Contextual Adults

So that was that. England went to the Caribbean, they won the three ODIs, and that’s the job done. What exactly did they beat? How well or badly did they play? And perhaps more important than anything else, did anyone really care?

I don’t mean the players, who carried out their duties and won three games of varying closeness – the first was never truly in doubt, but competitive for long parts of the match; the second was England pulling a game out of a self-created hole; and the third was a rout – but the interest in the series from TV audiences, cricket supporters in this country and the host nation’s fans.

Far be it from me to use this site as a gauge of overall interest, but I was struck how, during the first ODI, there were no comments to be had from any of our regulars for large parts of the match. There wasn’t much more during the second and third games either. Now, quite conceivably, you are all getting a bit bored with Being Outside Cricket, and when your scribes are hardly beating a path to the keyboard to write up matches I can hardly blame you, but I think it’s something more serious than that. In Death of a Gentleman Michael Holding, I think, bemoans the “lack of context” in test match cricket. How a 3 match series plonked in the middle of a long stretch without test matches is supposed to be seen as anything other than a bit of international cricket fluff is difficult for me to argue against. Just like the tour to Sri Lanka before the 2015 World Cup, justifying it as a warm up for the Champions Trophy doesn’t really wash either. While the various tourist boards of Antigua and Barbados will no doubt be pleased with the considerable English turnout at the matches, that isn’t all we should look at.

There is also the question of precisely what we were facing. The PSL finished last weekend, so some of the key West Indian players were there, justifiably putting their own financial wellbeing and futures over the international cricket circus and a board that, from the outside, treats them with a disdain usually reserved for returning former England players to the Surrey T20 team,. So when the list came up on Sky of the alternative West Indian team that wasn’t the one facing us, it was sobering. Many words have been written on the demise of Caribbean cricket, and I know a particular tweeter I like (yes, genuinely, I do like him) gets fed up of the “hipsters” constantly wanting the West Indies to be relevant again, but this has been going on for a long time now. What’s the point of international cricket if whole teams are being excluded from selection, and when T20 leagues take priority?

That excuses the West Indians, but England, and the English cricket public, treated these three games with genuine indifference. There’s a cracking test series going on in India, with all the needle you’d expect from two teams that play to the limit, but then also believe (as do the large swathe of their supporters) that in the case of their own side, butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths. New Zealand are playing South Africa in another test match which is competitive, played on a wicket suited to the format, and is poised well after three days. Sri Lanka are in a decent contest with Bangladesh too. I sensed, judging by the comments on here while I was in New Jersey, that the respondents here are far more interested in the goings on in the sub-continent than they were with this ODI series. Some of this can be put down to the fatigue we have with this team, but a lot must be because we aren’t interested in the format, and when international cricket becomes us versus a 2nd XI, well, then you can’t expect us to be totally bothered. I was back in the UK for the 3rd ODI and I can tell you, it wasn’t something I was rushing home for. I don’t represent anyone other than myself, but I think it speaks volumes.

Still. It’s all about the Champions Trophy. Never has this competition meant so much to an England cricket board.

A couple of other pieces of news that caught my eye. George Dobell’s latest on cricinfo regarding the saviour of English cricket, the new T20 contains all the old cobblers that we feared from our omnipotent, all seeing, rulers of the game. There’s the threats to non-believers in having money withdrawn; there’s the deception and corporate bullshit of using England internationals in the promotion when playing tests at the same time and thus not participating; there’s the fact the tarnishing of the rest of the game, by playing the 50 over tournament at the same time and intimating that’s the only cricket worthy for outgrounds; and there’s the draft. No-one, it appears, is to be affiliated to anybody. IF Joe Root were eligible for this, if he played for any team other than the putative Yorkshire based team, it would be a joke. Cricket, as if we have to stress it, isn’t football, and England is not Australia.

But then the ECB don’t give a flying f*ck about the opinions of a mid to late 40s grump, and are chasing the youngsters. In doing so, they threaten to alienate the core supporters once more. It’s almost as if they are setting out to do so. For example, I’m going to a T20 this year. Surrey v Essex. Me, and a friend from work, are taking an American who knows nothing about the game for a laugh, and for some beers. The sport itself? Almost incidental. A bit like T20 itself.

Finally, KP’s return to England’s cricket fields actually got a more muted response than I expected. This isn’t because the anti-KP brayers have had their time and run out of steam. Still plenty of them about, of course.  It seems as though it just doesn’t matter any more. There are warning signals everywhere and the authorities, paying the price for the game being hidden behind a paywall for over a decade, have a tough job on their hands. They’ve been handed a lifeline this year – a returning hero/scoundrel – but Surrey don’t need him to fill grounds. It’s a hard thing for many to understand but Pietersen, STILL, is the biggest name in the English game, and the likes of Stokes, Root and yes, Cook, have a way to go. No-one is going to go to a T20 game to see those three. They will for KP. Trust me. Whether that’s good or bad depends on your view. Why this is so? You know why. The ECB know why. The media might even know why (while they are not polishing Sky’s clocks).

Which leads me back to the start. An ODI series lacking context of any kind, plonked into the schedule years ago with no rhyme or reason, has concluded. There was little said, little noticed, and it will be forgotten in no short time. That’s a problem. I’m not sure anyone cares.

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58 thoughts on “Contextual Adults

  1. man in a barrel March 10, 2017 / 11:25 pm

    I guess if you take the temperature from this blog there was more interest in the India v Australia Tests and the South Africa v New Zealand Test. What’s the conclusion?

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    • LordCanisLupus March 11, 2017 / 12:09 am

      (a) We are sick of England cricket
      (b) We don’t give a stuff about ODI cricket but do about Tests
      (c) It’s a long time between tests for England
      (d) It’s gone quiet (ish) on Cook
      (e) Blog writers haven’t found inspiration to write (me especially)
      (f) A combination of all of the above

      Liked by 1 person

      • pktroll (@pktroll) March 12, 2017 / 6:30 pm

        I haven’t been around here as much as I might have done as real life has not made that too easy. I saw a fair bit of the first game but very little of the other two. To be honest I haven’t watched very much of the India v Australia series either and normally I’d have made more of an effort. Quite honestly I think it is because of the cricket overload between last summer and the new year with so much England cricket. I’ve really felt it in a way that I’ve not done for quite some time I guess.

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      • Zephirine March 12, 2017 / 10:18 pm

        (g) Too much work at the moment.
        (h) Quietly confident that if Morgan was left alone he and the team would just get on with it.
        (i) Do like ODI cricket but think it works better in the context of a multi-format tour. Hard to get excited over three one-day games in isolation.

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  2. BoredInAustria March 11, 2017 / 2:56 am

    Lovely piece of analysis. But rather depressing. To quote REM – It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine…

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  3. Jez Moses March 11, 2017 / 7:41 am

    60 quid a ticket in windies. Most locals priced out of a reserve match. Reduces interest further.

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  4. Mark March 11, 2017 / 7:43 am

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/county-cricket-2017/content/story/1086257.html

    In which the ECB threaten counties who don’t sign away their tv rights, and hand them over to the ECB. Can we now officially call the ECB a Mafia like organisation?

    The more they centralise power the less interest anyone has in English cricket. The sport has been high jacked by a bunch of chancers who run the game for their own ends. The counties need to dump this bunch of centralisers. The ECB is nothing without the counties. Time to break away, and set up a new orgainsation without these terrible clowns. These are the same people who made the counties bid for test cricket. very greedy people.

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    • "IronBalls" McGinty March 11, 2017 / 8:59 am

      That regional academies wheeze has come off the rails as well, with Comma having to ring round the County chairmen to do the necessary grovelling and back pedalling. The b astards seem to me to be plotting to crucify the counties, and the game, at every available opportunity.
      If the counties are suckered in by short term greed they will only have themselves to blame for their inevitable demise!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. SimonH March 11, 2017 / 8:11 am

    I watched a fair amount of the first game and virtually none of the last two. Why? It’s not that I dislike white-ball cricket or that I haven’t watched pre-tournament warm-up series before. I watched nearly all of the seven (seven!) games in SL before the 2015 WC. I can remember Moeen Ali’s century as opener, James Taylor making runs and Cook’s horrible last knock in ODIs. I watched all of the three match series in the WI before the 2014 T20 WC. I can remember Lumb’s century and Broad winning a tight game at the death.

    I was going to say it’s because I knew the matches wouldn’t be competitive. The graphic that killed my interest wasn’t the one on the missing players (my interest was already dead when I saw that) but one that showed four of the WI top five hadn’t played ten ODIs. They were lambs to the slaughter. However, if England had been playing Afghanistan (which on numerous counts would have been a much better idea), I’d have kept watching despite expecting England to win. Afghanistan have some players I’d turn on to watch (Rashid in particular). The matches would feel part of a narrative of improvement, they’d be getting big match experience into players who can go on to great things. These matches just made me despair. They are the product of cricket administration that was only interested in puffing itself up with some wins and making a buck for travel companies (the relationship between the English cricket establishment and travel companies – I fear it is all too cosy and I was having a pop at Dobell about it last week only because I suspect he was the tip of a growing iceberg).

    Now I’m off to watch Bangladesh lose their fourth consecutive Test since they beat England.

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    • SimonH March 11, 2017 / 8:27 am

      Just to clarify – the cricket admin I was referring to was of course the ECB. The WICB aren’t interested in more than their own self-preservation.

      Too late to catch Bangladesh. Herath in Galle has been too tough a proposition for plenty of better teams:

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  6. SimonH March 11, 2017 / 8:48 am

    Imagine that this was about cricket:

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/mar/10/dave-brailsford-british-cycling-shane-sutton-autocracy

    Brailsford has been described in a leaked report as “an untouchable figure” who kept the board “at arm’s length”, treated his staff “like children” and made them feel “like second-class citizens”. It notes Brailsford was “taking decisions about the multimillion-pound budget” by himself. Sound like anyone we know?

    Brailsford had an Austrlain underling who created “a culture of fear” that left some athletes in a state akin to “trauma”. Sound like anyone we know? After all, it’s not like a player wrote a book alleging such things going on and that two proven world-class players dropped out during that era in circumstances for which I can think of no parallel in English cricket history.

    Imagine that article with the words David Brailsford replaced with A**y F****r, Shane Sutton with D***d S***r and “medals” with “the Ashes”.

    It’s not like Bull doesn’t see that there might be parallels with other recent England teams. Step forward reliable patsy Stuart Lancaster. Thus a false polarity is established between winning the Brailsford way or embarrassing defeat. It obviously could not be possible to create a winning team and not leave an unacceptable trail of human wreckage in its wake….

    After all, why would anyone see any parallels between Brailsford and certain recent England cricket coaches? Woodward and Bernstein could be on their case and not discover any connections between the two….

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mark March 11, 2017 / 9:14 am

      It’s amazingly similar isn’t it? However the ECB have convinced the masses that Andy Flower is just The Lions coach now. No say in team selection, no role at all.

      And on a completely different note, I have a Bridge in Brooklyn I would like to sell you.

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    • BoredInAustria March 11, 2017 / 11:12 am

      Oh the irony of it:

      http://www.harringtonstarr.com/sir-david-brailsfords-20-lessons-leadership/

      Gems like:
      # 2. Optimise talent with a dynamic, fun and challenging culture.
      # 4. Give ownership and appeal to the mature side of the team.
      # 7. Help people to believe that they are the best
      # 10. If you want people to perform, make them feel valued.

      My favourite:
      # 6. People like clarity.

      Role clarity and task clarity is essential. An elite team needs absolute clarity in their position. Team Sky operates with absolute clarity in vision. Clear roles, clear boundaries everyone in the team has a very clear idea of what is expected of them and what they are expected to do. With this clarity comes engagement and flow. With flow comes exceptional performance.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Mark March 11, 2017 / 9:04 am

    The cricket boards of the world are killing interest in their own sports. The WI won’t even begin to recover until they get rid of time server Dave Cameron. He is the poster boy for every useless administrator everywhere. Delusions of grandeur. You’re there to serve the cricket lovers of your country Dave. Not run the game into the ground to protect your own power base.

    And speaking of protecting power bases The ECB are the gold medal champions. They are centralising every aspect of English cricket. From TV rights to academies. Cashing in on delcline. They have stolen the game of cricket from the people, and are busy creating a rentier model where they are the gate keepers to a whole sport. Taking a slice for their greedy selves. They even forced counties to bid for Test rights, almost bankrupting some counties. They then relegate a county for trying to implement the very changes needed to host test cricket. Like a mad, power crazed monarch. Out of touch and out of control.

    It’s why I have difficulty following ENGLAND anymore. Not because of the players, but because I don’t view The England team as the national team. I don’t feel I have a part of the team anymore. It’s nothing more than a ECB eleven. It might as well be Tesco eleven or a McDonald’s eleven. It is cold to me.

    The only good thing about this WI series was both Morgan and Hales got hundreds. One in the eye for the Olie Holt’s, and all the other amateur security expert bullshiters in the media. The Bangladesh tour seems like a lifetime ago. It now seems like a complete irrelevence. Even The Test captain is long gone. In time his period as captain will look even more riddiculous than it did as it happened. A ludicrous, Blimp like figure promoted above his staion to represent a bunch of idiots. A captain who stood by as his best player was sacked with the same dismissive approach as a Lord getting rid of his cleaner. The sport has lost its mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. SimonH March 11, 2017 / 10:11 am

    Just the sort of analysis you’d expect from someone who self-styles themselves The Analyst:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Benny March 11, 2017 / 2:40 pm

      The Opinionist?

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      • thebogfather March 11, 2017 / 2:54 pm

        The Anal-ist is aptly talking crap and taking the p
        On twitter, ’bout ‘toilet awards’, as yet hes to joust with me!
        I await his reply…

        On other more cricket related matters…
        The ECB seem to be making up the rules/backtracking on a daily basis aplenty
        Regarding their vision of (ten years behind) T20 bishbashboshjob in 2020
        And the new Times columnist, @legsidelizzie
        Is politely ripping them a new one as she gets busy…

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  9. Benny March 11, 2017 / 3:01 pm

    Yes and no, Dmitri. I believe one day cricket was always meant to be forgettable – there’ll be another one along in a minute. I remember when the 40 over Sunday League was running. Chance to see Barry Richards and Greenidge, Botham and Garner and the other Richards plus many more doing entertaining things. It was great fun but I can’t really remember any of the detail now. It doesn’t matter.

    From a selfish point of view, I need something to watch on telly now and then and chaps wielding bats and balls on a green field is my top choice. Not interested in the hundreds of US cops waving guns around, soaps, people cooking crap for their neighbours. Ooooh, there’s a documentary series about bailiffs called “Can’t pay, we’ll take it away” and it’s not about Durham!

    The Afgan comparison is interesting. Yes, they should certainly get the chance to build experience and grow by playing internationals, as should Scotland, Netherlands and WI.

    So I don’t have a problem with this WI mini tour (wish I’d been there – for the culture and fun as much as anything). Just wish the men in suits had the remotest ability to organise it and, certainly, give it context.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. thebogfather March 11, 2017 / 5:08 pm

    Richards (Barry) always seemed to rise to the JPL BBC coverage… I’ll always remember Arlott commentating on him ‘Supuurrrrrlaaative stroke’ in his Hampshire burr, on TV as part of my initiation to cricket… and ‘Rice bowls and Paddy fields’.(Oh, there’s a reluctant and rarely fed wordpress cricket blog named thus.).

    Liked by 1 person

  11. d'Arthez March 11, 2017 / 6:59 pm

    Well, in the last couple of days I have been focusing a bit on the New Zealand – South Africa series, kept my eyes out for the Sri Lanka – Bangladesh game. For me the ODI was a foregone conclusion. It is like watching England – Andorra in football. You would watch in full anticipation that it is not even going to be close. And why waste time watching that?

    It was a pointless series, simply meant to fill some boots for the England players. Supposedly, if the West Indies did well, they would have a realistic shot on avoiding having to play qualifiers for the World Cup. Then again, we knew beforehand that the WICB can’t be bothered to actually organise themselves for anything beyond the defense of several egos in that useless board. Honestly, I would not even be surprised if some of the (not so recently) retired players are still better players than the current lot. The team selection was beyond a joke.

    Against the 8 major Full Members (excluding Zimbabwe and Bangladesh)
    West Indies have a worse ODI record at home than Bangladesh in the last 10 years in home ODIs in bilateral series. And since 2012, the only teams with a losing ODI record at home are Zimbabwe and West Indies. Bangladesh sit at a W/L record of 1.3, which is not too far behind of England and Sri Lanka (both 1.4). And quite respectable.
    Intriguingly, in the last 5 years West Indies don’t get to play that much ODI cricket at home. Just 21 since the start of 2012, compared to Bangladesh’s 26. But if you look at the away fixtures, Bangladesh have had all of 9 (!) ODIs outside of Bangladesh in bilateral series on the road since the start of 2012 (compared to the West Indies’ 25). That is less than 2 a year. Hard to improve or develop consistency on that basis.

    With regards to the WICB:

    I can’t wait for Pakistan, Sri Lanka and England to (finally) obliterate them in the Caribbean, so that the West Indies have a record (for their most recent bilateral series home and away) of P16, W0 D0 L16. Add similar results for Bangladesh to the mix.

    Not because the players deserve it, but because it is the only way for the WICB being forced to get their act together. Alternatively the consequence being that the WICB can happily be ignored by everyone.

    There is definitely talent in the West Indies. But it is being woefully mismanaged. There are plenty of reasons for that, but suffice to say, the WICB is not without blame.

    Honestly I would not be surprised if a “West Indies” team from the counties (with England qualified players, but with roots in / connections to the Caribbean) would beat this supposed “West Indies” side comfortably.

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    • SimonH March 12, 2017 / 8:59 am

      Curse that Dunedin weather!

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    • d'Arthez March 12, 2017 / 6:17 pm

      Up to the start of Day 5, it was really anyone’s game.

      The Dunedin weather was a real letdown. I would have loved for New Zealand to bowl South Africa out cheaply, and see how the South Africans would have defended say 220 from about 80-85 overs.

      But I suspect it is also a bit of a blessing for New Zealand. With an injury to Boult, Wagner really could use the break (and South Africa’s tail is really not that weak, so it certainly would not have been beyond them to last quite some time). Also, the South African quicks got a bit of an extended break as well – which in the case of Rabada in particular is not a bad thing.

      Ross Taylor is a definite miss for the next Test, so that means someone has to be slotted in in the middle order. Could shape up to be a very good series.

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  12. SimonH March 13, 2017 / 12:36 pm

    Anyone know why highlights from NZ seem to have disappeared off Youtube? They used to be one of the best for getting their highlights openly available.

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  13. man in a barrel March 14, 2017 / 12:07 am

    Picking up on Jared’s column, should England play a proper wicket-keeper in 2020, rather than the usual Buttler ineptitude? Do England need to bat to no. 11 in 2020?

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  14. SimonH March 14, 2017 / 9:42 am

    An offer you can refuse?

    By the way, on the subject of Selvey’s jaunt to Pakistan, it’s a curious set of circumstances that the Guardian carried an exclusive that Giles Clarke wants international cricket back in Pakistan pronto and Selvey goes to Pakistan to report (the first time since when?) in the same week. He’s started with the Oliver Holt-style “I was there for three days and it was safe” stuff already.

    2 + 2 = 5? Maybe…..

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    • man in a barrel March 14, 2017 / 8:52 pm

      How long had Chris Broad been in the country before the coach he was in was strafed? It is tempting to make a foxhole behind Selfy’s house and fire paintballs at him whenever he steps outside

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      • SimonH March 15, 2017 / 8:46 am

        “I am in Lahore at the invitation of the Pakistan Cricket Board as part of an ICC security delegation”.

        http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/1086672.html

        So, of all the “former cricketers”, “the ICC” just happened to chose him?

        “I was being paid for my time but not, I insisted as a condition, to write an ICC or PCB public-relations piece”.

        Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

        “It is my hope to return in September, and, as things stand, I will do so without hesitation…. The success of the PSL final, and the testimony of those overseas players who took part, such as Darren Sammy and Dawid Malan, should go some way to assuaging doubts…. It was a fine occasion, and a small first step, but one that needed to be taken”.

        So, he comes to the conclusion that was exactly the one that was required. I’m shocked…..

        (Just to be clear, I’d love Pakistan to be able to host international cricket again. But my support for the goal doesn’t blind me to the timing and the method of doing it stink to high heaven).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mark March 15, 2017 / 9:26 am

        I wouldn’t trust Selvey to cut my lawn never mind give advice on terrorism & security. Very sceptical as to the real reason he was selected for this role.

        As you say Simon, he admits payment for his time? The man is retired so it is not as if he has anything else to do. So why is he being paid? And what for? And why was he in particular chosen? Can’t they find anyone else who has more expertese in these matters?

        It stinks. Either the ICC is very slapdash about who it appoints, or he was chosen Sir Humphrey style to come up with the right conclusions. How many other sweet heart deals has he had with the governing bodies?

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Rooto March 14, 2017 / 10:04 am

    Very sad news that is quite relevant to the blog. Apparently Dan Lucas, from the Guardian sports desk, has died aged only 31. Someone on Twitter will perhaps know more.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. d'Arthez March 15, 2017 / 7:32 am

    Manohar has resigned as the ICC chairman. Of course, given the general incompetence of all the constituent boards, we can expect a full reversal on the gains made in those 8 months that he was at the helm – especially since a lot of major decisions have not yet been voted on …

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    • SimonH March 15, 2017 / 8:27 am

      “Personal reasons”?

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      • SimonH March 15, 2017 / 8:54 am

        Who wasn’t thinking it?

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      • Mark March 15, 2017 / 9:40 am

        If he has resigned because he can’t get the changes through at the ICC I respect that. Shows some integrity in an institution that is stacked with people who have none.

        Giles Clarke will be just a giant rubber stamp for India, making sure a few crumbs are thrown to the ECB & ACB. That in essence was what the Big 3 deal was before.

        The game is being destroyed by greed, and some of the most self serving toe rags seen in sports administration. And that is saying something. The competition for king toe rag is very high. Look at Fifa, Cycling, Athletics, IOC. And that’s before you drop down into the domestic administrators. @jobsfortheboys

        Liked by 2 people

      • man in a barrel March 15, 2017 / 9:43 am

        Interesting article Simon. Giles comes across as quite an odious individual, doesn’t he. Especially in the bit about Amerisur. But for me the money quote is

        “If you don’t have any money, you will not have a national sport, you will not have stadia, you will not have great grounds, you will not have facilities that compete and satisfy the spectator.”

        It is not as if the ECB, sitting as it does on a massive cash pile, has done anything to build stadiums. Cricket is struggling to stay a national sport. The ECB does little to create great grounds and is it even truthful to say that the facilities are attractive to spectators? And he says nothing about the insolvency threat looming over clubs such as Yorkshire or Warwickshire. A remarkable legacy indeed.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Mark March 15, 2017 / 9:50 am

        “It is not as if the ECB, sitting as it does on a massive cash pile, has done anything to build stadiums.”

        They just got the counties to spend huge amounts of county money updating their stadiums for ECB owned and controlled Test matches Then relegated one of them when they went bust…… eg Durham.

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      • SimonH March 15, 2017 / 12:59 pm

        Hoult’s take on Manohar:

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/cricket/2017/03/15/shashank-manohars-resignation-icc-chair-throws-cricket-reforms/

        His buttering-up of Pakistan now looks less an attempt to win the April vote on the ICC (which looks like it was doomed from the beginning) and more part of his personal campaign to become ICC chairman.

        Nobody but nobody in the media seemed to have an inkling this was about to happen. It shows again the secrecy the ICC can manage when they want to – plus the lack of basic journalistic inquisitiveness about what’s going on at the ICC.

        Liked by 1 person

      • d'Arthez March 15, 2017 / 1:36 pm

        Yeah, let’s maintain the situation, in which a Full Member can’t account for $20 million, can’t be bothered to play much, can hardly be bothered to pay the players anything, and regularly loses to Afghanistan (not that Afghanistan is bad; it is that Afghanistan has next to no voting power, despite being better than said Full Member). Despite Zimbabwe getting millions from the ICC they could not “afford it” to pay Brendan Taylor more than $250 for an entire World Cup – and there is no appetite to actually make Zimbabwe account for what is happening with the money. And with Giles Clarke or someone of a similar ilk in charge, that won’t change at all.

        All in all, maintaining the status quo will ensure that Zimbabwe gets millions to steal, possibly to support a dubious political regime there.

        The BCB seems to be opposed to the reforms for similar reasons (threat of losing Full Member status). In the case of Bangladesh I do not see meritocratic grounds for that, as their results are quite decent, especially in ODIs, and even though the results in Tests have largely remained disappointing, by all metrics there are significant improvements in the performance levels of the Bangladeshi players.

        But yeah, why should the ICC even make cricket viable outside of 9 countries (all Full Members minus Zimbabwe)? It is much better to loot and divide all the money between the boards that need it least, to develop cricket into an actual global game.

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    • SimonH March 15, 2017 / 11:46 am

      And some more –

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mark March 15, 2017 / 12:03 pm

        The ECB has hijacked the game for their own ends.

        Those big salaries and cars don’t pay for themselves. What a racket. Money for old rope.

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      • Andy March 15, 2017 / 3:22 pm

        From memory I think notts charged £15 for blast games last year.

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      • d'Arthez March 15, 2017 / 4:23 pm

        How sustainable will a second-tier Blast be, if tickets can at most cost £10 or thereabout?

        I can’t be bothered to do the math, but basically means that revenues from the competition will be limited, and I really don’t find it that hard to foresee that counties will struggle to even break even. The relatively low ticket price for the new competition (at the start, of course; given that the competition is expected to run a loss of £15 million in its first year, it won’t be sustainable) may well be meant to kill off the Blast. Needless to say, that will effectively amount to concentrating financial power and decision making power in just 6-8 counties; and I can see a few counties going under as a result of that as well.

        Oh, and anyone picking up the irony of having to spend millions to create public awareness of the existence of a competition for what is supposed to be a national sport?

        Liked by 2 people

        • LordCanisLupus March 15, 2017 / 4:25 pm

          Not sure why but all your posts are being pre modded. We will see what we can do!

          Like

    • SimonH March 15, 2017 / 6:13 pm

      NWB tickets (adult matchday price) for 2017 are £25 for Middlesex and Hampshire and can be as high as £34 for Surrey.

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    • Mark March 15, 2017 / 9:44 am

      So “below average ” is a meaningless concept? No sanction is imposed, and the match official can cover his backside without any consequences.

      Pretty much sums up the whole rotten edifice of cricket. It a jamboree of jobs for the boys.

      Like

      • man in a barrel March 15, 2017 / 12:01 pm

        Why should a match official stick his neck out? Remember what happened to Mike Denness when he dared to sanction India? Remember how many Test matches were umpired by John Holder? Asking a captain to explain how a ball had been scratched is a no-no if you want to be an elite umpire.

        Liked by 1 person

      • d'Arthez March 15, 2017 / 2:01 pm

        I don’t blame Broad for this finding – and I do believe it is extremely lenient. He has to be aware of the politics surrounding this, and thus render “neutrality” an absolute farce.

        I blame the rotten structure of umpiring and refereeing. That is, it is an ICC created mess. You can’t convince me that on any metric S. Ravi and Reiffel are among the 8 best umpires in the world. Likewise you can’t convince me that even if S. Ravi were among the best 8 umpires in the world, but from say Spain, he’d be on the Elite Panel.

        Part of the problem is of course that the ICC, as it is currently constituted, makes cricket a viable sport in just 9 countries. In effect that also means that the umpires and referees have to be drawn from the same 9 countries (+ Zimbabwe; I suspect it takes longer for refereeing / umpiring standards to deteriorate than for playing standards, because different skillsets are involved).

        I am still curious on what grounds Kohli and Smith even avoided a preliminary investigation into the events of the second Test, but Faf had to be punished for an offence that is committed by every team (Trescothick wrote about it, and what were the jellies for in jelly bean saga for?).

        Liked by 3 people

    • Mark March 15, 2017 / 12:15 pm

      Exactly!

      Like

  17. thebogfather March 15, 2017 / 2:14 pm

    A new ‘sin’ematic film extravaganza
    Starring ‘Sir’ Giles and his oily present and past
    With occasional ‘Selfey’s own mind’, tour-de-Pak stanza
    The bullet headed one so deferential, still blog-less, more an icon from the past
    Where the greasy finger in so many a slick pie
    Allows his ex-guardian ghost to peddle ICC/ECB lies
    And yet the scary thing now nearer exists
    Clarke parks his widening arse, for ICC to dare to kiss…

    Like

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