The Annual “End of Summer Poll”

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The Reigning Champion

The county season is in the books. There’s at least a fortnight between now and the next England international game. So it seems an opportune moment to bring the new poll to you for your enjoyment and completion.

It has to be said that I haven’t had cricket on my mind much this week. I was in Rio de Janeiro for the first half of the week, in what looked like possibly the best beach cricket location in the world (certainly after the rain that blighted my visit had compacted the sand) at Copacabana, but with the crap weather I had a chance to contemplate some stuff that I could include. I thought, and I’ve blatantly nicked the idea from Awful Announcing, that we consider a Mount Rushmore of Outside Cricket. The four characters that have shaped the Outside Cricket agenda, if there is an agenda, the most. It could be a player, it could be a writer, an anouncer, an administrator, a coach. It can’t be one of us, that’s the only stipulation. I would like you to nominate four individuals to be cast in stone!

Of course, eyes will focus on the Worst Journalist result. A keenly fought contest, the reigning champions have been sacked within the year – Pringle winning in 2014, Selfey last year – so who are we going to curse this year.

The International Summer

England’s Test Player Of The Summer (Top Three) –

Best Overseas Test Player Of The Summer (Top Three)

Best Test Innings Of The Summer (Top Three)

Best Bowling Performance (Individual) Of The Summer (Top Three)

Journalists & Commentators (Bloggers do not count, cricket press, writing for papers, magazines and cricinfo)

Best Three Journalists (rank order)

Worst Five Journalists (rank order)

Best Commentator

Oh No! Why He Is On? Worst Three Commentators

Mount Outside Cricketmore

Your four people to be inaugurated onto the mountain…

Open Space –

Your overall comments on the summer….

Comments on the blog –

What do you like, what don’t you like, what would you like to see more of, would you like to write? All here…

You can send these to Dmitriold@hotmail.co.uk or comment below. I will bring you the results somewhere near 1 November, so you have time. But quick responses are often the best ones.

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149 thoughts on “The Annual “End of Summer Poll”

  1. nonoxcol September 24, 2016 / 12:55 pm

    Hurray, the highlight of the year!

    I hope it *is* a belter. I still haven’t decided the order of my top four, or the identity of number five. The three worst commentators is easy though, with a late and unignorable run from everyone’s favourite multi purpose vehicle.

    Great new question, really looking forward to the result of that.

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus September 24, 2016 / 3:36 pm

      Sometimes the gags just write themselves…

      He has always been an independent soul, reluctant to follow the pack (especially if they were heading for a press conference) and that is surely a virtue in a cricket correspondent.

      Like

      • Mark September 24, 2016 / 4:07 pm

        That is either sarcasm, or Marks needs the men in white coats to take him away.

        He has followed the ECB pack like a good little puppy.

        Like

      • Rooto September 24, 2016 / 7:09 pm

        Far less ingratiating as a farewell than those from Ali Martin and (particularly) the former journalist known as Andy Bull, I thought.
        One could almost count the obit euphemisms.

        Like

      • Mark September 24, 2016 / 7:54 pm

        When the journalist becomes the story, he’s not doing his job. And there does seem to be a lot of smug, self congratulatory story’s about other sports jounalists. Sports journalists in this country have the stench of Smashie and Nicey about them. Too many best mates.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. pktroll (@pktroll) September 25, 2016 / 8:15 am

    England players of the summer

    1. Chris Woakes – I thought he was a real spare part but he’s had his real breakthrough season in international cricket. I thought he was yet another medium-fast bowler who was trying to bowl quicker than his body allowed likeTim Bresnan was (albeit less podgy!), but he’s bowled with good pace, control and has got his outswinger back. Also he really does look like he could bat at no.7 if he was entrusted with it.

    2. Jonny Bairstow – I think he’s improved with the gloves on where he was around a year ago, although it will remain to be seen as to where he is at come standing up to spin in Asia. Consisten work with the bat of a high quality, with his two tons v SL and some consistent, if not outstanding scores v Pakistan. A key cog in the batting line-up and someone who you would hope would show an upward curve in terms of playing spin well. He made a one off appearance in India 4 years ago and looked horrible. He is clearly a far better player now.

    3. Moeen Ali. His bowling hasn’t really improved and he can get taken apart too easily, yet he has scored 2 test centuries this summer, and after a poor test at Lord’s v Pakistan he looked increasingly classy v Yasir in particular. Some joyous innings and I would hope that he bats at either #4 or #5 in Bangladesh and India.

    Best Overseas international player of the summer

    1. Younus Khan – that double ton at the Oval. Having watched all of it, I can’t really go past that, just pure, pure class. He even had a real rought couple of first tests where he looked totally out of sorts yet still got some runs at Lord’s that just about held their second innings together.

    2. Yasir Shah – In many periods of the summer the blandness of the pitches, and his lack of real sharp spin rendered him looking ordinary, yet the sign of a class act is to cash in when the going is good and he did so in the London tests and helped carry his team to victory as a consequence.

    3. Misbah ul-Haq – A case for him being higher, possibly even at 1because he led from the front at key times . Can’t help but like the guy and his celebration at Lord’s was hilarious.

    1. Younus Khan – the Oval

    2. Misbah – Lord’s

    3. Moeen – the Oval

    Best Bowling performances

    1, Yasir Shah – Lord’s

    2. Chris Woakes – Lord’s v Pak – 11 wickets in the match.

    3. James Anderson – Chester le Street v Sri Lanka on a flat deck.

    Best 3 journalists

    1. Jarrod Kimber – his exchange with the BCCI president over 2 tier tests was superb and keeps him one of the top dogs for me.

    2. George Dobell- like many of you I had been disappointed with him seemingly becoming more ‘in message’ with the ECB, but his comments re the restructure of county cricket has taken him back to his roots so to speak.

    3. Tim Wigmore – fighting the good fight for the wider cricketing world.

    Worst 5 journalists

    1. Newman – that awful early season interview with Flower wins it for me, along with his subsequent character assination of Nick Compton and Eoin Morgan. Just an a***hole of the first order.

    2. Selvey – the guy is just an ****wipe as Merv Hughes would have said. I would like to say I won’t be missing him at all, yet the reality is he’ll pop up somewhere else.

    3. Ed Smith – the plagarist.

    4. Pringle – Just nonsense.

    5. Oliver Holt – It upsets me that I have to include him because he does not deserve to be considered as a cricket writer, yet his go at Morgan for not singing the national anthem is enough for him to earn a spot here.

    Best Commentator – I’m going to plump for Mark Butcher (he really does analysis well) with an honourable mention to Rob Key, a welcome addition to the comentator ranks.

    Worst Commentator – 1. Gower (for that discussion on whether South Africa tours were worse than the Packer years. 2. Botham 3. A late entry for Michael Vaughan

    Mount Outside Cricketmore – I’ll go for Jonathan Trott, Moeen Ali, Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales. Trott for deciding enough is enough re Vaughan, Ali for having the temerity to stick up for him team-mate despite the establshment closing ranks v Rashid and Morgan and Hales for deciding to steadfastly go against the sanctimonous codswallop that eminated from our so called free press.

    Comments on the summer.

    Internationally I really enjoyed the test series v Pakistan, some of the most competitive cricket across a series we’ve seen since the 2005 Ashes. Domestically I’ve seen some mixed fare on my reasonably regular trips to the Oval. However that was due to the way Surrey had a real mixed bag of a season. I can’t say I was that impressed that two of their players are touring with England this winter. That simply shows the mindset of the selectors in picking spinners, they just don’t believe that the attacking spinners in county cricket have enough about them to make England competitive.

    The Blog Overall

    I think that the blog has evolved pretty well over the last year. It used to often regurgitate itself a bit with having a go at a few central themes but has gone past that and has covered a wider range of issues and that is a good thing. I think the wide range of commenters that we have are good at bringing in different issues and I hope that you (LCL, TLG and TGB) can only assist this.I am going to be at the 4th test in Mumbai and if it is at all possible I wouldn’t mind giving my own views about the game there and where the land lies. It wouldn’t be about just the game but my overall background to it and other odds and sods. To hopefully discuss nearer the time.

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus September 25, 2016 / 11:09 am

      @PKtroll,

      Thanks for being the first. I did want to clear one thing up that might not have been clear. The Mount Rushmore thing is meant to be those who we see as the arch-villains, the anti-BOCers, the money over all, the ECB over all types. Not to lead the witnesses here, but I’d expect a certain ex-head of the ECB might be a reasonably popular selection. It shows you in a better light you can seek positivity!!!!

      Also, on Mumbai. When can you start? We’d love to hear from you on it. It’s how Sean started (when he went to Dubai). We welcome pretty much all guest posts if they fit in to what we are doing here.

      Cheers,

      Dmitri

      Like

      • pktroll (@pktroll) September 25, 2016 / 6:29 pm

        Hi Dmitri,

        Sorry for getting a little confused with the Mount Rushmore stuff, if i can give four candidates the Strauss, Graves, Harrison and Clarke can all go into the (Chris) Stocks so we can chuck rotten tomatores and anything else at them. I am more than happy to do a background piece about the last two tests that I attended in that city. The 2006 & 2012 games. I have a background to both of them.

        Like

  3. d'Arthez September 25, 2016 / 12:01 pm

    England’s Test Player Of The Summer (Top Three) –

    Bairstow, Woakes and number three is a bit hard to pick. I’ll pick Root – whenever he fails England tend to fail.

    Best Overseas Test Player Of The Summer (Top Three)

    Misbah, Younus and Yasir. The Sri Lanka series was like clubbing seals, so can’t pick anyone from that.

    Best Test Innings Of The Summer (Top Three)
    Younis double ton
    Misbah’s ton at Lord’s – set up the game nicely for them.
    Moeen’s 86 in the second Test.

    Might be a bit harsh on Root for the omission of his double ton, but that Test was basically a no-contest. All the other contributions were really match-deciding (eg. without Moeen’s pyrotechnics, that Test might have well meandered out for a draw).

    Again, nothing from the Sri Lanka series, as that was like clubbing seals for the most part.

    Best Bowling Performance (Individual) Of The Summer (Top Three)
    Yasir Shah’s ten four at Lord’s.
    Woakes 11 at Lord’s against Pakistan. Cruel that he had to end up on the losing side.
    Sohail Khan’s 5-fer at the Oval. Admittedly, 4 of those were “tailenders”, (Woakes, Broad, Finn, Moeen, all in one spell), but since England’s tail is so strong, it is certainly worthy of mention. It was crucial in setting the game up for Pakistan (as England have a tendency to double the score from 5 down, that was a vital contribution).

    Again, nothing from the Sri Lanka series, as that was like clubbing seals for the most part.

    Best Three Journalists (rank order)
    The likes of Haigh and Kimber should definitely feature highly here. The likes of Wigmore should also be in the mix.

    Worst Five Journalists (rank order)
    1. Newman
    2. Selve
    3. Simon Hughes
    4. Brenkley
    5. Bull

    Best Commentator
    I have not watched much cricket outside of the England series, and the commentators were for most part pretty dismal. To pick the best out of a pretty dismal bunch would be an insult to the decent commentators that are out there, but who featured in series I did not watch.

    Oh No! Why He Is On? Worst Three Commentators

    I have not followed Test cricket as much as I used to, and I can hardly ever be bothered to switch on for ODIs or T20s, since there is not even the pretense of context anymore.

    But Nasser Hussain and Vaughan have really lost any pretense at being sensible commentators. They might as well show up for work in their cheerleading costumes. Pity because they can do better than that.

    There are plenty of annoying commentators, but as I have skipped completely on T20s Danny Morrison will not be included (he is a decent listen in Tests). So I’ll go with the cassette tape that impersonates Nick Knight.

    Mount Outside Cricketmore

    Let’s start with Srini: he basically owned the ECB and made them do his bidding. Effectively THE Founding Father.

    Giles Clarke, for being more than happy as a sidekick who get to abuse 92 out of 95 cricket playing nations; proudly building on Srini’s efforts to ruin world cricket.

    Rupert Murdoch, for turning several commentators such as Vaughan, Hussain and several others into 21st century courtesans, who know just what to say to please their clients. I am beginning to fear though that several of these commentators are actually starting to believe the nonsense that they’re spouting …

    Mike Selvey for his proud ignorance of governance issues, and behooving us to be proudly ignorant of administrative shenanigans within the ICC. Not to mention his continuous defences of Saker, Flower, and made up realities with regards to Finn, Cook, Pietersen, Rashid, Compton, and numerous other (ex)players. And of course his proud idiocy when engaging with the general public.

    Strauss could qualify for his several Machiavellian plays, but since he is pretty much the face of corporate bollocks-speak in the ECB that might not be entirely fair on him. Just engrave C*NT, somewhere, so you don’t have to bother with his face.

    Open Space

    Summer featured one of the more pointless series (Sri Lanka) of recent times – Bangladesh would have been far more interesting, especially since they’re improving quite a bit at home (and don’t get to play much away – all of 3 series on the road since 2012, against West Indies, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe). Oh, and it has only been 6 years, and in terms of producing no contests, even Australia and India did a pretty good job at that last time around. But all that would help grow the game, and that is such a scary prospect, that the ECB has probably decided that the first time that Bangladesh can come over for a Test series is somewhere in 2095 …, dependent on the economic development of Bangladesh of course.

    Summer ended too soon. A fifth Test would have been great against Pakistan. But that is hindsight talking. It should be noted that the Test season ended in the middle of August in England (extremely early), yet there were farcical Tests in August in Durban and West Indies, because the more powerful boards are pushing cricket into unsuitable calendar months for the less powerful boards. Not that the ICC cares.

    Corruption is legal, if the ICC does it. They have admitted so themselves. Not that ACSU will be investigating. Not that anyone will be held to account. But we all knew that. Cricket as a sport is dying. Cricket as scripted entertainment is coming in its stead. The effects on commentary and journalism will be “interesting”.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. fred September 25, 2016 / 4:25 pm

    This is quite an interesting thing to do, but would it be possible that when you click on this post the first thing you see is not a photo of that bloke? It’s not really necessary.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. SimonH September 25, 2016 / 4:44 pm

    England player of the summer:
    1. Andrew Strauss – England’s outstanding performer. Everything good England do can be traced back to some genius decision he made. Apparently.
    2. Jonny Bairstow.
    3. Chris Woakes.

    Best overseas’ player:
    1. Misbah.
    2. Yasir.
    3. Younus
    (I only watched the Pakistan series)

    Best Test innings:
    1. Misbah at Lord’s.
    2. Younus at the Oval.
    3. Root at OT.
    (Assuming it is from the England summer only – the Mendis and De Silva innings in SL were the best batting I’ve seen anywhere all summer)

    Best bowling:
    1. Yasir at Lord’s.
    2. Woakes at Lord’s.
    3. Sohail
    (Again if peformances are not limited to in England – Herath in SL and Steyn at Centurion were the best)

    Best three Journos:
    1. Tim Wigmore.
    2. Jarrod Kimber.
    3. Nick Hoult.

    Worst five Journos:
    1. The Plagiarist.
    2. The Analyst.
    3. Newman.
    4. Selvey (demoted because of declining relevance – not any improvement)
    5. Bull
    Bubbling under: Stocks, Lucas, Hayter, Pringle, Henderson. Etheridge is mostly invisible because of the paywall.

    Best commentator (TV only – don’t listen to TMS):
    Atherton (although Ian Smith or Russel Arnold are better internationally)

    Worst three commentators:
    1. Knight
    2. Hussain
    3. Cork (would be higher if he was on more)
    (Brayshaw and Slater still in a class of their own internationally – despite the efforts of Mark Waugh, Healy, Ramiz, Gavaskar, Mbangwa and a recently restored Shastri to be as awful).

    Mount Cricmore:
    Depends slightly if you want to focus on journos or administrators –
    a) Four journos – Newman, Smith, Hughes, someone else.
    b) Four domestic administrators – Clarke, Graves, Harrison, Strauss.
    c) Four international administrators – Clarke, Thakur, Srini, someone from CA.

    Summer reflections;
    SL series was embarrassing and should never have taken place. Enjoyed the Pakistan series although it has been a little overrated in some quarters (“best series since 2005” is nonsense). Didn’t go to any live cricket for the second summer running (having gone to at least one match every year from 1980 to 2014).

    Blog:
    As long as I’m commenting I’m happy! ,

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Quebecer September 25, 2016 / 11:30 pm

    England’s Test Player Of The Summer (Top Three) –

    Woakes: over the years, Woakes’ action has gone through major changes. As a youngster, he had good movement, but not pace. In adding pace, he lost movement. His physical development was also a factor, but it was only about two years ago that this final incarnation of his action started to be set. Bowling 86mph+ with controlled (though not prodigious) movement both ways, it was only this summer that he could hit his lines and lengths with consistency. Long bloody road for Woakes, and in my opinion, worthy of great respect for it. He could always bat.

    Bairstow: see below

    Ali: after Lords, you’ve got to give Mo props for the second part of his summer. I don’t think he’s quite a #5 in tests but the importance on top of elegance of his runs is so good for us. And just when everyone slates his bowling, he does well again.

    Best Overseas Test Player Of The Summer (Top Three)

    Misbah and Younes, which I’m sure will be unanimous, so…
    Angelo Matthews: Quebecer off his rocker? Stay with me for a sec. The Lankan captain could have let that team disintegrate, but he didn’t. He somehow kept them afloat despite that shocking series, through the purest leadership. His team was at its lowest, and many predicted the Lankans slipping inexorably from sight thereafter. But not a bit of it. Sweep the Aussies at home? No, if Matthews had let his team die, that result couldn’t have happened. He kept his team together in the worst of times, and that’s to be applauded.

    Best Test Innings Of The Summer (Top Three)

    Misbah: also the ugliest, but that’s Misbah for you.
    Root and Younes tied: Root was like watching Steve Davies roll out an utterly predictable century break back in the day, with its seeming inevitability hiding its near perfection. Younes was just brilliant on every level.
    Bairstow v the Lankans at Headingley. A masterclass in how to play the moving ball. No batsman on either team came close to matching it. Superb driving (a shot many others avoided) and showing off his new utterly efficient cut shot (the most minimal of movement for the maximum effect – right under his eyes). Brilliant batting against an attack that wasn’t that bad on that day.

    Best Bowling Performance (Individual) Of The Summer (Top Three)
    Yasir: I was more impressed at the Oval, actually, as the previous two tests had been a bit of a problem for him)
    Woakes: 11 wickets in a test? Top job.
    Jimmy in Durham

    Journalists & Commentators (Bloggers do not count, cricket press, writing for papers, magazines and cricinfo)

    Best Three Journalists (rank order)
    Oh I dunno.
    Kimber
    Haigh
    Hoult?

    Worst Five Journalists (rank order)
    I know this is a bit of a weird thing to say here, but I don’t read writers I don’t like.

    Comments on the blog –

    thanks, Dmitri, for this, and your regular writers. The march commentaries I think are excellent, and the freedom of subject matter outside that means I always read.

    It will be interesting to see how these pages evolve. More will come from BTL, I feel, and I wonder if cricket discussions will increase in number over discussion on cricket writers and administrators. Not that the latter aren’t worthy, of course, and very much the point when discussing our game. But there are a lot of people here with good knowledge of the game who tend to post more on what others write, rather than analyzing the games and players themselves. With the demise of BTL, it seems to me there’s a lot of good insight being left unexpressed by a lot of smart and knowledgable people. It’s here, certainly, but I say more!

    Liked by 1 person

    • sidesplittin September 26, 2016 / 8:28 pm

      Echo this – I can’t be a*sed to comment on writers whom I don’t like / respect, I’d sooner read those who I do. Bit like that ridiculous (but so British) programme ‘Points of View’ – if you don’t like something on TV, change the bleedin’ channel or switch it off, rather than bleat about it to Aunty.

      I’d also welcome a tilt back to cricket and cricketing analysis – Selvey, Clarke and piles of others are bozos but there’s plenty of terrific cricketers and enjoyable matches to appreciate. Off to India at the weekend to do exactly that.

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus September 26, 2016 / 9:41 pm

        Stop being a spoilsport!

        Enjoy India. Report back on what you saw, please….

        Like

      • quebecer September 27, 2016 / 2:30 pm

        Sidesplittin: We might just be in the minority here on that one… 🙂 But that’s all fine. Enjoy India, and yes, reports please!

        Dmitri: I really do think the match reports here are excellent. I suppose the thing I miss about the BTL thing (and admittedly, this is from days well past) is that there was often an excellent level of analysis below the line. That it came from all parts of the world was also a great thing, with people who knew their stuff offering insight on players and conditions of which I for one knew very little. There was always a fair amount of chaff, obviously, and my specs aren’t completely rose tinted, but I still fell it’s a shame that BLT line lost that. Of course, the reason why it was lost is something I think I understand. Still, I’d love to have people like TheHarry and InspectorVijay HERE for us all to talk with during the India series, and while there is nothing that NOC or Northern ever say I disagree with (or feel is unnecessary to say) I do also very much enjoy it when they talk cricket. They know their stuff.

        Like

      • nonoxcol September 27, 2016 / 6:05 pm

        Quebecer

        Thank you for the compliment. If I may present a brief statement from the POV of the totally disenfranchised. I joined the Guardian cricket BTL in October 2010, having become fed up of OTT comments on Cricinfo and the increasingly silly rules on the BBC Message Board. I almost instantly felt at home and the characters could not have been friendlier. In May 2011 I happened to remark that the 20th anniversary of Gooch’s amazing innings at Headingley was coming up. Mike Selvey replied with “Good shout”, and a few weeks later published a terrific write-up of that very innings. There was a World Cricket Forum which often generated 1,000 posts. The Spin dared to investigate stuff that was going on all over the world.

        All that began to change in August 2012, for reasons well-documented. Some of those characters were now describing people like Clive and myself as “nutjobs”, being published on the OBO and preening themselves about their own posts. Dissidents were being openly mocked by journalists circling the wagons – in my early days on HDWLIA I digged out one such example from the August 2012 OBO, and within hours the man who had originally written that post to Rob Smyth appeared on the blog, clearly still smarting.

        But even that episode failed to prepare me for 2013/14. It was a top to bottom farce of staggering proportions. It destroyed any faith I had in Selvey’s ability to write without naked bias. I mean destroyed it. It also destroyed my ability to even care about England, after 33 years. My contempt for the ECB runs so deep I cannot even enjoy cricket. I cancelled Sky Sports after SA v Aus. I don’t watch cricket now, except brief highlights, so I don’t even feel qualified to comment in depth the way I did in 2013/14. The World Cricket Forum has long since gone, the Spin gets more England-centric by the month (and as of today has now sunk to the level of recycled circle jerk), and as for BTL – well, you know what happened to that. I envy those like SimonH and Dmitri, who share many of my views but can still find something to love.

        The full case for the defence would take too much space and bore us all, so I’ll just conclude. Do not under-estimate the effect of what the ECB and its faithful servants did to people like me, NorthernLight and (I think I can safely say) Maxie Allen over the last four years, eight if you go back to Stanford and twelve if you go back to the Sky sell-out. In the end it was just too much to keep trying to stomach. Sorry.

        Liked by 3 people

      • quebecer September 28, 2016 / 1:44 am

        NOC, my friend, you kind of broke my heart all over again with that. But please please please, no defence or apology! I am just so sorry you feel as you do – as understandable as it is. It’s awful, just awful that you – and many others, I know – felt THEIR game being taken away, losing the love that should have always endured.

        My feelings were no different from yours at the time. I’d been on those pages since (I think) early 2007. Zeph was already there, jno too, clive, AndyInBrum, and many others who remained mainstays for years. And there wasn’t just knowledge and love of the game, there was wit. Not just whimsy, but wit. But I think the difference was that those people didn’t feel ownership of the game, but only a love of being a part of it. It struck me then and that issue raised its head again later. The game owns itself.

        I don’t know how much you played, NOX, but I remember feeling a very particular thing when playing. Sometimes when I was batting, I knew there was none else in that game but me. Right then, bowlers, fielders, my bloke at the other end, those watching, those selecting, those administrating, they were nothing. The game was mine right in that moment, I was the only one in it. Of course, later, with the experience of tougher times, I understood that in fact what was happening was that sometimes the game generously lent itself to me, for an afternoon. But that idea that the game doesn’t belong to the people who think it belongs to them has always stayed with me. It doesn’t belong to the ECB, Selvey, wctt, or me, or anyone. It belongs to itself.

        It was this that kept me ‘in’ the game during the period you talk of. I refused to let myself not be part of the game just because absolute fuckers thought it belonged to them.

        I HATED the abuse piled on clive, you, and others, hated it. In the beginning, I was fighting the corner as hard as anyone. No one went after wctt as I did, after all. But that was the thing: I realized that I really didn’t like that all I was doing was fighting arseholes. And in doing so, I didn’t like what I was saying (I can be a bit, well, direct, sometimes). So I stopped. Fuck ’em. It’s not their game. I know what’s right and they aren’t. They can keep BTL (and let’s be clear: they won that fight), but they don’t get to keep the game. I think I will always find my way of loving it, possibly because I refuse not to. I’m about to start day 4 of the extended highlights of India NZ on cricfire after I post this.

        Look, NOC, this is just me. It’s awful to me that you feel the way you do, but obviously I could never presume to tell anyone how to feel. But, if I may, NOC, the game still exists. Your love for it does too. Fuck THEM.

        Can you really not find it again?

        Liked by 1 person

  7. "IronBalls" McGinty September 26, 2016 / 10:15 am

    Best test…Woakes
    Root
    Bairstow
    Best overseas…Misbah
    Younis
    Yasir
    Best innings…Younis
    Misbah
    Root
    Best bowling….Woakes
    Yasir
    Sohail
    Best journo ……Dobell
    Hoult
    Kimber
    Worst journo…..Selvey
    Newman
    Hughes
    Hayter
    Holt
    Best commentator……Mark Butcher
    Worst commentator (No Sky)…..The plagiarist
    Lovejoy
    Tufnell
    Mount OC…..Simon Hughes
    Colin Graves
    Tom Harrison
    Giles Clarke
    Andrew Strauss
    This blog….A beacon of hope, in a sea of shite….long may it shine!

    Like

  8. THA September 26, 2016 / 7:34 pm

    Assume I’ve been on another planet or something (it’s more politely referred to as ‘Australia’ shhh) but what happened to Selvey? Pushed, or fell off the edge?

    Like

    • fred September 26, 2016 / 8:21 pm

      The results for the Guardian for the financial year just finished were GBP69M in the red (the year previous they were 38M). So they sacked/voluntary redundency about 250 staff.
      Why they chose Selvey we don’t know. He made it clear on twitter he wasn’t happy about the decision.

      This blog was devastated. All posts appeared with a black border around them, and Nonoxcol set up a crowdsourcing fund to give him a send off.

      Liked by 1 person

      • THA September 26, 2016 / 8:25 pm

        I assume everyone will be chipping in to employ his as writer in residence at BOC…?

        Like

  9. d'Arthez September 27, 2016 / 3:10 pm

    In other news, AB de Villiers is going to miss the home ODIs and the Test tour of Australia. Wonder if that means the brilliant selectors are going to pick Wayne Parnell for the latter one …

    Like

  10. SimonH September 27, 2016 / 3:38 pm

    For those of us who like commenting on such things….

    This week’s Spin is Bull’s love letter to Selvey.

    Breakable objects and pets need to be placed at a safe distance for this one.

    Like

    • nonoxcol September 27, 2016 / 4:55 pm

      Half of it is a bloody repeat of his county blog intro! The shamelessness of it!

      Right, glad I waited. Top five is a lock.

      Like

      • Rooto September 27, 2016 / 6:33 pm

        Just when I was considering finally paying that £49 to keep the paper going, now I’m going to have to wait until Bull retires.

        Like

    • Sean B September 27, 2016 / 8:00 pm

      Think Andy Bull might have missed the narrative again:

      “The Guardian – like the rest of the media – is operating in an incredibly challenging commercial environment.

      “Producing in-depth, thoughtful, well-reported journalism is difficult and expensive. But supporting us isn’t. You can do so through a monthly contribution. If everyone chipped in, our future would be more secure.”

      So producing gutter journalism and crappy hagiographies must be almost free then. I’ll be keeping my hands in my pocket, if it’s all the same to you…

      Like

      • Mark September 27, 2016 / 10:20 pm

        They are deluded. They want us to pay good money for a shite product, while all the time pretending it’s top notch.

        They are selling fools gold. Snake oil salesman the lot of them. I wonder if they really belive their sales pitch ( in which case they are insane) or they are just bullshiters. Either way I wouldn’t donate as much as a penny to their criminal enterprise.

        Like

      • nonoxcol September 28, 2016 / 6:33 am

        Worst cheese dream ever…

        *the next morning*

        Oh. It was real.

        1) He isn’t embarrassed.
        2) Cricket writers *matter*, just like Saker, Flower and all the readers who agree with him/suck up to him. The rest do not. Consistent to the end.
        3) About time he got some payback for puffing up the laughable Pringle though, isn’t it?
        4) Steve Waugh and Alec Stewart will have nothing on this farewell by the time it’s done.

        Like

      • Mark September 28, 2016 / 8:56 am

        Selvey……..”no accolade is finer than the respect of colleagues.”

        But when your colleagues are a bunch of ECB boot lickers, liars, corporate freeloaders, and human sewers it ain’t much of an accolade.

        If you lie down with shit, expect to stink.

        And just to see how idiotic these cretins are. Mathew Syed, the Father of pusedo sports theories, and clap trap. ( he doesn’t think talent is a big deal. Wrote a whole book on the subject) Anyway today he thinks Big Sam should stay because greed is not a problem. No surprise at that as he has defended on radio 5 live high ticket prices for fans in the past. He seems to love greed of both clubs and individuals. All for market forces. I wonder how many tickets he pays for out of his own pocket? and how many his employer forks out? Subsidised market forces?

        So The ENGLAND manager boasting about getting round FA s own rules is hunky dory? How do these people keep their jobs, and who reads this drivel? The kind of knuckle dragging morons who inhabit BTL I guess. Can’t wait for his new colum defending the many Premiership managers who have taken bungs.

        Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol September 28, 2016 / 9:30 am

        Almost everything about Syed is like kryptonite to me. If he ever takes on cricket, gawd help us…

        Like

      • Mark September 28, 2016 / 12:35 pm

        And all because in some far off universe he was quite good at ping pong once upon a time. So the media give him a platform to push his crack pot theories. You might as well ask a drunk on the street for his opinion. Can’t be any more ridiculous.

        He goes on Newsnight sometimes when there is a moral issue in sport. What is funny is the media luvies really take him seriously.

        Like

  11. fred September 27, 2016 / 9:50 pm

    I agree with what Quebecer said about addressing cricket itself more, not just the commentary on cricket.

    The commentary on cricket journalism is important, we need critical voices like this blog to provide alternative interpretations to what we read in the press. But when the usual suspects around here flex their analytical muscles and decide to put some cricketing event into statistical context, point out an administrative sleight of hand, or focus on the performance of a player that’s been poorly represented, then this is top shelf BOC.

    The reports on series are useful too, eg. I appreciated the comments from SimonH on the NZ/Ind match, because I didn’t have time to read much, and a couple of paragraphs from a voice I trusted was really useful. I can trust the authelticity of opinions on a days play more here than I can in many mainstream channels, who are more interested in national cheerleading, sensationalism, or have an axe to grind.

    So I agree, BOC should do not only press criticism, but also cricket analysis. It’s clear that there’s the talent in the ranks.

    My only other suggestion is that Quebecer should be moderated from further posting until he gets that awful avatar sorted out. It’s clearly against the Spirit of Cricket.

    Like

  12. nonoxcol September 28, 2016 / 9:36 am

    Meanwhile…

    Good on James at TFT for writing a specific piece about this (and good on the commenters too).

    Interesting exercise: put “ECB Durham” into Twitter and see how many of these wonderful backslapping correspondents give enough of a shit to tweet about it. Nick Hoult being an exception.

    Like

  13. "IronBalls" McGinty September 28, 2016 / 10:08 am

    This Allardyce thing…I don’t condone entrapment, it’s a pretty scummy thing in my opinion…however, credit goes to the principle of digging out dodgy stuff and exposing it to the general ripped off populace.
    I guess, in cricket, being “accredited” to the ECB keeps evrything cosy and within the Establishment sphere of influence? I imagine being unaccredited keeps you on the outside looking in…but shouldn’t that make you look even harder…something the cricket sections of the media are extremely piss poor at.
    I often wonder what would be found if someone had a proper dig?

    Like

    • @pktroll September 28, 2016 / 11:43 am

      In some respects it is similar to the Pakistani spot fixing event of 6 years ago. In many respects the principle was to expose something that had been going on for some time. Only if you are sticking your head in the sand are you likely to think that this is simply an isolated incident.

      Like

    • Mark September 28, 2016 / 12:55 pm

      While I agree about entrapment it looks like there were other mangers as well who were involved with dodgy dealings. I think big Sam and his greedy advisors got their just deserts. He had only had the job a couple of weeks and was already cashing in.

      Like

    • fred September 29, 2016 / 8:29 am

      Good piece by Simon Jenkins in the guardian. Very relevant to cricket (although you’d never see such a thing appear on their cricket pages). The last line of his final paragraph had me laughing out loud.

      “Everyone in “football street” appeared to know what Allardyce was talking about. They just did not like it being known by others. As long as these people indulge the greed of international sport, the only discipline they will acknowledge is embarrassment. That is why the only person they really fear is the investigative journalist.”

      Liked by 2 people

      • SimonH September 29, 2016 / 9:26 am

        It’s good up to a point – but misses a couple of key things I think:

        a) Has the Guardian exposed any of these stories? They pile in once it’s safe to do so, after someone else has done the difficult bit of breaking ranks first. The Guardian is full of opinion pieces using material others have dug up but devoid of any real investigative journalism. Even there, almost all their flak is directed at international governing bodies while domestic governing bodies are given a free ride.
        b) On cricket specifically, he’s referring to Pakistan in 2010 when he talks about greed. Not the 2014 revenue-sharing (or even Stanford). As usual, steal thousands and it’s the electric chair – but steal millions and get a knighthood.

        Liked by 1 person

      • fred September 29, 2016 / 11:10 am

        Yes, I decided not to weigh into the guardian on this, but you’re right. I’ve often thought they should aim their real journalists at cricket, not their “cricket writers”. It’s why the “investigative journalist” line made be laugh, because effectively they don’t have one.
        Cricket may not be as important as Snowden for example, but if someone chose to dig I’m sure a web of influence, greed, lies and secret deals would be revealed.

        Speaking of which whatever happened to Giles Clarke and his appearence before a parlimentary committee? I guess no wrong doing was found to have been committed. As in this case in football, things can stink but still be perfectly legal. Clarke, Edwards and Srinivasan didn’t break any laws when they hijacked the game.

        Like

      • Tregaskis September 29, 2016 / 1:37 pm

        Fred, regarding Giles Clarke being hauled before the commons culture, media and sport committee, I sent a tweet to its acting chair, Damian Collins, in August and earlier this month. Needless to say, he has been slow to reply –

        Like

  14. "IronBalls" McGinty September 29, 2016 / 6:58 am

    So…Anderson was injured after all, and quite profoundly too by the sound of it?
    I don’t expect anyone to get killed in the rush coming forward to backtrack and say they were wrong eh?

    Liked by 3 people

    • SimonH September 29, 2016 / 9:18 am

      Mark Wood out as well. Left ankle again.

      Like

    • man in a barrel September 30, 2016 / 1:25 pm

      I wonder if we will ever find out the truth about this shoulder injury. When it was first reported it sounded very unusual, an injury to the scapula I think rather than a joint, muscle, ligament, rotator cuff etc. I posited at the time a thinning of the bone from overuse of cortisone. I hope for the sake of his future life that is not the case.

      Like

      • SimonH September 30, 2016 / 3:22 pm

        From Lawrence Booth’s report on Wood:

        “While a devastated Wood is understood to have been keen to make the trip, the ECB have erred on the side of caution after he felt discomfort during Durham’s county championship match against Surrey earlier this month – a game for which Wood prepared by undergoing a cortisone injection”.

        I’m no expert – but it seems a little odd that he’s having cortisone injections after two operations to fix the problem.

        Liked by 1 person

      • man in a barrel September 30, 2016 / 3:35 pm

        If I were Wood, I think I would want a second opinion on what’s wrong. As you say, it does sound as if the surgery has not cleared the problem.

        The Anderson shoulder injury is also odd. Lots of bowlers get shoulder injuries but if you google “scapula stress fracture” you get few results, most of which say that damage to the scapula is generally by vehicle crashes or falling from high buildings…possibly by a heavy fall with an outstretched arm. Stress fractures are almost unknown, because the scapula is not put under stress in the same way as leg bones, foot bones or the spine are. When the medical team suggested that Stokes and Anderson should sit out the Lords Test against Pakistan, I thought that a new mentality had crept in. Now I am not so sure.

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3497953/

        Like

  15. thebogfather September 29, 2016 / 8:41 am

    “~ Daily Mail owner to make £50m cost cuts
    DMGT to reduce headcount as it announces strategic review in face of ‘challenging market conditions’~ ”

    OH NO! – IS NEWMAN NEXT FOR THE CHOP?

    Like

    • Mark September 29, 2016 / 12:33 pm

      That would be the full set then. A worthy outcome for their cringing Cook loyalty. He would still have a job while all the others would have lost there’s. Poetic justice I suppose?

      Like

  16. nonoxcol September 29, 2016 / 9:39 am

    Well cover me with eggs and flour and bake me for 14 minutes. Never-ending farewell tour latest….

    That’s “the only union more right wing than its employers”, by the way. #justsaying

    Like

    • nonoxcol September 29, 2016 / 9:43 am

      Please please click on the PCA sub-tweet. I would have spat out my tea if I’d been drinking any. No spoilers, but it’s a photo-caption. If anything ever deserved a permanent place on this site…..

      Like

        • LordCanisLupus September 29, 2016 / 9:46 am

          Read in conjunction with Vic Marks’ paragraph about his unwillingness to follow order and one might be confused.

          Denis tried to rile me with this last night.

          Like

      • nonoxcol September 29, 2016 / 9:48 am

        Apparently the PCA’s Special Merit Award went to Marcus Trescothick. So this one was actually in the gift of the ECB.

        #servicesrendered

        Like

      • Rooto September 29, 2016 / 10:49 am

        I’m not expert enough to know of a particular example, but surely sci-fi has similar stories in which – just as you think you’re getting a handle on your two enemies – they suddenly coalesce and morph into one single, beastly entity.

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus September 29, 2016 / 11:17 am

          The PCA issued, famously, a get behind Cook tweet in 2014. All Out Cricket is the official voice of the PCA. I can’t remember a lot of tub thumping over a potential prima facie case of unfair dismissal from those quarters. Indeed the PCA joined with Downton on the great “Outside Cricket ” release.

          This isn’t sudden.

          Liked by 1 person

      • "IronBalls" McGinty September 29, 2016 / 11:04 am

        Board of selectors anyone??

        Like

      • Mark September 29, 2016 / 11:45 am

        “Special award” …….means they have just made it up because he doesn’t fit into any of the normal awards sections. They might as well have made up “the biggest ECB crawler award”,…….. “the most pompus pig award,”…………and “the most obnoxious git award.” They would all be equally valid.

        The fact he is held in such high regard just shows how morally bankrupt most of the cricket establishmemt are. Media, admistrators, players union. All a giant circle jerk of backslapping cringeworthy, mateyness.

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus September 29, 2016 / 11:53 am

          Read Bransgrove via the tweet from Selvey.

          There is a part where he patronises the lifeblood of his club who visit his ridiculously located vanity project for cricket and who he pats on the head and says they are luddites. To all intents and purposes.

          There are shades of grey. It would do him well, and Selfey, to acknowledge that.

          Liked by 2 people

      • nonoxcol September 29, 2016 / 12:25 pm

        “Many blame the absence of cricket on terrestrial TV for this situation and this may indeed have played a part, but this ignores the trend of young people watching ‘traditional’ scheduled TV less, in favour of a range of other communication methods including ‘catch up’ and clips on a wide range of devices and platforms e.g. Twitter and Facebook. It is also somewhat ironic that Mr. Cena’s fame has been established whilst WWE has been broadcast in the UK exclusively via satellite!”

        Not Selvey, Bransgrove. Though the resemblance is, well…

        Like

      • Mark September 29, 2016 / 12:28 pm

        Bransgrove sounds like just another ECB drone. Notice how he equates 2 divisions 4 day county cricket with hit a giggle 20/20 city cricket. He then mocks the traditionalists who apposed 2 divisions (far less opposition than for the new money grabbing hit and giggle)

        He claims he is setting the agenda for the next 150 years. Priceless! Not very modest then? Before sounding like a speak your weight ECB expert on how young people consume modern media. This of course is the great excuse they use not to have free to air TV. (Which doesn’t bring in enough money, which is of course is all they are really interested in.) Its is hilarious watching these middle aged suits trying to get down with the hippity hopperty kids. As if they have the faintest idea what they are talking about.

        But none of this matters it’s just a red herring to force through the giant money making city cricket. Once it is up and running they won’t give a shit how the kids are consuming it or even if the kids are consuming it at all. Why aren’t the kids watching 20/20 now on Sky? Selvey of course has his nose rammed up his backside because he is pushing the holly Grail of the cricket establishmemt. Namely £££££££££££ Those corporate dinners and fine wines have to be paid for by someone. How is a grifter supposed to grift if there is no free money around?

        Like

      • nonoxcol September 30, 2016 / 9:35 am

        I see from Dmitri’s Twitter feed that the monomaniac “ECB Special Award” is still banging on about phones and viewing habits.

        This, the latest, is especially profound.

        Mike Selvey is 68 and a long-time professional cricket writer, kids.

        Like

    • Quebecer September 29, 2016 / 9:10 pm

      It left Selvey speechless? Him and me both.

      Like

  17. SimonH September 29, 2016 / 11:57 am

    Making a late bid for the End of Summer poll:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-3807995/Graeme-Swann-speaks-state-English-cricket.html

    70% ECB stenography (England are the best ODI team in the world, the city-based tournament is wonderful etc) mixed with 25% thick-as-shittery (Bhutan vs Iceland in the Olympics ho ho ho…). The DM buries the one bit of dissent (FTA coverage) in one-and-a-half sentences near the end. Who’d have guessed that?

    Better news – SA to play England Lions at Worcester next summer. A decent weather forecast and no XIV a side abomination and I’m there.

    Like

  18. SimonH September 30, 2016 / 9:32 am

    Another one worthy of consideration for the poll:

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/1059484.html

    “This is a good time for cricket at the top level”.

    Would you buy a second-hand car from this guy? He feels like some shyster estate agent telling you the house has a lovely pool while omitting to mention the cracks in the foundations.

    “The advent of a new city-based T20 competition will allow it to become a market leader”.

    Who doesn’t love writing on cricket that uses phrases like “market leader”?

    “[Vince] cover-drives the ball close to perfectly but lost his chutzpah to do so. Half-heartedly, Test match after Test match, he fell on that very sword: the strength that betrays you as weakness. He is not the first, nor will he be the last. Even the best have to wade through the morass. David Gower was brilliant square of the wicket off either foot, but during a slump, the strokes that helped make his name cost him his place. Mind you, the analysts in his day didn’t pick at the carcass as they do now”.

    Gower got all sorts of flak for his flirtiness outside off-stump. This is from the same school of selective memory that reckons Cook was the first England captain ever to be criticised and has flushed what others like Atherton went through down the memory plughole.

    Liked by 1 person

    • nonoxcol September 30, 2016 / 9:43 am

      Gower. Vince.

      Naahhh, I can’t see any difference there.

      And even regardless of his overall record, Gower made a fifty in his first Test innings, against Pakistan. So there.

      Mind you this *is* the bloke who said he’d never seen a final ball of the day like the one that dismissed Azhar Ali, and said so in a week when people marked the 11th anniversary of Edgbaston 2005, indelibly associated with HIS OWN fecking commentary on the most famous final ball most of us have ever seen.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mark September 30, 2016 / 3:11 pm

      “Mind you, the analysts in his day didn’t pick at the carcass as they do now”.”

      What drivel. They anaylist of today don’t pick the carcass of Cooks bad form. Didn’t for 2 years. No wonder so many of these people are getting sacked from their jobs. They are not worth paying for.

      Like

  19. SimonH September 30, 2016 / 9:37 am

    Second Test under way in India. NZ without Williamson and lost the toss – if they win this it’ll be some kind of miracle. Their seamers made a good start but Pujara (who’s struck a rich vein of form) is leading the fightback.

    ODI series in SA and UAE start later today.

    Like

    • @pktroll September 30, 2016 / 11:06 am

      239-7 and to be honest it looks a pretty ropey wicket. With the game being played in the Kolkata, in the east of the country I think this might be a problem on every other day. Having visited that part of the world 20 years ago, I can tell you that it gets dark very early compared to the west coast and Mumbai and there is only 1 time zone. I wonder how early it gets dark in places like Mizoram/Assam?

      Like

      • SimonH September 30, 2016 / 11:23 am

        Number of previous Tests in Kolkata: 40.

        Number starting in September: 0.

        (The previous earliest start was October 16th, way back in 1964. There has been one other October start).

        Like

    • d'Arthez October 1, 2016 / 11:13 am

      Looks like I can congratulate Kohli with another fine toss. Can’t say I am impressed by this pitch.

      Like

      • d'Arthez October 2, 2016 / 8:59 am

        India’s 110/6 in the third dig does not exactly suggest that the pitch is easy to bat on … Or is someone going to make the argument that Indian batsmen can’t bat in India these days?

        Like

  20. nonoxcol September 30, 2016 / 11:06 am

    No words left:

    I would imagine Pravda received plenty of “Special Award”s from Brezhnev.

    Like

    • fred September 30, 2016 / 11:50 am

      Tried to read through that, it’s not much of a conversation, but after all it is twitter, and it is Selvey. However if he thinks TV is not needed because kids watch cricket on smart phones, well, it reminded me of this:

      Like

    • LordCanisLupus September 30, 2016 / 12:41 pm

      Now free of the constraints imposed by his employer, Twitter is going to be all the more rich for his views, unfettered, straight from the hip. Like being mad about train announcements. Commenting on royals. It’s Don Selvione’s world and we just live in it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • "IronBalls" McGinty September 30, 2016 / 2:50 pm

        Which employer? The Guardian or the ECB?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Mark September 30, 2016 / 3:24 pm

        I doubt we will see any difference Dmitri. He was obnoxious, and wrong most of the time at the guardian. I expect no change at all. He will be picked up by some media clown car outfit soon enough.

        Once you get a media pass you get free tickets and corporate grifting can get going again. Then, as you eat the peach and peacock provided by the hosts you can lecture everybody about how they should pay more for their tv coverage.

        Like

      • nonoxcol September 30, 2016 / 12:46 pm

        Remarkable really, isn’t it, what he chooses to comment on and what he chooses to ignore?

        Those ECB sums were obviously spot on though, eh?

        Like

      • Mark September 30, 2016 / 3:27 pm

        Actully, you just have to see what the ECB position is, and then wait for Selvey to parrot the same position. Or ignore the issues the ECB want ignoring.

        Like

    • Mark September 30, 2016 / 3:16 pm

      He is nothing more than an ECB brown nose. No wonder even the Guardian got shot of him. He was a freaking embarrassment.

      The only reason the ECB makes any money out of Sky is because Sky choose to take Premiership fans money and spend it on cricket. Football fans haven’t bothered to realise they are being fleeced by cricket.

      Like

  21. d'Arthez September 30, 2016 / 12:46 pm

    Amla unwell and not playing in the first ODI against Australia. Fair enough.

    Now do you pick:
    a) the guy who made a ton in the lost ODI as an opener, Bavuma to open??
    b) the perennial failure Rossouw? (He only bats well against West Indies. Hardly a measure of greatness these days, for an average of 56. His next best average against a Full Member is 33 against Bangladesh), who usually bats at 3 or 4, to open?

    I am going to the betting office. No way that the South Africa selectors will fail to pick Parnell for the Test tour of Australia.

    Like

    • d'Arthez September 30, 2016 / 12:46 pm

      “lost” obviously should be “last”

      Like

    • d'Arthez September 30, 2016 / 5:42 pm

      Admittedly it is not the strongest attack Australia could possibly fielded (Starc, Faulkner are missing), but quite a nice innings by Quinton de Kock. 11th ODI ton in just 65 ODIs.

      Like

  22. nonoxcol October 1, 2016 / 12:20 pm

    ECB Special Award’s top tweet today presumably supposed to sound defiant, positive and forward-looking, but strongly resembles a Prince song lyric made famous by Sinaed O’Connor….

    Like

  23. nonoxcol October 1, 2016 / 6:33 pm

    I suppose it’s about time I voted:

    The International Summer – This whole section is based on sketchy memories and looking up the matches on Cricinfo – all I saw was Channel 5 highlights, and I probably missed quite a lot of those through arriving home late and switching Hughes off at the break. Perhaps I should have used my smartphone like da kidz do.

    England’s Test Player Of The Summer (Top Three) –

    1. Chris Woakes 2. Jonny Bairstow 3. Joe Root

    Best Overseas Test Player Of The Summer (Top Three)

    1. Misbah-ul-Haq 2. Yasir Shah 3. Younis Khan

    Best Test Innings Of The Summer (Top Three)

    1. Younis Khan 218 P v E, The Oval – in the circumstances, the single most outstanding contribution of the whole summer 2. Jonny Bairstow 140 E v SL, Headingley 3. Joe Root 254 E v P, Old Trafford

    Best Bowling Performance (Individual) Of The Summer (Top Three)

    1. Yasir Shah 10 wickets and match-winner, P v E, Lord’s 2. Chris Woakes 11 wickets, E v P, Lord’s 3. Sohail Khan 5-68, P v E, The Oval

    Like d’Arthez, I refuse to include any of the statistically superior bowling figures from the Sri Lanka “Test series”.

    Journalists & Commentators (Bloggers do not count, cricket press, writing for papers, magazines and cricinfo)

    Best Three Journalists (rank order)

    1. George Dobell. Not quite at the levels of 2014, but strong and consistent. I admire his research, knowledge, genuine feeling (I won’t resort to the overused ‘passion’) and balance. Welcome voice on the ECB, Sky and those wonderful sums.
    2. Tim Wigmore. Exactly what we so desperately need more of, and what is so sadly lacking in the effing dinosaurs who occupy the senior roles on the printed press. Global focus; lovely, direct, readable style; ego not sufficiently large to obscure the great points he keeps making.
    3. Jarrod Kimber. So much credit from 2015, and his assessment of the South Africans was my favourite article of the year.

    Worst Five Journalists (rank order)
    Heh, heh (*rubs hands*)

    1. Ed Smith. Yes, FICJAM. Plenty of us knew he was a pretentious, smug, condescending man with an ego so far outstripping his ability they could re-name the Dunning-Kruger effect after him. Particular thanks to SimonH for consistently highlighting that so much of his look-at-me waffle tends towards simply waving pom-poms for capitalism, neo-liberalism and the status quo, under the guise of sporting “analysis”. Finding out that he was running an MA in the History of Sport, but could not spell the name of the greatest footballer of his lifetime, was certainly satisfying. But the moment he attained an insurmountable lead was, of course, when he was exposed as a shabby plagiarist by the splendid Subash (thecricketcouch). Shabby being the operative word: say nothing, ride it out, and carry on regardless. A neat little fable for cricket in England in the second decade of the twenty-first century, and why no-one else could possibly win my vote this year.

    2. Simon Hughes. Come in number 39, your time can’t be up soon enough. Yes, talking of sporting “analysis”, how is it that someone so limited in his ability to weigh up the arguments of those who disagree with him, has given himself *that* soubriquet? Actual club members (and humble bloggers) point out the gaping holes in the ECB’s self-serving arguments, yet he just keeps trotting them out without even the semblance of a critical eye. And he ruined The Cricketer.

    3. Mike Selvey. My notional winner in 2012 and 2013; my actual winner in 2014 and 2015. He falls agonisingly short of the full Bjorn Borg. I could almost convince myself that he’d toned himself down a bit (well, if I didn’t read Twitter). He even slipped off the podium… And then the farewell tour began. Self-regarding faux-humility. Bit of spite BTL, emboldened no doubt by England’s success and all that resurgent sycophancy. And cast-iron evidence the he had learned not the slightest scrap of humility from those bruising encounters of ’12-’15. Finally, the ‘ECB Special Award’ was the most perfect symbolic epitaph for the latter days of his illustrious career.

    4. Paul Newman. Here for three reasons: his hilarious Twitter reaction to the West Indies’ Champions Trophy win, his revolting character assassination of Eoin Morgan, and most of all for my single worst article of the year, the Flower whitewash (that sidebar, oh my word, that sidebar):

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-3577853/Andy-Flower-admits-reign-fell-apart-Ashes-whitewash-believes-England-bright-future-Trevor-Bayliss.html

    5. Andy Bull narrowly beats out OC#24 and OC#28. He writes very well, but he’s here as a symbol of how far the Guardian has fallen in the late Selvey period. Someone described him a couple of years ago as “conservative to the marrow”, and he’s set about proving it since. He has killed The Spin with whimsy and parochialism in place of enlightenment. His hopelessly misjudged ICC “soap opera” effort was second behind Newman in my worst article of the year. And then, just last week, he opened his County Championship final day work with not one but two reminiscences about bloody Selvey, before unforgivably recycling almost exactly the same content in the following week’s Spin. That sealed it.

    Best Commentator (TMS only)

    1. Geoff Boycott 2. (oh go on then) Jonathan Agnew 3. Simon Mann

    Oh No! Why He Is On? Worst Three Commentators

    1. Lovejoy. Padded-cell standard. Utterly fucking un-BEAR-able. Only someone this obnoxious could deprive FICJAM of the double. Lowest point (though frankly this is like surveying the Mariana Trench) was probably Compton in South Africa.

    2. FICJAM. No better than last year, and BBC silence on the plagiarism was a complete disgrace. Only Boycott even so much as mocks him. Enough to make me hope Agnew carries on for another 20 years, just to stop Smith getting his hands on the BBC cricket correspondent job.

    3. Shiny Toy. This actually hurts, because he’s one of my favourite cricketers ever to play for England. But I’m sorry, his position in the media should be borderline untenable, his self-awareness is somewhere below even Selvey’s, and his recent columns and tweets (“dinosaurs”) nuke any inclination to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    Mount Outside Cricketmore

    Giles Clarke – do I really need to explain this? No.
    Paul Downton – he probably gave us the phrase in the first place, and even if he’s not directly relevant now, he is an enduring symbol of how bloggers can get it so right while the MSM (MiddleSexMedia in this case) can be so hopelessly, embarrassingly wrong.
    Mike Selvey – I want to nominate a journalist, and he has been the worst. At every turn he was a perfect example of everything we railed against. He supports or supported all of my other three nominees (as well as those who just missed out) in everything they did and said.
    Andy Flower – the one I agonised over for longest. It was either him or Cook, as Strauss hasn’t quite pissed me off for long enough to wipe out memories of 04-05, and if you want a suit you go to the very top and Clarke, don’t bother with pipsqueaks like Harrison and (#1 my arse) Graves. Flower I regard as the instigator of my total disillusionment from 2012. Clarke had already done immense, immense damage, but when it came to hastening my estrangement, most things can be traced to him and the total hold he had over most of the media. Cook just isn’t political enough to blame for the similarly hagiographic coverage he received after Flower (ahem) “called time” like the “pragmatist” he was. Whereas I can believe almost anything of someone who wangled a new job and an ongoing free pass out of that shambolic winter.
    (Im)pertinent fact: at least two of them were at Giles Clarke’s “mother of all parties” in June 2013, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Downton (who got the plum job just five months later) was there as well.

    Open Space –
    Your overall comments on the summer – Think I’ve covered that!

    Comments on the blog –
    What do you like, what don’t you like, what would you like to see more of, would you like to write? All here…

    I’ve gone on too long already. I’m still there every day, just about, after a massive lull post-Brexit-vote. So I like it the way it is. But I want analysis of the media to remain a fundamental cornerstone. Everywhere else does just the cricket. If that’s what some people want, they have plenty of options. Blogging dissidents don’t have one that lives up to the standards you and your co-writers set and that allows so much free comment. I really don’t want another debate about correlation and causation, though, thanks. If that happens again it should be stamped on with absolutely no mercy. 😊

    Cheers all. A somewhat muted year (off the field) compared to 2014 and 2015 I think, but I’m looking forward to the results.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. nonoxcol October 1, 2016 / 11:20 pm

    Off topic, but I’ve seen some captaincy today that almost makes Cook Headingley 2014 look like Brearley Headingley 1981.

    Darren Clarke, take a bow.

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus October 1, 2016 / 11:56 pm

      Harsh. I had problems with Kaymer playing three matches when he’s not at the races while sitting Rafa. Westwood is just being Westwood. Willett is the most diffident major winner I’ve seen. But Clarke hasn’t got a lot of cards to play.

      Like

      • nonoxcol October 2, 2016 / 10:55 pm

        I understand (from his Twitter feed) a lot of this was written before the singles matches started.

        http://www.sportinglife.com/golf/news/article/2/10603007/ryder-cup-column-usa-beat-europe-reaction

        Pretty sick of the apparently widespread assumption that rookies who have earned their place on merit need hiding or protecting, and how on earth it makes any sense whatsoever to have three out of six of them play only one round of alternate shot before the singles is beyond me.

        I thought he was one step (Pieters) up from a shambles, frankly. Sorry.

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus October 2, 2016 / 11:13 pm

          That’s a good article, written with hindsight regarding the Spanish pairing. The three who played once all lost today.

          But look at that Selfie taken by Justin Rose. It’s all a little bit cosy. You have a mail too!

          Like

      • nonoxcol October 3, 2016 / 7:10 am

        It’s all opinions, but my face fell through the floor at the pairings at the time, and I expected to see SG & RCB together for fourballs regardless of their foursomes result. If the alternative was bringing back two men with 0% records, and making Garcia play fourballs alongside a guy with whom he’d already lost, it ought to have been a no-brainer. So I don’t perceive Coley’s argument on that point as hindsight. Indeed, he knew what would be thrown at him:

        At the very least, he isn’t lazily tweeting “hindsight is 20/20 but nothing Clarke could have done”, like quite a few others. For me it resembles the difference between actual *analysis* and the Simon Hughes school of same. Simon Caney (former editor of the ‘Sport’ free magazine and Golf Weekly) is one of the few others really sticking his neck out on Twitter. Regarding your point about chumminess, the Telegraph article Coley linked to was a most interesting counterblast.

        FWIW, I think we’d have lost anyway.

        Like

      • Mark October 3, 2016 / 8:33 am

        The golf media and Clarke are the same as the cricket media and Cook. They cover up the bad calls and put it down to hindsight. How convienient? Problem is they have been telling us for years that America was no good because they had bad captains who made bad pairings and that Europe had good captains who made good pairings,

        Boot is on the other foot now, and they don’t want to look too hard at the reality because that would mean criticising their mate. Also it would mean their need to to criticise some of the players for their poor peformance. Access? Remember that old chestnut? European journos want access to the players for the next 2 years. The American players not so much. Faldo was never liked, and many of the media couldn’t wait to stick the boot in. That’s not to say he shouldn’t have been criticised because he made very bad decsions, but the media had no probelms calling him on them because they didn’t like him in the first place.

        The omission of Paul Casey who has been competing very well on the US tour over the last 2 months was a bad decsion. But the US team was much stronger on a golf course set up to play target golf. Apart for the odd water hazard there was no penalty for hitting it off the fairway. Length of the tee, and putting on the greens where all. The Americans made more putts. My biggest criticism of Clark was he didn’t truts the rookies from the start. He went with his chums, and they lost the first session 4-0. Then he had to drop them for Friday afternoon and Saturday morning to allow Europe back into the contest. He then made the same mistake again Saturday afternoon. But the 4-0 first session was almost game over. Europe never lead the contest from there.

        Like

      • nonoxcol October 3, 2016 / 9:46 am

        “Five things we learned” format, basically. Give me strength. Kill it with fire.

        And absolutely no attempt to separate the rationale for the original wildcard picks (which quite a few, possibly most, people might have agreed with) from the bizarre, illogical pairings and use of resources over the weekend itself. For me that separation is Ryder Cup Analysis 101. If you can’t even get there you might as well not bother.

        Like

      • nonoxcol October 3, 2016 / 9:49 am

        SimonH

        Your first recommend for posting a link to the Coley article was from me. Hope more people spot it.

        Like

      • SimonH October 3, 2016 / 11:19 am

        Pity I posted that link just before the fresh thread went up!

        Murray’s article really is an abomination. It’s straight out of the Selvey playbook to knock down the less reasonable criticism (the wildcards – picking both Westwood and Kaymer was debatable but not indefensible) while completely ignoring the reasonable points (the Saturday afternoon pairings were a disaster – and that’s not hindsight).

        As for spending ages on Justin Rose’s extended complaining about the course set-up, give me strength. I’ve quite a bit of time for Rose – but complaining the course was too easy when you’ve played like him over the weekend is a thought he should have kept for another day. There is some truth in it, but it sounds like sour grapes when you’ve just been beaten.

        Liked by 2 people

      • SimonH October 3, 2016 / 12:30 pm

        Oh, and give me strength about the amount that’s been written ATL and BTLabout Willett’s brother.

        Good job he didn’t call Americans “mediocre”…

        Like

      • man in a barrel October 3, 2016 / 3:29 pm

        For Rose to criticise the pin positions for the singles, which Europe resoundingly lost, is just bizarre. If the holes were so easy, then the European team must have been really really bad to lose so convincingly – it should have been a 50/50 shoot-out on the final day, surely?

        Like

    • d'Arthez October 3, 2016 / 12:15 pm

      Or maybe he should just play. After all the medical staff and selectors were a bunch of muppets when he was not picked for Lord’s due to fitness concerns. And we all know how long a certain B. Stokes lasted after returning from injury, right?

      Silly question perhaps: but is there actually an injury (physical or mental) that the ECB medical staff have managed well, in the last few years?

      Like

      • man in a barrel October 3, 2016 / 3:36 pm

        In fairness, the Australian, New Zealand and South African medical teams don’t look so clever, either. I would love to see the medical stats for baseball pitchers to see whether bowlers have it worse than pitchers.

        Like

  25. SimonH October 2, 2016 / 2:59 pm

    Newman has landed (with, as he’s very quick to tell us, Strauss and Harrison):

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-3818176/England-stand-captain-Jos-Buttler-insists-Bangladesh-security-paramount-focusing-cricket.html

    The sudden concern for the health of Bangladesh cricket is touching:

    “there is no doubt that England’s willingness to tour is not only crucial for Bangladesh’s future in the game but also for the prosperity of the country after an attack that left 20 westerners dead.
    It is no exaggeration to say that the health of the game in one of the world’s most populous countries would have been severely threatened had England followed Australia’s example in refusing to travel to Bangladesh”.

    Will any of the press corps mention what any of the following did for “the health of the game in one of the world’s most populous countries”:
    a) Refusing to grant them any tour of England for this entire decade.
    b) Reducing their share of ICC revenue to little over 2% in 2014.
    c) Reducing their chances of playing in the 2019 WC

    Not for the first time, Newman has some extensive quotes from Farbrace. One is about Morgan and Hales –

    “‘I won’t lie to you I was massively disappointed when the two of them chose not to come but when you get over the disappointment you realise it gives opportunities for others to have a go”.

    So “disappointed” becomes “massively disappointed”…..

    Like

    • Rooto October 2, 2016 / 4:34 pm

      Will Macpherson’s article in the Guardian has the same quote. While the many and constant references to the overwhelming security presence could be seen by some (perhaps that’s the intention) as proof that it’s safe, I read it from the point of view that it does appear to be rather intrusive, and would put you off your game, much as Soon Morgan claimed.
      Then, lo and behold, up pops Farbrace to say that, in fact it’s less intrusive or noticeable than in Pakistan in 2009 (when he was shot at, and policemen were killed). Thanks, Paul. That seems to have covered all bases. Captain well and truly undermined.

      Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez October 2, 2016 / 5:39 pm

      You’re forgetting:

      d) Tinker with the ODI World Cup format so much, because Bangladesh accidentally beat India in 2007. Now the showpiece event is reduced to being a month of warmups and then 7 knockout games. If the powers that be had any intention of growing the game beyond the 9 Full Members (and the decrepit corpse that is Zimbabwe cricket) those warmups could be potentially interesting. I have seen ads for sleeping pills that are more exciting than the current format of the World Cup. And guess what? Bangladesh are still being punished for their success on the field in 2007. What meritocracy!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mark October 2, 2016 / 10:03 pm

      Well said Simon. Quite revolting, but typical of Newman that he spins like a top for the ECB. All the guff about helping Bangladesh while ignoring that the ECB has been stabbing them in the back for the last decade. Once this tour is over let’s see how much help is given to Bagladesh. Not much I bet. But hey let’s pretend, and use it as a way of kicking someone who hasn’t bowed to the managment. Because obedience to Strauss is all that matters in Newmans world.

      Like

  26. Rooto October 2, 2016 / 6:42 pm

    Poll answers.
    Disclaimer: Just because I’ve taken my time, doesn’t mean I know what I’m talking about. But if 2016 has taught us anything, it’s that people don’t need to know what they’re talking about for their votes to count.

    England’s Test Player Of The Summer (Top Three) –
    In order: Woakes, Bairstow, Ali

    Best Overseas Test Player Of The Summer (Top Three)
    Misbah, Herath (it seems a long time ago now, doesn’t it?), Sami Aslam

    Best Test Innings Of The Summer (Top Three)
    Root’s double, Younus’s double, Chandimal getting a ton following on at C-le-S

    Best Bowling Performance (Individual) Of The Summer (Top Three)
    Yasir Shah at Lord’s, Woakes at Lord’s, Anderson at C-le-S.

    Best Three Journalists (rank order)
    George Dobell, Ali Martin, Vic Marks (I’m not widely-read – he just pushes out David Hopps).

    Worst Five Journalists (rank order)
    1 – Selvey, 2 – Ed Smith for plagiarising, 3 – Andy Bull for essentially giving up his NUJ card, 4 – Mark Nicholas for nearly everything I’ve read making me retch, 5 – whoever wrote Ed Smith’s stuff before he did.

    Best Commentator (TMS and C5 only)
    Geoffrey Boycott. Forensic dismantling of Hales’ technique, such that I can still remember where I was in the car when I heard it.
    *However my year’s highlight was the 2 SA commentators (not sure who and Graeme Smith) really delighting in Taylor’s wonder catch off Broad in the 3rd test last winter. Beautiful radio.*

    Oh No! Why He Is On? Worst Three Commentators
    Henry Blofeld for the 15th year running. I fucking hate his schtick. Then, Michael Vaughan and Ebony Rainsford-Brent.

    Mount Outside Cricketmore

    It’s got to be long-term.
    Giles, Flower, Cook and Downton. Downton just beats Srini for his importance at the birth of the blog. (After all Teddy Roosevelt’s most famous for not shooting a bear nowadays)

    Your overall comments on the summer.

    A lot of it passed me by, in terms of the international summer. At the moment, I’m still basking in the excellent county summer just passed. Although it may not be good news, I look forward to the county game becoming more central to the overall cricket conversation in the coming months.

    Comments on the blog –

    What do you like, what don’t you like, what would you like to see more of, would you like to write? All here…
    It’s been a delight to be here this summer. I’m still waiting for Sean to write his excoriation of the CC Live blog. I might have to write a defence, but I don’t think it would do any good. Not promising anything! 🙂
    I’m more with Q and Fred on the cricket analysis question. I, too, take more notice of you guys’ opinions than those of many who are paid to deliver theirs. After all, you wouldn’t send us over to the badlands of MSMBTL just to get our fix of analysis, would you?

    Like

  27. Mark October 2, 2016 / 11:57 pm

    Just watched the Ryder cup. The one bright spot in Europe’s loss is it makes a mockery of the BBCs radio golf correspondent Ian Carters idiotic analysis. For those who haven’t had the pleasure of Carters half baked theories…….he is another one of the modern sports jounalist dorks who belives that all sport can be reduced to the idea that a captain or coach can control everything. Sport reduced to a play station, where the captain plugs in to a console and wins or loses through their actions. Players are almost irrelevent.

    So on thusdays radio 5 preview show Carter informed us that Loves captaincy was woolly and would backfire when the pressure came on. It seemed to have escaped Carters notice that the captains make no drives, no putts, no bunker shots, but apparantly are all powerful. Yesterday after Europe had forght back he repeated breathlessly that momentum was more important than points on the board. Now in fairness this nonsense had been trotted out by Darren Clarke. One can excuse Clarke however as the captain wanting to put a gloss on the situation. You expect a bit more scepticism from the journalist. So Europe would prefer to be 2 points behind but with the momentum on their side? Really? Last time I looked you needed 14.5 points to win. Not 14.5 momentums.

    I noticed on your Twitter feed Dmitri you were asking how the media would judge Clarkes captaincy in relation to Faldos disaster. Well it looks like Clarkes will be given a free ride for his selections and pairings. Carter informs us that the numerous Rookies will be back in two years time. He has no idea if this will be so. It’s pure speculation.

    Skys golf commentry is very good, but the presenting is difficult to stomach. I rarely have any sympathy for Americans, but I do flinch at poor old Butch Harmon having to endure Colin Montgomery, and the Scottish presenter who seems to have a permanent bias for all things European. Then we have Mcginley who seems to have been elevated to a sort of Irish King who is carried around on a throne of gold on Sky. Apparently he won the Ryder cup single handed last time. Again the theory that the captain is all, and the players are secondary. This conventional wisdom is never challenged. It seems to have escaped these geniuses that the U.S. has had many different captains since 2008 and have lost with all off them. Perhaps it might be that the big name players didn’t perform, and were to blame. Captain has to take some blame, but all? If you are going to push a view that the captain is all and Europes success was all down to the captain, and all the USAs defeats were down to bad captancy then you can’t magically give Clarke a free pass.

    Faldos captaincy was poor, but the media were waiting to administer a good kicking. They had never forgiven his famous remark after his win at the Bristish open when he said he wanted to “thank the media from the heart of his bottom.” This was too much for the wafer thin skinned golf journalists, and they had waited for payback for a decade. No such worries for Darren Clarke. The medias favourate. Europe lost this Ryder cup because they didn’t putt as well as team USA. How much is that down to Clarke and his selections and pairings…….Who knows?

    Like

    • SimonH October 3, 2016 / 8:49 am

      Golf has joined the ranks of sports I can now only bear to watch with the commentary turned off. It isn’t a short list.

      Like

      • Mark October 3, 2016 / 10:00 am

        Did you see BBCs bizarre coverage of the darts last week? (Is darts a sport?) they decided to get a woman to do the interviews. All part of the BBCs obsession with gender politics and putting woman on to talk about men’s sport. So we have a female presenter talking about football on 5 live. (Admitted she is the daughter of Kenny Dalglish but that doesn’t mean diddly squat.) how many astronauts children have gone on to be spacemen? We have another woman who introduces the 5 live rugby and that’s before The Bogfathers favourate female cricket commentator. Now fair enough if these woman are any good but the fact the BBC is pushing this on almost all sports seems to suggest an agenda that is based on tokenism rather than ability. Clair Balding doing rugby league was an interesting one. And sacked at saturation gender politics. Balding is a good presenter but she should stick to horses where she knows her stuff.

        Anyway this woman stood well over six feet tall and towered over Phil the power Taylor as if he was a midget. The television visuals looked ludicrous. The questions were bland and amateur and all so the BBC can play gender politics. Then they wonder why they can’t get much sport on TV these days.

        I am going to get so much criticism for this rant, but I don’t care. Mens sport reduced to bake off. Next week Mary Berry on boxing.

        Like

      • Mark October 3, 2016 / 10:02 am

        That should read smacked rather than sacked. Bloody spell checker.

        Like

  28. SimonH October 3, 2016 / 11:26 am

    Hurrah, India win and go top of the rankings. Another Test finished in four days and with no batsman able to make a century. There were so many LBWs because balls kept low.

    Like

    • d'Arthez October 3, 2016 / 12:09 pm

      I don’t know if you saw the stats I posted (from 2009 onwards) a while ago. But the stats heavily suggest that this is very unusual for Indian pitches – usually a Test in India averages 2+ tons. Even in the 1960s (1st Jan 1960 – 31 Dec 1969) Indian batsman averaged about 0.8 tons / Test in India (and opposition batsmen averaged about 0.8 tons / Test in India as well at the time)

      It all began to change after India lost to England in 2012. Since then, I think there was only one visiting batsman to make a ton (Clarke) – but at least India made 10 tons in 2013 (4 against WI in 2 Tests, 6 against Australia in 4). And now even the Indian batsmen are incapable of doing so.

      But congratulations Kohli. You have tossed well. Cook just has to win 3 tosses, and England may well win the series.

      Like

    • Mark October 3, 2016 / 12:12 pm

      Is it any wonder no one wants to watch test cricket when so many balls keep low. They are rigging the system to keep India at the top. They have to because India are even worse than ENGLAND away from home. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy. I will be interested to see which English journalist is the first to complain about the pitches when England play their test matches there soon. Oh the irony, ho ho.

      Look over there 20/20, that’s what the punters want. IPL, City, whatever flavour you like as long as it makes $$$$$$$$. Funny how they play on good batting decks for that format.

      Like

      • SimonH October 3, 2016 / 12:26 pm

        I’m not sure who are going to piss me off more this winter – England fans moaning about Indian pitches (the pitch has to worse than Lord’s 2014 for England to start complaining) or Indian fans denying that their pitches are doctored and saying over and over that modern batsmen can’t play spin.

        Like

      • d'Arthez October 3, 2016 / 12:47 pm

        Was it not the Chennai curator who proudly boasted about doctoring it to annul the threat posed by the Australian quicks? If he could get away with it, all the other curators can too. Hell, the BCCI even protested against the assessment of the Nagpur (2015) pitch being “poor”.

        Winning the toss is a massive advantage on such pitches, and even the relative lack of quality of Moeen and Rashid (and whoever may be picked as a third spinner) may not be enough to offset a toss loss for Kohli. I see no reason to suspect that Moeen and Rashid will do that much worse than Tahir, Harmer and Piedt. Harmer was dropped despite averaging 25 with the ball.

        It is not as if any of these Indian batsmen have good records against offspin for instance (and I certainly would not be putting it beyond Moeen to end up with 20 wickets against these batsmen).

        So if Cook tosses well, England will be favorites in my book. But the fans of the losing the toss side will moan more, that is for sure.

        Like

    • Mark October 3, 2016 / 1:19 pm

      If your face don’t fit…….it’s always a make or break tour. It’s the English way. It’s all about trust apparently.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. nonoxcol October 3, 2016 / 1:35 pm

    THE ECB HAVE ACTUALLY FUCKING DONE IT.

    THEY HAVE ACTUALLY RELEGATED DURHAM.

    I’m actually speechless.

    Liked by 1 person

    • nonoxcol October 3, 2016 / 1:49 pm

      Plenty more on the same feed.

      Like

  30. nonoxcol October 3, 2016 / 1:55 pm

    Well, they wouldn’t, would they?

    Two years ago some of us spotted the obvious southern bias in match allocation.

    Like

  31. nonoxcol October 3, 2016 / 2:00 pm

    Why I always put him below Selvey in the poll:

    Like

    • @pktroll October 3, 2016 / 2:04 pm

      Disgraceful decision.

      Like

  32. "IronBalls" McGinty October 3, 2016 / 2:13 pm

    Hampshire stay up…quelle surprise!
    Just when you thought the ECB couldn’t get any lower…they do!

    Like

    • nonoxcol October 3, 2016 / 2:22 pm

      Interesting thread here:

      You don’t have to be Einstein or Sherlock, really, do you?

      Like

      • Mark October 3, 2016 / 2:31 pm

        Yes well, the Hampshire bloke was boasting about setting the agenda of cricket for the next 150 years. I guess Durham aren’t in those plans. Time for revolution, let’s start making our mobile guillotine machines and head to west London. Pitch forks and torches boys.

        Like

  33. Mark October 3, 2016 / 2:27 pm

    At what point can we accuse The ECB of being a criminal enterprise? This is Mafia like action. Fuck them, and the giant dollop of dogs shit they rode in on. But remember folks TRUST TRUST TRUST.

    THEY NEVER WOULD HAVE DONE THIS TO EITHER ESSEX OR MCC (Middlesex) They should be stripped of all govt grants and asked to pay back any govt money they have been given. All honors to anyone at the ECB in the last 5 years should be withdrawn, and a police audit should be made of the ECB books. Whoever made this decision should go straight to jail, he should not pass go, and be left to rot for years.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Andy October 3, 2016 / 3:03 pm

    just came to comment on this and see I’ve been beaten to it by several of you!

    One thing I noticed what they Durham have also been banned from staging test cricket. The Beeb don’t say how long for and I assume ODI’s T20’s (internationals) will still go there, but this is surely a big kick in the nuts saying ‘we are going to remove one potential way for you to pay back the money!’

    If the NE actually got a summer test (not they spring crap) against a decent opposition, then test cricket would ahve been so much better up there.

    I didn’t know about the Hants v Kent t20 voting thing. Does seem like it has all come good at the right time for the ECB…..

    Theory – the ECB know this was coming, said to Hants ‘support us and we can sort you out if you are relegated’ I guess we will never know.

    At least Agnew has vaguely blamed the ecb with this

    “but also over-ambition in that the county had its head turned by the foolish central policy of encouraging all to stage Test cricket..”

    Doesn’t go as far as to say that the biddding system and match allocation aspects are a bunch of codswallop though…..

    Like

    • nonoxcol October 3, 2016 / 3:05 pm

      He nearly admitted it during a discussion before the start of play on 21 May (I remember turning it up in my hotel room, I was that shocked).

      Like

    • Mark October 3, 2016 / 3:40 pm

      I don’t think they will be happy until they have closed down cricket in almost all parts of the country except the South East. It follows the same policy of wanting to shut down cricket in all parts of the world except India, Australia, an southern England. Remove the competion and then a few people can enjoy looting the system.

      Dubious sweet heart deals for some, and deliberate restrictions on others creates a crony system of insider dealing. I seriously wonder why anyone wants to be associated with English cricket. It stinks.

      Like

  35. Rooto October 3, 2016 / 3:20 pm

    The ECB have behaved like a drug pushing gangster. Introduce the drug. Feed the habit. Ratchet up the price. Kneecap them when they get into debt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark October 3, 2016 / 3:44 pm

      Yup. As the man said in the Godfather…..” It’s just business.”

      Like

  36. nonoxcol October 3, 2016 / 6:37 pm

    Elizabeth Ammon has written an important report on the Durham fiasco. See Twitter for link.

    Like

  37. SimonH October 3, 2016 / 6:43 pm

    Why he made the OC#50:

    Liked by 1 person

    • SimonH October 3, 2016 / 6:45 pm

      And he didn’t:

      Like

    • nonoxcol October 3, 2016 / 7:03 pm

      I’d like to say I’m surprised. Not grasping the difference between Rangers and Durham is truly absurd.

      Meanwhile, will no.5 tackle this head on tomorrow, or is there a story about a moustachioed rogue from 1896 that just can’t wait?

      Like

      • nonoxcol October 3, 2016 / 7:06 pm

        Ha ha ha, I wrote that before even clicking.

        Fuck’s sake.

        Like

      • Mark October 3, 2016 / 7:11 pm

        Surely the role of the counties is to produce players for England? If the ECB go on a county destruction path they are reducing the chances of producing good players for The national team (which generates the vast majority of money for English cricket)

        Trouble is The ECB has been rerun with spivs who are only interested in making money. How much of this was payback? ECB executives should take lie detector tests.

        Like

  38. nonoxcol October 3, 2016 / 7:10 pm

    Bransgrove has made a statement. It’s a beauty. One of the greatest, most telling and most symbolic since “people outside cricket”.

    Like

    • Mark October 3, 2016 / 7:13 pm

      I’m sure Selvey will say it was akin to a Churchill speech.

      Like

  39. thebogfather October 18, 2016 / 7:59 pm

    At last…. finally got around to doing this!

    Eng 3 – Woakes, Mo, Bairstow (tho’ I did like SimonH’s vote for ‘Comma’…
    O/sea 3 – Misbah, Younus, Yasir
    Innings 3 – Misbah ton, Mo’s 86, Younus double
    Bowling 3 – Yasir 10, Woakes 11, Sohail (Oval)

    Best Journo – Wigmore, Kimber, Dobell

    Worst Hack – Almost a 3 way tie… but after much deliberation, the continued myopic ignorance and self-satisfaction which he carried biliously until the very end means that my no.1 has to be….SELFRY
    A close run thing with the arse faced assassin that is NEWMAN, taking second, mainly for his hideous and pathetic attacks on certain players.
    Third has to be the self-appointed PLAGIARIST, sorry ESSAYIST, that is ED SMITH
    Trailing behind in 4th – DELBOY, in the Cricket toilet paper Comic Genius! and 5th, much as I generally like him, VIC ‘splinters’ MARKS

    Commentator – posthumous award to Tony Cozier. Otherwise it must be Geoffrey.

    Worst Commentators – No.1 – Oh EBONY… I’ve given you time, you’ve given me headaches, yet still inane waffle, corporate cricketspeak and that bloody LAUGH! Come on BBC, you’ve got better female summarisers and commentators than that – sort it!

    2. PLAGIARIST (Keep baiting him Geoffrey…)

    3. LOVEJOY

    MOUNT OUTSIDECRICKETMORE

    GILES CLARKE’S ARSE – I don’t want to see his face ever again, and we can have bonus faces with Suit and Costcutter emblazoned across a cheek each with lovingly placed tongues..

    MIKE SELVEY – A shiny dome, now retired to life as a garden gnome

    ED SMITH – Even Chris Bonnington might struggle climbing that massive forehead

    COOKIE – Oh come on, how could we not have that chiselled jaw…

    Open space…. what a summer! We won the super series by….ermm….ermmm. 5 tries to a bogey, the ECB managed to revolt even more people with their Durham thoughts and City cricket cop-outs, most of world cricket is collapsing rapidly into and ICC black-hole, and still Giles Clarke exists….

    This blog….. ‘The greatest ever’ (copyright ShinyToy) – Just keep doing what you want to keep doing, it’s yours to enjoy writing, and ours to just enjoy and interact with. Keep the balance, never stop the long runs either.

    Liked by 1 person

    • nonoxcol October 19, 2016 / 5:12 am

      I hope “Splinters” catches on!

      Liked by 1 person

    • thebogfather November 6, 2016 / 12:05 pm

      Scrap ‘Splinters’ at 5 in ‘worst hacks’ – LaughingStocks has just reclaimed his rightful place with his tour scores…

      Like

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