England vs. Pakistan – Champions Trophy 2017

Going into the first semi final, it’s hard to imagine two more different teams being involved. England’s selection and performances since the 2015 World Cup debacle have been incredibly consistent (“Predictable”, some might say) whilst Pakistan can most charitably be called “mercurial”. England rely on their strong batting to counter their weak bowling and win games, whilst Pakistan’s bowlers keep them in games that their lacklustre batting would otherwise forfeit. England sacrificed a little of their consistency in selection for this game, finally replacing Jason Roy with Jonny Bairstow as their opener. For Pakistan, former guest of the English penal system Mohammad Amir was forced to pull out of the game due to a back spasm.

Pakistan won the toss and elected to field first, a choice which surprised many who thought that Pakistan’s spin bowlers would favour bowling last on a pitch which had already being used twice in recent weeks. All eyes were on England’s new opener Bairstow, who was lucky to survive a second-ball LBW shout. He continued to ride his luck through two dropped chances before finally being caught on 43. A useful partnership between Root and Morgan followed, adding another 48 to the total. At the halfway stage, England were 118-2 and looked to be setting a total near 300.

The second half of the innings was dominated by Pakistan. Unable to deal with Pakistan’s tight bowling or the slow nature of the pitch, England’s run rate slowed to a crawl and whenever they tried to accelerate they inevitably lost their wicket. Ben Stokes managed to scrape together a score of 34 runs from 64 balls with no boundaries, but everyone else fell for 11 or less. England lost their last wicket with one ball left to go with a decidedly sub-par score of 211.

The second innings was a complete contrast to the first. Without facing any kind of scoreboard pressure, Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zaman seemed content to play safe whilst punishing the bad balls. They were helped by England’s bowling, which provided enough bad balls to always keep Pakistan well ahead of their required run rate. Unlike when England were batting, there were seemingly no dropped chances or false shots. Rashid eventually managed to get Zaman stumped on 57, but by then Pakistan were already too close to their target. Even Pakistan couldn’t lose from there, and they didn’t. Pakistan reached their target having lost only 2 wickets and with 13 overs to spare, capping a humiliating loss for England.

And so, like after every tournament exit, there will be a post-mortem by the great and the good of English cricket. And also us. Certainly much has been made during the game of the pitch, for which this was the third time it was being used within a few weeks. It definitely seems puzzling from the perspective of the ICC or ECB since you would assume they’d want batting-friendly surfaces which deliver tons of runs and sixes for TV audiences, particularly in the later knockout stages which attract the most viewers. This shouldn’t absolve the England team from blame, though. The conditions were the same for both teams and England just didn’t adapt well enough. It’s hard to see how this might be remedied, with England’s packed schedule there’s no time for many players to spend in different countries learning how to cope on pitches which don’t seam, or swing, or have uneven bounce.

There’s also the matter of personnel. Winning the Champions Trophy would have secured a lot of people’s jobs at the ECB, even if they lost the upcoming Ashes series. Following today’s result, I’d be surprised if Trevor Bayliss could survive losing the series down under this winter. That would in turn increase the pressure on the ECB’s Director Comma England Cricket, Andrew Strauss, as the man who hired him. In the short term Paul Farbrace, England’s specialist coaches and the selectors might be in trouble if the ECB wants to make an immediate change.

As for the players themselves, that’s a tougher one to work out. There doesn’t appear to be much debate about this England XI being the strongest team available. None of them are old enough that they might be out of contention for the next major ODI tournament in 2019 either, so I would guess that England will stick with them all. Certainly this game shows that England players as a whole need to spend more time playing in different conditions. Whether that means letting them play in T20 leagues (and not just the IPL), or more Lions tours, or training camps, something clearly needs to be done.

As always, please comment below.


77 thoughts on “England vs. Pakistan – Champions Trophy 2017

  1. Miami Dad's Six Jun 14, 2017 / 4:29 pm

    I understood the personnel change, Roy was horribly out of form and Bairstow looking great on paper, however it seemed to signal an attitude change as well; his knock was innocuous enough but also ambitionless – and it filtered through to the rest of them. 211 was never enough, but even had they kept wickets in hand for a late dash, I’m not sure 250 would have been either.

    Well played Pakistan. I now feel mildly smug about my prediction on the other thread. They looked good. Hasan in particular.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Jun 14, 2017 / 5:57 pm

      I don’t accept that about Bairstow. I think he more than doubled Roy’s best score in the competition. We certainly didn’t lose because of changing openers. Not on that pitch.


      • d'Arthez Jun 14, 2017 / 7:06 pm

        He made more than three twice the runs that Roy made in the entire tournament. (43 from 1 innings, vs 18 from 3). Obviously Bairstow’s SR was better too.

        In terms of SR, Morgan and Stokes had SRs of about 60 in today’s game. Which is hardly signalling fearless cricket either, and in the case of Morgan he did not exactly come in with England 20/6 …


        • Miami Dad's Six Jun 14, 2017 / 7:46 pm

          Not meant as a critique of Bairstow so much as a critique of England approaching the match in a completely different way to what has brought us success. We’ve been “Shit or bust” for a while, but today thought we’d nurdle our way to a laptop score of 260 instead. And it didn’t suit them. I’d genuinely have rather seen us bowled out for 160 in 26 overs sticking to our guns, than watch Stokes limp his way to 30 off 60 balls. I think. I might revise that opinion. I’m waffling.


      • SimonH Jun 14, 2017 / 4:35 pm

        Count Chickens-beofre-they’re-hatched:

        Liked by 1 person

        • Mark Jun 14, 2017 / 5:59 pm

          Team ethic? Usual bullshit from Selvey.

          As usual with the dinasour media…… talent is regarded as less important than complying with dictacts of management.


    • dannycricket Jun 14, 2017 / 4:37 pm

      Personally I enjoyed this gem. It’s weird how the greatest analyst cricket has ever known, so incredible that he is known by everyone simply as THE analyst, never seems to predict these things before they happen…


      • SimonH Jun 14, 2017 / 5:41 pm

        What was Pakistan’s score again? How many would they have scored in a full 50 overs?


  2. thebogfather Jun 14, 2017 / 4:44 pm

    Well, firstly congrats for getting this post up so (inevitably) quickly..!
    Secondly, were we really surprised at England being unable to adapt to something other than a shirt-front? – Hell, it was a third day pitch (known in advance) that we hadn’t prepared for… Hmm, Bayliss/Strauss, and yes, even Morgan need to come out and be open about this… No plan B, (or even YJB saviour) , no bowling plans, or those to implement them, no idea when it’s a pitch that doesn’t evoke 300+, and Pak, having won the toss, knew what to do… we didn’t, clueless, stiff-structured (almost the new Full Moores Lappy)
    Nevermind, there’s always 2019 World Cup to plan for….

    BTW – Go Bangla Go tomorrow – love it to see a Bang/Pak final, if only for the slapped arses of the ICC/BCCI/ECB….

    Liked by 2 people

    • dannycricket Jun 14, 2017 / 4:53 pm

      Thanks. The good thing about predictable games is that you can write them up while they’re heading towards their inevitable conclusion. I was basically just waiting to fill in the gaps for how many overs and wickets Pakistan had left at the end of the game. I was half tempted to post it while the game was still going.


  3. oreston Jun 14, 2017 / 4:51 pm

    I think we must be living in very strange times indeed when a slightly worn wicket at Cardiff is deemed to constitute “unfamiliar” playing conditions in which a sub-continental side can cope but in which an England team struggles with both bat and ball.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. stephenfh Jun 14, 2017 / 5:20 pm

    Seemed like England were unable to cope mentally with a sub 300 run fest match and the pressure from not knowing what a good score might be, or just a competitive one, fed on itself and the innings just subsided. But credit Pakistan and hopefully it is a decent final.


  5. Sean B Jun 14, 2017 / 5:26 pm

    How many times will the “exciting, young but inexperienced” line be trotted out over the next couple of days??


    • oreston Jun 14, 2017 / 5:42 pm

      Oh I expect we”ll treated to the full litany. “Take the positives”, “steep learning curve”, “not yet the finished article…”

      Game of Bingo, anyone?

      Liked by 1 person

    • SimonH Jun 14, 2017 / 6:14 pm

      All that learn your roles, pick a talented group and stick with them, “you don’t win anything with kids” and:

      Fakhar Zaman – 27 years old, 3 ODI caps.
      Shadab Khan – 18 years old, 6 ODI caps.
      Hasan Ali – 23 years old, 20 ODI caps.

      Maybe, just maybe, there’s something to be said for some players who are fresh in themselves and largely unknown to the opposition (providing they are mixed with some wise old heads)…..

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Mark Jun 14, 2017 / 6:16 pm

    I’m going to defend England a little bit here. We have made progress since 2015, and the very fact we were seen as big favourites for this match shows how far we have come.

    Ironically…… on this type of surface the old England might have fared a bit better with a laptop score of 230. England made a reasonable start, and we’re looking ok after about 15 overs. I believe the change to bring in JB was the right decsion. I said in the previous thread at about 11.30 am that 250-275 might be a good score on that pitch. Whatever the reason, we lost our way from about the 25 over mark.

    We have always said that if England don’t score big they won’t defend small totals. Pakistan got off to a flyer and the match was pretty much gone after 10 overs. We didn’t bowl great. Too many short balls. May have been the tactic on a quicker bouncy pitch, but not today.England still need to learn how to be flexible on non shirt fronts.

    I suspect this is the begining of the end for Cardiff hosting major international matches. The crowds have been poor, and while it’s not their fault that the ticketing is run through the ICC it seems people don’t want to travel down to Wales, and local people seem reluctant to come out.

    As for Pakistan they must be a frustrating team to follow. There is so much talent, but they rarely turn up for most games. But when they do, they are capable of beating anyone. Pakistan vs India final is probably what the sponsors want. It will certainly be full.


    • d'Arthez Jun 14, 2017 / 7:18 pm

      This was better than 20/6 according to Newman? Okay …

      And I am sorry, but it is a bit rich of any the ECB lackeys, who were only too happy with the Big 3 power grab, to complain about unfairness in pitch selection and preparation, when they’re only too happy to rig the game against everyone else. Financially and otherwise.

      Why was it again that England got to host this tourney?

      That pitches are included in that (as he is implying), is only par for a stitch up. Who could have guessed? Who could have guessed that such motivations might play a role in the ICC (not saying they did), when the ICC proudly admits to fixing the draws to always have an India – Pakistan game in the group stages? And where was the outcry then?


      • LordCanisLupus Jun 14, 2017 / 7:47 pm

        You don’t expect him to remember a dead rubber two weeks ago, do you?

        Losing deciders against South Africa and Australia in the past couple of years might have given a pointer.

        Plus – how did we do in ODIs last time we played in the UAE v Pakistan?

        They bottled it. Pure and simple. It happens.


    • SimonH Jun 14, 2017 / 7:31 pm

      Let’s go bonkers with Berry:


      “the pitch could have been in Karachi not Cardiff. It was a slow, low turner which had lost what grass it had on Monday when Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka on it. Hence the pitch suited Pakistan in three ways: it turned for their spinners, of whom they had one of each type; it was abrasive, so it roughed up the balls for their three reverse-swing bowlers; and it did not bounce, so Pakistan’s batsmen were not embarrassed by the short ball.”

      I must have missed all that bunsen-burning and reverse-swinging. Pakistan’s biggest advantage was that they’d just played SL there – and in England’s match at the SWALEC, NZ had used a terribly mis-conceived strategy of bowling lots of short stuff (perhaps they were duped by the long square boundaries – but the slow pitch and short fine boundaries more than off-set that).

      “It was the England and Wales Cricket Board, not the ICC, which nominated the three venues – knowing Cardiff is slow and low, but perhaps more concerned to use an expensive new stadium in a city which does not care much for cricket, certainly not by comparison with the rest of south Wales. England have plenty of more established grounds, notably Old Trafford and Headingley, which could have offered pacy pitches far more suited to their style and purpose….. the administrators of the former ECB regime have to look in the mirror”.

      The former regime, not the current one. Phew! As for the allocation of venues, I’d have liked a northern one to have been used – but let’s not pretend they are always well-attended or that England would have automatically won on those grounds (Australia thrashed England at OT in 2015).

      “Pakistan’s bowling was the dominating factor: a cornucopia of variety was packed into one team, starting with three left-arm bowlers, whereas England had none”.

      One of Berry’s pet hobby-horses. NZ had three left-armers, but it didn’t help them. Their strategies had more to do with it than the arm they bowled with.

      “Bairstow, Moeen Ali and Liam Plunkett all pulled or hooked short balls towards the long square boundaries and were caught”.

      Er, didn’t the pitch have no bounce a few paragraphs ago?…..

      “Lacking Chris Woakes….”

      Shall we go through all the players Pakistan were lacking?….

      ” It was Pakistan’s first century opening stand for 35 ODIs, and that was against Zimbabwe”.

      On this minefield of a pitch! How could they!

      “When Fakhar Zaman was bounced, the edges flew everywhere except to hand”.

      Anyone remember Selvey’s “when fate is against you, there’s nothing you can do” analysis of England’s 2015 WC exit. At least Berry doesn’t blame the third umpire – but he seems to have missed Fakhar’s many middled hooks and pulls.

      “Did the occasion get to England, and play on their lack of knock-out matches in their formative years? England has never had a major ­Under-19 tournament, which has always been the foundation in Australia – at inter-state level – and other countries. Even a best-of-three Under-19 series between North and South would help to sort out sheep from goats”.

      That’s what we need – more North vs. South matches! I knew it all along!

      Liked by 1 person

      • LordCanisLupus Jun 14, 2017 / 7:44 pm

        Every time I doubt myself about writing about matches, and whether I’m up to it, I read the works of Berry and lose all my fears.

        Laughable hokum.


      • AB Jun 15, 2017 / 8:48 am

        What is this bullshit about left-arm bowlers? The ball still comes out the same.


  7. SimonH Jun 14, 2017 / 7:55 pm

    “The aim this summer was not just to win the Champions Trophy but to win it right, to “create heroes”, grow the game, shout across the barricades and shed that sense of English cricket as a kind of North Korean-style sporting state, walled up behind its own barricades, sending out the odd pyrotechnic but largely invisible to great swathes of the surrounding populace”.

    I know he’s not to everyone’s taste, but sometimes Barney Ronay writes a sentence that nails it:



    • LordCanisLupus Jun 14, 2017 / 8:07 pm

      Thought the rest of it was all over the show. But then I’m not much of a fan of any of them.


      • SimonH Jun 15, 2017 / 8:08 am

        Not defending the rest of it. There are some good comments on the thread – especially by BlueEarthCitizen (on that very quote) and InspectorVijay.

        Someone raises Pietersen and immediately gets called Piers Morgan by one of the regulars (no, not him).


    • Mark Jun 14, 2017 / 8:17 pm

      I hate to break it to people, but I don’t think many folks have any idea the CT is even going on. Growing the game my arse! When I went to Cardiff last week the sporting image plastered on the side of buildings was Real Madrids Welsh hero Gareth Bale.

      And the more interesting topic of locals was the British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.


      • dannycricket Jun 14, 2017 / 8:45 pm

        I have to say this is the thing which makes me angriest about the ECB and the English cricket establishment. It’s not that they don’t want to “grow the game”, bring in new fans and so on. It’s that they’re so out of touch, inept or just plain dumb that they keep doing things that don’t work.

        Even if England had won today’s game in great style, and the final too, how many people would have seen it live? Maybe 500,000 if you’re lucky? And how many of those will have already been cricket fans? Probably about 95%, and most of the rest are likely the kids or partners of cricket fans. Or seeing it in a bar if there isn’t football on somewhere in the world. The ECB have made cricket something you have to pay for to see, and pay quite a bit. Between the ECB’s inability to market cricket and the paywall, right now the only realistic area for growth is to convert football fans who already have Sky Sports into cricket fans. And from that you get the new crappy T20 league which will start in 3 years, which will also inevitably fail.

        Liked by 3 people

    • thelegglance Jun 15, 2017 / 1:05 am

      Two “barricades” in the same sentence? Sub-editors are weeping around the world. That’s the kind of thing that drives me mad when I do it.


  8. Julie Jun 14, 2017 / 9:51 pm

    Have always argued since Strauss got rid of KP and other experienced senior players that England would ” rue the day”, Well done Straussy. You left the ” babies” to struggle on their own. Of course you will never admit that. Where are you hiding or have you found someone else to take all the flack.At least you can’t blame KP this time unless you count the help he gave the youngsters in PSL.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Jun 15, 2017 / 12:34 am

      England lost because Pakistan played better. No doubt.

      Having said that I do think it’s absurd in an international cricket tournament that a semi final is played on (not just the same ground) but the same pitch as one team played ( and won on ) a few days ago.


      • d'Arthez Jun 15, 2017 / 4:47 am

        As absurd as having different days for the final games in each group? Even FIFA got rid of that one, after it became quite blatant that it was open for abuse …

        As absurd as happy to rely on DRS, which is open to abuse since the public cannot check if the code does not somehow favour one team or the other, let alone is reasonably accurate?

        As absurd as not having reserve days for any game, bar the final? One can argue that two teams got eliminated on that. The result being that among the prospective #2s in Group A only 1 game did not rain off, and that was sufficient for Bangladesh to qualify for today’s semi. And it is really not THAT hard to have reserve days without upsetting the television schedules much. I am sure Pakistan-India would have been watched by millions if it was just 7 hours of rain …

        And a few non-cricket (on the field at least) related things:

        As absurd as having three venues for this tournament? Hardly screams easily accessible for a casual supporter. Think the closest venue from Leeds was about 130 miles on the road away or so.

        As absurd as the ticket fiasco?

        As absurd as the brilliant “marketing” for this tournament?

        I honestly would not be surprised that this pitch was the result of an expectation by someone that India might have been playing here. And we all know how good it is for cricket if India feature in any game. Just ask Empty Suit.

        Liked by 1 person

          • oreston Jun 15, 2017 / 1:02 pm

            He “might” have taken a shed load of wickets for England if he hadn’t been dropped after the 1977 India tour. I “might” be related to William the Conqueror. A newly discovered exoplanet “might” be composed of 90% clotted cream and 10% strawberry jam. WTF is his point exactly?

            Liked by 1 person

  9. SimonH Jun 15, 2017 / 8:26 am


    “Recently, England lost the 2013 Champions Trophy final and the 2016 World T20 final, two games they had the chance to win. Now this. Are they developing a problem in crunch contests? I don’t think so. Indeed, it is an achievement for them to be getting to these knockout matches, especially after the shambolic World Cup campaign two years ago. They will now set their sights on the 2019 World Cup”.

    This sort of soft-headedness makes me despair. England played some excellent cricket to qualify from a tough-looking group. But that isn’t winning the tournament or even getting particularly close. For the second richest team, at home at their “priority”, it shouldn’t just be accepted with a “building for 2019” shrug.

    Pakistan, the 8th ranked team, won by 8 wickets with 12.5 overs to spare. If the used pitch was so bad, why wasn’t it tougher for them to bat on? England should have been able to make a better fist of defending 211 – but, as it was, Pakistan were on target to chase down the suppoed-par 270 quite easily and could have pushed 300.

    It’s also worth pointing out only one wicket fell to Pakistan’s spinners (they took a cumulative 1/89). Spin played a useful role in applying the brakes but it was Pakistan’s seamers who took the wickets.


    • Mark Jun 15, 2017 / 9:07 am

      England have improved since the World Cup in 2015, but they are very one dimensional. Their bowling attack can’t defend low scores.

      The England model of playing on shirt fronts with true pace & bounce and little sideway movement has created a team that can rack up 320-350 scores on a regular basis. However When the batting short circuits or the conditions are more challenging they seem unable to adapt.

      I also laugh at the idea that Strauss and the ECB (knowing this was the model) decided Cardiff (which is known for its slower lower bouncing pitches) to be used for a semi final. Both Edgbaston and the Oval have better pitches, and hold more people. According to Berry it was the ECB, and not the ICC who chose the venues. Now it may be very laudable to choose Cardiff for political reasons. (The England and Welsh cricket board)) but if, as they claimed winning was a priority,then choosing Cardiff was like shooting your foot off with a shotgun.

      Of course we also have to look at another possible reason. Namely……they choke on the big occasion. They were cruising to the 20/20 World Cup until the last over. (Well yes but the guy hit 4 sixes in a row.) These things happen. But they also lost the final in the CT in 2013, and appeared to choke yesterday.

      Bottom line…. England aren’t quite as good as they think they are. I’m sure we will now move on to focus on 39s dream ticket of 20/20 and test matches now. The Ashes, the ashes, the Ashes!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Amit Garg Jun 15, 2017 / 2:57 pm

        i suppose before the tournament, and clearly no one would’ve seen Pakistan qualify from the group – South Africa / India would’ve been better punts before the tournament.
        Negating the potency of their bowlers might have been a passing thought – not sure they even planned for Pakistan 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Rooto Jun 15, 2017 / 10:56 am

      Those members of the press closest to the ECB appear as if they are ‘preparing to fail’ once again, by not obliging the team to question itself and be better prepared next time. It’s interesting how some journos and fans feel the need to follow unquestioningly, and over at TFT I see James has picked up a couple of haters for next to no reason.
      We, as a nation, get the team we deserve.


      • Mark Jun 15, 2017 / 11:47 am

        The journos have been cheerleaders since the Cook captaincy. And after the KP sacking they became worse than that. Out and out propagandists for the ECB/ICC. They are journalists only in name.


        • Benny Jun 15, 2017 / 8:06 pm

          For some reason, they call themselves “cricket writers” nowadays. I still prefer “hacks”


  10. SimonH Jun 15, 2017 / 12:18 pm

    Hussain at least genuinely doesn’t blame the pitch (as opposed to saying he’s not blaming the pitch in the middle of five paragraphs of whining about the pitch, like Newman):


    Which way the media jump over Bayliss is going to be interesting. Hussain’s argument seems to excuse the coach:

    “Their coach Trevor Bayliss has always asked for them to play smart cricket, not just gung-ho cricket. This was anything but smart. In fact, it was timid”.

    However, doesn’t this mean the players aren’t listening to the coach? Veterans of ‘The Difficult Winter’ might remember Selvey trying something very similar over Gooch’s coaching of the batting.

    I think we all know this isn’t ultimately about Bayliss – it’s about protecting the guy who appointed him.

    It’s also noticeable to me how a) Hussain just assumes 211 couldn’t have been defended and ignores the bowling performance, and b) he manages to find a way toblame Rashid for some completely ridiculous nonsense.


  11. thebogfather Jun 15, 2017 / 2:21 pm

    OH JOY! First chance today to grab a listen to Ind v Bang on TMS, and I get to hear ThePlagiarist, Lovejoy and LadyHurghHurgh in a procession of inanity… it only needed TheAnalcyst to complete the agony…. (switches to talkSPORT2)


      • Mark Jun 15, 2017 / 3:46 pm

        Just from the headline in the link I can see not to bother reading it. It’s the same endless pusedo bullshit that he specialises in, and produces in industrial quantities.

        Stage one…pull some one or something out of his arse.
        Stage two…asign ludicrous significance to this entity.
        Stage three …make over inflated claims for this one entities effect on some other enterprise.
        Stage four….. pack out your piece with clever dick references to ancient history or literature to act as a disguise that your theory is bunkum.

        Rinse repeat, rinse repeat……..

        Liked by 1 person

        • SimonH Jun 15, 2017 / 4:36 pm

          “Basu is also a trainer in the Indian Premier League for Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore, where I have worked as a consultant – Basu and I have been discussing physical conditioning over a two-year period”.

          And the bottom team, 8th out of 8, in this year’s IPL were…..


          • Mark Jun 15, 2017 / 5:51 pm

            “Where I have worked as a consultant”

            Consulting In what? Doing the washing up?

            First rule of business…… when something is financially successful a load of freeloaders cluster around said business and try and leech off it.


    • dannycricket Jun 15, 2017 / 8:50 pm

      Personally, I preferred talkSPORT’s commentaries. They don’t have any commentators as good as TMS (Norcross and Zaltzman, for example), but they don’t have any massively grating commentators either. It does sometimes sound a bit like football commentary though. I wouldn’t mind if they won the rights for England radio commentary.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. SimonH Jun 15, 2017 / 10:27 pm

    The DM throw three big guns into the fray to convince any doubters that being spanked by the world’s No.8 might mean the masterplan might not be so masterful:


    “Don’t forget the plan has always been to peak in two years. England were ahead of schedule in many ways. This is still the most dynamic one-day side England have ever had. They have the right captain in Eoin Morgan and the right coaching team in Bayliss and Paul Farbrace. They just have to learn from this”.

    Newman keeping the faith then.

    “Don’t panic! England have lost one game and whoever wins this tournament will have lost a game. Strauss, Morgan, Bayliss and Farbrace should be proud of what they’ve achieved in two years”.

    Hussain ditto (“whoever wins this tournament will have lost a game”? WTF?)

    If you want to read a mountain of bs about pitches, this is the place to go.


    • amit garg Jun 16, 2017 / 1:34 am

      I suppose these analysts were left so shell shocked by the manner of England’s defeat that they have struggled to come up with any rational explanations. Blaming the pitch is the easiest but ultimately, a lame excuse.
      It is much harder to accept that these brilliant, shining stars that have been hyped up for a while now, were thoroughly outplayed by a Pakistani team without any big names, on a pitch that didn’t do anything special. Pakistan bowled tight, held catches, ran players out and batted well. England did nothing of the sort.

      For a team that has played in UAE and India, these conditions weren’t “alien” – they have experience on similar pitches. England’s plan in tournament seemed to rest on the inability of opposition to cope with swing in English conditions while hoping that their own long batting line up can blast others. Didn’t quite pan out that way….

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mark Jun 16, 2017 / 3:03 pm

      Pringles constant criticsm of Morgan shows why The telegraph were right to boot him out of the door. Notice he now blames the captain now, when for years he sucked up to Cook. ( the worst captain England have ever had)

      Pringle is typical of the elite cricket media class. They are all pillocks!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. SimonH Jun 16, 2017 / 12:56 pm

    From a discussion between Stocks, Collomosse and Ammon about the tournament:

    Disappointing to see Collomosse dragged into spouting this bilge. England’s record in completed ODIs in Cardiff before Wednesday was P8 W6 L2 which is a bit inconvenient for this narrative they’re trying to weave.


    • dannycricket Jun 16, 2017 / 4:35 pm

      Sure, although the key word is “completed”. Cardiff’s 3 No Results in 12 ODIs is comfortably the most of any ground since 2006, both by percentage and total.

      Even putting that aside, I’d kick Glamorgan out of the ECB. Cricket in Wales appears to be a failed experiment, and we might as well cut our losses now. Cardiff and Bristol have had, between them, the same number of ODIs as Leeds and Manchester combined. Do Glamorgan or Gloucestershire contribute anything meaningful to English cricket? Why do the 11m people in Lancashire and Yorkshire get the same number of games as the 4m people in Wales and Gloucestershire? Chuck them both out…


      • SimonH Jun 17, 2017 / 7:23 am

        I’d have been quite okay with Cardiff not being a CT venue on grounds of geography or other factors like crowd capacity – but that’s not what Collomosse/Stocks are talking about, they’re talking about pitches on which England can win.

        I’ve tried to post a link showing England’s ODI results by ground in the 2010s but WordPress has helpfully eaten it! Cardiff is 6th/10 so it’s hardly some sort of unplayable Asian-style minefeild as our preposterous media are trying to say. England’s best two grounds are Headingley and the Riverside, the worst a certain corner of north London – so let’s stage the 2019 WC in Yorkshire and Durham and scrap Lord’s!

        I’m all for rewarding counties financially who are providing players for England – but not using it to allocate fixtures. There are possibilities of selectorial bias, the question of time-lag and issues of how much a county has really developed a player (for example, would you credit Yorkshire for David Willey?). There are some legitimate questions about Glamorgan’s player development in the last decade or so but you don’t have to go back much further to find Simon Jones, Croft, James, Maynard, Hugh Morris and Watkin playing for England (some of whom would have played for England rather more if they’d played for certain other counties, I’d suggest).

        As for using attendances, we first need the ECB to publish reliable attendance data. Cardiff was actually quite full after about two hours on Wednesday (the big bank of empty seating was apparently a corporate hospitality area – say no more!). We all know that Headingley, OT and Durham wouldn’t come particularly well out of such a survey – and that that is not necessarily a ground’s fault with ECB ticketing and scheduling often as much to blame.

        International matches should be scheduled at grounds that can provide the best all-round experience – not to those that provide the best chance of the home team winning according to the prejudices (not even supported by the evidence) of desperate hacks like Stocks.


  14. d'Arthez Jun 16, 2017 / 7:06 pm

    New Zealand have played 4 ODIs at Edgbaston, that have not been completed with any decisive result. In fact, only 1 of the last 5 ODIs played at that ground involving New Zealand was not washed out. So, we can scrap Edgbaston as well?


    • d'Arthez Jun 16, 2017 / 7:07 pm

      4 ODIs without a result since the start of 2004 – and they played 5.

      An edit function on WordPress would be appreciated.


    • dannycricket Jun 17, 2017 / 6:15 am

      It is true that if you include games not including England from 2006, Edgbaston has 4 no results to Cardiff’s 3, and 3 of those are games involving New Zealand. This seems to suggest that New Zealand shouldn’t play at Edgbaston, which I’m fine with.

      However, unlike Cardiff, people actually turned up to games at Edgbaston during the Champions Trophy. And Warwickshire has developed several players in and around the England team. And I’m pretty sure George Dobell will kill anyone who suggests getting rid of them. For all of these very good reasons, I’m prepared to give Birmingham a pass on their weather.


      • Ian Jun 17, 2017 / 7:18 am

        Can understand getting rid of Cardiff from international games but to kick Glamorgan out of the ECB is a bit of an odd thing to say. They aren’t very good but they do make the effort to develop Welsh talent and the same goes for Gloucestershire who develop a lot of players from their catchment area.


      • d'Arthez Jun 17, 2017 / 8:24 am

        So now the argument is: we don’t care if it rains, when England don’t play. Uh, okay. So you’re now effectively punishing Cardiff for not hosting rained off New Zealand games. Uh, okay.

        Let’s look at current Warwickshire players who have international experience:
        Bell – Fair enough
        Trott – Poached from South Africa, even represented SA in age group cricket. Surely he held a bat with reasonable success at that time?
        Porterfield – not representing England
        Chris Woakes – fair enough
        Rikki Clarke – played nearly a century ago for England, and should not count if the likes of Simon Jones don’t count towards Glamorgan; also poached from elsewhere (Surrey)
        Ambrose – played his last Test nearly a decade ago; also poached from Sussex
        Jeetan Patel – New Zealand
        Boyd Rankin – Poached and subsequently discarded by England
        Colin de Grandhomme – New Zealand

        That is excluding some transfers (Moeen Ali started at Warks for instance). But that is a measure that is holding many counties back (Leicestershire, Northants and quite a few more); they may not have current internationals on the book, but most of them learned their trade at such unfashionable counties.

        Can we kick Hampshire out? The only talent they seem to “create” is talent poached from elsewhere (Dawson seems to be the only exception)? Furthermore, they have done everything in their power to hold a county that actually produces talent (Durham) back. How that is helping English talent is beyond me.

        Also, even more drastic: can we not just scrap every county that will not deliver at least 2 players to the England Lions this year? You can basically scrap the entire of Division 2 as well. How that is helping English talent is beyond me.


        • dannycricket Jun 17, 2017 / 5:55 pm

          I don’t actually care about the weather, that was simply nitpicking SimonH’s stat about England’s win/loss ratio at Cardiff. Nowhere in England is guaranteed to not rain through the evening on any given day during the cricket season and if you are concerned about that then all of the western grounds (Manchester, Cardiff, Brimingham & Bristol) are probably pretty similar.

          It is a popular argument on here, and especially on Twitter, that the ICC is fundamentally unfair. That Zimbabwe, or Bangladesh, or the Windies can rattle along creating poor Test teams for years and still get tons of money whilst arguably better teams like Ireland and Afghanistan get virtually nothing. No games, no support, and especially no money. Where is the justice in that?

          I would argue that the county system is equally unfair. Like the ICC, it is run for the benefit of its members (the major counties) and to exclude everyone else. In the past 100 years, only two teams have joined the county championship (Glamorgan in 1921 and Durham in 1992) and none have been evicted. Membership is not by merit, but by tradition and historical happenstance. This allows counties like Glamorgan to coast along and carry on cashing the cheques from the ECB, knowing that nothing can touch them. I would change that.

          The most obvious way to do that is to introduce relegation from Division 2 to the Minor Counties Championship. And then from the Minor Counties Championship to the club system. Of course no counties should vote for that, because they could lose everything. I say “should” because I thought that about the T20 league vote too, so it appears at least sometimes that turkeys will vote for Christmas.

          Another issue is that this would only address performance. Cricket is unlike most other sports in that international players typically play very few games for their club. Therefore teams which develop star players could essentially be worse off than teams who only create middling journeymen. Therefore you should try to reward these clubs as much as possible, with money and with other benefits such as hosting international games.

          To put Glamorgan’s deficiency in context, consider every man who has played for England in the last 10 years. There’s 85 of them in total. Not a single one of them was born in Wales. Not a single one of them was developed by Glamorgan. Not one. Wales has roughly 5.4% of the population of England and Wales, which make the odds of this happening by chance to be 0.84% or 117/1. And you mention the Lions squads, as far as I’m aware there aren’t any Glamorgan players in those either, so this is a problem seemingly likely to extend beyond 10 years.

          As for Ian’s claim that “they do make the effort to develop Welsh talent”, let’s look at the Glamorgan team in their last game. A quick look at their ESPNcricinfo bio pages suggests that there were indeed 5 Welsh players (Bragg, Donald, Lloyd, Salter and Carey), but that is ruined slightly by the 3 South Africans and 3 Australians in the team. They’re not even particularly good Aussies or Saffers, which gets rid of the “our talented youngsters will learn from the great overseas players” excuse. It also means that you’d only have to find room for five Welsh players in the 17 remaining teams to have *LITERALLY ZERO IMPACT ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF WELSH PLAYERS*.

          And there are potential upsides for Welsh cricket if Glamorgan leave/get kicked out of the ECB. It would mean that there could be a Wales team, rather than having to support England all the time. They’d almost certainly have better kits than England, they’d sing their own anthem, they’d have their own flag flying. Isn’t that more important than financial security? A poll in 2016 suggests that 52% of the UK think that way. Maybe developing Welsh players would be easier if they knew they’d play for Wales rather than England? Let’s find out!

          Also, maybe the threat of being kicked out would be enough. If they recieved an ultimatum which said “If you don’t develop Welsh players who are selected for at least 20 England games in the next 10 years, you will be expelled”, that could focus their attention enough to actually get things moving again. And if not, well they were warned.

          In conclusion: Glamorgan are garbage.


          • Mark Jun 17, 2017 / 6:45 pm

            I think this is very harsh Danny. Would you be so hard on many English counties or have you just got a bias against the Welsh? Should Gloucestershire go the same way as the dodo? What about Derbyshire and Northants?

            First off. The notion of Wales creating their own cricket team within the ICC is idiocy. Look at Ireland, and Afghanistan. Bigger populations, and yet the can’t get any matches on the world stage. I don’t know what the grass roots is like down in Wales, but I accept you points about the lack of Welsh players over the last 10 years. I don’t know what the reason is for that. But to just say piss off doesn’t seem very constructive. I do believe that Cardiff should lose it’s interenational status because they don’t seem to have the crowds. (Not the pitch issues) Counties in the North like Lancashire and Notts and Yorks should be given more International cricket. Perhaps that wil give the Welsh a bit of wake up call.

            “They’d almost certainly have better kits than England, they’d sing their own anthem, they’d have their own flag flying. Isn’t that more important than financial security? A poll in 2016 suggests that 52% of the UK think that way.”

            This smacks of English nationlism at its worst. What poll are you referring to? Was this English or Welsh or whatever? At a time when cricket is dying off all about us it doesn’t seem very positive to be telling counties, and indeed whole countries to f** off.


          • dannycricket Jun 17, 2017 / 7:24 pm

            It was technically a referendum, and a majority of both English and Welsh people voted for patriotism over pragmatism.

            I would point out that my preferred suggestions, promotion/relegation throughout English cricket and significantly increased rewards for player development, would help or harm all counties equally including Glamorgan. But they are also less likely to happen. Like I said, in 100 years no county has been removed from the top tier of county cricket and they won’t consider possible relegation to the minor counties or below.

            The alternative possibility of a nation abandoning the county and England setup is massively more probable. That happened a mere 25 years ago when Scotland left the TCCB (forerunner to the ECB) and became an independent associate member of the ICC. I can’t say that I am qualified to answer this question, but is cricket in Scotland more popular now than before 1992, or less, or roughly the same?

            It seems a little odd someone complaining about nationalism when it comes to sport. The whole basis of sport in general is nationalism, or regionalism. a billion Indian and Pakistani people aren’t going to be glued to their screens tomorrow because they think it’s going to be the most aesthetically beautiful game of cricket ever played. They want their country to beat the other nearby country. It’s all nationalism. Does Sky choose to show all of the Roses games in the Blast or One Day Cup because they’re the best games to watch, or because they know people from Yorkshire and Lancashire will tune in hoping to see the team from their county crush the team from another nearby county. If you want to rid nationalism and the like from sport, it will soon all become bankrupt.


          • d'Arthez Jun 18, 2017 / 7:23 am

            Or is it a case of selectorial biases influencing the figures you quote? I remember a certain player being picked to play for England in a dead rubber against South Africa – that lasted all of one Test. Was he the best quick available for selection? Doubtful in the extreme.

            Your whole argument falls to pieces when you consider the number of South Africans, and non-English / Welsh players that have been poached to represent England. But those are happily included in your figures of “English developed” talent. Several of whom apparently were so crappy that the represented South Africa or Australia in U-19 or U-21 teams. And I am still excluding the Irish from that mix. And that is still excluding the effect of poaching underage cricketers with scholarships. Using financial muscle to get the best players money can buy to play for England, does not make the cricketers English per se.

            Besides, cricket is a team game. Do you honestly think that having a few foreigners in the side does not help the local players to learn and fine tune their skills? Do we honestly think that in the era that the County Championship was filled with West Indians, that the local players did not improve their batting or bowling skills?


          • dannycricket Jun 18, 2017 / 9:01 am

            Yeah, some of England’s players over the last 10 years weren’t born here. Some of them weren’t developed here. Even if you suppose that only 60 of the players were “fully English”, that still gives odds of 27/1 that such a thing could happen by sheer chance. That’s pretty unlikely.

            If the players Glamorgan imported were of the calibre you suggest, why did they finish 17th out of 18 counties in the Championship last season? There is a selection bias in English cricket (well there are several, but that’s another discussion), and that is that players rarely get picked from 2nd Division teams. Glamorgan has every advantage available to them; A Test ground, a large catchment area for young players, strong finances and financial support from local and regional government. 6 of the 8 teams in Division 1 have Test grounds. The other team with a Test ground in Division 2 (after Durham’s demotion), Nottinghamshire, are at the top of the table. Why is it that Glamorgan are so bad?


          • SimonH Jun 18, 2017 / 9:04 am

            As has been obvious from my comments here, I’m generally in favour of promotion and relegation and dislike sporting leagues that resemble clubs or closed shops.

            My instincts therefore are to agree with Danny on relegation from D2. However, there are some questions to be asked. The last time this was seriously discussed in the MSM the issue of minor counties’ preparedness was raised. I don’t know enough about the minor counties to say if they have the players and the faciiities ready for f/c status. Danny mentioned Ireland and Afghanistan but the ICC (to their credit) have been running a long-standing development programme to improve their quality. Has the ECB done anything similar with the minor counties?

            As for Glamorgan/Wales, could Wales sustain an international team? In population terms, Wales is nearly as large as NZ, but wouldn’t better Welsh players be swallowed up by England as things currently stand? A separate Wales’ cricket team seems unsustainable without wholescale reform of how international cricket is organised and cannot be seriously considered in isolation.

            On the issue of Glamorgan providing England players, I’ve said some questions should be asked about their development programme in the last decade, but it is a rather narrow metric to use and over the last two decades their record is much better. Worcestershire (if Moeen is counted as discovered by Warwickshire) and Kent (bar 2 Tests for James Tredwell) have contributed zero to England in the last decade – should they be scrapped too?

            By the way, Hampshire have contributed more than Liam Dawson – there are James Vince and Mason Crane currently (although both were born in Sussex) and there was Chris Tremlett not too long ago (plus the county revived Michael Carberry’s career). I’d agree that there should probably be more for a county of Hampshire’s size, but the record is better than was said.


          • Mark Jun 18, 2017 / 9:35 am

            “It seems a little odd someone complaining about nationalism when it comes to sport.”

            Really? Have you looked at football lately? Have you seen how few patriotic Englishmen are playing for Man U, Arsenal, Man C, Chelsea, etc etc? The Champions league is now regarded as a higher standard than International football. Many fans of these clubs say they care not one jot for the England national team, and would be happy if their teams had not one Englishman in it. Manchester United is owned by an American, it is listed on Wall Street, and is registered in the Cayman Islands. It’s manager is foreign, and so are most of its players. So much for nationalism in sport?

            Rugby is slowly moving in that direction. Hasn’t got there yet, but club rugby is growing. It’s only been professional for a few decades. And cricket now has its growing millionaire Mercenaries playing for club sides above nations.

            And as for English cricket and nationlism…..I will just say….. Tony Greig, Alan Lamb, Greame Hick, and a million others with South african and Australian accents playing for England over the last 40 years.

            “It’s all nationalism.”. So why do you then segway into Yorkshire vs Lancs then? That is not nationalism. Yorkshire ( despite what Boycott may think) is not a country. It is not a nation. It’s a region, it’s a tribe yes, but as Yorkies will tell you, that within Yorkshire many tribes exist.

            If you want to argue that sport is tribal, then I would agree with you. But Sport does not have to be about nationalism. As you have already showed with county cricket. India and Pakistan used to be regions within The same country less than a century ago.


    • Sean B Jun 17, 2017 / 11:19 am

      Does that mean every tournament now needs to have Pakistan vs. India in the final? Make sure the sponsors get what they want after all, they’re naturally the most important people.

      The Murdoch’s never lose out it seems, although those prices are peanuts compared to the Super Bowl though. I think I read it was between 3 and 5 million dollars for a 30 second advert. Now that is fools gold…


      • Mark Jun 17, 2017 / 12:15 pm

        It’s just the way of the modern world I’m afraid. Everything it seems, including life itself exists for no other reason than to sell advertising.

        It’s the founding principle of The Champions league football. We can’t possibly have Real Madrid draw Barcelona in the first round because one will get knocked out. Instead we crate an endless group stage where the elite teams get lots of chances to milk their fans and sell advertising. Remember there used to be two group stages, (and the big clubs want to return to that model.) So that extra milking of their fans (sorry customers) can be continued.

        I just hope the game is a good one. We could do with a close finish. There have been so few of them in this event.


  15. Mark Jun 17, 2017 / 10:01 am

    I see Essex lost out to Notts yesterday despite Cook making a hundred, and a total of 370 wasn’t enough. The arty farty Cook praising pundits thought they were going to have a celebration of their boy wonder. Alas not to be….

    Didnt stop David Hopps making a prat of himself……..”Cook will have shared England’s disappointment. He does not do grudges. But he is capable of meaningful displays of his own prowess. It is what makes him such a fierce campaigner.”

    Obviously Hopps hasn’t read the mealy mouthed, grudge laden whinge when he was sacked as England ODI captain. Why do these Cook loyalists feel they have to keep writing this pathetic grovelling bullshit?

    Oh, and by the way….. if he is such a great captain, as they endlessly claim …….you would think he would have had a few ideas to help defend 370. But he was never tactically any good.


    • SimonH Jun 17, 2017 / 1:07 pm

      Mooresy could win his first limited-overs trophy as player or coach!

      Time for a second comeback?……


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