First, Do no Harm

We’ve written extensively on the whole ECB Hundred omnishambles, to the point where we leave it for a while as there seems little else to say, especially when the ECB themselves seem so determined to remove the need for nasty blogs to have a go at them by coming out with statements and decisions so cretinous as to need no further comment.

Still, as was pointed out in the comments to the last article, we should leave a thread open for people to laugh themselves silly comment on the latest fun and games, so here it is.

The latest entertainment came from the meeting between the PCA and the ECB, where Daryl Mitchell did our erstwhile overlords few favours with his words to the media afterwards. He warned everyone that without players there is no game, something that’s entirely true, though it remains notable how no one in the upper echelons of English cricket appears to have noticed that without supporters there is no game either. Which perhaps goes some way toward explaining the unique marketing strategy of infuriating and then rejecting cricket fans up and down the country as well as at the same time patronising those they want to come instead.

Still, that wasn’t the killer line. That came later with this gem:

Root and Stokes will be allocated to a team for marketing purposes, but they won’t be playing. The ECB made the point that this new audience won’t necessarily know who Stokes and Root are anyway”

Aside from the obvious pleasure of seeing the ECB receiving a dose of their own medicine and being thrown under the bus by someone else, it’s such a startling thing to say on so many levels. To begin with, an admission that the two most high profile players (for one reason or another) in the England set up aren’t known by the wider public is symptomatic of the disastrous profile of cricket generally, something given fair warning about when Root didn’t make the shortlist for Sports Personality of the Year even though he was number one batsman in the world at the time.

But it’s more than that. The ECB are going to be trying to push a competition absent their most high profile players, and saying it doesn’t matter. This hardly smacks of an attractive package for anyone to rush out and buy tickets. At the same time, the word is that the teams won’t be named after their geographical locations, rather impressively limiting the kind of tribal interest that team sports require. A little snippet that appeared saying some local players might be needed was a truly delicious example of an organisation that appear to have no idea what they’re doing.

Far more serious for cricket generally is Australia’s decision to cancel Bangladesh’s tour because they say it’s not financially viable. The ECB and Cricket Australia appear to be in competition with each other to see who is the more incompetent – a governing body Ashes if you will. The trouble is, the game itself is what is being burned.

If there’s anything that’s certain from all this, it’s that neither remotely cares for cricket supporters nor the integrity of the game itself. That may not be surprising, but it is an abrogation of their primary roles. Indeed their only role – for if they care not for the game of cricket and those who love it, what purpose do they serve?

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61 thoughts on “First, Do no Harm

  1. oreston May 9, 2018 / 8:37 pm

    So the new competition is going to be promoted with the aid of two players who won’t even be participating in it and who, it is freely admitted, the intended target audience (who are apparently people with no interest whatsoever in cricket) have barely heard of anyway. So why not just get any old Tom, Dick or Harry to do the photoshoot if the great unwashed won’t know the difference? Data does not compute…

    Like

  2. Sophie May 9, 2018 / 9:12 pm

    Not only that, why not get just any players if the audience doesn’t know what they’re watching anyway?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sillypointcricket May 9, 2018 / 9:33 pm

    I think that the ECB intend to let a member of the crowd bowl the ten-ball over!

    Seriously, the Bangladesh news is disappointing for both sets of fans. So cricket fans in Northern Australia can’t watch live cricket because their mates prefer AFL or whatever?!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Baz May 9, 2018 / 9:34 pm

    Maybe easier for the ECB to spin themselves off and start a totally new sport for a new audience and a reality show to find players. They seem to have discarded everything else. ECB Rollerball maybe KP v Andrew Strauss, I know who’s side I’d be on…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mark May 9, 2018 / 9:47 pm

    Time for some player power to put a stop to all this nonsense. The moment has come for the players to rise up, and say fuck you ECB. Cricket has the most obedient, and subservient bunch of players to the governing bodies in most of sport.

    The governing body has now shown it literally doesn’t give a shit about the fan (paying customer) or the staff (the people who play the sport) so it is down to the players (employees) to say “enough with this we will not put.” Or will they continue to just do whatever they are told? Do these players care if the maniacs in charge change cricket to some kind of version of Its a knockout? Get ready to have to play your joker dressed as a penguin….. trying to fill a bucket of water while standing on a revolving stage while someone throws bags of flower at you.

    If the loons in charge want to get a blank piece of paper and start a new sport… fine, but fuck off out of cricket, and do it on someone else’s time. You have contempt for the customer, (not a good business model) and you have no clue as to who these new customers will be. Morons….apparently if you listen to Strauss. (They can’t count to six)

    Meanwhile the summer is about to start, and that means proper cricket is about to stop till September. I will not pay one penny to watch this new Mickey Mouse offering. And I won’t watch any of it on tv either. I also will be cheering on whoever England are playing from now on until these weasels at the top have either been sacked or have resigned in embarrassment because anyone putting on the England shirt is playing for team ECB. And they are run by chancers and charlatans.

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    • LordCanisLupus May 10, 2018 / 8:21 am

      If the Hundred increases player wages, even if just for the short term, they’ll be for it. Don’t worry about that.

      Like

      • Mark May 10, 2018 / 8:38 am

        I fear you are right. They deserve what they get in that case. There is no humiliation they won’t be prepared to sign up for.

        The BBC is also at fault. So desperate for any live sport they will sign up for anything.

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  6. Julie May 9, 2018 / 9:51 pm

    “If they care not for the game of cricket and those who love it, what purpose do they serve.” What purpose indeed? Such a true comment that must bring a great sadness to all cricket lovers. Have dispised ECB since the KP fiasco but now Cricket Aust is no better. Wish we could kick them all out and start again.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sri.grins May 10, 2018 / 12:52 am

    Given the passion for cricket in any format in Bangladesh, to talk about financial reasons for cancelation is weird. Cricket Australia needs to be ashamed of itself.

    It is not just about how much money you make from the tour but the impression you make on cricket fans that matters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus May 10, 2018 / 8:20 am

      Bang on Sri. This is about long term development. Bangladesh will be a force. A country I had the pleasure of visiting this time last year with so much potential in many forms. But there is little long term thinking going on.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mark May 10, 2018 / 8:53 am

      I’m sure the ACB will put out one of its long winded press releases keeping their fans up to date with the boards thinking on this matter.

      You know the sort of thing……..The boards fake concern with standards and doing the right thing. The same sort of memo they put out over sandpaper gate before re hiring the coach who had resigned.

      Have you noticed how Lehman now joins Flower in resigning for failure as coach, and then being re hired by the board a month or so later in a different capacity?

      The ECB and ABC reward failure, if your face fits.

      Perhaps one day India will cancel playing Australia as they are just not financially important enough with a population of only 20 million or so. In population size they are really not that much bigger than Ireland. (Snark)

      Like

    • quebecer May 10, 2018 / 1:24 pm

      it’s just staggering that for organizations who have become so utterly focussed on the bottom line that they all keep making such bone headed business decisions. It feels reprehensible, yes, but it’s also just plain stupid.

      Like

  8. oreston May 10, 2018 / 4:36 am

    Cricket Australia’s shameful decision to cancel their Bangladesh tour is further evidence that Test cricket is gradually dissociating into a (for the moment) informal two division structure. Ireland, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are in the lower tier with West Indies a candidate to join them. Sadly, the reasons for this divide have as much to do with the ICC’s greedy misallocation of resources as with ability (although of course the latter is to a degree impacted on by the former).
    I’m pleased for Ireland, playing their inaugural Test against Pakistan tomorrow. It would be a shame though if all their home Tests were like this one – basically providing a one-off warm-up game for a team that’s about to play a more substantial series in England (…even though Pakistan in England are themselves being treated more-or-less as an amuse-bouche for the all important, money spinning biennial India series). “Big fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite ’em, and little fleas have lesser fleas, and so, ad infinitum.” Perhaps the right to play a three or five Test seres against an established nation is something that has to be earned, but with the governance of the World game so skewed by the unabashed financial self-interest of a small number of ICC full members you have to wonder a) just what a country like Ireland would now have to do to be seen to have earned that right and b) whether it will even happen before Test cricket comes to an end.

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  9. Miami Dad's Six May 10, 2018 / 2:32 pm

    The Banga news is especially dispiriting in the week that Ireland make their Test bow. What a kick in the gonads for anyone looking to expand the game.

    Liked by 1 person

    • oreston May 10, 2018 / 7:45 pm

      The problem is that absolutely nobody with any influence is actually looking to do anything truly meaningful to expand the game. In that regard, even FIFA under Sepp Blatter looks like a responsible, nurturing World governing body (though obviously also an incredibly corrupt one) compared to the ICC.

      Like

      • d'Arthez May 10, 2018 / 9:20 pm

        Uh, I am willing to wager that the ICC is actually far more corrupt than FIFA under Blatter. I am still waiting for the ACSU to investigate the match fixing the ICC themselves, admitted they had engaged in. Even the people who have admitted to it, have faced no sanctions whatsoever. I can hardly think of a journalist who even bothered to ask a slightly uncomfortable question on the matter. Even FIFA at its worst was never that brazen.
        These wrecking ball crews (administrators is honestly a term that is not applicable to them) just pretend they want to expand the game, when obviously the agenda is to kill the longest two formats of the game. Their sole mission is simply to wreck what they can, and then grab as much valuable scrap to monetise. None of them care, when they realize the game has been bled dry by their own greedy incompetence.
        Maybe in 2030 we have either endless T20s interspersed with 16.Bore fixtures. Provided the ECB at least think that people can count to six by then …
        As idiotic as CA has been with regards to scrapping the Bangladesh tour, it is not like England have hosted them since 2010 (nor will they in the next five years at least), or that India have been that generous with the fixtures to their eastern neighbours. But to be fair to India, they also play Zimbabwe relatively regularly (even if they do not send their best team). It has been a problem for the longest time, but instead of solving it, the ICC’s adopted position is, has been, and always will be financial might is right.
        International cricket is done and dusted. What we are witnessing here are simply the death throes, of a game we used to love and cherish, but which we can hardly recognize anymore due to structural and deliberate malfeasance by the powers that be. Well done ICC, well done constituent Full Member Boards.

        Liked by 1 person

        • oreston May 10, 2018 / 10:40 pm

          You’re right and massive corruption in international cricket at the highest level wouldn’t come as any big surprise to me, especially given some of the people involved and how reprehensible even those of their activities which are public knowledge and don’t actually break any laws are. As you say though, the journalistic spade work hasn’t (yet) been done so while one can have strong suspicions one has I think to be nonetheless a little cautious in one’s pronouncements. In terms of growing the game and holding a World Cup competition that’s actually worthy of the name FIFA, even at it’s most venal, has been far streets ahead.

          Like

          • thelegglance May 10, 2018 / 10:52 pm

            Just a reminder to be careful what you say gents. No names, no hints of names etc.

            Like

  10. quebecer May 10, 2018 / 3:35 pm

    Drives me mad. If they are going to be about the money rather than the game, at least be competent at that! These organizations can’t even do the wrong thing properly.

    Like

  11. pktroll (@pktroll) May 10, 2018 / 9:35 pm

    For all those criticising Australia, and it is justified re their cancellation of the Bangladesh tour, England haven’t had them here for 8 years and play Pakistan who only toured here less than 2 years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    • quebecer May 11, 2018 / 1:22 am

      Excellent point. Quite why the Banglas aren’t in England right now I don’t know. And Ireland get test status and we don’t give then a Lords test to celebrate? AND the ECB wants a new audience???

      But as we all knew from KP onwards, these people can’t even do the wrong thing properly, let alone get things right to begin with.

      Like

      • pktroll (@pktroll) May 11, 2018 / 7:14 am

        I see that D’Arthez also make that point above. It seems as though the Big 3 are trying to kill the small cricketing countries by stealth. NZ visited in 2013 and again in 2015. SL visited again in 2014 and again in 2016 where they got a 3 test series with a far lesser team than the one that had triumphed 2 years previously. Then in 2016 Pakistan visited for 4 tests and get 2 tests again this year. In fairness their 2016 visit had been their first for 6 years since the ill-fated 2010 series and spot fix gate. However the point remain as to why 3 other countries seem to have got a better deal than the Banglas who have at least made real tracks on home soil & in Asia generally.

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        • d'Arthez May 11, 2018 / 8:58 am

          New Zealand had a home season comprising of all of 4 Tests. Two against the West Indies and two against England. Sure they could have played one more against England, but due to the powers that be screwing the smaller boards out of much needed money (you actually have to pay your players, or else you run the risk of the lot of them going the T20 mercenary route; even Kane Williamson only gets about $140k / 100k GBP as a retainer fee on his central contract, and he is the best paid player New Zealand have; so roughly 7 times less than say Mark Wood or Steven Finn, who cannot even be considered more than fringe players for England, if they are even selectable).
          The smaller boards have to carefully balance their schedules, to make certain that the salaries they can offer their players are not too low, compared to what going the T20 mercenary route. Even Kyle Abbott makes more playing domestic cricket in England, than he probably would have made playing international cricket for South Africa. And I am sure something similar may well apply to Caribbean players in domestic cricket in England.
          So starve the other nations of much needed funds to even retain the services of their leading players and upcoming stars, and reduce the number of games (by financial muscle), and force these teams to play in the off-season when pitches traditionally are not much suited for Test cricket, never mind the weather, and then complain that no one attends these games!
          Honestly, I am waiting for Pakistani cricketers to marry foreign wives en masse, to get non-Pakistani citizenship, so they can actually monetise their skills a fair bit better (and play in the IPL). Or maybe Bahrain can pull a coup, by buying up cricketers like they do with athletes and weight lifters, to promote their country in T20 cricket… They now have T20I status, so why not?
          It is all about the money. Now apparently “having a fair go”, you know the basic premise of sport, is denied to Bangladeshi players, because their economy is apparently not interesting enough to the Australian broadcaster! Would the English have been pleased if Froome and Wiggins were denied a chance to compete in the Tour de France (and winning it!), because the broadcasting rights were not worth that much in the UK? Somehow I doubt it. Or name your fringe sport in the UK / Australia / India, when they happen to have athletes that are pretty decent at the sport (Leander Paes in doubles tennis comes to mind for India).
          Bangladesh lost 2-0 in 2010, never to be seen in England again. Tamim Iqbal made two tons in those two Tests. And sure, the Bangladeshi bowling was not great(England made about 1100/22 I think over the course of the series) – but three bowlers averaged less than 50 (and less than 35 as well).
          India lost 4-0 in 2011, and obviously they had to be rewarded with a fifth Test in 2014, because they apparently were ultra competitive (at least if you buy the meritocratic line that Giles Clarke spouted). Dravid made 3 tons (and was absolutely magnificent), but the rest of the batsmen were really bad. Amit Mishra had the second highest batting average for the tourists! Only two Indian bowlers managed to average less than 50 with the ball, one of whom was injured in the first Test, to end with a series average of 9. Praveen Kumar was good that series, but the rest of the bowling was nothing to write home about.
          This is not to bash the BCCI, but simply to point out that the standards some teams are held to are not exactly the same.
          And this financial starvation leads to other risks, such as blatant bribery of players of these teams. Honestly I would not be in the slightest surprised if some Zimbabweans would have gone that route, due to the structural dysfunction of ZC. How many player strikes have there been there in recent years, because the board could not even be bothered to pay the players for services rendered?? Notice that the ICC does not care one iota, or else they would have done something / anything to reduce the risk and prevent player victimisation, due to gross incompetence of a member board.

          Liked by 1 person

          • d'Arthez May 11, 2018 / 9:49 am

            Apologies for the wall of text. WordPress seems to hate the formatting I use.

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  12. Sri.grins May 11, 2018 / 7:27 am

    BCCI are marginally better than ecb and CA. So, please stop the phrase big 3 and give a new name for Ecb and CA. We are ashamed of being clubbed with them.

    😁😁😁😁😁

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    • Mark May 11, 2018 / 8:09 am

      Still got your rose tinted glasses on I see Sri?

      The BCCI may have offered more tours to some of the smaller teams, but there is plenty they have done that is arrogant and certainly puts them in the big three class. For example..Unilaterally deciding not to use technology because their top batsman were worried they would be given out LBW. Are you saying that some of India’s generosity in granting series to smaller nations has not been repaid with votes at the ICC?

      In fact I would argue that there is……in money terms……not a big three, but just a big one. Nothing happens if India don’t want it. Haven’t they also just unilaterally decided now not to play day night tests?

      Again, we can debate these issues, but India just does whatever it wants because of its TV rights money. Why is it for example does India refuse to play Pakistan? And before you say it’s because of terrorist threats…..( which I fully understand) yet they are happy to play Pakistan in world cups, and major competitions. Ie last year they played the final of the Champions trophy here in England. Hmm how convienient.

      We know how bad the ECB is on this site, and the ACB are following them. I just wish Indian fans would take off the rose tinted glasses. But I guess being top dog is a nice feeling so is it’s easy to tune a blind eye. After all, that is what you guys always used to say about us arrogant English when we ran the game from the MCC wasn’t it?

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      • d'Arthez May 11, 2018 / 9:07 am

        Mark, the India-Pakistan issue is one between states, has little to do with the member boards. Same with the UK and Zimbabwe – an ICC game between Scotland and Zimbabwe in 2010/2011 Intercontinental Cup was basically cancelled on orders of Downing Street (UK teams cannot travel to Zimbabwe to play sports).
        http://www.espncricinfo.com/icccont2010/content/story/479221.html

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  13. Sri.grins May 11, 2018 / 9:01 am

    I don’t consider the English as arrogant at all. I just think they have a limited world view. 😁😁😁😁😁😁

    Jokes apart, you answer some of your points

    A) India can’t refuse to play Pakistan in ICC events unless they wish to lose points or not participate. Bilateral series are by choice, multilateral ones are not.

    B) deciding against Drs because Sachin was afraid of being lbw is a good story and well sold by selvey and others but I would think you would have learnt not to give much credence to the English cricket press by now. ☺

    C) bcci may have used tours to get votes but traditionally that is what happens in any association in cling in political organizations like the United nations where countries get favors for votes

    D) India does not want to play Oz in Oz in d/N tests because they think they will be further down in skills and competitiveness than normal. India were supposed to play a d/N test in India against a weaker team to start acclimatization but plans got nixed by the admin committee appointed by the court who got into an ego issue with the erstwhile ruling bcci honchos. It is perfectly legitimate when the rules allow it to choose where and in what conditions to play. Don’t English fans defend pulling talented players from sa, Ireland, WI etc etc who could ill afford such players being lost on the basis that it is as per the current rules? Would ecb or English fans be gracious and allow Morgan to lead Ireland in the 2019 wc in England where there is a good chance for England to win?

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  14. Zephirine May 11, 2018 / 10:27 am

    And of course, if the ECB really wanted to encourage more participation, they should scrap the ridiculous 100 and have a very well-publicised T20 cricket festival with invited teams from any country, but especially from Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, WI and Ireland playing all round the UK in areas where those diaspora communities live and at prices normal people can afford.

    Doesn’t have to be the national teams, could be a city team or an invited Festival XI.

    Nobody gets a trophy.

    You just have a lot of people enjoying cricket for, say, two weeks.

    Highlights on TV. Fireworks. Lots of kids’ activities attached.

    Tell me why that wouldn’t work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rohan May 13, 2018 / 8:48 pm

      It wouldn’t work because it makes sense Zeph. It would only work if the best West Indian, Indian, Pakistani players etc. were used for marketing, but did not play. Also it should only be available on Sky…..

      I genuinely think it’s a really good idea, but then lots of people on here seem to have good ideas, hmmmm, must be something to do with the fact they love and care about the sport of cricket, odd that, when one thinks about the ECB in comparison.

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      • Zephirine May 14, 2018 / 10:44 am

        I wonder when Andrew Strauss last went into a corner shop? In my part of the world, local convenience stores are all run by Asian-origin people. They all have a TV in the corner or behind the counter and it’s always playing cricket from somewhere in the world.

        They don’t need some stupid 100-ball version to introduce them to the game.

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  15. Miami Dad's Six May 11, 2018 / 10:30 am

    What it needs is some genuine co-operation between the boards and the ICC. Get everyone together, thrash out a timetable, and a set of rules whereby each nation’s top players are available for at least 3 T20 tournaments per year. From there, enforce certain touring schedules (if it means England drop ICC ranking points due to a refusal to play Zimbabwe ever, then that would be absolutely fine by me). Are there any Northern Irish in the Ireland team – do they come under the same banner – how does that work with the UK gov’ts stance, I swear they play each other every other week!?).

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  16. Mark May 13, 2018 / 11:05 am

    If you were ever in doubt that Sky are the entertainment arm of the ECB, their behaviour this morning should end all doubt whatsoever.

    Remember the ECB condemning BT for having Ashes Test match rights? Well at least BT was able to actually broadcast the match live. Sky can’t even be relied on to put Ireland Pakistan on air.

    The governing bodies of cricket seem determined to kill off test match and 4 day cricket. In fact it sometimes seems it’s their number one priority.

    We are ruled by truly horrible people.

    Liked by 1 person

      • AB May 13, 2018 / 6:41 pm

        This is actually yet another problem caused by the general public’s woeful ignorance of basic economics.

        The public don’t understand some of the basic principles of competition and monopoly, entry deterrence, vertical integration, profit maximisation strategies, so they say things like “if sky are showing IPL rather than test cricket, it must be because more people want to watch the IPL”, which is about as smart as assuming that your energy company will automatically put you on the best possible tariff.

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  17. Rohan May 13, 2018 / 8:42 pm

    I understand test cricket, I understand T20 and I understand ODIs, but could something please explain this new 100 ball thing to me please? It’s confusing and it won’t attract a new audience…..I don’t know whether to laugh or cry about it, I think I am just ‘meh’ now after all these years you become numb to the ECB idiocy and buffoonery. That quote though, that quote about Stokes and Root, that quote, well highlighted TLG, that quote is a real classic. How do they continually get away with it.

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  18. Sir Peter May 14, 2018 / 1:00 pm

    Yorkshire humbled by the might ‘Rey!

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  19. Sir Peter May 14, 2018 / 1:00 pm

    mighty ‘Rey even

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  20. Riverman21 May 14, 2018 / 3:12 pm

    Colin Graves just interviewed on 5live sports extra in the tea break.
    Pretty twitchy against some straightforward questioning.
    Elaborated on the new audience they want for the new tournament as children and British Asians. They aren’t watching the current t20 tournament, but the aim is for them to make up 60-70% of the audience.
    Not suing cricinfo apparently. Be interested to see what George Dobell says next.

    Like

    • Mark May 14, 2018 / 4:28 pm

      Is it racist to state you want a crowd to be made up of a certain ethnic group?

      Is Mr Graves racist against white people?

      I would have thought a business model that is rapidly going down the toilet would be remarkably less picky about its customers. Cricket must be doing fantastically well if they can now actually specify the colour of skin of its preferred customers.

      There is a huge difference in saying you want to encourage a certain ethnic group to attend, and saying you want them to make up over two thirds of the total customer base. That sounds borderline racist to me.

      Will we see banners up at English cricket grounds saying “No whites allowed?”

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  21. Mark May 14, 2018 / 4:46 pm

    “The younger generation, whether you like it or not are just not attracted to cricket.”

    And who can blame them when you look at the incompetent Blimp like figures who run the game?

    That in itself is an admission of abject failure on your behalf, and of your predecessors . You have hidden the game away behind a pay wall and hoped….. Mr Mccawber style…. that something will turn up.

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  22. Mark May 14, 2018 / 6:14 pm

    I can’t wait to see the usual ECB stenographers try to spin this latest car crash. You know they will, because they always do.

    On days like this I’m proud of this site, and those of you who stood your ground despite numerous smears and attacks……..”you’re all KP obsessive’s……one trick ponies…..negative anti ECB werdios…….”

    Those of you who have attacked us for four years, and are now shaking their heads at the latest idiocy..,..I have one thing to say……..Welcome to my world folks!

    Like

  23. AB May 15, 2018 / 9:24 am

    Today I learnt that Asian people don’t like T20 cricket. All those people in the crowd at IPL games? Paid Actors. Open your eyes.

    Like

    • oreston May 15, 2018 / 12:21 pm

      British Asians like T20 plenty – just not so much T20 played between UK-based teams with relatively few superstars on display. If they’re not already watching the Blast I don’t know why they’d be attracted by a watered-down joke format.

      Like

  24. d'Arthez May 15, 2018 / 11:21 am

    I don’t think Ireland will be able to defend 159, but at least they try hard – 14/3 is a good start, with Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq and Harris Sohail gone.

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    • oreston May 15, 2018 / 12:12 pm

      It’s been a great fight back after their disappointing first innings. Whatever happens this afternoon, they certainly won’t have disgraced themselves in this match.
      I wonder how long it’ll be before the ECB deign to play them in a Test?

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  25. Stevet May 15, 2018 / 1:47 pm

    Anyone know why George Dockerill isn’t playing?

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  26. d'Arthez May 15, 2018 / 2:27 pm

    If Jos Buttler is the answer to the question of Bairstow keeping wicket, someone is asking a very silly question.

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  27. ArushaTZ May 15, 2018 / 2:39 pm

    Curious selections today. I still don’t understand the fascination with Wood. Glad to see they’ve picked a proper spinner. Stoneman is very fortunate. Can’t see Vince coming back again. Foakes has been hard done to I think.
    Forgive me if I’m being too wordy.
    Really good performance from Ireland the last couple of days. Pakistan clearly have a fee flaws but the boy Imam looks good.

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  28. oreston May 15, 2018 / 2:39 pm

    So who’s going to bat at 3? Is Root moving up again? Surely it’s too high for Malan? Or is Buttler going to be the keeper, enabling Jonny to play as a specialist batsman?

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  29. oreston May 15, 2018 / 3:03 pm

    Not much evidence of lofty intellect or “creativity” in the Plagiarist’s first Test team. The same-old same-old dodgy opening pair, the perennial question mark at number 3 (although at least no Vince or Ballance) and a wicket keeper/batsman who doesn’t play first class cricket. Dom Bess is an enforced change but there’s but little sign of (ahem) “blue sky thinking” on the bowling front either.

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    • oreston May 15, 2018 / 3:09 pm

      I suppose in the circumstances I am being unfair in applauding the dropping of Janes Vince. The poor sod could hardly have done any more, could he? If the sainted Alastair had played an innings like that this week there’d be church bells ringing and town criers announcing the glad tidings across the land.
      I’ll stop talking to myself now…

      Liked by 1 person

        • Benny May 15, 2018 / 5:43 pm

          Just remembering a previous England batsman who scored a triple and that wasn’t enough to get him back in

          Liked by 1 person

    • northernlight71 May 15, 2018 / 5:04 pm

      Mark Wood?! MARK WOOD?!
      I know there isn’t a queue of bowlers barging through the door of the Test team headquarters, but really.
      Mark Wood?
      Answers on a postcard. Minus any mention of the “hilarious” Horse-wicket-celebration thing.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mark May 15, 2018 / 5:16 pm

        Ed Smith, who is now called “Dave” is having some problems with his computer picking the England team…..

        Liked by 1 person

  30. Benny May 15, 2018 / 5:45 pm

    Forgive my being dozy (I’m old) but wasn’t there supposed to be another new selector or did I miss the announcement?

    Like

  31. man in a barrel May 15, 2018 / 6:13 pm

    If Buttler is the answer, can anyone let me know what the question was?

    Like

    • oreston May 15, 2018 / 7:08 pm

      Whatever it was, clearly it had little to do with putting together a balanced Test side. I can’t believe they’ve picked him as a specialist batsman to replace Vince – that makes no sense whatsoever, unless you’re mad enough to think his T20 form makes him a Test player… despite having already failed in Tests and all but given up red ball cricket. If the idea is that he takes the gloves to enable Jonny to bat up the order, surely someone like Foakes would’ve been a better bet?

      Like

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