England vs. Bangladesh – Champions Trophy 2017

For those that have not watched the game but have seen the score, it might seem like this was a straightforward, one-sided victory, but at the halfway point this was simply not the case. England on the whole bowled pretty poorly with big question marks about their choice of personnel for the bowling attack (more on that a little later on) on what was a typically placid Oval pitch. Though England didn’t bowl particularly well, it would be churlish not to give credit to the Bangladesh batsmen with Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur in particular looking like the quality international batsmen that they are. The one thing that will disappoint the Bangladesh team was that both set batsmen got out in the final 10 overs, especially when a total of 330, which would have been more than competitive, was on the cards. Although Bangladesh have improved enormously over the past few years, it does feel that they are heavily reliant on both Iqbal and Mushfiqur to carry the bulk of the batting, as showed by their lack of power hitters at the end of the innings, although a great deal of credit should be given to Liam Plunkett, who was by far England’s best bowler.

So at the interval, most of us felt that the Bangladeshi’s were about 20 runs short, but equally were slightly unnerved by the fact that England needed to score over 300 runs in a game they simply had to win whilst dealing with all the pressure that goes with that. We needn’t have worried. After getting off to a shaky start, with Roy once again being dismissed cheaply, the other England batsmen made hay whilst the sun shone, against what looked like a pretty ineffectual and popgun Bangladeshi attack. There has been some talk that Roy should be dropped, but I’m glad that England are sticking with him as i believe he takes the pressure of Hales and lets him settle into his innings, which provides Hales with the opportunity to size up the attack before pressing the ‘go button’. Anyway after the minor blip, it proved to be plain sailing from there on in, with Hales taking the attack to the Bangladeshi bowlers, Morgan making a brisk and welcome half century (his record in ICC events has left a little to be desired) and Root leading England home with a magnificent century. This was by far the most heartening innings that Root has played for some while, with many including myself, criticizing him for not converting pretty 50’s into match winning centuries. It could be said that he was not facing the most hostile of attacks and whilst it is true that there will be tougher days ahead, it would be extremely churlish not to be anything but full of praise for this particular innings. The fact that Root combined power hitting with his normal sumptuous touch should be a source of great encouragement to all England fans.

So all is rosy in the Garden of Eden right, umm not exactly. There were some incidents and decision making that should have England fans concerned if not worried yet. The first mistake England made in my opinion was the very thing I praised them for in my preview of the South Africa series, not keeping a settled team together. Despite Morgan’s protestations, I find it unbelievable that they decided to leave out Adil Rashid, who may not be a great Test bowler but is certainly a mighty fine ODI bowler. The key to limiting the best sides to manageable scores on flat decks is to take wickets and this is something Rashid, whilst having the habit of being rather expensive, is probably the best bowler England have to do this in the middle overs. So to leave him out for another pace bowler in my opinion seemed to be an overly cautious selection and not something that we’ve been used to in the Bayliss era. I hope this proves to be a one off ‘horses for courses’ selection as I strongly believe that Rashid is integral to England’s success in the white ball format.

Then of course, we come to the injuries and this is where things can get very messy for England. If Woakes has an intercostal muscle strain, which most people think he does, then he is not only out of the Champions Trophy but also the South African Test series as well. As an ex fast (ok medium pace) bowler, I have also suffered the same injury and it’s a 6 week healing job at the least and there is certainly no way to patch him up like they have with certain other members of the squad. The injury to Woakes is up there on the ‘things that England’s management team would be desperate not to happen’ as he has matured immensely as bowler and I would suggest is now the leader of the ODI attack. Certainly without him our bowling options start to look a bit  threadbare. This coupled with the fact that a patched up Stokes had to bowl far more than England would’ve wanted him to today alongside a calf injury to a hobbling Root, means that England’s medical team are really going to have to earn their keep over the coming days. What I hope is that both simply have niggles and not something serious; however the England medical team have a history of allowing players with fairly serious injuries onto the park, so I will be waiting with baited breath to see if both pull through without sustaining a more serious injury, especially given the upcoming schedule. There was also the ‘catch or no catch’ debate regarding Iqbal’s proclaimed catch off Eoin Morgan, but I think I’ll leave that bugbear of mine for another time.

My last grumble (sorry I know England won the game) is the FTA scheduling of the highlights. Now bear in mind this was a day game, there is absolutely no excuse for the BBC not to show these at prime time; however the BBC feel they know better and have decided that 11:20pm is the ideal time to air them. To me, it just feels like another wasted opportunity to bring cricket in front of a mass audience again in England and something that cricket’s administrators should be bitterly disappointed about.

Despite the various grumbles, the long and short of it is that England did what they needed to do and recorded a victory, but at what cost and whether it proves to pyrrhic remains to be seen.

As ever, thoughts and comments on the game below.

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65 thoughts on “England vs. Bangladesh – Champions Trophy 2017

  1. SimonH June 1, 2017 / 8:38 pm

    “there is absolutely no excuse for the BBC not to show these at prime time”.

    Sorry, Sean, I’m absolutely no great fan of the BBC but there’s more to it. I’ve commented quite a bit on it on the previous thread after reading Tweets that responded to typically obtuse Tweets from Selvey and Stocks on the subject.

    I think the only vaguely viable alternative for the BBC is to show the highlights on BBC4 at 9pm. They can’t show the highlights before 9pm and I can’t see how they could show them between 9pm and 11.15pm on BBC1 or BBC2 (especially with an election looming and having just one week’s notice). I think they probably should have gone for the BBC4 option but I can see why they prefered the greater reach of BBC2.

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    • Sean B June 1, 2017 / 8:47 pm

      Hi Simon, how can they not show them before 9pm? Channel 5 manage to show highlights at 7 pm for all of the Tests and they finish later.

      It just seems strange to me that any non Sky subscriber has to wait until witching hour to watch highlights that could be turned round fairly quickly.

      I’m absolutely not an expert on this and haven’t read any threads explaining why, I’m simply exasperated about the potential missed opportunity here.

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      • SimonH June 1, 2017 / 8:54 pm

        Because the terms of the deal from the ECB are that the BBC can’t show the highlights until Sky have finished their live broadcast and shown their first highlight programme (which was 8-9pm today).

        The point about the Sky highlights wasn’t absolutely certain from the Tweets I’ve seen but it sounds plausible and it rings a bell that the ECB and Sky have insisted on this before.

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        • Sean B June 1, 2017 / 8:58 pm

          Fair enough. Didn’t see the Twitter exchange, so was just commenting as a frustrated fan (even if I have Sky). Sky’s money talks yet again…

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    • Tregaskis June 1, 2017 / 9:50 pm

      I only fully appreciated the restriction when Nick Holt’s tweet was drawn to my attention:

      Even so, this was an opportunity for the BBC to flaunt its credentials as a serious player in meeting the ECB’s new goal of extending the broadcast reach of cricket, and an 11:20pm start does not sit well with that objective. There were other scheduling choices. It exposes the BBC too easily to the kind of criticism pay-wallers constantly throw at it to justify Sky’s hegemony.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sean B June 1, 2017 / 9:57 pm

        100% agree. Having highlights at 11:20pm benefits nobody. I’d have much rather a less high profile FTA provider showed the highlights at 9pm than the BBC hosting them at witching hour..

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      • SimonH June 1, 2017 / 10:03 pm

        Who’s the most powerful man at the ICC at the moment and (in his own mind at least) their leading expert on TV rights’ deals? I do believe it’s someone whose works we are familiar with!

        When should the BBC schedule the highlights, Tregaskis?

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        • Sean B June 1, 2017 / 10:10 pm

          You mean Aarti Dabas isn’t the all powerful media dictator that we thought he was 🤔?

          Seriously though, if the BBC wanted to achieve something more than tokenism, your suggestion about BBC4 at 9pm makes sense…

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          • Sean B June 1, 2017 / 10:16 pm

            Typo ‘she’ was…

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        • Tregaskis June 1, 2017 / 10:48 pm

          Well that is the challenge the BBC faces. Its perceived lack of purpose or commitment in scheduling cricket is also the stick used to beat it.

          At 9pm BBC1 broadcast Frank Skinner on Muhammad Ali; BBC2 an episode of Paula, a three part drama; BBC4 The Great Village Green Crusade. If these shows, none of which are exactly in the untouchable bracket, carry more weight in the scheduling choices made by the BBC, it hardly represents a statement of intent for its cricket coverage.

          At a time when getting some cricket back on to FTA is widely recognised as essential for the future good of the game, when reaching out to young people is a priority, and recognising the BBC’s central role as a public-service broadcaster with an interest in bidding for post-2020 cricket rights, 11:20pm just sends out the wrong message, in my opinion.

          It’s not as if we are talking Worcestershire v Derbyshire. It’s the opening match of the Champions Trophy featuring England as host nation.

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          • alan June 2, 2017 / 7:30 am

            Paula had 2.4 million viewers for the first episode. Why should the BBC at very short notice oust the second episode to accommodate something which would never attract that many viewersand upset those who were expecting it to be on?
            Rescheduling is normally for something that could be considered important and we need to face reality. The Oval may have been full but the vast majority of the public don’t give a flying f*** for the Champions Trophy if they even know it exists!
            If the rights had been arranged well in advance then an earlier start should have been part of it. In this case the fault is entirely with the cricket authorities and yet another example of their ineptitude

            Liked by 1 person

          • SimonH June 2, 2017 / 8:08 am

            “The Oval may have been full”.

            Was it? There seemed to be empty seats visible in the coverage I saw. It looked a good crowd but not a sell-out.

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          • alan June 2, 2017 / 11:16 am

            Simon
            ‘The Oval may have been full’ I was relying on one of the Sky commentators saying it was a sell out crowd. Maybe a few didn’t turn up or I should be more sceptical

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      • d'Arthez June 2, 2017 / 4:49 am

        So now we’re blaming the BBC for it getting the highlights rights one week beforehand for a miniscule international tournament (there are dozens of international tournaments that have greater impact in the UK, and yet they receive even less love from the BBC than this tourney), and not destroying their entire schedule in the process? That seems a bit unfair on the BBC.

        Also the BBC is not the only party in this. What stopped the ECB / ICC from actually showing some spine to either “force” the BBC to broadcast at a decent hour, or as is more likely renegotiate with Sky so that the BBC could contractually broadcast the highlights at a decent hour? I strongly suspect the problem is the Sky contract. And we all know how little concern the ECB have for maximizing profits, as evidenced by ticket prices and other non-existent acts of price-gouging.

        So the BBC which was mocked and ridiculed for 12 years for the way it covered cricket should throw everything overboard for this? Uh, no. If the ECB wants to push a fringe sport, they have to do better than offer a few incidental crumbs, that are without any practical value to the ECB / ICC.

        I am sure the BBC would have been slightly more willing to rearrange the schedule a bit, if they could either broadcast a few of England’s games (or even fragments of the game, such as say a 20-30 minute highlight reel of the first innings at around 2-3PM?, and then follow it up with another 20-30 minute highlight reel at around 7.30 PM?)

        I am sorry, but highlights of a game you missed only matter if you realize you missed the game. 12 years of absence of a game in the public eye, does not really make you miss the game. It makes you forget the game even exists. So the value of the highlights package is simply miniscule, through the concerted efforts of the ECB in the past decade.

        Liked by 1 person

        • LordCanisLupus June 2, 2017 / 6:51 am

          I’m much closer to D’s point of view than the majority of comments. The BBC owes cricket nothing. The ECB realise that they might need the BBC after all.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Nicholas June 2, 2017 / 5:59 pm

        The last time that the BBC showed cricket highlights from this country was the 2009 World T20 (which seems to have been pretty widely forgotten, given comments made by journalists and commenters on social media!). The scheduling was exactly the same then – late night programmes starting post-11pm. They had more notice then, too, and actually had the time to mount a proper production (with an in-vision presenter and reporter), rather than the voice-over introduction we had last night before some shaky editing from the World Feed highlights feed.

        I’m not criticising the BBC per se – as their programmes mean that I can watch some action from the Champions Trophy – but this timeslot is clearly where they see international cricket highlights going.

        I am a fan of the current C5 highlights package, and I think we would be better off with England internationals (the ECB rights) staying there than going back to the BBC, as C5 can commit to showing their programme at 7pm throughout the summer, which the BBC would not be able to.

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        • Mark June 2, 2017 / 6:27 pm

          Nicholas, do you know why it was a last minute thing to give the rights to the BBC? Why did the ICC not get a deal done a lot earlier? And why did Channel 5 not win the rights package? Was it money or did they not bother to bid?

          It all sounds very amateurish and rushed.

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          • Nicholas June 2, 2017 / 7:57 pm

            I don’t know, I’m afraid, why the deal was done so late. The BBC have been the ICC’s highlights partner reasonably regularly in the mid-00s (including the 2009 World T20 which was staged on these shores) so in some ways it’s not a surprise that they got the deal, but I don’t know why it was arranged after TV listings mags went to print.

            Channel 5 have never bid for any cricket outside the ECB rights package that they have held since 2006. (Until they sublicensed some Big Bash from BT earlier this year – but it is my understanding that BT were contractually obliged to offer those matches to an interested FTA party, so I don’t know how much, if anything, C5 paid for those.) As I said, it has tended to be the BBC or ITV that has shown highlights from foreign tours or ICC tournaments. I don’t know why C5 take that stance, but it’s not a new one.

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  2. Julie June 1, 2017 / 10:17 pm

    Having watched Bangladesh bat on that wicket I gave up and went to bed. Am surprised it took England so many overs to overtake them. If England cannot prepare decent wickets ( not just run fests) I will not be watching. Surely we should be watching a game between bat and ball Not this rubbish or does England think this is the way they can win the Trophy.

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    • Sean B June 1, 2017 / 10:22 pm

      Flat wickets and run rests are supposed to be what we all want according to the ICC/ECB. Just look at Morgan’s comments after the Lords warm up game.

      I mean how dare they produce a wicket with something in it for BOTH batsmen and bowlers. Well it’s just not cricket…

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    • Benny June 1, 2017 / 11:07 pm

      Dozed off halfway through England’s innings.

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  3. oreston June 1, 2017 / 11:53 pm

    I have to agree that these BBC highlights packages would be more meaningful and potentially reach a bigger audience if they were shown mid-evening rather than after 11.00pm. Assuming you are able to stay up to watch them though, something (anything) on FTA is at least a small step in the right direction.
    Being an old timer I think it’s a nice touch that they’re using Soul Limbo. I know nostalgia ain’t what it used to be, but just for a second as the old theme tune faded out I half expected the show to be introduced by Peter West…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. quebecer June 2, 2017 / 1:39 am

    Good win, actually.

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  5. Mark June 2, 2017 / 7:30 am

    What are channel 5 able to put out their highlights packages at 7pm (be it test match or one day) and The BBC have to wait till after 9pm?

    5 are putting out their highlights early evening before Sky have put out either highlights or The Verdict. This smacks of double standard. Why are 5 able to avoid the Sky comtract stipulations?

    As to the BBC….. if they are going to bid for highlights, and then put them on at 11.30pm either out of choice or because they are forced to…… you have to wonder why they even bid for the rights in the first place?

    Liked by 1 person

    • SimonH June 2, 2017 / 8:18 am

      “Why are 5 able to avoid the Sky comtract stipulations?”

      Mark, I’m assuming that’s a rhetorical question!

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      • Mark June 2, 2017 / 8:35 am

        Simon, I am genuinely asking the question…….why can 5 put out highlights at 7pm and the BBC can’t?

        Perhaps I’m being a bit thick, and don’t understand. But people are saying the BBC are bound by a contract not to do this. So how come 5 avoid it? Genuine question!

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        • SimonH June 2, 2017 / 9:03 am

          Do we need to look any further than who owns C5!?!

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          • Mark June 2, 2017 / 9:59 am

            Viacom. Large US company.

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          • SimonH June 2, 2017 / 10:36 am

            I thought Murdoch had his fingers in C5 – but it appears that he hasn’t.

            He’s reported not to have any stake in Viacom. I would think the 7pm slot was agreed when C5 was owned by RTL – I can’t find any statement that Murdoch has an interest in RTL but business ownership is so tangled who knows?

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          • SimonH June 2, 2017 / 10:52 am

            When C5 won the rights in 2005 they were the only bidder.

            When the agreement was renewed in 2012, C5 was owned by Richard Desmond who is just Giles Clarke’s kind of guy.

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          • Nicholas June 2, 2017 / 6:03 pm

            The Champions Trophy rights are sold by the ICC, not the ECB.

            The ECB highlights rights (that Channel 5 currently own) dictate that the FTA highlights slot must be between 7pm and 8pm – it must be finished by 8pm so as not to clash with Sky’s highlights show. This has been the case since Channel 5 started showing the highlights (and Sky took over live tests) in 2006. (Originally C5 started their show at 7.15pm and it was only 45 minutes long. In 2011 they extended the slot to an hour, starting at 7pm)

            The ICC have clearly dictated to the BBC that they must not show their highlights until the Sky highlights have finished. But as I said above, I think there is also an element of the BBC thinking that this is the ideal slot for international cricket highlights. All the international cricket that they have shown in highlights form since the mid-00s has been in a post-11pm slot, whether from overseas or at home.

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          • SimonH June 2, 2017 / 7:27 pm

            Nicholas, the ECB’s man at the ICC is Giles Clarke who is on film saying that he makes no apologies about putting his own board’s interests first. I haven’t double-checked it but I think I’m right in saying Clarke chairs the ICC committee in charge of TV rights? I doubt whether anyone else at the ICC is interested in the details of UK highlights’ rights but supposing they were, who would be powerful enough to block what Clarke wanted? The BCCI are in meltdown and CA have other worries. Can you explain why you believe that the ICC and ECB distinction you are making is anything other than a technicality?

            On the point about highlights being required to be between 7-8pm, don’t you find it peculiar that that stipulation gets dropped as soon as the BBC are involved?

            You may be right that the BBC views 11.20pm as the ideal time for cricket highlights. However the DT today has said that they are prohibited under the terms of the ECB agreement from showing the highlights earlier. Is Nick Hoult wrong? If the BBC had no interest whatsoever in showing the highlights earlier, why would any prohibition be necessary? If England reach the Final, would the BBC really not want to show it earlier? I find that impossible to believe.

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        • Nicholas June 2, 2017 / 7:53 pm

          Simon, to respond to the points you’ve made in order:

          1) I make the distinction because if the Champions Trophy were in the usual ECB rights package, we wouldn’t be having the discussion – the highlights would be on Channel 5 within their usual terms. But it isn’t in the ECB’s usual rights package – it is sold by the ICC. I think that Giles Clarke is a pillock of the highest order and I do not defend him. But I think the distinction is worth making that this tournament is not contained within the ECB’s usual rights packages, and therefore is accorded special treatment – hence the discussion we are having now. That is all I was trying to say.

          2) There is clearly a different prohibition under the terms of this contract than the terms of the ECB’s contract with Channel 5. Why? I do not know. But it is known fact that the ECB stipulates C5 to show their programme between 7pm and 8pm – it was widely quoted in 2008 that the BBC’s unwillingness to commit to showing the highlights always before 8pm was why they didn’t bid for the highlights package.

          3) I am not saying that Nick Hoult is wrong, but I thought it worth bringing in the historical fact that since the BBC stopped showing live cricket in 1999, the only televised cricket they have shown are these stand-alone highlights packages from ICC tournaments (and the 2006/7 Ashes series). In the 2006/7 winter, the late start times of their highlights packages can be explained owing to contractual arrangements with Sky for the Ashes and the Caribbean timezones for the World Cup. When the BBC showed the 2009 World T20 and 2011 World Cup there was no time zone reason for the programmes to go out post 11pm, but they did. Either there were contractual restrictions (unreported) then, or they feel that they would rather put programmes out then.

          I don’t want to have an argument with you – I think that we are on the same page, actually. I just wanted to pitch in with some information and distinction that I thought might be helpful.

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          • SimonH June 3, 2017 / 9:55 am

            Nicholas, I’m not trying to pick a fight either and I don’t hold any great torch for the BBC. All I want is the game to have as much ‘reach’ as possible. It’s the monopolistic element of the Sky deal that has always been the biggest issue for me.

            There are some elements of this that remain a mystery. Why aren’t C5 apparently interested in international tournaments? Why was the BBC deal concluded so late? Why impose such prohibitive conditions? Did anyone else bid, and how much? These feel like questions that should have answers in the public domain (anyone who pleas “commercial confidentiality” can do one). If only we had people called journalists who would ask a few questions! (Exclude Hoult and, to some extent, Ammon and Sale from that – they’ve produced the information we have).

            I suspect Giles Clarke is up to something (I know, I always suspect Giles Clarke is up to something!). The BBC deal feels like some pawn in a game of 5D chess with the row with the BCCI, developments with Pakistan and these pay disputes as also pieces in the game. I’m not quite sure how it all fits together but #39 has told us what the end-game is – cricket reduced to T20 and the Ashes (and I wouldn’t be too sure of the latter).

            Liked by 1 person

          • Nicholas June 3, 2017 / 4:06 pm

            My theory on it is slightly more with onus on the BBC rather than the ICC and Giles Clarke, although I fear that you might be right with your theory.

            There is clearly an interest in the BBC’s sports department to get back into televised cricket in a small way – Lord Hall himself went up to the ECB to talk up the BBC’s involvement in the new T20 competition. We have also seen the BBC pick up the online clip rights from the ICC and ECB for four year deals.

            It wouldn’t surprise me that in order to prove the BBC’s interest in cricket, the BBC felt that picking up these rights would not be a bad thing. Unfortunately for them, it seems that there was a bit of a wrangle to get them – it wouldn’t surprise me if the BBC were paying very little (or nothing) for them, but as part of the wrangle, the BBC were forced to accept the deal at a late stage and to accept the timeslot restriction. They may well feel that this ‘showing willing’ is better than nothing, especially if they are paying nothing for the rights.

            Something that I forgot to point out yesterday is that the BBC might have been dealing with Star Sports who are the ICC’s Global Broadcast Partner. I’m not quite sure what Star do these days to warrant that title – they used to produce the World Feed (from the 2007 World T20 until the 2015 World Cup this was the case), but the ICC are now doing this in-house using Sunset and Vine production staff. It might be the case that Star are responsible for brokering deals such as the BBC’s for highlights.

            The World Cup is a List B event, so it is mandatory for highlights to be shown FTA should an FTA channel be willing to pay ‘market rate’ for them. (Should there be a dispute, this goes to Ofcom to act as arbiter as to whether the FTA channel are being held to ransom by the Pay channel) Therefore, it was not a surprise to see a late deal being done for the 2015 World Cup which saw highlights go out on ITV – ITV offered a sum of money to show the highlights and Sky were obliged to sublicense the highlights out to them under law. The Champions Trophy does not have the same listing, so the BBC and the ICC must have wanted to get this deal done.

            I repeat that, for people like me without Sky, this is a good deal. I have been catching up with the highlights programmes on iPlayer the morning after the games, and it’s better than not having them. But, I fully agree with you that there was a chance for these programmes to have been shown in a similar timeslot to when C5 puts out there programmes and the ICC have blown it by putting restrictions on the BBC.

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          • LordCanisLupus June 3, 2017 / 9:14 pm

            Oh stuff that. Put on last night’s BBC highlights and it’s The Plagiarist doing the intro.

            Forget what I wrote. Bloody BBC.

            Liked by 1 person

  6. Mark June 2, 2017 / 8:38 am

    Woakes out of the whole tournament!

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  7. Mark June 2, 2017 / 9:01 am

    From Charlie Sale column in the Mail yesterday…..

    “Simon Hughes, irritant editor of The Cricketer, likes to use his own publication for self-promotion.

    Following swiftly on from Hughes somehow being listed in the magazine’s cricket industry power list, comes the subscriber of the month column in which a 13-year-old cricket fan looks no further for his choice of favourite cricket writer than Simon Hughes… of course.”

    Also of note from the same column was this. It seems the ECB is going to follow the ACB in scrapping players share in relation to ECB income but instead to link it with inflation.

    “The ECB have fired the first shot in a pay battle with the players that will inevitably follow the £1billion-targeted media rights sale this month. They are disbanding the mechanism whereby county team salary caps are fixed in proportion to ECB income. Instead the county funding limits will be linked to inflation. This incendiary move will be introduced from the 2018 season and county cricketers will not be impressed that their chances of cashing in on the new TV riches have been strangled at birth.

    Neo Liberalism at its finest. Low fake inflation figures will pay the salaries increases while the ECB walk off with all the gains. No wonder they are so desperate to bring in their city baby. And the counties have voted themselves out of the pie for a mere £1 million bribe.

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  8. SimonH June 2, 2017 / 9:16 am

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    • SimonH June 2, 2017 / 9:19 am

      (Which Stocks well knows by the way because people were telling him yesterday on Twitter).

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      • Mark June 2, 2017 / 9:37 am

        I’m completely out of the loop on all this. Just haven’t been following it. So why was it a last minute deal for the BBC to get the rights? Did nobody else want them?

        This just seems to have all the hallmarks of another. Cricket administration clusterf***!

        Liked by 1 person

        • SimonH June 2, 2017 / 11:27 am

          The media coverage was definite ‘blink and you missed it’ and the analysis non-existent.

          I can’t find any account of who else bid or what sums of money were involved. There’s no analysis of why it was agreed so late.

          It may be tinfoil hat time – but if someone wanted to discredit the BBC as the FTA platform for 2020, this would be an effective way of doing it. Give the BBC inflexible conditions, give them no time to restructure their schedule and have a small army of tame journos and on-line trolls ready to Tweet their howls of outrage at the results. If it was a trap, the BBC have obligingly walked right into it.

          By the way, looking at the timings of the highlights the earliest one will be on is 10.30, for England/Australia on Saturday. The latest is 00:45. The SFs and Final will be on at 11:15.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Mark June 2, 2017 / 12:06 pm

            This is crazy stuff. I don’t know why the BBC bothered. It’s not worth the trouble. And if there were no other bidders then that tells you all you need to know about crickets place in world sport.

            Having said that, I can’t believe channel 5 didn’t bid. If they are owned by Viacom now they have deep pockets. It all smells of the stinky stuff. Selvey was out of the block before the start of the competition moaning about time slots for BBC highlights. It has the whiff of stinky stuff I agree.

            The usual suspects who seem to act as the ECBS useful idiots are all the case. That’s always a god give away.

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    • Mark June 2, 2017 / 9:40 am

      I’m betting that Stocks has a Sky subscription so he didn’t have to stay up at all.

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  9. SimonH June 2, 2017 / 9:38 am

    Edgbaston less than half full as play starts….

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    • Mark June 2, 2017 / 9:50 am

      They are claiming it is sold out!

      They are also claiming only 4 tickets left for Sri Lanka vs South Africa tomorrow.

      2 bronze tickets for £105.99 or 2 gold tickets for £112.49.

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      • Sean B June 2, 2017 / 1:33 pm

        I’m there tomorrow so will happily confirm. I didn’t pay anywhere close to £100 naturally…

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        • Mark June 2, 2017 / 1:39 pm

          I’m guessing the prices are for the pair of tickets…..not each, but who knows?

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  10. SimonH June 2, 2017 / 2:03 pm

    Another run-glut taking shape.

    130 overs into this tournament and there’s not been one bowled or LBW. There’s hardly been a close call. I haven’t seen even delivery but I’ve seen quite a bit and I can’t recall a ball seaming, swinging or spinning. There’s (rightly) talk about the pitches – but what about these balls? They are doing absolutely nothing.

    Someone’s going to push 400 (perhaps against SL). If I was a betting man, I’d wager that no-one’s going to score a century in the tournament at a lower SR than Tamim yesterday (and if they do, their team won’t be the winners).

    Like

    • Sean B June 2, 2017 / 2:20 pm

      I agree, it’s deadly dull. May as well replace the bowlers with a machine and see how many 6’s the batsmen can score.

      I used to quite like the game where both bowlers and batsmen had an equal chance…

      Like

      • Mark June 2, 2017 / 2:35 pm

        Dinosaurs the pair of you!

        I wonder how 39 would feel if he was bowling his medium pace trundlers in today’s cricket?

        Aus have hit back now and NZ will struggle to make 300.

        Like

        • Sean B June 2, 2017 / 2:36 pm

          We can’t all be as forward thinking as the analcyst…

          Like

        • SimonH June 2, 2017 / 3:03 pm

          Eight wickets to catches off mis-hits, one run out and the No.11 caught behind off an edge.

          Variety? You can have any colour you like, so long as it’s black….

          Liked by 1 person

        • d'Arthez June 2, 2017 / 3:15 pm

          It would have been a blast. And Mick Lewis would not have his record anymore. 😉

          Like

  11. Mark June 2, 2017 / 3:42 pm

    NZ lost 7/37 at the end including 3 wickets in the last over they faced.

    Like

    • d'Arthez June 2, 2017 / 5:01 pm

      “The poor ratings for the corporation’s first foray into televised cricket for six years cast doubt both on the wisdom of preventing the broadcaster transmitting before 11.20pm as well as on the England & Wales Cricket Board’s strategy to grow the game by restoring free-to-air coverage of it.”

      In other words, the powers that be will gladly blame the BBC for their own incompetence.Also a peak on Sky of barely half a million? Hardly suggest cricket is anything more than a fringe sport in the UK these days.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mark June 2, 2017 / 5:38 pm

        So they are not allowed to broadcast before 11.20pm?

        Idiocy…..

        Especially as you can see videos of the major shots and wickets on cricinfo during the match. The highlights package only allows the broadcaster to show six minutes of coverage for ever hour of play. Good luck if a lot happens in one hour.

        Like

          • Mark June 2, 2017 / 6:28 pm

            Good!

            Like

  12. d'Arthez June 2, 2017 / 4:59 pm

    Australia will be grateful for the rain at the moment …

    Like

  13. oreston June 2, 2017 / 6:06 pm

    Match abandoned, one point each 😦
    I know it helps England, but it’s not a happy situation in such a short tournament if who makes it out of the group and who goes home ends up being influenced by the weather and matches that can’t be completed.

    Like

    • d'Arthez June 3, 2017 / 4:51 am

      And remember, the last games of the group stage are not held concurrently. England and Australia will know exactly what they need to do to qualify in the last game (unless Bangladesh beat both Australia and New Zealand, while England beat New Zealand; in which case Bangladesh and England go through), which is a massive advantage.

      Not that the ICC cares about fixing, as evidenced by its persistent refusal to minimize the risk for it …

      Same applies to Group B with Sri Lanka and Pakistan, though beforehand it looks a bit more unlikely that both those teams might qualify for the semis.

      Like

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