Greetings pop pickers, and welcome to the hit parade of the best insults directed at cricket supporters by the cricket authorities and their media cheerleaders. Call them supporters, cricketers, county members, amateurs – are they worth having a go at? Not half! Let’s get on with the countdown…
10) Ticket to Ride – The Beatles
Straight in to the top ten with Graeme Swann’s stirring anthem about Test match prices. Not for him an awareness of the expense incurred by those paying his wages. Not for him a sensible silence when not knowing how much a ticket costs. Instead he piped up expressing surprise at the cost of attending, saying he was shocked to discover it was (then) almost £100 to go, and that he’d thought it was only “about £20”. Derision swiftly followed.
9) Bills – Lunch Money Lewis
Hungry? Feel like a nice meal? Well, you’re out of luck. You can spend an hour queueing up for soggy chips and a crappy burger and pay £15 for the privilege. Don’t bother trying to around lunchtime though, that’ll take an hour or so. If you want a beer as well, that’s a different queue. Could be an hour there too, so that £100 you’ve spent on a ticket in London looks really good value when you miss the play you’ve paid for – you can even spend the time queueing working out the draining finances. But fear not, for the Twitter account of Lords’ will be there to remind you of the fine dining options the players receive, and the equally delightful catering the press corps get. It’s just what you want to see as you contemplate a diminishing wallet and a drooping excuse for a sandwich, comparing the image on your phone with the painful and largely inedible reality.
8) My Generation – The Who
Those who have given their lives over to cricket might feel that they deserve a bit of credit. Those who play a game for no other reason than they love it might believe they should be left alone. Those who give up their time to prepare pitches, decorate and maintain pavilions, organise teams, create youth sections and do all the enormous quantities of work involved in club cricket could feel there’s nothing wrong with them also picking up a bat and wandering out to the middle. But they’d be wrong and Nasser Hussain was quick to tell them so, in the usual manner of Sky and the ECB aligning their stars perfectly. Such “old fogeys” need to get out of the game according to him, they’re blocking the young players. That there wouldn’t actually be any club cricket without the old fogeys doesn’t seem to have occurred to him. Nor that people outside the professional game play because they want to. The Scots have a phrase that answers this kind of argument, and it starts “get tae…”.
7) Stupid Girl – Garbage
If coming up with an idea that those who love the game consider pretty stupid to begin with, it helps to have the message alongside it a good one. It probably isn’t best practice to first tell all those who buy tickets that it isn’t for them, second patronise half the population with the phrase “mums and kids” and third go for the ultimate in telling that
minority majority that they’re making it vastly more complex simplifying things just for them. Andrew Strauss’s extraordinarily clumsy justification for ripping up the game of cricket in this country and replacing it with another format went down like a cup of warm sick with those being addressed. Mums and kids might be too dense to understand cricket as it stands, but they weren’t so dim they couldn’t spot they were being talked down to. Women – know your place!
6) We Are Family – Sister Sledge
You can’t be US President unless you’re born in the USA. This is a restriction that bothers most people not at all, given few have such an aspiration, but even less knew that there is also a barrier to being England captain that doesn’t involve, you know, being good at cricket. The Odious Giles Clarke was quick to raise the bar by stating that in Alastair Cook, “he and his family are very much the sort of people we want the England captain and his family to be.” Horrendous plebs like the vast majority of the English population need not apply.
5) The Flood – Take That
The ECB don’t leak. You’ve been told, time and again. By them, admittedly, and not by anyone else. But they don’t leak, they don’t give primers to journalists, and they keep schtum at all times. That the outcome of Kevin Pietersen’s meeting with Tom Harrison and Andrew Strauss was being broadcast by Jonathan Agnew within minutes of it taking place must have happened by osmosis. That the “South-African-born-middle-order-batsman” (unlike Strauss himself, naturally) also had his private letter to Hugh Morris released to the press can’t possibly have happened. That then England coach Peter Moores had to sit and watch England play Ireland while everyone knew he was being sacked definitely wasn’t an example of a leak. Because the ECB don’t leak. Ever.
4) Don’t You Want Me – Human League
Tom Harrison is a kind of anti-thesaurus, whereby he considers all the possible words that could be used and resolutely chooses the wrong one. A sillynym, if you like. Most sports revel in their most dedicated acolytes, or at the very least pretend to pay them respect while counting the money that they pump in to the game to allow the administrators a decent supply of bourbon biscuits for their Very Important Meetings. But not for him such lip service, not for the great man a recognition of the time and effort they put in to backing a game they adore. No, no, they’re a barrier, a problem. And thus can be safely termed “obsessives” instead. Cricket is entirely unique in considering the game itself to be a problem, and those who love it most to be a big part of that problem rather than an important element to build upon. It’s just one word, but once again it’s the wrong one, and once again cricket refuses to celebrate its own adherents but instead kicks them in the balls (women don’t count as we know) and screams at them not to get up again.
3) I Only Wanna Be With You – Dusty Springfield
Most sports have suffered from the rise of Marketing Speak – the unmitigated bollocks spouting from the executives in place of anything meaningful, and the endless use of the term “stakeholders” in cricket is guaranteed to raise the blood pressure of anyone getting progressively more fed up with every hopeless pronouncement. But the ECB, as is their wont, go a bit further, by forgetting the supporters and amateur players each time they offer it up. Ashley Giles came up with a good example with “We should show we have pride in playing cricket for England, that we respect everyone: all our stakeholders, sponsors, the media”. Ah yes, sponsors and the media. They’re the ones to talk about. Especially post a shambolic World T20 where England stank the place out and supporters went nuts at the displays on offer. As ever with ECB people, it’s not just what they say, it’s when they choose to say it, and who they are talking to. Those awful little people can be safely ignored.
2) Don’t Blame it on the Sunshine – The Jackson Five
You can always rely on Colin Graves to put his foot in it. Whether it be calling England’s opposition “mediocre” right before they hand out a thrashing, threatening counties for not acknowledging his greatness, or leading players up the garden path and encouraging them to give up hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of contracts before delivering a slap; he manages to say the wrong thing at the wrong time without exception. So it was that he justified the impending Hundred with the immortal phrase “The younger generation, whether you like it or not, are just not attracted to cricket”. It’s not that he’s entirely wrong, for everyone involved in the game has the same concerns, it’s the sheer chutzpah in refusing to recognise that the organisation he heads up is largely responsible for the damn thing in the first place – making the game entirely invisible to the wider public by hiding it behind a pay wall may not have been the best method of encouraging people to get involved. To pipe up at exactly the same time as the ECB launched their latest All Stars Cricket aimed at the young was a superb example of telling everyone working hard at the lower levels that they were wasting their time doing so.
1) Let’s Go Outside – George Michael
It’s not all bad – after all it stopped us racking our brains for a name for this place. But the ECB/PCA joint statement in the aftermath of the Kevin Pietersen sacking remains the high point in the long list of putting down the oiks who dare to object to the way the game is run. It was two little words that did the damage, referring in parentheses to those “outside cricket” who had dared to be critical. The defence made following the furious reaction to the statement was that it was clearly referring to Piers Morgan in particular, which remains a perfect example of how the professional game fails to get it. Morgan is far from being everybody’s cup of tea, but the point was that since he goes to cricket and plays cricket at club level, if he is “outside cricket” then so is everyone else. As a case study in how the professional game sneers at all those not in it, it has never been bettered.
Baby, I Got It.
Love it Chris!
Here’s my own (sort of) from a couple of years ago,
-with inspiration from/apologies to Fish/Marillion – ‘Assassing’ from the album ‘Fugazi’
I am the obsessive, with love of cricket forged from eloquence
We are the obsessives, deriding the ECB, our nemesis
On the sacrificial game is altered by excess
Unleashing an already tired beast, too late, aw bless
No incantations of regret or remorse
Seems paywall reality may have reached its course…
They decorate the scarf with a fugi knot rash
A camouflage product of the 22 yard stare
Gouging the notches in big bat besot bash
So hip, not, idiotic product proffered wi’out care
Listen to the syllabullshit of sycophantic precision
Platitudes without thrust or thought, rape our minds with derision
Apoplectic in plagiarism, casting aside the outside
Pathetique in its lack of sagism, or common sense inside
Verbal inanity from empty suits and those MSM recruits
Who cuddle in a muddle of dining table fine winery
So befuddled they be, opining fables of inanity
Nothing but sentimental mercenaries in a free loader zone
Parading a Bollywood conscience
Now the fashionable objectors with a Giles Clarke fetish
Slaves to the cash till ring of excess
Such non-observers or reality with relish
Yet we the obsessive will remain
It’s still Our Game
Should we resign ourselves to their failure? Obsession, my friends
Could we ignore the killing they tailor? Devotion, my friends
How do we eradicate the power hungry mongrels and their media
Who seek to kill cricket, and leave us with nothing more than more
T20 excess so OneHundredly forgettable
To let them, would be so regrettable
Let’s be the obsessives, the assassins…
Strauss to be, comma, director, of the ‘Leaping Lords’ franchise… #KPalreadybannedfromthebiddingmanymonthsinadvancejusttobesurethattrustisnotanissue
Danny is off on one very quickly, and splendidly so
I was wondering about a song title that refers to Harry Gurney demanding that us club cricket plebs only play 100/120 ball cricket?
That’s the way I like it- KC and the Sunshine band.
Anyone want to raise on that?
“Give it Up” surely?
Reminds me too much of Cook! Oh well yes, you’re right!
He’s Misstra Know It All by Stevie Wonder
I’m going to go completely off topic yet again (last time – would I lie to you?). Like many people I didn’t think much of Geoff Lemon’s book about the ball tampering saga. However, the interview with him on the Australian Cricket Podcast is well worth a listen.
Wisden made it book of the year. The first half of it is fucking terrible. I mean awful.
Do you know who the judges were?
The ECB wants your 100 views
with questions set,some so obtuse
so please go fill it in and thrill
tick all the non 100 grounds at will
but remember your minimum ticket bid
is not a pound, but a full 2 quid!
What is the point? They have already told me I’m not their required demographic.
Which means I can count to six, and don’t need to be in bed by 9pm
There may be no point Mark, but there’s a little joy in being able to give them the answers that they don’t want to receive – hell even the obtuseness and lack of integrity/knowledge/honesty in the setting of some q’s just invites us to play!
I know what you mean Bogfather, but I honsestly don’t think they take a blind bit of notice if we give them the answers they don’t want to hear.
It’s an excercise in public relations box ticking. Mr Harrison can then claim “we have listened to our stakeholders.”
Maybe, but it’s 5 mins to make a clusterfuck of their minds..
for example – when they ask how many u16s in your immediate family, answer as 26
When asked what sports interest you/them – answer everything that is not cricket
when asked which grounds you might go to for 100 – answer all those not of the 8
when asked hoe much you might pay say £2 for all (you cant say less)
so many ridculous Q”‘s to take the P!ss out of the ECB Cnuts
Have fun with it
If only someone had done a song called “Work the nuts off”, in honour of Sir Alastair
Isn’t it wonderful that the first two rounds of CC matches (albeit with not every team having had 2 fixtures – WTF?) and now the opening two sets of games in the B&H, sorry, Royal London 50 over last stand cup being played with few if any weather disruptions? It must be the ECB genius of season planning reaping its rewards…
Yet, wouldn’t we all raise a smile or three if the WC becomes a damp squib, and #TheGreatestAshesContestEver (copyright Team ECBSky) has a weather problem too, particularly with the likelihood of 4 day tests being force fed in the future?
Oh, and where is the BOC ‘IPL Panel’ that I’m sure this site needs so to be shown as ‘excited’ about the worlds premier 20/20 league?
Is there anybody Out(side) there?
Just a forward prod…
If you can hear me
Is there anyone BOC at home?
Come on now
I hear you’re all feeling down
Well, I can ease your ECB pain
And get you on your feet again
I’ll need some ‘good journalism’ first
Just the basic ECB fed facts
Can you show me where it hurts?
There is no pain, our hair receding
A distant ship sunk on the ICC horizon
We are only coming through in lost waves
Our lips move but we can’t see what we’re craving
When I was a child I had a cricketing fever
My hands felt just like two balls, red cupped
Now I’ve got that feeling once again
I can’t explain, and the ECB would not understand
This is not how I am
I have become comfortably unwanted and numbed
I have become comfortably numb
Just a little spin from MSM pricks
There’ll be no more ‘ah but…’ nor play
But you may feel a little more sick
A fan who no longer stands up?
I don’t believe it’s working, good
That’ll keep you going through the clown car show
Come on, it’s time to go.
All this pain we are bleeding
Eclipsed by Idiots of greed, not surprising
We are only coming through in shallow waves
Our lips move but they can’t hear what we’re saying
When we was but a child
Caught a fleeting glimpse of pure whites
Out of the corner of our, eye so did excite
Turned now to look but it has gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown blind
The dream is gone in my mind
I have become comfortably numb.
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Is this all of us here?
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Let’s hope the Ashes leaves Australia “Flat Baroque And Berserk.” (An album I wore out during my uni days)
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There feels so little to talk about at the moment with the only thing in the media the idiotic hundred. For me, it doesn’t offer anything that t20 doesn’t already offer. It is little different to the time when there were 3 limited over competitions until circa 20 years ago, i.e. Nat West, B&H and Sunday League all of varying length. That became overkill as time went on.
Now you have a mickey mouse concept aimed at non-cricket fans. Wither cricket in this country….
Well, Hales managed to get himself dropped. Probably because he smoked some weed. It is 2019, who the bleep cares?
The ECB continues to act like a headless chicken, telling Hales one thing about his World Cup place and then completely backtracking on it now. I bet he’d still be in the team if he were…. well, someone else. All about image and who you know. Twas ever thus.
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It’s all about Bangladesh….they never forget!!
It might not just a be a little weed though. However, I think the point is it’s a second offense. As Northern says, the ECB have even managed to balls this up, but (hypothetically) a second offense for something a notch up from weed is (hypothetically) pretty much Hales’ (hypothetical) fault.
The weed is speculation on my part of course.
But even if it were say cocaine or something, so what? If it enhances performance, sure ban him. But no research has been done with regards to cricket and cocaine, and performance enhancing results seem doubtful at best..
It is more likely that such a product would result in reduced performance – and then it would make more sense to not pick him on that basis, but since the World Cup is quite some time away, it would be out of his system then anyway. So no point in dropping him for the World Cup on those grounds.
And if discipline was the real core issue (an argument can be made for that, and certainly not without merit), why the hell is Stokes / Punches still representing England? It is much harder to argue that smoking weed (or even using cocaine) by a player is bringing cricket / ECB more in disrepute than what Stokes managed to do in Bristol. Or for that matter pissing on the pitch, and one can be knighted for that / after that too …
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All very fair points, Darthez. However, when you say, “… no research has been done with regards to cricket and cocaine” I think you have to consider that Dermott Reeve did as much research as he could.
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A good thing weed isn’t banned in recreational cricket. I very much doubt my team could raise a side if this was the case……………
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I’ve always been bemused by these recreational drugs penalties. Why bother if an athlete is deliberately handicapping himself? Or maybe it’s a moral issue, but then you’re getting into very murky territory. There are quite a few “right sort of families” who might fail recreational drugs tests.
I did read that no one was surprised Hales was involved in the Stokes assault. I’m not up on English cricket gossip, but I did read that he has a reputation, and he swore to turn things around after he got (almost) caught kicking a guy in the head when he was down. Probably in the Guardian. Perhaps that contributed to this. Whatever, I just want to watch them play cricket.
Hey Quebecer, your avatar is not improving any. Are you going to be stuck with teal for all of England’s greatest summer of cricket?
Yes, my avatar is Dmitri’s continual punishment for me very very occasionally posting BTL.
Your position (and the points made by Darthez above) seems very common sense, and you can have a pat on the back for that. However, I think you can take the pat back because the situation is more complicated than that. Firstly, let’s all accept that there is a substantial grey area involved. Like it or not, if players are on a second warning for use of illegal recreational drugs, and a sporting organization has evidence of further use, it’s the player who has put the organizing body in a difficult position and themselves in jeopardy.
Now, as you might now, here in the more civilized dominions cannabis has recently been legalized (it’s great: you go on the government web site, fill in your order, and in two days the post office delivers your drugs to your door – I fully believe the next step is to simultaneously deliver pizza with it). Now, if a player is found to have THC in their system, I’m not exactly sure a sporting body has any case for sanctions. However, in more backward socities, this is not the situation.
But in the Hales case, Morgan* has now made things very clear about how the team felt about it, and give the wider context, it’s fair enough. It’s also somewhat reassuring that the Stokes case has not been forgotten, and that very active steps are being taken within the team to sort this out.
While I have a lot of sympathy for what you and Darthez are saying, in this situation, I have no more sympathy for Hales – and I’ve been a huge fan of his from the first time I saw him.
As for best summer ever, see theBogfather at 2:52 below.
* The Morgan link: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/may/02/fuming-eoin-morgan-reveals-senior-players-sealed-alex-hales-removal-england-cricket-world-cup-squad
oooh that came out wrong. Quebecer is my name!!!
Oh, it was you. And who is Blissett9? Is that how you post anonymously, when you don’t want to be identified by your real nom du plume?
Wasn’t quite my point. I agree, the rules are the rules, you can’t let people flout them, next thing you know they’ll be whistling, looking out windows and all sorts of things. I just think it’s a stupid rule. Anyway, Hales better make up his mind if he wants to be a pro sportsman or not.
Your last sentence is bang on.
And yes, I’m changing all my passwords now that it is clear that anyone with a knowledge of Watford footballers of the ’80s can crack my account.
The InexHaustible Quest For The Cosmic Cabbage… The Amboy Dukes feat. Ted Nugent
It’s a weed thang….
‘White Punks On Dope’
This Fee is Way, Bill…
I would very much like to browse through your record collection
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Tis just slightly more eclectic and electric than my cricket book collection… but not by much!
This is the GOAT performance on OGWT ever…
..and the ECB, stood there laughing….
Hales management company…….”We are hugely disappointed at the treatment of our client, Alex Hales, by the ECB following his ejection from England’s preliminary World Cup squad,”
And another one bites the dust!
It’s Groundhog Day again! If your face doesn’t fit they will find a way to drop you. All the arguments we made about KP have come full circle. If they wanted to act on principle why didn’t they do it when he initially failed the drug test?
Again, it makes a mockery of the claim that the ECB operates on TRUST. The only thing you can trust is if your face doesn’t fit they will get rid of you for non cricket reasons. If your face does fit they will move mountains to accommodate you.
If I was Hales I would announce my retirement from International cricket and go freelance.
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BORN IN THE ECB… (sorry Bruce)
Born down in aplomb downtown
The first snick I took was when I hit it out of the ground
You end up like a boundary that’s been beat too much
Till you spend half your life just covering up
Born under the MCC
I was born into the TCCB
I was bored by the ICC
Died with the ECB
Got in a little saffer/windies jam
So they put a willow in my hand
Wouldn’t send me off to an Indian land
To go and kill the yellow aussie man
Bored in the ECB
I was scorned by the ECB
I was barred by the ECB
Never mourned by the ECB
Torn apart by the ECB
Come back home to the Indian cement refinery
Hiring man says “Son if it was up to me”
Went down to see the PCA rep for me
He said “Son, you’re OUTSIDE can’t you see!
I had a brother at TheBigCheese fighting off pain twas wrong
They’re still there, he’s now all gone
Lovejoy had a pussy he loved under floor
I got a picture of him in down under, quitted, so no more
Down in the shadow of the Loughborough lord
Out by the gas fires of the refinery flawed
I’m ten years burning down the ECB lain road
Nowhere to make runs got nowhere to go
Cricket died under the ECB
No love nor pride by the ECB
Us Outside scorned by the ECB
I’m a long gone Daddy cos of the ECB
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Thanks for the name check! I am a massive Brooooce fan
He wrote this in the 70s for BOC..
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Pretty good interview with Chappell, if he rocks your boat. He certainly does mine, in this interview.
Warner a better captain than Smith? The problem was Cook not KP? Contempt for how the “hard Australian” style has become distorted? Contempt for administrators? Treating refugees with empathy? It’s all in there.
Geoff Lemon does a good job as interviewer, ie. he shuts up and lets Chappell speak.
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I am a big Ian Chappell fan. Thanks for the link.