Just Who Is This Clown?

Tom Harrison
Comical Empty Suit

You know me. I’m calm. I’m placid. Nothing much riles me. This blog has always been about keeping an even keel, being steady as she goes. But sometimes, just occasionally, someone pushes me too damn hard.

And in the past couple of days that person has been Tom Harrison, aka The Empty Suit. Here’s this no-mark’s latest missive from his saintly pulpit:

Speaking as the ECB launched All-Stars Cricket, which aims to get 50,000 five to eight-year-olds excited by the game this year, Harrison said: “The England teams are very clear that part of their responsibility in playing this bold and brave cricket – this commitment to playing an exciting formula of cricket every time they go on the park – is linked to this.

I don’t like unique, Simon H doesn’t like statements, I don’t have a lot of time for either formula or brands, and Mark doesn’t have a lot of time for any of them 🙂 . But this is arrant nonsense, and if I were Trevor Bayliss, or Andrew Strauss, I’d tell this effing bean counter to do one, or I’m resigning my post. If he wants to set the direction of travel for English cricket, then win the job as the absentee landlord coach, his laugh-a-minute deputy, or the man who put the comma into Director, Cricket. Until then, the way they play is up to them whether you like it or not.

One has to think what Alastair Cook must be thinking now. His job in the new England team, and my, we have a new England team every couple of months these days, is to be our anchor man. He has a promising young partner who appears to come to test cricket with an oven ready defensive technique and temperament, and we’ve got an Empty suit spouting off like a screaming child at a Bieber concert!

“Joe Root and [one-day and Twenty20 captain] Eoin Morgan understand their responsibility to be playing exciting cricket for future generations to connect with and for fans of the game to get behind us. It’s a very deliberate strategy. It doesn’t work every time you go out on the park. But we understand that it’s more likely you’re going to be forgiven for having a bad day if you’re doing everything to try to win a game, as opposed to not trying to lose it, which is a very key difference in positioning.”

I want to bang my head against a wall. Look at Australia on the same day as Harrison is uttering this wibble. They’ve played magnificently to draw a test and stay in the series when they could have blown it. Like another team failed to do and did blow it not so long ago. Someone pointed out in the comments that isn’t this opening up players to play so-called “reckless” shots and being able to quote “that’s the way I play”. I seem to recall that not going down too well not so long ago. Not just with the powers that be, but with the media as well. Harrison is not some wet-behind-the-ears media newbie like Downton.

Harrison said it was “100 per cent correct” that growing the game mattered more to the ECB than England winning a one-off Test playing boring cricket.

Then you are wrong. If we win an Ashes test playing boring cricket, then good on us. You won’t be finding me ever criticising the 2013 Ashes team.

We’re in a competitive world now. The reason why T20 blows other ratings out of the park on television and attendances – and this is not just in the UK, this is around the world – is because people want to watch. They know they’re going to go there and see some dramatic cricket, they’re going to see some amazing skill.”

Oh fuck me. In one paragraph he’s given the whole game away. He’s not concerned about cricket over and above everything else. He cares about revenue. T20 revenue. Competitive world it may be, but you are saying you are giving up on tests, and that T20 has to make money to fund it.

“We know that we’ve got a relevance issue with five to eight year-olds at the moment, as many sports do. We know that we’ve got a sport which can appeal to these audiences if we position it correctly and we deliver experiences that makes sense to parents and makes sense to kids.”

So in doing so, we’ll pay no heed to the preachers of the game – the parents, the people who play and run the clubs the ECB seemingly have just discovered since Matt Dwyer came into the fold – who seem to quite like test cricket, enjoy watching it, and would like to actually, you know, get to watch it without selling a kidney for a ticket, or their kids for a TV subscription. He’s still not mentioning the elephant in the room, is he? He can’t be this empty, can he?

Harrison said that the ECB’s controversial creation of an eight-team city-based Twenty20 competition was driven by similar motives.

“We’re trying to connect everything we do with this new audience that we’re trying to attract to the game,” he said, adding that it was about “making sure it’s relevant for mum and the family to go and spend some time at the county ground watching, taking their children along, watching a fantastic, phenomenal, exciting game of cricket”.

And throw the baby out with the bathwater. Make those mums and families travel further, to see teams made up of players thrown together at random, and who will all fly off to play in another league where they are all thrown together at random and rinse…repeat. It’s not putting a lot faith in the competition, it cares more about “individual skill” and “phenomenal, exciting” games of cricket. Watch Day 5 at The Oval in 2005. Watch Day 5 at Adelaide in 2006. Watch tension and pressure ratcheted up to the hilt. It’s what makes the Ryder Cup great. You know it means so much. Playing for England rather than some corporate whoredom like the Premier League, and its fans, have become.

Harrison revealed that whoever won the rights to the competition would have a say on which eight cities ended up with teams. He also disclosed that the ECB’s various rights would be split into packages, with at least one made affordable for terrestrial broadcasters, who have been starved of live coverage since 2005.

“The last time we went to market, we did not have international T20 as a product which was really packaged in a way that excited broadcasters,” he added. “We’ve got the new T20 tournament, which is designed to grow the sport in this country. And that will excite broadcasters. It is exciting broadcasters.”

Notice how the supporters have only been invoked as meaningless children carrying fodder, there to get the mums and kids (patronising as it is that mums don’t already like cricket – my mum, for example, loved it. Breaks my heart she died just before the 2005 Ashes) to come along. But no, the rights winners “would have a say on which eight cities ended up with teams”. This is like someone has put the worst ingredients of every single focus group inspired marketing consultant into a sports authority and then added steroids for an enhanced performance.

Harrison denied that English cricket had become less visible since live coverage vanished from free-to-air, insisting players such as Ben Stokes had “huge profiles”.

Well then he’s a liar as well as a clown.

This article was based on the reportage from the Telegraph article – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/cricket/2017/03/20/joe-root-told-england-must-play-exciting-cricket-even-leads/

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61 thoughts on “Just Who Is This Clown?

  1. northernlight71 March 21, 2017 / 7:54 pm

    If it weren’t for the recent history of cricket in this country, this fool’s utterances would truly take the biscuit for their incoherence, crassness and duplicitous idiocy. They’re up there for classiness with the huge box of fake dollars displayed at Lords as he helicoptered in and bought the ECB wholesale.
    You’ve fisked those ridiculous quotes perfectly. The idea that the ECB now control the style and method an England side should employ in the middle of a game is almost just about more ridiculous than the idea that whoever pays to televise the new T20 get some say in where the teams will be based and, no doubt, who will be in them. Perhaps even how they will play.

    Even Selvey might find this a little beyond the pale.

    Liked by 3 people

    • LordCanisLupus March 21, 2017 / 8:24 pm

      On the last part, I doubt it. The profile of the sport point gives it away. To admit the profile has diminished is to implicitly criticise Giles Clarke and his ilk for the Sky deal. And we can’t be having that. And we also know that Selvey and Clarke…. well, we know what we know, eh?

      Liked by 2 people

      • oreston March 22, 2017 / 12:36 am

        Wasn’t Clarke opposed to Olympic cricket? You could equally well argue that there’s an implicit criticism of him in Harrison now calling for it and announcing an intention to campaign for it.
        As for the profile of the sport, that’s one of probably just two things (KP being the other obvious one) that absolutely binds the entire cabal together and about which they must keep their stories straight. They can none of them afford to be seen to acknowledge that they were wrong about FTA TV in the same way that certain former Prime Ministers’ pride and self-regard won’t allow them be seen to admit they were wrong about invading certain Middle East countries – even though everyone (doubtless including themselves secretly) knows full well it was a f**k-up for the ages.

        Liked by 1 person

        • LordCanisLupus March 22, 2017 / 6:30 am

          Fair comment on the Olympics. I would say though that the TV deal is about English cricket while the Olympics is about growing the game globally. The former is front and centre, with the TV money the crack cocaine supply that the ECB can’t get off. To criticise that is to question the fundamental judgement of the whole ECB raison d’etre of the past decade and a bit. Harrison isn’t that daft. Olympics is a long term thing and that can will be kicked down the road. Can’t see LA or Paris being too arsed with it for 2024.

          Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH March 22, 2017 / 9:56 am

        Oreston, yet Clarke is still their man at the ICC representing them on the Olympic issue….

        If Clarke has changed his mind about the Olympics, he hasn’t declared it publicly anywhere that I’ve seen. His spokesman on earth, Mike Selvey, hasn’t announced he’s suddenly converted which has been a good marker in the past of what Clarke is thinking.

        The last I heard about cricket and the Olympics was IOC representatives meeting Thakur around about the start of November. I haven’t seen anything since then and of course now the BCCI is in meltdown.

        I was keen on the idea to help grow cricket globally. However hearing that they were looking at allowing eight teams suggested it had nothing to do with growing the game at all. It looks like it’s all about getting India to play as many as games as possible so the Olympics can penetrate the Indian TV market (which it has singularly failed to do so far).

        Liked by 2 people

    • LordCanisLupus March 21, 2017 / 9:36 pm

      Anyone see the fatal flaw in this plan?

      http://www.alloutcricket.com/club/ecb-targets-kids-5-8-with-all-stars-cricket

      Parents will pay around £40 to sign their child up and in return each young player will receive a rucksack full of equipment and personalised stash. The fee has been market-tested and compares favourably with similar sports schemes. It costs clubs nothing to register, with the ECB reimbursing them £5 for each youngster who registers.

      Because £40 is like, nothing. Right? Who are they market-testing this with in this time of belt tightening?

      Like

      • Andy March 21, 2017 / 10:08 pm

        I’ve just had a look at this and the £40 includes 8 weeks of 1 hour sessions (so £5 per session). I don’t know how much a ‘summer camp’ football type thing would cost (I remember doing one wwaayyy back when).

        One local club is offering 18 weeks of 45 mins for £60.

        It does seem like a potential barrier to poorer participants which given the ECB’s reserves could be fixed.

        The promised ‘access to stars’ is a joke. Maybe for clubs linked to county sides, but they are not going to get Mr High Profile Stokes to pop down to my village….

        The ECB hope to get 50,000 kids involved, £40 per kid is what £2mil. How much is the ECB sitting on again?

        If they really (and I mean REALLY) wanted to kick start the game and get a generation of kids playing and involved they could easily charge a tenner (to dissuade those who take the kit but don’t do anything) and they would get so much more buy in.

        Its not just £40. Its the 2 hours and travel the parent has to put in as well. Its the choice between paying for that or £40 for the season ticket to the zoo which breaks down to practically nothing if you go enough. Its £40 that puts food on the table. I’m sure it has been “market tested” and “compares favorably with other sports”, but how about getting ahead of the curve, not just staying on it.

        I sincerely hope that it does encourage participation, but the proof will be in the pudding!

        Liked by 1 person

        • LordCanisLupus March 21, 2017 / 10:26 pm

          I have seen a lot of people, sceptical in the main of ECB initiatives, thinking that Matt Dwyer has a scooby and knows what he is doing over and above “he’s Australian and we copy them as much as we can”. I also don’t have kids, but can’t see my nephew being the slighest bit interested in this stuff. As a country, we’ve lost the art of kids playing sports. When I was a kid all we were told to do when we played football or cricket in the streets was not to do it. No Ball Games signs all over the estate. Anti-vandal patrols to prevent you from doing so. Neighbours who would rather us hang around doing nothing than play football in the street. Now those areas are taken over by cars. There’s no room even if they wanted to, and they don’t. The youngster who loves our dog doesn’t play football. He plays XBox. He gets his exercise riding his bike.

          I really wish them luck, but £40 for a summer sport, with football an all year round pursuit, it is tough. I want to know where this 50000 target is focused. I also hope it puts the focus on enjoying the game, with a result at the end, rather than random participation and technique. Football resembles a market to bid for children, and I hope cricket approaches things in a less “business” and more “enjoying the game” way.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Northern Light March 21, 2017 / 10:38 pm

        £40 isn’t an insubstantial sum of cash, but it’s also pretty much the going rate for anything that looks after your child for an hour once a week for 8 weeks. It’s the same as what I pay so my daughter can have half an hour of swimming lessons every Sunday.
        I was also ready to criticize the ECB for not really extending this very far up the country, but to be fair there’s one less than 5 miles away from me. And that’s in one of Scotland’s less glamourous cities.
        I want to grumble about it, but there’s nothing horrendously awful about this yet . . .

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus March 21, 2017 / 10:41 pm

          Absolutely fair enough, and why I put this issue in the comments rather than up front in an article. I want to have faith that someone in that house of dolts has a clue, and there are people I respect who say that he does, although others also have concerns.

          But it might be mission impossible with the damage we’ve already done when you look at that half-arsed denial that the sport’s invisibility isn’t down to it not being on terrestrial TV.

          Liked by 1 person

      • AB March 22, 2017 / 9:39 am

        I’m a fan of the new initiative – I was approached to run a session for my club but unfortunately had to decline as I already run an U11s, U13s and U18s as well as attempting to play twice a week on top of a busy job and a young family.

        However, the level of support they offered – with free kit and t-shirts for youngsters, free session plans, and assistance in marketing and promoting the sport to schools was impressive. The guy trying to sell it to me was enthusiastic and persistent.

        I’;m planning to try and find a way of running it next year.

        £40 is a lot of money for 8 hours of outdoor sessions. By comparison, I charge my juniors £10 for the entire summer, with 2 hours coaching and a game every week for 4 months, and I always say to parents – if you can’t afford the £10, don’t worry about it, I’d rather the kid still came.

        Liked by 2 people

      • AB March 22, 2017 / 10:01 am

        “The ECB hope to get 50,000 kids involved, £40 per kid is what £2mil. How much is the ECB sitting on again?”

        I doubt the money will actually go to the ECB – it will most likely go to the clubs running the initiatives.

        That’s a fair whack. If a club gets, say, 20 kids, its £800. However once you factor in coaching costs (not all coaches do it for free like I do), equipment, ground hire/preparation, insurance, balls lost in the hedge, its not totally ridiculous.

        To be clear – at 5-8 years of age, its not really about attracting the kids, its the parents that are attracted by the offer in the first place and think “oh cricket, I’ll take little jonny along to that”, its the kids that then decide whether they want to go back or not.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Andy March 22, 2017 / 1:06 pm

        AB,

        What I was trying to get across was not the ECB making money from the project. I’m sure they will have costs to cover and I think I read something about the clubs getting £5 per child rebate from the £40.

        What I was trying to say is that the ECB could cover more of the costs. take a hit to the savings pot and really get those kids hooked.

        As was mentioned above, £40 is about the going rate. Well what if the kid already like swimming / football / guitar lessons etc. THere is only so much spare time, you have to make the activity attractive to teh kids (and teh parents like you said)!

        Like

  2. Andy March 21, 2017 / 9:36 pm

    Stokes has a “huge profile”…. Within cricket circles maybe…

    I assume he is basing this on the fact stokes went for so much in the IPL, that pesky competition that is getting in the way of Englands cricket during May… I guess he does have a high profile in India….

    Most none sports fans could telly you something about football (the premier league), tennis (wimbledon), golf (Ryder cup), rugby (6 Nations), but I feel cricket would be outside most common knowledge.

    The whole “broadcaster getting a say” part is just an insult as well. Might as well tell the fans not to bother turning up and just watch it on telly.

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus March 21, 2017 / 10:02 pm

      I think your assumption is bang on, Andy. He went for a lot of money in India, ergo he has a high profile. It’s simplistic and naive. Well, no. I think Harrison is many things. Naive isn’t one of them.

      Cricket has disappeared off the screens of most in any meaningful way for many years. In those years player wages, at test level, have grown and grown. Someone has to pay. Because those top players won’t be looking to take cuts anytime soon. Reminds me of when the PFA made so much of looking after the lower league clubs back at the inception of the Premier League, but did nothing to curb the excesses as the rich got richer, the players got paid massively, and their lower league brethren rotted at a succession of clubs going bankrupt.

      Like

  3. Mark March 22, 2017 / 4:31 am

    I’ve just received this leaked tape of The ECB boards strategy meeting on how to save cricket. And their new target audience.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. AB March 22, 2017 / 9:44 am

    We need to remember that Harrison is first and foremost an employee of Sky, who was placed within the ECB as a kind of secondment. The ECB may nominally pay his wages (with the money given to them by Sky) but he knows who his real master is.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. SimonH March 22, 2017 / 10:50 am

    “The reason why T20 blows other ratings out of the park on television and attendances – and this is not just in the UK, this is around the world – is because people want to watch”.

    The likes of Harrison keep repeating this so people believe that it’s true. I picked a week at random from the last Australian summer:

    http://www.tvtonight.com.au/category/ratings/page/6

    That week had the BBL and an ODI series going on (a series in the international game’s most unloved format and with Australia thrashing the 8th ranked team – not exactly the international game’s top drawers).

    The Saturday BBL match did draw a bigger TV audience than any of the international games but otherwise the ODIs regularly match or outperform the BBL matches. That’s not taking into account that an ODI requires twice the time investment of a T20 match.

    It’s hardly “blowing other ratings out of the park”.

    Like

    • Mark March 22, 2017 / 1:39 pm

      This is a classic case of the tail wagging the dog. Sport used to sell itself to a tv audience with confidence. But now increasingly sport whores itself out to tv by constantly changing for what it believes the tv audience wants. It’s like Hollywood film studios who market test certain endings to films to see what the audience likes best. It’s the ultimate kop out. It has no meaning of anything. Just stripped bare of integrity for money. If the public says it would like all games to end with a six hit over long on will the games rules be changed to create this fake ending?

      Harrison talks about putting on what the public wants. On that basis I’m surprised he and the ECB are not selling hard core pornography. The public would probably watch that in prime time if they were given the choice. It’s the Victorian freak show. Reduce everything to the most sensational and dumbed down.

      The ECB is not a governing body anymore. They are a factory to manufacture whatever they think the public (customers) want. Anything goes just as long as the money pours in. The ECB should list themselves on The London Stock market. They are a now just another corporate entity.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. May March 22, 2017 / 12:35 pm

    Thank you for your excellent article. I couldn’t believe what Harrison had said and was shocked, then angry. You said it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. SimonH March 22, 2017 / 12:45 pm

    Well I never – Andy Bull has suddenly discovered that some FTA cricket might be a good idea. There’s no context of how it was removed from FTA of course. It just sort of happened. There’s no acknowledgement of his lamentable role in it (which “you want to deprive the blind then?” as a particular lowlight).

    There are some very interesting comments from people with personal experience of this scheme. For example, one points out that of the £40 parents pay, £35 goes to the ECB.

    Liked by 2 people

    • oreston March 22, 2017 / 2:52 pm

      FFS, aren’t they supposedly sitting on £70 million reserves? And this is their “investment” in the future of the game?

      Like

      • man in a barrel March 22, 2017 / 9:18 pm

        Yes the ECB has a fuckwad of cash but it is managed by fuckwits. Yorkshire need £17m to rebuild a stand else they will no longer house international matches at Headingley.

        Who would lend YCC another £17m?

        But the ECB refuse to make the loan and don’t seem to grasp the iconic significance of Headingley and Yorkshire in English cricket. The ground where Bradman scored 2 triple centuries. The ground where Australia scored 404 to win a match on a bad wicket on the final day. Botham’s Ashes ignited at Headingley. Eddie Barlow took a hat-trick for the Rest of the World in 1970. Boycott’s ton of tons in 1977. The most absorbing chess match of a Test against Ian Chappell in 1972.

        Bring on Stokesy! Fuck the old fogies. However, what incentive do I have to bring kids and grandkids to a sport that destroys its heritage and shared memories?

        The penny – clutching ECB will let it all go.

        Like

      • man in a barrel March 22, 2017 / 9:22 pm

        It’s getting a bit jumpers for goalposts…. But Gooch’s 156…Tim Robinson in 1985 showing the way against the marauding Aussies. Edmonds 7-15 in 1975

        Like

      • "IronBalls" McGinty March 22, 2017 / 9:55 pm

        Cook’s day 4

        Like

      • AB March 22, 2017 / 10:02 pm

        Jumpers for goal posts style nostalgia and reverence for tradition and history is exactly the angle the MLB use to make baseball into a multi billion dollar industry.

        Cricket had tradition, history, nostalgia in spades. It’s its greatest asset. For the ecb to be so ignorant to the value of this is beyond stupidity

        Liked by 2 people

  8. BoredInAustria March 22, 2017 / 6:39 pm

    A thought to my beloved London – Memories of 7/7
    Hope you are all OK

    Like

    • Rooto March 22, 2017 / 8:17 pm

      Yes. Thinking of you all at the moment. Hope no-one here is affected.

      Like

      • man in a barrel March 22, 2017 / 9:19 pm

        Fortunately Tom H was not in the vicinity, else there would be hell to pay

        Like

  9. Mark March 23, 2017 / 9:34 am

    I see the Emirates Airline Twenty20 Trophy, Group A: Lancashire v Warwickshire at ICCA Dubai is going well!!!

    Lancs 159/8 vs Warwic 90/9

    Like

    • oreston March 23, 2017 / 10:56 am

      “Lancashire Lightning” vs “Birmingham Bears” in the UAE. If only I wasn’t busy today…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. northernlight71 March 23, 2017 / 11:38 am

    On the subject of Clowns, I see Selvey is tweeting as if he thinks that George Osborne is already editor of the London Evening Standard. He writes his pompous guff about how wonderful all proper journalists were yesterday, then shows his utter lack of knowledge about his own (former) profession barely minutes later.
    Now, I dislike the ex-Tory chancellor as much as the next person, but one can only criticise him for actual things he is responsible for. Selvey just blindly tweets away with no factual basis for his prejudices.
    Sound familiar?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark March 24, 2017 / 2:05 am

      Whatever the rights and wrongs of Gooch’s opinions he has no credibility when he lectures other players on playing for the team. He walked out on England to go to SA.

      I’m not sure as batting coach it is his role to decide the batting order. Surely that is the captains job or the coach. Gooch’s job was to work with, and help the batsman. And on that tour he didn’t have much success. Strange he would go after the most successful batsman on the tour.

      Like

    • nonoxcol March 24, 2017 / 8:40 am

      Gooch did have a point about that shot at Perth – it was absolutely horrible and depressingly predictable.

      However – no-one ever seems to say anything about Cook being caught at deep square leg in an even worse situation at Adelaide (1-0, second over, facing a man coming in off 7-40, and 530 behind). And it’s all right deservedly praising Pietersen for Melbourne, but where’s the criticism of everyone else? Melbourne was an utter disgrace batting-wise (especially the second innings collapse), from almost everyone *but* Pietersen. In a low-scoring game he scored almost double what everyone else managed in the first innings (only Carberry got more than half his 71), and more than double everyone else bar Cook in the second innings. Were it not for Headingley 2014, Melbourne would be the low-point of Cook’s reign for me. It’s when to all intents and purposes I stopped being an England fan, basically.

      Even if he copped it for Perth I can hardly blame him for saying “fuck this” at Sydney.

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus March 24, 2017 / 8:57 am

        You just don’t sense that Gooch ever enjoyed playing cricket, do you?

        Like

    • LordCanisLupus March 24, 2017 / 9:01 am

      Oh dear. Here we go again. We knew about this argument. The details? No. The gist of it? Yes.

      Remember there was plenty of “Good Journalism” around this. In their way they were both right. It’s a coach’s job to be honest but also there is a time for it and in the heat of the dismissal probably wasn’t it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • man in a barrel March 24, 2017 / 9:19 am

        The best response would have been something like “great players don’t get out lbw to Alderman 20 times across 2 series”

        Like

  11. Julie March 24, 2017 / 1:48 am

    Gooch was fighting for his position and just did what Flower wanted.Pitiful. One of KP’s problems is he doesn’t read people and situations very well.It has hurt him too often during his career.

    Like

    • SimonH March 24, 2017 / 9:57 am

      “I just think a great player plays for the situation, not to the occasion.”

      England’s players are now under explicit instructions not to play the situation but to play to the ECB’s marketing needs. I look forward to Goochie’s thoughts on that appearing in the DM.

      “‘When Jonathan Trott went home, I suggested Kevin bat No 3. We got beaten in the first Test. We needed someone to stand up to the Australians. ‘I bat 4,’ he said. ‘We need you to bat 3,’ I replied. ‘No, I bat 4.’ ‘No, you bat for the team, we need to make a statement…'”

      So, implicitly Pietersen was the guy they turned to to make a statement and take it to the Aussies – and he’s the one they drop? I’ve already said what I think about making “a statement”. Teams need to get the best out of their best players. Would Pietersen have done better at No.3? No. Also, Selvey’s weird obsession with who bats at No.3 takes on a new light now.

      “‘On that tour the Australians worked him out completely….. Michael Clarke, in my opinion, played him to a T”.

      Pity we can’t say the same thing about your one-dimensional, unimaginative, joyless, rigid, out-dated man management isn’t it, Graham?

      “I pointed to Alastair and said, ‘you should effing well be telling him this, not me!’ That was it. That was the end of me.”

      Ouch.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mark March 24, 2017 / 12:52 pm

        ““I pointed to Alastair and said, ‘you should effing well be telling him this, not me!’ That was it. That was the end of me.”

        Not sure he meant it but it like this, but it doesn’t say much for Cooks captaincy. He implies that Cook was not doing his job (in Gooch’s eyes) and that Cook then had him sacked for pointing this out.

        All those that have suspected Cook had a wafer thin skin, and didn’t take criticism too well (despite the endless claims of spine of steel) will see this as vindication. But as usual the media spin it as KP not taking criticism well.

        Liked by 2 people

    • SimonH March 24, 2017 / 11:51 am

      Like

    • Andy March 24, 2017 / 1:14 pm

      I just saw this on the Guardian… relegated as teh 2nd bullet point below a headline that England have signed a coach for 2 years.

      Priorities….

      Liked by 1 person

  12. SimonH March 24, 2017 / 11:43 am

    The Manohar press release has a connection to this:

    https://www.icc-cricket.com/media-releases/354147

    I’m feeling fisk-y:

    “bringing together 28 of cricket’s current and future world leaders on an innovative development programme”.

    Uh-oh.

    “The two-tiered program consists of eight senior level executives in the ‘The Executive XI’ and 20 future leaders in the ‘Trailblazers’ following 18 and six month respective programmes”.

    Looks like an instutionalised “Big Boys” and “The Rest” arrangement. And who can’t but love an arrangement for 8 people that calls itself an XI?

    “The revolutionary programme is designed to improve and change how cricket can be led in the future by looking out beyond the sporting landscape. The focus is to empower future leaders to have the courage to think big, be culturally aware and politically savvy”.

    Add “revoltutionary” to “unique” and “statement” as alarm-bell ringers. How about they learn stuff like financial probity and how to run a rigorous PED-detection programme?

    “spent time with the Head Coach (Chief Executive) of Red Bull Middle East / Africa, Nicolas Hamawi as well as senior leaders from Ski Dubai and Vox cinemas”.

    Who?

    ““It was imperative to recognise that full immersion into a brand is very important. The engagement of everyone to ‘sell’ a concept and have a shared sense of direction makes the job of leadership simpler and more rewarding. All underpinned by being creative, but also being prepared to fail and press the reset button” [quote from CEO of Cricket Scotland].

    Add “full immersion” and “brand” to that list…. That “shared sense of direction” is distinctly creepy. Anyone who questions it or disagrees with it isn’t going to last long. It makes “the job of leadership” nicer! That’s great for them – except the happiness of management should not be the top priority (or any sort of consideration at all). And there’s no clash with “being creative” of course! As for being “prepared to fail” don’t expect that to be extended to underlings and “press[ing] the reset button” means nothing else than abandoning your previous whizz that cost millions and was a disaster and pretending that it never happened.

    ” this was a game-changing experience” [quote from CEO of Cricket Scotland again].

    Add “game-changing” to that list…. His captain just retired at the age of 29, by the way.

    “Following each three-day leadership workshop bursting with immersive experiences”.

    Oh fuck off.

    “The implementation of new tools and techniques to help develop me as a decisive leader was the most important take-away.” [quote from UAE CEO David East]

    Is that David East the ex-Essex keeper? Is UAE cricket some sort of pension scheme for the Essex mafia?

    “We firmly believe for us to… build better cricket systems” [quote from ICC Development Services Manager Andy Hobbs].

    What’s a “cricket system”?

    “one of the key priorities is to be ‘comfortable being uncomfortable’ and the way the participants embraced that challenge throughout the week was remarkable and inspiring” {Hobbs again]

    Does being “comfortable being uncomfortable” roughly translate as “have the chutzpah to ride out any storm where your corruption or malice has been exposed and not even think of resigning”? And add “inspiring” to that list….

    “The truly exciting part is that this was just the start of the journey for all 28 leaders,” [Hobbs again].

    And add “journey” to that ever-lengthening list….

    All in all, this seems a programme to ear-bash other cricket managers into becoming mini-ECBs.

    ,

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mark March 24, 2017 / 1:12 pm

      Dear oh dear. They are all so full of themselves. As soon as I saw the word “Brand” I just wanted to throw up. And why are all these so called leaders, who claim to know how to lead, and what is best for us all doing leadership courses?

      Where they are given………….

      “The implementation of new tools and techniques to help develop me as a decisive leader was the most important take-away.”

      It sounds more like a cult.

      “one of the key priorities is to be ‘comfortable being uncomfortable’ ………This is drivel of a particularly high vintage. Someone gets a salary, and a car to come up up with this utter shite.

      This sounds more like the illuminati than the people running cricket. I wonder if David East had to put on a sheeps skull, and chant crazy shit. Was there blood sacrifices to the God of W G Grace? Or who the frig knows?

      This is where your money goes folks……if you follow cricket.

      Liked by 2 people

      • oreston March 24, 2017 / 4:25 pm

        The illuminati? No, just fairly typical senior management types of the kind you encounter these days in pretty much every area of endeavour.

        If you’ve never had to try to work in an environment with “leaders” who actually believe all this bullshit, and try to get everyone else to buy in to it, then you really don’t know how lucky you are. Assuming of course you value your sanity and integrity.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Benny March 24, 2017 / 4:25 pm

      Surprised “paradigm” isn’t in there or has it gone out of fashion?

      Like

      • oreston March 24, 2017 / 5:03 pm

        Yeah, there was a paradigm shift and paradigm is no longer the paradigm. There’s probably a new paradigm now…

        Like

  13. SimonH March 25, 2017 / 11:15 am

    Last two Tests on this weekend until July (except for the Pakistan tour of WI – their series in UAE was better than expected so it might be worth watching).

    Rain ruined things in Hamilton with barely half a day’s play – the forecast looks good for the next three days though (although these on-line forecasts aren’t the most trustworthy).

    Difficult to call who’s on top in India. 300 would normally be below-par for a first innings but the pitch looks to have some help for both seamers and spinners. Great to see a left-arm wrist-spinner in the game – Kuldeep’s balls to bowl Handscomb and Maxwell are worth seeking out.

    India’s schedule has finally broken Kohli (who I suspect hasn’t been properly fit for a while).

    Like

  14. simplyshirah March 25, 2017 / 3:48 pm

    Hells bells, didn’t Dowtown and Clarke say similar things? Has the ECB got a parrot in a cage spouting same old same old. Selling what’s left of Cricket’s household silver. Where do they find these non-entities? Unbelievable.

    Like

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