#39 Mis-steps

I’m really sorry to do this. But let me just put this excerpt from The Cricketer out there. It’s not a great copy, but it is readable. A piece by Simon Hughes (aka #39).


News Hughes. We were there. We documented it. We commented it. Don’t lie to us. Don’t omit Strauss. Don’t pretend that this was informal – he gave up money to have a go, and Graves spoke out on the radio – and don’t pretend Pietersen was the author of that sordid episode as the comment “went off in a huff” implies.

This is why I do what I do. I can’t abide this distortion. It treats the public like idiots. This excerpt is from the Power List piece on COLIN GRAVES. This incident made Graves look like an imbecile. Not the most powerful man in cricket. Strauss finished KP’s career, probably in alliance with about three other people. Graves was made to look a clown.

#39 getting high on his own power trip. This is nonsense.


45 thoughts on “#39 Mis-steps

  1. Julie Sep 3, 2016 / 11:27 am

    Thanks for bringing this up,Dmitri. You express so well everything I feel about our Mr Hughes article.He must know that what he is saying isn’t true so what’s his purpose? So many of the stories about KP start just as this one with lies that people believe, and so it goes on. Poor KP, what chance did he ever have.Please stay angry and keep the pressure on these so called honest journos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • simplyshirah Sep 4, 2016 / 6:29 pm

      Just had a reply from Simon. “How are Facts biased?” I told him the piece was his “opinion” and there were no facts shown.


  2. nonoxcol Sep 3, 2016 / 12:16 pm

    But “he’s the editor. He also writes for the Times, he’s on Cricket on 5, he defined the sports analysis role on TV, he writes books….”

    That fourth one. Christ, no wonder his ego is so far out of sync with his actual importance.

    (He was also hilariously and definitively demolished by George Dobell on the KP issue on Radio 5 in October 2014, but he doesn’t like to talk about that)

    Still my #3 in the only power list that matters on here!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Zephirine Sep 3, 2016 / 12:33 pm

    Pietersen is ‘the other’. He’s been placed into a different category. You can write what you like about him. The usual requirements to be fair or truthful don’t apply, because, well, he deserves it doesn’t he? Doesn’t he?

    (“He had it coming… He had it coming… He only had himself to blame…” as the jailed murderesses sing in Chicago.)

    Yet the same journalists and ex-players will write with obvious affection about past players who were clearly a complete nightmare to bat with or be on tour with.

    we have a startling tendency to come to hate people who we treat badly. If we’re experiencing guilt about our treatment of some person, or group, or class, and having trouble reconciling that guilt with our notion of ourselves as good people, our brains are extremely adept at resolving the situation by othering the people we feel that we’ve wronged. If we dehumanise someone, and distance our empathy with them, then we won’t have to feel bad about the shabby way we’ve treated them.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. SimonH Sep 3, 2016 / 12:57 pm

    The phrase “off in a huff” is red-mist inducing, I missed some of the other disingenuous bollocks in there first time around:

    1) “rehabilitated” – this has been an underlying theme in the whole KP affair. Pietersen has been so tarnished by [insert whatever annoys you about the modern world most here – celebrity culture, franchises, tattoos, modern batting techniques, porous frontiers, whatever] that has tainted soul could only be cleansed by service on the stout yeoman circuit.
    2) “immediately met” – so Pietersen just lacked a bit of patience? This is such utter bullshit that someone who regards his own intelligence as highly as “The Analyst” must be deliberately lying…. or not quite not as clever as he thinks he is. Pietersen was not going to be recalled to the Test team once Strauss was appointed. That was obvious from the start. There were three candidates for the Director Comma post and two of them would have had Pietersen back. Strauss was the no-KP appointment. He couldn’t say Pietersen would never be selected again because it would be actionable under employment law. But that was the situation – and anyone with any sense knew it.
    3) “informally suggesting” – he said it, as I recall, on a BBC radio interview. BBC interviews may not be made with a hand on the Bible – but in what sense are they “informal”? It’s not exactly a chat over a G&T at the golf club bar.
    4) “no guarantees” – this was ripped to shreds at that time and yet Hughes is still using this.

    I also don’t quite get his reference to an improved performance after the First Test, If he is referring to the West Indies’ tour (as it seems he must be), then the Second Test was won – followed by an embarrassing defeat in Bridgetown. Has Hughes flushed that completely down the memory plughole?

    Liked by 1 person

    • nonoxcol Sep 3, 2016 / 1:00 pm

      Gawd, I didn’t even spot Mark Nicholas in there until I read Dmitri’s tweet!


      Vaughan > Cook
      Boycott > Farbrace
      Hughes > Stokes
      Nicholas > Booth

      We’re obviously living in the halcyon days of FTA cricket!


    • Rooto Sep 3, 2016 / 1:11 pm

      I remember at the time that some of us who hoped that Graves would change a few things in the ECB were drowned out by the wave of laughter and criticism from the mainstream press and their supporters BTL which followed the “mediocre” comment. The guy we hoped might turn back some sort of tide (naive as the hope was), instantly rubbished by Giles’ birthday guestlisters.
      So, Simon Hughes (not SimonH), you can’t now gloss over a mistake because it suits the 2016 narrative, when you so enthusiastically flagged it up as a howler in 2015. More blatantly, you can’t now say it “provoked … an improved England performance”, when last year the narrative was how it would spur on WI.
      Well done Dmitri for calling him out on it.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mark Sep 3, 2016 / 2:42 pm

      I think it is possible to call Graves appointment of Strauss…..utterly cowardly. Whatever Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale he wants to dream up now, KP was in no doubt an olive branch had been offered to him by Graves. You don’t give up high worth contracts elsewhere in the world to play county cricket. (Something the media pygmies went on and on about…..”he hasn’t go a county.”)

      But we must remember this move to offer an olive branch was not popular amongst the village elders of the media clique. In particlar Newman. He began to write hostile pieces about Graves, the WI comments being one such story. He was also scathing of the handling of Moores sacking in Ireland live on Sky. (I don’t think Newman cared less about these issues, but it was a stick to hit Graves with.) It seems to me that Graves appointed Strauss, and gave him free reign regards KP as a complete surrender to the Newmans of this world. It got Graves off the hook because he could always claim it was Strauss’s decision.

      Hughes, re writes history but also reveals the lies of the process. They kept building obstacles to KPs return (he hasn’t got a county…….he hasn’t scored any runs…..) as each obstacle was cleared by KP, new barriers were erected, and the previous barriers were down played. Fundamentally dishonest both at the time and the re writing of history now.

      Why does Hughes want to stir all this up again now? But his total groveling to the new ECB head, matches his groveling to to the former head. It seems Hughes standard position regards the ECB is on his knees grovelling. Just another reason why he should follow Selvey, and Pringle, out the door.


        • thelegglance Sep 3, 2016 / 2:52 pm

          He’s allowed to sneer. I doubt he can begin to approach the contempt I have for him, not least because while I may well be wrong about things, at least I’ve never deliberately lied about stuff.


      • Mark Sep 3, 2016 / 2:53 pm

        Well that’s a change then because I seem to remember the official line was that nobody in the media bothered reading this blog. (The Suns cricket correspondent, and Lawrence Booth being the exceptions. )


        • thelegglance Sep 3, 2016 / 3:09 pm

          Don’t care especially if they do or don’t (though lots do), we don’t need the affirmation from that, it’s entirely up to them. The likes of Lawrence and others who interestingly tend to be both professional journalists and young enough to comprehend the Internet do so because they’re interested in other views. Which they may or may not agree with. They also note the number of hits we get.

          I am never worried by disagreement about anything, that’s what opinions are for. The enclave who dismiss it live in a small bubble and regard us as totally unimportant and the lowest of the low. They have that view of those who agree with them by the way. It never occurs to them for example that people here, or any other blog might actually have good careers for example. We are the masses. It’s a curiously narrow minded attitude.


          • LordCanisLupus Sep 3, 2016 / 3:20 pm

            It seems to be a badge of horror if you confess to reading the blog. I remember one journo making a point telling me that so and so, and such and such never read the blog. Funny that one of those named knew enough about something he supposedly knew nothing about to call me irrelevant.

            I think the media want bloggers who write about cream teas, ancient history and poetic recollections of a golden age. Or perhaps aspiring lyricists, making a Van Gogh out of a Van Troost. Those that get passionate and angry are consigned with the label of “zealots”.

            I don’t write for journos to read. I don’t Tweet them in. They know where to find us. And find us they do.


      • nonoxcol Sep 3, 2016 / 3:02 pm

        “YEA GRAVES TALK NAH” #mediocre

        An actual tweet from an actual journalist on the, ummmmmm, *first morning* of that WI v Eng series, when England were reduced to 34-3 (not for the last time in 2015, suggesting the problem was maybe our top order, not the 8th-best side in the world’s attack).

        Graves was not respected at all after the Pietersen comments, – I attended Agnew’s Investec event a month later just to prove the point. He only gets elevated and fawned over now because he was put back in his box and because he appointed He Who Banished Kevin For Good and Can Therefore Do No Wrong.

        The Internet and social media really are unfortunate inventions.


  5. Mark Sep 3, 2016 / 1:00 pm

    So Simon Hughes wants the world to know he is a liar, and a man not to be trusted to reort the truth does he? Quite why his employers would want a liar and man of little integrity is behond me, but some people have very low standards.

    If you wan a real story Mr Hughes, why don’t you ring Mr Agnew and ask him who leaked the details of the meeting with Mr Strauss and KP only 10 minutes after the meeting finished, and Agnew then rushed onto 5 live to announce this to the world? Now that is a story, but I expect you already know the answer to that question as you ECB whores have all worked together in the interests of furthering the England managememts position of protecting Mr Cook and sidelining KP. This is not the role of a so called journalist, but then you are no a journalist in the directory definition.


  6. "IronBalls" McGinty Sep 3, 2016 / 2:08 pm

    “Analist” so far up the ECB’s arse you can only see the soles of his shoes (with the price ticket stuck on)


  7. SimonH Sep 3, 2016 / 2:30 pm

    So, why did Graves say what he did? (About KP, not WI).

    Anyone care for some reckless speculation?


    • thelegglance Sep 3, 2016 / 2:41 pm

      Oh I think he meant it. I think he absolutely 100% meant every word he said. Don’t forget, he had a phone conversation with Pietersen afterwards, it wasn’t a slip of the tongue. And at that point he was faced with a rebellion from various vested interests. Hence he then kept quiet.


      • SimonH Sep 3, 2016 / 3:11 pm

        “Various vested interests”.

        Don’t stop just when it’s getting interesting….. !


        • thelegglance Sep 3, 2016 / 3:14 pm

          I don’t think you need any special insight to think about who. Cook would never have tolerated it, there were all those staff in the background who had a strop in the press, Flower wouldn’t have stayed, I can’t imagine the likes of Whitaker would having been so vocal about it. Giles Clarke would have gone into orbit at the idea too. So faced with one person versus lots, he chose the path of least resistance.


        • LordCanisLupus Sep 3, 2016 / 3:25 pm

          Having seen David Lloyd’s tweet that Sky have no intention of showing Middlesex v Yorkshire, which could be a Championship decider, on the final week of the season, is it too conspiratorial of me to suggest this is #6 and #45 showing the likes of #22 who is boss, and don’t be getting any ideas of terrestrial TV coverage?


      • Rooto Sep 3, 2016 / 3:37 pm

        An interesting question in my view is: Why the change of tune now? Why has Graves been released from Downton’s Cupboard, just to be fawned over instead of ridiculed? Are the ECB and the compliant media (my first, cynical guess) circling the wagons before the counties vote on the city T20 plan?


        • LordCanisLupus Sep 3, 2016 / 3:44 pm

          I don’t think there is any change. The noticeable part of #39’s article is the lack of defence for him being number one. None of his madcap ideas have any sign of coming to fruition. His last interview made Giles Clarke sound humble. He’s been hopeless. It’s as if to deny him the number one post in this stupid list would be to be an insult to him. Described by #39 as “a true mover and shaker who knows what he wants and usually gets it” the evidence of the last 18 months for this assertion, written, as I do as an “impassioned” blogger, seems somewhat scant.

          You’d have to ask #39 – a man who believes he is more powerful than the cricket correspondents of the Sun, the Mirror, the Guardian and the Mail – why he wrote this guff.


      • Rooto Sep 3, 2016 / 4:02 pm

        That’s a very good point. Maybe Hughes is pinning his colours to a permanently buckled mast here. Personally, I think Graves’ ideas of a city T20 window and day-night tests (over 4 days?) are bandaging other countries’ solutions onto a north Atlantic country’s problem. I can hope, therefore, that Hughes is just pissing into the wind.
        I haven’t seen the list. Is there a link to an Internet version of it? I look forward to reading your piece on it!


      • Mark Sep 3, 2016 / 4:16 pm

        I think whoever was the head of the ECB, Hughes would be writing grovelling nonsense like this. Access, is all these clowns care about.

        I also agree that the ECB is about to go into a big war with the counties over 20/20 city franchise, and the media is getting ready to take sides. And we all now which side Hughes old county Middx is going to be on seeing as they have a city ground in the heart of London.


      • SimonH Sep 3, 2016 / 5:40 pm

        As others have noticed on Twitter, the absence of Kimber and Collins tells you everything you need to know about where Hughes is coming from.


  8. Mark Sep 3, 2016 / 4:08 pm

    Dmitri was very grown up and diplomatic on here at the time of Selveys sacking. He ponted out that seeing cricket writers getting the push is not good for the game, and that he didn’t celebrate it.

    But Hughes piece has made me abandon such charity. So for the record…


    All now living at cricket retirement homes like the cricketer, for unwanted cricket writers.

    Good f****** riddance!


    • "IronBalls" McGinty Sep 3, 2016 / 4:28 pm

      Reading between the lines Mark, I surmise that you wouldn’t even wipe your arse on said rag? 🙂


      • Mark Sep 3, 2016 / 7:21 pm



  9. Maxie Allen Sep 3, 2016 / 8:00 pm

    Two points about Simon Hughes’s reply to me on Twitter – posted above.

    1. Who, exactly, has an *invalid* voice in the game.

    2. If you don’t like your work being analysed, maybe you should’t call yourself The Analyst.

    Liked by 1 person

      • LordCanisLupus Sep 3, 2016 / 8:03 pm

        I’m in absolutely no position to have a say on omitting question marks.

        Good to see you above the parapet today, sir. Hope things are going well. Offer for a drink is always there.

        Liked by 1 person

    • simplyshirah Sep 4, 2016 / 6:38 pm

      Well Maxie, no he shouldn’t call himself “The Analyst” if he doesn’t want to be analysed himself. Tawdry piece of fluff. As I said to him: he’d make a great Imperial Historian, changing the facts to make the Establishment look good; Makes them all look like a load of luvvies rather than bunch of lying, deceitful miscreants.


  10. Clivejw Sep 3, 2016 / 9:46 pm

    I’ve tried to like Hughes. He is unfailingly polite and courteous even with people who disagree with him, unlike the rude and brusque Selvey, for example. But he seems to think that repeating the same lies about Pietersen will somehow make them true. His friendship with Cook clouds his judgement, and like most of our cricket journalists, he has no understanding of the need for professional distance from the people he is writing about.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Sep 3, 2016 / 9:50 pm

      Clive, at least Selvey is honest in his contempt for us. Hughes hides it behind his faux civility. He no more wants to engage with us than he wants his leg to drop off. That attitude he gave wasn’t polite. It was passive aggressive. I know, because I’m bloody good at it (at least my beloved says I am).

      Liked by 1 person

      • LordCanisLupus Sep 3, 2016 / 10:26 pm

        A summary of what I think about that Hughes stuff.

        What he said was an utter joke. In many ways something totally unbecoming of a man who clearly has a decently high view of himself. To write that nonsense about Pietersen, and yes, I know, I’m obsessed, so save it if you think that way, under a piece backing up why COLIN GRAVES is the most powerful man in English cricket was risible. I called him on it on my home venue. You know the rules – I will debate with you on here, I will not debate on Twitter (unless you want to DM me to do so).

        For someone to be so assured of himself that to call my views “extreme unbalanced criticism of unbiased opinion” is hilarious. Unbiased? I’ll call myself many things, and I do try to see both sides, but I’m biased. As is everyone else. To pretend otherwise, under some ludicrous handle as “The Analyst” as if that means anything, is a nonsense.

        He tried to re-write history. Or His Story. I weren’t having it on Twitter and on here. I don’t care if this doesn’t do me “any favours”. Been doing this gig for a few years now. I don’t think I’m in it for anything like that.

        Have a nice night.

        Liked by 3 people

  11. BobW Sep 5, 2016 / 9:00 am

    Another great read and great article. I love this blog, you all so articulate the issues far better than I ever could. I include the posters as well. Long may you continue.


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