England v South Africa – Game Over

It’s been a fun four days. I don’t usually have test matches scheduled around my birthday (it was on Friday but I don’t want to talk about it) as the second series usually starts in mid to late July. So it was nice to watch a lot of cricket as I took time off, didn’t have a celebratory drink and chilled out after another traumatic and hectic week. What I saw was a very good England performance, with flaws of course, but still a resounding start to the Root regime. It was, also, good to see the return of some perennial blog commenters who seemed to have gone into hibernation as the hit rate increases massively in the longer form of the game.

It is often said by the editorial board that we are a “Bad News Blog”. It is true to a degree but that’s because the writers are a dreadful bunch of cynics. One thing we always say is that we should not over-react to a victory, because the team has major flaws. It is a test team that lost 6 out of the last 8 matches, which can be partially explained away, but not totally by alien conditions etc. Any turn in form, and home wins are a good way to start, has to be welcomed.

We started the day with England 119/1 and well on top. There had been a number of comments made about the pace of the response – I think we sometimes become  a little passive when we are on top – but many will also point out that the loss of 19 wickets in a day is justification for the decision to be ultra careful. Whenever the name Alastair Cook is raised, we see the temperature go the same way. Note the return of an old favourite today because I had the sheer gall to mention HIM. Cook’s 69 was, in the end, with the judgement of the scorebook, the match and the day’s play, was vital to steady the ship. Some, not me, think he puts pressure on the team-mates when he does that – the same thing was frequently levelled a Geoff Boycott – but the main evidence is how the game plays out, and without it, we might have been in trouble. Jonny Bairstow, a totally different player to Cook showed you could prosper if you took an aggressive attitude, so it wasn’t one size fits all. I just point out, repeatedly because facts are so damn awkward that:

  • Cook has made 5 hundreds in his last 92 test innings.
  • Cook has converted just 5 of his last 30 half-centuries into hundreds, but yet again Nasser mentioned Root’s conversion rate after the end of the game.

So when Cook was the first to fall, after a nothing sort of shot was well caught by Bavuma, the house of cards fell around him. Ballance nicked off, with Morkel bowling really well, Root was loose with Maharaj and was bowled. Stokes fell LBW to a Rabada delivery, which kept a little low but wasn’t the shooter that the pundits were wibbling on about. Suddenly 131/1 was 149/5 and some nerves were detected. A little stabilisation, with 20 odd runs added on by Bairstow and Moeen stemmed the bleeding, and it was at 180 that Moeen fell. A little tail wagging between Wood and JB took the score past 200 (after Dawson had completed a pair) and England wangled their way up to 233. Imperceptibly, Maharaj had taken four wickets, including the stumping of Bairstow to complete the innings. It was a portent of things to come.

England had set the visitors 331 to win, and it was evident from early on in the piece that they were never going to get anywhere near it. A great legside catch by Johnny Bairstow got rid of Kuhn, and a caught and bowled by Ali did for Elgar. Dawson saw off Amla, and then Moeen pretty much did the rest. South Africa looked like they might not get to three figures, but they did. Moeen took six wickets, for 10 in the match, and Dawson nabbed two.

England ended up winning by 211 runs. But for many of us on the blog, the highlight of the day was JP Duminy holing out at mid-wicket the last ball before tea. Duminy is one of those frustrating characters who appear to have most of the shots, but not most of the gumption. He’s not in the frame to be dropped as I listen to the Verdict (and what the hell has happened to that?) yet one of our number is adamant that he should be. We awaited his response, and it came…..

South Africa have a huge reputation for digging in and fighting. This was an awful surrender. The team looks quite weak in batting on paper. Elgar was dealt an inexperienced hand with no Faf, and with a player who could definitely help giving his committed support to the team, on Twitter! They missed chances, but they also appeared to lack resilience. With no Rabada in the second test, with Faf able to replace about four batsmen in the line-up, and with Philander nursing a damaged bowling hand, the prospects look dodgy indeed.

England must be very happy. A captain making 190 puts to bed early fears about the role affecting his form. Our pundits have memories like goldfish for some things, and like elephants don’t forget others. Root has banished one of the memes instantly. Moeen taking ten is great, adds to his confidence, but this was also the same man who was cannon fodder in India. He’s not as great as today’s figures, and not as bad as the confidence-shot man from last winter. His batting, at 7, is becoming like a mini-Gilchrist, albeit with a velvet smooth swing, for England, with him hitting fast runs to bail us out, or to make us strong. He’s a key weapon. For the rest, this was a pretty nothing test match. Good in parts, proved not very much, but also not done a lot of harm. The media are itching for Ballance to fail (don’t ever give me the agenda crap when this is as clear as day to me).

We’ll have some more considered thoughts in the week, perhaps, but for now England are 1 up, test matches have started, and I feel the season is now in full flow. Isn’t that something to be thankful for.

Finally, congrats to the England women’s team for their World Cup victory over Australia. Well done! Always good to beat the old enemy,


123 thoughts on “England v South Africa – Game Over

  1. dannycricket Jul 9, 2017 / 6:15 pm

    In an interview on Sky, Bayliss apparently said that England definitely wouldn’t be picking 5 seamers for Trent Bridge on Friday. This seems to suggest that Dawson will keep his position for the next game, which I find a little odd. He certainly didn’t impress with the bat, and taking 4 wickets on this Lord’s pitch didn’t blow me away either. The only other alternative would be a specialist batsman being drafted from outside the squad, but that doesn’t seem to fit the way England usually operate.


    • LordCanisLupus Jul 9, 2017 / 6:16 pm

      Dean Wilson has confirmed on Twitter that there is an unchanged squad for the next test. So Dawson it is.


      • dannycricket Jul 9, 2017 / 6:18 pm

        Where would we be, were it not for the good journalism of the English cricket press corps? Waiting for an official announcement on Friday morning, that’s where.


    • thelegglance Jul 9, 2017 / 7:16 pm

      His argument was that with Stokes and Moeen (and he could have added Bairstow too) they can select four specialist bowlers as well. And that on a green seamer if four pace bowlers can’t do the job, then a fifth isn’t going to make the difference.

      It’s an interesting argument, he seemed to saying conditions won’t be the driving reason behind selection and also that they would pick a spinner, with Moeen being second spinner, albeit the more successful of the two here. Not sure what I think about that but at least it suggests they’re trying to maximise the ‘free’ spaces having all rounders creates.


      • BoredInAustria Jul 9, 2017 / 8:18 pm

        “green seamer”
        Would be a dream for Rabada … oh…


        • thelegglance Jul 9, 2017 / 8:21 pm

          Well, those were Bayliss’s words rather than mine…


  2. man in a barrel Jul 9, 2017 / 6:22 pm

    The puzzle is Ballance. It is wrong to drop him after one more game but he did not show enough to justify his recall. He has to play the next match, I guess, but time is running before the next tour. Jennings did OK but he needs some runs to cement his place. Wood got through the match without having to bowl many overs but I think he was a few mph down on speed. I cannot check the Hawkeye data here, unfortunately. Jimmy and Broady should be able to manage the next Test because of the extra rest day. Not sure what to make of Dawson, frankly. A pair and a couple of wickets on a dodgy pitch make it hard to assess his impact


    • thelegglance Jul 9, 2017 / 7:19 pm

      Thought Ballance batted pretty well second dig. It can hardly be said anyone else made it look easy. Bairstow possibly.

      For Dawson, it’s his second Test. Whether he is or isn’t up to it we don’t know yet. He needs to play though.


      • Tregaskis Jul 9, 2017 / 7:24 pm

        “For Dawson, it’s his second Test. Whether he is or isn’t up to it we don’t know yet. He needs to play though.”

        Er, why?


        • thelegglance Jul 9, 2017 / 7:30 pm

          Because deciding someone wasn’t really good enough after a couple of Tests hasn’t been notably successful when we’ve tried it before.


          • Rooto Jul 9, 2017 / 8:14 pm

            Personally I love the fact that he’s had 4 innings and scored all his test runs in just one of them. It’d be a shame to spoil those figures…

            Liked by 2 people

          • Tregaskis Jul 9, 2017 / 10:08 pm

            I think you rather missed my point. Why must he be given his chance, without criticism, as if he is the only option in town. We all know that Rashid has earned his spurs over a much longer period, but been dispensed with. Dawson has offered nothing better apart from Andy Flower’s approbation.

            Let us consider his worth not just in terms of his relatively small achievements but also in comparison with the player whose place he effectively took.

            The issue can’t just be let the guy have a go, like it’s his turn, it should also be why is he replacing the guy that had a big shout for the place and is he exceeding those expectations.


          • thelegglance Jul 9, 2017 / 10:12 pm

            Well, whether he should have been selected initially is a slightly different question. But I’m saying that having been included, it would be perverse to dump him, not least because of what that would tell any new player coming into the side, namely do it in your first two Tests or off you go. That’s not a healthy state of affairs, irrespective of whether we might think someone else should have been persevered with. It’s possible to think Rashid has been badly treated without wishing the same on Dawson.


          • Tregaskis Jul 9, 2017 / 10:29 pm

            I guess it comes down to the dreaded word context. If you look at Dawson’s selection outside of Rashid’s omission, I fully accept your point.


          • thelegglance Jul 9, 2017 / 10:33 pm

            Indeed. And I absolutely agree with you about the bizarre treatment dished out to Rashid.


    • Benny Jul 9, 2017 / 7:49 pm

      Must agree with all that. Ballance has been brilliant in the championship = better than almost everyone else. Can’t knock the standard or everyone else would be doing it. Hope Ballance can grab his (last) chance because that would be so good for England. Jennings/somebody needs to tie that top spot down and I don’t believe Cook will go on forever anyway. I’m not sure what to make of Dawson either. Reckon he’d like to take that pitch with him everywhere but still not a stack of wickets. If you take Botham, Bailey and probably Flintoff out of the equation, Moeen stands tall amongst our all-rounders over many years.

      Setting aside all the assessment, analysis, that was a very enjoyable Test match to watch and demonstrates why so many prefer real cricket.


  3. d'Arthez Jul 9, 2017 / 6:23 pm

    Surprisingly Doet’t Nie’s FC average (Tests excluded) is in the 50s. Just suggests that he is a guy who cannot deal with the pressure. And series don’t come with much higher pressure than
    against England. A bit like Hick or Ramprakash, but they at least were dropped far more often, and had to face much higher quality attacks in general.

    Also, if you look at his ODI stats in England, it does not seem like he is actually much good at batting in England (19 innings with a HS of 38* against Sri Lanka, and a career SR of below 70, which seems like a reasonable enough sample size for someone who is not at home there), so obviously this guy has to be picked for the second Test. Personally I’d drop Duminy forever. He has had nearly 70 innings to prove his worth since his debut, and he just did not deliver. Time and again. Two hundreds in Australia does not make one a batsmen that should be picked indefinitely. Ask Adam Voges.

    That seems like plenty of opportunity for JP, and about 50 innings worth more of opportunities than many recent openers for England or South Africa have received. Apparently it is still not enough for the SA selectors to make up their mind that investing in JP Doet’t Nie is a losing proposition. The guy is nearly 34 now, so it is not like they will be enjoying him that much longer anyway, if he’d come good. Which somehow seems doubtful after 8 years of what at best can be called mediocrity (if mediocrity means being outbatted by several actual allrounders such as Ashwin and Philander).

    Personally I would not be too rough on Ballance, on the basis of this Test. He did quite well in the second innings.

    Oh, and Domingo rushed home again to deal with family circumstances. It seems his mother was involved in a car accident.


  4. Mark Jul 9, 2017 / 7:26 pm

    It seems unfair to be churlish when a guy is making his test captaincy debut. A win, and 190 in the bank at “the home of cricket,” with the sun shinning. I hate to break it to Joe Root, but it might not get any better than this.

    Having said that this could have been all very different. On another day England would have been all out for 250, and with SA making 350 it could have been all over inside 3 days. But it wasn’t. Mainly because this was one of the worst SA performances I have seen. We know they have acquired the chokers tag in ODI cricket, but over the decades their test match outfit is as hard as nails. Not any more. Something has gone very wrong with SA cricket when your best player would rather sit on Twitter all day, your captain was with his baby. (The modern way) and the numerous ex SA players are playing county cricket because it’s more lucrative with a falling currency.

    Enough about their problems what about England? This was not a typical Lords pitch, and England have got a bit of reputation for only being able to win when there is something in the pitch for their bowlers. They got stuffed by the Aussies in both the London test matches a few years ago on flat pitches. But apparently this was not just a good pitch, but an excellent pitch. ( according to Warne) I hope the Lords coffers agree as there will be no one there tomorrow, but then isn’t 4 day cricket what the sponsors want? I wonder if it was the hot weather and not an E- mail from an England the England management to the groundsman? We will never know.

    The great news about this result is it completely destroys one of the medias main memes for the last 4 years. Namely TINA. Today TINA died, she should have died years ago, but was kept alive by a discredited and dishonest media who practice fake news. There is always someone else who can do it. And today Joe Root showed that was true. Someone new, someone fresh, you wonder why England didn’t make the change years ago? Oh I think we all know why? Unfortunately the Cook fake news machine will have to now continue with the Cook batting stats. As Dmitri points out 50/100 conversion rates is never discussed unless your name is Root. Old habits die hard.

    A little truth has seeped out during this test, mainly from Mike Atherton who has pointed out that Cook was rather conservative in his tactics and field settings. I thought Gower was going to have breakdown when he pointed out that Cook tended to do whatever Broad and Anderson wanted. Progress I guess. But Root will have his bad days ahead and the media are going to jump on him when he does. I don’t think it was coincidence that Sky showed a segment this morning of previous England captains having rows with the media. Gower’s famous press conference in a tent, on route to the theatre was interesting viewing seeing what we have endured for the last 4 years. A new era, and a return to the England captain being held to account. That is a good thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thelegglance Jul 9, 2017 / 7:33 pm

      Really interesting point. Now Cook isn’t captain I wonder if we’ll get criticism for how he did it at last? Trouble is, it could end up being about praising the new captain more than anything. The King is dead, long live the King. That last one wasn’t much cop you know. This is far better.


      • Benny Jul 9, 2017 / 7:58 pm

        Oooh I don’t know. SA on 67-6 and the ultimate captain Nasser was complaining that Root’s field placings weren’t attacking enough. Surprised Nasser ever lost a match, he’s such an expert.


        • Mark Jul 9, 2017 / 8:14 pm

          It would have been interesting to attend “an evening with Nasser” on the first night.

          Perhaps more Count Arthur Strong than Don Bradman.


      • Mark Jul 9, 2017 / 8:05 pm

        I thought it was interesting the de Kock dismissal in the first innings. Atherton pointed out that Cook tended to push fielders back if nothing was happening, but Root put Stokes in there, and it brought a wicket from a batsman who was going well.

        Small beer, I guess but more honesty than we have had for the last couple of years. This of course will put the mockers on it. Expect Cook to be back as the greatest of all time for the next test match.


        • dannycricket Jul 9, 2017 / 8:26 pm

          The idea that you wouldn’t have an attacking field when you are 250+ runs ahead and have already taken 4 wickets is pretty damning. It’s the theory of “bowling dry” from the the last 10 years I guess…


          • Mark Jul 9, 2017 / 8:44 pm

            Ah yes, bowling dry. How could I forget!

            It’s up there with the Dutch’s “total Football.”


    • jomesy Jul 9, 2017 / 8:46 pm

      It’s pretty obvious to me (as an utterly myopic cook-hater!) that the team, under Root, can only really improve when Cook finally leaves.

      Can’t wait.

      But fear it might be a long wait – and sorry, I’m not of the view that his innings yesterday was anything much. It was pure A Cook – selfish.

      Yes, you can mould a story to what was needed ATPIT, but I don’t believe Cook’s ever done anything other than for himself – ref Mark’s point about his wiki entry.

      So, to his next pre-ordained job…read it here…which will be Sky, for a bit….until they realise there’s more intelligence in the soft packing of a NowTV box.

      At which point the ECB will snap him up…because he’s a really useful idiot and, apparently, he’s a marketer’s wet dream, so there won’t be any failure until he can’t wipe his own arse, by which time I hope to be dead.

      Apologies for being glass half full kind of guy.


      • Mark Jul 9, 2017 / 9:07 pm

        Next time Jomesy could you please tell us how you real feel. LOL


        • LordCanisLupus Jul 9, 2017 / 9:24 pm

          Looking at Twitter tonight, and Cook is dividing opinion again. Hilarious. If you don’t worship him hard enough, you are just a total “wrong-un”.

          I’ve really not seen anything like it since Boycott. Cook is currently an automatic selection. I’ve never sat down to watch Cook bat, but totally appreciate his skill and temperament. As I am now expressly forbidden to mention he who can’t be, and it is now far in the rear-view mirror, I can only say we need to be honest and open to the facts and performances before us.

          I saw Jenny say on Twitter that she doesn’t care about labels. That’s pretty sensible. I’m never going to start the Cook Fan Club, but he’s there for the forseeable, and we’ll bring the facts. You know, we know he has 11000 runs, 30 test hundreds, record England run scorer, when on form a class performer. Is this enough for Generals out there?

          Cook polarises. Some people, some day, might get this. Some people really don’t like the history. It’s why he, and the other one, get the hits, the reaction, the comments. Deal with it.


          • Mark Jul 9, 2017 / 10:01 pm

            Zods visit earlier showed that the bitterness continues.

            By the way, where was Zod on the winter tour? Perhaps I missed him?


          • LordCanisLupus Jul 10, 2017 / 8:00 am

            FAO Simon. What is the email address I need to send to you. Been having issues with my hotmail. You mentioned an article. Up and working now (I hope).


          • oreston Jul 10, 2017 / 6:26 pm

            How does my relating an interpretation of someone’s demeanour constitute a conspiracy theory? I’ve no doubt that Root is captaining the team (and how much advice he takes on board and from what quarter is something he’ll have to determine for himself).
            What I’m saying is that I don’t think Cook looks like a man who gets just how disasterous periods of his tenure as captain actually were and is behaving on the contrary as though he’s some sort of venerable elder statesman. He should be concentrating instead on his batting and trying to recover his early career form and consistency. That’s the best thing he could do for England and the best way he can help Joe Root.


          • oreston Jul 10, 2017 / 6:29 pm

            That was meant to be a reply to MDPAYNE87 below.


        • jomesy Jul 9, 2017 / 9:37 pm

          Mark – I’d been looking forward to the Cook v Rabada/Philander/Morkel contest. Rabada/Philander in particular.

          Now that’s done there is no contest and so no “test” series.

          England will walk this series now and Sky will sing it to the hill tops (and cite Cook with Root for it – it CANNOT be Root alone).


          • oreston Jul 10, 2017 / 12:10 am

            During the England first innings AC was shown at various times stationed on the team balcony – either sat next to Root and in conversation with him or else standing and leading the applause celebrating someone reaching a batting milestone. Yes, he’s a senior pro and I suppose you’d expect him still to be regarded as part of the wider “leadership group” (l really hate that expression, incidentally) but his primary role now is simply to bat and I just didn’t think in this Test he really displayed the body language of a player who’d melted humbly and gracefully back into the ranks. It’s not as though his c(r)aptaincy ended in a blaze of glory that he could reasonably be indulged to bask in as some sort of all conquering Captain Emeritus.


          • mdpayne87 Jul 10, 2017 / 9:06 am

            Quite a conspiracy theory Oreston.


  5. LordCanisLupus Jul 9, 2017 / 9:08 pm

    Newman – I read him so you don’t have to.

    It’s rejoice time. There’s improvement for Dawson. There’s a mention of the Middlesex v Yorkshire game that Root skippered. There is praise a plenty for Moeen. And then there is the finale…..

    “Even the slow scoring rate of England’s top three, which saw Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings and Gary Ballance going along at two an over for much of the 139 they added for the first two wickets, could be seen in hindsight as a positive because it provided a platform on an increasingly difficult pitch.
    More than anything this is a triumph for Root, who was always pro-active in the field, even if the jury is still out on his two contentious selections of Ballance and Dawson. England one up and holding all the aces.”

    Not a lot to moan about. Shame. People think I enjoy moaning!


    • Mark Jul 9, 2017 / 9:23 pm

      “contentious selections”

      When in four f***** years have we ever heard about anything relating to the England captain being described as contentious from Newman?

      A new captain of England, and the media are rediscovering their integrity. Who would have thought it? I don’t think even the media knew they had it in them.


      • thelegglance Jul 9, 2017 / 9:27 pm

        So are we saying that someone like Simon Kerrigan was a Cook selection now? I’m confused.


        • LordCanisLupus Jul 9, 2017 / 9:29 pm

          Gary Ballance the third time – Root.
          Gary Ballance the second time – Whitaker.

          People wonder why we have a problem with his media.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Mark Jul 9, 2017 / 10:05 pm

            So the England captain will be held responsible for the teams selection? That is a novel idea. Certainly for the last 4 years anyway.


        • Mark Jul 9, 2017 / 9:50 pm

          The acid test (pun intended) will be when Root and his men urinate on the pitch.


  6. d'Arthez Jul 10, 2017 / 5:01 am

    Now, knock me down with a feather. Even Firdose Moonda is critical of Doet’t Nie’s performance. I still maintain he will be playing the second Test.


    • Prime.Evil Jul 10, 2017 / 12:13 pm

      Are you referring to her article, “Duminy’s endless quest to belong”?

      This woman wants us to feel sorry for Duminy and his failures. She thought nothing of letting AB “have it” for his doings. Who felt sorry for Abbott? Who’s going to feel sorry for Morris when (not if) he gets promoted “sideways” if not already?

      First paragraph sums it up nicely: Look at me, I’m JP Duminy, it ain’t easy being me. What a huge cross to bear.

      No sir, Mr Duminy. You think life’s a breeze for the sod in the stadium who paid money to watch you fail over and over, the sod who pays DSTV subscription (the premium package, no less) to watch you fail over and over?

      I close my eyes and I see Richard Branson sitting on the pavement, hands in hair crying, “who knew life could be so unfair at the top.”

      No offence meant to Richard Branson – by all accounts he’s nothing like that.


      I’ve agreed with most things you said over the months. You pretty much say what I want to say – just much nicer/cleaner. Certainly things regarding SA cricket. I do smile when you carry on about Duminy – all justified in my opinion.

      Duminy must have powerful friends. Typical African way – president for life, until you die in a hail of bullets.

      Liked by 1 person

      • d'Arthez Jul 10, 2017 / 8:29 pm

        Yeah, that was the article.

        Of course it is not easy being an international sportsperson. But, if you choose to be one, you have to find ways dealing with the pressure that comes with that. You cannot use the pressure as an excuse to justify continuous failure. And that is what Firdose is doing. If you cannot cope with the pressure, you need to be doing something else. It is as simple as that.

        I personally got into cricket while I was living in South Africa (I am originally from the Netherlands) – and incidentally during that tour of Australia, I was having a holiday in the Drakensberg (with no access to internet or television), just a few kilometres walking from Lesotho. So I had to rely on newspapers to follow the series, which was far from ideal.

        And of course I could not be helped but being impressed by this new kid on the block, who had this magnificent stand with Steyn (both Steyn and Duminy’s career highest scores come from that match). And then the next series came, and went. And well, Duminy did not live up to those highs – of course you expect a return to the mean, rather than this high to go on in perpetuity. But the mean, well, really was not that good – even Marlon Samuels has the same average now (Duminy’s is 0.21 higher, but obviously, the difference between having to face the West Indies attack and the South African attack ought to be considered in those metrics), and well, I don’t think anyone would argue that Samuels did make the most of his talent. But unlike West Indies, South Africa do have many alternatives.

        As his batting returns deteriorated, his bowling was talked up. As those returns never materialized (he averages less than one wicket / innings he bowled in; his average workload / innings was 8 overs, not exactly high for a spinbowling option; Kallis averaged about 12 and a half overs / innings he bowled in), it was his fielding. Sure he has taken some good catches – but as cricketers become more and more skilled at fielding that has become the norm, rather than the exception.

        But other than an excellent 100* in Sri Lanka (2014), and a ton in Perth (2016), the runs dried up. Cook was axed for hardly scoring runs in New Zealand. But it is not like Duminy did much better, but that was happily ignored. Cook was constantly bombarded for making a ton and a string of low scores, but Duminy did just that (141 in Perth, 43 runs in the other 4 innings combined) as well. The talk when Amla was on a lean patch was that he might be dropped. And while such an argument can be made, but again such talk was strangely not happening with Duminy.

        And yet time and again, the selectors gave Jean Paul an extremely long rope. Not just in the Test side, but also in the ODI side. And other than a few ODI tons against Zimbabwe (3) and the Netherlands (1), he has done little of note. His record in ICC tournaments was mediocre, to put it politely (one ton against Zimbabwe, and a 99 against Ireland are his only scores of 50 or more, in 22 innings), his record against the “Big 7” (all Full Members, except for Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, who only recently have become a good ODI side, and the new Full Members) was anything but impressive. Yet he was still persisted with. And he is still persisted with.

        And as these frustrations grew, he seemed to be made of Teflon. After all, the selectors keep picking him, and making absurd decisions.

        Just a simple question for the selectors: how do you put in JP Duminy in at 6, when he has a career SR of 86 at that position, in a must win game against India? He does not have the game for the slog overs, so it would have made more sense to make him bat in the middle overs, as rotating the strike and running between the wickets is something he is (supposedly) good at (or did they really expect #4 and #5 both last 20 overs against India in an ODI; that would also be a bit on the criminal side, but I digress).
        That SR is lower than the openers! In fact, other than Rabada and Morne Morkel, who are not exactly renowned as batting options, he had the lowest career SR in that game against India. And here he comes, supposedly to finish the game (although by then it was more about trying to post something respectable). Never mind that his ODI record in England is simply atrocious (an average of 21, with an SR of 71.5; greatly aided by that successful slog of 38* against the potent bowling attack of Sri Lanka, in the Champions Trophy a few weeks ago) .

        What also does not help is that Duminy seemed to be a master of getting out in silly ways, and being extremely scratchy for low scores. Not exactly the kind of batsman you’d be wanting to bat for your life. Big game temperament is simply not there. Excellent domestic record, but simply extremely mediocre (and that is putting it mildly) on the international stage. Time and again – it took him nine years to make 2 scores of fifty or more in the same series!

        As for cricket in South Africa; apartheid ended in 1994, but economic inequalities obviously did not. The sad bit is that the powers that be (the current government), which should be at the forefront of addressing those issues, seem incapable of that (I’ll not turn this in a political commentary – that is not the ambit of this blog), and as such, access to sports is still highly restricted among economic lines. And therefore, it would be absurd to expect that a team will be representative of demographics, when the number of children who have access to the sport is not representative of demographics. CSA are trying their best, but they cannot make up for all the shortcomings of national government. That would be an absurd demand, and yet it seems increasingly to be the case that national government is demanding just that.

        Couple this with the current political situation in South Africa (and the falling Rand), and there is every reason to be concerned about the future of the sport in the country.

        Sorry if this turned out to be a long reply. Was not intended as such.


        • Prime.Evil Jul 10, 2017 / 11:25 pm

          Yes, being an international sports star, movie star, music star isn’t easy. Enjoy being put on a pedestal, enjoy the money, fame but not being man-handled by the public. I’m not knocking Duminy just because. He more than most has been given a free hand – to do as he sees fit. No repercussions. At least some try to pull the cart out of the drift. Not Duminy. No, sir. It’s too easy to just let go and drown.

          Demographics: if there are 10 black faces for every 1 white face in SA why must there be a 10 to 1 ratio in the swimming team, the snakes-and-ladders team, the chess team? If there are 100 white mathematicians and only 3 black mathematicians why can’t we say, “that’s the way it is” and leave it like that? Sometimes it’s difficult to find a particular person who is really keen. Solution: shoot the buggers who are keen because they don’t fit the requirements.

          The sad part is the ANC ruling party trying to appease the black masses by fighting the white bogey-man through high profile sports while allowing the country to fall apart.

          One hears all the time winning is not important, what matters is the team must be “right.” Mistake, South Africans are fickle supporters. Lose and the stadium is empty. Something the administrators can ill afford.

          But you are right, let us rather talk cricket. In a SA pub the quickest way to get into a fist fight is to talk politics and religion. Sometimes women too.


  7. BoredInAustria Jul 10, 2017 / 5:09 am

    A few random thoughts:

    – SA had their chances and can not complain. There seems to be be large deficits in the team and I am not sure they will get into a better position this tour than on the first morning. At least Faf is back.
    – The Rabada ban, that probably was brought about through the frustrations of not capitalising on the good start, leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Let us hope there is still something to play for in the last 2 tests. As Smith said, it will be interesting how this will be consistently policed in the future. A shame for the spectacle (at least we have Duminy keeping us entertained).
    – I still wonder what would have happened if Root had to make a proactive decision regarding the match (declaration etc.) if the wickets did not tumble as they did.
    – Rashid must feel hard done by – once a great spinning pitch, England plays 2 spinners, they are asked to take wickets, and he is not one of them. You do wonder what power Mr F still wields.
    – It will be interesting which of the fast bowlers on either side will still be standing at the end of the series…
    – Looks like England should take this series. More fire power in the tank.
    – Test cricket is wonderful


  8. nonoxcol Jul 10, 2017 / 8:38 am

    Surprised Dmitri hasn’t picked up on this ridiculous slice of #greatesteveritis.

    Yet again. We can’t just congratulate someone for a terrific achievement without ignorant hyperbole. BOTHAM IN BOMBAY. Literally the last time an English cricketer took 10 wickets and made a fifty. Personally I think Flintoff at Edgbaston 2005 is far superior as well, for reasons that shouldn’t even need explaining. There might even – shock horror – have been some foreigners who managed better performances.



    • thelegglance Jul 10, 2017 / 8:40 am

      The rule of media, be it a headline or a tweet: if there’s a question mark at the end, the answer is ‘no, don’t be stupid’. Try it, it works every single time.

      Liked by 2 people

      • nonoxcol Jul 10, 2017 / 8:48 am

        The responses include Botham at Headingley (199 for once out, 8-109, *those* circumstances) and Alan Davidson in the first Tied Test (124 runs, 11-222).

        I perhaps wouldn’t be so annoyed if TMS hadn’t employed someone who genuinely asked last winter whether Shakib al Hasan had ever taken five wickets in an innings before he did so against England. From Shakib’s Wiki entry:

        “He is also one of only three players to score a century and take 10 wickets in the same Test match.”


        • thelegglance Jul 10, 2017 / 8:52 am

          Like Dmitri, I saw that – though I’ve a feeling it was Andy Saltzmann who tweeted it first. Sometimes I just roll my eyes.


    • LordCanisLupus Jul 10, 2017 / 8:45 am

      But it was the two catches. All the difference. Saw it but what can you do?


    • Mark Jul 10, 2017 / 10:00 am

      Problem is that cricket, more so than other sports is obssesed with stats and averages as a way of judging a player.

      Imagine if a batsman scored 99 everytime he went into bat, but never scored a hundred. How would he be judged at test level as a top batsman with not one hundred, and yet an average akin to Bradman? We all know that in 99.9% of matches the difference in a batsman scoring 99 or 102 is irrelevent in the outcome of the match. Yet hundreds scored are the big deal.

      His conversion rate from 50 to 100 would be nil. Yet he would have 100% record of getting to 50. One to make Nassers head explode.

      Equally, imagine an opening bowler who took the wicket of the number 1 and number 3 batsman for less than 5 runs everytime he played. But took no other wickets. 2 top wickets every game for hardly any runs, but never a fifer. Would he be woth playing in the team?


      • thelegglance Jul 10, 2017 / 10:39 am

        It’s why stats can cause argument rather than enlightenment a lot of the time – the Moeen Ali example is a good one, a poor average and poor economy rate but a very decent strike rate. Which takes priority in the assessment? The trouble is that a lot of the time perception still gets in the way, so Australians will tend to think VVS Laxman is a batting God, the English not so much. In my own playing time I played against teams I would get runs against all the time, and they thought I was brilliant, and others I couldn’t get a run against – and they thought I was useless! And how do you define soaking up the attack and battling hard (Cook yesterday) or batting too slowly (Cook yesterday!). Even with stats it still ends up largely a matter of opinion unless they’re so obviously good or bad.

        Didn’t Flintoff have a habit of taking out the top order, even though he only took two Michelles in his career? Or did I dream it? Trying to be fair is about as good as you can do with these things.


      • Grenville Jul 10, 2017 / 10:40 am

        On that note, does anywhere publish player averages with a standard deviation. If so,where and what does it reveal?


      • AB Jul 10, 2017 / 1:23 pm

        Oh we get this debate a lot at club level.

        What’s worth more to the team, 50 off 40 balls that forces the opposition to withdraw their most dangerous bowler, and buys his teammates the time to play themselves in, and results in a team score of 250, or the bloke who nudges his way to 80* off 120 balls, that suffocates the innings and leads to a score of 150.

        But we know who is going to win the averages and take the plaudits every year.

        Same with the bowling – who’s more valuable – the bloke who picks up cheap wickets against the tail when the game is already won, or the bloke who puts his hand up when the opposition are 150-0 and hitting 6’s for fun, but makes the key breakthrough?


  9. Mark Jul 10, 2017 / 10:29 am


    Jonathan Agnew’s review of the test match.

    While I don’t disagree with him that South Africa were very poor, it does seem a sea change from the way Cooks captaincy was covered. Suddenly the opposition ain’t much good.

    “This takes nothing away from England, but they had to put in little more than a mixed display to give Joe Root a win in his first match as captain.”

    On Roots captaincy…..

    “It’s very easy to evaluate captaincy from the commentary box, to nitpick every decision, but Root did OK.”

    If it’s so easy you did remarkably well to avoid nit picking a single test match in 4 years of Cook.

    And speaking of Cook…..

    “Cook will not be a grumpy old pro, chuntering in the corner as the team move on. He will enjoy his cricket and bat the way he does.”

    I love they way he knows for certain what Cook will do.

    “With his schedule – no one-day internationals – he could play Tests for a long time to come.”

    Yes he could, on the other hand once you get to 34 that’s regarded as not worth pursuing in some players.”

    And back to Root for one last dig……

    “However, even though he wasn’t necessarily challenged by the tactical demands of the game, and he had the luxury of England winning handsomely, Root seemed tired when I spoke to him at the end of the match. Once or twice he lost his train of thought.”

    So now Roots fitness will be scrutinised. The double standards as to how Agnew covered Cook for 4 years, and Roots first test match is like night and day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • BoredInAustria Jul 10, 2017 / 2:32 pm

      “Once or twice he lost his train of thought.”
      Unlike the lucid and well spoken …eeh…eh..Cook

      Liked by 1 person

        • Mark Jul 10, 2017 / 7:48 pm

          He did, but Agnew did not pass that on to the reader. I’m sure he would not have let that slip by if Cook was under the weather.


  10. thelegglance Jul 10, 2017 / 10:51 am

    We get to see the referrers to this site, so if someone links in a thread, we see if people have clicked on it. We also get basic info on search terms that have brought people here. Today is unquestionably my all time favourite search term to come to BOC.

    “Steven Smith cricketer hairstyle”.

    Right, own up. Who wrote the piece that included that? Can’t be Dmitri, he hasn’t got any hair. Sean? My money is on Sean.


        • thebogfather Jul 10, 2017 / 11:52 am

          ‘You Strauss!!!’ – You mean I spent a large chunk of last winter re-reading nearly everything on HDWLIA when I could’ve been combing through that site instead! (Just glanced…now hooked, and I know where all the tribbles went too…)


          • thelegglance Jul 10, 2017 / 12:02 pm

            Happy reading! It’s affectionate rather than nasty, and that makes it work. Utterly fascinating and quite poignant in parts. Poor sod being a leading man and it all falling out in his early twenties.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Sean B Jul 10, 2017 / 12:29 pm

      Nothing to do with me, certainly wouldn’t be looking at pinheads bonce if I was looking for a change lol!!


  11. Nicholas Jul 10, 2017 / 1:39 pm

    Sky have announced their ‘new pricing structure’ and a dedicated cricket channel. But look behind the headline and it’s all a bit disappointing. It costs just £18 extra for a channel which contains all of Sky’s cricket coverage, and is totally cricket 24/7 – but you are obliged to pay £22 for other (enterntainment-y) stuff before you’re allowed to take the cricket channel, so the cost is actually £40 per month. And that’s SD only – it’s another £6 for HD!! So it’s hardly opening up the market the way they claim it will.

    We still don’t know how they will handle clashing matches – whether they’ll be put on one of the multi-genre channels (and thus unavailable to the cricket-only subscribers) or via the red button.

    Whilst it’s unlikely that many current Sky subscribers will downgrade (at present, the cost for all the channels remains the same, the same content is now just spread over more channels), it would be possible for those who just want Premier League football to downgrade from the full Sky Sports pack to just the Sky Sports Premier League channel (going down from £70-ish to £40-ish) and they would then lose access to the cricket. So, in fact, this move might well *decrease* eyeballs to cricket if casual sports fans wish to strip back their channel selections to a single channel for another sport (or, two).

    Interesting to see how it plays out, but it’s another product launch (here’s looking to you, Sky Sports 5 and your borderline-illegal broadband tie-in campaign three years ago) from Sky that seems to be deliberately opaque. But they’re a fantastic partner for the ECB to have, of course. We all know that. It’s not just about broadcast rights, it’s about growing the game. Etc. etc.


    • Mark Jul 10, 2017 / 2:37 pm

      Thanks for that Nicholas. As you say not the great give away they were claiming. So assuming you go for HD that is £46 per month. The £18 per month headline claim is rather misleading.

      I agree it may well be football fans who downgrade to football only as a way of saving money. And as they are the biggest group it could mean less cricket is watched. £70 for the full package is getting pretty steep. Especially if you have to pay for BT as well.

      No wonder the kids are watching stuff on their phones.


      • thelegglance Jul 10, 2017 / 2:38 pm

        Note that Sky have never reduced their prices to allow for having lost a bunch of sports rights to BT…


        • Mark Jul 10, 2017 / 3:47 pm

          Yes, funny I never get a letter from Sky saying……..As we have just lost premiership rugby, and champions league football here is a £10 per month discount. Nope never happens.

          Usually it’s ……..we have another darts tournament to look forward to.


    • dannycricket Jul 10, 2017 / 8:07 pm

      I’m interested to see if the individual channels are available on Now TV. If Sky Sports Cricket was available for £18-20, I’d probably get it. It’s not clear exactly what’s happening with Sky Sports there. The press release only says that the price for the complete sports package on Now TV will remain the same price (with 3 new channels), and the Now TV website hasn’t been updated with the new lineup yet.


  12. LordCanisLupus Jul 10, 2017 / 2:55 pm

    Just been advised, completely out of the blue, that one of our commenters will join the limited number of people from this blog to have met me, as they are coming to meet me this week.

    Do they know who they are? Probably not.

    dmitriold@hotmail.co.uk if you think it’s you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebogfather Jul 10, 2017 / 3:12 pm

      Your real name is Mandi and I claim my prize tomorrow…at Paulsgrove HLC 🙂


          • thebogfather Jul 10, 2017 / 3:48 pm

            …from a tourist adviser perspective I presume…? Hmmm,,, now we know where the nomdeplume Legglance comes from and thus Thai consumes.. 😉


          • thelegglance Jul 10, 2017 / 4:07 pm

            You know when Dmitri says he sees these things so you don’t have to…


      • Sean B Jul 10, 2017 / 4:08 pm

        That’s only at Weekends…


  13. thebogfather Jul 10, 2017 / 5:00 pm

    IsVicThere? A DepartmentaleSsay…
    TheSlogfather 10m ago

    First spinner, second spinner, third rate MSM click-bait the winner
    Just as Adil is fed to us as ‘fragile’ and bowling too slowly (copyright Selvey) for a while
    So both seen as ‘CluelessCraptainCookie’ era, unsupported sinners
    Yet the Root of all evil, allowed Mo to attack with a smile…


    • man in a barrel Jul 10, 2017 / 5:28 pm

      Regarding the velocity of bowling – someone who obviously knows nothing about spin bowling (a commentator by the name of Shane Warne, or some obviously made-up name like that) kept making the point that, on the Sunday at least, there was more turn when the bowling was under that magical 50mph threshold so beloved by Selvey and the real experts on spin bowling. This chappie Warne kept begging the bowlers to slow it down and let the ball grip. What would he know?

      Liked by 2 people

      • thebogfather Jul 10, 2017 / 5:48 pm

        My point exactly, who would you believe – Warne or Selfry/#39/Newman?


    • Mark Jul 10, 2017 / 6:44 pm

      When you’re dealing with the entertainment industry, and trying to manage high earning talent it’s probably not a good idea to bring in a bunch of ex Rio Tinto mining executives to do it.

      You would be better off bringing in executives from either the music or film industry.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sean B Jul 10, 2017 / 6:53 pm

        Yep I’ve read a bit about Peever. Seems a pretty nasty, power grabbing type of guy!


    • thelegglance Jul 10, 2017 / 6:52 pm

      Interesting that according to that the ECB have annoyed CA rather than backing them up. Some thought the other way around. I’m somewhat out of the loop on everything that’s going on down there. It’s looking increasingly messy, but hardly surprising the players are going to start looking at individual deals if they’re out of contract. What did CA expect to happen?


      • Sean B Jul 10, 2017 / 6:53 pm

        They tried to divide and rule and failed in a nutshell…


          • Sean B Jul 10, 2017 / 6:57 pm

            I would guess after the empty posturing that CA might see sense when they’re sponsors start to withdraw…


      • LordCanisLupus Jul 10, 2017 / 7:09 pm

        I was the one who said the ECB were doing this to put pressure on the players. That they did it to “help” Cricket Australia. Despite this article, I don’t see a reason to change this view. Who do you think Giles and Col share their worldview with? Lairy players or arrogant captains of industry?

        But, we should never underestimate their total and utter aptitude in being totally arrogant, completely misguided and as much use as a chocolate fireplace.


        • thelegglance Jul 10, 2017 / 7:13 pm

          Didn’t know enough about it at the time to challenge the comment, and still don’t so I’m not arguing. It’s never a good idea to put your oar in to a dispute elsewhere though.


        • Sean B Jul 10, 2017 / 7:19 pm

          I still think it’s a bit of ‘foot in mouth’ syndrome from the ECB, but also a less than subtle threat to CA to sort it out.

          I’m more with Brettig on this one.


  14. LordCanisLupus Jul 10, 2017 / 7:01 pm

    Sometimes I wonder if the England test team is Cook’s private preserve.


    “I was having a laugh watching him in the field, running around in the covers,” said Bayliss.

    “He looked like he was enjoying it. For someone at this stage of his career, that’s a good sign.”

    Jesus wept. This is on the BBC, not Hello! magazine.

    Ah, and Aggers is in there too…

    “Alastair Cook looks like has he gulped in a huge breath of fresh air by giving up the captaincy.

    I interviewed him on the fourth morning and was able to draw a comparison between the Cook of now and the Cook I spoke to after the fifth Test against India in Chennai last year. It was like a different man.

    Cook will not be a grumpy old pro, chuntering in the corner as the team move on. He will enjoy his cricket and bat the way he does.”

    Joe Root scored 190, Mo took 10 wickets.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sean B Jul 10, 2017 / 7:16 pm

      What a heartwarming image, if only he could’ve done some lambing at the same time to complete the image.

      No wait, I’ve just sicked a bit in my mouth..

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mark Jul 10, 2017 / 7:45 pm

      “I was having a laugh watching him in the field, running around in the covers,” said Bayliss.

      “He looked like he was enjoying it. For someone at this stage of his career, that’s a good sign.”

      He makes Cook sound like an old horse who won the Grand National 5 years ago.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Rpoultz Jul 11, 2017 / 6:20 am

      Please, I can’t take much more of this. It’s going to be this way until he retires isn’t it? Again, never has a 60 odd been praised to the rafters as his while roots 190 faded into the background.


      • nonoxcol Jul 11, 2017 / 7:34 am

        It’s not the first time. Here’s the blueprint, from a source that should surprise no-one:

        “Cook’s 45 at Trent Bridge was worth any hundred on a shirt-front.”


        It was 43. Root scored 130 on the same pitch, having come in at 34-2. 130 was literally more than twice as many as any Australian batsman made over TWO innings, and of the English players only Bairstow made more than half as many. It was almost exactly three times as many as Cook, but we looked in vain for any indication that Root’s innings was equivalent to a triple hundred.


  15. LordCanisLupus Jul 10, 2017 / 7:03 pm

    Royally pissed off with Sky. 8 pm highlights last night, pre-set earlier in the week, and I sit down to watch them tonight, and I get a load of idiots running around in Black v Red rugger.

    Not for the first time, utter contempt for cricket fans.


  16. man in a barrel Jul 10, 2017 / 8:53 pm

    Just saw a puff piece by Vaughan on Root…. He didn’t make the obvious point that captaincy is usually easier if you score 190 runs. What was the margin of victory? If you can imagine a course in cricket captaincy, I guess the easiest ways of winning arise from the skipper making 200 runs or taking 10 wickets. Otherwise it is graft and luck. Since the experts don’t tell us, I thought I would let you know my thoughts…. For comments, of course


  17. man in a barrel Jul 10, 2017 / 8:55 pm

    A challenge to D and Simon…. Has any captain lost after scoring 200 or taking 10 wickets? In Australia, 1936, I think England lost after a Hammond double century but he was not the captain


      • Sir Peter Jul 11, 2017 / 3:50 pm

        Sh** of the first order, allegedly


    • Mark Jul 10, 2017 / 9:16 pm

      Dennis Ammis made 200 against the WI in 1976 I think, and lost at the Oval. But he wasn’t captain.


      • LordCanisLupus Jul 10, 2017 / 9:24 pm

        A good number have made 200 in a game and lost. Collingwood was one I saw. Lara more than once. Ponting did at Adelaide as well v India, I think. Hayden possibly in India in 2001?


  18. man in a barrel Jul 10, 2017 / 8:59 pm

    It might have happened in 1928 – 9….Ryder getting a double for Australia but being sufficiently outscored by Hammond that England still won, thanks to a marathon act by J C White. Check his strike rate, Leggy, and his economy rate. Puts Moeen in perspective


      • Sean B Jul 10, 2017 / 9:24 pm

        I was going to say Bangladesh vs NZ recently but forgot Shakib wasn’t captain. Mushfiqur got 169 in the same game and still lost!


        • LordCanisLupus Jul 10, 2017 / 9:25 pm

          Lara is the only one according to Statsguru. Of course Shakib!


          • Sean B Jul 10, 2017 / 9:31 pm

            Yep just checked on Sanga and Jayawardene as SL were the only team to spring to mind. Sanga’s last ton was a double against NZ and they lost (Matthews was captain though)


          • LordCanisLupus Jul 10, 2017 / 9:32 pm

            Best losing double? Nathan Astle? Christchurch?


          • Sean B Jul 10, 2017 / 9:33 pm

            For sure. No arguments there from me and I’m not going to mention the Scottish test!!


    • d'Arthez Jul 11, 2017 / 4:25 am

      Kapil Dev lost despite taking 10/135 against West Indies, in 1983 (Ahmedabad). That included 9/83 in the third innings! Bedi lost despite taking 10/194, in Perth, 1977. Those are the best performances of a bowler in a losing cause.

      Spare a thought for Willis. 9/92, against New Zealand in 1983 (Leeds). Pollock (9/94, against WI) and Imran Khan (9/136, against England) are the only other bowlers who have taken 9 or more wickets in a losing cause, while captaining their side.

      Brian Lara’s 202 is the only double ton by a losing captain. Spare a thought for Steve Waugh (199) and Trescothick (193), which are the second and third highest innings scores by captains in a losing cause.

      Liked by 1 person

      • d'Arthez Jul 11, 2017 / 4:30 am

        Of course, I am mentioning captains’ performances only.


      • d'Arthez Jul 11, 2017 / 4:54 am

        And in case people are wondering:

        Brian Lara scored 2106, at an average of 40.50 runs in losing causes as a captain. Cook (1672, at 38.0), and Fleming (1589, at 29.4) are the only other captains to have made more than 1500 runs in losing causes.

        Bear in mind that Lara captained in 47 Tests, Fleming in 80, and Cook in 59.

        I am sure no one would have guessed that the leader of the pack is Daniel Vettori (46 wickets from 16 lost Tests), for number of wickets taken while captain in a losing cause. The captaincies of Bedi, Kapil Dev, Imran Khan, and Shaun Pollock were either not that lengthy, or simply did not include that many losses.

        In the case of Bedi though, that included 4 5-fers, and 3 4-fers. He went wicketless in 5 innings though. Courtney Walsh also had 4 5-fers, from just 7 Tests lost as a captain.

        What also should be noted that Willis took his 23 wickets in lost causes at 16.17. Imran Khan (31 wickets at 20.06, Kapil Dev (33 at 21.48) and Pollock (20 at 23.95) are the bowling captains with averages of less than 25 in lost causes.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Mark Jul 11, 2017 / 9:34 pm

    It would seem that the Aussie players are getting some financial support.,

    “The ACA is in the process of securing a multimillion-dollar line of credit to support the unemployed players to counter attempts by CA to starve them out,” an ACA spokesman said.

    “Major international financial institutions have shown strong interests in supporting the players at this difficult time. The ACA is fielding support from private individuals who are also willing to back this move.”

    Fans pay to come and see players play…. not administrators prance about. Even some rich people agree on that.


  20. man in a barrel Jul 11, 2017 / 11:04 pm


    I presume you realise just how much of any premier league club’s revenue goes to the talent. The balancing act is freeing enough money to develop the next generation. I don’t see that vision in the Premier League, let alone the ICC. Yet the premier league stands to lose everything


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