Teacups, Storms and County Cricket

To say there has been a storm in a teacup over the weekend around the availability of certain individuals for the last County Championship game of the season, is me putting it mildly to say the least. There have been claims of dark rumblings going on at the ECB, with rumour and counter-rumour around who would have the influence to pull certain players out of the game and their reasons behind this. We also had the reaction to the news that Adil Rashid had pulled out of the last game of the season, with terse tweets and wild accusations flying left right and centre.

To deal with these both in order, whilst it is undoubtedly disappointing that Jonny Bairstow has been pulled out of the last game and one can also argue that it is particularly poor PR from the ECB, considering the focus that County Cricket has been under over the past couple of weeks, the conspiracy theories don’t really wash with me. The Director, Comma may have spent his career in County Cricket as a Middlesex player and was for a while hobnobbing with the Middlesex board whilst he awaited to be anointed to the position of the saviour of English cricket, but I don’t think the he’s likely to risk his reputation by favouring one county over another. Strauss for all his faults, is nothing but shrewd, and is also unlikely to care enough about County Cricket to actively do his old county a favour at the expense of Yorkshire, he has bigger fish to fry these days. It is though worthwhile remembering how much cricket our international players have played this summer (let alone this year), especially those like Bairstow, who have been picked across all formats – i.e. 7 Tests, countless other ODI’s (I lose county) and 2 T20 games all packed into a narrow summer period. We also must remember that we also have 7 Tests, around 8 ODI’s and at least 1 T20 game in the next 3 months before Christmas too. This is an extraordinary amount of cricket packed into a 6 month period and it gets even crazier next year, so I can’t actually fault the ECB for choosing to rest the majority of their players before the subcontinent tours for fear of burnout (obviously there is a strong argument that we shouldn’t be putting our international players through this type of gruelling schedule, as it’s a one way road to injury, stress related illnesses and burnout, but that’s a whole different argument). In an ideal world, we would have all of our International players fresh and available for the last game of the season, but this is the reality and hence is the reason why central contracts were introduced in the first place, after all the experience of our international players turning up to play Tests after being flogged by the Counties in the 80’s & 90’s didn’t exactly reap brilliant results back then.

With regards to the Adil Rashid situation, I always thought there was a little more to the eye than the terse statements emanating out of Yorkshire yesterday; this from Andrew Gale, I felt was unfortunate and indeed only fanned the flames – https://twitter.com/GaleyLad/status/777485164758831104?lang=en-gb. Of course, there were plenty of those who decided to jump on the bandwagon, accusing Rashid of being a traitor and unfit to wear the Yorkshire shirt again, without truly knowing about the full situation but that’s Twitter for you. This however, wasn’t just confined to angry Yorkshire fans (and there seemed to plenty of them on Twitter yesterday), certain ex-Chief Cricket Correspondent’s couldn’t reserve the opportunity to have a dig – https://twitter.com/selvecricket/status/777524503027019777?lang=en-gb, who said that certain members of our press don’t hold serious grudges around certain players they believe aren’t from the ‘right type of family’. Of course, it then emerged today, that it wasn’t just because Adil fancied lying on the sofa watching Cash in the Attic and eating Pringles in his pants for a week, which the statement below clearly shows.

cstk-laxeaa35zy-jpg-large

The Yorkshire response has been somewhat baffling, as they would’ve surely known this when the squad was announced and thus it could’ve easily been headed off at the pass with an announcement that he was missing because of family reasons; however this smacks me of Strauss’ “understand but disappointed” stance with Eoin Morgan, and we all know that won’t end well. I’ve been at work all day so haven’t been able to check Twitter to see if those calling for Rashid’s head yesterday, have shown some contrition now more of the facts have come out, but I certainly know the ex-Chief Correspondent of the Guardian hasn’t, nor has he been slow in telling the world that he doesn’t rate him either:

‘Rashid, though, is sailing close to the wind with his club and career: there are sceptics about, some with a greater depth of knowledge than most, and his card has been marked.’

I guess those sceptics that the ex-Chief Cricket Correspondent referred to also happen to go by the name of Mike Selvey too, after all, he’s never one to hesitate in telling the public how right he is and how wrong those who disagree are. He won’t be missed…

There has also been the announcement that the new intake of graduates aiming to complete the Andy Flower ‘flavour of the month’ winter tours has been announced – with 50, yes 50, players getting to spend the winter jumping over obstacles at Sandhurst, having their actions remodelled at Loughborough and then hoping to prove that they are from the ‘right type of family’ in front of the Moodhoover in Dubai. Lucky, lucky guys. This has been mentioned a 1,000 times but just how Flower is still part of the England set up after the 2014 Ashes debacle is beyond me, and more to the point, Flower taking some of our more talented younger players and getting them to ‘play dry’ is not what the supposedly new and dynamic England team are supposed to be about. I bet Bayliss is thrilled. Colin ‘mediocre’ Graves may be number 1 in the so called powerlist, but if you are an aspiring international player, then there is one person and one person only you must impress and that is of course, ‘old smiley’ Flower. Forget about Whittaker et al, they’re only there to take the flak away from Director, Comma when the team plays badly, it’s still the old school special relationship that decides whether you have a future in the International game, full stop. Nepotism still stinks badly as it ever did….

On a final note, and back to the cricket thankfully, the final championship game starts tomorrow with the title’s destination yet to be decided. Whoever does go on and win the championship will fully deserve it, as this season has seen some of the most competitive and thrilling championship games in a long time. I know county cricket splits many on this blog (two of the writers of the blog are very much pro, whereas the other would prefer to stick his head in a shark tank); however whatever your persuasion, the fact that 3 teams are still vying for the title and could win it in the last game is a refreshing change compared to the normal status of after “Lord Mayor’s show”. Although (and here comes a little whinge) it would have been nice for them to schedule the games a little later in the week, so that those of us with jobs might have had the chance to watch some of it, but as we know the fans will always come last in the ECB’s thinking. As a side note, it is interesting that Sky has eventually agreed to show the Middlesex vs. Yorkshire game after rightly taking a bit of a hammering around not giving two f**ks towards the county game. It was fairly amusing to see the blame storming on Twitter around who’s fault it was that the the most important game of the season wasn’t due to be shown live (can you imaging the outcry if that had happened with the football?), though my simple guess is that the management dolts from Sky and the ECB simply forgot that we even had a 4 day competition, after all, anything that isn’t City based T20 is mediocre in their eyes.

For those that do have an interest in the county decider and are lucky enough to be near a TV (or even better, watching it live at one of the grounds), then feel free to comment below.

 

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149 thoughts on “Teacups, Storms and County Cricket

  1. Northern Light September 19, 2016 / 7:32 pm

    Ah, Mike Selvey. The gift that keeps on giving.

    Until it loses its job. Sad times indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • oreston September 20, 2016 / 1:22 am

      When asked later in the thread to elaborate on why the revelation about Adil’s personal issues hasn’t softened his initial position he deploys his customary, “there’s more to this situation than meets the eye and I have privileged insider knowledge which I can’t share with you” gambit. Interesting that he still feels he can do that as he doesn’t even have the fig leaf of being a working journalist anymore. He has such a limited (and not terribly subtle) playbook – how do people not see through it?

      Liked by 1 person

      • fred September 20, 2016 / 8:10 am

        Actually, some people do see through it. he’s gotten more push-back on that thread than I’ve seen before, even from people who otherwise profess to appreciate him. Good to see people getting riled over this, when there was such passive acceptance of the malarky that went on before.

        Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol September 20, 2016 / 8:25 am

        But Fred, the most sickening thing (and the reason he’s staying on my podium, at the very least, in the year-end poll) is that he learns NOTHING from it:

        Liked by 1 person

      • fred September 20, 2016 / 8:39 am

        Oh I don’t expect him to change, Nonox, he’s incurable, and it’s starting to matter less since he’s losing his pulpit anyway. It’s just nice to see a bit of skepticism BTL, instead of the sycophancy that ruined that site. Shame it’s over a personal issue, but it does tie into a broader issue of how the ECB uses its power, so it’s welcome. I’m genuinely surprised and pleased at the number of “Mike, I’ve always enjoyed your writing, but…” comments that are popping up. Would be great if the Guardian and its readers started critcally examining the game again.
        Old dog Selvey won’t be learning any new tricks, he’ll be propping up bars for the next two decades hinting at his inside knowledge and spinning yarns out of his three tests.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rpoultz September 20, 2016 / 11:43 am

        I’m sorry but someone has to call this person out like they are. Selvey is a c**t end of!! He knows nothing about cricket, journalism or reporting!! I’m glad he has been sacked so we don’t have to listen to his constant bullshit and no it all attitude. Good riddance I say and hope he doesn’t get a job with the cricket paper to add to their collection of shit heap writers!!!!

        Like

      • thebogfather September 20, 2016 / 11:53 am

        It will be such a pleasure
        To send selfry into his twilight leisure
        With the ultimate end of year ‘Dmitri’
        Awarded to ‘LordS’, oh bless, the ex-btl sweetie
        Who ‘knows’ but won’t tell to us so biliously inadequate
        Who dismisses us with ECB arse-fart, increasingly flatulate
        Tho’ I’m sure ‘The Ricket Paper’-ing over the cracks
        Will soon add him to their myopic hacks…

        Like

  2. quebecer September 20, 2016 / 2:09 am

    I don’t really have a dog in this fight except Northern Light and NOC, obviously (and Middlesex, of course), but can someone set me straight on something please? As i understand it, Bairstow is on an ‘Increment contact”, which means his base salary is paid by Yorkshire and he gets appearance money for games played for England. Surely this means it is up to Yorkshire whether he plays against Middlesex or not, and while the ECB can request he doesn’t, it is up to Yorkshire to decide for themselves. Am I wrong in this? Is there a contractual obligation I am unaware of?

    If not, the fault lies with Yorkshire, surely. If they’re not prepared to say something like, “Thank you, ECB, for your request, but after careful consideration and communication with the player himself, he will be playing”, then it’s on them, is it not?

    Or is the Bairstow situation also Rashid’s fault for bowling too slowly in test matches and having a sick granny?

    Not rhetorical questions, people (except for the last snarky one), and I would welcome anyone who can clarify.

    Like

    • fred September 20, 2016 / 8:14 am

      Well, I could offer a clarification, or an explanation at least, but I’m not sure you’d want to hear it.

      Like

      • Quebecer September 21, 2016 / 1:39 am

        I’m presuming it involves wheels?

        Like

      • fred September 21, 2016 / 4:12 pm

        I was thinking more about the blown head gasket and the cracked sump, but now you mention it, those wheels…

        Like

  3. nonoxcol September 20, 2016 / 7:01 am

    Apologies if I’m repeating anything, but if this was covered at the time, I didn’t see it:

    Nice man. Top bloke.

    Like

      • nonoxcol September 20, 2016 / 8:20 am

        “Feeble” is an interesting choice of word, isn’t it?

        I bet we could soon put together an England team that has pulled out of tours, or abandoned England for far less palatable reasons than Morgan’s. The sort of elder statesmen who are quick to criticise others yet somehow regarded as wise and unimpeachable. Here’s just five:

        GA Gooch, for starters.
        BC Broad, who compounded his apartheid tour with appalling tone-deafness over Zimbabwe
        AJ Strauss (Bangladesh)
        MW Gatting
        IT Botham (India 84/85)

        I’m not going to mention Graham Thorpe, because (from memory) people were a lot more respectful of an individual’s *personal* circumstances at the time. Funny that.

        Like

      • d'Arthez September 20, 2016 / 10:00 am

        And guess who’d be the backup / second spinner in India? The pathetic excuse for a cricket media in England will become professional schizophrenics. They seem to prefer that, almost without exception, to actually analysing and offering insights.

        But keep going. Soon enough the rags the people write in won’t be even usable for recycled toilet rolls.

        Like

  4. Ian September 20, 2016 / 7:22 am

    Will keep an interest in the top of the table but also the relegation battle is still to be decided with Lancs, Warks and Hampshire all trying to avoid the last relegation place. I will be at the Ageas for day 2 and 3 and am hoping that Hampshire can pull off a last day escape again.

    It is worth noting that just three teams out of nine in Div 1 have nothing to play for at this time of year and when it reduces to 8 teams next year. This could become more frequent as the uncontested toss rule is making wins scarcer and keeping teams closer together.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebogfather September 20, 2016 / 12:15 pm

      Ian, the sad thing is that what is the true competition of the county season has been reduced to yet another afterthought.
      The 50 over final was hidden/forgotten/unreported, I only knew from TMS that it was even happening…)
      The final round of the CC (with so many possibilities of champions/relegation/promotion still at stake, the last games, still wide open), has only finally resulted in ECBTV showing the top game (apparently- I won’t/can’t pay for all the other drivel that I don’t want, before I can even buy Sky… and in a couple of years it will get worse/more expensive, as BT (and even asian/chinese companies sticking their whores in) – there has been next to nothing on-line from ECB plugging this ‘Championship’ race (Stilton and Port season has taken over). At least BBC radio is covering the last CC round (although, if there’s tennis/cycling/’soccer’/swimming/pickasport… they may have to’ leave for now’ (and hey, why should BBC pander?))

      ECB=C’Nuts (copyright Comma)

      Like

  5. SimonH September 20, 2016 / 9:05 am

    From a lengthy debate over TV coverage a couple of days ago:

    Firstly, how does #39 know this (when Dobell, for example, didn’t)? They normally guard this sort of info like the secrets of the Manhattan Project. It isn’t “commercially sensitive” like was used to justify 10-year gagging orders on the counties? #39 seems to have become the sewer pipe of choice on this.

    Secondly, all #39 is interested in is “buying power” – what about audience reach? What about the costs for fans? Someone who has apparently set the template for modern sporting analysis might show some knowledge or concern for what’s happened to other sports on BT. For that, one has to turn to some voices who don’t make Power Lists….

    Liked by 1 person

    • SimonH September 20, 2016 / 9:15 am

      Like –

      See also an excellent comment in the thread that BT’s FTA channel’s CL coverage only gets 0.2m compared to the 4m who watched the CL on ITV.

      This is the future for English T20 – bumped on some Radio Quiet FM equivalent FTA channel and house-trained chumps like The Analyst spinning away about how marvelous it is in some vacuum because nobody except a dwindling hardcore is listening. I suspect any negotiations with BT started purely designed as leverage on Sky – but if the ECB are finding they do have a lorryload more cash then I wouldn’t exclude a parting of the ways.

      Date is right in that article I linked to higher up the thread – they don’t view T20 as a gateway drug into cricket but cricket as a gateway drug into T20.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Andy September 20, 2016 / 10:33 am

        Ha – I didn’t even realise BT had a FTA CL channel!

        Over teh last few years I would always have the CL on in an evening – even if it was just background (much to my other halfs annoyance). Through loss of time I thought it was an easy one to cut off and I hardly watch any football over the last couple of years. I would put it on but I’m not paying through the nose to two channels to have something on occasionally or in the background.

        I’m not going to start paying BT just for cricket and TBH the only reason I keep Sky sports is cause I threatened to leave so they gave it me free (speaking of which it’s time to call Sky and see if they want me to stay as a customer again)

        Seeing the numbers who don’t bother with the CL anymore should serve as a massive warning to all sports given Footballs place at the top of the pedestal.

        Does anyone know how may people watch Prem on sky vs BT?

        Like

      • Nicholas September 20, 2016 / 12:46 pm

        Look, I’ll defend BT here – they do FTA CL purely because they have to under the terms of their deal with UEFA. It transpired that they were not obliged to market the channel whatsoever, and thus they didn’t. A small number of matches were shown on Freeview but *nobody* knew. They did show the CL and EL finals on YouTube live and free and I gather that this was a modest success.

        I’ll stick my neck out here – I just can’t see BT getting hold of cricket rights. I think it will be Sky with a possible small FTA element when it comes to the T20.

        And I think Simon Hughes is just bullshitting, to be honest. He just thinks he can get a job with BT…

        Like

    • "IronBalls" McGinty September 20, 2016 / 10:56 am

      I’m voting for the Analist this year!

      Like

      • "IronBalls" McGinty September 20, 2016 / 10:58 am

        Best chance he’ll have at becoming #1 at something eh?

        Like

      • thebogfather September 20, 2016 / 12:26 pm

        ‘TheAnal-kissed’ is pure No.2’s….. The ‘LateLamentedLordSelfry’ still p!sses his No.1’s higher up the wall than anyone else over us Billys….

        Like

      • SimonH September 20, 2016 / 2:01 pm

        Don’t forget the Plagiarist!

        Liked by 1 person

      • thebogfather September 20, 2016 / 2:58 pm

        The plagiarist, will not from the list be missed
        For Ed and his myth-writer(s), have given us such bliss
        From Aristotle, to a lack of bottle
        Through Aesop’s fables to Gerry Cottle
        He’s been a circus of mirth
        Our Ed, with a 9 and 1/8th wide brimmed girth
        His head doth expand alongside our wrath and elan
        Yet, he is, a sports historian self appointed
        So to his lowly placing, he may be disappointed
        Perhaps he’ll eventually understand
        That trying to be too clever, is not in demand
        …unless his scriptwriter says otherwise, we’ll laugh, we’ll dismiss, we’ll despise…
        DICJAM

        Liked by 1 person

    • Neil September 20, 2016 / 8:03 pm

      There was another tweet too.

      @njhcricket @Tregaskis1 @mammalsmall there will definitely be cross platform (including FTA) and possible streaming in the deal. Guarenteed

      Like

      • Sean B September 20, 2016 / 8:22 pm

        Will believe it when I see it. ECB likely using BT as a bargaining tool for their £35million new toy. Sky don’t do FTA either (see Murdoch, Rupert), I do think Hughes is talking out of his arse even more than normal…

        Like

      • Neil September 22, 2016 / 7:37 pm

        Dobell dropping a very faint hint too…

        Like

    • nonoxcol September 20, 2016 / 11:24 am

      Enjoy the responses…

      Like

      • Sean B September 20, 2016 / 11:36 am

        I added that as an update last night. Not quite sure why it hasn’t shown on the site, damn WordPress.

        But yes, the article is horrific…

        Like

      • Grenville September 20, 2016 / 7:22 pm

        Here’s a wild stab in the dark: Rashid is a stubborn bastard who knows his own mind. To wit refusing to debut with a cut finger, his ‘troubles’ a few seasons back and today. If so, I love him for it and Mr Flower hates him, hence Selvey et al.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Sean B September 20, 2016 / 8:24 pm

          Best to ask the man that knows everything about anything, according to his sources…

          Like

  6. SimonH September 20, 2016 / 2:39 pm

    Blimey, there’s a ‘Guardian Pick’ on a cricket thread. Been a long, long time since I’ve seen one of them.

    You’ll never guess the subject. On second thoughts, you will.

    Oh, and there’s a contribution from Dan Lucas that confirms the recent impression that he’s one to keep an eye on.

    Like

    • SimonH September 21, 2016 / 9:09 am

      Selvey going out with some splenetic interventions on the thread to Bull’s article. One of the posts he’s replying to is pretty dumb – but couldn’t he make his point politely or with humour rather than just calling someone an “arse”?

      I think I’ll give the guard of honour a miss.

      Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol September 21, 2016 / 10:00 am

        I think he’s rather emboldened lately – most of the refuseniks have given up completely (quite where NL finds the energy I don’t know), while the sycophancy has gone through the roof as the pearl-clutchers have returned and been joined by some newbies with no awareness of articles from 2012-15 (see ‘sylvester’ on the preview article for one).

        Even some of the most vociferous (ahem) “Kevinistas”, like JamesSilkDavey, have been wishing him well. I absolutely cannot find it within my heart to do the same.

        Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol September 21, 2016 / 10:45 am

        By the way, his opening gambit for the day includes:

        “MCC, the organisation that actually owns the ground, is restricted by Westminster City Council to a set number of days the lights can be used. So it was totally out of the hands of anyone involved in the game. But it still didn’t stop the conspiracy theorists blaming Andrew Strauss, who singlehandedly has attempted to scupper Yorkshire’s championship ambitions, having previously faked the moon landings and been spotted on the grassy knoll.”

        Like

      • nonoxcol September 21, 2016 / 10:48 am

        Followed in short order BTL by:

        MikeSelvey 54m ago
        Staff

        I see Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have split up. I do hope Andrew Strauss hasn’t played a part in that.

        The other thing that will have emboldened him is, of course, England’s performances under the unimpeachable Strauss. For this justifies everything that went before.

        Like

      • SimonH September 21, 2016 / 10:59 am

        It’s been another part of his modus operandi in recent years – pick a strawman extreme argument that no more than a handful of chumps are arguing while ignoring the more reasonable criticisms.

        The lack of floodlight provision is obviously not some anti-Yorkshire conspiracy (after all, Middlesex need to win the game too). It is piss-poor treatment of paying spectators and it does show the low priority the ECB give to the CC (which is not to say Westminster Council are blameless either).

        Liked by 1 person

      • @pktroll September 21, 2016 / 11:04 am

        It’s a bit laughable really given that they aren’t asking play to be extended beyond 6:30 at this time of year. Surely Westminster Council could have been a bit more accommodating.

        Like

      • Mark September 21, 2016 / 4:17 pm

        He’s completely off his rocker. Has been so for years, but now he is demob happy so he is showing the world what an arse he is. Who thinks some of the snivelling sycophants Btl are other jounos? Which one is the Anyalist? What alias is he using? I’m guessing Selvey has landed another job at some idiot run institution. He seems to have lost the bitterness of when he got the sack.

        Speaking of the laughably named Anyalist, isn’t it fascinating to see how he and all the others parrot exactly the same line on almost every cricket topic? Strauss, Flower, ECB, KP, TV rights, city cricket, Rashid, Morgan. There is absolutely no other view given. It’s as if they are incapable of independent thought. The newspapers should just hire one of them, and then pool his copy with all other publishing outlets. All the copy would be exactly the same, but that is what it is now,and you could cut costs by sacking a whole bunch of them. Would anyone notice?

        Like

      • @pktroll September 21, 2016 / 12:04 pm

        Shame England can’t play in Ireland. I’d definitely travel across for a day or two for that.

        Like

  7. ArushaTZ September 21, 2016 / 5:25 pm

    I’d just like to comment on the Middlesex v Yorkshire game.

    The standard of seam bowling on both sides has been excellent. Best bowlers of the match so far – Patterson, Bresnan, Roland-Jones, Finn.
    Good news for England (although I don’t think he’ll play at all this winter) Finn has been consistent with his line and length and bowling with good pace. He troubled a few of the Yorkshire batsmen with surprise short balls.

    Yorkshire’s top order batting is shite. There’s still a wafer-thin chance that Yorkshire can get to 350 to keep their title ambitions alive, but if Bresnan goes, that’s over. (For those not up to speed with the points situation, If Yorkshire don’t get to 350, then only Somerset or Middlesex can win title. If Somerset win, which is highly likely, then Middlesex have to win also.)

    The pitch is slow and low with a bit of sideways nibble. No spin really, so far.

    Lyth received praise from Nick Knight for his innings. Everybody very impressed with Roland-Jones.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sean B September 21, 2016 / 9:34 pm

      Thanks Arusha, not been able to catch any of the game, so nice to actually hear an objective report. Any chance you could keep me updated, so I don’t have to read Selvey’s rubbish on it?

      Like

      • ArushaTZ September 21, 2016 / 10:01 pm

        Thanks. Yeah, I’ll do my best. Not sure how much of tomorrow’s play I’ll be able to watch but I’ll provide a summary.

        I will say as well, about Finn. He roughed up Hodd with a couple of good short balls, then bowled a lovely, good length outswinger outside off stump that Hodd edged, but Compton dropped a fairly easy catch at third slip. The catching has been pretty poor in this match from both sides.

        Selvey is right about one thing, although it’s fairly obvious, the new ball will be key. Because the pitch is so slow, the period when the ball is new, is pretty much the only time when the nicks are fine enough and will carry to the slips. after that, with the older ball, LBW looks the best bet because it does still nibble off the seam.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. nonoxcol September 21, 2016 / 9:15 pm

    This:

    “The batting order always did have the look of a fat rat about it, with a big body and a long tail, and although Tim Bresnan, the redoubtably honest “Bresilad”, in at No5 and effectively facing the new ball (an unaccustomed role, one would have thought, unless it was the second one), was still there on 72, with Azeem Rafiq on 20, there is that second new ball looming in 11 overs, which could scupper the rest of the innings, leaving the game in limbo.”

    has been described by one BTL crawler as “a deliberate self-tribute”. So not a hideous, borderline unreadable sentence, then.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sean B September 21, 2016 / 9:23 pm

      I could literally write a whole piece about the Guardian BTL (I had a rare look yesterday and quickly scarpered). Smug, self-congratulatory, sycophantic and downright unpleasant are the words that spring to mind first.

      Like

        • Sean B September 22, 2016 / 5:11 pm

          It would probably contain 800 words of expletives and involve me hitting the Thesaurus pretty hard for 80 different ways to say clueless, bullying idiots!!

          Like

      • Mark September 22, 2016 / 1:47 pm

        If the Guardian BTL was a stick of rock, it would have C*** written all the way through it. And Selvey couldn’t complain because he thinks it’s fine using that word on TV in the middle of the day.

        Like

  9. SimonH September 22, 2016 / 8:14 am

    India versus NZ Test series under way.

    India have dropped their five-bowler policy as soon as they came up against better opposition than the WI (although Ishant’s absence through illness may have something to do with it as well). A two-Test margin victory in the three-match series will lift India to the top of the rankings.

    NZ seem on the slide and were outplayed in their warm-up game. Southee’s out for the series with an ankle injury and Neesham is out of this Test but expected to be fit for the next. They’re playing three spinners and Ronchi as a specialist batsman.

    India won the toss and are batting. After a good start, a couple of quick wickets have pegged them back to 160-3.

    Like

  10. whiterose76 September 22, 2016 / 8:31 am

    I was at Lord’s yesterday and I’d echo Arushatz’s comments.
    But I’d add that I was really impressed with Roland-Jones – I’d not seen him bowl live for a little while and on a slow pitch he was decidedly sharp and gave Yorkshire’s admittedly frail top order the real hurry up. Both Roland-Jones and Finn bowled well from the Pavilion End, but were not so effective from the other end.
    Lyth was majestic for an hour – it looked like he was batting on a different pitch to everyone else and he was unlucky to be out playing the ball into the ground and onto the bails.
    And Bresnan did what Bresnan does – solid, dependable, organised.
    There isn’t a cat in hell’s chance of Yorkshire making 350 but it was good, tough cricket yesterday – the sun came out for the evening and the beer was pretty decent. Not much more you could ask for.

    Like

    • whiterose76 September 22, 2016 / 3:26 pm

      Ahem, as I said, not a cat in hell’s chance Yorkshire would get 350. But I knew they’d get 390. Just shows that I know the square root of nowt…

      Like

  11. SimonH September 22, 2016 / 9:58 am

    Glimpsed on the front page of The Times this morning:

    ‘Jonathan Trott: my feud with England captain’.

    Anyone know more?

    Like

    • SimonH September 22, 2016 / 10:25 am

      Looks like it’s Vaughan.

      Like

    • nonoxcol September 22, 2016 / 11:09 am

      My “wider imagination” was captured thirty-odd years ago by the Ryder Cup, which I regard as the single most perfect format in sport. The 2012 edition is second only to the 2005 Ashes as the greatest sporting event I have watched this century.

      Evidently my imagination isn’t quite wide enough, because this sounds like utter shit.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mark September 22, 2016 / 12:32 pm

        Check out the mans idiotic coloured glasses. If he turned up to ask for sponsorship I wouldn’t take him seriously. Golf is finding like all other sport that it must exist for no other reason than to make money. It’s the new brave neo liberal way, and it is going to kill off a lot of sportsman earning a good living. Because all the money very quickly goes to the top. Like all other modern ventures.

        Who wants to sponsor the European tour? Or lower league football? And who wants to pay very much for second and third raters? Tough times unless you are a premiership footballer.

        Like

      • LordCanisLupus September 22, 2016 / 1:23 pm

        Reading the history of the Ryder Cup at the moment (in the words of the players). It’s electric.

        I’d put Oak Hill above Medinah myself (I know it’s not this century) but this competition is so powerful now that the PGA tour schedule a $10m first prize competition the week before and hardly anyone really notices.

        Like

      • nonoxcol September 22, 2016 / 1:47 pm

        I said “this century” to make it clear that I put it above even the London Olympics.

        I do remember Oak Hill – I met someone in Sheffield, ostensibly for a curry, but we spent the first hour mesmerised by Faldo v Strange and Philip Walton in a nearby pub.

        The curry tasted better for the delay, mind.

        Like

      • Mark September 22, 2016 / 1:48 pm

        Welcome home boss. You weren’t gone very long, business or pleasure?

        Like

      • Mark September 22, 2016 / 4:56 pm

        I thought it was a long way to go for such a short break if it was a holiday. But you never know, what with air miles and special offers.

        Like

        • Sean B September 22, 2016 / 5:14 pm

          I’d heard rumours that LCL was saving up the air miles to spend the winter in Dubai with Andy Flower 😅

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Mark September 22, 2016 / 6:24 pm

    This whole Trott vs Vaughn thing is very odd. It also casts doubt on the reasons for his leaving the ashes tour. Do players really think Vaughn is trying to get players sacked to get his ones in? Perhaps Strauss should look into it as trust is very important, or so he claims.

    Now P Morgan has got involved, which brings in KP. It could all kick off. I wonder what all the leading cricket writers will say. I mean they are so un predictable with their opinions. Snark.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sean B September 22, 2016 / 6:29 pm

      Whatever the politics, I do like the fact that someone has had a pop at Vaughan. He’s been talking absolute bollocks for a long while as that bloody awful Rashid article showed. It has also been known that he never hesitates to promote the attributes of the ISM stable (see James Vince), yet he has never been questioned by his editorial colleagues on TMS or the Torygraph. The guy is just one big mouth with a gaping hole where his brain should be.

      As for Piers Morgan, I literally couldn’t care less about his opinions. The guys a grade A twat…

      Like

      • pktroll (@pktroll) September 22, 2016 / 7:05 pm

        Well said. I wish Vaughan could actually stick to cricket tactics and actual discussions on games, that’s where he’s actually quite good. The rest of it stinks. Then again you could actually say the same about Selvey – most of his technical demonstrations re Steve Finn’s meltdown were actually quite intriguing, well for a fast bowling fan, just his defence re Saker stuck in the throat.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sean B September 22, 2016 / 7:40 pm

          Vaughan, I felt was an extremely good captain, but obviously had a brain transplant after he retired. Seems to happen to a lot of cricketers after they retire…

          Like

      • Mark September 22, 2016 / 8:16 pm

        He has put out a statement today refuting any allegation he is trying to get players he is connected with into the England team.

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus September 22, 2016 / 9:51 pm

          Michael Vaughan really damages his reputation in my eyes with every passing day. For example, his statement today is pure hilarity, including this part….

          “….but I will not accept any attack on my honesty or my integrity. Nor will I accept accusations that I set out to positively damage the career of any professional cricketer.”

          Perhaps Michael forgot the attack on Jonathan Trott’s “honesty and integrity” in his autobiography. You know, the bit where he said Trott was celebrating with the South Africans.

          https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2009/oct/29/michael-vaughan-jonathan-trott-south-africa-cricket

          Hey. You can throw Michael, but you can’t catch. It’s not as if people weren’t mentioning your blatant conflicts of interest when you were being touted as the Director, England Cricket role last year. And you’ve not exactly been piling into James Vince this summer either.

          Trott has had a ton of people questioning his “honesty and integrity” and Vaughan was one of them around the Ashes. You can’t moan when that’s fired back at you when it is what a lot of people are thinking these days….

          Liked by 1 person

      • BoredInAustria September 23, 2016 / 4:32 am

        Made all the more interesting as this might also be Dobell’s view…

        Like

    • Anteater September 25, 2016 / 10:08 am

      A google search for Trott on Sunday morning gave a load of results for articles about Vaughn’s response and virtually b*gger all about Trott himself. It’s almost like some clique had found their mate being dissed by Johnny Foreigner and had to pile on. Which tends to explain why this blog is so great if one wants to read stuff and make comments which don’t fit the party line.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. ArushaTZ September 22, 2016 / 6:29 pm

    I didn’t see any of the morning session today, so can’t comment on that. I joined play with Yorkshire 341/9. The next hour or so was extremely tense. Sidebottom survived a great lbw appeal. Pitching in-line, hitting in-line, hitting the wickets. Rob Bailey says not out. Snicko showed a tiny feather of an inside edge.

    Bresnan was immense with the bat. very controlled innings. Rob Key reckons it’s one of the best Championship innings he’s seen given the situation.

    Not much happened this evening. Robson pushed at a ball outside off stump and nicked off, Compton got a good one from Brooks. The Yorkshire bowlers plugged away on a line and length but there’s no life in the pitch.

    It should be a great day tomorrow with both teams going for the win.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sean B September 22, 2016 / 6:32 pm

      Can see a contrived finish as neither will settle for the draw, but the Yorkies have to be favourite. I’ve heard the pitch is a pretty, slow, low and turgid one. Not great for a championship finale, but then Mick Hunt has only ever cared about producing decent pitches for the Test games…

      Like

      • ArushaTZ September 22, 2016 / 7:01 pm

        Given how many Middlesex still need, to set Yorkshire a decent total, it is possible there may be some arrangement. Some of the Sky lot were speculating that may be against the rules now.

        Both sides need to win, so if I were Gale, I wouldn’t entertain the idea. I’d just say, ‘we’ll chase whatever you set’. If Gale won’t do a deal, then Middlesex may just have gamble and set something like 180-190 in 35 overs.

        Like

        • Sean B September 22, 2016 / 7:31 pm

          Yep my thinking too. If Middx can bat through and post a chase of 220 in 40 overs it may get interesting, but I think the pitch may defeat that. Can either see Middx collapsing in a heap for 215 all out or batting as long as they can to set 185 in 30 overs. Neither team likes each other, so Somerset are definitely favourites IMO..

          Like

  14. sidesplittin September 22, 2016 / 6:50 pm

    Off topic but, given the BCCI continues to have everyone else by the short and curlies, presumably there’ll be no DRS in the IND vs ENG series ?

    Like

    • Mark September 22, 2016 / 7:24 pm

      There is no big 3, just a big 1.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sean B September 22, 2016 / 7:34 pm

      Not a chance. Not sure about snicko though, vaguely seem to think it was used in 2014.

      Like

  15. Benny September 22, 2016 / 7:03 pm

    As I’m too old to be at work, I’ve been able to watch most of it. Two teams giving everything. Bresnan absolutely brilliant. Yes Sean the pitch is second rate – the odd ball not bouncing at all.

    Sky comms and George Dobell suggesting it’s a wonderful advert for championship cricket. Problem is that in most CC matches the teams aren’t so desperate to win so they don’t give us such a nailbiter.

    I’d love to go and watch tomorrow but with the train companies we have in the South, I don’t know if I’d get there or get home again.

    Like

    • Sean B September 22, 2016 / 7:33 pm

      Thanks Benny, that’s what I’d heard too. Work and/or Southern trains, neither conducive to be able to watch any cricket..

      Like

  16. d'Arthez September 23, 2016 / 5:00 am

    Meanwhile in India, it is the third over of the New Zealand innings, so Jadeja gets the ball. Shami got a change of ends, and Yadav must have been exhausted after a marathon spell of one over with the new ball … On a Day 2 pitch.

    Like

    • SimonH September 23, 2016 / 7:42 am

      NZ 100-1 (wicket falling to a seamer) after India made just over 300 (with half the Indian wickets falling to the seamers).

      The pitch is not a raging bunsen! The early introduction of spin had more to do with how Kohli saw the weaknesses of the NZ batsmen (presumably Guptill – Latham has an excellent record against spin) – or perhaps the quality of his own seamers (remembering Ishant’s out ill).

      Like

    • d'Arthez September 23, 2016 / 8:11 am

      It is not a raging bunsen. True. It certainly does not come close to Nagpur, 2015. But it would have made more sense to open with Jadeja, as Guptill took strike for the first ball (and Latham took strike for the first ball of the third over). Meanwhile the commentators have spent an hour arguing that Amit Mishra is being missed here – which would be fairly normal if we’re on Day 4 or 5 (because that is when spinners are traditionally the most challenging to face in India).

      What New Zealand do extremely well is rotate the strike. 25 overs have now been bowled between Ashwin and Jadeja, and they have not even managed one maiden between them. Thus making the bowlers work really hard for chances. New Zealand have found a batting plan that really works for them.

      And for some bizarre reason, the third umpire is Indian. What is the point of insisting on neutral umpires and then having a “home” umpire as third umpire? I am accusing Chaudhary of bias – he seems to be doing his job well. But why was it necessary for Billy Bowden to be unretired for an Ashes series, if say Illingworth or Kettleborough or a few others could have done the duties as third umpire?

      Like

      • SimonH September 23, 2016 / 8:22 am

        Having said that, Ashwin’s just turned one the width of the stumps that went through the top of the pitch.

        Like

      • d'Arthez September 24, 2016 / 5:31 am

        152/1 overnight became 170/4. Taylor bagged another duck, Williamson and Latham could not convert their 50s into tons. All three went inside 4 overs.

        Ronchi and Santner (and Watling later) will have some serious rebuilding to do, since you don’t want to bat last on such a pitch at all. It is only day 3, but the pitch does not really play like it.

        Like

      • d'Arthez September 24, 2016 / 7:41 am

        Jadeja has just taken his fifth. New Zealand 258/9 now. Game probably gone from them. A few minutes later Ashwin takes the last wicket of Watling, and New Zealand are 262 all out.

        Jadeja’s average at home (15.60 as it is) is the best since Mike Procter (minimum of 20 wickets taken). The only other post-WW2 bowler on that list, in front of Jadeja is Jack Iversen. All the 8 others ahead of Jadeja played their last Test before WW1.

        Impressive numbers, but, if Jadeja was really such a good bowler, why is his bowling differential between home and away 26.20, easily among the worst among bowlers who have taken 50+ wickets? (Danny Morrison, Hirwani and Raju also have a 25+ differential).

        Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez September 23, 2016 / 8:23 am

      Sorry, there was one maiden between Ashwin and Jadeja – last over before lunch.

      And now it seems Kettleborough missed an underedge by Williamson.

      Like

      • SimonH September 23, 2016 / 9:08 am

        Are attendance figures available anywhere?

        The first day crowd looked poor but it looks better today. However the ramshackle nature of the ground makes it difficult to tell.

        Like

      • SimonH September 23, 2016 / 10:23 am

        And it’s raining. Guess what –

        a) There’s never been a Test match scheduled in Kanpur in September before.
        b) The weather forecast is even worse for the next two days (80% chance of precipitation)
        c) September is the average second wettest month in Kanpur.
        d) Cricinfo says the drainage at the ground isn’t good.

        It’s set up to be Durban the sequel.

        I hate the fucking fuckwits who run this game.

        Like

      • d'Arthez September 23, 2016 / 11:05 am

        Even worse, Ashwin in particular began to become increasingly challenging for the batsmen. That the weather has to cancel the last session of the day, with such a good fight in the offing is really galling.

        But on the bright side, Tests had been played in India in September. The last time it happened though, was 1986.

        Like

  17. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) September 23, 2016 / 5:33 am

    What an incredible finish to the CC this is, the drama of the race for the title even overshadowing the equally fascinating battle to avoid the drop. Take away the broader context of what is happening in the game and this surely has to be one of the great passages of English domestic sport.

    Middlesex find themselves in a horrible position really, with little realistic hope of forcing a win unless they can somehow counter-attack at a high rate on a stodgy surface against a strong seam attack. It feels like their cricket during the run-in has fluctuated enormously between resilience and brainfart sessions of batting collapses and dropped catches. Somerset will be hoping that Middlesex are stubborn enough to fight for a draw even if they can no longer win the title, or that Yorkshire implode during a modest but intense run-chase and are left hanging on also.

    Would love to know where the Somerset players are watching the game and be a fly on the wall.

    Elsewhere, India bringing the spinners on so early would, you imagine, give the lie to the idea that they will produce batsmen friendly surfaces for the England tour. It was an interesting theory but I reckon they’ll take their chances (art) on a spinning shoot-out.

    Like

    • Mark September 23, 2016 / 8:26 am

      I agree. If this was premiership football with 3 teams going for the title and a relegation place up for grabs Sky/BBC/Uncle Tom Cobberly and all would be going insane. The hype would be off the scale.

      But with cricket I doubt most people in the country even know it’s going on. Shame.

      Like

  18. nonoxcol September 23, 2016 / 11:11 am

    I just want to tell SimonH he’s not alone: this guy is definitely in the running for my top five this year.

    Three-way championship race, on a knife-edge, you’re reporting from Lord’s, where two of the sides in the running are playing. Here’s your first report:

    “It’s a glorious morning at Lord’s, as if somebody up there knew this was Mike Selvey’s last day covering cricket for the Guardian and fixed the weather for the occasion. Middlesex are 119 for two as I type this, but if Selve’s taught me anything in the 10 years I’ve been working with him, apart from the locations of his favourite spots for sundowners, it’s that you’ve got to know when to watch. And I suspect this day’s play isn’t quite going to catch light till a little later in the afternoon. In the meantime, I’ve been having a rummage around in the archives. And I’ve found, alongside a report from April 23, 1985, a short report on the day’s play at Fenner’s, between Cambridge University v Essex, written, of course, by one Mike Selvey. It was his very first match report for the paper.”

    And here’s two thirds of your second:

    “In the meantime, I’ve been reading more of Mike’s early works. His very first piece for The Guardian was actually a tourist’s guide to India, which contains a fine anecdote about Ken Barrington’s bath plug and a group of rowdy fans propelling oranges into the middle of Eden Gardens with a catapult made out of a car tyre. It ends with the following piece of wisdom: “It was Keith Fletcher who introduced me to the pleasures of drinking Scotch whisky by insisting I drank a tumblerful last thing at night, in an effort, he said, to kill any stomach bugs. My advice to this year’s tourists is: stock up well on the duty-frees, because while it may not be the elixir of life it might quell any rumbles on the sub-continent. And even if it doesn’t, it is one hell of a pleasant way to prove someone wrong.” ”

    And to think, the last time the race was this close in 2010, people on this paper criticised Flintoff for stealing the limelight by retiring from first-class cricket on the same day….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark September 23, 2016 / 11:27 am

      So he’s been trying to prove people wrong for 30 years. Shame he has failed so miserably at it.

      To paraphrase Churchill……” Never has so much crap been written by so few profesional journalists..”

      Like

    • fred September 23, 2016 / 10:40 pm

      “Middlesex are 119 for two as I type this, but if Selve’s taught me anything in the 10 years I’ve been working with him, apart from the locations of his favourite spots for sundowners, it’s that you’ve got to know when to watch. And I suspect this day’s play isn’t quite going to catch light till a little later in the afternoon.”
      What an incredibly stupid thing for a cricket journalist to say. Is he really saying he took his eyes off the match of the final morning of the CC final with the title in the balance between three teams because it wouldn’t get tight until the afternoon? This from ‘the greatest cricket writer today” according to numerous Guardian readers? T20 really has taken over.
      As for the whole tickling Selveys’s balls thing, I could comment but my vomit would clug up the keyboard.
      What you forgot to mention was that the bits that weren’t about Selvey weren’t about the cricket either, it was some story about reading a book on a bus with the back pages missing.
      Still, there seem to be lots of people in England who enjoy this stuff, so who am I to criticise?

      Liked by 1 person

  19. @pktroll September 23, 2016 / 1:52 pm

    Don’t reckon the last hour of play in the County Championship has been much to talk about. Some mediocre batting post lunch by Middlesex and then only spurred into action when Yorkshire decided to serve up dross to allow Middlesex to set 240. You can understand that the Somerset camp are not at all impressed.

    Like

    • Benny September 23, 2016 / 2:20 pm

      A cynic might observe that, if Middlesex thought a win was almost impossible, they’d be £80,000 better off in prize money with a draw than if they lost.

      Like

  20. ArushaTZ September 23, 2016 / 1:55 pm

    Pretty foolish from Yorkshire to agree to feed Middlesex easy runs. 240 in 40 overs is way too much I think. As a proud Yorkshireman, I hope I’m proved wrong.

    So there it is. Yorkshire need 240 in 40, Middlesex need 10 wickets. Somerset need a miracle.

    Like

  21. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) September 23, 2016 / 2:31 pm

    I think a lot here will depend on how Yorkshire react if they lose a few wickets. If they keep swinging whatever this looks bad for Somerset, if they dig in it may be hard to prise the batsmen out. Hard to bat out when you know it’s for a physic draw.

    Like

    • BoredInAustria September 23, 2016 / 2:52 pm

      48/3 Willey gone

      Like

  22. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) September 23, 2016 / 4:07 pm

    Tantalising with 85 needed off 9.2. A reasonable chase under one-day conditions and rules but tough here on a stodgy wicket. Maybe canny stuff from Franklin.

    I fancy Somerset at this stage unless, like I say, the Yorkshire tail swing like crazy when the game is pretty well lost.

    We may also find out if either side at Lords are as hacked off as has been reported about Somerset wickets recently.

    Like

  23. d'Arthez September 23, 2016 / 4:09 pm

    54 balls for 83 runs, but just 5 wickets left. Gale and Hodd at the crease. Bresnan contributed 55 from 48 balls, all the other batsmen dismissed (Lyth, Lees, Wiley, Ballance) could not strike at a run a ball before being dismissed.

    Like

    • Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) September 23, 2016 / 4:15 pm

      Suspect Bresnan will be looking forward to his winter break after this game. 197 runs and 35 overs!

      Like

    • d'Arthez September 23, 2016 / 4:27 pm

      30 balls, 62 runs to get. And just two wickets remaining. Somerset will be tense.

      Like

      • d'Arthez September 23, 2016 / 4:30 pm

        Make that 29 balls, 1 wicket remaining – Sidebottom and Brooks at the crease.

        Like

    • BoredInAustria September 23, 2016 / 4:36 pm

      a hat trick over 2 overs and 3 wickets in 3 balls – quite a finish to the season!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Sean B September 23, 2016 / 4:56 pm

      As you might have guessed, I’m slightly happy at the moment!

      Like

      • nonoxcol September 23, 2016 / 5:22 pm

        Breaking news:

        Strauss and Fraser still honourable men whose integrity is beyond reproach.

        Enjoy your celebration. I didn’t want that result, partly because it means Selvey’s send-off will be even more smug, and partly because I don’t want Strauss to win as much as a goldfish.

        Like

        • Sean B September 23, 2016 / 5:58 pm

          First title in 23 years, so I’m not bothered about Stauss and Selfey this evening if in honest…

          Like

  24. d'Arthez September 23, 2016 / 4:31 pm

    Middlesex won. Somerset will be gutted.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. ArushaTZ September 23, 2016 / 4:41 pm

    Crap from Yorkshire. Gale’s handed that to Middlesex today.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Benny September 23, 2016 / 6:28 pm

    Not sure what to think. Middlesex full team beat Yorkshire, 3 top players missing (2 on the orders of ECB) after a contrived declaration. Does any other sport manipulate the play like that?

    Definitely feel sorry for Somerset.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sean B September 23, 2016 / 7:10 pm

      Contrived declarations happen when both teams have something to play for, this has happened since the dawn of cricket, a dull draw would’ve been the most anticlimactic finish to say the least. It may be morally debatable, but there is nothing in the laws of cricket to prevent it.

      Yes, Yorkshire weren’t at full strength, but there have been times when other counties have suffered too. Middx at one point this season lost virtually all of our fast bowlers due to international call ups. The cruc of the point is unless the ECB reduces the amount of international cricket played in a summer (and we know they won’t) then this will always happen. Players aren’t robots and so we have to make do with the central contracts policy.

      I am a Middx fan, but do feel some sympathy with Somerset, it must have been hard watching for their players and fans alike; however with 2 of the title protagonists playing against each other, then something was always likely to give…

      Like

      • Benny September 24, 2016 / 12:59 pm

        Fair comment. Didn’t express myself well. I have no problem with what happened. Just think it would have been more special with two full sides battling through 4 days to a result without the need for the captains to agree on some mickey mouse bowling to enable a declaration. That’s the romantic side of my nature. I do fantasy as well.

        Pleased for Middlesex. Would have been for Yorkshire or Somerset if it had worked out differently. They’ve all been excellent this year.

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Clivejw September 23, 2016 / 7:37 pm

    A truly memorable end to the season, and in fact, County Cricket, after the drabbest of starts when the decision to do away with the toss if the visiting team wants to bowl led to bland pitches and dull draws, has had a memorable six weeks with some really cracking games.

    Sevley has filed his last piece, and I won’t comment on it on the Guardian for fear of sounding like a hypocrite. I stand by what I said a couple of years ago: that Selvey is a good writer, but a bloody lousy journalist. He should never have been made senior cricket correspondent on a major newspaper, because he has no idea what the responsibilities of the job entail. Just look at the good job Nick Hoult is doing at the Telegraph by way of contrast. He has no understanding of the need to maintain editorial independence from those who run the game, absolutely zero empathy for the long-suffering cricket fan, and a perfectly tin ear for the way he comes across in online interaction, The ‘His Lordship’ soubriquet may have started as a joke, but it soon became clear that above and below the line at the Guardian was a throwback to the upstairs-downstairs days when the lower classes new their place.

    Yeah, but he could write about cricket and cricketers, I’ll give him that.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Sean B September 23, 2016 / 7:39 pm

      Couldn’t have put it better myself…

      Like

    • Rooto September 23, 2016 / 8:23 pm

      Perfectly put, Clive.
      Problem is the guy is threatening to come back and visit BTL next summer, thereby spoiling my county cricket commenting hobby for good.

      Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol September 23, 2016 / 8:28 pm

        That’s nothing: how many emails do you think he’ll send and have published on the OBO?

        Liked by 1 person

      • fred September 23, 2016 / 10:46 pm

        I’d be very surprised if Selvey doesn’t find another platform. At the very least it will be just twitter and special honoured guest at various Guardian channels, but don’t expect him to disappear from the airwaves so quickly.
        Sky commentary team? No reason why not.

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus September 24, 2016 / 10:48 am

          Every reason why not. One – he’s not a great broadcaster. TMS hardly rushed to bring him back. Two – no-one in the fanbase that Sky want to attract has ever heard of him. Three – in modern broadcasting parlance, he’s bleedin’ ancient. David Lloyd is employed as the old fogey by Sky because he appears to have a sense of humour (which is sadly lacking in his Twitter feed). They aren’t after self-important old cricketers – not while you’ve got one there that’s taken 350 more wickets than him.

          He’ll write.

          Liked by 1 person

      • fred September 24, 2016 / 3:15 pm

        OK, I stand corrected, Sky wouldn’t want him.

        Interesting comments though: what’s “the fanbase that Sky wants”? Are you saying they’re chasing youth? With Gower, Botham, Lloyd, Holding et al?

        Also, “They aren’t after self-important old cricketers”: but that’s what they all are on Sky, even though mostly they don’t match the lack of self awareness of Selvey. In fact, isn’t that what a TV expert is, an older experienced guy who believes enough in himself to tell eveyone else what to think?

        Bugger, not sure I stand corrected after all, I think he’d fit right in. He’d do the third man analysis thing well on bowling. He’d have all the stories to tell. He’d probably do bantz.
        I’ve never seen nor heard, only read him, so my opinion is a bit handicapped in that respect.

        On that team, Ian Ward seems to come from another planet. I was amazed to discover recently he was a professional cricketer, and even a Test cricketer briefly, I had no idea. (I was otherwise occupied and didn’t follow cricket during his brief period). Entirely self-effacing, entirely interested in the person he’s interviewing, entirely interested in the cricket. And good on screen. I just always assumed he was a professional journalist. Can you imagine Ward saying what Bull did that Nonoxcol pointed out: nothing much will happen on this last morning of the CC with the title to be decided today between three possible teams, so I’ll look up an old story on Selvey instead?

        Liked by 1 person

      • fred September 24, 2016 / 7:31 pm

        Do you know who the replacements will be?

        Like

      • fred September 25, 2016 / 2:42 pm

        Graeme Swann and Ed Smith.

        Just stop it, it’s not even funny.

        Like

    • fred September 23, 2016 / 10:56 pm

      “The ‘His Lordship’ soubriquet may have started as a joke, but it soon became clear that above and below the line at the Guardian was a throwback to the upstairs-downstairs days when the lower classes new their place.”
      It’s an interesting things about how power plays out. I had a job in my past where people suddenly started laughing at my stupid jokes in the team meeting. My jokes hadn’t gotten better, I’d just been accepted by the management, and so by the team. I was perceived as having power, so my jokes had to be laughed at.
      The Lord thing started as a joke apparently, but no one has ever seen fit to explain that. But it evolved into a soubriquet that gave him a status it was never intended to. The joke was forgotten and he became The Lord.
      Wouldn’t really have mattered if he wasn’t such an arrogant tosser in his writing, but unfortuntely he was.

      Like

      • quebecer September 24, 2016 / 1:12 am

        If i remember correctly, the whole Lord Selvey thing began in reference to the writers, not the relationship with the common folk. The whimsy was the writers as the notables of the parish, but denoted in their pecking order: Lord Selvey, Squire Marks, Parson Hopps etc. But then it became, well, we know what it became.

        Staggered by the vitriol re the declaration. Have these people no experience with cricket? The declaration in all its facets is something GREAT about the game. It has always been so. The pitches Somerset decided to serve up are far more worthy of attention – not to me, mind you, as i say fair enough, but to those bitching about the declaration at Lords? Stop it. Did you not grow up playing club cricket back in the day?

        And Bairstow not playing was on Yorkshire, not the ECB.

        Congrats to Middlesex, my old patch, as deserved winners.

        Like

  28. SimonH September 25, 2016 / 8:46 am

    Obviously pleased the weather forecasts for Kanpur have turned out to be wrong!

    It’s a good day for world cricket today with Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Ireland all playing ODIs.

    Like

    • SimonH September 26, 2016 / 9:14 am

      So NZ have gone down to a heavy defeat. Once the stand between Ronchi (who got a shocking decision in the first innings) and Santner was broken they subsided quickly. Ashwin becomes the second fastest bowler to 200 Test wickets behind Clarrie Grimmett. He was unusually expensive this time but Jadeja kept the other end tight. The weekend days looked well attended which may turn out to be the most important thing in the long term.

      Can NZ come back? It seems unlikely – but they did last time they were in Asia, in the UAE. Then they lost the First Test massively, hung on to draw the Second and won the Third (although both the main heroes in that game, McCullum and Craig, won’t be playing in the rest of this series).

      The pitch was an odd one, whole sessions would pass with apparently little turn then it would start going through the surface and turning big time. I don’t think it was beyond fair – but another Test match in India ticks by without a century. Kohli’s batting form as captain may become an issue soon – with the fairly big “apart from” of a double century against a woeful WI, he’s not on a good run.

      Like

      • d'Arthez September 26, 2016 / 10:13 am

        I might be tempted to do some stats on batting performances in India, because it has now been a while. There have been 437 tons scored in India (both by Indians and tourists). Other than a hiatus of 14 years between 1934 and 1948 (undoubtedly not helped by WW2, and Tests being more scarce in that era), the last ton not scored by Rahane was in 2013. Rahane scored 2 in the match in Delhi against South Africa.

        Let’s just look at the data since 2009.

        2009: 14 tons, 5 by Sri Lankans. In just 3 Tests
        2010: 24 tons! 11 by visiting batsmen. 7 Tests
        2011: 7 tons. 1 by Chanderpaul. The rest Indians. 3 Tests
        2012: 13 tons. 7 by visiting batsmen. 6 Tests (2 vs NZ, 4 vs England)
        2013: 11 tons. Clarke was the only visiting batsman to score one. 6 Tests
        2014: no tons, no Tests.
        2015: 2 tons, both by one batsman in the same Test. 4 Tests
        2016: no tons yet

        Me thinks, that obviously the pitches are playing a role in this.

        Like

      • d'Arthez September 26, 2016 / 10:14 am

        Seems WordPress ate some of my post. Years without tons in India are pretty uncommon, and are mostly explained by a lack of Tests in that particular year.

        Like

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