The Outside Cricket 2017 Predictions

At the start of every year, every newspaper, magazine and website worth its’ salt often comes up with a list of their predictions about the upcoming year from an array of supposed experts in this field.

However, as we’re just ‘little bloggers’, who are continually told by a number of the big beasts in the national press (though they are rapidly declining) that we know nothing. We thought that we would come up with an alternative set of predictions for 2017.

The below is meant to be taken in jest and we refuse to be held accountable if any of the preposterous predictions that are written below actually happen. If anyone is remotely offended by these predictions, well good, stop being so thin-skinned.

Happy (belated) New Year!


January

After intense speculation around the continued captaincy of Alastair Cook, Cook finally meets with Director, Comma in a 5 star hotel in Mayfair. After some intense and forthright discussions between the pair, Andrew Strauss finally calls a press conference outside the Ritz to reveal the decision. Clutching a white piece of paper in his left hand, the Director Comma announces that

“The settlement of the Cook captaincy problem, which has now been achieved is, in my view, only the prelude to a larger settlement in which English cricket may find success. This morning I had another talk with the England captain, Alastair Cook and here is the paper, which bears his name as well as mine. Alastair Cook, or Lord Cook of Essex as he will now be known, will continue to the lead the English cricket assault to be the number one team. I have returned from the Ritz with success for our time”.

The press are unanimous in their support for Cook, with Newman stating “how only a true English great would put their country ahead of themselves”; Scyld Berry comments that ‘without doubt Cook is the finest leader that English cricket has ever seen”; whilst John Etheridge is reported to have written that Cook “is truly a man of the people”, however no-one is able to corroborate this as no-one has ever read a cricket piece in the Sun.

Meanwhile, England’s one-day team travel to India as underdogs against their strong hosts. After losing the first ODI by 5 wickets, Two Eoin Morgan centuries in the final two matches guides England to an unexpected 2-1 victory and an even more impressive whitewash in the T20’s, thanks to Morgan’s clever use of his spin options and clean hitting at the death. Whilst most of the press are subsequently impressed with both Morgan’s batting and leadership of the team, Oliver Holt calls it an “absolute disgrace from a fraud of a man” and demands that he resign immediately. Paul Newman’s subsequently retweets this 4 times.

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February

 As part of the expected England reshuffle after the heavy Test defeats in India, Andrew Strauss announces that Mike Newell, James Whittaker and Angus Fraser are to step down as England’s selectors, subsequently adding in “well it was all their fault anyway”. In a somewhat surprise decision, Michael Vaughan is elected as Chief of Selectors with input from Andy Flower and Lord Cook of Essex into the final selection panel. A clearly delighted Vaughan describes this “as a fantastic opportunity for ISM’s members, sorry I mean England’s young players, to play a vital part in English cricket in what will be a defining year for England.”

There is also some sad news, when John Etheridge announces that he has been made redundant by The Sun in a series of expletive ridden Tweets. A slightly embarrassed Chief Sport Editor of the Sun admits that they thought they’d gotten rid of him five years ago and that he thought the columns that kept appearing in his paper were from a new unpaid intern called John. An outraged Etheridge, with some support from Derek Pringle and Mike Selvey, launches another vicious attack on the Sun’s decision before flying out to Bangladesh on holiday to let off a bit of steam.

Mike Selvey also launches his blog “Uphill into the wind” amongst much fan fare from himself; however things quickly turn ugly when he doesn’t get the 500,000 views in the first week that he’s expecting and a couple of mildly critical comments appear below the line. A raging Selvey states this blog was “not a vanity project” and how dare “those bilious idiots and little bloggers dare to question his unrivalled cricketing knowledge?” Selvey immediately shuts down the blog and spends the rest of the year posting bitter Twitter comments whilst sat in various pubs in Suffolk. We at BOC are devastated at this news as this was likely to form most of our material for the coming year.

March

England begin March with a ODI tour to the West Indies in preparation for the upcoming Champions trophy. In what proves to be a tight and low scoring affair, the series is played in a downright spikey spirit with Marlon Samuels continually goading Ben Stokes. Going into the final game at 1-1, The series finally culminates in a West Indies win with Samuels hitting Stokes into the stand needing 4 off the final ball with only 1 wicket remaining. A clearly delighted Samuels sets off on a lap of honour whilst revealing a T-Shirt claiming that Stokes has a tiny manhood. Unsurprisingly Ben Stokes does not take this slight in good humour and unfortunately breaks both of his wrists whilst trying to hurl his locker from the England changing room at the gloating Samuels below. A giggling Paul Farbrace comments that “boys will be boys”, whilst confirming that Stokes will miss this summer’s cricket for surgery on both his wrists.

There is widespread condemnation of the behavior of both teams by the press, so much so, that Oliver Holt flies out to Barbados demanding that Eoin Morgan is sacked immediately as only a “cowardly captain would allow a great Englishman like Stokes to have to protect himself from these foreign savages”. When the English captain refuses, Holt and Newman return home and organise a ‘live aid style’ concert to demand that ECB removes Morgan called ‘Times up Eoin, it’s time to get going’ in reference to his refusal to sing God Save The Queen. The concert is a somewhat sparsely attended affair with various B-List acts and some rousing faux patriotic speeches from Piers Morgan, George Galloway, Nigel Farage and Michael Gove; however this is enough for Colin Graves to decide that he needs to act immediately and Morgan is swiftly relieved of the England ODI captaincy with the full consent of Andy Flower.

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April

April begins with various strange sightings of Andy Flower dressed up as the Grim Reaper standing outside Adil Rashid’s house with a sign declaring ‘you’re next sunshine’. When a clearly confused Rashid complains to the various authorities about this harassment, England’s Chief of selectors, Michael Vaughan declares in various newspaper columns that only a ‘weak minded and fragile individual such as Rashid would be bothered by this type of attention’ and vows never to pick him for England again. A clearly exasperated and downhearted Rashid retires from cricket completely and takes up a surprise position as Head Coach of Leeds Football Club stating that he feels “he will get far more support from Massimo Cellino than he ever did from Alastair Cook”.

The commencement of the County Championship starts under a cloud when the English County Chairmen refuse to endorse the newly proposed, 8 team T20 Franchise competition that the ECB has been pushing for. A clearly angry Colin Graves blasts all the counties as ‘mediocre’ and states that he “didn’t need their support or their grounds to launch such a forward thinking and money spinning new competition”. In a surprise move, Graves announces that the T20 Super Bash will still go ahead with the franchises being held in Beckenham, Luton, Shrewsbury, Norwich, Scarborough, Rochdale, Eastbourne and Aberdeen. A suitably impressed executive from BT Sport immediately bids £35million for the rights.

After vowing to watch more county cricket, there is a disaster when Trevor Bayliss mixes up Middlesex’s and Surrey’s fixtures and turns up at a deserted Lords. In private conversations, Bayliss is heard saying “jeez, there are two teams in London mate, why didn’t anyone tell me that, I mean London isn’t even a county!” Thankfully Bayliss has enough nous about him to report back to Director Comma that he witnessed a couple of decent young players from South African descent who should be ripe to play for England in the next year or so. Strauss remains impressed.

May

After a string of low scores in Division 1, Lord Cook of Essex declares that he is going to miss the next county game to play for Norfolk in order to get his eye in. Cook proceeds to make a chanceless 300 not out, which immediately prompts Peter Miller amongst others to declare that this clearly shows that Cook is better than Bradman and will easily smash Sachin Tendulkar’s record for the most amount of Test runs scored by a player. Meanwhile in Division 2, Ben Duckett records his 3rd double century of the campaign followed by another 184 not out as Northants storm to the top of Division 2; however many of the media are left unimpressed as Division 2 runs don’t really count (unless you play for Essex).

England meanwhile start their ODI series against South Africa, with Jos Buttler now leading the side in place of the demoted Eoin Morgan, who doesn’t even make the squad. In an exciting series where both sides post scores upwards of 320 in each game, South Africa pinch the series after England fall 8 runs short of chasing 370 to win in the last ODI at Lords. Jos Buttler makes the third quickest hundred in history in that game but England fall just short after a wonderful inning of 189 from Quinton De Kock. In the post series press conference, Director Comma comments that things may have to change in order for England to win the Champions Trophy and orders that all of the games for that Tournament be played on uncovered pitches to “preserve the old-fashioned values of the game”. Paul Farbrace sat beside him just chuckles.

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June

After Strauss’ shock decision to play all of the Champions Trophy game on uncovered pitches, England decide to make some last minute changes to their squad. Out go Buttler, Roy, Hales, Willey and Bairstow and in come Cook (cpt), Vince, Bopara, Anderson and Read, with Michael Vaughan declaring that they ‘were looking for some solidity’ at the top of the order. The tournament is somewhat of a let down as no team is able to post more than 150 on the green, swinging surfaces; however England progress to the final thanks to some fine swing bowling from Jimmy Anderson and 200 runs from Cook at a strike rate of 48. England play India in the final and despite restricting the hosts to 148, England fall 5 runs agonizingly short despite a fine 24* (62) from Ravi Bopara.

In the meantime there are shock call-ups for Scott Borthwick, Joe Clarke and Ajmal Shahzad for the upcoming England South Africa Test series. There are a few murmurings around a potential conflict of interest for the Chief of Selectors especially when he is heard off camera stating that ‘he should get a decent commission cheque this month’. These rumours are further substantiated when Vaughan is found to be posting contracts under the door of each of the England squad with a post it note attached to it stating ‘sign this or you’ll never be picked again’. Andrew Strauss is forced to act and fires Michael Vaughan ahead of the first Test claiming that his job at ISM was potentially influencing his selection thoughts. An incensed Vaughan issues a statement through his lawyers that he has had no commercial interests with ISM since 2013 and threatens to sue the ECB. A spooked Colin Graves immediately offers to settle for £20million, which Vaughan accepts and he immediately retakes his spot on TMS and BT Sport using them as platform to promote ISM’s latest roster of talent. Andy Flower meanwhile is named as Chairman of Selectors and is solely responsible for selection at all England levels.

In other news, the first day-night County Cricket fixtures get off to an inauspicious start when play is delayed at the Essex vs Middlesex game as someone at Essex Cricket club forgets to order the pink balls. In another turn for the worse, 30 spectators are treated for hypothermia at the Emirates Riverside during the Durham vs Worcestershire game as temperatures drop to minus two during the evening. An unrepentant Colin Graves declares that the games are an unmitigated success whilst imposing another 48 point fine on Durham for insubordination and playing the game that far North.

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July

England’s First Test of the summer results in a draw, thanks to a fluent Joe Root ton in the first innings and a battling second innings 100 from Lord Cook of Essex. Commenting on the draw, Cook remains in full belief that this “group of young guns is the best team he has ever coached, I mean captained”. The remaining Test’s do not bear this out though, as two second innings collapses means that England lose the series with one to play. A tetchy Alastair Cook loses his temper with Ian Ward when asked about what this series means for his captaincy by replying “I’ve got 10,000 runs more than you, how dare you ask me these difficult questions on camera.” Cook immediately declares in a press conference that as the Lord of Essex, he is not willing to put up with subordinates asking such impertinent questions and resigns the captaincy immediately as well as making himself unavailable to play in the final Test. The ECB immediately declares that this is a time of national mourning and demands that all flags are let at half-mast. Meanwhile, the ECB also declares that they are retiring the English captaincy as an honour to the great Alastair Cook, Paul Newman writes a 1,000 words in support of the former Captain and the ECB’s stance. A bemused Joe Root goes out to face the media declaring “I’m not sure what’s going on really, I’ve been playing on Fifa17 with Jonny Bairstow for the last 24 hours, but I’m sure Cook’s spirit goes with us or something like that”. In the last Test of the series, Root and Hameed both score a double ton, whilst Moeen Ali bags 10-78 in the match as England rout South Africa by an innings and 155 runs. England’s vice captain Root declares that ‘this was for the honour of Alastair Cook’, whilst trying not to crack up whereas Faf du Plessis admits the South African side lost some concentration having pissed themselves with laughter for the last 3 days at the state of English cricket.

There are some sad scenes at the end of series press conference when Director Comma announces that they have decided to let Trevor Bayliss go in order to “progress English cricket moving forward”. A clearly inebriated Bayliss attends the press conference demanding to know ‘which one of you w*nkers is George Dobell’. A slightly embarrassed Dobell sitting in the front row is thankfully saved by Melinda Farrell after Bayliss comes windmilling towards him, when she takes downs Bayliss with a swift uppercut. Paul Farbrace, sat at the press conference table, chuckles heartily.

In other news, Ed Smith is once again in hot water when it transcribes that he has copied the whole of Jonathan Agnew’s commentary from the first day of the First Test at Lords. Smith might well have got away with it until one attentive TMS listener pointed out that Smith was commenting on how well JP Duminy was batting during the England first innings. Smith refuses to comment on Social Media and instead writes a 5,000 essay in the Spectator comparing fielding to life in the pre-Raphaelite era; however embarrassed TMS officials are forced to quietly fire Ed. In a surprise move, TMS hire disgraced ex-football commentator Andy Gray as his replacement; however this ends predictably badly when Gray launches into a diatribe during the 2nd Women’s ODI when he constantly refers to them all as ‘a bunch of swamp donkeys’ and repeatedly asks ‘what they’re doing on a cricket pitch in the first place’? The BBC sensibly sacks Gray and headhunts Nick Knight to restore some calm order into the TMS commentary box, when asked about how he feels about the move, Knight admits that “he had never come across TMS before”.

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August

In a move that shocks the whole cricketing world, Andrew Strauss announces that the ECB have hired the first female Head Coach of a male International cricket team. Sitting alongside the new hire, Mandy Flowers, Strauss reiterates that England are “consistently pushing the boundaries and that Mandy comes highly recommended with sustained experience and success of coaching at both a National and Youth levels”. Dressed in a slightly ill-fitting tracksuit with what appears to be a long brown haired wig on, Mandy speaking in a soft Zimbabwean accent emphasizes the need for discipline within the England team as well as being able to consistently ‘build pressure and squeeze the opposing teams’. The English press are somewhat surprised by this ‘bolt out of the blue’ appointment but are unanimous in their praise for both Mandy and Strauss with Scyld Berry calling it “a match made in heaven” whilst Derek Pringle states that “only Andrew Strauss would be so forward thinking in hiring such a successful coach, irrespective of gender, to drive England to the very top of international cricket.” George Dobell bucks the trend by stating that he has some suspicions that “all isn’t quite what it seems”.

The first success of Mandy’s reign is to track down Lord Cook of Essex and persuade him to retake the England captaincy. After a 3 hour meeting at Cook’s Palace, I mean farm in Essex, Mandy declares that Cook, who has now had the title the ‘patron saint of English Cricket’ bestowed upon him by the ECB, will be fully focused and in charge of England’s upcoming series against the West Indies. A delighted Paul Newman pens a 1,000 word love ode to Alastair Cook. Indeed, the Flowers and Cook partnership gets off to a wonderful start as they decimate a somewhat disinterested West Indies 3-0. Flowers plan to bowl 2 foot outside the off stump to the West Indian batsmen completely flummoxes them as they chase wide delivery after wide delivery and keep nicking off to 2nd slip. England’s batsmen also make hay against the West Indian bowlers, who seem to have their minds elsewhere with Cook, Root and Bairstow each scoring two hundreds in the series. A triumphant Flowers states that “this is the perfect tonic for the upcoming tour of Australia” whilst Paul Farbrace chuckles next to him. The English media also don’t hold back in their praise with Victor Marks boldly predicting that “Cooks young warriors are now in prime position to conquer Australia”.

In other news, there is controversy in the Sky commentary box, when Shane Warne mildly criticises Alastair Cook’s captaincy during the 2nd Test. Warne is immediately dropped by Sky and deported back to Australia and is replaced by the North Korean news anchor from their state TV. On this surprise announcement, a Sky spokesman comments “that they are consistently trying to broaden the appeal of cricket and that through this appointment we have an experienced operator who is not afraid of praising the patron saint of English cricket, Alastair Cook, fulsomely.” Nasser Hussain in his column for the Daily Mail praises the appointment as ‘forward thinking’.

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September

There is some controversy in the world of English cricket when the Cricketer Magazine launches it’s annual ‘Top 50 most powerful people in English Cricket list”, with Editor in Chief Simon Hughes naming himself as the most powerful 25 people in English Cricket. When pressed about some of the glaring omissions from the list and why he saw fit to nominate himself 25 times, a somewhat perplexed Hughes simply stated that there were 25 reasons why he was more powerful than anyone else, hence the 25 consecutive nominations. Hughes then goes onto to patronise anyone who disagrees with this selection, including a slightly disbelieving Lawrence Booth, who had questioned his motivation behind this, apart from Hughes being an arrogant fool.

England’s decision to continue playing the ODI series on uncovered pitches in the middle of September comes a cropper when play is abandoned for the whole of the scheduled ODI and T20 series against the West Indies due to rain. The Director Comma comments that whilst this is an “unfortunate situation” he would make the same decision again, having agreed with Mandy Flowers to prioritize the upcoming Ashes tour and having already been vindicated by England’s strong showing in the Champions Trophy.

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October

In a quiet month for Cricket, Mandy Flowers announces that England will start preparations for their Ashes tour with an extended fitness boot camp at Sandringham at the end of October, as this will ensure that they are in the right frame of mind for the upcoming tour. When a fit again and slightly perplexed, Ben Stokes questions on Twitter the decision to prioritize fitness over playing skills, Mike Selvey writing in The Cricket Paper comments “that Stokes’ is sailing close to the wind with his career; there are sceptics about, some with a greater knowledge than most, and his card has been marked”. Selvey naturally refuses to name any of these sceptics, though England chairmen of selectors, Andy Flower who has hardly been seen for the past couple of months, is said to be one of them. England’s decision to hold this high fitness, high intensity camp so close to the Ashes seems to backfire though, when they finally manage to break a stricken Mark Wood for good.

Colin Graves also appears back in the headlines for all the wrong reasons when he declares that the Australian Cricket team are a “bunch of mediocre convicts and bums” whilst also stating that ‘England should win the Ashes convincingly’. A predictably outraged Australian national press pick up on this immediately labeling English Cricket as an “outdated and arrogant institution” whilst a fired up Mitchell Starc starts to grow a handlebar moustache and is seen in the nets bowling at 95mph at the head of a cardboard cut out of Alastair Cook. When pressed by Ali Martin during an interview, Paul Farbrace chuckles and says that no doubt the Australians will have “taken these comments with a classic pinch of Australian humour”.

November

Andy Flower announces the tour party to Australia, with a number of surprise selections on the bowling front. Whilst Anderson, Broad and Finn travel as suspected, there are call ups for Oliver Hannon-Dalby, Reece Topley and Jamie Overton as Flower comments that they are looking for tall bowlers “who can really dig it in at the Australian batsmen”. In a press conference just before the players fly out, Mandy Flowers praises Flower’s selections and confirms that she is happy with the bowling arsenal at her fingertips, stating the need to “bowl dry” and be up and at the Australian batsmen. When the players finally land in Australia, Mandy organises another fitness drill at a local Australian army base before they play a 3 day warm up game against the New South Wales under 12’s 2nd XI, which they comfortably win thanks to a double hundred from the Patron Saint, Alastair Cook and the fact that none of the oppositions batsmen are above 5’5. Chris Stocks states that England should comfortably retain the Ashes on the back of this performance.

England arrive at the Gabba in confident mood and despite losing the toss, Cook maintains that this England team are “ready for anything that the Australians throw at them”; however things don’t start well for the tourists when Stuart Broad bowls his first delivery to 2nd slip, whilst Jimmy Anderson is forced to leave the field complaining of soreness after bowling only 2 overs. Much to the glee of Denis Freedman (one n), who launches into a record 96 hours of “Overratedson” banter on Twitter, Anderson is unfortunately unable to return to the field for the rest of the series. Freedman’s Twitter banter is only cut short, when Cricket Australia announces as part of it’s strategic programme for keeping players at the top of their game, that Steve Smith will be rested for the rest of the tour after Brisbane. At this point, Freedman spontaneously combusts. Back to the Gabba, England have a torrid time in the field with Topley and Hannon-Dalby leaking runs as David Warner hits a double ton before tea on Day 1 before Australia finally declare on 635-3. Australia then proceed to find holes in the English batting unit as a mustachioed Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood rip through the English batting unit twice to win by an innings and 170 runs. In the post match interviews, Cook insists it “will be a good learning experience for our young team” and that he is confident about “bouncing back in Adelaide”. KP meanwhile does a tweet about Alastair Cook’s captaincy, which is panned by the ‘pearly gates brigade’ and is subsequently told that his UK visa has been revoked permanently. Andrew Strauss denies any involvement in ‘getting rid of that c*nt’.

Meanwhile, there is tragedy in the BT Sport’s studios when Graeme Swann’s smugness reaches unprecedented and dangerous levels and he wakes up one morning to discover that he has turned into a clone of Simon Hughes. Swann subsequently refuses to watch any of the action for the rest of the series but constantly exclaims that “he would have bowled out this Australian team on his own”. Greg James eventually does the humane thing and suffocates a writhing Swann with a cushion live on TV.

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December 

England are humiliated in both Adelaide and Perth as the moustachioed Starc in particular, continues to torment Cook, who has only managed a high score of 9 in the series so far. Despite battling performances from Joe Root who makes a glorious 150 in Adelaide in their 8 wicket defeat and a 2nd innings rearguard of 173* from Ben Stokes, who nearly salvages an unlikely draw in Perth, England’s batch of tall, floaty bowlers are unable to contain the Australian batsmen, who continue to pile on the runs with glee. Hazlewood and Lyon also competently back up Mitchell Starc, who with his new found confidence and continued hostile bowling, terrorizes an increasingly brittle English batting line up. Steven Finn is unfortunately sent home from Australia after being declared as “unselectable” by Mandy Flowers, whilst Moeen, who has been unable to deal with the short ball, and with only one wicket in the series, is also dropped for the rest of the series. Liam Dawson is bought in as his replacement owing to his ‘understated character’.

After defeat in Perth and with the Ashes having been surrendered 3-0 to a powerful Australian team, a tearful Alastair Cook laments the fact the Australians refused to “honour the gentleman’s agreement that they would only bowl slow long hops on his pads, for the sake of the health of the international game”. Cook confirms that he is resigning from the both English captaincy and from the game at the age of 33 as “it isn’t fair”. Cook is last reported some 25 miles from the WACA helping out at a centre which deals with injured Kangaroo’s. Paul Newman describes this “as a brave and heartfelt decision from one of the most talented and courageous player’s ever to have worn an England shirt.” Meanwhile in England, a stone-faced Colin Graves announces that Andrew Strauss has been “relieved of the position of Director, England Cricket”. Graves confirms that they have an appointment in mind and that once this is ratified, the new man will conduct a root and branch review. Three days later, Dominic Cork is confirmed as the new Director of English Cricket and he vows to fly over to Australia to get a first hand look at the England team.

A depleted and dejected English team head to Melbourne, with Mandy Flowers confirming that they are looking for a couple of replacements who are already out in Australia to compliment their batting and bowling in time for Sydney. There is a recall for Alex Hales who is playing for the Sydney Thunder at the time, whilst there is a shock call up for Chris Tremlett, who happens to holidaying in Adelaide at the time. There are positive signs in Melbourne, as Joe Root, who is now captain in place of the newly retired Alastair Cook, wins the toss and England post 400, thanks to centuries from Hameed and Jonny Bairstow, whilst a 5 wicket haul from Ben Stokes limits Australia to a 50 run deficit. Things go wrong in the 2nd innings as England’s batting once again collapse in heap, with Nathan Lyon taking for 6-32 as Australia easily knock off the 160 runs needed for victory.

Sydney proves to be even worse, despite the introduction of Hales and Tremlett into the side and England crash to an innings defeat, despite two fifties and seven wickets in the match from Ben Stokes. England has once again been whitewashed in Australia much to the glee of the home fans. Meanwhile, Dominic Cork, who has now landed in Australia launches an astonishing attack on Ben Stokes claiming that he has “never seen anyone so disengaged from what was going on” despite being England’s highest run scorer and wicket taker in the series. Cork states that this will be reviewed with senior management on his return to England. Paul Farbrace, who is sat alongside Cork, lets out a chuckle. In better news, Alastair Cook is eventually found wandering through the Perth wilderness and returned to his rightful owners, the ECB. Mandy Flowers and Andy Flower meanwhile, are somewhat surprisingly, nowhere to be seen.


Of course, none of the above is likely to happen when we have such a competent and well run Board as the ECB, one that is completely in touch with the feelings of ordinary fans!!

Thanks again for your continued support moving into 2017, we’ll be here again for every England batting collapse, every screw up by the ECB and every bit of sycophantic journalism praising our ‘dear leader’.

Sean, TLG, Dmitri

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78 thoughts on “The Outside Cricket 2017 Predictions

  1. Zephirine January 6, 2017 / 3:02 pm

    This is brilliant, but sadly I fear it will all come true.

    Liked by 3 people

    • thelegglance January 6, 2017 / 3:17 pm

      It’ll be fun to go through it on the 1st January 2018 and see how much did!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sean B January 6, 2017 / 3:19 pm

        If ANY of it comes true, then we’re are truly up sh*t creek without a paddle!

        Like

  2. Silk January 6, 2017 / 3:10 pm

    I’m guessing that Cook will still be England captain at the start of the SA series. But perhaps not by the start of the Windies series which follows.

    It’s fate, really. See Strauss, Vaughan and Nass.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus January 6, 2017 / 7:28 pm

      Silk,

      No idea why your messages are being stopped. I’ve freed them all up.

      FAO the rest of you,

      I have had a pretty crap end of the week – well, my beloved has – and it means I’m a bit all over the shop and not able to give the blog much attention. I hope Chris and Sean are looking after you well. I had in mind some little pieces, and got a couple of Dmitris to do, but on hold at the moment.

      Dmitri

      Liked by 1 person

      • Silk January 6, 2017 / 8:20 pm

        Best wishes. Hope things get better.

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus January 7, 2017 / 12:03 am

          Thanks Silk. Totally out of my control, of course. There’s lots of great things about being married to an American. This is the really bad part.

          Like

  3. Rooto January 6, 2017 / 6:10 pm

    I laughed. I laughed again. And then I laughed some more.
    Great stuff.
    I particularly liked the image of Swann being euthanised with a pillow live on air. (Says more about me, etc. etc.)

    Did Mandy Flowers wear the same wig that Murdoch used when pretending to be ‘Rebecca Brooks’?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. oreston January 6, 2017 / 9:46 pm

    Superb work, gentlemen! Had these excellent predictions run on into early 2018, you might have got to the bit where where Selfey tweets about the “billious cancer of the blogosphere” and adds that he has it on good authority from “those who would know” that “something will be done.” Shortly afterwards, former Director Comma (relieved of his duties after the “c**ting difficult winter” of 2017 and another Ashes whitewash) wins a by-election in a safe Tory seat and enters Parliament, where at the earliest opportunity he introduces a motion proposing an amendment to the Harmful Digital Communications Act.
    Subsequently adopted, this amendment makes it easier for public figures and corporate bodies to apply to Court to have “fake news” and “libellous content” that “negatively impacts on their reputational integrity or commercial performance” forcibly removed from the internet; making blog owners, contributors and commenters criminally and financially liable. Colin Graves hails this as a “victory for common sense.” The shadowy figure known variously as “Lord Canis Lupus” and “Dmitri Old” manages to evade arrest for the new criminal offence of “criticising Lord Cook and making Alice cry” due to a very convincing bearded blackface disguise and seeks political asylum in the North Korean embassy….

    Liked by 5 people

    • Sean B January 6, 2017 / 9:49 pm

      That was going to be in the next part ;-)…

      Like

    • thelegglance January 6, 2017 / 9:56 pm

      Well firstly, I’m pretty sure none of us are gentlemen, and secondly all praise is due to Sean, we had no input except telling him to stop panicking and get it out there. It’s really rather good isn’t it?

      Liked by 2 people

  5. SimonH January 6, 2017 / 11:00 pm

    Loved the article! Is that the new Mount Cricketmore logo sandwiched in between July and August? A particularly magnificent picture of Pringle if it is!

    Some of it needed to be kept more plausible though. I mean I can take Andy Flower in a wig and playing the CT on uncovered pitches – but England winning the last Test of a series? Come on – satire must keep some touch with reality!

    And talking of keeping touch with reality, whose thoughts don’t turn sooner rather than later to Paul Newman?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-4096034/Joe-Root-waits-wings-England-skipper-Alastair-Cook-ponders-stepping-down.html

    Newman thinks Cook is going to go. That’s obviously so traumatic it has to be wrapped in a collection of absolutely peak Newman (it only lacks a reference to Nick Compton to be a veritable greatest hits’ album of Newman’s best tunes).

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sean B January 6, 2017 / 11:13 pm

      Sorry Simon, I got carried away somewhat! Not sure what I was drinking when i predicted that England might win the last game of a Test series! Schoolboy..

      Like

    • LordCanisLupus January 7, 2017 / 12:01 am

      That article should have been signed “Love and Kisses, Paul”.

      If he thinks he kept his dignity intact after a 5-0 humping, then he’s in the wrong job. But we knew that. The coach and the captain were both dignified, while the top run scorer wasn’t. Because, reasons.

      Liked by 1 person

    • "IronBalls" McGinty January 7, 2017 / 12:06 am

      I almost had a tear in my eye!

      Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus January 7, 2017 / 12:05 am

      Have I got an extraordinary gift for you, should you ever come over to these shores…..

      If you are good, I’ll take a photo of it and send it to you.

      So there’s no chance of that!

      Like

    • LordCanisLupus January 7, 2017 / 12:12 am

      Also, Younis (or Younus) Khan’s 175 not out was the first undefeated 175 in test history. How dull must you be to know that?

      Plus, Matt Renshaw is the first Australian (we’ll pass on that Yorkshire stuff for now) to be dismissed for 184 in test cricket. The two previous makers of 184 for Australia were both undefeated. All three of those 184s were at Sydney.

      David Warner made 113. 113 is, coincidentally, the number of runs in Kevin Pietersen’s last test hundred. Kane Williamson loves this number. He’s the only man in test history to make 3 scores of 113.

      Peter Handscomb’s 110 was the first 110 made since the Zimbabwe v Sri Lanka test last summer. There were three of them in that match.

      QdK made 101 in the test in Newlands. Only one man has made three scores of 101 in test cricket. Shiv Chanderpaul. Shocker. They were all not out.

      Dean Elgar has six test tons, and 129 is his best score. Allan Lamb used to specialise in small tons like this dude. 129 was also the score made by the most forgotten, vital ton in recent English test history. And I was there to see it.

      You’ll turn Pakistan over easy. After all, you are ‘Straya.

      Like

  6. thelegglance January 7, 2017 / 12:16 am

    I’m cross. We know that posts can get attention for reasons we don’t entirely understand, and we know that others don’t. I’ve written stuff that I thought was decidedly average and it’s gone crazy, and others I’m proud of that’s gone nowhere.

    Personally I think Sean’s post is superb. But the hits it’s got are poor, and that’s why I’m cross. There’s nothing to be done about it, but Pete Townshend said he spat on the British record buying public when I Can See For Miles barely limped into the top ten. I feel similarly now.

    I’ve probably embarrassed him. But I loved this, it is outstanding.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Zephirine January 7, 2017 / 1:00 am

      It’s Friday. People go out. Give it time.

      Like

    • thebogfather January 7, 2017 / 11:15 am

      We’re all silenced in respective mourning
      for the ‘good journalism’ expected loss of our steely craptain Chef
      who will stand down from the crown he wears, so adorning
      ‘for the good of our game’, we will feel so bereft
      As after all, he is ‘still learning’
      Leading from the front, leaving us yearning
      For Comma to have had the balls and front
      To sack him, the useless cnut… 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Silk January 7, 2017 / 7:56 am

    Is it me or do Australia seem to be building a team?

    Liked by 1 person

    • SimonH January 7, 2017 / 8:28 am

      Hazlewood took 32 wickets at under 21 this Australian summer – no other bowler with 10 wickets averaged under 30 for them.

      Going to be very interested to see how they go in India – especially Renshaw and Handscomb.

      Like

    • Sri Grins January 8, 2017 / 1:51 am

      Certainly after the changes they have made, the Oz team is far better off and is good

      Like

  8. SimonH January 7, 2017 / 8:00 am

    Stokes going into the IPL auction:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-4096640/Ben-Stokes-shows-joining-Indian-Premier-League-choosing-not-play-year.html

    I’m generally a Stokes’ fan and I can see why he’d want to go this year as he’ll probably be on a stretcher by the time the IPL rolls around next year. But…. with England’s schedule…. and having just done a disappearing act with his bowling in the last series and ending up with 8 wickets in 5 matches amid hints about injuries…. really?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Silk January 7, 2017 / 8:06 am

      He’l have a short career. Needs to make hay etc. No idea what Stokes is paid by England but I’m sure some IPL money will help keep him warm in retirement.

      Of course, the consequences for injuries etc. are obvious.

      Like

  9. BoredInAustria January 7, 2017 / 9:24 am

    Lovely Sean!

    But after Trump and Brexit one should not tempt fate like this… (Is there truth in the rumour that Putin prefers Mandy….)

    Liked by 2 people

  10. SimonH January 7, 2017 / 10:16 am

    (Try going in through Twitter if this doesn’t work).

    A few highlights:

    “A similar performance [to the match-winning six off the last ball] for England in the next month and his refusal to lead the team in Bangladesh in October will be forgiven if not forgotten”. (So just the brilliant match-winning innings needed for forgiveness then).

    “He acknowledged the illogicality of his stance when we met last month, accepting that there was more likelihood of being crushed by a falling fruit machine (which apparently happens occasionally to irate gamblers) than being killed by a terrorist bomb”. (Hughes and Oliver Holt should co-found a department of logic they’re so keen on it).

    ““I learn a lot more playing a lot less volume of games. I’ve become a lot more relaxed about things”. (That’ll go down well…..)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mark January 7, 2017 / 10:37 am

    Funny how things don’t leak out when the ECB don’t want them to leak out.

    One can only conclude that the leaking against Rashids “mental frailty” must of come from the highest level of the England set up.

    Like

  12. thebogfather January 7, 2017 / 10:57 am

    Out(side)standing stuff Sean, brought many a laugh, a few smiles, and a lot of worries about how near the cuff many of the predictions will end up being!
    LCL – sending best wishes, hope all becomes good mate
    Leggy – blame Sean’s early ejaculation via automated email notification for the initial slow uptake!

    Liked by 2 people

    • thebogfather January 7, 2017 / 11:07 am

      Oh, and some bloke scored a few in the BBL ‘hit’n’giggle’ today…

      Like

    • Sean B January 7, 2017 / 1:03 pm

      Yep fat finger syndrome! I blame WordPress!

      Like

  13. nonoxcol January 7, 2017 / 11:26 am

    BOC remains in a very rich vein of form then. Another classic.

    I for one will chuckle every time I think about “posting bitter Twitter comments whilst sat in various pubs in Suffolk”. There are 67 year olds I am aware of who suffer ill health shortly after retiring from a lifetime
    of manual labour, or at the other end of the financial scale are selling their owner managed business but unable to retire in comfort due to terminal illness. Yet Mr Self Regard always manages to sound hard done to. So thank you Sean for nailing that in particular.

    Liked by 2 people

    • RufusSG January 7, 2017 / 5:45 pm

      For what it’s worth, there are some very fine pubs in my home county of Suffolk. No need for that sort of line-crossing…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sean B January 7, 2017 / 5:48 pm

        I’m sure there are, I just wouldn’t want to be sat next to Mike Selvey in one of them!!

        Like

    • northernlight71 January 7, 2017 / 7:10 pm

      He mentioned being in a pub about 5 miles from where I grew up in Norfolk once. I’m on my guard every time I go to visit my Dad now. Sadly, my Dad would be star struck while I would try desperately to remain polite. Luckily I’ve never had to test my self-control.
      Oh, Happy New Year everyone. Hope you all had a peaceful festive season. In the middle of moving house here (well, extracting 2 adults and a child from a 1 bedroom flat to a 2 and a half bedroom flat) so internet access will be intermittent for a week or three!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Escort January 7, 2017 / 11:52 am

    Great stuff, really funny 😂😂

    Like

  15. SimonH January 8, 2017 / 11:11 am

    “He has shown that potential in first-class cricket over the last three home seasons, however, producing statistics to dispel the myth that he is just a limited-overs specialist. England coach Trevor Bayliss believes he can be a game changer in the middle order and, having switched to No 5 for Surrey, he is building a case for inclusion”.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-4098180/Jason-Roy-strikes-gold-big-hitting-England-batsman-eyes-IPL-Test-riches.html

    So having got Buttler back into the Test team, the DM is now campaigning for Roy? And using the “coach Trevor Bayliss believes….” line again? I don’t understand the world sometimes (well, frequently). I’d have thought the DM would be the defenders of traditional Test match values – but instead they have been the outriders for the white-ball project. Their love-in with Balyliss (never Australian-born Bayliss) is also an odd one. They appear to regard Bayliss believing something as the ultimate proof it’s a brilliant idea and should (no, must) happen forthwith.

    The one explanation is that both go back to Strauss. The hypocrisy of slavering over Roy doing exactly the same things they slaughtered KP for is never going to be admitted. The difference is those things are now officially sanctioned. Don’t be right before the officer class can see it – it’s the greatest crime you can commit.

    Their whole agenda is set by the goal of winning either the CT or the WC and declaring Strauss the greatest genius who ever lived on the back of that. It’s a cleverly defined goal in the sense that they get two shots at it and it’s at home. The Test team can go hang – remember Newman wrote a piece when Strauss was appointed that England could lose the next two Ashes and it wouldn’t mean Strauss was a failure? They’d like the Cook Redemption Tour of 2017/18 but if not, they’re prepared to write it off. What must never be asked is if it’s the priority that should be – or if it’s the one most England fans have. Why prioritise a dying format? I think they assume a home tournament win will re-invigorate the game in England – but why should it? Who knows or cares about the CT? The England rugby team had a disastrous home WC but are now doing well and their game looks strong (except, stop me if you’ve heard this one before, a plethora of injuries because of a ridiculous schedule).

    By the way, has anyone been noticing Brailsford’s discomfort – and remembering that he was the hero and the model for Flower-era England? Whatever happened to the 1%s?

    Finally, the look on Shiny Toy’s face on C5 as James Vince made another attractive 40 and got out has made my morning. That speech he had prepared about how Vince should be back in the England squad had been so elegantly drafted too…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez January 8, 2017 / 2:41 pm

      If Strauss would be crowned the most brilliant genius ever if England accidentally manage to win a World Cup or Champions Trophy in England, I wonder what to make of the geniuses of Sri Lanka in particular for their heroics two decades ago.

      But even if England win one of those tourneys, so what? The viewership will be small, and probably not representative of people of playing-age. So where will the popular impulse come from to take up cricket? Given everything else that is going on, in terms of clubs disappearing, economic realities, and other sports (in which England are doing quite well, such as rugby) being far more mainstream than cricket these days.

      With regards to the ludicrous promotion of Roy to bat in the middle order:

      With a minimum of 10 dismissals in the third and fourth innings, for the current England team:

      In matches England did not win (batting is always easier when you’re 200/0 at the start of the second innings – while not an ideal measure, it gives a reasonable indication of how well England bat, when they’re trying to save a game, or setup a declaration, that did not result in a win, eg. Rajkot), Cook averages a healthy 41.53 in third and fourth innings. Root is next (30.44), ahead of Bairstow (28.41) while Stokes (23.20) and Moeen (20.23) are hardly contributing. Only Cook, Stokes (120) and Moeen (108*) have made tons in such situations, which boost the latter two’s pretty dismal figures quite substantially.

      The previous team?
      Trott 47.76, Pietersen 37.50, Collingwood 36.64, Prior 33.03, Strauss 29.43, Bell 27.39 . So the impression that England lack solidity when trying to save games seems to be quite justified.

      If we only count innings in which the batsmen have been dismissed, Cook’s average is 33.89, just slightly ahead of Pietersen (33.47). Cook’s average is thus substantially boosted by the number of not outs. Moeen’s is just 12.70, marginally ahead of Broad (11.67).

      Who does not need a middle order that can hardly defend their wickets, when trying to save the game? Once the top three is gone (and it is not like Cook and Root have such a stellar record trying to save games either), England are gone. We have seen that in Dhaka, we have seen that in several Tests in India, so rather than opting for a bit of solidity, let’s base the rest of our order on some hit ‘n’ giggle specialists whenever a vacancy arises. That might work out nicely if you’re in front and trying to set up a game (though it helps if Cook gets out then, rather than batting at a snail-like pace), but it is not exactly a recipe for a middle order that can bat to save a game.

      South Africa were not exactly great in India. Yet England managed to last only 82.3 overs in the third and fourth innings in India recently (I have excluded the 260/3d in Rajkot; incidentally that was the most Test like batting from England in trying to save a game, but the game situation did not call for that); despite being bowled out inside 40 overs in Mohali, South Africa lasted more than 10 overs longer on average than England did, despite far dodgier wickets to bat on, as evidenced by India’s scores on those same wickets.

      Liked by 1 person

      • LordCanisLupus January 8, 2017 / 11:37 pm

        I’ve just read Alex Narey’s editorial in the Cricket Paper.

        Hey, when a TCP editor takes a highly principled stance, calling for a player, a captain, to be dropped due to poor leadership and bad form, it’s “sticking to your guns”.

        When a blogger does it, with better evidence, it’s “social media abuse”. Or “zealots” or “bloggers” used as condescending term. Oh, yes, and because we haven’t got a gig as editor of a weekly rag, we are “outside cricket”.

        I’ve had a dreadful last few days. My mother-in-law is critically ill (and I like my MIL). My Aunt died on Saturday morning with many thoughts and some regrets about the stubbornness of people, me included, which will never now be resolved. Life has been turned around, with my wife over the Ocean looking after her mum, and me coping with a maelstrom of emotions on my own (to be fair, with my brother), trying to support my wife, carry out my job, and keep myself going. Posting may well be light from me for a while.

        And yet still there is some way for the sheer double standards to eat away further at my already tetchy and somewhat fractious self. That’s an art form.

        Like

      • Silk January 9, 2017 / 8:22 am

        Best wishes D

        Like

      • thebogfather January 9, 2017 / 1:29 pm

        LCL, I wish you and your family well, be strong for them as they would for you – take care

        Like

      • d'Arthez January 9, 2017 / 2:23 pm

        Sorry to hear that Dmitri. Best wishes.

        Like

      • oreston January 9, 2017 / 2:33 pm

        Best wishes to you, LCL. Stay strong and one day the clouds will roll away – however unlikely that may momentarily seem.

        Like

      • Benny January 9, 2017 / 5:07 pm

        My thoughts are with you Dmitri. Lost my brother and sister in 2015 and my wife had a serious illness. Time is truly a great healer in many ways. Not that that’s much compensation at the moment.

        Like

  16. SimonH January 9, 2017 / 10:35 am

    A classic bob-each-way article:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-4100190/Return-hired-gun-Morgan-free-spirit-England-captain-comes-breezing-four-months-off.html

    He’s at the cutting edge of the modern game if they win next week; he’s a workshy tosser if they lose.

    The underlying tone of resentment that “we pay him all this money and he has some time-off” is the attitude of the English managerial class in a nutshell (one I’m sure I’m not the only one to recognise). Here’s a thought – maybe what worked for Alec Stewart doesn’t work for him? Maybe humanity are a bit various? It’s a tough concept to grasp….

    Like

    • "IronBalls" McGinty January 9, 2017 / 10:50 am

      Aye…it’s back to the Lord Raglan quote again…”It’s not the done thing to have people around you that know what they’re doing!” Good chap, good school, adored in the dressing room, never shirks duty…then you’re Captain for life! Consumate professionals on the international stage, are, however, way beyond their pay grade!!

      Like

    • pktroll (@pktroll) January 9, 2017 / 11:54 am

      He had 3 games off because he was given a choice on whether or not to tour a country that has had quite a lot of strife. 3 games and the unabashed resentment that Middlesex seem to have also decided that he doesn’t really command a one day spot in between his stints in IPL/Big Bash that have been of course nigh on rubber-stamped by the Comma (how do the Mail get out of that one!)

      Like

      • pktroll (@pktroll) January 9, 2017 / 12:06 pm

        Whoops! I meant doesn’t really command a first class spot given that he’s rarely at Middlesex in the County Championship season with not only the IPL but the England internationals taking up a fair amount of his availability.

        Like

    • oreston January 9, 2017 / 2:43 pm

      They are the bane of many lives, the judgmental, self-righteous, tunnel vision brigade. But let them know that they’ve got you riled and the bastards have won. Outwardly, Eoin Morgan manages pretty well considering – although even taking one for Director Comma & Co. and saying “and that’s from me” didn’t succeed in buying off the hacks.

      Like

  17. Silk January 9, 2017 / 12:37 pm

    I suggested, BTL, that Strauss was a “doos” and didn’t get moderated. Do I win a prize?

    Liked by 2 people

  18. SimonH January 9, 2017 / 3:00 pm

    Newman:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-4102074/Returning-England-ODI-captain-Eoin-Morgan-admits-family-offended-criticism-refusal-tour-Bangladesh.html

    “If Eoin Morgan is feeling the extra pressure he heaped on his own shoulders by refusing to lead England in Bangladesh then he made a good job of hiding it…. The returning one-day captain looked anything but apprehensive about snatching the one-day leadership back from Jos Buttler … Morgan the ice man was as cool as ever”.

    Is Newman suddenly a convert? Or are those little barbs in there? (“his own shoulders”…. “snatching back”… is “the ice man” a compliment?).

    “It is highly unlikely England would make a captaincy change ahead of the Champions Trophy in June but Morgan will have to hit the ground running to ensure he has not jeopardised his hopes of being at the helm for the World Cup”.

    So that’s why the gloves are on. Newman is on good behaviour – for the moment. But even with gloved hands that guillotine can be just eased into place with a certain unmistakable relish.

    “Criticism of his absence, not least from Sportsmail”.

    Who could he mean?

    “England had a fantastic year with the white ball in 2016 to the point where their limited-overs cricket is stronger than their Test game for the first time since they reached the 1992 World Cup final”.

    Not according to the ICC rankings that place England 4th in Tests and 5th in ODIs. Those pesky facts! England beat up very poor SL and Pakistan ODI sides in 2016. That was all they could do given the schedules – but “fantastic”? Really?

    “What Morgan has to show in the harshest of environments here is that he has not undone much of that progress and good work by making a decision that felt wrong at the time and with hindsight looks even worse”.

    Newman just can’t help himself – he tries to behave himself but then just can’t not slip that in at the end. Let’s use the fact that there wasn’t a terrorist atrocity as a stick to beat Morgan! Newman can limbo under that bar with ease, he’s had years of practice.

    Anyway, the narrative is taking shape – Strauss’s white-ball revolution (Newman uses that phrase earlier) was an act of genius, it was all working perfectly and then that bastard Morgan de-railed it with that bastard decision. Strauss stood by Morgan and Morgan let him down. Get ready for six months of this unless England pile up the wins and Morgan piles up the runs.

    Like

    • Mark January 9, 2017 / 3:21 pm

      The interview Morgan did with Nasser when he threw KP under the bus did him no favours. He won zero brownie points from the pin heads in the peanut gallery. It won him no respect from the knuckle draggers.

      Moral of the story……..You never appease jumped up thug like media fascists. Morgan made amends by not caving in to their thug like demands. He told them to go fuck themselves. They will never forgive him for it.

      Newman is a an idiot. He is trapped by his own craving, grovelling obedience to the ECB. He can’t go too hard on Morgan because his beloved Strauss has kept Morgan in a job. So if Newman criticises that decision he is in effect criticising Strauss which means…. he is inadvertantly attacking himself…….. since he tells us Strauss is a genius.

      Oh what a tangled web we weave……

      Like

    • Silk January 9, 2017 / 4:34 pm

      It’s going to end in tears when they all give Cookie (I’m sorry, “Chef”) a vote of confidence and we plumb the depths in The Ashes.

      If he gets that far. Personally I think Vernon Phillander is looking at England’s batting and thinking of shaving another run off his already excellent bowling average.

      Like

      • Rooto January 9, 2017 / 6:51 pm

        Wasn’t the meeting meant to be today? Can we expect Agnew to have the low-down on the meeting broadcast within 5 minutes? Somehow I think not..

        Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH January 9, 2017 / 7:34 pm

        Re Silk’s comment about Philander – I was having a look at the best bowlers this decade in away Tests and Philander is third behind Harris and Steyn (of bowlers with a 50 wicket minimum. He averages 25 to their 22.5 and 24 respectively). The other bowlers to average under 30 are Starc, Morkel, Anderson and Zaheer. There are 8 bowlers averaging 30-35. I’m excluding Pakistan as all their matches are technically away.

        Re Rooto’s comment – two press sources mentioned today as the date for the meeting (Simon Wilde was definitely one – I can’t remember the other but it may have been Newman). However that was a few weeks ago and I think they meant more that today was the first date the meeting could reasonably be held. I suspect any announcement might be at the end of the week when the first ODI will distract most of the media (not that they really have much to worry about from them). There may also be the issue of needing to speak to Root, depending on what Cook’s had to say.

        Most of the English press seem to know more about the contents of SA players’ Kolpak contracts than when the Director of English cricket is meeting the captain!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Sean B January 9, 2017 / 8:22 pm

      Classic ECB management speak basically translated as ‘your face doesn’t fit anymore, so we’re giving you the heave-ho’.

      Like

      • Mark January 9, 2017 / 8:42 pm

        Im not sure he has been told his face doesn’t fit. He’s been told to aply for the new job apparently.

        “has been informed that his current position as National Performance Manager has been made redundant. He has been invited to apply for the new role, which will be entitled National Talent Manager.”

        I didn’t even know he was still working for the ECB. Wasn’t he one of those who went to SA on the rebel tours? They really do seem to like rewarding those blokes.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sean B January 9, 2017 / 8:51 pm

          When people are invited to apply to a new role rather than being just moved across, it tends to be a big hint to start looking elsewhere from my experience. Could be wrong mind.

          I genuinely thought they had binned Graveney years ago…

          Like

    • jomesy January 9, 2017 / 8:51 pm

      There’s lots of ridiculous titles in that article. I can just imagine them at the barbers…

      Barber: So what’s your gig then?

      ECB Employee: I used to be National Performance Manager for the ECB National Talent Manager. I did want to be the England Development Programme coach but when I found out that coach was small “c” I was less attracted to the role. Quite fancied being Head of Elite Coach Development but the director of Participation and Growth said I’d never get it….but then he’s a director with a small “d” so what would he know. But anyway, none of these roles are of national importance because there’s not a comma to be seen.

      Barber: Erm, OK. Now cut your hair last time? It’s not what I’d call a good job…

      ECB Employee: Done by one of the very best! Director, Hair Cutter for Capital Titled ECB Employees. Only here because of a shake up so watch your bloody manners.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Mark January 9, 2017 / 9:40 pm

        Sounds like a scene out of Reggie Perrin.

        CJ. I didn’t get where I am today handing out stupid titles for pointless jobs.

        Reggie. Absolutely CJ. I’m interviewing the new chief banana taster this afternoon.

        CJ. I didn’t get where I am today by appointing people as chief banana taster.

        Reggie. Absolutely CJ. Cancelling seeing the new chief banana taster this afternoon.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Sean B January 9, 2017 / 9:26 pm

      I did like this part in particular ‘Only a persuasive case put forward by Andrew Strauss, the team director, or someone close to him will prevent Cook from going and paving the way for Root’s ascendancy.’

      Top leadership that from Director Comma…

      Like

      • SimonH January 9, 2017 / 9:35 pm

        “or someone close to him”.

        That’s a weird phrase.

        “Someone close to Jose Mourinho told Wayne Rooney he’s dropped”

        “Ivan Lendl or someone close to him has resumed coaching Andy Murray”.

        “Theresa May or someone close to her is running the country”.

        Who could it be referring to? Oh…. him.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Mark January 9, 2017 / 9:42 pm

        Alice?

        Like

      • jomesy January 9, 2017 / 10:30 pm

        What’s better is that Root’s son might have some say in the matter:

        “Root’s departure for India was delayed by the birth of his first child, a son, on Saturday, and he is understood not to have had any indication over Cook’s future.”

        Liked by 1 person

  19. nonoxcol January 10, 2017 / 10:09 am

    Good morning. Third anniversary of the Big Three next week.

    I see FIFA decided to celebrate by surpassing it as the worst idea in the history of international sport.

    Like

    • d'Arthez January 10, 2017 / 11:11 am

      On the bright side, a World Cup where every team can compete, means that FIFA does not have to screw Ireland out of one, like it did with the farcical Henry handball goal (and before that happened, yes, for a less important fixture in the Asian World Cup qualifiers, FIFA ordered a replay after a similar officiating error).

      Give the ICC some time …

      After all they’re doing their best to exclude Ireland from World Cups, despite the country having a much better record in the last 3 ones than automatic qualifiers and perennial hosts for about a third of ICC tournaments, England.

      Not even FIFA has attempted to do such a thing.

      It is about 5 months until the Lazarus Trophy starts.

      Like

  20. d'Arthez January 10, 2017 / 1:36 pm

    Morgan gone for 3 from 6 balls, and the game is just about even (116/3, after 18.3 overs, chasing 305). The MSM is going to have a ball …

    Like

  21. BoredInAustria January 10, 2017 / 4:52 pm

    Sam Billings: “The IPL massively helped me out, playing wristspin and spin generally.”
    Who would have thought….

    Like

    • thelegglance January 10, 2017 / 4:54 pm

      Kevin ‘John the Baptist’ Pietersen strikes again

      Like

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