

    Neither comment he was responding to was particularly great – but both had a serious point underlying them that could have elicited a reasoned reply.



  19. SimonH May 10, 2016 / 11:29 am

    Just as Vic Marks couldn’t wait for England to win the T20I before eulogising Strauss, he can’t wait for Cook to get his 10,000 before launching in to two pages of gush. At least there’s no accompanying dig at Pietersen I suppose.

    The Spin really is The Pits.


    • nonoxcol May 10, 2016 / 11:51 am

      All the tough bastards I know swear at people who get the better of them on the field, whine about so-called friends, piss on pitches, overstate their own contribution to team victories, moan about being dismissed from a job they were no bloody good at, betray the confidence of more talented colleagues and look at the floor when they’re sacked.

      They’re all incredibly, cloyingly uxorious as well. That’s the definite mark of a real tough bastard.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Zephirine May 10, 2016 / 12:31 pm

        Don’t forget jelly beans, Real tough bastards throw jelly beans on the pitch.


      • Zephirine May 10, 2016 / 7:08 pm

        It depends on what you mean by a tough bastard though. Somebody who’s relentlessly out for himself under a veneer of diffidence and who manages to ensure that in any situation, come what may, the bosses are on his side and he can carry on advancing his own career – would that be a tough bastard? Or just a bastard?

        Vic Marks uses more code than Bletchley Park, I’m not sure this was entirely a eulogy.


      • nonoxcol May 10, 2016 / 8:45 pm

        Second innings, Adelaide, 2013/14. A real captain’s innings, leading by example.

        Serious answer though, could make a strong case for any of the three centuries in India the year before.

        The worst was that 70-odd against India in 2014, when he played like Peter Such throughout but came up against a slip cordon on commission from Lurpak. What a golden series that was.

        Electoral fraud officers should monitor block votes for the Holy 95. The heat map in the south-eastern part of the country will be a dead giveaway.


      • Mark May 10, 2016 / 10:16 pm

        I vote for his last ever innings for England. Whenever that may be.


    • Mark May 10, 2016 / 12:12 pm

      I don’t believe it’s the real Vic Marks.

      All of England’s cricket media has undergone an Invasion of the body snatchers type of change. They all look the same, but are in fact aliens operating under replica pods.

      They have all become ECB pod people.


      • Mark May 10, 2016 / 2:34 pm

        ” Cook is 36 short of 10,000 runs in Test cricket as he prepares for his 127th match, over a thousand more runs than the No2 on the list, Graham Gooch – not bad for a man without shots. However he looks, however he bats, however he chooses to captain the side, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that he is also a tough bastard.”

        This was supposed to be a review about two books by Greame Fowler and John Barclay about cricket and depression.

        Marks manages to depress the hell out of me by inserting his now obligatory Cook eulogising reference. Does Cook suffer from depression? Not as far as I know he doesn’t. So why bring him up? These people are obsessed.


      • SimonH May 10, 2016 / 2:43 pm

        An ornithological spotting on the Marks’ thread.

        I’d call it vitriolic and bilious but only one side of the argument does vitriol and bile.


        • LordCanisLupus May 10, 2016 / 4:25 pm

          I might save them the worry and write my tribute before the event.

          Everyone else is.


      • nonoxcol May 10, 2016 / 4:03 pm

        Virtue signallers, the Guardian is yours. Amazed he hasn’t been given a Staff Pick yet.

        Anyone think the more frequent and outwardly confident appearances of MS BTL and the Guardian’s massive recent exercise in virtue-signalling, circle-jerking and staff-protecting are unrelated?


    • Mark May 10, 2016 / 3:55 pm

      I wish the counties could get together outside of the ECB and hammer together a 20/20 competition that suits most of the counties. Compromises will have to be made on all sides, but otherwise they are going to be starved to death of cash, and then some hedge fund owners are going to come in and Hoover up all the cash from a franchised backed model. They will then put nothing back into county cricket, and just eat up all the profits for themselves.

      If necessary they need to tell the ECB to piss off. In which case the ECB will be the governing body of nothing. Because all the major cricket counties will have broken away. But they need to get on with it before it’s too late. 20/20 is the only form of domestic cricket that pays. They have the grounds and the teams. Just create something new. And sell the rights directly to the TV companies if neccesary. It’s time for the counties to become much more innovative, and to reject the top down control by the ECB. But they haven’t got much time left.


      • Zephirine May 10, 2016 / 7:10 pm

        Well said, Mark. It would be interesting to know if they’ve attempted to do this, and how far they got.


  20. SimonH May 10, 2016 / 4:34 pm

    Well, this has been coming – Selvey backs Robson for a recall. The Essex boys can back their own so why not? Just don’t suggest that to him on a thread or you’ll be called a dolt.

    If Robson was a success it would prove (sort of) that they weren’t so wrong in 2014. I’m sure that’s not part of it at all.

    Compton doesn’t even get a mention as a candidate. Hales comes in at No.4 (I think – the article is such a mess it’s hard to tell). Anyone else remember Selvey’s campaign to get Trescothick dropped down the order? Can’t have any strokemakers up the top of the order; only solid yeoman need apply.

    The self-regard in Selvey’s second and third paragraphs is hilarious, even by Selvey standards. Cricket correspondent watches some cricket? Put that on your SJOYA citation!

    Not that I give much of a damn who’s selected.

    Liked by 1 person

    • alecpaton May 10, 2016 / 7:04 pm

      He even admits in the article that he’s basing this on the matches he’s seen. Essentially, as far as he’s concerned the value of runs and wickets ends at the Lord’s boundary.

      Oddly enough, I agree with the principle. 3 centuries from 3 innings at Lord’s when England will be playing 2 matches there this summer makes a pretty good case for selection. The other players pushing for a place in the top 3 are Tom Westley and Daniel Bell-Drummond (this assumes Compton is dropped and Hales is kept). The fact the I find myself agreeing with Mike Selvey I think has brought me out in hives, clearly a terrible omen.


  21. Mark May 10, 2016 / 10:23 pm

    Perhaps,that’s why they want Flower back in charge.

    Just not enough leaks at the moment.


    • SimonH May 11, 2016 / 8:06 am

      Some truth in that, Mark.

      I can’t recall one instance of what looks like a leak from Bayliss.


      • SimonH May 11, 2016 / 8:18 pm

        If graceless back-pedaling becomes an Olympic sport, Newman will get the gold medal:

        So Compton will survive but:

        “one last chance”

        “Nick Compton looks certain to be handed a reprieve” (not a vote of confidence)

        “his struggles in South Africa” (averaging 7 more than his non-struggling captain)

        “an unconvincing start to the domestic season that has seen him make a top score of just 44” (not ideal of course – but then certain England coaches Newman likes didn’t think CC runs meant much and perhaps reading every day about how he was going to be dropped didn’t help)

        “It is in many ways a conservative choice by England, echoing coach Trevor Bayliss’s belief in giving a player one too many game rather than one too few” (just in case we were in doubt who to blame if it goes pear-shaped)

        “Yet the spotlight will be very much on Compton when he walks out on the Headingley ground where he froze against New Zealand in 2013” (no acknowledgement of what we now know happened in that game – and can you imagine Newman writing “when Alastair Cook walks out on the ground where he was humiliated in 2014…..”)

        “He will not be able to make the same mistake again this time”. (pressure off then….)


      • SimonH May 11, 2016 / 8:25 pm

        Nick Hoult and Ali Martin have virtually identical stories. Is there any need for the formal announcement tomorrow?



      • Mark May 11, 2016 / 9:18 pm

        That article by Newman is a f…. Disgrace. So much for taking pressure of the players.

        The gutter press at its worse. I wonder if Cook ever really wanted him back in the sid? There is a degree of team purity in Newmans demands. Everyone who is not seen as sufficiently pro Cook must be purged from the team.

        They will be goose stepping through the Lords long room next.


      • Mark May 11, 2016 / 10:37 pm

        Newman ” Let me know when you can secure a sit down with a relevant figure and we can talk”

        Access journalism at it’s worse. The only reason you can secure a sit down with a relevant figure is because they know you are going to serve them up soft balls, with a misty eyed back drop.

        There is no point to securing an interview if you have to give up being a journalist to get it.


        • LordCanisLupus May 11, 2016 / 10:39 pm

          The exchange with Tregaskis is superb. I recommended you all read it.

          How dare you question me just about sums it up.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Mark May 11, 2016 / 10:58 pm

        This is one of the funniest things I have seen. It shows Newman off as a sort of arrogant entitled elite. A cricket version of a central banker.

        Translated into English………”How dare you question me. Bring me more peach and peacock, and the best fine wines in the house. Don’t you know who I am?”


        • LordCanisLupus May 11, 2016 / 11:20 pm

          Doesn’t it? He secured an interview with Flower. Which then turned into a useless puff piece. Big wow.


      • SimonH May 12, 2016 / 8:07 am

        Very disappointed in Lizzy Ammon’s contributions on that thread.

        Newman “can only print what Flower actually said”? That’s highly disingenuous. It’s “uncalled for”? The miserable state of MSM cricket-writing needs more calling out, not less.

        I would accept that Newman is a “proper journalist”. He files a lot of copy, watches a large amount of cricket (including games he doesn’t have – and doesn’t blow his own trumpet about it) and he gets stories others don’t (although it’s perfectly legitimate to question how).

        Newman dishes out a fair amount of vitriol in his writing. Again it is double standards for ATL and BTL. They really are a thin-skinned bunch. It must be the small world they move in. It’s noticable again how Newman, like Etheridge, resorts to seeking a face-to-face meeting rather than coming up with any arguments.

        Liked by 1 person

        • LordCanisLupus May 12, 2016 / 8:18 am

          The laughable thing about this is I’m sure they believe we all want to be them. To be journalists. To be the ones with access.

          I really don’t. Truly. Had this accusation for 8 years now. It’s hilarious.

          All your points are spot on Simon. I think Tregaskis should wear Newman’s blocking as a badge of honour.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Mark May 12, 2016 / 8:24 am

        It’s interesting Newman puts more emphasis on getting the “sit down” interview than he does actually getting something interesting from the interviewee.

        A sort of ghastly late night chat show host who is all about booking guests rather than making good tv. A sort of cricket version of Alan Partridge.


        • LordCanisLupus May 12, 2016 / 8:26 am

          The “he can only report what he tells him” line disappointed me. But that’s the way the media interaction works. Some subjects are off limits.


      • Mark May 12, 2016 / 8:49 am

        And what is all this about?

        Newman…..”what do you do for a living? Let me know and I will have a view? You won something from Wisden?? Let me have a look and see”

        Notice the rather aggressive double ?? after the word Wisden. It all sounds a bit like Partridge and “smell my cheese.”

        I’m with you Dmitri, I really, really wouldn’t want their job. If they were not so far up their own backsides I would even feel some pity for them. Imagine having to write gush fests like that pile of nonsense on Flower or paying homage to some corporate sponsor.

        I guess it’s the price you pay for all that free cricket and corporate hospitality you get to enjoy?


  22. nonoxcol May 11, 2016 / 7:16 am

    Someone’s having a nice morning:


    • SimonH May 11, 2016 / 11:45 am

      Strange how those Test caps forty years ago are relevant though when he wants them to be.

      Meanwhile, BTL he sounds more and more like wctt:

      And there was this one as well:

      Do “great” bowlers take their wickets at 29? Did Anderson “manage himself” during the ‘difficult winter’ when he averaged 44 while the other three opening bowlers all averaged under 30 (when he was either playing with a broken rib or couldn’t threaten in Australian conditions depending on who you believe)? It’s great the way Selvey draws broad conclusions about Finn when he has a bad couple of matches but just pretends it hasn’t happened when it’s Anderson.

      Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol May 11, 2016 / 12:14 pm

        Had I still been on the cricket threads I would have leapt straight on that one. Good old Jimmy and his average of 43 in South Africa, and his three wicketless innings out of four in the first two Ashes Tests. How is the workload of a nearly 34-year-old opening bowler just not an issue, when he clearly hasn’t sustained his excellence across more than one consecutive series since 2014?


  23. nonoxcol May 11, 2016 / 3:28 pm

    Well, professional terrible year 2016 just got a little bit worse:


    • d'Arthez May 11, 2016 / 3:48 pm

      Rest in peace Tony.


    • LordCanisLupus May 11, 2016 / 4:06 pm

      Got a great picture of me at his club ground in Barbados. They revered him there.

      Such a sad loss. Towards The end the WICB treated him poorly it seems. Such a shame.


      • Mark May 11, 2016 / 4:28 pm

        That is very sad. RIP Tony Cozier.

        At least he got to enjoy WI greatest period when as he once said “a third world nation became a first world cricket superpower.”

        Also,a shame he ended up being marginalised by the governing body. It’s a growing trend in all cricket nations, unfortunately.


      • SimonH May 11, 2016 / 4:46 pm

        One of the last of his kind. Not a former player. Not a broadcaster who hangs on long enough that he starts being marketed as a ‘character’. A proper journalist. ‘The West Indies: Fifty Years of Test Cricket’ was one of the first cricket books I bought and one I’ve reread more than almost any other. His late writing on the WICB was simply magnificent.

        A great loss.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Clivejw May 11, 2016 / 10:41 pm

    Temporarily suspended hostilities with Selvey because of his genuinely good piece on the passing of Tony Cozier. Though in my second comment, I couldn’t resist a similar dig to simonk’s on the importance of the independence of cricket journalists from cricket boards.

    Liked by 1 person

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