Mansplaining Cricket

Women are pretty stupid, it seems. They can’t count to six. They can’t fathom how to use a velcro fastening. They can’t even understand the most basic laws of cricket.

These are not my personal views, I hasten to add, nor the views of any of the other writers here at Being Outside Cricket (as far as I’m aware). They do however appear to quite accurately describe how the ECB sees women.

There are a few clear examples of this thinking in recent weeks. The first was the launch of the 100-ball format in April. When Andrew Strauss was talking about the rationale for the new competition on BBC Radio 5 Live, this is how he described it:

Well very simple. I think what we’re trying to do with our new city-based tournament is really appeal to a new audience. So people that aren’t necessarily traditional cricket fans, and in particular looking at mums and kids during the summer holidays. So, what we’re trying to do is find a way of making the game as simple as possible for them to understand and, you know, if you imagine that sort of countdown from 100 balls down to 0 and the runs going up, I think that’s a pretty simple way of playing the game.

This was a bad statement in a number of ways. Firstly, it concedes the rather ridiculous point that cricket is complicated and hard to understand. For an attention-seeking idiot like Stan Collymore to say it is one thing, for a sport’s own national board to state it as a fact is quite another. Secondly, it insults non-cricket fans by suggesting that the only reason they don’t like the game is because they’re too stupid to understand it. I don’t like football, but I feel confident that I understand it. Since people who aren’t already cricket fans are apparently the target market for the ECB’s competition, it might be wise not to insult them all. Because Strauss prefaces it by saying that the new competition was targeting mothers, the ones who bore the brunt of this insult were women.

But some clumsy wording in a live interview isn’t really enough to warrant sitting down and writing a full post about. For that, you’d need something more premeditated. Something that dozens of people at the ECB will have worked on and not seen a problem.

Something like this:

Soft Ball Cricket

The first thing to note is that it is a sponsored tweet from @EnglandCricket, or in other words a targeted advert. So let’s look at the target, @LydiaJane13: She’s a woman, she lives in England, and she’s a pretty big fan of cricket. In other words, exactly the kind of person that the ECB should be trying to attract to their local cricket clubs (assuming she doesn’t already play). Certainly, it would seem pointless trying to attract non-cricket fans to attend a cricket festival.

So having correctly found their audience, how should the ECB entice them to their events? Evidently, their answer to this question was to call them all morons. Cricket fans, regardless of gender, rarely find the laws of cricket “baffling”. Nor are cricket pads particularly difficult to put on for an adult. They might be expensive, cumbersome, and in the case of old ones belonging to a club probably not in great shape, but they aren’t “fiddly”. Certainly, as several people have remarked on Twitter, cricket pads aren’t more fiddly than bras, necklaces, and other items women routinely wear.

The most annoying thing about the ECB’s missteps in this advert is that, as is often the case, there is actually a decent idea behind their inept execution. As a middle-aged man who left my local cricket club around the age of 13, I’ve never been particularly tempted to go back. It was around that point where the focus of training shifted from ‘having fun’ to ‘winning games’, and I simply wasn’t good enough to compete. If I did want to return, I can’t say the idea of facing a hard ball or paying hundreds of pounds on a bat and pads really enthuses me. So, whilst I wouldn’t seriously consider playing ‘proper’ cricket, I might play a soft ball version if my friends or workplace formed a team. It’s a good format to promote to adult cricket fans, male or female. In fact, I genuinely think that it could become cricket’s equivalent to five-a-side football with enough promotion and support. Or, if not support and promotion, at least choosing not to insult your target demographic.

Something that perhaps makes the ECB’s oblivious sexism seem even worse is the ascent of England’s women cricketers in recent years. They won last year’s World Cup (a feat the men’s team have failed in emulate in 11 attempts), comprised three of Wisden’s five 2018 Cricketers Of The Year, and drew their most recent Ashes series in Australia rather than losing it 4-0. They are, as the kids might say, crushing it.

But even here, amidst this almost unqualified success, there are major problems on the horizon. Whilst England have benefitted from four years of their senior squad having professional contracts, most other major international boards are now at least matching that commitment. Australia have gone several steps further by giving many domestic players professional contracts. As England’s coach Mark Robinson said earlier this year, “We have to broaden our talent pool. Australia have 92 pros, we have 18.” To put that number into context: according to StephenFH’s research, there are 338 England-qualified men in county cricket first team squads. Virtually all of them will be on full-time professional contracts.

There may also be a sense that the ECB are letting this unique opportunity to market women’s cricket in England slip away. Last summer, over 26,000 people at Lord’s and 1.1 million people at home watched England’s victorious World Cup final performance. Today, in what was the team’s first game back on home soil since beating India at Lord’s last July, not much more than a thousand people went to New Road to watch them play against South Africa. It seems unlikely that over a million English fans of women’s cricket disappeared into the ether over just 10 months, so why so little interest? I suspect that the answer lies largely in a lack of promotion by the ECB and others.

If you were looking for a reason why the interests of women cricketers and cricket fans are dismissed so easily, you only have to look at the lack of female representation at the ECB. The 41 members of the ECB consist of 39 major and minor county chairmen plus the chairmen of the MCC and Minor Counties Cricket Association, As far as I’m aware, all of them are men. Not only that, but the organisations they represent cater almost entirely to men’s cricket. It gets a bit better on the ECB’s twelve-person management board which has four women, but of those four only Lucy Pearson has any official responsibility for women’s cricket. All four are also independent directors which means, as Andy Nash’s recent experience shows, they can easily be ignored or even not informed about things the ECB is doing. Considering these problems, I am dubious that these endemic issues can be resolved quickly or easily.

So, in conclusion, all men are bastards.

Discuss.

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60 thoughts on “Mansplaining Cricket

  1. Baz June 9, 2018 / 9:27 pm

    I believe in role models in sport and this decent initiative will result in mums playing softball while their daughters aspire to play hardball cricket.

    Better they play a game that is flexible and brings them together.

    If you read all the way to the bottom of Clare Connor’s ECB press release they admit that between now and 2020 our governing body will do nothing to encourage pre-teen cricketers as clubs and counties continue to struggle and our academy fails to develop female cricketers to earn the new pay rates being offered

    Like

    • dannycricket June 10, 2018 / 7:27 am

      Yeah, if there is a common thread amongst all of the ECB’s failed initiatives it’s the lack of joined up thinking. So let’s say a woman attends one of these softball events and enjoys it, what happens next? My local club which is holding a women’s cricket festival doesn’t have a women’s team. There’s no local soft ball competitions or venues that I can find online. So, fundamentally, what’s the point? Even if women do enjoy playing it, there’s no follow through. It’s almost cruel, in all honesty.

      Like

  2. oreston June 9, 2018 / 10:25 pm

    I can’t say I actively follow women’s cricket (there are many, many other sports I don’t follow either) but that doesn’t mean I have no awareness or appreciation of the relative strength of the women’s game in this country and I agree with you entirely in the points you make in this article, Danny. I’m not overly PC (simply, I like to think, a fair minded modern gentleman) but good grief! In 2018 it would be tough to find another British sporting body more inept than the ECB at dealing with the interests and concerns of its female stakeholders. It’s actually embarrassing. I’m surprised you didn’t mention the axing of the KIA Super League among the litany of the ECB’s recent missteps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • dannycricket June 10, 2018 / 6:55 am

      Honestly I think most of the British sports bodies have problems dealing with women players and fans, not that this should be considered any excuse for the ECB. What’s different from other sports is cricket’s sharp decline in popularity, which means they can ill afford to offend or ignore half of England’s population like this or not promote a likeable and successful women’s team.

      The Kia Super League situation is a mixed bag. On one hand, it’s removal for The Hundred takes away many English women’s best way of gaining T20 experience in favour of a unique format. This is even more important in women’s cricket because T20 forms a much larger proportion of their games than it does for men. On the other hand, being a shorter more TV-friendly format might make it more likely that the BBC will actually show the 8 (off the top of my head) domestic women’s games they gave the rights to on BBC 1 or 2 rather than on the red button or iPlayer. That could mean much greater exposure for women’s cricket (and cricket generally) on the BBC.

      Like

  3. Ab June 9, 2018 / 10:28 pm

    What’s wrong with hard cricket balls? I grew up playing with a hard cricket ball without pads or gloves. You just learn to hit the ball with the bat.

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    • dannycricket June 10, 2018 / 6:30 am

      As did I. But it’s very different being 10 years old facing a 10 year old’s bowling with a cricket ball to facing adults who might be able to bowl it at 70-80mph. And, seeing as I’d be in a club’s 3rd or 4th XI, I’d probably be facing bowlers without much control.

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      • Ab June 10, 2018 / 9:27 am

        You think bowlers in 4th xi cricket can bowl at 80mph? They’d be lucky to hit 50mph.

        There are very few amateur cricketers who bowl at 80, even in the premier leagues.

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        • thelegglance June 10, 2018 / 10:36 am

          Yeah, the number of proper working overs I got in club cricket can be counted on fingers. Occasional but nothing more than that.

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      • BoredInAustria June 10, 2018 / 7:59 pm

        I had the privilege a few years ago to join a few times in the ARUPs annual indoor tournament at the Lord’s indoor nets. British Land, always very competitive, turned up with a few young Kiwis, that seemed to be seriously hot cricketers, in any case to some of us part timers.

        In the general warm ups before the tournament kicked off, I faced a few balls, including one off one of the young Kiwis that had some wheels on him, really generating serious pace even from the somewhat reduced run-up.

        As I missed his in-swinger with my straight drive he hit me on what would have been the knee roll if I wore pads. And I realized that somehow a dirty white cricket ball has found its way into the batch of worn indoor balls…

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  4. Mark June 10, 2018 / 9:59 am

    After my last foray into the issue of woman’s sport during the Ashes, and their role as pundits in the men’s game ended in meltdown, and this board nearly closing down that thread I will keep well out of it. (No doubt much relief, and celebration, and high fives in the editorial meeting)

    That is not to say I don’t have opinions on the various subjects here, but I don’t think people want world war thee to start.

    However, I will say this. All sports bodies, be they men or woman should not confuse participatory sport, and spectator sport. Just because a sport is “popular” to participate in does not make it a sport that is commercially viable for a large audience who will pay for the privilege to watch it.

    The problem cricket has……is the governing body is ONLY interested in the commercial side of the sport, not the participatory side. To the extent that they are now prepared to reinvent a completely new game entirely to try to make it commercial. There seems no limit on how dumbed down they will take this venture. Cricket reduced to “Its a knockout” to sell tickets. While this may be understandable from a financial position, it does rather give the impression that the people running the sport actually hate it.

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  5. Ab June 10, 2018 / 1:00 pm

    On a slightly different topic, I’d actually be in favour of a simplification of the lbw law. Forget where the ball pitched or whether it hit in line, if it would have hit the stumps is not for your pads, you’re out.

    Would really help spinners.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Benny June 10, 2018 / 9:02 pm

      Totally agree. And why wouldn’t anyone want this? Batsmen have a lump of wood to hit the ball. If they miss, they have no excuse

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Mark June 10, 2018 / 1:01 pm

    Speaking of woman…….

    I see BBC 1 is spending all afternoon in an orgy of self congratulation, and smugness (nobody does smugness and self congratulation like the BBC) on the fact that it’s 100years since woman won the right to vote. Maybe I missed it, but I don’t remember any such equal celebration for the same extension to the majority of men winning the right to vote.

    Is this an example of blatant sexism? (Snark)

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    • northernlight71 June 10, 2018 / 1:07 pm

      Surely they’re celebrating the extension of the voting franchise to all men whether or not they owned property?
      More seriously, it would be nice if the back slapping would occasionally stop for a moment’s thought about the classism which meant that actual universal suffrage didn’t occur here until 1928. That’s ten years after millions of people who couldn’t have voted got sent over the top in the First World War.

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      • northernlight71 June 10, 2018 / 1:10 pm

        To go totally off the point, as a recent arrival in Edinburgh can I just say that the march today, the Rolling Stones concert and the Moonwalk last night and the cricket this afternoon in Stockbridge have royally effed up the roads and bus services and so i find myself stuck at home because venturing out would be an expedition to truly compare with Shackleton in it’s bravery and toil. Safer by far to sit and watch the trees outside the window shining in the sun….
        🙂
        Oh, and nice job of marketing the cricket here. First i heard of it was two days ago.

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      • Mark June 10, 2018 / 1:53 pm

        That is a very good point about 1928, and universal suffrage. I seem to remember from memory there was some act of 1948 that was still extending the vote after the Second World War.

        There is a new book out by Simon Webb that paints a rather different view of the “conventional wisdom” of the suffragettes. It argues that far from being a bottom up, working class movement it was in fact a top down organisation with a lot of money from well connected aristocratic families. It argues that many of these woman only believed in woman’s votes for “ladies” which was code for university educated woman, and woman of property only.

        It also argues that the violence and terroism (bombs on buses and in library’s and churches) was in fact counter productive. These woman were deeply unpopular at the time for the acts of violence, and Webb argues they actually put back woman’s sufferage a number of years.

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        • Zephirine June 10, 2018 / 2:41 pm

          The popular accounts tend not to clarify that there were two distinct movements – the suffragists, who worked through accepted political channels, and the so-called ‘suffragettes’ (it was a newspaper term at first I think) who believed in direct action, hunger strikes etc. The two groups didn’t like each other and didn’t work together. But I think it’s well-known that they were pretty much all middle or upper-class.

          At the time there were still many illiterate and semi-literate people among both genders and the general view was that the lower classes shouldn’t have the vote because they couldn’t cope with it. The women’s suffrage movement was basically about allowing women of the governing classes into the political process. It was all still a long way from equality as we think of it now.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Benny June 10, 2018 / 9:05 pm

            Absolutely, although I can’t help thinking that anyone who follows what the Sun or the mail tells them to vote, should be disenfranchised

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Nicholas June 10, 2018 / 2:00 pm

    Right, this gives me an excuse to have a rant that I’ve sat on for the last 10 days.

    The Participation Test.

    What. Was. The. Point?

    Sky showed some nice fluffy VTs at the various lunchbreaks about some failing ECB initiatives and there was a hashtag which some people used. But why was that test branded accordingly? Why not one of the more marquee matches later in the summer?

    What effect will that test match have on participation at all? That’s right, none.

    Precisely *because* cricket is all tucked away on Sky that there’s a lower interest in the game. Showing some nicely shot VTs and then having Ian Botham pontificating on disability cricket wouldn’t inspire the first person to get out and try the game. They might as well have branded it the ‘ECB Initiative Marketing Test’.

    I’ve said this many times before on here over the years, but when Channel 4 had the rights there was a genuine attempt at broadening the game’s audience and, yes, increase participation. Channel 4 reached out to Asian communities, paid (together with the Lord’s Taveners and other charities) for a new cricket ground in a disadvantaged area of Kennington, put on events in parks and on Clapham Common where the cricket was shown on a big screen during the day, along with beach cricket games, and then the beach cricket continued onto the evening when films were shown and live music performances took place. C4 even devised a full education pack linking cricket to the National Curriculum and distributed it freely to all primary schools. It is nearly 20 years ago that all that stuff was happening.

    Why the HELL hasn’t it happened over the last 12 years when Sky have been pumping money into the game? Even if you take the view (which I most certainly do not) that the ECB were required to put all live cricket behind the Sky paywall, then they should have written into the contract that Sky were obliged to run these sort of events and continue this kind of creative thinking. If Sky did not want to support these schemes, then the ECB should have used the pots of money that they gained from the Sky deal to organise them themselves. It is my understanding that these ideas came from the marketing bods at C4 rather than the ECB. Well, they were a damn sight better than anything the ECB came up with, so why not pay them to be consultants to the ECB.

    What Channel 4 did for cricket in this country was far beyond screening some VTs during a test match could do for the game. It incenses me that Sky and the ECB have the nerve to call it the Participation Test when it did absolutely nothing of the sort.

    Incidentally, I really think that Sky’s coverage needs a freshen up. It’s very in-depth, of course, and the Ian Ward stuff is great, but when we had Gower and Botham sitting in the studio chewing the fat at the end of the Second Test, this has been Sky’s set-up for nearly 20 years now. Move it on. Channel 4 did. BT did this winter (although I’m not in support of all of their editorial decisions). Put some energy into the way you televise the game and you might increase interest and participation, but, no, ECB TV knows best yet again.

    All of this, of course, links into your post here, Danny, and the women’s game. Much like Channel 4 actively tried to get cricket into council estates and link Asian communities up with the ECB-run game, that same ethos should be building on the World Cup win last year. But, of course, it isn’t. Because the ECB are morons.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Mark June 10, 2018 / 4:24 pm

      The answer to your question is the governing body is run by greedy selfish buffoons. They could’t Wait to get shot of channel 4. Lobbying the then govt to take cricket off the tv protected list. Blair, (who at that time was in bed with Murdoch) couldn’t act fast enough.

      Of course they shouldn’t have sold the whole of cricket to Sky. But when you only care about money and salaries for the insiders you take the highest bid. They should have sold International cricket to Sky, and county cricket & 50 over stuff to someone else as long as they were free to air.

      The Premisership is now selling endless rights packages to every subscription channel out there. Forcing the fan to take out more and more packages, at greater and greater and greater cost. Of course they will argue that you don’t have to purchase any of them. Which increasingly seems like a prudent course of action.

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      • Glenn June 10, 2018 / 8:08 pm

        Also next years cricket World Cup will be on Sky (probably with some highlights on the BBC at 11pm) so no one will notice it is going on. The football and Rugby Union world cups are live on BBC/ITV.

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  8. Zephirine June 10, 2018 / 2:18 pm

    So, let’s say for example I want to persuade more people to go fishing for octopus.

    I would tend to go to people who already love octopus-fishing, find out what they think is so great about it and start thinking about how to get more people to see the joys of this sport and have a chance to try it out. I would advertise the pleasure of the contact with the sea, the intelligence of octopuses, the skill required, how it takes a little while to learn the fishing techniques but that’s the fun of it, and how nice they taste.

    I would make sure that octopus-fishing clubs could accommodate and welcome the new people I recruited.

    I wouldn’t go to people who don’t fish for octopus and ask them why they don’t. I wouldn’t then take their vague ideas and base my advertising campaign around them. I wouldn’t run a campaign that says “It’s not really fishing, there isn’t much water, they aren’t really squidgy and oozy, you don’t have to eat them – and just for you, we’ve invented octopuses with seven arms.”

    The softball initiatives do seem to have worked to some extent, they had about 9000 people playing last year, most of whom hadn’t played cricket before. But as Danny says, where do they go from there? They’ve tried out something that isn’t really cricket and still aren’t welcome in the proper game. And I suspect that many of those participants are simply women who want to take some exercise, they could just as well be playing netball or badminton if it was on offer. They haven’t really been sold actual cricket.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Mark June 10, 2018 / 4:12 pm

    What is Root moaning about there? Hales was running to the danger end because the fielder was behind the batsman. The fact he threw it to the other end is Roots fault for taking an age to start running.

    No point standing around waving his arms at Hales. Perhaps Hales is not flavour of the month in this team? I can’t think why that would be?

    Like

  10. northernlight71 June 10, 2018 / 5:48 pm

    As an Englishman living in Scotland, I often struggle with sporting events and tend to favour England over the auld enemy for no better reason than the mild and slight abuse I got in the past for being English.
    But today I can only say . . . well done Scotland!

    Like

    • Benny June 10, 2018 / 9:12 pm

      I thought it was a wonderful result. Complacent England being taught a lesson. I’m English and thought it was enjoyable. I think cricket should be enjoyable.

      Like

  11. d'Arthez June 10, 2018 / 5:50 pm

    Congratulations to Scotland are in order here. I am sure they will be seen in England before 2525, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • oreston June 10, 2018 / 6:01 pm

      It’s OK – there’ll be a chance to make amends by beating Scotland in the ODI World Cup. What’s that you say? Whaddaya mean they’re not in the World Cup?!

      Like

    • d'Arthez June 13, 2018 / 8:49 am

      Oh, it seems that they already got rewarded by ECB TV –>Despite Sky having the rights to the Scotland – Pakistan games, they prefer NOT showing the games to actually broadcasting them. And if Peter della Penna is correct, and the BBC made an offer for those rights, that makes it even more atrocious.

      Making cricket great again, by not broadcasting it.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Mark June 10, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Oh flower of Scotland
    When will we see your like again
    That fought and died for
    You wee bit hill and Glenn.

    (Endless bagpipes……)

    And sent him homeward
    To think again.

    I wish the ECB would think again……. about almost everything!

    Liked by 1 person

    • oreston June 10, 2018 / 6:02 pm

      The ICC should be ashamed too.

      Like

  13. northernlight71 June 10, 2018 / 6:19 pm

    I’ve already heard Dagnall suggest that the loss was Bairstow’s fault because he didn’t make more runs.
    Obviously, there’s an argument one could have about well set batsmen cashing in but even so…. words fail me.
    He’d already tried to blame Joe Root for allowing himself to get run out by Alex Hales!
    Couldn’t he just say “Well played Scotland?” Why does there need to be a scapegoat?!

    Like

    • thelegglance June 10, 2018 / 6:27 pm

      Blaming the top scorer for the team’s failure is a long and dishonourable tradition with England.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Rohan June 10, 2018 / 8:08 pm

        Yes, see top run scorer in the ashes 2013/14 in Aus, as one example

        Liked by 1 person

    • oreston June 10, 2018 / 6:41 pm

      Dagnall’s worrying too much. England lost, but so what? Hardly anyone was looking. I checked the score only twice – the second time to see the result. Pleased for the Scots though. Great to see one of the neglected associate nations besting a wealthy ICC full member.
      But yes, I find the attitude that if England lose it has to be someone’s fault (someone who will be made to rue the day their sorry ass was born…) amusing but also somewhat concerning. Not exactly new though, is it?

      Like

      • Mark June 10, 2018 / 6:49 pm

        Nasser banging on about these associate sides needing to have new players. “Ireland are the same faces.”

        How in the name of FUDGE are they expected to get their new players any better if there is no games genius?

        All this blame for Bairstow. What about the bowlers who conceded 375 runs? Or Ali who had got the game won with four overs left and then holed out to mid on?

        The ECB have put everything on winning the World Cup, and they may do it, but in a one off game anything can happen. As we saw today, and in Cardiff in the semi final of the champions trophy last year things can go wrong.

        Like

        • d'Arthez June 10, 2018 / 7:44 pm

          I think the Dutch had ODI status for 4 years. They got all of 3 ODIs. I think the figure for Kenya was even more appalling after the 2003 World Cup. Why would anyone take up cricket if you’d be lucky to get 12 games over the span of an entire career for 20 years of effort? Just get a degree, and dabble in the sport, without the expectation to become a really good professional – aspire to nothing more than being a good amateur (and even that is tricky enough). How utterly inspiring for a team game, where obviously you are dependent on a large pool of like-minded individuals to get some place. At least with individual sports, you are not dependent on other accidents of birth.

          And in the case of Scotland and the other Associates when there is little money? The ECB was only too happy to gobble up a fair portion of the funding to the Associate and Affiliates teams. In fact the increases in funding for Afghanistan and Ireland have been taken out of the funding for the Associates and Affiliates if I am not mistaken.

          With the logical result, that it becomes even harder to popularise the game in those places. Also, if you’re not accidentally a dual citizen with a “right” nationality, it is not even worth it to BOTHER with the game, since the chances that you will make it as a professional cricketer if you are say from Denmark or Chile are slim to non-existent. At least the Scots and the Irish had (have?) the advantage that England and Wales are next door, and are courtesy of the ECB constitution eligible to represent England.

          And the ICC and their stooges are still happily in denial about the collapse of international cricket among the lower rungs, they have ordained in cost cutting measures ….

          I have said it before, and I’ll say it again. 10 and jack really don’t have to be able to bat well. It is nice if they have a defensive technique, but it is not a must. If you rely on the runs of #10 and #11, either the batsmen have already lost it for you, or the bowlers conceded too many runs to begin with. Wicket taking threat is much more important, and this obsession with batting tailenders probably cost England the game today.

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          • Benny June 10, 2018 / 9:20 pm

            Wouldn’t cricket be a much better sport without boards? Boards are for businesses with shareholders not for sports

            Like

          • LordCanisLupus June 11, 2018 / 7:41 am

            Wistful and wishful thinking. Sport is for businesses and players to ciphon as much out of my pocket as humanly possible in the guise of a “common goal”. Next TV deal after Leicester won the league? Big 6 take even more of the pie. They ain’t letting Leicester or their ilk in the Champions League cash cow again if they can help it.

            Like

  14. dannycricket June 10, 2018 / 7:17 pm

    Isa: “You spoke ahead of this game of wanting to treat Scotland like any other opposition, and I guess this is why.”

    Eoin: “Absolutely. A very dangerous side. I thought they played probably close to their best cricket today and we didn’t, and we were punished for it. It wasn’t good enough to win the game, but full credit to Scotland. A one-off game like this, bringing your best game is really difficult to do. They played well and deserved the result. It’s not the end of the world for us. I think it’s actually a really good run out, as opposed to having a couple of days practice coming into the series against Australia. It’s actually better to play a really high-scoring competitive game under pressure. So, we’ve got a lot to take out of today. A couple of mistakes we can learn from, and hopefully take into Wednesday.

    I: “Won the toss and elected to bowl. 371 on the board at the halfway stage. What was going through your mind?”

    E: “Yeah. I don’t 370 genuinely reflected the wicket and the size of the ground. It’s probably more like a 330-340 chase in the batsman’s head, and we talked about that at the halfway stage. If we chased like we’re chasing 330-340 we would get reward for our shots, and that brought us close but not close enough.”

    I: “Were you disappointed with the way the bowlers adapted, the fact that they just kept banging it into the pitch? David Willey obviously had good plans at the death but everyone else obviously didn’t follow those plans.”

    E: “I think we were a little bit rusty. We probably missed our lines a little bit. Like I said, it’s our first time back. We only got together yesterday. It’s not an excuse, it’s the reality of things. Like getting into a highly competitive game like today is not easy too. So, like I said, I think we’ll be better for the run-out today and hopefully be better again on Wednesday.

    I: “The pressure of the chase and losing wickets in clusters. A few soft dismissals in there. Just been announced as the number one side in the world. Does that come into it, the pressure of expectation, and will that be the challenge going forward?”

    E: “No, I don’t think so. I think the level of expectation around the team at the moment is quite high and has been quite high for a while. The winter tours that we played, we were favourites going into both series and we managed to get results in both series. So, we managed to deal with that pretty well. I don’t think the expectation gets higher than being number one in the world. If it is a problem long term, it is something we’ll have to address. But I don’t think it is.

    I: “It is something different though, because effectively now you’re the hunted.”

    E: “Yeah, absolutely. I think when you’re playing at home you’re expected to win as well. So it’s a difficult summer ahead for us, but I think a good run out today will [no idea].”

    I: “How well did Jonny play?”

    E: “Jonny again [was] outstanding. Continues his fantastic form. He really did progress massively in the winter and today again really set up a great platform for us to chase down such a high total.”

    I: “Five match series against Australia. How are you looking to turn things around given you’re playing again on Wednesday?”

    E: “Yeah, I don’t think we’re far away. We go to a ground that we know really well in the Oval tomorrow, train Tuesday, play Wednesday, and against a really, really strong Australia side. I know they’ve been here for quite a while so they’ll be extremely difficult to beat. But certainly we’re in for a challenge.”

    I: “And just lastly on Scotland. I guess you yourself know the challenges for an associate nation. What do you think this will mean for them?”

    E: “It’s probably made their year. Not having qualified for the World Cup will have been a huge disappointment and having got a result today means the world to them. You look around the ground, the smiles on everybody’s faces. So, fair play to them. They brought their best game of cricket and deserved to win.”

    What a prick.

    Like

    • Pontiac June 10, 2018 / 8:09 pm

      Co-signed.

      Like

    • Zephirine June 10, 2018 / 8:22 pm

      What did you expect him to say?

      Like

      • dannycricket June 10, 2018 / 8:26 pm

        “We didn’t prepare for this game at all. We treated it like a warm up for two series against actual cricket sides rather than an ODI. Everyone involved in that, including myself, have tendered our resignations. We’re complete idiots.”

        Something like that.

        Like

        • Mark June 10, 2018 / 8:43 pm

          Ha ha ha.

          Like

        • Grenville June 10, 2018 / 9:10 pm

          I’m with Zeph on this. He could have been more effusive in his praise of Scotland, but compare and contrast A Cook. He could have mentioned the world cup, but he’d have pissed off his bosses. He didn’t need to write it off as a warm up loss, though that is what it is. It took me a while to register that your ‘what a prick’ was in earnest.

          Like

          • Zephirine June 10, 2018 / 9:35 pm

            “A very dangerous side. I thought they played probably close to their best cricket today and we didn’t, and we were punished for it.”

            Sounds fair to me. He said they beat England without even playing at their absolute best.

            As for the stuff about Australia, surely the subtext is Oz are going to demolish us if we play like that again, a point I shall be making very clearly to the team.

            Like

    • RufusSG June 10, 2018 / 9:06 pm

      You’re being far too harsh here. All the bits you’ve bolded are just him saying England would have won if they’d played better, which is the truth literally any time a team loses a game. You can’t rag on England for not playing well and then turn around and claim the captain’s being patronising to the opposition when he agrees with you. The bit you’ve italicised, “as opposed to having a couple of days practice” implies that they were not simply viewing the game as mere practice for the Australia series.

      Plus when you’ve got people saying this is one of the greatest victories in Scotland’s history, how is “It’s probably made their year” patronising, especially when he contextualises it against the farce in Zimbabwe?

      Like

      • dannycricket June 10, 2018 / 9:13 pm

        If England weren’t treating today’s game as a glorified practice session for the series against Australia, how come Eoin said “Like I said, it’s our first time back. We only got together yesterday”? Clearly that isn’t the level of preparation any international team should have for an ODI. With that quote in mind, I think it’s fair to interpret “I think it’s actually a really good run out, as opposed to having a couple of days practice coming into the series against Australia” as saying that this game was seen more as practice than a competitive game in the England camp. And that should be a bloody sacking offence. If you’re that arrogant, you have to back it up with results.

        Like

        • Benny June 10, 2018 / 9:30 pm

          What preparation do they need? There’s been a 50 over competition running for the past couple of weeks. It ain’t complicated

          Like

          • dannycricket June 10, 2018 / 9:35 pm

            In which case, how come the bowlers “were a little bit rusty,” in Eoin’s words? Or that the bowlers appeared not to have any plans for the Scottish batsmen? That doesn’t seem very typical in ODIs, at least to me.

            Like

          • LordCanisLupus June 11, 2018 / 7:37 am

            Which goes to show. Either this was a freak result and the whole thing is a crapshoot, in which case why put so much emphasis on a game of chance to fuck the game up in this country; or we have a bowling attack on a flat deck utterly incapable of limiting a county side at best on any given day and we are risking throwing the baby out with the bathwater for a Wood Willey opening bowling attack.

            Oh and if that were Pakistan playing yesterday with the manner of some of those dismissals, the calls for investigation may have been louder. Even the ending was odd. Why not review that LBW? Didn’t we have the review left? They said we did on ECB TV.

            Lastly. If you’d had a drink for the number of times we were told that England were number 1 team in the world you would have been admitted to hospital at around 2pm with acute alcohol poisoning.

            Liked by 2 people

          • oreston June 11, 2018 / 7:51 am

            How much more preparation will the Scots have had? Have they had many competitive international games this season? A few of the England lads have been on Test duty and won’t have played much limited overs stuff since New Zealand but it’s not really an excuse that stands up to scrutiny, considering the reputations of the players involved and the coaching and other back room resources available to Morgan’s team. I would respect him more if he’d simply said, “on another occasion we might’ve successfully completed that run chase but, on the day, we were beaten by the better team.” Keep it simple, don’t insult the other team or the fans’ intelligence. But you know what? I still can’t really and truly get worked up about this.

            Like

          • Zephirine June 11, 2018 / 8:58 am

            Anyone who’d bet against England will have done very well indeed, and if it had been, say, Pakistan in the same situation, questions might have been asked.

            Like

        • d'Arthez June 11, 2018 / 9:41 am

          Yeah, but don’t forget that without looking at the evidence, the ECB denied all charges related to possible corruption of some of the players while in India. So nothing to see here …

          Like

  15. Pontiac June 10, 2018 / 8:06 pm

    Irrelevantly, I am quite pleased at West Indies’ victory today.

    There is some good bowling there.

    Like

  16. Rohan June 10, 2018 / 8:15 pm

    I really enjoyed today’s game. I managed to watch quite a bit and it was good, one I shall remember for a while. Yes I am first and foremost a test fan (as above with Pontiac I have been watching WI v Sri Lanka and that was good), however, this ODI will live long in the memory, like 1992 World Cup Final, that Eng v India one with Nasser’s century, the T20 where England beat Aus in 2005 (goughie taking it to Aus) and the Eng v Ireland game where Ireland won in the World Cup. Yes, not as many as the tests I can remember, but still some good memories. I enjoyed it for what it was; great stuff Scotland!

    Like

  17. Stevet June 11, 2018 / 8:26 am

    At least there’s one ODI we will remember the result of this time next year!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Sri.grins June 11, 2018 / 10:33 am

    I agree with zeph that the comments re Scotland are not deplorable but I also agree with Danny that giving excuses about England’s preparations are not acceptable.

    The trouble is captains or other guys fronting these press conferences have to walk a thin edge between the board they work with, the team, fans who have different takes on the same match and results. It leads to trying to satisfy all stakeholders and ending up with pleasing none.

    Better for him to have said that we did not do well. Scotland were the better team on the day. We will improve our focus and preparations even more so that fans supporting us are proud of the fight and skills we show.

    Like

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