Who Are You and What Do You Think?

Ah. The last refuge of a blogger who has run out of things to say? To get you lot to do some work?

Maybe, but I thought now might be as good a time as any. I’ve not had a panel like last year’s Ashes (maybe do one for the India tour?) but I have, in the past, put a little questionnaire to allow newbies to introduce themselves, those shy ones to say something about themselves, and those old and grumpy members of this parish to tell people the reason for their angst. So here goes. It might work, it probably won’t. Answer in the comments and be polite, people…

1. Name (posting name will do)

2. Favourite England cricketer past (pre-2000) and present (post-2000). If you are too young to remember pre-2000, I’m jealous.

3. Favourite overseas player past and present. List a few if you find it tough.

4. Rank order these batsmen in Test Cricket – Steve Smith, Joe Root, Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, AB DeVilliers.

5. England’s top six for India, assuming they are all fit?

6. Do you think the loss this year of Brenkley and the imminent demise of Selvey signal the decline of the game in the public eye, or a much needed desire for new writing?

7. Your views on 2 division test cricket? A panacea or a placebo? Or a disaster.

8. What would you like to see more of on this blog? Do you think it is too negative? Do you think it has played it too safe this year?

9. Who should we watch for in international cricket (not England) who may be flying under the radar? If anyone?

10. The biggest villain in English Cricket is….. and Why? (up to 3, but 1 must be put forward. I’ll write a piece on the winner).

VOLUNTARY QUESTION…..

Complete this sentence… When Carlos Brathwaite hit that last six in the World T20, I………..

Thanks for participating, if you do, and thanks for the ongoing support for the blog. I say it many times because I still get immense satisfaction in seeing a decent audience on here most days.

There will be the usual end of season poll too, and the Dmitris, but this is a bit of “fun”. Go on, do something!

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37 thoughts on “Who Are You and What Do You Think?

  1. man in a barrel July 25, 2016 / 11:31 pm

    In my time, Illingworth ‘s Ashes winning team of 1970 – 71, who also beat the WIndies in 1969 would cream this bunch. Underwood v, . Moeen. Boycott v Cook. Illy v Cook. Knott v Bairstow. Snow v Anderson. D’ Oliveira v Root. Edrich v Vince. I am laughing. And this side against the Aussies in 75 or WIndies in 76. Hysterical.

    Like

    • sidesplittin July 26, 2016 / 9:57 am

      Dolly a better batsman than Root ? Snowy a better bowler than Anderson ? (Twice the test wickets over a 13 year period). Knott clearly a far superior gloveman to Bairstow, but a lesser batsman. The rest I’d give you.

      Like

      • SimonH July 26, 2016 / 10:17 am

        I’ll give you Root over Dolly (it’s a strange comparison as they don’t have the same role in the team – but the weakness of the Illy team was that, once Cowdrey went into decline, it didn’t have a class middle order batsman).

        Snow over Anderson? Well, he averages two runs per wicket fewer. Whatever the case, “twice the wickets over a thirteen year period” is meaningless in discussing their merits. Snow averaged less than five Tests a year in his eleven year career. Some of that was the team just played less, some of it was the distrust of Snow from the authorities, some of it was the convention of the era that you didn’t always take your strongest team on tour.

        None of that reflects Snow’s merits as a player. I’m not even going to raise the issue of the quality of players in the different eras which will always be a subjective judgment. There are objective reasons why no bowler of Snow’s era could take as many wickets as a modern England player.

        Like

        • sidesplittin July 26, 2016 / 11:20 am

          I guess my point about Anderson was really his longevity as a quickie. It was vs India in 2007 that he became a regular pick. From his debut in ’03 he only played 16 tests in the intervening four years.

          Since 2007 he’s played 101 test matches, which I think says something for his durability in that period.

          I think he could get his average down to the mid-20’s by the time he finishes. My real fear though (for the 2017/18 Ashes) is how many 35 year old touring fast bowlers, other than Hadlee, have ever prospered in Australia ?

          Like

      • Mark July 26, 2016 / 10:44 am

        I would love to see this England team play against the WI team of the 1970s or the Pakistan team of the early 90s or the Australiian team of the late 90s. They couldn’t even beat the current WI team.

        They would be revealed as the over rated players they are. In particlar Cook. remember Cook ( according to Mark Nicholas) thinks today’s cricket is the best it has ever been. The man is deluded. So are the sheeple they fawn all over him..

        Like

      • SimonH July 26, 2016 / 11:50 am

        Firstly, I wouldn’t class Anderson as an out-and-out quick bowler which Snow was at the peak of his career. Secondly, past players had to play large amounts of cricket outside the international arena. Snow bowled 61k deliveries in f/c cricket, Anderson is on 40k. (Anderson has bowled more in one-dayers of course but it doesn’t make up the difference). Thirdly, past players didn’t have modern medical support. No scans, red zones etc.

        I’m not saying the difference between them is a huge one and there are some conditions where Anderson would be the bowler I’d prefer if I was captain. If lateral movement was key I’d prefer Anderson, if bounce was key I’d prefer Snow.

        Like

      • Escort July 26, 2016 / 8:44 pm

        I think you might be underestimating Knotts batting here.

        Like

  2. alecpaton July 26, 2016 / 6:47 am

    Favourite England cricketers- Alec Stewart & Ben Stokes

    Favourite overseas cricketers- Imran Khan & Steve Smith

    Test cricket batsmen: De Villiers, Root/Smith, Williamson, Kohli

    Top 6 for India: Cook, Hales, Root, Bairstow, Ballance, Buttler/Woakes

    Brenkley/Selvey: Sad for cricket coverage in principle but neither ever really understood how to report on the politics of the sport (look at their reactions or lack thereof to DOAG). They were fine writers about the game but not everything that surrounded it. This isn’t even a matter of their age: They are each of a similar generation to Gideon Haigh, who writes brilliantly on the wider sporting culture (you can find his excellent article on the Olympics on the Guardian website).

    2 division test cricket: A necessary and worthwhile experiment. It may work, it may be rubbish but surely it’s time to accept the centre won’t hold.

    I would like to see more- glamour shots of Ben Stokes (feel free to ignore this suggestion, my wife thinks I’m crazy and she’s probably right).

    Not sure who we should be looking at in cricket right now, although Joe Burns looks like the kind of opening batsman who will spend his career torturing English bowlers and fans alike, especially in English conditions.

    The biggest villain in English cricket is still Giles Clarke. Just as Amir will have Lord’s 2010 following him for the rest of his career, Clarke deserves to have the name Allan Stanford brought up in every interview and article until the end of time. It was a decision that bore such breath-taking calamity for the wider game that it should have seen him hounded from sporting governance.

    When Carlos Brathwaite hit that last 6 in the World T20, I was sat on a train travelling through the home counties trying desperately to get signal so I could actually find out what was happening.

    Like

  3. Tom July 26, 2016 / 7:04 am

    Not a regular commenter here, but an avid cricket fan although live in a place where it’s tough to watch any live cricket, so not going to attempt to answer all the questions. But thought this would be fun!

    1) Tom, or I may have also used TomK in the past

    2) Pre-2000: I have three, hope you don’t mind. i) Ian Botham (most exciting and talented English player in decades), ii) David Gower (most elegant batsmen I ever saw) and Sir Geoffrey. Yes, he wasn’t entertaining, but he was as good as he said he was.

    Post 2000: Again, can’t name just one. Kevin Pietersen, Darren Gough (he’s also pre-2000 of course), Freddie, Joe Root. I’d add Nasser Hussein as well given how he changed England from the worst test team in the world to a team that could beat anyone. I also ran him out once, so have always followed his career! 😉

    3) Viv Richards, Dennis Lillee, Shane Warne, Courtney Walsh (that last one might surprise people!). Brendon McCullum also comes to mind.

    4) On current form, and with my limited ability to follow all cricket, Root, Kohli, Smith, De Villiers Williamson. Have to be honest and say I’m unsure about the last three rankings, but have to write something…

    5) Not in order: Cook, Root, Bairstow, Stokes. We’re missing one opener and a number 3/4. I don’t know who they should be.

    6) Difficult for me to answer, but I think it’s time a younger generation took over. Dobell is good and I enjoy Hussein’s articles. Anything that takes cricket journalism away from the establishment is a good thing in my opinion.

    7) I really don’t know, but I’m not convinced two division test cricket would help the West Indies for instance.

    8) I still read it, so you’re doing something right!

    9) Too hard for me.

    10) It you’d asked me that two years ago, I would have had an answer. I don’t have one right now other than the selectors seem to be doing a very strange job at the moment.

    Like

    • Tom July 26, 2016 / 9:22 am

      I forgot about the voluntary question. My answer is:

      …was asleep.

      😉

      Like

  4. volkerelle July 26, 2016 / 8:03 am

    1. Volker, lurking around here quite a bit, commenting very little.

    2. Gower in a Tiger moth with proper 1980s soundtrack. The 2005 crew, mainly the bowlers, thought Thorpe should have been retained for the Ashes – just shows what I know.

    3. Malcolm Marshall, Wasim Akram, Viv Richards, Martin Crowe, Richard Hadlee, Steve and Mark Waugh

    4. DeVilliers, Williamson, Root, Kohli, Smith.

    5. The usual suspects, the usual problems – so still the problem with the opening pair and a glaring problem in the middle order.

    6. Neither, sadly they seem to be signs of the slow and ongoing demise of quality newspapers, most probably ruined by multiple midlevel management restructurings, unprincipled journalism and an inability to cope with changing times.

    7. Relegation and promotion, no holds barred, all the way up and down the international leagues. The point of elite sport is having to prove yourself every time you step onto the park. For test cricket as for any other form: qualification tournaments for all, no exceptions. We have to do away with the entitlement stuff, teams have to earn the right to call themselves the best.

    8. The blog is fine as it is. It holds a special place. It will evolve.

    9. Associate and affiliate cricket.

    10. Probably Clarke, but who knows. Mainly, it seems to be a mentality that has undermined English cricket for decades and shows no signs of abating.

    When Carlos Brathwaite hit that last six in the World T20, I was at my computer, translating away, believing cricinfo had hit a bug.

    Like

  5. Ed July 26, 2016 / 8:30 am

    Hi All, Long time lurker, first time poster 🙂

    1: Ed

    2: Robin Smith/Jack Russell
    Paul Collingwood/Marcus Trescothick

    3: Ponting, Murali, Warne, and finally Shane Watson because I do love to watch him review a plumb LBW shout, always a triumph of hope over reality!

    4: Joe Root, AB de Villiers, Kohli, Smith, Williamson

    5: Cook, AN Other, possibly Sam Robson (I don’t get to follow enough County cricket to know who else might be good but Hales doesn’t seem to be up to the job), Jonathan Trott (if fit I think he’d have a couple of years left) Joe Root, Bairstow, Stokes

    6: I think a bit of both, of the new writers George Dobell and Jarrod Kimber stand out.

    7: Tricky, It would certainly help the associate nations, giving them much more of a chance to progress, but I can also see teams like the Windies disappearing from tests altogether.

    8: I keep coming back 🙂

    9: I’m afraid I don’t see enough to know

    10: Sky, villain because I hardly ever get to see any cricket these days, although their money has certainly helped I don’t see it at my level – friendly Sunday afternoon pub cricket – we just see municipal pitches getting worse and not enough players coming through to keep teams going.

    Like

  6. Ed July 26, 2016 / 8:58 am

    Bugger, forgot the tie break!

    When Carlos Braithwaite hit that last 6 in the World T20, I was in the kitchen, listening on the radio and pacing backwards and forwards having gone from despair at the halfway mark to a feeling that we’d go the game won. Turned out I should have stuck with despair…

    Like

  7. nonoxcol July 26, 2016 / 9:06 am

    I love these.

    1. NonOxCol, which is an abbreviation of NonOxbridgeColumnist, i.e. my Guardian username since 2010. I posted here and on HDWLIA using my real name before registering on WordPress.

    2. Pre-2000: Ian Botham, then David Gower. Post-2000: dead heat between Pietersen and Flintoff. The best player straddling both eras is – obviously – Graham Thorpe. Enormous fondness for Robin Smith (pre) and Marcus Trescothick (post) also.

    3. Past: Viv Richards, Brian Lara, Shane Warne, in that order. Present (just about): Dale “5 Tests in England, cheers Giles” Steyn, then good old daylight.

    4. DeVilliers, Root, Williamson, Smith, Kohli. Not sure I’d choose that order if I was BTL on Cricinfo 🙂

    5. Cook, Hales/Robson (subject to Hales’s performance in the next two Tests), Root, Ballance, Bairstow, Stokes

    6. I’d like to think it was both, but I’m not sure if the Guardian or Independent are suddenly going to hire a Tim Wigmore or Gideon Haigh to put things right, are they*? So I would plump for the former. Also, I think someone who has been cricket correspondent for 31 years doesn’t just vanish into the ether, and the Guardian will continue to reflect his character and outlook for a while yet. More’s the pity, because the lack of self-awareness and curiosity, and total inability to perceive why a load of perfectly friendly and reasonable long-term cricket fans remained so vociferously frustrated for four or five years, remains absolutely shocking.

    7. I would much rather see a “Big 8” league for a 4/5 year cycle first, with any subsequent split based strictly on results therein. To be honest I would like to have seen that league in place c.2007/08, when it became obvious that T20 would undermine the primacy of Test cricket, and it may well be far too late to add meaning and appeal to Test cricket now. Can’t really see the discrepancy in standards getting anything but wider, two divisions or not.

    8. I don’t think it’s too negative. Broadly speaking, people come here to avoid cheerleading, whitewashing, hagiography and shallow analysis. If they don’t like it they can go. I personally find TFT too much of a “fan” site since Maxie left, for instance. I don’t have a problem with that, I respect James, but it’s my decision not to go there much any more. You and TLG shouldn’t change or pander at all.

    9. Not following things closely enough to know.

    10. Giles Clarke, a haughty, malignant symbol of everything that’s caused me to fall out of love with cricket after three decades, whose allies are an infallible litmus test for who not to listen to and who not to trust around the sport, and whose unspeakable actions and influence unfortunately hang over English cricket and the international game like a radioactive particle with a very long half-life.

    Liked by 2 people

    • nonoxcol July 26, 2016 / 9:45 am

      I also forgot this bit:

      When Carlos Brathwaite hit that last six in the World T20, I…. was staggered, then laughed, and was more pleased than I would have been had England won. Any guilt I might have felt was then obliterated by this shambles:

      Like

      • Mark July 26, 2016 / 10:58 am

        He really is a horrible man isn’t he? The Colonel Blimp of English cricket? A journalist with no integrity, and no redeeming features. just a little tub thumper. No wonder the players go to his birthday parties. I wonder if it’s written in their contracts? I wonder if they have to bow and kiss his arse?

        And somebody the other day linked to a piece that said he was a respected cricket writer. Only by stupid people. Having said goodbye to Selvey he can now be elevated to Englands worst cricket writer by a country mile.

        Like

  8. Andy July 26, 2016 / 12:30 pm

    1. Andy…long time lurker – occasional poster

    2. Pre 2000 – Atherton. he just seemed to stand out to me when I was starting to get into cricket. Post 2000 – Flintoff, seemed to play with desire and joy and seemed like he would fit in with a village team as well as test level. Although would probably get on your wick after awhile!

    3. Curtley Ambrose. why, he just seemed like an invincible bowler. Again, it was that time I was first getting into cricket. For some reason I was exposed to WI more than others so I took tham as my ‘other’ team (I still wear a WI wide brim maroon hat when I play). Loved Viv and Lara. I’ve a soft spot for Wasim Akram as he played for Lancs.

    Name drop time. I met Ambrose (and Richie Richardson I think) when his band where playing a new year gig while on holiday in Antigua (There is a lot here that is not normal for me!). The man was huge and very pleasent.

    4. Rank order these batsmen in Test Cricket – AB (just sooooo talented!!) Williamson (such a joy to watch) Root (Developing all the time), Smith (again, shows what hard work can do) Kohli (very talented but seems to have a slightly unpleasant undercurrent).

    5. Cook, Hales (I’d like him to come good), Root, Ballance (he has scored 4 tons, give him some more time), Bairstow, Stokes

    6. Do you think the loss this year of Brenkley and the imminent demise of Selvey signal the decline of the game in the public eye, or a much needed desire for new writing?

    It’s obvious to the critical eye that Cricket is going out of the public eye. Certainly Test & County. T20 is the obvious counter, but as it’s locked away it doesn’t capture the casual observer/supporter.

    I’ll be surprised if the ‘heavy weights’ are replaced by anyone who does ‘serious investigations’ into cricket. There will be some generic puff pieces that surround insipid match reports.

    7. Your views on 2 division test cricket? A panacea or a placebo? Or a disaster.

    Something needs to be done, but I think without a ‘div 3’ there is not a imperative to improve. Are test nations going to be stripped of test status if they finish bottom of Div 2. I have a vague memory of something about associates playing to get in, but does that mean someone drops out?

    Whats the penalty for loosing test status, they don’t seem to get significant funding from the ICC, they won’t get invited to teh Champions Trophy? That’s going to be dropped again isn’t it (another vague memory from something I’ve read recently).

    Will they still get t20/odi matches. removing the international (non WC) fixtures would further remove the game from the public conscious, leading to poorer performance at the WC etc. How difficult is it for the associates to break through into div 2?

    The game needs to have a serious look at test cricket and decide if it wants to save it and if so it has to do whatever it can for the likes of WI, SL, Ireland, Holland get there and play and not infront of empty stadia.

    You know what all this would make a fascinating investigation for a heavy weight journalist (not just a reporter of events) who has over 30 years of experience and 50 years in the game…………. Shame I can’t think of anyone who fits the bill

    8. What would you like to see more of on this blog? Do you think it is too negative? Do you think it has played it too safe this year?

    You know what – I think you, Chris and the other chap (god that sounds terrible, but I can’t remember his name for the life of me) provide a fantastic counterpoint to the “popular” media. it ebs and flows, but that is life.

    you espouse my feelings more succinctly and eloquently than I can. I like the odd big score, but not at the expense of a series collapse – it needs to be earn’t not given. I want teams to be challenging each other, not we win 3-1 at home, you win 3-0 at home, repeat ad nausea…

    The best batsmen concur conditions globally, same as bowlers. Not many out there are at the moment.

    9. Who should we watch for in international cricket (not England) who may be flying under the radar? If anyone?

    As others have said, it’s not on my radar at all to say. But maybe that says alot about county cricket!

    10. The biggest villain in English Cricket is….. and Why? (up to 3, but 1 must be put forward. I’ll write a piece on the winner).

    It’s got to be Kp right, right……

    To be serious though, it probably lands with a job lot of the ECB & the main media plodders.

    VOLUNTARY QUESTION…..

    Complete this sentence… When Carlos Brathwaite hit that last six in the World T20, I………..

    screamed, “how the F… do you F’ing…. bowl the same F’ing ball 4 F’ing times you F’ing k**b”, before mywife reminded me I had said we would get knocked out in the early stages and I should be glad we made the final..

    Like

  9. pktroll (@pktroll) July 26, 2016 / 8:25 pm

    Hi all, been in Spain for a few days and back feeling relaxed. Missed every bit of the last test. It really didn’t cut me like a knife. I guess that says everything about the direction of travel. I also have heard that India utterly battered the Windies and Australia will almost certainly obliterate Sri Lanka. Cricket really is in a depressing state. Some gimps thinking that cricket is as strong as it has ever been are in la-la land, they really are. Anyway here goes.

    1. pktroll, PK are my real initials, but I’m a good boy really!

    2. My favourite England players as a kid were Bob Willis because he was fast and Gower because he was left-handed like me but that is all I had in common with him when it came to holding a bat.

    3. Holding/Marshall. Can’t distinguish between the two, I first got into cricket properly because I loved fast bowling and was mesmerised by the Windies, short balls, flying stumps etc. One guy on a forum once said he dislied the Windies because of their attempts to flatten our batsmen. I replied and said that I didn’t like them anywhere near as much when they stopped doing that!

    4.Smith, Root, Williamson, De Villiers, Kohli. I think Smith will stay out in front because he scores big so often. The others will interchange.

    5. Cook, Hales, Root, Ballance, Bell (yes really!) Stokes/

    6. Brenkley, yes. A rather likeable chap overall who unfortunately felt he had to tow the party line. I think he could look at things in a more detached manner unlike Selvey, a pompous arse whose petard has been hoisted!

    7.Two divisions unfortunately will kill test cricket stone dead in those countries who are relegated to divisoin 2. (Windies, Lanka, Bang, Zim) Where will the advertising and tv money go?

    8. Perhaps a guest column from writers saying how they got into cricket, their earliest influences and what they really enjoyed. It could keep things ticking over while you have other things to do Dmitri/Legglance

    9.A player that I think is underrated is Ajinka Rahane from India. He’s one who seems to score runs when the chips are down compared to others.

    10. 1.Giles Clarke, truly a malignant tumor. (I see that Nonoxcol has used a similar term!)

    Bonus question
    11. I’m afraid I saw it coming. I watched the first couple of balls of that over and thought that Stokes had lost it and this it was almost a case of “I told you so”.

    Like

  10. Topshelf July 26, 2016 / 10:36 pm

    1. Topshelf, real-life nickname, occasional poster, spend much more time watching my kids play cricket than the professionals now; I find it at the same time much more entertaining and rewarding, but infinitely more stressful!

    2. Pre-2000: SF Barnes – I’m a teensy bit obsessed. Never saw him, obviously, but no doubt in my mind he was the best bowler ever. I wouldn’t argue, or I might explain why… And David Gower, like almost everyone.

    Post-2000: Freddie before the myth started to overtake the player; and I really feel Jos Buttler has it in him to be an all-time great, even in all forms.

    3. Past – any number of West Indian fast bowlers, mainly Malcolm Marshall and Curtly. Not Walsh though, overrated for me (sorry Tom). Now, Brendan McCullum for attitude, and Kane Williamson for sheer artistry.

    4. I’d have Williamson, Root and Kohli level, then de Villiers, then Smith. I can’t see Smith’s technique surviving much past 30, and he’s just so ugly to watch.

    5. This is unimaginative – I considered chucking Moeen in at 5 – but Cook, Hales, Root, Ballance, Bairstow, Stokes.

    6. Both. Never much minded Brenkley, but Selvey was past his use-by date. As I posted on a previous thread, there is much interesting writing – and programming – available, but little of it is in the traditional print media.

    7. Sounds like a great idea, especially if it brings Ireland and Afghanistan to the table. In practice it will probably be a disaster.

    8. I read virtually every post. Can’t be doing too much wrong. I would be interested if anyone had real insight into the county game, but from responses here it seems we’re all struggling to follow it.

    9. I’d love to see Shannon Gabriel stay fit for a few seasons – he should be at his peak now. He is proper quick.

    10. Whichever tosspot it is at the ECB who decides what and how to brief/leak. They really do take us for mugs.

    11. I watched with my kids and a Sky-less neighbour. I thought Stokes was feeling his back and the last over should have gone to Jordan. They thought (especially my 10-year-old) that they could have bowled 4 better balls!

    Like

    • Tom July 27, 2016 / 4:39 am

      No need to apologise, topshelf! I agree that Walsh wasn’t the best of the West Indian quicks. I loved watching Holding and Marshall, and in my mind Marshall was the best fast bowler I ever saw, even better than Lillee. The reason Walsh was one of my picks was because of longevity, his wonderful attitude and his attempts at batting were worth the price of admission on their own! If the question had been the best rather than favourite oversees players, my answer would have been different.

      Does anyone remember a couple of decades ago during an Eng vs WI series when Walsh mimicked David Shepherd’s superstition of keeping one foot off the ground when the score was a multiple of 111? I’ve tried to find it on youtube without success.

      Like

  11. SimonH July 27, 2016 / 1:55 pm

    1. SimonH (holdingahighline at the Guardian – still haven’t got around to changing it!)

    2. Lots I liked pre-2000: Snow, Amiss, Greig, Knott, Underwood, Edmonds, Gower, Randall, Botham, Willis, Dilley, Atherton, heck I even liked Gooch. Pretty much anyone who didn’t play for Middlesex (except Gus).

    Post-2000: Tres. I also have soft spots for those whose talent was never quite fulfilled on the international stage like Chris Read and Chris Tremlett.

    (Does their role after they stopped playing count? I find it increasingly difficult to disentangle the two. The likes of Gower, Botham, Vaughan, Swann and Hussain have plummeted in my affections because of their media-work. We just seem to accept that but the likes of Benaud, Ian Chappell, Ganguly and Ian Smith show that a player can become more treasured through a subsequent media career).

    3. Past – the 1975 Australians and the 1976 West Indians were the first two teams I watched and I have great affection for the star players of those teams (especially Lillee, Greenidge and Holding).

    Now – Amla and Steyn or Williamson and Boult.

    4. Best at what? This is like one of those inkblot Tests that reveals what we value. And what we hate.

    Williamson’s the only one I’d go out of my way not to miss – but then I’m a mug for an underdog and I had that English obsession with technical purity drummed into me.

    5. I really don’t care. (The kind of “let’s pick my county favourite or some bloke I happened to see score runs once” writing really doesn’t float my boat now. Plus I don’t watch any CC).

    6. I worry about the death of an ideal of mainstream independent cricket reporting – but, as the output of Selvey and Brenkley had long ceased to have any connection to that, I’m not shedding any tears.

    We also haven’t seen yet what will be replacing Selvey.

    7. I’m a fan of two divisions (as is obvious from my posts). I’m not claiming it’s a panacea. It’s vital though there is proper financial support for Tests in D2 – and I’ve no confidence that there will be. There also need to be measures to prevent pitch doctoring to retain D1 status.

    8. As long as I’m commenting, I’m reading and I’m liking it! It’ll be no surprise that I’d like more on governance and global issues – but I realise that this are pretty niche and don’t bring in the visitors. As long as we can raise them in the threads and those who are interested can respond, I’m happy. Nostagia pieces always go down well with me and of course I enjoy ripping into the press pack.

    9. I tipped Sodhi and Siriwardana in the T20 WC – so I was 50% right there! Frankly, I hold out little hope for young players outside the B3. The newer players from our fellow B3 chums are familiar as we play them so often. I hope Pat Cummins gets fit as the game needs 90+ mph bowlers. The SA chinaman bowler Shamsi looked promising in the tri-series and he could have a Brad Hogg type career as a one-day specialist – but he’ll probably disappear into franchise cricket.

    10. It’s easy to say Giles Clarke – but it’s really the whole system that created and nourishes him. The counties that elected him, the media that fawn over or ignore him, the blinkered fans who don’t care as long as ‘their’ team is winning.

    11. Went looking for the Vic Marks’ article saying how this win is all down to the genius of the WI Director of Cricket….. (In reality, it was “what’s for tea?”).

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus July 27, 2016 / 2:07 pm

      In all seriousness, Simon, given you follow the international governance agenda so closely, I would happily give you the opportunity to make a main post out of your work. We’re not a vanity project and I prefer reading people who know about it than trying to wing it myself.

      Have a think. No pressure at all.

      Like

      • SimonH July 27, 2016 / 2:50 pm

        Perhaps when the next ICC meeting takes place in September?

        I did submit a piece for consideration in December about great moments in England v SA Tests. I didn’t mind that you didn’t use it (it’s your blog and your rules) but I was a bit miffed that I didn’t get any response.

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus July 27, 2016 / 2:51 pm

          I didn’t get it Simon. Where did you send it to? Or if I did I really don’t recall it. TLG and I would absolutely love you to write pieces on here.

          No way would I ignore it. Though not trusting my memory as much as I used to!

          Like

      • SimonH July 27, 2016 / 3:21 pm

        I sent it on the 20th December (and again on the 23rd) to dmitriold@hotmail.co.uk.

        I still have it and could send it next time England are about to play SA (which isn’t in about six years this time but next summer!).

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus July 27, 2016 / 5:08 pm

          I’ll check when I get home. We’ll do the rest on email!

          Like

  12. SteveT July 27, 2016 / 3:51 pm

    Name (posting name will do) SteveT

    2. Favourite England cricketer past (pre-2000) and present (post-2000).

    Beefy/Flintoff (the 2002-2005 version)

    3. Favourite overseas player past and present.

    I’ll do it for each country:
    Viv Richards/Brian Lara, Allan Border/Shane Warne, Mike Procter/Allan Donald, Richard Hadlee/Jacob Oram (criminally underrated), Sunil Gavaskar/Rahul Dravid, Imran Khan/Saeed Anwar, Aravindra da Silva/Sanath Jayasuriya, Tammim Iqbal, Andy Flower(!).

    4. Rank order these batsmen in Test Cricket – Steve Smith, Joe Root, Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, AB DeVilliers.

    Toughie this, I’ll go from what I’ve seen recently.
    Root (has there been a finer exponent of the back foot drive), Smith, Williamson, AB, Kohli (crap in England, but got some good runs in Aus). There’s barely a width of a fagpaper between all 5

    5. England’s top six for India, assuming they are all fit?

    Bit early, but if no further cricket was played this summer, I would go for; Cook, Robson/Lyth, Root, Ballance, Bairstow, Stokes. A lot can happen between now and September though.

    6. Do you think the loss this year of Brenkley and the imminent demise of Selvey signal the decline of the game in the public eye, or a much needed desire for new writing?

    Don’t know if the G is going to replace him with Ali Martin (could do a lot worse). The indy has not replaced Bunkers as far as I know. Looks like a combination of cost-cutting and the decreasing relevance of cricket (have they cut back on football or rugby correspondents as well?)

    7. Your views on 2 division test cricket? A panacea or a placebo? Or a disaster.

    Worth a try, not sure how it will work out.

    8. What would you like to see more of on this blog? Do you think it is too negative? Do you think it has played it too safe this year?

    Keep doing what you’re doing! I’ve been reading this site for ~2 years now, it’s still my 1st port of call. I appreciate the time and effort you both put in (and also the capable 12th man) to this and I admire your honesty and passion. Enjoy the input of the regulars BTL as well. I prefer the site to err on the side of cynicism rather than sycophancy. I also enjoy the nostalgia trips, the open threads work well. Some of Mark’s invective is priceless!

    9. Who should we watch for in international cricket (not England) who may be flying under the radar? If anyone?

    Be nice if Silva and Mendis from SL kick on, otherwise they may well drop off the cliff a la WI. Bet Aus will unearth a gem from somewhere by the time we next visit.

    10. The biggest villain in English Cricket is….. and Why? (up to 3, but 1 must be put forward. I’ll write a piece on the winner).

    Easy one this. The vile odious cockroach that is Giles Clarke.

    VOLUNTARY QUESTION…..

    Complete this sentence… When Carlos Brathwaite hit that last six in the World T20, I just went ‘WOW’

    Like

  13. northernlight71 July 27, 2016 / 10:44 pm

    1) Northern Light. Though I think my real name has appeared once or twice, when WordPress confused me. Don’t like to advertise it as it’s not that common a name 🙂

    2) David Gower, back in the day, and Chris Tavare for a while. I like stylish batsmen and bloody minded oddballs from Kent. More recently….oh, that’s tricky. Marcus Trescothick. Ian Bell. Cupboard’s pretty bare right now . . .

    3) Viv Richards. Just the look on his face when he came out to bat. Gehardus Liedenberg, just for his name. Daniel Vettori for his startled librarian look. Angelo Matthews, or indeed anyone who annoys the England captain.

    4) ABdV, Root, Williamson, Smith, Kohli.

    5) Daniel Bell-Drummond, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Ian Bell, KP, YJB

    6) Cost cutting, not seeing cricket as popular enough to justify the expense plus the obvious bonus of getting rid of long-serving employees who are probably paid far too much.
    I wish I could believe it was due to poor output, but it will be a purely cost-benefit based decision. And clearly, cricket is in decline.

    7) 2 Division Test cricket? A pointless gimmick, and if there were ever any chance of India, England or Australia dropping down a division I suspect the model would unravel pretty fast.

    8) I love this blog. I love the changes between reports on games, previews and post-mortems, random musings and general cantankerous railing against the s**t that we are fed elsewhere. It feels quite personal to LCL but in a really good way.

    9) I have no idea.

    10) Giles Clarke. Followed by the whole of the ECB. And the fan club disguised as the cricket media. But mostly the slimeball who sold us to Allen Stanford.

    As for Carlos B. . . . I simply smiled and wondered if I was wrong to have been an atheist all this time.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Quebecer July 28, 2016 / 12:29 am

    1. quebecer. The ‘q’ is small, and I hate it when people get that wrong.

    2. Derek Randall was the first player I was really aware of, I think. Then my favs went Botham, Allan Lamb, Wayne Larkins (hear that, Rooto?), Gower was too posh, Gooch went to South Africa, which meant I had to wait a long time for Robin Smith, Thorpe, then Pietersen.

    Bowlers exist so batsman can bat.

    3. Except for Muchael Holding who I saw come off his long run in the afternoon of his last Oval test and it left me breathless. But back to batsmen. Viv, Zaheer, Brian Charles, Punter, and of all the Indians, I have to say Ganguly.

    Generally, it’s the batsman who when I watch an innings, it feels like there’s no one else who could have done it. It’s what I love the most.

    4. Impossible to say. I don’t know if ABV is fading, and I don’t know how far the others will rise. Deadbeat as of now.

    5. Cook, Hales, Root, Bairstow, Ballance, Stokes.
    Buttler to make himself impossible to exclude after summer ODIs so is at 7, and Johnny is our third best bat.
    I’m very concerned about Hales, though. I’m also of a mind he could do a Root and drop to 4.
    I’m also wondering how to accommodate two spinners and Woakes…
    I’m bloody glad we’ve got some good players because the team is actually a bit of a mess.

    6. Lots of factors involved, but all included in the cost cutting explanation..

    7. Much like the super series, it’s an idea that just won’t work. At some point people are going to have to face up to the fact that test cricket doesn’t fit in to a league, division, or championship format. It just doesn’t. Much better to start from that perspective and work out what to do from there.

    8. I’m too new here to comment. A bit more analysis of the cricket BTL? I do like my avatar though. Way better than most people’s. Fred’s is awful. Which serves him right.

    9. There’s some young Pakistani bat who’ll be in their ODI team that’s the business. I’m honestly can’t remember his name. I will of course claim I was right if any young Pakistani bat proves to be the business for the next few years.

    10. It’s a group thing, not an individual thing.

    11. I laughed, then “Oh no…” Then swore, laughed, swore. I wasn’t that gracious though. Objectively it was funny, but I really wanted us to win that. We were the best team during that tournament, and I was annoyed that the opportunity slipped by.

    Like

    • Quebecer July 28, 2016 / 6:53 am

      Deadbeat? Rubbish technology. Dead heat.

      Like

  15. Ian July 28, 2016 / 1:54 pm

    1 Ian

    2 Robin Smith and KP

    3 Malcolm Marshall, Misbah

    4 Smith, Root, Williamson, Kohli, ABDV

    5 Cook, Hales, Root, Ballance,Stokes, Bairstow

    6 Decline of game in public eye

    7 Probable disaster

    8 Blog is fine as it is Don’t think it has played safe at all

    9 Bit leftfield and not trying to be a hipster honest. Brad Wheal, young SA born bowler with Hampshire who has played a few times for Scotland

    10 Giles Clarke for overseeing so much of this reduction in visibility of cricket from the wider British public.

    Like

  16. nonoxcol July 28, 2016 / 2:34 pm

    “The biggest villain in English Cricket is….. I’ll write a piece on the winner.”

    I think you can safely make a start on that piece.

    Like

  17. whiterose76 July 29, 2016 / 8:58 am

    1. White Rose 76

    2. Past – Len Hutton, Robin Smith, Gladstone Small, Boycs,
    Present (ish) – KP, Simon Jones, Marcus Trescothick

    3. Brian Lara, Barry Richards, Richie Richardson – these were guys (along with Pietersen and Trescothick) who did things that I could just never imagine doing in my wildest dreams as a pretty mediocre batsman. That is what I want when I watch sport – to say ‘How did they just do that?’

    4. Williamson, Root, Smith, de Villiers, Kohli (but I think Kohli has that inevitability about him that Lara and Martin Crowe had for example – you just KNOW sometimes that he is going to make runs.

    5. Cook, Hales, Root, Ballance, Bairstow, Stokes

    6. Both

    7. On the fence if I’m honest. I tend to think that most things are worth trying, but are two divisions something you can backtrack from if it doesn’t work?

    8. The blog is fine. Better than fine. You need to write what is uppermost in your mind – it doesn’t matter if it feels repetitive or safe. I would love more fisking on articles, but I guess there is less to fisk these days.

    9. Mitchell Santner; Alzarri Joseph; Travis Head; Theunis de Bruyn

    10. 1. Giles Clarke
    2. Giles Clarke
    3. Giles Clarke
    The fish rots from the head. I’ll stop there.

    When Carlos Brathwaite hit that last six in the World T20, I…clapped and laughed. It was inevitable what was going to happen (like Yuvraj v Broad) – Brathwaite (good Yorkshire name) could have closed his eyes and Stokes could have bowled a balloon and the result would have been the same.

    Like

  18. thebogfather July 29, 2016 / 4:41 pm

    1. Name (posting name will do)

    TheBogfather … no space, get it right! I’ve been TB since well before my online presence – the local newsrag labelled me as this when in my previous job, ‘national awards of excellence’ were foisted upon my collection of outhouses by the immortal BTA…. (now let your mind Bog-gle!) 🙂

    2. Favourite England cricketer past (pre-2000) and present (post-2000). If you are too young to remember pre-2000, I’m jealous.

    Oh my…just one? The cut off of year 2k doesn’t help….so, favourite…. Botham pre and KP post…. hell that was/is an impossible choice, I wish i could have laid down an XI for each period…

    3. Favourite overseas player past and present. List a few if you find it tough.

    OK, being brave, just one again…. Barry Richards, Shane Warne

    4. Rank order these batsmen in Test Cricket – Steve Smith, Joe Root, Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, AB DeVilliers.

    I can’t split them…. some aren’t playing enough Tests recently to choose – may we be grateful that there are such skilled practitioners who aren’t just fat bat edging a maximum sloggers….

    5. England’s top six for India, assuming they are all fit?

    1.Cock, 2.The next lamb to the slaughter, 3.ROOOOT, 4, Hales, 5. Bairstow, 6. Moeen (Stokes is fckd by our player management and would be better off missing tour…)

    6. Do you think the loss this year of Brenkley and the imminent demise of Selvey signal the decline of the game in the public eye, or a much needed desire for new writing?

    Their hagiography and blind-eyed ignorance has only hastened the demise of true reportage and journalism, not that the tree-felling meritocracy give a shit about what is fast becoming a secondary sport which is doing a wonderful job of killing itself in ALL formats, due to greed and short termism

    7. Your views on 2 division test cricket? A panacea or a placebo? Or a disaster.

    Whatever…. Test cricket is past saving, and the pills are being swallowed in ever increasing doses. Whether it is a panacea, a placebo, or, more likely a rusty nail, is irrelevant – money talks in the shortest walk, then they’ll all trip over their own shoelaces, without even getting a bloody nose as the MSM lickspittles wont hold anyone to task… I truly shed tears for our loss

    8. What would you like to see more of on this blog? Do you think it is too negative? Do you think it has played it too safe this year?

    Everything you write (including Leggy and Sean – and so many wonderful contributors in the comments) is pure passion, I may not agree with it all , but nobody out there, inside or outside, does it better – may your passion never fade, ever (oh, and book me in for the India tour panel!)
    LCL – please never be safe, ever.

    9. Who should we watch for in international cricket (not England) who may be flying under the radar? If anyone?

    The revamped ICC board… and not in a good way, the cuddling up with the mainstream of a number of previously open voice cricket people on twitter/ESPN/other who have been drawn into the establishment. A player? Well I vote for @Pacebouncy to break into the Aus women’s team in the next year or so….

    10. The biggest villain in English Cricket is….. and Why? (up to 3, but 1 must be put forward. I’ll write a piece on the winner).

    1.Sir Giles Snark, 2. SKY/ECB 3.The dregs of the MSM that remain

    VOLUNTARY QUESTION…..

    Complete this sentence… When Carlos Brathwaite hit that last six in the World T20, I………..

    I cheered, I swore, I cheered, opened a beer, and a few more

    Like

    • thebogfather July 30, 2016 / 5:21 am

      Oh, Q3…. forgot to put a current player…. erm….Misbah

      Like

  19. Rohan July 30, 2016 / 2:50 pm

    1. Name (posting name will do) ROHAN

    2. Favourite England cricketer past (pre-2000) and present (post-2000). If you are too young to remember pre-2000, I’m jealous. Pre-2000 would be Gough and post-2000 would be Simon Jones and KP

    3. Favourite overseas player past and present. List a few if you find it tough. Brian Lara, Shane Warne, Waqar and Wasim

    4. Rank order these batsmen in Test Cricket – Steve Smith, Joe Root, Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, AB DeVilliers. My view – Williamson, DeVilliers, Smith, Root and Kohli

    5. England’s top six for India, assuming they are all fit? Cook, Hales, Borthwick, Root, Ballance, Stokes

    6. Do you think the loss this year of Brenkley and the imminent demise of Selvey signal the decline of the game in the public eye, or a much needed desire for new writing? Decline of the game in the public eye; sadly.

    7. Your views on 2 division test cricket? A panacea or a placebo? Or a disaster. Could be fun as long as there are no silly rules protecting the big 3 it has to be the same for all.

    8. What would you like to see more of on this blog? Do you think it is too negative? Do you think it has played it too safe this year? It’s all good…..

    9. Who should we watch for in international cricket (not England) who may be flying under the radar? If anyone? Not under the radar as such, but Tymal Mills in T20 and potentially ODI for England could be fun.

    10. The biggest villain in English Cricket is….. and Why? (up to 3, but 1 must be put forward. I’ll write a piece on the winner). Giles Clarke absolute toad who got away with the Stanford affair and then rise to the top!

    VOLUNTARY QUESTION…..

    Complete this sentence… When Carlos Brathwaite hit that last six in the World T20, I was enthralled, excited, amazed, surprised but most of all incredulous, but not at all upset, it was a great finale!

    Like

  20. Benny August 2, 2016 / 10:03 pm

    1. Benny

    2. Past Beefy Present Tresco

    3. Past Sir Viv present McCullum & Steyn

    4. Williamson, Root, Kohli, Smith, ABD

    5. No idea

    6. No. Consequence of decline in interest in cricket and in the papers

    7. Unsure. Anything that means teams like Ireland and Afghanistan get more games and develop is good. I’m tempted to scrap series and play one-off matches like football does.

    8. Really enjoying the current reports on days and matches gone by. Feeling very nostalgic in my old age. Wonder if there’s someone out there who remembers Hutton.

    Q&A is good.

    No, not too negative. Generally the cricket world is rather bland at the moment, so not a lot to focus on.

    9. Don’t know. Keen to watch the progress of Ramada, Mustafizar, Zampa and WI seem to be developing spinners – some guy just got a 5 fer against India

    10.
    All this country’s administrators, who basically show disinterest in supporters.
    Andy Flower for bringing so much negativity to English cricket.
    The chap in charge of food and drink at the Oval. Rather bring my own

    Voluntary – I smiled

    Like

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