England vs. Sri Lanka, 3rd Test – The Wrap

In the end the predicted rain reared it’s head and ensured that there would be no meaningful play on the 5th day, thus ruining the ECB’s desperate sales pitch that all FOUR results were possible today, so come and spend some money please. Whether England could have bowled Sri Lanka out on this pitch or whether Sri Lanka could’ve mustered an unlikely run chase for the victory became a moot point and in my opinion the draw was always the favourite to win out. As I’ve been out at a client event for most of the day and am currently writing this having just got home, it was a little bit of a relief that I don’t have to hunt about to try and watch the highlights this evening to write something a little more substantial about the day’s play itself.

As for the series itself, I’m not sure we learnt anything that we didn’t know before the first ball was bowled. Sri Lanka, like many subcontinent team aren’t great against the moving ball in May, Anderson & Broad continue to perform excellently when presented with these type of conditions and we still don’t have a convincing answer to the number 3 & 5 positions in our batting line up, nor do we have a convincing spinner. Also it also pays for every England player to make sure you’re firmly in the ‘inside cricket’ camp otherwise Newman, Pringle or Selvey will be set loose to attack both you as a professional cricketer and as an individual. That seems depressingly familiar, right? Oh and definitely don’t write a blog that might challenge the combined pearls of wisdom that our traditional press regally hands down to us from upon high, after all we’re the worst of them all, the bilious inadequates. Ca plus change….

On the plus notes from the series, you could clearly argue that Hales has had a decent series and improved enormously from his travails in South Africa when he looked anything but an international batsman. He still isn’t totally convincing as I mentioned last night, but there does seem to be something to work with as we continue to search for a foil for Cook. Woakes also had an encouraging series both with bat and ball and was England’s most potent looking bowler when the pitches at Durham and Lords flattened out. I wrote in my 2nd Test preview that I felt it was now or never for Woakes to show that he can perform at International level and all in all, he did not let himself down. Whether he can become a potent opening bowler for England is still very much open to debate, but he showed glimpses that he can be a reliable first change; Steven Finn will be under the most pressure when Stokes is fit to take his place in this line up.

The final praise must go to Bairstow the batsman (his wicket keeping has been discussed plenty, and despite taking a record number of catches behind the stumps this series, a major rick never seems too far away). Bairstow has been one of the few players to take his county form, where he blew away most county attacks this season and last, into the Test arena and scored the big runs that England have so desperately needed him too. I shudder to think what might have happened had Bairstow not been in the form of his life (coupled with the complete ineptitude of the umpires on show, Aleem Dar excepted) and genuinely feel that we could have been reporting on a completely different series otherwise. Bairstow has without doubt benefited from the positive approach of Bayliss and Farbrace and seems to back his own ability rather than the slightly unsure, technically deficient player that we saw under Flower and Moores. If the England camp does decide to take the gloves off Bairstow (and I’m torn by both arguments), then I hope they continue to give him the olive treatment, as he seems a player that benefits from an arm around the shoulder and a few words of praise in his ear.

As for the white ball part of Andrew Strauss’ SUPER Series (nope still not excited), the 50 over team was pretty much as expected bearing in mind current injuries; however it was heartening to see a couple of new names in the 20 over format. Malan has deserved his call up through sheer weight of runs over the past couple of years and has found some consistency to go alongside the natural talent that he undoubtedly has; whereas Mills is something we haven’t had for a long time, a bowler who can run up and bowl seriously quickly. I really felt for Tymal Mills when I heard that he had been forced to give up most forms of the game due to a congenital back condition, as he seemed like a bowler that had been earmarked for the National team; however he has got on with things and worked on his T20 skills (which were a weaker part of his game) and has genuinely looked like a really threatening bowler in the T20 Blast this season. I hope both go well, if they get the chance.

LCL and TLG will soon be back from their respective jaunts across the other side of the world, so with them back in the saddle, I’m sure it will be business as normal for the blog…..


66 thoughts on “England vs. Sri Lanka, 3rd Test – The Wrap

  1. Mark Jun 13, 2016 / 8:40 pm

    So England complete a 2-0 series win. Or rather a 10-2 win under Staruss’s dog’s breakfast point system. Strauss has now completely screwed up the one dayers. What should be a new competition with new players, and a new captain has now been rendered not fit for purpose by this fuckwit scheme. Who wants to start watching a new contest that already has a 10-2 score line?

    I guess it allows Cook to be able to take credit for the ODIs as well.

    As for the test match at least Lords got their 5 days in. More than the poor sods up north.


  2. escort Jun 13, 2016 / 9:15 pm

    Is Bairstows keeping as bad as the media suggest? I caught part of the journalist chat on TMS today and they were implying that England had no chance in India this winter if Bairstow continues. Is he really that bad? I don’t have any stats on missed opportunities but to listen to that shower today you would think he was keeping with oven gloves on.
    Your coverage of this series has been really good Sean. Thanks for stepping in to cover for the holiday makers.


    • hatmallet Jun 13, 2016 / 9:21 pm

      I think he’s averaging more than 1 miss a game. May be wrong.


      • Sean B Jun 13, 2016 / 9:37 pm

        For me and this is just a viewers observation (Chris would be able to give a more in depth analysis), it seems his trigger movements as a keeper often puts him in an awkward position to take catches. It’s not that he can’t catch, it’s more the fact he’s off balance sometimes when the ball comes to him, often why the ball bounces off his gloves off the quicks.

        Can he improve, yes of course he can, I wouldn’t classify Srewart, Prior or Buttler as natural keepers, but I do feel they had more to work with in terms of keeping talent. Of course, with the latter two, their batting averages went down as their keeping improved. It’s a difficult balance…

        Liked by 1 person

    • northernlight71 Jun 13, 2016 / 10:08 pm

      Selvey really doesn’t like his keeping. But I feel our Mike is starting to find that his opinion is less and less often reflected in the corridors of power. Perhaps that long-overdue retirement might just hove into view before Saint Alistair’s after all?


    • Benny Jun 13, 2016 / 11:18 pm

      It does refresh the debate about how important or not England believe keeper’s catches and stumpings to be or, bluntly, what’s more important – taking wickets or scoring runs? As one who has frustratedly watched England ignore the exceptional skills of Read and Foster for many years, I know which camp I’m in. Picking a batsman who keeps a bit has long been about making up for the shortcomings of the top six. I don’t see that changing for some time.


  3. BoredInAustria Jun 13, 2016 / 9:37 pm

    I watched a report on German television regarding the new goal line technology used in the EM football tournament. A small technology provider is busy bringing a court case against the current provider in Germany based on monopoly regulations – the first time I heard the technology Hawkeye in relation to Sony…https://www.sony.de/pro/products/solutions-hawk-eye

    I will try and find more in the German media, but a quick search on Sony and cricket brought this:

    Sony Entertainment initially bought the rights to broadcast the IPL for over one billion US Dollars, in a deal that was contracted for 10 years. http://www.alloutcricket.com/cricket/blogs/money-and-cricket-what-the-ecb-could-learn-from-iplt20#o6Q4yWSMlzwXk67k.99


    Glenn Delve, former Managing Director and now a consultant to Rose Bowl Plc, explained why the agreement is helping Hampshire to bring a new entertainment experience to its fans: “Our vision for The Rose Bowl was for it to become the first ‘Model’ Test Match ground and an entertainment venue that has the potential to truly revolutionise the way supporters engage with the game. With Sony Professional we are developing new and innovative ways to entertain, inspire and inform our fans and visitors, setting new standards for customer experience throughout the venue.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • SimonH Jun 14, 2016 / 8:51 am

      Another football story with some implications for cricket:


      Leaving aside his self-serving nonsense that only the other governing body did this, it seems highly plausible (and helps explain why football hasn’t updated this ridiculous method of running its draws).

      Although perhaps they could simply get up and say – “yeah, we’ve been rigging draws for years to make more money, so what?” and everyone just shrugs their shoulders. It worked for Dave Richardson.


      • nonoxcol Jun 14, 2016 / 9:53 am

        Ahead of his time, as ever:


      • Mark Jun 14, 2016 / 10:40 am

        I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that almost all governing bodies are corrupt. Almost daily what was once regarded as crazy conspiracy theory is becoming conspiracy fact. I would not be surprised by almost anything these days. Sleazy deals, match rigging, drug use. Sweet heart deals with certain media figures. The list goes on and on.

        Makes you wonder sometimes why we waste our time with it. I could draw up a list of matches that were supposedly drawn out of the hat, but we’re very suspicious. Can’t name them for legal reasons. But this just confirms my view.


  4. Benny Jun 13, 2016 / 11:22 pm

    Just to praise Sean for his fine work standing in. He has not only maintained the standards of writing we are familiar with but also the bilious style we all enjoy.


    • Mark Jun 13, 2016 / 11:34 pm

      I second that!

      Sean has done a great job as night watchman standing in for the top order. And then gone on to make a great score the following day. Well done Sean!


      • LordCanisLupus Jun 13, 2016 / 11:43 pm

        Dmitri here. In the Lounge at Philly, awaiting my flight home. I love the USA but it’s madness can get to you. No more than the last 48 hours.

        Sean has been amazing. He’s kept the blog going. More than that he’s provided another tone to the debate on here. I am so grateful for his efforts and support. I’m back soon. I feel I might not be needed.


      • Zephirine Jun 14, 2016 / 2:27 pm

        “I feel I might not be needed.” Snort.

        Many thanks to Sean, good match reports those.


  5. pktroll (@pktroll) Jun 14, 2016 / 9:00 am

    The travails of the top order have been superbly dealt with here and few other places else and have kept discussions going. I feel for Compton I really do and he’s been treated abominably by the ‘not so hidden hand’. However there can’t be any way back for him now and I guess another re-jig is needed ahead of the arrival of a potentially tasty Pakistan bowling line-up.

    As well as this the seemingly anointed Vince has hardly shown signs of adjusting and his technique is likely to be put in the spotlight too. Even if England wins the series and continues to struggle with the bat you can’t help thinking that the chickens will come home to roost sooner rather than later.


    • Rooto Jun 14, 2016 / 5:24 pm

      Today’s Spin email about Compton is really nauseating. Now the poor bugger is supposed to be grateful for being brought back during a run of poor form. For being put up there to be shot at by Newman (who had a good old parting shop on the radio yesterday) and others.
      He was caught up in a perfect storm of selection, form and media criticism, and when it’s over he’s got nothing to complain about? Blatant point-missing from the MSM’s Andy Bull.

      Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol Jun 14, 2016 / 8:56 pm

        I see you resisted the temptation to crash DelbertGrady and LastWarriorPoet’s regular party with such seditious remarks. (Do they ever miss a thread?)

        Not sure why NorthernLight keeps bothering to be honest. It really does come across as a head v brick wall exercise posting any remotely dissenting view there now. Still, we had a good run for a few years.


      • northernlight71 Jun 14, 2016 / 9:28 pm

        I cannot abide such ignorance as theirs being flaunted as if it were truth.
        I know I am but a straw in the wind, but I just have to try and prick the bubble every so often.
        When I get anything approaching a life back again, I may slowly find I can no longer be bothered.


      • nonoxcol Jun 14, 2016 / 9:47 pm

        It’s not just ignorance though, it’s their relentless determination to treat dissenters like they’re wayward children at best, or the freaks of Bedlam at worst.

        I really can’t be arsed with it.


  6. quebecer Jun 15, 2016 / 2:37 am

    Well, the idea that we haven’t really learned much in this series is something one can debate. Firstly, regarding Hales, there’s a bit of glass half full/half empty thing. We’ve seen his improvement but we’re he hasn’t quite arrived… OK, yes, a bit half empty. Half full would assess his talent as he’s shown in other formats and over the last couple of years in the CC and say, Lordy, this could be good when he hits his stride properly. This is half-Hales we’re seeing. The ceiling on this lad is an awful lot higher, and he’s putting in the hard yards right now needed to get there. Let’s remember where he’s at – he’s not done yet.

    A wishful half-full? Ok, yes, a bit. Guilty. Still, there’s evidence to help with it.

    Woakes? Another who has worked very hard to hone his talent, and while I don’t think one can think of his as taking over form Jimmy, surely a better comparison is with Bres.

    Bairstow has always been a good batsman, and along with Taylor, the players of their generation. As they were coming through I often wondered whether Bairstow wasn’t the better player, and i’m very impressed with the fine tuning and simplification of his technique. Playing later, yes, but stiller at the crease, and therefore more consistent in his movement. He’s a luxury at #7 and in that respect, I hope we can keep him there. Johnny at #7?? That would be brilliant if we can swing it, but I don’t think we can. I don’t see Vince sticking (though would love to be proven wrong), and there really isn’t another option making a strong enough case for #5.

    Selvey wrote a good piece about Finn, talking about how there were quite a few moving parts in his action, and time away with injury and the refunding of rhythm is clearly something to expect. Interestingly, the same could be said of KP after his time out with injury. There’s just a lot going on there, and a lot needs to click properly for it all to work properly.

    So, I say Robson up top, Hales at 3, Graeme Thorpe at 5, Johnny B at 6, and a serious look at Ben Foakes for the gloves.


    • quebecer Jun 15, 2016 / 2:40 am

      OK, this autocorrect non editing nonsense has to stop.

      Shall try harder.


    • Rooto Jun 15, 2016 / 4:34 am

      After yesterday’s run-a-ball hundred against Bresnan, Willey, Plunkett and Rashid, I’m beginning to give time of day to the idea of using Northants’ very own Ben Duckett sooner rather than later. Northants would be even more screwed without him, but he is in form and learning fast.


      • quebecer Jun 16, 2016 / 1:05 am

        I deliberately didn’t mention Duckett because, well, I knew you’d see, and I didn’t want to get you going too much,but I’m seriously in to that lad. I think he’s quite something.


    • "IronBalls" McGinty Jun 15, 2016 / 8:43 am

      A piece of soft journalism, but the theme is absolutely true, and in essence, what we on this blog have been saying for years. In pursuit of filthy lucre the ECB have thrown the baby, bathwater, and the bloody bath, straight out the window!!


      • nonoxcol Jun 15, 2016 / 9:06 am

        “I’ve got Sky, I’m all right Jack, the kids don’t watch TV, they only watch their smartphone screens” etc etc….


      • nonoxcol Jun 15, 2016 / 9:08 am

        And……. BOOM! He’s away!!!


      • nonoxcol Jun 15, 2016 / 9:08 am



      • nonoxcol Jun 15, 2016 / 9:09 am

        Second BOOM!!! should be this one…


      • nonoxcol Jun 15, 2016 / 9:18 am

        Not even close…


      • nonoxcol Jun 15, 2016 / 9:19 am

        I love everything about this one, even though I didn’t call it beforehand…


      • nonoxcol Jun 15, 2016 / 9:28 am

        Someone else who was on my list of names replies to Tregaskis here:


      • Mark Jun 15, 2016 / 9:44 am

        My God Selvey really has gone to the dark side. He can’t take his long pointed nose out of the Cricket establishments smelly backside. If ever you wanted an example of corporate capture of the media that exchange with Selvey is exhibit 1.

        Selvey is a disgrace to the profession of journalism. The sport is dying, closed off to the public, and a cricket journalist who lives off the game like a parasite lives off shit would rather defend the status quo.

        I would love to see his expense account for the last 5 years, and all the cricket he has watched for free, all the free hospitality he has enjoyed. Glasses of wine, free dinners, which of course won’t be listed on his expense account because he won’t have to claim them back from his employers. Mind you, that begs another question. Who is Selveys employers? The Guardian or The ECB? He comes across as a modern version of “Let them eat cake.

        As a journalist he is nothing more than a fraud. He pretends to cover the game while in fact covering the backside of the people who are looting the game for their own greed. Notice too how he keeps referring in a pompus way to the the age of the professor “A 69 year old. ” How old is Selvey! He’s not exactly a hippidy hoppidy down with the kids kind of guy is he? The Guardian should be ashamed to employ such a self satisfied, lazy, complacent pratt as its cricket writer.

        Liked by 3 people

      • nonoxcol Jun 15, 2016 / 10:01 am


        Exactly – his instinct to defend the status quo is quite remarkably consistent. Of all the issues facing cricket, it is amazing what truly exercises him.


      • d'Arthez Jun 15, 2016 / 10:27 am

        To answer your (rhetorical) question, Mark: Selvey is 68 years old.


      • Mark Jun 15, 2016 / 12:05 pm

        It fascinates me how Selvey has become a staunch defender of removing all cricket from Free to air TV. Not just Test cricket but all cricket.,except channel 5 highlights which happens to employ his old chum Simon Hughes. This he approves of.

        Why do people like Selvey think the kids consume pay per view tv just because they are on their phones and tablets? I would love to know what % of Skys sports consumers (those paying the bills) are under 30? Of course when you are wined and dined and allowed in to watch cricket for free in luxurious modern media centres and flown arround the world at other’s expense these are trivial matters to the elites and their stooges.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Sean B Jun 15, 2016 / 12:43 pm

      Can hardly say i’m surprised. Selvey stopped caring about the good of the game many years ago, instead preferring to align himself to Giles Clarke and his cronies in the pursuit of a place at the top table.

      I kind of see Selvey as Comrade Napoleon from Animal Farm, ruthless rooting out those that he dare to question his power i.e. us bilious inadequates and someone that is so out of touch from the day to day realities, that he doesn’t know or care who can watch cricket.

      After all, he can watch as much cricket as he wants for free, will more than likely be pretty well paid and can probably claim his cozy lunches with ECB officials on expenses. It stinks like a ‘i’m ok, so stuff the rest of you’.

      As Mark pointed – this is most definitely a let them eat cake moment….


  7. SimonH Jun 15, 2016 / 8:16 am

    A few more examples of how much some past openers had to face great bowling attacks (defined as an attack with two bowlers averaging under 25 for over a hundred wickets – or 28 for spinners. I posted before that the figure for Cook was 5% of his career while for Gooch/Tres it was about 25% and for Atherton it was +50%):

    Graeme Smith 5% (6/117 against McGrath/Warne)
    Greenidge 7% (8/108 against Imran/Wasim/Waqar)
    Langer 11% (12/105 against Walsh/Ambrose/Bishop, Wasim/Waqar, Donald/Pollock)
    Gavaskar 12% (15/125 against Holding/Garner/ Marshall, Imran/Wasim)
    Gary Kirsten 19% (19/101 against McGrath/ Warne, Wasim/Waqar, Ambrose/Walsh)
    Hutton 29% (23/79 against Lindwall/Miller/Johnston/Davidson)

    Gavaskar was particularly unfortunate in the metric I was using – two bowlers he faced a considerable amount, Roberts and Willis, are less than one run over my cut-off point for great bowlers.

    If nothing else, the figures show how unbelievably tough Atherton (and presumably Alec Stewart) had it in their careers.

    Liked by 1 person

      • man in a barrel Jun 15, 2016 / 10:21 pm

        I need to think more. Hutton’s results against Lindwall, Miller and Johnston were probably around the 50 mark. But then again a new ball after 200 runs or a very low number of overs(was it 70?) probably evened things up.


    • d'Arthez Jun 16, 2016 / 7:05 am

      Hutton averaged 56.43 in the games in which all of Johnston, Miller and Lindwall were playing.

      28 innings, 5 not outs, 2 tons, 10 50s. That is quite substantial.

      Hobbs played his last Test in 1930, and started in 1908. So, some of the stats here may be skewed by uncovered pitches, and all that.

      Noble (average of exactly 25) and Grimmett are the only Aussie bowlers who have taken 100+ wickets, and had <25.00 averages that Hobbs faced. I suspect the issue may well be that to get 100 wickets, you had to play a lot of Ashes series. And your career would not have been cut short by illness, affliction or WW1. So if we relax the qualification to 50 wickets

      Ironmonger, Saunders (79/1796; bowled bowled medium pace and spin) and Whitty also come into the equation.

      Noble, Saunders and Whitty played exclusively before WW1. 4 against Noble and Saunders (302 at 43.14). 1 against Noble and Whitty (62 runs, at 62).

      Ironmonger and Grimmett in the 1920s and early 1930s. Hobbs played 2 Tests against the both of them. Averaging 33.33 from 3 innings. So, I make that 464 runs 11 innings, which is a healthy 42.18.

      That is seven Tests out of 61 in which Hobbs played against 2 Australian bowlers with sub-25 averages. Hobbs played 2 Tests against West Indies, 18 against South Africa, and 41 against Australia.

      Three South African bowlers have sub-28 averages (one <25, two other ones <28, and bowled both pace and legbreak googlies or offbreaks), while taking more than 50 wickets over their careers. Again, a cut-off of 50 wickets seems fair enough due to low number of Tests.

      Schwarz (20 Tests, 55/1417), Vogler (15 Tests, 64/1455), and Faulker (82/2180) are the qualifying players.

      Aubrey Faulkner (who is the only one who played past WW1), played all of 25 Tests in a career that would have spanned the best part of 2 decades; and even that is based on one Test appearance in 1924, which was 12 years after his previous one. All three South Africans played their first Test in 1906.

      Hobbs played 4 Tests against all 3 (435 runs at 62.14). Another one against Faulkner and Schwarz (in which he scored just 4 runs from 1 innings). Still Hobbs averaged 54.88 against South Africa with strong attacks. Oh, and before anyone thinks South Africa were ridiculously weak: they won three matches in 1910 against England sides containing Hobbs, and won the series 3-2. So they were not THAT weak.

      So, that is 7 Tests against Australia and another 5 against South Africa. So that is 12 Tests against what can be termed a world class bowling attacks.

      464+439 from 11+8 = 903 runs from 19 completed innings at an average of 47.53 is not too bad for Hobbs, especially considering that most of those innings were played before WW1.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Jun 16, 2016 / 8:12 am

        Thanks D. It was a combination of the unsuitabllity of the minimum wicket threshold and the length of Hobbs’ career that had stopped me including him. Ferriday & Wilson have proved that pre WW1 Tests had a significantly lower runs/wickets ratio so comparisons aren’t particularly fair.

        By the way, I’ve never metioned it but Cook’s record in the two series he’s played against great attacks is: 8 matches, 16 innings, 475 runs, 29.69 average.

        I’ll put together some stats on records against ‘very good’ attacks in due course.

        Liked by 1 person

      • man in a barrel Jun 17, 2016 / 6:16 pm

        Thanks for the very detailed research. Given the time span over which Hobbs played; the many different conditions (timeless matches in Australia, mainly 3 day Tests in England on uncovered wickets; the fact that Australian bowlers tended to have short careers (his geographical location plus WW1 meant that Ted McDonald was 29 by the time he made his debut for example, late for a quickie, and he could only fit in 11 matches); it seems to me that Hobbs’s figures stand up very well. Considering the damage that Gregory and McDonal did to England in 1921, admittedly when Hobbs was nearly dying of appendicitis, it is astonishing to think he would have faced them so infrequently and that they have such comparatively poor figures. Cook and co burned through 15 Ashes Tests in 3 years; more than McDonald was able to play in his career.

        The results for Hutton, given the new ball regs in force at the time, are quite astonishing.


  8. d'Arthez Jun 15, 2016 / 9:33 am

    Meanwhile Zimbabwe have imploded from 104/3 to 104/7 in the space of 4 balls in the last ODI of the series against India. A the 37 over mark they have reached the dizzy heights of 110/9.

    But surely Zimbabwe must be a better ODI side than Ireland or Afghanistan? No?

    If they’re not, they get less money for their efforts? No?

    At least they will have to qualify for the qualifiers for the various ICC tournaments? Please let there be a meritocratic answer somewhere down the line …


    • d'Arthez Jun 15, 2016 / 2:40 pm

      India have won by 10 wickets. So Zimbabwe average 14.37 / wicket in this series. India average 428/3 = 142.66 per wicket. That is probably the most pathetic ODI series result ever for a home team.

      Yet Zimbabwe get to play 3 ODIs per year against India (more or less; this was the third time in the last four years that India toured Zimbabwe for an ODI series; India won all 11 games), while a team liike Hong Kong is still waiting to play its first ODI against a Full Member outside of an Asia Cup …

      It seems that the Hong Kong cricket association would know better how to spend the money they could earn from a series against India, compared to ZC. After all, out of the millions ZC got for its appearance in the World Cup, they could apparently not afford to pay Brendan Taylor more than $250 for the entire tournament …


  9. "IronBalls" McGinty Jun 17, 2016 / 5:45 pm

    In other news….dodgy bank all set to sponsor England cricket with dodgy board…all getting very cosy!


    • hatmallet Jun 18, 2016 / 5:03 pm

      It would be Natwest on the shirts – Natwest already sponsor the T20 Blast and Cricket Force, and have sponsored various home series over the years. So not a new relationship, and at least it’s a highstreet brand as opposed to the likes of Investec and Royal London.


    • SimonH Jun 20, 2016 / 11:25 am

      Typical of the ICC – it looks like they’ve finally grasped the concept of meritocracy, then –

      Nepal are three or four places below deserving the 13th spot on merit – but they get large crowds (10,000 watched their match against Namibia) and offer potentially juicy TV deals.

      It’s likely to be just a warm-up act for how quickly they fast-track the USA into cricket’s top tier….


      • Zephirine Jun 20, 2016 / 11:52 am

        Still, the ODI league sounds like a good idea to me.


      • d'Arthez Jun 20, 2016 / 12:20 pm

        Government interference is not bad when it is happening in South Africa, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe or Pakistan. Countless cases have been reported through the years from these nations.

        From player selection issues, board appointments running through presidents, political interference and allegedly money from a board being stolen to fund an election campaign. All these are perfectly okay according to the ICC.

        So what was the issue in Nepal again?


      • SimonH Jun 20, 2016 / 12:45 pm

        Zeph – yes, the central idea seems good. Pity about that bit of blatant gerry-mandering, though.

        D – I’m not quite sure what point you’re making. I noticed though that nobody who cried “fix” when Pakistan lost that ODI to England has been crying “fix” about India losing that T20 to India. Not that it’s at all suspicious when India had thrashed Zimbabwe in every other game, that a whitewash of Zimbabwe would make their FM status look even more ridiculous than it currently is and that Zimbabwe always use their FM vote to support the BCCI on the ICC.


    • d'Arthez Jun 20, 2016 / 1:09 pm

      My point was simply that the ICC, transparency, integrity and applying the rules to everyone equally is simply not happening.

      Depending on the issue it is either, one set of rules for the Full Members, and another set of rules for the Associates (such as here with the political interference clause. The PCB President gets appointed by a politician for instance; if you ever wondered why the PCB office is a revolving door at times, check election dates in Pakistan). And anyone who follows SLC knows how much political interference is happening there).

      And this was also acceptable: http://www.espncricinfo.com/zimbabwe/content/story/724593.html, as just one of the slew of examples in which political wheelings and dealings are likely to have been involved.

      Has any of this led to suspensions or serious considerations of suspending the naughty Full Member boards? Of course not.

      So, sorry if I have my doubts about non-hypocritical / money-obsessed reasons existing for this decision with regards to Nepali cricket.


  10. Sean B Jun 18, 2016 / 11:18 pm

    I might not be in Eastbourne for a change next weekend. Anyone fancy Surrey vs. Essex next weekend?


  11. Mark Jun 19, 2016 / 10:48 am


    Anyone else getting sick of listening to this bloke? He seems to love appearing in the media pontificating about his methods. Notice however he uses the modern coach speak of “we” and not “I”

    ‘We agonised first of all about the captaincy and that decision was made,’ said the former Sussex coach. ‘Then we felt we needed this summer to blood some younger players to allow them to grow. So we told Lotts we didn’t want to play her this summer because she would have filled her boots but we wouldn’t have learned ”

    “We agonised, “…….”We felt”………”We told Lotts”. (how patronising)……. “We learned.” Sorry…… who are these “we” people? I thought you were the coach. I have no idea if he will be a success or not, but if it goes badly I expect him to take no blame for the mess. If I was an England player he wouldn’t motivate me to get out of bed to play for England. He comes across as the kind of guru coach of management self help books that is so fashionable.

    Can’t help also thinking that Newman likes to run this stuff because there is a whiff of the removal of KP. A successful player who’s batting was still good enough, but had to be moved on because of age and injury. Edwards of course was not a controversial figure like KP, but even so there are similarities. Newman lets the coach off as usual with a nice easy puff piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine Jun 19, 2016 / 12:02 pm

      “You’ve got someone like Lottie you have a genuine affection for and she wants to stay and doesn’t understand. That’s what made it so hard. I had to try to explain what in her eyes was the unexplainable.”

      She didn’t understand. In her eyes it was unexplainable. Or of course she might know more about women’s cricket and the England women’s team than you do.

      Look at the body language in that top photo in the Mail. Tells you all you need to know.

      Oh, and by the way, why did Lydia Greenway also quit?

      And why has Sarah Taylor, one of the best women players on the planet, got such serious anxiety issues that she’s had to take a ‘break’ (of indeterminate length) from the game? What help was she getting from the coaching staff?

      The ECB doesn’t really do duty of care, does it? It does ‘You’re making lots of money now, so we’ll just flog you into the ground and then ditch you if you look like causing a problem.’

      Liked by 3 people

      • Mark Jun 19, 2016 / 12:32 pm

        I’m glad you were not the only one who saw that photo as odd to say the least.


      • Zephirine Jun 19, 2016 / 2:04 pm

        I know it’s only a single frame out of context – but as a female, that photo creeps me out more than old Gayle and his crummy chat-up lines.


      • Clivejw Jun 19, 2016 / 7:50 pm

        I’m a Sussex fan, so I have a great deal of respect for what Robbo did for the club (though last year, I frankly thought he was letting things slide a bit, perhaps demob happy?). But I can’t help noticing the different way he seems to speak about women cricketers and the way he used to speak about the men (I mean publicly, of course) when he was in charge at Hove. Maybe you’re given some kind of special Wanker powers when you work for the ECB. I remember Gilo, a perfectly decent and level-headed cricketer, suddenly coming out with crap about “stakeholders” when they made him ODI coach.


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