Hiatus month

October is a funny time for those based in England – the season is done, the winter tours are still seemingly distant, the football and rugby seasons are properly underway, and for the assorted scribblers that make up this place, it’s a busy time at work.  This is probably why the ICC pick this time of year to slip out proposed changes to the game, just to ensure maximum annoyance at BOC Towers.

Of course, we’ve been here before, the stillborn Test Championship being a case in point, and when our Glorious Overlords come up with their latest wheeze to create “context” for the game of cricket, there’s a temptation to sigh and reach for the brandy.  Or revolver.

The concept is simple enough, for Test cricket to work towards becoming a competition with a winner at the end of it, the proposal being for the top nine teams to play each other home and away over a two year period culminating in final to determine the winner.  So far so good.  Given the abandonment of the Future Tours Programme as being anything more than a suggestion, some kind of plan for how Test cricket should function should be welcomed.  But the proposal has very little meat on the bones, and the plan for it to start in 2019 puts rather a tight timetable on it being adopted.   There’s little information announced about what the next step would be thus far at least, and we’re already closing fast on 2018.

There’s also the element of announcement fatigue when it comes to ICC edicts.  We’ve been here so many times before.  But let’s be generous and assume it’s going to come off.  A proper competition could actually be rather fun, with all series having something riding on them, whether for the teams hoping to reach a final, or those further down who hope to still be involved next time around.  That in itself does create a problem, for the 10th placed team might find it somewhat difficult to arrange series to get themselves involved for the following competition.  There’s little indicating a pathway for Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Ireland, which doesn’t in itself mean there won’t be one, just that it’s either not been thought about, or not been considered.  Sceptics about the ICC can make up their own minds.

Equally, when the round of matches comes to a conclusion, it will presumably be straight into the next one once the final has been played.  The leading sides would be fairly reluctant to organise a series against a team who might not be involved for the following summer, and the potential for the lower ranking sides to be left dangling has to be real.  In any case, having only to play 6 of the 8 sides could offer the possibility of gaming the system on the one hand, or simply ignoring the lesser lights on the other.  Quite how it could be made compulsory to ensure all nine teams actually get those 6 series in two years hasn’t been explained; Bangladesh only just managed to reach the required number over the last two years, while the fraught bilateral relationship between India and Pakistan is an obvious problem.

Nine is perhaps a specifically chosen number, for it would exclude Zimbabwe, a country who would find it problematic to arrange series against some countries, notably England.  The lack of requirement for everyone to play everyone else might be considered deliberate in that light.

The length of series too is merely confined to be a minimum of two and a maximum of five, suggesting a complete refusal to become involved in changing the tendency to play as little as possible against the smaller nations.  It’s probably not too surprising in itself, for the ICC is not a governing body in the normal sense, more an outlet for the collective musings of the bigger countries.   The points system too is unknown, and that could provide some grounds for decent argument, given how the Test championship table can give rise to some interesting aberrations from time to time.

Still being generous (which gets harder by the day), it could provide grounds for a Test series to matter more to spectators and participants alike.  Yet it’s tough to see this as any kind of radical change, more trying to fit a competition around what more or less exists at present.  In some respects, that might well be as much as is possible to do at this stage; the various vested interests have always managed to kill attempts to bring forward genuine change – unless money is involved of course, for then it’s a different matter.

Of perhaps more interest in terms of a significant change is the proposed ODI league due to start a year after its Test equivalent.  One day series have always been utterly disposable (without looking it up, can you remember the series results even from this summer?), to the point that the acronym JAMODI  – work it out yourself – gained some currency.  The proposal appears to be that the eight series to be played over that time will be over three matches, and unlike with the Test programme, that’s not put forward as a minimum, but an absolute.  If that is the case, then shorter ODI series would appear to be the way forward, which is intriguing in itself were it to happen.

The last major change being mooted is to trial four day Test matches, probably beginning with the Boxing Day Test between South Africa and Zimbabwe later this year.  There’s a rationale there, for a fixture such as that the likelihood of it going five days is questionable, and for Test cricket to have a future, then it does need to pay its way.  The problem with this is what it always has been – it’s messing with a format that works as a cricket one.  The ECB have been in favour for a while, because Tests in England are often finishing in four days.  But there is, and always has been, a fundamental difference between noting that trend (and it needs to be shouted long and loud that elsewhere this is not an issue) and removing the potential for the kind of fifth day we saw only this summer against the West Indies.  Accepting the need for Test cricket to pay its way is hardly an argument in the country that retains the greatest interest in the format.

Experiment by all means, but note that the players appear to be rather opposed.

It’s easy to be cynical about the ICC, but then they do keep giving those cynics reason to be so.  The announcements have been made, and all will wait to see if anything comes of them.  It could be good, but then few would be surprised if it all unravelled to leave nothing but the four day Tests behind.  Cynicism is so often a product of repeatedly being let down.

In other news, BT Sport have announced their commentary line up for the forthcoming Ashes series.  With the usual Sky commentators clearly unavailable, many of the names will come as little surprise, such as Michael Vaughan and Geoffrey Boycott.  Having Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist to represent the home team does at least offer the potential for some kind of insight, while Matt Smith will be the main presenter.  Graeme Swann has also been listed as being present, though there is some debate as to whether he will only be there until Perth before coming home if England are losing.

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131 thoughts on “Hiatus month

  1. nonoxcol October 19, 2017 / 10:10 pm

    Never mind JAMODI… who remembers jamodu?

    Like

    • Rooto October 20, 2017 / 6:54 pm

      Just Another … One Day International?
      Does the M word start with ‘mother…’?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Scrim October 20, 2017 / 7:09 am

    For those not willing to take a hiatus and maybe getting an idea of how the Australians are shaping up prior to the Ashes, Australian domestic cricket is available live and free at http://live.cricket.com.au/ (requires a free registration).

    The 50-over tournament is almost over, with my boys SA taking on WA tomorrow in the final. This will be followed by the opening round of the Sheffield Shield next week, under lights (so a convenient time for those in European time zones). SA vs NSW might be the most interesting, given that Smith, Warner, Cummins, Starc and Lyon should all be playing for NSW (Hazlewood still injured).

    Also, the Women’s Ashes starts on Sunday with a 50 over match.

    Like

  3. Sophie October 20, 2017 / 8:10 am

    I don’t want to be rude, but I think Michael Vaughan’s brain has melted and run out through his ears.

    The Australians don’t really have to do any pre-Ashes sledging, they can just sit back and watch the English press do the job for them.

    Like

  4. SimonH October 20, 2017 / 9:34 am

    Isn’t this the time of year when one comes up with blatant fillers…. like name your best England Tests of the last 25 years? Just hope nobody joins the dots that almost every Test you’ve selected had a great fifth day which you were telling everyone last week who’d listen should be abolished.

    Oh, and Ed Smith on Theresa May…. just don’t.

    Like

    • thelegglance October 20, 2017 / 9:40 am

      ***Deletes draft “best Test of the last 25 years” post***

      Like

    • quebecer October 20, 2017 / 9:54 pm

      OK. England test players with more than three syllables in their surname. I’ll start: D’Oliveira.

      Sri Lankans with only one. I’ll start: Pretty sure they had a bloke called John.

      Off you go, peeps. NO cheating.

      Should take us through to the next JAMODI.

      Like

      • nonoxcol October 20, 2017 / 10:04 pm

        Vaas?

        Always the low-hanging fruit, me.

        Like

        • quebecer October 21, 2017 / 12:02 am

          Warnakulasuriya Patabendige Ushantha Joseph Chaminda made up for it in other ways, of course. But yes. Well done, I suppose. Got another?

          I looked up this John fellow and his first name was apparently Vinothen. It feels like there is a comment to be made but I can’t work out what it is. Only played 6 tests but got a commendable 28 wickets at a shade under 22. Pretty bloody decent. Wonder what happened to him?

          Like

          • LordCanisLupus October 21, 2017 / 2:38 am

            I remember him as a big old unit from the first visit to Lord’s.

            Roy Dias. A paucity of letters but alas two syllables.

            Like

          • quebecer October 21, 2017 / 3:36 am

            Ah. Well. Right. That’s that then. Still a long way to go in October thanks to you then, Dmitri.

            Like

          • SimonH October 21, 2017 / 11:12 am

            The Nawab of Pataudi senior and the hyphenates (like Mitchell-Innes and Simpson-Hayward) are the only others I can find – and even then it depends on how one defines their surnames.

            Like

          • quebecer October 21, 2017 / 11:55 pm

            Think we can probably define them as a bit posh.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. SteveT October 20, 2017 / 12:50 pm

    Get this from Shiny Toy in his latest Telegraph column (not premium).

    “It is not disrespecting Alastair Cook but I would say Stokes is England’s second best player with the bat.”

    Bet he wouldn’t have dared write that 12 months ago!

    Like

    • Quebecer October 20, 2017 / 2:55 pm

      Very true.

      However, he might be right. Not enough was said about the quality of Stokes batting this summer.

      Like

      • SteveT October 20, 2017 / 3:24 pm

        Absolutely, he’s reached the level where if he couldn’t bowl he would be worth his place for his batting alone.

        Like

    • Mark October 20, 2017 / 3:11 pm

      Who cares if you are disrespecting Cook Mr Vaughn? Since when did Cook become a god that can’t be criticised?

      Another example of the grovelling, fawning, and genuflecting that the English media have to perform in front of one man. Absolutely pathetic. And you were a captain of England once. Are you the same person?

      Just say you think Stokes is one of the best players in the team. Job done. You don’t even have to mention Cook by name.

      The England team has become a odd cult. With crazy rituals, and strange leader types that can’t be questioned. It’s why they are so unlikeable.

      Like

    • Mark October 20, 2017 / 3:29 pm

      The Guardian has played a role in crickets rotting. It’s previous cricket writer was an ECB brown noser who went along with the rotting agenda. The Guardian would remove posters with relish who dared to point out that said writer was a clown.

      Too little to late I’m afraid.

      Liked by 1 person

    • nonoxcol October 20, 2017 / 4:03 pm

      Comments get progressively more depressing. One gives “great sport to gamble on” as their first reason to prefer modern cricket, and then the ad hom stuff gets underway.

      No Tests 5 June – 1 August, and the return of the one-off 5-match ODIs v Australia. And still people prepared to defend those in charge.

      It’s totally screwed.

      Like

      • Mark October 20, 2017 / 7:46 pm

        All the changes they have made add up to a deliberate and calculating plan to kill test cricket in my view. There is no other explanation for it. Simon has been talking about this for some time. He’s dead right. And the leading cricket papers of this country have been fully supporting it.

        June and July with no test cricket is a declaration of war for test cricket in England. This summer has been shit. I am hoping for a good Ashes because I dont think cricket will have much to offer me soon. Four day test matches played in cold September pissing down with rain? Can’t wait!!

        I wonder if the players really want this? If they don’t, they should start to protest. Otherwise I guess they don’t give a shit either. Wall to wall 20/20? It’s a nightmare?

        Like

      • LordCanisLupus October 20, 2017 / 8:04 pm

        It really boils down to this.

        You can’t, as much as you try, make me love T20 cricket. It’s not the sport I watched. It’s not the sport that got me hooked. It’s like a 10 lap Grand Prix, a one set tennis match, football at 10 minutes each way, darts at 201 a leg. Sure, you might use the same equipment, it might look like it, but it’s not the (form of) game I like, and was seen as the top level.

        If you don’t care for T20, you’ll love Engel’s piece. If you do, you will find lots to snipe at. A bit of a generalisation, but sound enough. If you need T20 to earn your crust you can dismiss it as the wailing of a “traditionalist”.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Sri.Grins October 21, 2017 / 3:14 pm

          I like test cricket, odis and t-20s but didn’t really find much to cavil at except of course his statement on India being No 1. But, even on that I can understand his logic though I don’t subscribe to it.

          Like

        • RufusSG October 21, 2017 / 4:17 pm

          Although I thought it was very poorly argued in places, I still pretty much agree with most of the points he makes. Some of it isn’t even that controversial: pretty much every cricket fan I know, including myself, despises the ECB to varying degrees on varying issues. The World Test Championship undeniably has some kinks that need ironing out, although I’m generally in favour of the general concept.

          But I still like T20.

          Test cricket will always be best to me because of its ebbs and flows, greater difficulty and the greater connection between the teams – franchise cricket is something I watch simply because it’s “some cricket” that happens to be on the telly. To pick up on his example, I don’t give a shit about the St. Lucia Zouks either, but a) it’s interesting to follow the individual performances of players who you like and b) the people of St. Lucia who actually go to CPL games, of all ages, might have something to say about that. It’s never going to be in the class of following test cricket, but all I believe is that there is some worth and point to watching it and following it (however indirectly). Whatever your opinions regarding its wider impact on the cricketing ecosystem as a whole (which I will agree are mixed), this is primarily a debate about the format in and of itself.

          Besides, even as someone who likes all this about T20 cricket, I don’t want the sport to spit any of you out just because it’s not a format that interests you particularly. I’ve never met any of you but cricket needs all the fans it can get in these times, whichever formats float your boat (and yes, many administrators may not always act to these ends): I can disagree with you about T20 having its own merits at length and the reasons you may not like it, but it doesn’t mean I think you’re a “wailing traditionalist” for not liking it. The Guardian comments may be a law unto themselves, but this doesn’t need to be an us-vs-them war between people who like T20 and those who don’t.

          I love test cricket whilst simultaneously liking T20 cricket for its own merits, whilst respectfully disagreeing with some of the reasons people may choose to criticise it. I don’t think that’s an especially incongruous or inversely snobbish belief to hold – cricket should be able to peacefully accommodate fans who like any combination of formats under its roof.

          Like

      • LordCanisLupus October 20, 2017 / 8:12 pm

        This was beautiful…

        It’s not nice but we’re really waiting for the older generation to die off. This rambling, nearly incoherent diatribe is a great example of this. In the modern world, most people don’t want the boredom of test matches that rarely last the distance and where the result is normally known about lunchtime on the fourth day if not earlier.
        The one day game represents the future of cricket, where outcomes are much more in doubt and clubs/county’s are able to make money of their own. The sooner we get rid of the ECB the better.

        Sport exists to make money. When that’s the number one priority, you lose.

        Like

        • Mark October 20, 2017 / 9:23 pm

          Ffs ….why does he want to get rid of the ECB? They agree with everything he says. They are facilitating what he wants. The level of stupid is off the scale.

          However, it shows these new consumers are very impatient, and have the concentration levels of a fly. Within a few years they will demand 10/10 with pink elephants flying in on a trapeze. They will be given this because they are customers not fans. What they want, they get. That’s the whole point of modern capitalism. The customer is always right. Even when he is a blithering idiot.

          And yes, sport does exist only to make money now. It’s just like everything else. It’s not special anymore. Just reason 56768 why I’m so glad I grew up in the age I did. But we are just silly old fools who are in the way of the cool kids like hipster 39.

          Liked by 1 person

          • thelegglance October 20, 2017 / 9:28 pm

            I don’t agree with that narrative (not yours)I find it really insulting to the young that they can’t pay attention. I know kids who love cricket who are highly offended that they are supposed to be T20 clones. People who love cricket will gravitate to Tests. This marketing department bullshit hugely pisses me off and is preposterously shortsighted.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Mark October 20, 2017 / 10:01 pm

            Englel makes some very telling points. The test final at Lords is going to be a belter if it’s South Africa vs New Zealand. Just imagine coming all that way. A test decider between those two teams would have been in their respected countries before. Not now. And what if it’s a draw? The whole concept is a steaming pile of dog poo. So it will be a marketing sensation that brings in fortunes.

            He even admits he played a role in the whole early idea. Be careful what you wish for.

            In four years time one can only wonder what the ashes down under will look like. Probably will have goal posts by then.

            Like

          • LordCanisLupus October 20, 2017 / 10:18 pm

            I liked the article because I grew up and spent a lot of my cricket loving years with Matthew writing about cricket. He was a non-player writer. His defence mechanism was not “what do you know, you never played at the top level”. We need more of this. I don’t agree with all of the piece, not by a long chalk, but I liked it. An article is not invalidated by a point I disagree with. It is invalidated if it’s dull, it’s patronising, it’s there to tell you I know more than you so pipe down.

            Liked by 2 people

    • emasl October 20, 2017 / 9:03 pm

      I have just read this and agree with every single word. But fear it is too late

      Like

    • dannycricket October 21, 2017 / 12:19 am

      Sometimes there comes an article where you agree with the thrust of the article, but makes the argument so poorly that it makes you question your own views. This is such an article for me. I love Test cricket. Absolutely love it. I believe it, and first class cricket, should be a lot more popular than it is. That said, I disagree with almost everything Engels writes.

      Going through it, the first thing that jumps out at me is how he compares Geoffrey Boycott favourably to Kevin Pietersen because KP played for lots of teams whereas Boycott only played for one, with a few exceptions. If I was choosing a player from the past to symbolise loyalty and not prioritising money I think the last player I would choose is Boycs. For those of you who don’t know, Geoffrey Boycott was one of 15 English players who played in Apartheid South Africa in 1982 as part of a made-up “South African Breweries XI” team in exchange for large amounts of money.

      It also positively mentions Boycott’s longevity, mentioning his 25-year career at Yorkshire. Partly this can be explained by the lack of money in the game at the time. He hadn’t earned enough money to be able to retire in his thirties like England players can now, even after his lucrative Rebel tour. Putting that aside, I think this is actually a sign of county cricket’s progress. Boycott played his last season of first class cricket in 1986 at the age of 45, in which he averaged 52.21. I find it hard to believe that any current player at the age of 45 would do as well. I think this shows that county cricket is now played at a significantly higher standard than it was 30 years ago, and this should be applauded.

      He suggests that Lord’s and Oval Test matches sell out because of their predictable scheduling. There is an argument for that, but it’s hard to overlook the fact that London is by a significant margin the most populous city in England and so just by the law of averages is likely to contain more cricket fans than anywhere else in the country.

      After that, he attacks the ICC for their apparent aims of “the accumulation of money; its own self-aggrandisement; and the largely bogus expansion of the game”. For a start it implies that the ICC is an independent organisation, when in fact it simply follows the collective desires of the 12 “full members”. If I were to characterise the ICC’s plans for expanding the game, I would say that the staff of the ICC genuinely try to help cricket grow in more countries but are stymied by the actions of the larger cricket boards. He also mentions the lack of former players at the top of world cricket as a bad thing. Paul Downton is a former player. I think this disproves that notion.

      Last but not least, he attacks the both planned Test championship and the current Test rankings, describing the latter as “a method no one except [its creator] has ever understood”. Which is a fine point to argue. Unless of course you end your article by throwing your support behind an all-formats championship suggested by the Director, England Cricket himself, Andrew Strauss. I find it hard to logically reconcile the ideas that the current system of a separate league table for each format is too complex and that we need to introduce something which somehow combines all three formats together.

      Which is not to say I agree with nothing in the article. I prefer the longer format, I’m not a fan of teams which only exist for one month every year, cricket in this country and internationally is mismanaged. But I find the article as a whole a bit hard to read.

      Liked by 2 people

      • SimonH October 21, 2017 / 11:19 am

        Well said, Danny. I almost think the Guardian only printed it because it’s so badly argued and in the process it damns the case it’s making.

        I used to like Engel (mainly from when he edited WCM) but the affection died some time ago. Has he written anything truly essential in the last ten years?

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus October 21, 2017 / 11:58 am

          Really?

          I read it, and didn’t mind it at all. The wailing at T20 echoes my thoughts. The fucking about with the test timetable, county championship et al echoes my thoughts. The uselessness, and at certain times malevolence of the ICC, echoes my thoughts. Sure, there were bits of it off piste, but it ill behoves the “if I was an ice cream, I’d lick myself” Ronay saying something like that. It takes a narrow, English-centric view, but as far as I know, in the current climate, I won’t be going to an IPL/Big Bash whatever game.

          I’m getting pretty much sick and tired of this. What’s the fucking point with some of these know it alls who refuse to countenance that there is a large swathe of people who won’t just follow the revolution. The pieces will vary in quality. Engel has been a great cricket writer, one of the best. Ronay isn’t, yet, fit to lace his boots. Engel is being cast as some form of modern day Michael Henderson. That’s bang out of line.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Mark October 21, 2017 / 5:51 pm

            The problem with the likes of Ronay is they love change, but don’t always seem to get said change right.

            A few years ago he wrote a stinging critique of Match of the day on the reirement of Alan Hanson. Now don’t get me wrong….. Match of the day is a giant sacred cow that deserves to be skewered. Anything that gets under the skin, as it did of the pompous, and holier than though Sir Gary of Lineker is fine by me.

            Trouble is, Ronays solution to Match of the days problems was to employer as a pundit……one Glen Hoddle!

            Ronay………”My own outsider selection would be Glenn Hoddle, who has the right degree of absolute conviction that what he’s saying is almost dangerously important.”

            20/20 is the new Glenn Hoddle.

            Like

          • nonoxcol October 21, 2017 / 9:09 pm

            Henderson? That’s nothing. Engel is now being compared to the “wall of gammon” from a pre-election Question Time (nine red faced old blokes), and “the personification of Brexit”.

            Oh, and another member of the BOC power list doesn’t agree with a single word of it and claims Sky money prevented England from becoming another West Indies.

            Like

          • LordCanisLupus October 21, 2017 / 9:18 pm

            Shiny Toy showing all the old volunteers who keep the game going in a quite a few places the respect they deserve. Clearly 42 isn’t old.

            It’s as if the brains of the outfit want to vintagely cleanse the game. I made that up, but it bloody well fits.

            As I said earlier, if you have to earn your way from the game, you can’t set fire to the T20 ethos. I’ve always quite liked history. It sets sport in context. It reminds me of when Sandy Lyle won the Players Championship in the States in the 80s. He’d won the Open a year or so before, and was asked what was different about winning the richest prize money in the sport, and the Open. “About 100 years of history” was the retort (or it might have been 80 – you get my gist).

            I like tradition, history, the stats of the sport, the comparisons. That makes me a cancer on the game, an obstacle, then so be it.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Mark October 21, 2017 / 10:04 pm

            Shinny toy has jumped the shark.

            I’m not even sure he is the same person. He seems like a pod person out of the Invasion of the body snatchers. It looks like Shinny toy, it sounds like shinny toy, but it is I fact an empty shell.

            These new thrusting modernists with a relish to wipe away all traces of the old, and replace it with what? Concrete blocks ?

            My message to these vandals……..

            We are the Village Green Preservation Society
            God save Donald Duck, vaudeville and variety
            We are the Desperate Dan Appreciation Society
            God save strawberry jam and all the different varieties
            Preserving the old ways from being abused
            Protecting the new ways for me and for you
            What more can we do?
            We are the Draught Beer Preservation Society
            God save Mrs. Mopps and good old Mother Riley
            We are the Custard Pie Appreciation Consortium
            God save the George Cross and all those who were awarded them

            We are the Sherlock Holmes English Speaking Vernacular
            Help save Fu Manchu, Moriarty, and Dracula
            We are the Office Block Persecution Affinity
            God save little shops, china cups and virginity
            We are the Skyscraper Condemnation Affiliates
            God save Tudor houses, antique tables, and billiards
            Preserving the old ways from being abused
            Protecting the new ways for me and for you
            What more can we do?

            Liked by 1 person

  6. stephenfh October 21, 2017 / 7:06 am

    When Matthew Engel was starting out and the old Sunday League was relatively new there were plenty of traditionalists around then who were not much impressed with it, ‘it may be entertainment, but it’s not cricket’ type comments. T20 cricket? Plus ca change maybe, although the Sunday League was on the BBC once a week, taken to the people….played on outgrounds, which also got used for impromptu games by those who came, did not affect the Test schedule and was played by clubs that reflected their localities. It was of the people in a manner of speaking.

    His distaste for creationist cricket, of a marketing plan from the game’s elites, is very understandable. The ‘good news’ is that he is not alone and that it may not succeed no matter how much schedule tweaking goes on.

    As for the global game, there is a ‘cricket-mad’ sub-continent, a young population in a rapidly expanding economy, and the influence of the game’s ‘Big One’ is likely to rise and rise. There is enough £ in the English game to be relatively independent, the question is will it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus October 21, 2017 / 8:43 am

      Pietersen has had his say. It’s the usual stuff. It opens up the abuse route. It’s what I hate about Twitter. I don’t have to agree with him to say what I said in the past. But Jesus, he makes it hard to like him.

      Like

  7. nonoxcol October 21, 2017 / 10:28 am

    Barney Ronay has described Engel as “an Englishman who wishes it was still 1953”.

    Odd that, given that the author specifically invokes something that happened 52 years later as close to his ideal.

    Like

    • Mark October 21, 2017 / 10:54 am

      And Barney Ronay is a man who wishes cricket was baseball.

      Like

  8. nonoxcol October 21, 2017 / 10:30 am

    Someone else has compared Engel to Simon Heffer and immediately asked where his county would be without Sky money.

    It won’t take anyone long to guess who that is.

    Like

    • Mark October 21, 2017 / 10:53 am

      It’s amazing how the KP issue gave the ECB and the guardian an opportunity to dumb down a lot of new cricket fans to a level just above moron status.

      When they booed KP at the 20/20 final a few years ago I realised English cricket at gone full on football knuckle dragging fan level.

      Like

    • nonoxcol October 22, 2017 / 10:55 am

      You WHAT?

      “Hello, is that ACME Measuring Devices? My irony-meter just exploded, can you send me another?”

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mark October 22, 2017 / 11:48 am

        No, it’s not evolution. You are destroying a major part of cricket. What is more you don’t have the integrity or honesty to admit it.

        As to proffesionals making money…. that is rich coming from someone who attacked, and smeared a player who wanted to do that very thing…… while still wanting to play for England. You relished in his demise, even celebrating the calling of him a c*** as the cricket highlight of the year.

        No wonder even the guardian got shot of you.

        Liked by 1 person

          • LordCanisLupus October 23, 2017 / 7:59 pm

            This was a good piece, posted today on Twitter. KP’s attitude to Engel pissed me off. This piece captures my mood….

            ovalworld.freeforums.net/post/14359

            Like

          • SimonH October 24, 2017 / 11:38 am

            That Geoff Lemon piece is the best article on cricket I’ve read all year.

            “At its heart the issue was about power and control, not number of dollars but authority to spend them. Underfunded clubs are great cover, the sport version of “Think of the children!””

            Nail on head.

            In retrospect, CA’s mistake was to attempt this while the Australian cricket media still has independent and intelligent thinkers like Lemon (and Brettig and Haigh) to call bs on what they were trying to do. They needed to get their tame chumps who could be relied on to parrot the board line into position first. The ECB could tell them a thing or two about how it’s done.

            Like

          • SimonH October 24, 2017 / 12:00 pm

            And that last paragraph was written before seeing the corporate advertising masquerading at this week’s ‘The Spin’….

            Liked by 1 person

          • nonoxcol October 24, 2017 / 1:28 pm

            Good lord Simon, it really is pure advertorial, isn’t it? I waited for the analysis…. and waited…. and waited….

            Like

      • SimonH October 22, 2017 / 12:00 pm

        The kind of people who accuse others of being driven by nothing but a “commercial imperative”?…

        Exhibit #28536 that Pietersen’s only crime was understanding reality before the Officer Class had. It was always his completely unforgivable crime.

        Liked by 2 people

        • quebecer October 25, 2017 / 1:54 am

          “advertorial” was exactly the phrase by a poster early on whose comment was then modded. Fuckers.

          Like

  9. Mark October 21, 2017 / 3:21 pm

    Shinny toys latest…….

    “Said for many years every club in the country should play 20/20 cricket every Sunday…Home team puts on BBQs, music etc etc 2pm start.”

    Every club? Town? Village? And where are they going to get the money from for a PA system, and music and BBQS? Are the over paid sports agents companies going to cough up? Perhaps by reducing their over blown salaries paid to their propagandis who pretend to be cricket pundits.

    He is now reduced to a super slick salesman. Double glazing vintage, hawking arround anything to promote what the sports rights business and agents want.

    It really is all about the money. They aren’t just creating a new game by destroying the old. They are now hell bent in creating a new customer base by fucking up every form of cricket in England.

    Like

  10. Ian October 21, 2017 / 5:10 pm

    “Said for many years every club in the country should play 20/20 cricket every Sunday…Home team puts on BBQs, music etc etc 2pm start.”

    Any record anywhere of him having said this before at all?

    Like

    • Mark October 21, 2017 / 5:35 pm

      I’ve never heard him say it before. Although to be fair I’m not an expert in the life and times of shinny toy.

      Like

  11. Mark October 21, 2017 / 6:04 pm

    The cameraman on BT sport is doing a heroic job of trying to hide all the empty seats in the Southampton vs WBA game. I have switched over to watch the Milwall game. (Keeping in with the boss here)

    It’s a better game, although they also have a lot of empty seats. But they are not the gold standard of Premiership riches….. so they have an excuse.

    And while on the subject of BT sport…….I realise that TV broadcasters have to innovate their coverage, but do we really need a referee in a box judging the various decisions? Isn’t that what the pundits are for? And couldn’t they get someone more likeable than Graham (your so vain) Poll?

    Like

  12. SimonH October 22, 2017 / 12:09 pm

    Magnificent stat-mining by Conn to choose 30 years ago as his benchmark and not 10, 15, 20, 25, 35 or 40 years ago. Pure coincidence, of course.

    Like

    • Mark October 22, 2017 / 2:52 pm

      Doesn’t Conn now get a pay check from the ACB? Isn’t he some sort of media mouthpiece for the governing body?

      All these fake journos who have conflicts of interest!

      Like

  13. SimonH October 24, 2017 / 12:14 pm

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-5010183/Former-cricket-umpire-Darrell-Hair-avoids-conviction.html

    An “aberration” – except he wanted a huge, tax-free pay-off after the ball-tampering row. (I haven’t got all the details of that to hand – and please correct me if I’m wrong – but it’s in Brian Radford’s ‘On the Spot’ and Radford is generally on Hair’s side).

    Gambling addiction? Well, that’s not slightly worrying (or surprising)…

    Like

  14. Mark October 25, 2017 / 9:34 am

    Have you seen the new BT advert for their various sports offerings?

    For the cricket bit (if you can call it that) they have in the commentary box…. Shinny toy ( is there anything he isn’t in?) and Swann. They say…….. “is that Dele?”…….. Out in the middle we have Dele Alli dressed in cricket gear being sledged from the slips by Steve Smith……. “You should have stuck to football mate.” He says.

    Alli then throws down his bat in disgust, (probably a red card under the new ICC guidelines) and proceedes to kick the ball that has just been bowled to him away with his foot. The ball turns into a football, and we leave cricket behind.

    Even when they try to promote cricket they can’t do it without inserting football into it……”You should have stuck to football mate” seems a good metaphor for BTs cricket coverage.

    In other news….. the Indian board have suspended a groundsman in a sting operation claiming he can doctor the pitch for certain bowlers for bookmakers.

    I sometimes wonder why we still bother with this weird sport thing. I guess it’s still better than the real world of the news. But it’s getting harder to tell the difference any more. Happy days!

    Like

    • Nicholas October 25, 2017 / 10:44 am

      I get the feeling that I am going to be the BT apologist on here this winter!

      I think that advert is a bit crap, too, but it’s not only cricket that gets this treatment in the ad – Dele has a go at all of BT’s sports. I’m sure that the fans of all the other sports featured in that advert would be just as frustrated as we are about the cricket portion. BT’s adverts have never been that great, but I think it would be unfair to judge the coverage on a misjudged advert.

      I take heart that Sunset and Vine are at the helm (the production company that revolutionised cricket coverage the world over through their work with Channel 4, and currently produce the peerless Channel 5 highlights). If they mess it up, then fair enough, but they have enough cricket pedigree on the production staff to do a really good job, IMHO. This will be their first live England test match since the C4 days, and I really can’t wait.

      I also think that Matt Smith will be very good as anchor. It’s a very shrewd move to use a non-player and I think he will be a lot more tenacious than Greg James was in the role last winter, as Smith is an experienced journalist.

      I find Shiny Toy and Lovejoy as infuriating as the next man, and I think the commentary is one analytical English ex-pro short (it needs a more unpassionate Atherton-type figure), but I think Ponting and Fleming are a step up from Warne when it comes to the Aussie analysts.

      Let’s give it a good go, is what I’m saying. I think it might just be better than we expect.

      Like

      • SimonH October 25, 2017 / 11:00 am

        My big worry is that Ponting will disappear off to BBL comentary as soon as that starts like he did last winter.

        Like

  15. SimonH October 25, 2017 / 4:37 pm

    The Cricketer’s ‘debate’ on four day Tests (try going in through Newman’s Twitter if the link doesn’t work):

    http://www.thecricketer.com/default.aspx?pageid=1223&catid=71&topicid=43289

    In addition to those already well-publicised, Nicholarse (TM Innocent Bystander) and Wilde think it’s just dandy.

    Haigh is of course magnificent in his opposition – and if Newman keeps on being this right about things, he’s going to lose his place on Mount Cricmore!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark October 25, 2017 / 7:58 pm

      This is I’m afraid all to predictable. The people running county cricket are morons. They took the bribe to agree to the new competition, and it seems they didn’t bother to read the small print.

      Suddenly reality is hitting home. This sounds very much like the flawed test match bidding system where counties were pitched against each other for the prize of hosting test cricket. The prices kept rising. Now counties are realising some are going to lose out. It’s a giant poker game, and they haven’t got deep pockets.

      They have agreed to hand over their grounds ( Crown Jewels ) because the ECB hasn’t got any grounds to play the games on in the first place…….for peanuts. Now they are going to get just 30% and they have to keep their grounds “clean” for 5 weeks. That means no outside contracts like hospitality or conferencing. And they have to take down all their current sponsors logos.

      It’s like a mafia take over. And now they are back tracking on the grass roots money. Maybe they should have sorted out all of this before, they sold their souls. I repeat they could have done all of this themselves and kept all the money. They didn’t need the ECB.

      Like

    • nonoxcol October 26, 2017 / 8:41 pm

      I note Hughes yet to find room for comment in between constant plugs for his podcast…

      Like

  16. SimonH October 26, 2017 / 8:21 am

    The Darrell Hair case, the Pune groundsman, the way the new T20 is unfolding….

    What do they all have in common? They all haven’t happened for anyone who gets their information just from the Guardian.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. SimonH October 27, 2017 / 2:03 pm

    Pre-tour reports starting to appear with the squad about to fly out.

    The DM reports:
    “And the England camp have been purposely quiet about the [Stokes] situation as they prepare for the tour of Australia — with Root likely to be without his talismanic all-rounder”.

    “Purposely quiet”? That odd phrasing shows how much of a departure from the norm it is….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark October 28, 2017 / 10:50 am

      You just know Lovejoy is going to say something stupid about this. He won’t be able to contain himself.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH October 28, 2017 / 1:40 pm

        Well that could hardly have worked out better for the ECB – unless they’d added “… oh, and we’d really fancy watching our gentleman hero in a city-based T20 tournament”.

        As for the story breaking in the same paper that had the story initially, and on the day the squad are flying out, well…. hmm….

        Meanwhile, sub judice is taking a few elbows in the ribs –

        And you’ll never guess who else has been Tweeting his opinion….

        Liked by 3 people

        • Mark October 28, 2017 / 2:11 pm

          Especially as we now know papers are quite prepared to drop stories about players bad behaviour if the ECB ask them to do so.

          Im sure all those double page spreads, and in depth interviews with certain players is a complete coincidence.

          “Coincidence” seems to be the word of the day.

          Like

        • nonoxcol October 28, 2017 / 6:27 pm

          Your Capitalisation of tweet gave it away!

          Like

          • jomesy October 28, 2017 / 9:15 pm

            It was this quote that pissed me off:

            We were so grateful to Ben for stepping in to help. He was a real hero. Kai feared he could be attacked. If Ben hadn’t intervened it could have been a lot worse for us.

            Thanks Ben. Thanks bought media. Thanks ECB. THANKS BEN. Thanks Ben – ironically I didn’t know you had it in in you…to fight for “others”. Gentle Ben. Gentle Ben (not the brown bear), Gentle Ben Stokes who fights against homophobia. Give me a fucking break.

            Like

  18. AB October 28, 2017 / 5:29 pm

    Wonder how much the ECB bunged that pair to lie to the police? Must have been a fair few grand. No wonder the negotiations took so long.

    Liked by 1 person

    • BoredInAustria October 29, 2017 / 12:50 pm

      Quote:
      The pair said they had no idea they were cricketers….they had been unaware of the repercussions of the incident, only finding out when “a policeman came round this week”, according to Barry.

      Mmmmm.
      Bet they know who Alistair Cooke is though….

      Like

      • Mark October 29, 2017 / 4:11 pm

        How did the police find them then if they didn’t come forward? How did the policeman just turn up at their house out of the blue?

        I can’t help thinking that a hell of a lot of effort has been made to find these men that wouldn’t happen if it was me or you who was involved.

        Like

      • northernlight71 October 29, 2017 / 9:02 pm

        Of course they know, he used to do that Letter from America thing on the radio……
        😉

        Like

        • BoredInAustria October 30, 2017 / 10:28 pm

          Oh what a difference “e” makes …
          🙂

          Like

  19. nonoxcol October 30, 2017 / 1:48 pm

    You need a small violin and a spare bag.

    Like

    • Mark October 30, 2017 / 3:38 pm

      Which is probably why he is so critical of BT. Hes managed to worm his way into Sky, albeit in a minor way. Might have been able to gadge a free trip to Aus.

      Nothing funnier than journos who ignore the cost of cricket for the average punter (sometimes sneering at them because they can’t afford Sky) complaining they won’t get a freebie trip down under.

      Here’s an idea! How about you open your wallet and pay your own flight, and hotel bills, and buy your own match ticket. Just like the rest of us have to.

      First missed Ahes tour in 30 years? That’s impressive freeloading right there. Becuase I can’t remember a single thing he wrote of any significance in those 3 decades of tours that was worth the money.

      Liked by 3 people

      • SimonH October 30, 2017 / 5:24 pm

        Phew….

        Like

        • Mark October 30, 2017 / 6:37 pm

          Oh dear, and they won’t give you a free ticket. I guess you will have to watch BT instead.

          Still, maybe Sky will pay for a free BT feed as you have to be able to watch it to write your piss poor previews.

          Never understood why Sky wasted their money on him. They have an army of other pundits that could write it. Nassers got the winter off. Let him do it.

          Like

      • man in a barrel October 31, 2017 / 3:50 pm

        He got rather shirty about this comment

        Like

        • Mark October 31, 2017 / 4:10 pm

          Ha ha ha. “PR staff!”

          I wouldn’t mind if he had contributed something in the last 30 years. But it smacks of one giant freebie. Also, why is he even wanting to cover test matches anymore? seeing as he’s now signed up to the ECBs 20/20 to infinity circus.

          Like

  20. Mark October 30, 2017 / 8:23 pm

    I know this a cricket site, but we often discuss the idiocy of the sports media, and so I thought If the boss does not mind (it’s quite quiet at the moment) I would comment on the extraordinary re writing of history that we are watching by the so called un biased football media. Ho, ho, ho.

    It concerns Jose Mourhino and Man Utd. I will declare an interest here, and admit I’m not a fan of either. (Unlike most of the so called impartial football writers, cough cough) What we are witnessing is positively Orwellian. The very same football journos who a decade ago attacked Mourhino’s football at Chelsea as negative and boring…. An “anti football” a “park the bus football” now claim it’s fantastic.

    Amazingly, a boring style has suddenly been reinvented as genius & tactical masterclass. Why so? Well, because he now manages their favourite team….Darling, darling Man United.

    It is astonishing to see how these journos will pivot 180 degrees just so they can spin it for their beloved Man United. With their noses a funny brown colour from being permanently rammed up Manchester utd’s rectum they march forward to tell us that up is down, and black is white.

    Two weeks ago on the Sky morning show the fat Custis… brother of the slightly thinner Custis, and well know Man U brown noser gave a master class of bullshit. Man United’s insipid performance at Liverpool which ended 0-0 (much hyped pre match by the Sky network) claimed that this was tactical genius. “Anti football” has been transformed into a “masterclass.” You had to see it to believe it. Custis simultaneously argued two completely different points. Man U were great, and Liverpool were shit. Yes, but quite why if Liverpools defence is so shit (as was shown at Spurs last week) is it a great tactic to go and park the bus at a team who can’t defend for tofee? We didn’t get the answer. Other genius punters informed us that Man U had taken two points of their title rivals. Er, no they didn’t. Because Liverpool are not title rivals. They won’t even finish in the top 4. But all this is ignored because Man U can never be criticised by the so called impartial media.

    A defeat at Huddersfield followed as the media looked at their shoes and murmured something idiotic. Then on Saturday playing at home against Spurs without Harry Kane they squeaked a boring one nill win. Match of the day didn’t even bother to have it as their first match, but that didn’t stop Skys Sunday morning show dragging on another well known Man U brown noser to wax lyrical and reinvent the wheel.

    This was straight out of George Orwell. He even tried to claim that under Fergusson they didn’t really play attacking football all the time. With his brown nose growing as he said it…..he even claimed that sometimes it was worth taking a book because the football was so boring under Fergie. Every spin was in favour of darling darling Man U. Yet when they came to debate Man City, who are actually top, and playing attacking football a certain sneering entered the debate. “Yes, but…” Was the order of the day.

    Apparently the Man U media now love negative football, and attacking football, if played by anyone other than Man U is something of a luxury to be suspicious of. This is what passes as so called football journalism these days. The media is full of these bullshiters and brown nosers.

    Extraordinary.

    Like

    • thelegglance October 30, 2017 / 8:26 pm

      Residents of City fan forum Blue Moon point this out all the time. Glad to see it’s not just them who notice it!

      Like

    • nonoxcol October 30, 2017 / 8:42 pm

      Boring football under Ferguson? Maybe pre-Cantona and post-Ronaldo, and after Rooney extorted that obscene new contract on the back of stinking out the World Cup. But it’s *quite* a stretch to argue it from 1992-2010. For instance, I’d sooner watch their 93-94 side than anything in the last decade of the PL (including City). And I still think the most attractive football of the whole PL era was played before Mourinho arrived (mainly – though not exclusively – by Utd and Arsenal c 1998-2004).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mark October 30, 2017 / 9:31 pm

        They decided to have a chat about whether this Man City team could go on to be one of the best teams ever. Bit early for this sort of stuff as they haven’t won anything, but we live in an era of polls on “the best ever of whatever.”

        Our jounos sprang into action. The first obvious thing was in their minds football didn’t exist pre premiership. No teams from the pre premiership era were considered. Our interpid heros informed us straight away that the 1999 Man united team were the best. That was a surprise…NOT.

        Brown nose journo with the extra extending nose extension claimed a number of Man U teams were great. Someone raised the Arsenal invincibles, but that was quickly shut down because Fergie had said they had a lot of draws. (Ahhhh the days when they liked attacking football. Alas Not anymore.)

        They then moved on to talk about Chelsea. But that quickly turned into a debate about how great Man U were for buying Chelsea’s best player. You can’t make this stuff up. It’s like living under Pravda.

        Like

        • nonoxcol October 31, 2017 / 1:18 pm

          This *is* the longest Man Utd have gone without a title since 1967-1993, of course (and I don’t believe anyone other than Ferguson could have won the 2013 title with that lot either, nor indeed run City that close in 2012).

          I remember many pundits used to keep bigging up Liverpool in the mid-late 90s because they couldn’t quite accept their title drought might continue indefinitely. And here they now are, 27 years without one.

          Not to take anything away from the 1999 side, but it ought to be remembered what a tight title race that was (probably my favourite of the PL era), and how lucky they were in the Champions League final. Wouldn’t want to be too churlish on the latter point, given they were in a group with Bayern and Barcelona (and Brondby) and scored 20 goals, then had to overcome real jeopardy in the knockout ties against two good Italian sides. All I’m saying is I don’t believe they’re the automatic answer to the best team question.

          Incidentally, those arguing against the Invincibles on the grounds of draws should take a look at the 1999 table and note how closely-matched the leading sides were. Utd won with less than 80 points and drew 13 of their 38 games. The top four drew 13, 12, 15 and 13 games respectively.

          Like

          • Mark October 31, 2017 / 3:42 pm

            I’m not arguing that Man U are a bad side. It’s really not about them. It’s the dishonest football writers that pretend to be impartial, but are either blatant Man U fans or push this line for their sports editors because Man U have more fans than anyone else.

            Watching the same writers who sneered at José at Chelsea suddenly approve his methods now he’s at their club is the height of hypocrisy. They don’t judge things on their merits but through the Man U filter they have stuck over their eyes.

            In past years to go to Liverpool and get a point might be a good result, and if they end up winning the league by a point Jose can claim as much. But the way Man city are playing picking up draws away may not be enough. (Arsenal getting draws was not good enough for the same journos to dismiss the invincibles.) If they hadn’t got that late winning goal on Saturday against Spurs they would have dropped 7 points out of the last 9. That is not title winning form.

            It’s also astonishing to see them now sneering at man citys attacking play, and defending boring negative football of Jose. They are not journos, but fan boys. And they should admit it.

            Like

    • Mark October 31, 2017 / 10:14 am

      Do you remember John Majors election video of 1992 where he drives back to his working class roots in London where he lived for about 2 years before his parents moved out to Surrey? He was looking for his old house………. “It is,……… it is…. it’s still there?”

      This is Vaughns version going back to his old cricket ground, and the old dressing room. “It’s even got one of my old bats!”

      One is already getting a sinking feeling about all this. It looks like shiny toy is going to be bigger than the cricket. He informs us that the biggest battle will be between the two captains. BULLCRAP. It will be England’s batting against their Fast bowling.

      I won’t even dignify Lovejoys contribution. Interesting he is so excited about the Ashes seeing as he walked out on the last tour just as he was about to be dropped.

      Like

  21. northernlight71 October 31, 2017 / 2:12 pm

    You know what? I really wish the Police and the CPS would get a move on so we can finally talk about cricket again without constantly worrying about saying the wrong thing about Ben Stokes.

    Like

    • Mark October 31, 2017 / 3:48 pm

      I thought it was a nice touch the England players all wearing their poppies for their team photo, even if it was over 2 weeks before remembrance Sunday. PR is everything these days.

      I’m not sure how wearing a poopy fits in with one of your players (not with the team) being accused of punching an ex soldier in the face.

      You can’t make this stuff up.

      Like

    • SimonH October 31, 2017 / 5:23 pm

      “the Pakistan Super League (PSL) makes about $2.5 million a year for the Pakistan board, but the six teams lose at least $1 million a year each”.

      No wonder Giles Clarke has suddenly fallen in love with the PCB!

      Like

    • Mark October 31, 2017 / 5:31 pm

      I suspect all these 20/20 leagues will go the same way as international cricket, and we will be left with the usual big 3 of IPL, big bash and the English version.

      So the same people will corner the market in 20/20 as in test cricket, and loot all the dosh for themselves. Growing the game was never the model. Owning the game? That’s a different ball game.

      Like

  22. SimonH October 31, 2017 / 7:17 pm

    “We’re thrilled to be committing to the sport for another two years as we continue on our brand building journey. Like cricket, we’re a brand steeped in rich heritage and tradition and we’re excited about what we can achieve in partnership together over the next two years.”

    https://www.ecb.co.uk/news/505376

    Like

    • Mark October 31, 2017 / 9:47 pm

      Someone gets paid to write that utter garbage. It’s an indication of a civilisation heading for the rocks.

      “Brand building journey.”……. Follow the yellow brick road, follow follow follow folow, follow the yellow brick road.

      ” like cricket we’re a brand.” We’re off to see the wizard…. the wonderful wizard of Oz

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus November 1, 2017 / 4:24 pm

        Mark, I have no idea how old you are, but I can imagine we are roughly the same generation. Maybe a little older.

        It wasn’t always like this. Tell me, because my mind feels like mush, that it wasn’t always like this. It wasn’t the Cornhill Insurance Ashes, was it? Was it the Vodafone Ashes (I fear it might have been) and was 2005 the Npower Ashes?

        Royal London need to take a look at their poxy adverts before talking about brand journeys. It’s the middle ages talking modern concepts. No parallels with cricket there.

        Like

        • Mark November 1, 2017 / 6:09 pm

          No boss, it wasn’t always like this I’m sure of it. I don’t even know what “brand building journey” means. It’s lazy, saccerine nothingness.

          I also question the notion that they think they are in “partnership” with English cricket. Are they going to be opening the batting with Cook in the problem number 2 spot? Or coming in at 3? No, they are sponsoring cricket with the hope it will bring in more business for themselves. Nothing wrong with that, but spare us the “we are all in it together” stuff.

          The vast amount of cricket fans will not notice them, and when they are gone won’t notice their replacements either. If you want to associate your firm with a sport then fine, but don’t assume that fans give a proverbial shit. And please don’t pretend that you are partnering with said sport.

          I would love to see a brake down on how much new business these deals are really worth to the companies. How much new business do they generate? It’s the shareholders who pay for this, and I’m sure they will get some nice free tickets in the corporate boxes for their trouble.

          I have never in my life bought a product based on its advertising with a sport. When Beckham Is flogging razors I have never thought…. that’s the ticket, I’ll buy one of them. Or what I need is a Sharp TV or an Orange phone or I’ll do up my house whith Crown paints.

          In fact the opposite is now the case. Those flashing advert banners at big football games are so irritating that I would go out of my way to avoid their product.

          But I’m a grumpy old man who doesn’t fit the demographic.

          Like

  23. SimonH October 31, 2017 / 7:27 pm

    There’s some splendid nonsense on ECB sites about last weekend’s conference they put on for coaches.

    This guy got one of the gigs:

    Hard to see why…..

    #snakeoil
    #iveabridgeinnewyorkiwant to sellyou
    #matthewsyedwannabe

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark October 31, 2017 / 9:40 pm

      I can see why he calls himself…… “liquid thinker”

      If that is an example of his output…… He obviously spouts liquid projectile shite.

      Liked by 1 person

      • man in a barrel November 1, 2017 / 8:40 am

        Just for context

        You are here: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and CulturesClassicsPeopleDamian Hughes

        Damian Hughes
        Damian Hughes
        BA Classics 1997

        Summary: Classics graduate Damian is a best-selling author and talks about his colourful career path since graduation.

        Classics graduate Damian shares his success story since graduating from Leeds in 1997…

        He is the author of four best-selling books, Liquid Thinking and Liquid Leadership, The Survival Guide to Change and Change Catalyst as well the founder of the LiquidThinker Company which takes the methods used by great achievers and shows, in easy steps, how you can adopt them into your own life and business in order to achieve your dreams and ambitions.

        Damian, a former England schoolboy footballer and Manchester United football coach, was a Human Resource Director for Unilever, where he led a turn around in performance at the UK’s oldest manufacturing site in Port Sunlight before carrying out similar work in Africa and US.

        He now runs his own change management consultancy, LiquidThinker Ltd, helping a wide range of individuals; teams and industries achieve similar employee engagement and success. He also works as a change management consultant and sports psychologist for Warrington Wolves, England and GB Rugby League team.

        Damian runs a Manchester inner-city youth club, Collyhurst and Moston, which has helped reduce crime and help many kids find a purpose in their lives from stopping crime to winning Olympic medals. In 2007 he was nominated for the William Hill Sports book of the year award for Peerless, his biography of boxing great Sugar Ray Robinson. In 2009, he co-authored a critically acclaimed biography of boxing legend Thomas Hearns in Hitman: the Thomas Hearns Story.

        Like

        • Mark November 1, 2017 / 12:12 pm

          Ha ha ha…..I bet he shits golden bricks as well.

          Why am I not impressed with the concept of “change management consultants & sports phycologists?”

          Probably because I think they’re mostly full of shit who leach on others, and then claim credit for their achievements.

          I’m just saying, but I’m prejudiced against them. Those that can do, and those that can’t or can’t do anymore….teach, and those that can’t do or teach end up as some form of consultant.

          Like

          • LordCanisLupus November 1, 2017 / 4:30 pm

            I made a mistake and once purchased one of those books that seeks to explain human psychology. The Persuaders – the hidden industry that wants to change your mind. Basically it was that poxy “Nudge Thoery” extended beyond its useful life for a couple of hundred pages. It won’t surprise you that I never got remotely near finishing it. It did, however, indirectly warm up the carriages of my train home as the steam came from my ears.

            My default whenever one of these new gurus comes into my office is that you are a total charlatan until you prove otherwise. Most have left with their original status firmly intact. I don’t know it all, far from it, but I know a pup being sold to me. Like a highly paid executive coming in, and his only meaningful success was getting some windows opened. Strategic vision? Christ on a bike.

            Like

          • Mark November 1, 2017 / 5:38 pm

            I always remember a well known entrepreneur talking on tv about how he once hired some consultants because he thought everyone else was doing it so he may as well give them a try.

            Then one day he woke up and realised that he was being told what to do by a spotty faced 22 year old who had never built anything in his life.

            The whole point of consultants is to make you become dependent on them. Eventually you can’t sneeze without wondering if you should consult your consultant. Before long they are on the payroll and part of the furniture for years.

            Don’t confuse these people with experts in various fields. If you want to design a house get an architect. If you want to build a house get a builder. If you want to rebuild your car get a mechanic. if you want to rebuild your computer get a techie. And if you want a never ending bill or a book to prop up your table leg get a consultant.

            Like

        • LordCanisLupus November 1, 2017 / 4:34 pm

          Shania Twain once sung a song about this man.

          “So you’re a William Hill Sports Book of the Year Nominee….”

          No-one is asking Gary Imlach or Duncan Hamilton or, ahem, Lance Armstrong, along!

          Like

    • LordCanisLupus November 1, 2017 / 4:21 pm

      Matthew Syed on wasted talent today is everything you would expect it to be.

      Danny Cipriani wasn’t too enamoured with someone who he has never spoken to being used as the counter point to Beckham.

      Like

      • Mark November 1, 2017 / 5:23 pm

        I wondered if the ping pong man would come up. He is cut from the same cloth with his crack pot theories, and concepts he has lifted from some one else like ……”black box thinking”

        and my own personal favourite……

        The belief that with enough practice you too can be Roger Federer, or Tiger Woods.

        How come every professional sports team isn’t beating down a door to hire this genius to run their coaching division?

        Like

          • Mark November 1, 2017 / 7:04 pm

            I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

            Growth mindset tool? What is it, a giant carrot?

            Like

          • LordCanisLupus November 1, 2017 / 10:50 pm

            Liew is an interesting one. For every decent provocative piece there is this kind of self-congratulatory twaddle.

            I thoroughly enjoyed the game. Spurs were superb. But something about that paragraph just grates. It’s as if the game wasn’t enough.

            A matter of taste.

            Like

          • Mark November 1, 2017 / 11:38 pm

            Yea it was a good game. But it was only a group game. Will Spurs be in the semi final, and where will Real Madrid finish in the competition?

            Not sure they will be talking about in years to come if Spurs get knocked out before the final.

            Like

    • Mark November 1, 2017 / 11:46 am

      Of course it’s Cooks idea. And of course the media have to let us know it’s Cooks idea. He has to be kept relevant.

      And who better to do it than John “The ECB doesn’t leak & you don’t know how jounalim works” Etheridge.

      Etheridge is becoming like the fat Custis. All their output should come with a govt warning.

      Like

    • LordCanisLupus November 1, 2017 / 4:26 pm

      Because nothing builds teams better than losing sleep because your team mate snores, or losing your mind because he farts.

      Mindflicking of the highest order.

      Like

      • BoredInAustria November 1, 2017 / 5:37 pm

        “The squad have been split into pairs at their apartments in Perth. ” I imagine these are large apartments with seperate bedrooms but shared living areas? It lets the senior pros keep an eye on the non-existant drinking culture…

        PS – Have they leaked the 80 page menus yet?

        Like

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