England v West Indies – A Floodlit Farce

 

England today wrapped up victory by an innings and 209 runs . It wasn’t a shock. It wasn’t England playing out of their skins. It wasn’t even a difficult pitch or particularly bad conditions. No. England turned up, played up to par, made the runs, took the wickets, finished it within three days and can rest up for another “difficult” match whenever these two sides meet again. Is it next week? Who the hell cares?

You don’t need me to go into the gory details. 19 wickets in a day. According to the sources this is the first time this has happened in the history of West Indies cricket. We’ve seem some nonsense in the past, but this is a serious nadir in the history of the game in the Caribbean. These lads out there are not equipped to play in these conditions. A couple might have had county games (Roach, maybe?) but the rest are greenhorns over here. In the Caribbean they might put up more of a fight (we drew the last series, lost the one before that in the West Indies) but this is wretched. I’ll talk more about that in a post when I get the time, because West Indies is part of my cricketing education, my DNA, my historical linchpin. When I grew up they were the greatest. The team we never seemed close to beating. A team with legends. Even when they waned in the 90s and early 2000s, you still had Ambrose, you still had Walsh, you still had Hooper, Chanderpaul and of course, my favourite and my greatest player, Brian Lara. They may not have fired, but they were frequently very interesting.

This procession has told England nothing. We have learned nothing. We cannot be surprised at the team in front of us who we are pummeling. How can you be happy watching this? The game is more than stats-padding and notching up simple victories. It has to be about a contest, and if it isn’t about a contest, then it should be because it is an all-time great outfit administering the whupping.

Innocent Bystander is particularly fervent when he asks why it would be good for cricket if England lost to the West Indies? I know what he means. The above question posed by Lawrence Booth is an interesting one. Are we just being patronising by “feeling sorry” for the West Indies? I genuinely don’t mean to be, because they mean a lot to me as a fan. So I answered truthfully. I much preferred the 1980s to this. Because that was a team full of stars. Even their “less-heralded” players like Larry Gomes, or Gus Logie, would get 100 caps in this generation. To win a test against that team was amazing – I remember Jamaica 1990 as one of the most exciting wins by an England team – whereas this England team are plodding ordinary when the mood doesn’t take them.

I’m not running through the day’s play. Why should I? Read it in the news, watch the highlights, listen to them pontificate on Cricket Writers. Let them all tut tut about how this is poor for test cricket as if they have played no part in it. As if the international authorities husbanded the money for the rich guys and cared not a shit for the others. How maladministration in all forms is badly under-reported, both internationally and at a local level – boots not suits is a short-term cure with a long-term disease – and now test cricket is royally on its knees. This test hasn’t just led me to this conclusion, it’s been the nagging thought in the back of my head for quite a few years. The one you hope goes away, where each team has two or three top players you need to get out, two really decent bowlers who you genuinely fear. Now Test cricket is dying before our eyes, and while Sky laud the England team, they also know this is a pup. You can see it in their eyes. You can hear it in their voices. A chap I follow on Twitter, who I disagree with a lot on cricket, has asked whether this is the last time the West Indies tour here. It should be if they can’t pick their best XI. That’s for starters. KP says there might be thousands of kids playing cricket, as some Windies Empty Suit blathered about at tea, but they all want to play T20. The heart sinks, and you hope some of them are inspired by Lara, by Richards and by the other greats and not some hit and giggle bollocks that disappears into the ether as soon as it is finished.

There’s more where this came from. England won. Cook got a lot of runs. Some Twitter peeps got a little bit too chopsy, asking me to cheer harder (honestly) and accused this blog of being set up to hate Cook (honestly), and having a go because we point out he’s not doing brilliantly against top oppo and hasn’t for a long time, but still remains firmly our best opener and he batted very well. This sort of nonsense is a sideshow. We are watching the end of days of top class test cricket. I’m sad. Three days and nights to give you much food for thought.

Shiny Toy has the answer.

Have a good rest of the weekend. We hadn’t planned for a fourth day scribe. Now you know why.

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62 thoughts on “England v West Indies – A Floodlit Farce

  1. alecpaton August 19, 2017 / 8:21 pm

    The last time a team played this poorly in a test between the 2 sides, England were bowled out for 51. It was ultimately a springboard for the team’s prolonged success, which saw them win back-to-back Ashes, trophies at home and away against India, drawn away series against South Africa and Sri Lanka and the World T20. The team became battle hardened and were hard to beat (an assertion that Pakistan and Perth’s pitch doctor may wish to dispute).

    That West Indies have little hope of repeating this is down to a multitude of factors, many of the repeated above and elsewhere but this one stands out by a mile for me: If the ECB dropping KP was folly, the WICB dropping Darren Bravo must surely be considered a cry for help- their only established batsman averaging 40 and they can’t find space for him on the plane? They should have been turned away at the airport. In administrative terms, they were being made to play in their vest and pants.

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus August 19, 2017 / 8:26 pm

      Alec. You have a point, but that 51 all out test had the first innings relatively equal (just checked – 72 runs, more than I thought. Sarwan was a royal pain on that tour). In this test the West Indies had an early decent start and then when the big boys got in, it was all over.

      Agree one billion percent about Bravo. If I can be permitted such hyperbole. But you can’t slag off authority. We all know that.

      Like

      • alecpaton August 19, 2017 / 8:41 pm

        I can slag off authority all I want. From my boss’ perspective, being caught staring out the window would mean that at least I wasn’t on the Cricinfo website.

        Like

  2. alecpaton August 19, 2017 / 8:48 pm

    Not only can I use Cricinfo, I only use Cricinfo. This makes looking up recipes and ordering supplies for work tricky.

    Like

    • dannycricket August 19, 2017 / 9:00 pm

      I still only use cricinfo too, no matter how hard they are clearly trying to get rid of me.

      Like

      • Benny August 19, 2017 / 11:37 pm

        I still use cricinfo. Still have the old app on IPad and it works well. If I want, I google espncricinfo Broad and get the same old, which tells me Broad has almost identical average, economy and strike rate to Sir Ian. Mind you, Botham had to bowl against rather better WI teams than what we’ve seen this week

        Like

  3. LordCanisLupus August 19, 2017 / 8:53 pm

    Maybe a penetrating journo might have tested Al’s belief that this current generation of test cricket is the best it’s ever been. Sylvester Clarke, Anthony Gray (might be pushing it a bit, but he had a great season with Surrey!), Wayne Daniel would be 80+ test match players in this era.

    Liked by 1 person

    • quebecer August 19, 2017 / 11:42 pm

      In all fairness, Clarke and Daniel would have had 80+ caps for any other team in their own era too.

      Like

  4. Mark August 19, 2017 / 9:03 pm

    If the muppets are demanding we all clap louder then they just confirm my belief that they are morons. This farce doesn’t warrant more applause. It should be of great sadness what the administrstors have done to test cricket.

    I have no sympathy for anyone who bought a ticket for this event. I wonder if Mayweather vs McGregor will turn out to be as big a rip off? People seem so easily relived of their hard earned these days. The economy must be booming! The administrators are now employing P T Barnum to put on modern day hoaxes.

    And talking about P T Barnum, Sky have D Gower. The modern version. They have gone into orgasmic mode with Broad and Anderson now topping the most wickets in England’s history. I don’t know what to make of this. You have to give them praise, yet having watched cricket for nearly 50 years I have my doubts. Broads figures are almost exactly the same as Botham. But you can only beat what is put in front of you, and they have done this.

    Yet it all seems so hollow…….

    Like

  5. d'Arthez August 19, 2017 / 9:15 pm

    Just to confirm:

    Roach has played 4 CC games, way back in 2011. 14 wickets at a touch under 40 in late August / September (albeit in division 1). Most of those wickets were taken in a trashing of Lancashire, and if memory serves that wicket was a bit on the spicy side.

    That is the full extent of CC experience in the entire West Indian lineup.

    Like

  6. thelegglance August 19, 2017 / 9:19 pm

    Just for reference, as the writers sometimes we see what one of the others posts and wish we’d done it ourselves.

    This is one of those. Wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark August 19, 2017 / 10:02 pm

      What again? He’s a regular feature these days.

      Like

  7. Badger August 19, 2017 / 9:57 pm

    I don’t really feel like there’s any such thing as test cricket anymore. It’s my very favourite sport and I don’t even follow it beyond dipping into this blog occasionally nowadays.

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus August 19, 2017 / 9:59 pm

      The Ashes are our only hope. A competitive, hard fought series, no matter who wins, would help. Not saying it is a cure-all, but I know you aren’t alone Badger.

      Like

  8. oreston August 20, 2017 / 5:36 am

    I wouldn’t demean the Windies by saying that the Edgbaston test was men against boys, but it was about as even a contest as this…

    Like

    • SimonH August 20, 2017 / 8:39 am

      Or this….

      Like

      • Mark August 20, 2017 / 9:20 am

        A tall left hander racking up runs against kids.

        Sounds familiar.

        Like

        • SimonH August 20, 2017 / 12:05 pm

          “243 of the Queen’s runs, Alice…. “

          Liked by 1 person

          • Mark August 20, 2017 / 12:52 pm

            Ha ha!

            Like

      • oreston August 20, 2017 / 12:22 pm

        I’d forgotten this one 🙂

        Like

  9. metatone August 20, 2017 / 6:42 am

    Not much to add.

    To answer Booth’s question, 1988 series was awful for England, but the games still had more drama about them. The third Test was a rout, but Marshall bowled like a magician.

    Of course, I was young then – and I’m sure some youngsters will have thrilled to this victory and fair enough, but it felt like a waste of time to me. Really hard to see how WI recover from this as a Test side. The money side of the game just doesn’t provide any reason for the best WI players to commit to Tests.

    Like

  10. nonoxcol August 20, 2017 / 8:36 am

    Over at TFT, James has written a fair and balanced piece on Cook. So, obviously one of our most instantly recognisable troll friends has turned it into 2014/15 redux….

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus August 20, 2017 / 8:51 am

      Am I missing something or is my memory on the blink. Who is that meant to be?

      Only pundits views matter was one of my favourite bits. That was a rib tickler.

      Like

      • Mark August 20, 2017 / 9:13 am

        “Only pundits views matter”

        Says the person who goes to the trouble of going on sites attacking non pundits. Why bother if they don’t matter?

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus August 20, 2017 / 9:30 am

          Sorry, I left out ex-players.

          I’ve read the tirade. It’s genuinely funny how the individual remembers many of the brickbats on here and HDWLIA when I’ve long forgotten them. You only get really, really angry when deep down, you know the side putting the “criticism” has points that have merit. Like slowly explaining how South Africa have the wood over him. How the 2010-11 series against the Aussies, while incredible, and against Johnson, Harris and Siddle, who were not at their best, played 2 1/2 tests and not strong enough to lead an attack in respective order, also featured Hilfenhaus and Bollinger, Doherty and Beer. Cook was magnificent. Totes brill. He’s been pretty average since in the Ashes.

          I also love slagging off this site elsewhere. Come on here. We embrace debate.

          Like

          • Mark August 20, 2017 / 9:48 am

            Most pundits are ex players these days.

            In most sports it’s the same.

            Like

      • nonoxcol August 20, 2017 / 9:31 am

        It is williamfrancisgerald, can’t remember his Telegraph name but he migrated to the Guardian after the DT stopped comments and was banned at least twice. Every comment he made was almost exactly the same, and eventually he descended into blatant racism.

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus August 20, 2017 / 9:43 am

          No. None the wiser.

          He goes from outright “Cooky-mania” to he’s not a fan in the space of 10 rants. It’s spectacular.

          I think that Jonathan character who has responded might read this site!

          Like

        • thelegglance August 20, 2017 / 9:55 am

          I remember him. Was a weird combination of a decent post one second, then extremist ranting the next. And lots of it.

          Anyway, I say what I always say: I don’t give a flying one if people want to slag us off, it’s their prerogative. They can talk to me any time they like, but if they can’t be bothered, then I can’t be bothered to see what they say.

          Like

    • Mark August 20, 2017 / 9:02 am

      They can’t handle fair and balanced.

      Most of them are in cult. The cult of Cook.

      Like

    • Sri.Grins August 21, 2017 / 11:47 am

      Nice article and pretty balanced. Thanks noc. I don’t visit english sites other than guardian and this one and so thanks for the reference.

      Like

  11. Benny August 20, 2017 / 8:05 pm

    Late again. Quebecer and Darthez got me thinking. The growth of the extraordinary WI back in the day started with the selection of Keith Boyce (Essex) Vanburn Holder (Worcestershire) and Bernard Julien (Kent) who suddenly gained a yard of pace in the Test team and had England very fidgety.

    Wondering if counties signed up Cummins, Joseph and Holder, whether they’d develop. Must be cheaper for the counties than Saffers and New Zealanders.

    As for Cook, I reckon Hans Christian Anderson predicted him – not just the emperor and the little boy but the acolytes praising the invisible clothes too.

    Like

    • d'Arthez August 20, 2017 / 9:25 pm

      I think there is definitely an argument to be made about the issue of the calendar, and fixture-clashing. International cricket was far less common 30 or 40 years ago, so players could actually play domestic cricket overseas.

      The West Indies first class competition is rather short, and runs from the beginning of November to the middle of December (5 fixtures), with the last 5 fixtures happening from the middle of March to the middle of April. In between there is about 2.5 weeks (!) of 50-over cricket from the last week fo January to the middle of February.
      The Caribbean Premier League seems to have a reasonable slot, but then West Indies should really not be touring during the tournament – it is not as if the players need more encouragement to retire from 4-day cricket and Test cricket.

      In short domestic cricket in the West Indies clashes with the BBL, Ram Slam, and IPL for various parts of the tournament. And quite a few international fixtures, if the West Indies tour on the southern hemisphere from November to March.

      A guy like Kieron Pollard does have a reasonable first class record. But he hardly plays FC cricket, due to the fact he can make a boatload more money in the T20-leagues. And you don’t become a good bowler by bowling to average batsmen, or if the wickets assist bowling too much. At the moment, there is not much experience in the domestic competition to begin with.

      To illustrate: Shai Hope played all of 4 matches in the regional competition (2016/17), and topped the averages basically courtesy of an undefeated double ton. Shiv Chanderpaul was comfortably second on the average-list, but apparently he is not good enough anymore (though given the standard of the current lot, he could probably be batting for West Indies for another decade). Kraigg Brathwaitte played all of 3 matches that season.

      One of the problems is that there is so much international cricket going on, that players tend to be unavailable either due to international commitment, domestic commitments, or monetary commitments (ie. T20 leagues – and given the rather modest remuneration for West Indian cricketers from the WICB that is not entirely strange). This is especially true for those who play all formats, such as Holder. There is no point in signing Holder because of that.

      While the ECB and BCCI can pay their international players well enough to make certain that the players don’t go chasing dollars across the globe, that cannot be said of quite a few other nations. Thus, it is also “saving” the techniques of these batsmen, which benefits those teams in the Test arena.
      It is a matter of conjuncture what would have happened to Alastair Cook’s batting technique if he had to chase those dollars in hte BBL, IPL and a few other leagues, but it probably would have resulted in a decline in his batting as a Test batsman – we saw strong supporting evidence of that idea when he was ODI captain; I do feel that playing T20s is a contributing factor to the decline of Hashim Amla as a Test batsman (though not the only one).

      For the quality of international cricket, good arguments can be made that a reduction in the number of fixtures could lead to an increase in quality.

      T20 and Test cricket can be compared to bullet and regular chess. To win a bullet game you have to be either quicker than your opponent, so that you can flag him, or alternatively use all kinds of objectively dodgy methods to gain an advantage. And while some bullet games can be of high quality, most games, even between top players, will feature horrendous blunders, mistakes, and errors that an average player would be ashamed of if they made those errors in regular chess.

      Like

    • quebecer August 20, 2017 / 9:29 pm

      While there is plenty blame to go round regarding the West Indies decline, there are other factors outside of their own boards and the ICC etc. One that is forgotten is the huge role county cricket played in the development of West Indian players of the 70s and 80s. I was watching West Indies Aus in their first test in Perth ’86 (I think) and was watching how Greenidge played Alderman and it was just textbook – learned in England. Watching the ball, letting it swing, playing it late. Also noticeable was how Haynes’ technique wasn’t quite right at that point yet and how playing CC in England subsequently helped that too. Viv and Lloyd obviously benefited greatly from the county game (although certainly gave as much as they got, like all the overseas pros of the time), but the simple fact that two overseas players were allowed meant there was almost no excuse for a county not to have a West Indian quick bowler on their books. That change to one overseas player had, in my opinion, serious ramifications on West Indian cricket and it is often overlooked as a contributing factor in their decline.

      Liked by 2 people

      • stephenfh August 21, 2017 / 7:09 am

        The Lord’s museum has had an exhibition on West Indian cricket this year, which includes the contract agreed between Viv Richards and Somerset for the 1981 season, £8750, which at the time was a bit more but not much more than new graduates were offered. Money has always been one factor that has attracted the best WI abroad, to Lancashire League teams as well as the counties in the past, even if the amounts now seem like pennies.

        At the start of the season there were four WI on the county circuit and it is hard work to see how that number is going to go up in the red ball game any time soon.

        Like

    • LordCanisLupus August 20, 2017 / 10:20 pm

      Meanwhile…. mismatches make 4 days more attractive.

      The thread is a joy.

      Like

      • quebecer August 21, 2017 / 1:28 am

        I think the main problem I have with people like Simon Hughes is that I just can’t picture what kind of test cricket they actually want to see. I mean that. I don’t get what, in their view, it would look like – though it must be pretty bloody fantastic or they’d not talk about it like they do.

        Like

        • d'Arthez August 21, 2017 / 5:33 am

          They want competitive Test cricket, in which England prevails. They also want England to get as much money as possible for the international product, but can’t get themselves to realize up to the idea that international cricket is worthless if it is not a competition. And thus that the money coming in now may be just a temporary thing.

          So in effect a reduction of overs / playing days is simply another gimmick to give the poorer teams a “fair chance” (the irony!) of competing with the likes of England.

          Like

        • nonoxcol August 21, 2017 / 7:33 am

          My main problem with #39 is that he’s a – CENSORED.

          Like

          • quebecer August 22, 2017 / 12:03 am

            Well, yes, there”s that.

            Like

          • d'Arthez August 21, 2017 / 8:57 am

            Presumably fixing cricket in England can’t be related at all to destroying cricket everywhere else in the world …

            Haven’t followed cricket on NoInfo, and when I did, of course the article had to make mention of English counties continuing their heroic efforts to poach international players, with Morne Morkel the latest target mentioned by name. Really ECB, would it have been that hard to write some clauses into the county grants to put stop to that practice?

            So you have central contracts to stop England players from playing in the county championship, Kolpaks to stop international players to play in the internationals. Brilliant!

            Liked by 1 person

        • Mark August 21, 2017 / 11:16 am

          I predicted before the first test stated on Thursday that this would be used to push four day cricket, so no real surprise here. The Legglance pointed out that in overseas test matches many games go to the fith day. 39 doesn’t care about over seas tours. They are not important….. as Simon says…. only the Ashes.

          It’s extraudinary that The Cricketer magazine employes a senior writer/editor who wants to destroy test cricket. It would be like The Angling Times having an editor who hates fishing or Horse and hounds magazine being edited by a fox hunt sabatour or Vogue by someone who hates fashion.

          Utterly bizarre.

          Like

  12. dannycricket August 22, 2017 / 7:53 am

    In what must be shocking news coming from someone who went on a Rebel tour in 1982, Geoffrey Boycott has apparently said an offensive race-related thing. This is going to make TMS’s 60th anniversary game on Thursday a bit awkward, seeing as he’s one of the coaches…

    Like

    • d'Arthez August 22, 2017 / 10:08 am

      Equally interesting, it seems that none of the OBEs got their OBEs withdrawn for touring apartheid South Africa. And in some cases, I think those OBEs may well have been awarded AFTER the rebel tours.

      Why is that?

      Like

      • BoredInAustria August 22, 2017 / 10:40 am

        Here a quick few:

        David Graveney – 2005 awarded the OBE for services to cricket (Tour 89/90)
        Dennis Amiss was awarded an MBE in 1988 (Tour 81/82)
        Graham Gooch 1991 (Tour 81/82)

        Like

      • BoredInAustria August 22, 2017 / 10:43 am

        And for the record Basil D’Oliveira was awarded a CBE in 2005 in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

        Like

    • Benny August 22, 2017 / 12:59 pm

      Daft comment by Boycott. Clearly attacking the system not the WI but you’re not allowed to make a mistake in today’s world.

      Quick look at Wiki tells me 10 English knights (plus Both for charity work) 10 Windies, 1 Aus, 1 NZ.

      Like

      • Rob August 23, 2017 / 2:05 am

        Only two of England’s knights – Hobbs and Hutton – were knighted for their cricketing endeavours per se and only then in a short period in the 1950s – the other seven (excluding Cardus) arguably got them for their administrative roles, long after their playing days ended.

        I might be wrong but Yorkshire have had three knights, Hutton, The Hon FS and Antigua’s Richie Richardson.

        Even Herbert Sutcliffe missed out – whose first class record is closer to Boycs – though he averaged over 60 at test level. Does Geoffrey think himself better than Sutcliffe and an equal to Hutton?

        Equally four Antiguans got knighted – and three of them in 2014 – including Richardson and Ambrose. Barbados accounts for the other 6 – with no-one from from Jamaica or even Guyana (given their governance arrangements). So even in Windies cricket, it is odd that Clive Lloyd misses out when Worrell, Richards and Richardson were knighted.

        Ambrose gets recognition due to the fact that he is from Antigua but Garner being from Barbados – or even Marshall have to do much more.

        Clearly Richie Richardson is laughing at one of those Yorkshire functions…..

        Liked by 1 person

        • pktroll (@pktroll) August 24, 2017 / 9:47 am

          Guyana has been a republic (as you allude to), Jamaica has wanted to become one for ages although hasn’t got around to it, like Australia in essence so giving out knighthoods isn’t really their thing. T&T is the other cricket playing republic in the Windies, but for a larger island they’ve produced less great players with of course their stand out being Lara.

          Like

    • Benny August 22, 2017 / 12:49 pm

      Reckon KP would be an excellent choice. Wonder if ABDV has enough energy to play a couple of matches.

      Like

      • d'Arthez August 22, 2017 / 2:12 pm

        Apparently he is on cheerleading duties in the West Indies.

        Like

    • jomesy August 22, 2017 / 7:02 pm

      I laughed (and stopped reading) at: “Flower, the former England team director, will begin his World XI’s preparation with a training camp”

      Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol August 23, 2017 / 10:57 am

        And an 88-page menu?

        Like

        • jomesy August 23, 2017 / 5:29 pm

          Naturally!

          Like

  13. AB August 23, 2017 / 1:26 pm

    I don’t get the thing about 4 day tests. If the game ends in 4 days or less, then the fact that a fifth day was scheduled is an irrelevance, something that didn’t happen. Like campaigning to ban unicorns.

    The occasional time a fifth day DOES happen, then its unequivocally a good thing – because we get a bonus extra day’s play, and most likely a close and exciting result, when otherwise the game would have been a bore draw.

    So depending on the circumstances, the 5th day is either neutral or positive. So where is this campaign for getting rid of it coming from? What possible argument is there in favour of 4 day tests?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Benny August 24, 2017 / 12:05 pm

      It baffles me too. You’d think our money hungry administrators would want more not less. 4 days means fewer tickets sold, fewer pints of expensive beer sold, fewer burgers and less sponsorship exposure.

      If they are concerned that matches don’t last as long as they used to, wouldn’t a reasonably intelligent person come up with 5 hours per day?

      Like

      • d'Arthez August 24, 2017 / 1:01 pm

        You’re forgetting the issue of rest days. If a Test is 4 days, that means there will be less time off between Tests if the sides are mismatched. I think the standard rule is 2 days between ODIs, and a minimum of 3 days between 5-day Tests.

        As for lost ticket sales: Three Tests against the West Indies will be (if they continue in this vein) 9 days of ticket sales. No matter if they’re 4 or 5-day Tests. But with 4 day Tests the advantage is that shortening the Tests, results in there being time left in the tour for say 2 T20Is. So shorter Tests will result in more money, and that is all that the administrators care about.

        And the administrators don’t care about the beer sales, and all that: all that is for the ground I think? The hosts should care, because they’re the ones paying to stage the Test (at least in England).

        Like

  14. Cricketjon August 28, 2017 / 9:59 am

    I cannot get excited about the honours system. I just cannot. To offer some rationale for this would increase my blood pressure. Clive Lloyd, Geoffrey Boycott you are well out of it.

    As for four day tests, if this occurred it would make a mockery of the 2nd Test at Leeds. This was written at the start of the fourth [ last ] day with England two runs ahead with seven wickets in hand. The irony that you get a Test match like this after the result and reaction to the first Test supports the view that the five day game is a thing of beauty. #39 is a buffoon and Neil Smith is a wonderful man. Warks fans will know what I mean.

    Like

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