The ‘is this damn series still going on’ preview

For those of you expecting a long and detailed preview of the next ODI between England and the West Indies, then as the title may suggest, you’d probably be better off searching elsewhere. I fully admit that I haven’t seen a single ball of the white ball series as I have been manic at work, having to travel to glamorous places like Frankfurt for dull financial conferences alongside the fact that I really couldn’t care less who wins. Dmitri has done a fine job of manning the fort whilst TLG gambles all his money away in Macau and whilst I have also been unavailable and hence I don’t want to cover the same points that he has made; however this is proving quite difficult as all I can think is ‘why hold a sodding one day series in late September?’. The fans don’t care, the players probably don’t care, all they want is to try and preserve their health ahead of a manic winter schedule (more on that a little later) yet the ECB mandate remains that you MUST enjoy the wonderful battle between two heavyweights that they have put on. As we know, they’re kidding nobody.

The fact that I haven’t seen a single ball of the series so far along with my complete and utter lack of interest makes writing a preview of the game a slightly difficult affair. I believe Jonny Bairstow scored a great century in the first ODI meaning Jason Roy will have to wait his turn this time, Chris Gayle is more than likely out of the series through injury, the West Indies can no longer automatically qualify for the World Cup, oh and it rained a lot last week (who would’ve thought that would happen in late September in England??.) I’m not aware of the current England squad for this series but one would hope that the England management team might have one iota of intelligence and rest Root, Stokes & Ali for the engagements in the upcoming winter; however this is the England management team, so no doubt they’ll all play and one of them will get a serious injury ruling them out of the Ashes. It’s a familiar tale that has a habit of repeating itself time and time again.

Speaking of injuries and our ‘world class’ medical team, I was particularly sad to see that Toby Roland Jones has suffered a season ending injury which will likely rule him out of the Ashes. I fully admit that I’m a diehard Middlesex fan and hence my views may well be somewhat biased, but I think it’s a massive blow not just to TRJ but also for England. I have seen people elsewhere question on how useful TRJ might have been on hard Australian wickets and he was far from a shoo-in for the final XI; however people tend to forget that you don’t always have to bowl at 90+ MPH to be effective in Test Cricket. Glenn McGrath bowled around the early 80’s for most of his career and no-one doubted his success in these conditions, so does Vernan Philander, who is probably a bit slower than McGrath but also has a good record in Australia. Now I’m not saying that TRJ is in the same league as these two, but I did find it rather puzzling that certain parts of the media were questioning his potential effectiveness on these wickets. I guess what we need a 4 tall fast bowlers who can bowl at 85+ MPH as that tactic served us so well on the last tour over there. So with TRJ probably ruled out and Mark Wood also struggling with injury, then England look like turning back to one of their ex’s that they know they should move on from but can’t properly say goodbye to. I would love to be able to write a piece on how Finn has regained his potency, but I just don’t think he will ever find that again at Test Level. No matter how well Finn bowls in the County Championship, and he has bowled very well over the past month, I always believe that he lacks the mental fortitude to be successful at Test Level; sure he can still be very good on his day, but as soon as he loses a bit of confidence, then his head drops, his pace goes down and he looks like a pretty average county bowler. Finn should have been the find of the century and should have more than 300 Test wickets under his belt by now, the fact that he hasn’t still rests at the shoes of the god-awful David Saker, a man so tactically inept that Donald Trump is thinking about hiring him.

On another point, the County Championship winds up this week and whilst not everyone on here is a massive fan, it looks like it’s going to be a dogfight to see who stays up in Division 1. I’m just glad we have a dedicated cricket channel that can cover this as it goes to the wire. Oh wait, hang on, our dedicated cricket channel is instead showing another AB De Villiers master class and how the World T20 was won instead of showing any live cricket. The thinking behind this is absolutely mind boggling, I mean imagine if Sky showed the 1995 Premier League years instead of the North London derby for instance, there would be an absolute uproar; yet for cricket, the county game is viewed as a mere annoyance, something that can be quickly glossed over for another meaningless ODI series. The fact that Sky has also lost the Ashes this winter means their so-called Cricket channel is becoming more of a white elephant by the day.

For those of you who to choose to watch the ODI tomorrow, then please feel free to comment below, I’m off to watch the NFL at Wembley instead….


42 thoughts on “The ‘is this damn series still going on’ preview

  1. Sri.Grins Sep 23, 2017 / 4:08 pm

    , the fact that he hasn’t still rests at the shoes of the god-awful David Saker, a man so tactically inept that Donald Trump is thinking about hiring him.

    Lovely 🙂 Nice to read the article.I have been following country cricket a bit thanks to Ashwin but a lot of the matches seem fated to be rained off or otherwise significantly influenced by the weather with pacement getting wickets in buckets.

    Isn’t this counterproductive for the pace bowlers? isn’t it a bit like indian spinners who do well at home but struggle away as they are so used to helpful conditions?


    • Sean B Sep 23, 2017 / 4:19 pm

      It is indeed, however the ECB in all its infinite wisdom tries to pack as many games into the schedule meaning we have to play the 4 day game in April and September when conditions usually mean a deluge of green seamers.

      Oh and we have another T20 tournament to fit into the schedule in a couple of years, so we’ll probably be playing until November…


      • Mark Sep 23, 2017 / 5:56 pm

        Never mind this series against the WI…….Is the whole England cricket season still going?

        This season seems to have gone on for ever. The CT seems ages ago. And yet we seem to have had very thin gruel is terms of what has been put before us. Quantity over quality.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sean B Sep 23, 2017 / 6:02 pm

          Tom Harrison says T20 is where it’s at, so Sky have naturally followed the mantra. Again.


          • Mark Sep 23, 2017 / 6:49 pm

            20/20 is “Where its at.”

            Nothing to do with real cricket. But then I’m a kill joy. When your job is a double glazing salesman working for the ECB…..”where it’s at”………is all about the money.

            If the money was where naked Swedish strippers are playing 10 over a side hit and giggle…Tom Harrison would tell you that’s cricket.


          • Sean B Sep 23, 2017 / 7:00 pm

            Agree 100%. Empty suit is the money man and we’ve all been told to follow his tune….


          • Sean B Sep 23, 2017 / 7:03 pm

            TBF I’d probably watch the Swedish naked strippers game too 😆


          • BoredInAustria Sep 24, 2017 / 8:42 am

            “the Swedish naked strippers game”
            Is that a 4 or 5 day game?


    • Sean B Sep 23, 2017 / 9:33 pm

      There are no comments about how he was a terrible team player, how he whistled when he got out, how everyone in the camp hated him. It’s weird.

      I guess Mr Waters will be called in for some ECB indoctrination training in the morning…


  2. Julie Sep 23, 2017 / 9:52 pm

    Was nice to read Chris’s article although he could have pushed the ” KP has never had a farewell, thank you” from all his supporters and all of England cricket who enjoyed his play and benefited from what he did. ECB would love him to just disappear but it’s not going to happen. Love that KP.


    • LordCanisLupus Sep 23, 2017 / 10:21 pm

      I just read that O and was going to post the same.

      How fucking dare they. That’s me finished with the game if they do that. Just one voice, but I can choose my sporting favourites, and an emasculated form of the game is not going to be one of them.

      Thursday and Friday can be corporate days – and never mind if one of them is rained out and renders the fucking game a pointless waste of time, because Saturday and Sunday can be the patronisingly labelled “family days”.


      • Mark Sep 24, 2017 / 1:03 am

        Big test for Strauss this. Will he support ECB position of 4 day tests? If he does then he is pissing on his entire test career.

        Only option for him to keep any integrity is to resign.

        I’m pretty much done with the game as it is, but that will be the end for me too. I’m already viewing this Ashes tour as the last one I will follow. Looks like it will be the last 5 day touring one too.

        A mafia like group has stolen the game from us.


        • Prime.Evil Sep 24, 2017 / 6:16 am

          Pink ball tests and now 4 day tests are the half-naked dolly with big boobs on the bonnet of the Ferrari. It’s not that we don’t like the Ferrari, most of us can’t afford it.

          I don’t begrudge anyone a living or making a profit but there is a big difference between making a living and downright greed. A parasite will kill its host and then politely die itself. Enough is never enough.


        • SimonH Sep 24, 2017 / 9:29 am

          “Big test for Strauss this”.

          Agreed – but I strongly suspect that this wouldn’t have appeared in the public domain if he wasn’t on board. The thing is, if you look at his career and subsequent pronouncements (including the recent “high-priority” series remark), there isn’t much that Strauss had any great affection for Tests outside the Ashes. Still, I guess we’re all programmed to think that someone who looks and sounds a bit posh combines intelligence with a respect for tradition and couldn’t be just a greedy, short-sighted spiv.

          It’s also a big test for the press corps. Who’s going to fight this tooth and nail? I think we can all start to make our little lists of “Enthusiasts” and “Reluctant Converts” among the usual suspects.

          Two other points: 1) Even that massaged graph can’t deny that globally the number of five-day finishes is not declining 2) All hopes on resisting this lie with the BCCI. All the other FM boards are reportedly agreed on it.


          • LordCanisLupus Sep 24, 2017 / 9:37 am

            Good signs from John Etheridge.

            Liked by 1 person

          • LordCanisLupus Sep 24, 2017 / 10:09 am

            Will, retweeted by Vitushan. Two of the younger crowd.

            Peter Miller sits on the fence, with an odd contention that 5 day cricket has only been in since 1973 (tradition is a weak argument, though) – we also played timeless or 6 day tests pre-1980. No-one is suggesting them.

            Tim Wigmore –

            Sorry, Tim, but not heard a convincing argument.

            Mike Walters:


            I’m with Mike.

            And Paul Frame, a chap I follow on Twitter makes the best case in favour yet.

            There is that.


          • Mark Sep 24, 2017 / 10:30 am

            The fact Strauss wanted to go into politics told me all about his prorities in the……”respect for tradition vs greedy short sighted spiv.” section. He can’t fudge this, and you are right Simon…. the fact this is being selectively leaked (standard ECB operating procedure) suggests he is on board. Or at least is on board with keeping his job, and his high salary.

            As to the media it would be nice if they could get over their hatred of KP to realise that the governing body is destroying the game they claimed to once love. A few free tickets, and a bit of corporate hospitality may buy off a few shallow lazy journos , but any with an ounce of love for test cricket will see through this.

            Time for them to step up and defend the game they say they support. 4 day tests in England will mean many more draws. One bad day of rain and that’s the test screwed. They won’t get 105 overs in a day unless you don’t mind sitting there till 7.30 pm.


          • Sean B Sep 24, 2017 / 11:02 am

            Director comma has always been a snake. Self preservation is the only model he knows.

            No doubt he’ll disappear again until the heat is off, then come back with some bullshit rhetoric about how it’s good for the game.

            We all know that it’s the money stupid though I doubt many in the media will put up more than a whimper..


  3. dannycricket Sep 23, 2017 / 11:01 pm

    One thing I always enjoy in an argument is a well framed graph. The graph shown in the article where the y-axis starts at 55% rather than 0% is particularly well done. If you don’t stop and think for a second you might believe that the number of games using the fifth day was approaching 0, rather than over 400 since 2000, as the graph actually shows.

    Liked by 1 person

    • oreston Sep 24, 2017 / 10:00 am

      Evidently someone actually believes that we’re all stupid enough to fall for such a facile piece of visual trickery. I’m sure the graph was thoughtfully provided by the ECB for this totally uncritical propaganda piece. The way in which the ground is being prepared tells you all you need to know about their attitude towards the paying public – i.e. that it’s their game (not ours) to do with as they please and if we don’t like it we can pipe down, move on or just get lost.


      • SimonH Sep 24, 2017 / 10:13 am

        “I’m sure the graph was thoughtfully provided by the ECB for this totally uncritical propaganda piece”.

        Another convenient stat (mean length of post-2000 Test is 330 overs) has started cropping up all over Twitter (helpd by some re-Tweeting by a few who should know better). Nobody has Tweeted, for exampe, that there are nearly 100 Tests since 2000 that went on longer than the maximum envisaged by this plan (that’s assuming they’d bowl this maximum which seems highly improbable).

        Who wants to sit in a plastic chair with no leg room open to the elements (unlike the comfortably upholstered media) watching a sporting event from 10.30 to 7.30? It’s the tried-and-tested method of killing off something beloved – reform it to make it less popular and then use declining popularity as the reason to snuff it out.


        • LordCanisLupus Sep 24, 2017 / 10:21 am

          Adelaide 2006. No, not just the thrilling and soul-destroying end which is a part of all sport, but the day when it was 40 degrees heat. Imagine how it feels knowing you have an hour and a half more than now to play in those conditions. Imagine what it will do to the quality of the play, which is a major issue now. It’ll be dreadful. You don’t get refreshed because it drops from 40 degrees to 32….

          So right Simon. Look for the use of the words “traditionalist” to become a pejorative term for the likes of us.


          • Mark Sep 24, 2017 / 10:42 am

            105 overs in a day will mean that any bad weather, and the overs will be lost for good. They will never make them up, They can barely get in the 90 overs by 6.30pm as it is. (Supposed to be 6pm finish)

            Of course they could scrap the lunch break. I would be in favour of this as it might wake the players out of their slumber, but the management will never do that because they make too much money from the catering services. So a lunch break is more about money than a player break.


          • LordCanisLupus Sep 24, 2017 / 10:45 am

            This bit of Hoult’s article. Says….it…..all

            Last year Graves said about four-day Tests: “Every Test match would start on a Thursday, with Thursday and Friday being corporate days and then Saturday and Sunday the family days.

            “From a cost point of view you’d lose that fifth day, which would save a lot of money from the ground’s point of view and the broadcasters… I would look at that.”


          • Mark Sep 24, 2017 / 10:54 am

            Remember when people thought Graves was a saviour? Happy days!

            The cost of everything, and the value of nothing.


          • oreston Sep 24, 2017 / 4:52 pm

            Yes,”traditionalist” will soon enough come to signify “swivel-eyed loon” and be used perjoratively to pigionhole anyone who’s actually thought this thing through and concluded that it’s a really, really bad idea that will destroy the very thing it purports to want to save. On the other side of the semantics coin, the proposal itself will be held up as being “progressive” – because (after all) what sort of narrow-minded person (no doubt entirely unrepresentative of modern Britain) would stand in the way of something “progressive” ?

            It’s fitting that there’s a petition, because on day one this business already looks like nothing so much as a tawdry simulacrum of the way modern politics is done. And just to be clear, I mean that the ECB are framing it that way.


  4. LordCanisLupus Sep 24, 2017 / 10:26 am

    “Johnny Bairstow has been patient. He’s bided his time and grabbed the opportunity.”

    I love this. He’s not been patient at this time as I write, because he’s just got out in a Jason Roy like way.

    The point I’d make is what was YJB supposed to do. Throw his toys out of the cot? Demand a transfer? Punch the coach or selectors?

    I know. Just me.


    • Mark Sep 24, 2017 / 10:36 am

      Yes, he could have looked out of the window at the wrong moment or whistled the wrong tune in an agressive way.

      Oh wait…….that sort of behaviour is frowned on…..


  5. Mark Sep 24, 2017 / 10:49 am

    Full house at the crisp bowl shows the public will pay for any “event” even if it’s a few days short of October.

    How about Home Boxing Day start test matches with 105 overs, floodlights, pink balls, coloured clothing, and fielding restrictions?

    Freddie can dress as Elvis and Bumble can dress as Father Christmas, and hand out presents to the kids while saying Ho, ho, ho.

    What’s not to like? The money will roll in.


  6. LordCanisLupus Sep 24, 2017 / 10:53 am

    Gooch’s 1990 was a summer for the ages. 6 tests, 4 ODIs.

    Root has played 7 tests and countless other nonsense. I suppose it’s a fun stat. I’m not in a fun mood.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Sep 24, 2017 / 10:57 am

      And why I don’t listen to TMS anymore.


  7. thebogfather Sep 24, 2017 / 11:23 am

    Of course are on message for 4 day Tests, it’ll give them space for the new 10/10 comp which will be worldwide before our new ShittyCity20Bash even arrives….


  8. LordCanisLupus Sep 24, 2017 / 11:53 am

    Lovejoy said it in the comms box.

    Shiny Toy gets on the bandwagon.

    When mindless opinion replace analysis. He might well be, but why now? Because he makes a 50 against West Indies? Clickbait nonsense.


    • Mark Sep 24, 2017 / 12:36 pm

      Well seeing as 20/20 has been going for less than 20 years that rules out most of the great players of the past “across all formats.”

      How good would Root be in timeless tests Michael? Or facing really fast bowling without protection?

      Is Root the greatest player in a blue outfit with a splash of pink in it? The new BBC TMS poll………” we really want to hear from you. We really do…… Email us,,text us……on….fatuous


  9. BoredInAustria Sep 24, 2017 / 6:15 pm

    I tried to watch. At the pool in Lusaka.
    But first I had to finish some reports.
    And then India was chasing well and I managed to catch the end of that.
    And then my Austrian colleagues demanded to watch the …. result of the German election.
    Merkel was in and and Gayle was out and that was it.

    Saw some highlights in my room. I seemed to have missed some of the greatest ever players playing the greatest ever fastest ever whatever.

    As it happened the SA Sport channel is just running a short piece on Curtly Ambrose and his 7/1
    When great was great. Even the commentators.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Elaine Simpson-Long Sep 25, 2017 / 8:02 am

    I watched the India v Australia matchnyesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it. Good cricket, exuberant crowd. It was on Red button as, natch, Sky wanted to show the England game. Watched some of it when the other game was having lunch and the contrast was quite marked. Crowd huddled in big jackets, keeping warm and trying to create an atmosphere, Chris Gayle looking bored….I missed Moeen who Ingather was superb, but really this whole ODI series is a total waste of time.

    And I am not going to even start on Strauss…I try to remember I am a lady and should,not swear


  11. Miami Dad's 6 Sep 25, 2017 / 8:39 am

    I caught a bit and they were praising Morgan for holding back Rashid so he didn’t have to bowl at Gayle. WTF is that about? I could understand if the seamers/Mo were slowing Gayle down or causing him problems, but he was motoring to a 120% SR ton before getting run out (again). How much worse do they think Rashid is?? He got 3 whilst mopping up the tailend, though, so definitely genius.


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