It’s Outside Cricket Day



The joy of writing a blog is that events sometimes throw you off a little. I’ve had what I planned to do today all mapped out. I would be celebrating Outside Cricket Day with a fisking of Lawrence Booth’s interview with Paul Downton in last month’s Cricketer Magazine. Rest assured, I will be doing that. I’ll be finishing it off after writing this. I will, at one point in this piece, quote one line that really grated with me in it. It’s not from Downton, by the way…..

So what is Outside Cricket Day for those of you either new to here, or who think I have serious issues with my own sanity, or who are regulars who need reminding? Every February 9th we commemorate what was, quite possibly, the most immense cock up by our sporting governing body when it came to dealing with the people who, effectively, pay their wages by purchasing tickets, or expensive Sky subscriptions. So while, on the 4th, we commemorate the sacking of Kevin Pietersen (well, at least I do) and on the 6th, by sheer bad luck, we celebrate the birth of this esteemed blog, so the 9th means we get to look back on that press release. It was a cold, dark, Sunday night, and Pringle was getting more and more irate as the hours passed, when this superb piece of prose dropped from the ECB into arrogant immortality.

I’ve put a copy of the 11 February 2014 post on the press release on “The Extra Bits”. It’s great fun reading it again. The sheer bloody arrogance in it speaks volumes. Hence I called the piece “Know Your Place”. Click here to relive the nonsense.

The reason I’ve scrapped the idea of a Downton fisking to mark the date is because we have seen, this week, precisely why the concept that took HDWLIA and BOC forward remains as pertinent today as it did three years ago. I saw a tweet earlier saying we have a very different ECB now (I believe Mr Dobell wrote it) and yet I just don’t see it from the fans perspective. How? A cricket programme being messed about with. An international schedule drawn up by a sadist, which will mean a dilution of quality, and players collapsing in a heap? Durham? The fixation on a T20 league? Maybe we don’t have quite the blatant briefing against players we used to see, but the treatment by our media of Adil Rashid has set alarm bells off. I do not, for one minute, think the ECB gives any more of a stuff about the thoughts of the everyday cricket supporter than it did three years ago. If it did, Giles Clarke would not be still walking around representing us in any way whatsoever.

It has been this week’s media operation around Alastair Cook that has reinforced the need to highlight matters other than Downton’s lamentable attempts at self-justification. Let me go back to that key elements of the Press Release.

However, the England team needs to rebuild after the whitewash in Australia. To do that we must invest in our captain Alastair Cook and we must support him in creating a culture in which we can be confident he will have the full support of all players, with everyone pulling in the same direction and able to trust each other. It is for those reasons that we have decided to move on without Kevin Pietersen.

Remember this when Alastair Cook says, this week, that he was hung out to dry. Remember this when people make the moral equivalence that both have been done considerable wrongs by the powers that be. Also remember how Alastair Cook was desperate in those early months to set the record straight, and now, as a former captain, and with most, if not all the key elements in the decision not in supposed positions of influence, he still focuses only on his own bad luck to be playing badly at the same time as one of our best players had been scapegoated. You don’t need to read between the lines in that statement above to see who had truly been “hung out to dry” and who the real “lightning rod” was for the ECB.

Following the announcement of that decision, allegations have been made, some from people outside cricket, which as well as attacking the rationale of the ECB’s decision-making, have questioned, without justification, the integrity of the England Team Director and some of England’s players.

There it is, still in all its unvarnished (ok, I emboldened the best bit) glory. You, peasants, are outside cricket. Only those of us ITK are “inside”. As we’ve seen this week, this is latched onto by the powers that be, the media, and the useful Cooky stooges to mean “Piers Morgan”. As we’ve said, and Chris will opine on this at length, no matter how much you despise the man (and I do) Piers Morgan is a club cricketer who just happens to be friends with Pietersen. If Piers Morgan is “outside cricket” then so are we. I’ve always wondered what genius thought substituting Morgan for “outside cricket” was a good idea. We got that from Paul Downton’s use of the phrase in the 1985 Cricketer’s Who’s Who.

The complaint at the time still stands. The inside cricket grouping were clearly those that agreed with the decision, such as the ECB, and the compliant media to who they leaked copiously at the time. Selfey, Muppet, Bunkers, FICJAM, Aggers, Newman, Etheridge et al were clearly inside the tent, and wanted to stay there. Hell they probably needed to be. But you, the ones who really wanted to know what the hell was going on, and in the absence of any concrete information, drew your own conclusions? Nah. Stay outside. Shut your mouths. Know your damn place.

I love how that sentence also defends the ECB’s rationale about decision making! Still brings a smile to my face, that.

Outside Cricket as a phrase has stuck. I like to think our little gang over the last three years has made that so. Sure we’ve been called zealots live on air, but after a while I get used to that. They throw their allegations at us, and we have to take them. Cook’s comments this week, backed up in full by the papers (calling KP the Human Stink Bomb is a nadir even for that paper’s cricket coverage – the comfort being that not many people would have noticed) show that there is still an utter contempt for the group of people, loyal cricket fans like those who show support for our captain, who were disgusted at a scapegoating. And yes, I will still go on about it until I see a change in attitude by the ECB and the media.

With this press release in mind, let me take you to one line written in The Cricketer article about Downton:

“Having been approached by the ECB he gave up a lucrative job in the city to become England’s MD, he walked into a mess and did what he thought he needed to do to tidy it up. Disagree with his modus operandi if you like, but at least acknowledge it came from the right place.”

Hell NO! Acknowledge that I am “outside cricket” because he clearly believed people like us were, and should stay there. That’s not coming from the right place. It’s coming from someone telling me to know my place. I don’t think “disagreeing” with his modus operandi comes into it, and boo hoo if he came into a mess of a situation. He was rewarded with a decent salary and an opportunity to cast his own influence over the scene with all the aplomb to go round. His “modus operandi” was to treat the paying public like he would a pesky fly. A fruit fly maybe?


Three years on and the damage from that decision, that press release persists. We’re always the ones being asked to “move on” and “let it go”. A number of us have. We’ve given up following the game we absolutely loved. As modus operandi go, alienating key supporters of the game is a pretty terrific way to go, don’t you think? I for one am glad that this blog is still going on, remembering and highlighting this as the days and years go by. We’ll come to our natural end one day, but it still seems a way off.

Happy, and angry, Outside Cricket Day.


53 thoughts on “It’s Outside Cricket Day

  1. OscarDaBosca Feb 9, 2017 / 7:17 am

    Proud to be outside cricket.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. nonoxcol Feb 9, 2017 / 7:38 am

    It’s amazing how what *Downton* thought he needed to do matched what Flower wanted. Really quite incredible. And how his first main appointment was Flower’s man. Astounding. And Clarke wasn’t exactly unhappy with how it all turned out either.

    PD is the one man in the whole affair I cannot excuse in the slightest.


    Happy OC Day.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Julie Feb 9, 2017 / 8:00 am

    I just want to know why Andy Flower is still the”master”.and no one will stand up to him.He has destroyed England cricket and is still there messing up the youngsters coming through.What is he holding over the ECB that no one will do anything about.His hatred of KP was quite odd and was the reason KP was destroyed. Sad that England cricket could be used the way they were and still are with everyone just following their leader.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine Feb 9, 2017 / 10:44 am

      Don’t say KP was destroyed, though, Julie. His England career was destroyed. The signs are that Kevin himself is having a good life and is happy, playing cricket when he wants to and spending time with his kids. He seems to have ‘moved on’ more than the journalists and BTL commenters have.

      Same with Ian Bell, also treated poorly, who quite possibly wakes up each morning and thanks God he’s back in the real world.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Benny Feb 9, 2017 / 12:41 pm

      I wonder (though not for long) why such an eminent coach as Flower hasn’t been snapped up by another country’s test team. South Africa, a close cousin to Flower’s homeland, will be appointing their next coach in September. Mind you, his CV is rather short.

      Fine article Dmitri. I’ve always interpreted “outside” as “objective” in any walk of life and, being an independent bugger, am delighted to be out here.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Zephirine Feb 10, 2017 / 1:57 am

        When Flower was first Peter Moores’s assistant, he was known among the England players as ‘the fridge kicker’ owing to his tremendous sulks when things went wrong. Perhaps other countries value their kitchen equipment.


  4. "IronBalls" McGinty Feb 9, 2017 / 8:54 am

    Proud to be outside cricket, and the disassociation with that nest of weasels. As that rotten edifice slowly crumbles, history will show how right we were!

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Feb 9, 2017 / 9:13 am

      Inside cricket’s greatest proponent in hilarious post. Spicer to Trump = Selfey to Clarke.

      Different scale before any simpleton smart arse thinks I actually think they carry the same importance. You can never be too careful with some.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Riverman21 Feb 9, 2017 / 6:23 pm

        It’s heartwarming to see how quickly Mike has become one of us. Just another bilious inadequate commenting on social media.

        Why hasn’t my friend Paul got a contact at Trump Towers? Oh well. Best have another pint.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clivejw Feb 10, 2017 / 1:27 am

        “This risible man is almost beyond parody now.”

        That’s PRECISELY what I thought in October 2014 when Selfey returned after a couple of weeks’ vacation, during which Pietersen’s book had been published, and he wrotethis article, which possibly broke the record for the number of moderator interventions on the cricket pages to delete many of the devastating ripostes below the line. It’s hard to know which passage is the most preposterous. This one, with the suggestion that Flower was keeping a dignified silence, that Strauss’s “comment” was inadvertent (it was the [i]broadcasting [/i]of it that was inadvertent, the expletive itself was obviously meant quite deliberately), and the ECB’s case against Pietersen, which had never been presented and still hasn’t, was nevertheless strong, and only Pietersen’s well-paid PR team was hindering the public from acknowledging this?

        With the exception of Andy Flower, wisely keeping his own counsel, and, despite his notorious inadvertent comment, Andrew Strauss, no one has emerged from the past nine months with dignity intact. Even given the strength of their case against Pietersen, which extends way beyond the pathetic leaked charge sheet, in terms of public relations, the England and Wales Cricket Board has been knocked into a cocked hat by Pietersen: whoever he employed has earned their corn 10 times over.

        Or the very next paragraph, in which Selfey suggests that, after they’d finished plunging in the dagger, the ECB had always intended to “fete” Pietersen all along?

        Unquestionably, he deserved a better exit than the back door, although I do know that the intention was to have feted him properly when the dust settled.

        Meanwhile, Selfey’s own case is undermined by the fact that he is reduced to citing FICJAM — the stupid man’s idea of a clever man — as his chief witness.

        Of the plethora of columns written about him this year, one of the most sensible came from the former player, now a writer and commentator, Ed Smith, who suggested that when a genius performs as a genius, the accommodation is wholesale, but when that player regresses to become only very good, then, well, there are a few of those who come without his baggage.

        (This is followed by a selective use of statistics to prove that Pietersen was in terminal decline as a batsman, although the same statistics could have been used to prove that he was still one of the top test batsmen in the world at that point. But Selfey’s understanding of statistics has always been superficial).

        It was this article that finally convinced me that Selfey, while a good writer, is a lousy journalist and an even worse human being. There was no going back after this. For what it’s worth, I think the final straw was the fact that he could actually write that paragraph about the ECB’s intention to fête KP, that he could actually believe it himself, or that, if he didn’t believe it himself, he expected us to believe it. One of my biggest beefs in all this is that the ECB and its embedded reporters take us all for fools.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Clivejw Feb 10, 2017 / 1:34 am

        Incidentally, there are many good comments below the line on that article that managed to survive the moderators’ scythe, but one of the best is one of the most succinct, from Revellinho:

        Sorry Mike, I don’t believe you anymore.

        Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol Feb 10, 2017 / 8:53 am

        Bravo Clive.

        That one still gets my vote for worst ever article in the Guardian cricket section, but it also gets my vote as best collective BTL performance. The dam burst in spectacular fashion after more than two years of watching him pass off shamelessly partial bollocks as “journalism” and “truth”.

        You can even see him this week on Twitter, still arguing against someone who points out that Cook’s stats against Australia (average 39) are mediocre *and* clearly inflated by one great series in six. Yet there he is in 2014 claiming that a decline from 50 to 44 in a stellar batting line-up, after a serious knee injury, obvious issues with the captaincy and sacking, and overwork through playing all three formats, is something for the debit side of the ledger. Nor does he acknowledge that plenty of Pietersen’s great innings don’t remotely fit his trapeze artist/safety net analogy.


  5. Cricketjon Feb 9, 2017 / 9:49 am

    Downton ( post 2015 WC most embarrassing of all the early exits) : we didn’t even know how much influence the 20 over game was having on the 50 over game…

    In your role you were the custodian of the Vision. The strategy. Leadership. Giving direction. Or at the very least appointing those who can. You appointed Moores.

    But what should we expect when you had spent the previous 20 years outside cricket? Ah wait..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mark Feb 9, 2017 / 10:22 am

    Their real beef with Piers Morgan was he offered a platform (a Twitter account with 4-5 million followers) giving an alternative view to the one being pushed by the evil Empire. He is a friend of KPs and had an interest in cricket. Most of his Twitter followers weren’t remotely interested in cricket, many of them are Americans who couldn’t care less. But he offered an alternative view, and he had a platform to deliver it from. They hated this because they had stitched up, and hobbled most of the other media outlets.

    When I say stitched up, that is rather misleading. The media were willing co conspirators in the dirty deed. They stitched themselves up and relished doing so. It seems to me that English cricket is a bit like the Deep state. You have an official government, and then a group of cosy insiders who continue along regardless of who governs. This shadowy group included people inside the ECB and inside the media.

    This group of self important jackasses decided they would remake English cricket in their preferred image. So KP was booted out, and Cook elevated to a god. Anyone who went against this was given a good kicking. We were told, and still are that KP was sacked because of his book, yet his book came out after he was sacked. Facts don’t get in the way of these people. They attacked KP at every turn. His book was too negative. Agnew complained it didn’t have more about the cricket in it. They laughed and scoffed that he didn’t have a county and was playing no red ball cricket. Hardly surprising when you have just been told to bugger off from test match cricket.

    Then an interesting thing happened . A new head of the ECB came in, and offered KP a lifeline. If he started scoring runs he would be reconsidered. KP took the offer seriously. He got a county, Surrey, and started scoring runs. The Deep state sprang into action. Pringle went to watch KP play against the universities, and horror of horrors KP scored some runs. They immediately went after this new head of the ECB. They parked their tanks on his lawn, and made it clear in various articles he was in for a very rough time if he didn’t toe the line on the KP issue. Rumours started to emerge that Cook would walk out if KP came back. The deep state media specialised in moving the goalposts. Having said KP hasn’t got a county, and was not scoring runs they changed that to attacking the inferiority of his second division runs. In the End the new head of the ECB saw the writing on the wall. He handed the whole issue over to Strauss. A man with hardly an independent view point. And KP was toast, on the day he scored 300.

    Since then we hardly ever hear from Colin Graves. We hear from Strauss, we hear from Giles Clarke, but the head of the ECB seems just a figure head. The English cricket deep state continues along.

    Liked by 2 people

    • LordCanisLupus Feb 9, 2017 / 10:44 am

      I spent some time last night looking for the Dean Wilson article that have a strong indication that Cook would have refused to have KP back in 2015. Remember Wilson stood by it when pressed. Can’t find the damn thing at the moment.


    • simplyshirah Feb 9, 2017 / 12:40 pm

      Brilliant piece Mark. Just superb. It happened exactly as you describe so well. I notice Pringle on Twitter has his own Mag now and still chanting the same load of tosh. I had a penny worth with him and waiting his reply.
      We are in the age of Alternative facts but the ECB got there first. Why tell the truth when a load of lies will do. Now we have the sycophants all coming out of the woodwork: I come to Praise Caesar not to bury him – Shakespeare would have been most amused. Mark Nicolas not getting away with his drivel on Cricinfo. Even dear old George Dobell was kind to Cook. Ahh bless. At least Cook is actually saying something now about the ECB. He was hung out to dry but he just didn’t see it at the time. Not the brightest bulb in the pack. He may well have cooked his goose as far as continuing to bat for England.
      Good point about Colin Graves. I noticed that when he offered a bit of hope to KP it did seem that it was honest. However I remember, vividly, that Giles Clarke came back from his tour of ICC shenanigans to Chair his last ECB meeting. Don’t need to be a fly on the wall to know that Graves’ wings would have been well and truly clipped by Clarke. We made a decision and it is final? Graves never to be seen again. Clarke still has power – mores the pity and he will still wield it behind the scenes.
      I do not see any real changes in England Cricket until Strauss is gone – mediocre to say the least. Even if they get a good Captain will his wings be clipped by the ECB?
      I am glad that KP has moved on. He’s doing some good work in Dubai. Who knows he could be coaching some world class players who will eventually playing world class cricket. KP will be vindicated eventually. Often what goes around comes around.


  7. Cricketjon Feb 9, 2017 / 10:24 am

    Tremendous account Mark. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Feb 9, 2017 / 11:06 am

      Cheers, thanks!


      • amit garg Feb 9, 2017 / 12:18 pm

        well done mate. this is one of the occasions that internet can be so good – to debunk obvious lies. You do have to rely on non-english papers though – there’s no guarantee this would survive on the usual english dailies.


  8. simplyshirah Feb 9, 2017 / 12:41 pm

    Yippee is Outside Cricket Day. I’m Celebrating with a cuppa and slice of toast. Well done Dmitri for all you have done for England Cricket. Thanks to you all for being really brilliant.


  9. Maxie Allen Feb 9, 2017 / 3:15 pm

    The notion that “outside cricket” refers exclusively to Piers Morgan is only a theory. The ECB have never affirmed or even hinted that this was the case.

    In lieu of such a clarification, I will continue to take “outside cricket” at face value – it means me, and you, and all of us. It means ordinary supporters who dared complain or felt they had a right to know how the team was run.

    “Move on, it’s ancient history”, they say. Except it isn’t, because the press release is still on the ECB website. They are saying it today every bit as much as they were saying it on 9th February 2014.

    And to the best of my knowledge – correct me if I’m wrong – no journalist has ever asked the ECB what they meant by it, or how they feel about the reaction it caused.

    Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez Feb 9, 2017 / 3:49 pm

      I seem to recall someone in the ECB / PCA wrote they actually meant Piers Morgan (and George Dobell commenting that if that were the case, why did they not write Piers Morgan?). I can’t find the article, and it may well have been an individual’s opinion, rather than everyone’s who was involved in drafting that gem.

      To some extent you can expect it from an organisation like the ECB, which at times seems to be stuck in the 19th century. But from the players’ association? The fact that that has never been properly investigated, is perplexing. Or is it a tacit admission that the supporters to have become utterly irrelevant to the players, courtesy of Sky effectively paying all the professional players in England?


      • nonoxcol Feb 9, 2017 / 4:30 pm

        Some have even hinted that the outrage of all those bilious inadequates was actually *orchestrated* by Morgan (and Southampton was of course the revenge of the silent majority).

        Perish the thought that actual paying punters were impertinent enough to draw their own independent conclusions.

        But the resilience of that view, largely propagated from positions of privilege, can still be observed in the frequency of “you are Piers Morgan and I claim my £5” style responses BTL.


  10. oreston Feb 9, 2017 / 6:56 pm

    The “outside cricket” mentality (in the terms that Maxie Allen describes it above) is the problem but “Being Outside Cricket” will (I dare to hope) one day be acknowledged as part of the solution. So happy Outside Cricket Day and much thanks and appreciation to LCL, TLG, SeanB and everyone else who chooses to stand up and be counted here.


    • LordCanisLupus Feb 9, 2017 / 6:58 pm

      Amuses me that I get the tut tuts for this the couple of years I’ve done it but still gets attention.

      Hello you lurkers! Join in the fun. We are all good here.

      Liked by 1 person

      • glenn Feb 9, 2017 / 10:52 pm

        My favourite anniversary is the date on which Giles Clarke sold to the England tv rights to Sky because the money was needed “so English cricket did not end up like Indian hockey etc etc”. Now cricket has a much lower profile. Of course there have been many other strange things done in English cricket including of course the bizarre Pietersen sacking.


        • LordCanisLupus Feb 9, 2017 / 10:59 pm

          Everyone has their favourite ECB moments, dating back to the Ted Dexter years, which were made for blogs a decade and a half too soon.

          Which reminds me – we can’t be too far from the 10 year anniversary of Stanford’s landing at Lord’s. I make it 18 months or so. 11 June 2008. We’ll have to do something then in 2018.


      • nonoxcol Feb 10, 2017 / 8:20 am

        Spam the Guardian with self-righteous links to Bull’s 2008 piece?

        “Stanford’s press conference at Lord’s this week attracted a sniffy reception from Mike Atherton in The Times and Angus Fraser in The Independent, among others. His money was good enough for better players than both men…

        With money and power come natural charisma. Stanford commands through more than just his cash. He has presence, the kind that stops the pianist on a heavy chord when he comes into the room. He is, for one thing, big. Bigger than Viv. His handshake crushes rocks and his voice makes your guts tremble. Interviewing him, I didn’t so much ask him questions as simply listen to him speak. He was intimidating and evangelical, a mix I’ve since seen in Nigel Benn after he took up preaching. Stanford isn’t just buying people, he’s selling to them. The man has serious plans and, after an hour in his company, I was sold.”

        Benito made the trains run on time. Allen made sure the toilets were spick and span.

        “At his ground Stanford employs a team who do nothing but clean the toilets. He even has a woman who spends every working minute polishing the mirrors. She smiled as she did it, and when I asked why, she said it was because she couldn’t believe how well she was paid. Extrapolate that one detail outwards across his entire organisation and you begin to get an idea of just how formidable the man and his set-up is…

        He is, and always has been, ruthlessly successful in his work, and he’s starting to apply himself to cricket. I think that’s a good thing. If you don’t, maybe you can at least look forward to a stench-free urinal next time you’re at a cricket ground.”

        It’s an all-timer.


  11. SimonH Feb 10, 2017 / 8:58 am

    First details of the “process”:

    Tim Bresnan thinks Cook was hounded out by hostile media:

    “The media put a lot of pressure on him, it’s been undeserved, I think he’s been doing his job really well…. India’s a very difficult place to go and win. You judge India on how other teams go and I think Australia are about to go there and play. It’ll be massive to see where they are as a team and whether, if they lose, their captain gets put under the pump to step down.”

    It would be massive if:
    1) Smith had captained Australia in 50+ Tests rather than the 20 he actually has.
    2) Australia hadn’t won 11 and lost 5 of the matches under Smith – that gives him a W/L ratio almost twice as good as Cook’s.
    3) Australia can lose 4-0 in India and still Smith will have a better personal captaincy record and have led Australia to a higher place in the rankings (Australia will be 3rd in the rankings ahead of England in 4th if they lose 4-0).
    4) Smith has led “from the front” to the extent that he averages 74 as captain and his career average is second only to Bradman for the number of innings he’s had.
    5) It isn’t as if Smith is immune from criticism in Australia – I’ve read and listened to people there discussing whether Warner might not make a better captain. If Smith loses 4-0 after winning 80% of the tosses, has the worst batting average of the specialist batsmen, misreads every pitch, gets every team selection wrong (like playing four seamers and then hardly using them) and makes the same mistakes he’s been making for years, then I expect he will be “under the pump”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Feb 10, 2017 / 9:01 am

      It won’t have been preceded by a loss to a team not to have beaten a top seven test team or drawn at home to a team that promptly went on to lose five tests in a row away from “home”.

      Liked by 1 person

    • amit garg Feb 10, 2017 / 10:08 am

      Bresnan just seems to be repeating what he’s read in the papers. By definition, he too is “outside cricket” having been out of the side for 3 years, so unlikely to know what transpires in the dressing room.

      BBC though seems to suggest that Strauss has met with Stokes and Broad in addition to Root. If either of them ends up with the position, even if in the short term, what message does it give to Root, who has been talked up as the “next in line” for a while now? Can they be so stupid again as to mess around with their best player?


      • Mark Feb 10, 2017 / 10:31 am

        Exactly, the papers say Cook was given a hard time by the media and People like Bresnan believe it. Do these people actully understand English? Where are all these articles hounding him out of the job? I keep asking but nobody ever tells me.

        We have been hard on him yes, but we are irrelevent according to the cricket Mafia. Didn’t Brenan get the e mail?


    • man in a barrel Feb 10, 2017 / 11:38 am

      “gets put under the pump to stand down”… It makes it seem as if Cook was waterboarded


  12. Cricketjon Feb 10, 2017 / 9:56 am

    I wonder if Mr Stanford has access to a stench free urinal now?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Feb 10, 2017 / 10:42 am

      I would be amazed if they gave it to Stokes. Far too individual of thought.

      My take is they are pretending to elevate some other candidates so it doesn’t look like a coronation of Root.

      I once worked for a company years and years ago that asked me to aply for a job I didn’t want. When I declined they said that’s ok, we already have the person who is getting the job, but we just want to make it look like there was an open process. So I was interviewed for a job I didn’t want, and knew I wasn’t going to get.


      • SimonH Feb 10, 2017 / 10:51 am

        Slightly curious that Anderson isn’t in the list of players consulted.

        Also, I’d have thought Bairstow and Moeen Ali have claims to be now considered senior players. Perhaps they are going to be consulted at some stage but, if so, it seems odd there’s no hint of it.


      • Silk Feb 10, 2017 / 11:29 am

        Anderson pulled out of a Test with ‘general body soreness’. I think he’s pretty much coming to the end of his Test career now. I’m seriously doubting whether he’ll make the Ashes, and if his pace is down from his peak then him missing the Ashes is no bad thing. His record is Australia is poor, even allowing for an excellent performance in the 3-1 victory.


      • Zephirine Feb 10, 2017 / 11:35 am

        Ha, yes, I’ve done that little charade too, Mark!

        Collingwood said Stokes is ‘impossible to captain’ – it seemed to be said affectionately enough, but it would have been interesting if the journalist he said it to had got more detail. Cook used the same phrase later. I remember Cook also saying that Bayliss is the only one who can manage Stokes and they just swear at each other.

        It’s all very ‘that’s just our Ben’ now, but you could see how it could go sour. Once upon a time, it was ‘that’s just our Kevin’…


      • Mark Feb 10, 2017 / 2:59 pm

        If they had given the captaincy job to Anderson in 2014 would it really have been any worse? I doubt it.


    • simplyshirah Feb 12, 2017 / 1:49 pm

      Stokes is a grab & crash man. Don’t know that his dodgy temperament on and off the field would be good for England or his own playing! If players didn’t play well enough for him he’d probably throw a chair at them!!!


  13. simplyshirah Feb 12, 2017 / 1:48 pm

    Not sure if any of you know Paddy Briggs – he’s “Inside Cricket” Member of MCC but he has this to say:
    ‘Cook goes
    I paid good money to see Cook lead England to disinterested defeat in three days in Sharjah, Dubai, Bridgetown, Dhaka… Body language poor and leadership skills non existent. His “leadership” of the 5-0 drubbing Ashes tour was abysmal and resulted in the unfairly ignominious departure of England’s best batsman. Yes when at home with the fawning Establishment media cheering him on he did OK. But not consistently so. Good batsman whose combination of diffidence and caution made him a mediocre Captain except for his “Inside Cricket” fan club.’ When I asked him why he wrote this: “I maybe inside cricket but I still say it like it is.” Good for you Paddy.

    Liked by 1 person

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