World Cup Match 18 – India v New Zealand (But Lots More On Other Stuff)

I’m publishing this early. Have a look tonight, people, before any possible game tomorrow.

A short intro into for the contest. Both teams have 100% records. New Zealand making the most of what, on paper, looked like a nice start by beating the weaker three of the Asian nations. India taking out South Africa and Australia. All is set for a really exciting clash. Are New Zealand for real? Are India as good as they look? Will Trent Bridge contain two sides of considerable power?

Ah hell. The weather…

It is set to rain very heavily overnight, then the forecast for tomorrow is:
Mostly cloudy and largely dry at first tomorrow, though there may be some early brightness. As the day progresses, showers will become widespread and heavy at times.

The rain radar projection suggests the afternoon will be drier, but who the hell knows these days.

India have to replace Mr Dhawan, and it will be intriguing to see how they go about it. Will we see Risabh Pant? I hope so. Good luck to all concerned. I’ll be in meetings most of the day.

I can’t comment on today’s match between Australia and Pakistan as I was detained in the office as we are short staffed at the moment. I’m writing this just before I retire to my bed, so please forgive me. Australia now move to three wins out of four, Pakistan have three points from four games, and people are comparing this to Australia 1992…. oh well, I guess they always will.

As you may have guessed from the comments left on the Australia v Pakistan game, there have been a number of articles that have left me shaking my fist at a cloud once more. There was Andy Bull just coming to the conclusion that 14 years of England international cricket being hidden behind a paywall might have done some totally unforeseen damage to the participation levels. I don’t know if these idiots thought cricket was nearer to football than it was to say, rugby league, but they’ve been proven terribly wrong. Trying to tell us that they’ve been on the side of the angels all along is just taking us for mugs. I don’t have time, and my memory has somewhat erased, to remember the trigger, but Bull has rarely been on the side of the great unwashed and too easily persuaded by administration and perhaps his previous guiding light at The Guardian. The fact is that if the sport is on one of the major TV channels, it gets people watching it. This tournament could be on Sky One, and it won’t get the audience they think it should. There’s little rhyme and reason, but there were, are, plenty who will tell you otherwise.

The twitter diversion from Selvey was as crap as usual. He comes on to say that just because he didn’t (on behalf of his county) vote to continue with Graves’ retention of the Chairmanship didn’t mean he was disagreeing with the ECB on the Hundred. We never felt it would, Selvey, we never for one minute. Before you knew it we were on to 2019’s version of “move on”. If you don’t know what I mean, stop me if you’ve read this before. “They’ve decided this is the way forward, and for the good of the game, it has to succeed, so we should get behind it. That’s because the alternatives are much worse.”

I’m just not even surprised at these clowns and their chutzpah. It’s not the long-suffering cricket fan’s fault that Giles Clarke put the money raising of Sky above the long-term health of the game, kicking the can as far down the road as he could on the back of the 2005 Ashes, which, remember, he was lucky to get in the run-in to the new Sky contract. So they gained some cash, and lost a generation. Oh happy days. Then you’ve peddled the unproveable “truth” that without the cash, the game would die. Would have died. We should all be really grateful for a ruthless business like Sky giving the sport its honourable support.

By coincidence Sanjay Patel was at it in the Standard in an interview with Will MacPherson. Sean linked it in the comments below, but it’s magnificent in its arrogance.

“Even Patel — who refers to The Hundred as “countdown cricket” in reference to the new scoreboard, designed to make the game easier to understand — is aware that it is not a panacea to cricket’s problems, an ageing audience and declining participation.”

Remember people, and as someone soon to be moving into his 6th decade I am categorised in this, ageing audiences are the problem. We, us, me, are the problem. A nearly 50 year old man, still writing a blog, dedicating time and effort to a game I love and care about, and I am one of cricket’s “problems”. You should be on your knees thankful we still give a stuff, Macpherson and/or Patel. We aren’t your problem, we are keeping the game alive with our income PAYING for SKY, our income PAYING your ticket prices, and as you will see later, the people you NEED to sell your effing Countdown Cricket.

“We launched a strategy in January, Inspiring Generations,” he told Standard Sport. “In it, there are 25 initiatives to grow the game in England and Wales. The Hundred is just one of them. We don’t think for one second that you can put one tournament in and have mass growth. It doesn’t work like that. It’s about everything working together.”

A pity the ECB didn’t think of that back in 2005, but hey, blame the audience, not the architects for the poor sound quality of the auditorium. WHY CAN’T THEY HEAR?

But it’s this that set my blood pressure rising on the 126 home today.

Patel explained: “Whether you’re a cricket fan who likes The Hundred or not, we all share a love for the game and have a desire to see it get bigger.

“I’d say to people who don’t like it, I respect and understand that but use this as an opportunity to bring your grandkids, your kids, your family. This format will deliver for those audiences, so use it as a chance to grow the game.”

A desire to see it get bigger! You have to be kidding me. Who the f*****g hell (sorry, I just can’t do this without an expletive) shrunk the game? It wasn’t us. It was your precious organisation who are now as addicted to Sky money and India baling us out every four years when they visit, as any heroin addict is to their next hit. I can’t live without it….. You took a sport at the most recent peak of its powers, with some real star names, charisma, excitement and achievement. Then you hid it away behind a paywall so the players, and your administrators, could rake in a few more quid. You took T20 and milked the golden goose (yes, I know you can’t milk a goose), and then now treat it as a mangy old bird. You took England stars further away from the domestic game, and wondered why county cricket struggled even more. You did everything in your power to shrink the game for additional money, and now you sit there, and have the absolute gall to tell me that it is up to me, and my generation to bale you the hell out? I think I’ll quote my response:

We (the ECB) brought this in when few people wanted it. We did research that we didn’t share. We can’t handle basic stuff like releasing team names yet we call you obsessives. We lie to you in interviews. We don’t answer questions. We discuss nothing until we’ve decided and then it’s a load of nonsense. We pay ourselves ludicrous money, and charge you more to watch England. We decide you abide.

You have treated us with contempt. Your organisation told us to pipe down and move on. You created a schism in the fan base over a scapegoating. You insulted our intelligence with Downton. You had the press singing from your hymn sheet. You had the insulting contempt to label those not in your cabal “outside cricket”. You lied, you obfuscated, you sold out, you swivelled, you cited trust when it suited, you did everything in your (lack of) wit to get shot of the problem few. You have a supine, almost ridiculously so, ex-pro cabal sucking at your teat. You had the nerve, your CEO, to label people who quite liked their county team as “obsessives” as if those that stuck by the game were the oddballs, and not those who actually celebrated pissing the next generation up the wall for a few quid. Words cannot adequately summarise my rage at these charlatans asking me to make the game bigger. Here’s who gets the credit if it somehow works. One guess. It won’t be us 50 year old plus cricket tragics. They’ll just ask us to pay more. It’ll go to Harrison and Patel, and they’ll demand they are paid more.

“Everything we do has to be designed to make cricket reach above where it is,” he said. “We are keen to talk to young people. Three-quarters of fans learn to love the game before 16, so how do we nurture that? There’s been a major process to get to that point. We have done lots of work in all these cities, we asked young people what it means to come from there. We think it will appeal to a broad set of people and current cricket fans, too.”

Except putting an Ashes test live on free to air? How might that help, Sanjay, given you are doing everything to make cricket reach above where it is? No. You’ve made sure that the next five years, we might get a token T20 international friendly for the plebs to watch, where our C team might get a game. Oh, and the Hundred. I’ll leave the taking apart of countdown cricket to Danny. He doesn’t need my help.

If this article hadn’t made me mad enough, then come Chris pointing out the Times of India article about Michael Holding criticising the umpires in the West Indies v Australia game. Let’s not worry too much about the umpire-bashing for that’s a red herring. What this is about is commentary is now not about telling you what’s happening, adding insight occasionally and insightfully, aiding and educating the watching spectator, bringing the joy, and anger, of the game in front of you. It’s about cheerleading, and promoting the product. Ex-pros with the odd broadcaster there to sell you the game, not tell you the game. It’s not new. It’s the way of the world. Sport isn’t about the competition, it’s about the money. It probably always was, but it is certainly without doubt now. The evolution must be monetised. The product sells, and we don’t want someone pointing out where things aren’t working. Good on Mikey for standing up for himself. Stay in Newmarket, sir. Those horses respect more than the donkeys running the game.

There’s more. Lawrence Booth’s piece in the Mail redefines insipid. The ICC turning the players into cats has enraged some:

This is funny, because we know something about who is working for the ICC at this World Cup and also, if it weren’t so misplaced, it rather reflects on how we feel the press have been with our governing authority – tame pussycats. Remember Downton aplomb. Damn site more nonsensical than the above “horseshit”. Critics of this piece often talk about making love to cover drives, for heaven’s sake.

I’m off for a lie down. I’m feeling quite unwell.

Oh, before I go, and before hell freezes over, Paul Newman wrote a very moving piece on his interview with Robin Smith. Nonoxcol linked it in the comments to the game before last. I do recommend it. It’s one of the reasons Newman annoys me. No-one doubts his love for the game. I certainly don’t. But he’s doing no-one any favours most of the time, siding often, not always, with the rampant mob running our sport. A damn pity he pulls his punches with them.

Comments, if the game is played, below. Hope you enjoyed the return of angry me. I feel like exploding.



50 thoughts on “World Cup Match 18 – India v New Zealand (But Lots More On Other Stuff)

  1. Julie Gould Jun 12, 2019 / 10:42 pm

    Biggest hug, Dmitri. You’ve said all I could have said and a bit more. Now I have smoke coming out my ears and I have to drive to work. No accidents please.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Trent Rockets Jun 12, 2019 / 11:29 pm

    Football World Cup – free to air tv, Rugby World Cup – free to air tv – Women’s World Cup – free to air tv, Olympic free to air tv etc etc: all these have millions of viewers.

    Cricket World Cup – on Sky and no one gives a toss.

    Liked by 2 people

    • thelegglance Jun 13, 2019 / 9:47 am

      “Securing deals with major free-to-air broadcasters who are passionate about sport is central to World Rugby’s mission to make rugby accessible in a global context. With each Rugby World Cup we are broadening the sport’s reach and appeal through a broadcast and digital strategy that is aimed at reaching, engaging and inspiring new audiences within existing and emerging rugby markets.”

      Brett Gosper – Chief Executive, World Rugby


  3. Benny Jun 13, 2019 / 1:25 am

    Well done Dmitri. You’ve stated what so many are thinking.

    I watched a lot of today’s match. I like Pakistan. They’re showing guts and a lot of ability. I also enjoyed their many supporters leaping about. None of them were white, few were old and several were female. Maybe there’s a clue there for Patel about filling grounds

    The weather situation is a bit silly. Could be that the eventual winner will be the team that the storm gods favour

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Metatone Jun 13, 2019 / 5:21 am

    Weather forecast for Trent Bridge looking grim for play this morning… a shame b/c as you note, lots to learn about India and NZ from this clash. Can India handle what looks like the in form bowling attack? Are NZ actually as good when faced with stiffer opposition?

    This has been a frustrating week, but the weather is supposed to get better from the weekend, so maybe the lack of reserve days won’t bite hard enough to make anyone at the ICC think again.

    As for the ECB/Hundred etc. I’m too weary to comment on that these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • dArthez Jun 13, 2019 / 6:36 am

      I really can’t foresee a situation where Australia, England or India miss out on a semi spot due to rain. The Imbeciles that run the game would only have reflected on this issue if England’s games against Bangladesh, South Africa, Afghanistan and / or Sri Lanka had been washed out. Because then they suddenly have to win all the big games, through no fault of their own. Then suddenly they can think of fairness.

      Mostly because it has been their challengers hit by it (Pakistan and West Indies lost easy points due to rain). Even if New Zealand – India is a washout, that is a game against a competitor, which could have been lost, realistically speaking (and in terms of qualification prospects, it would be good for West Indies and Pakistan if either team lost).

      Sad to say, but they might as well place India, Australia and England for the semis, and let the other 7 teams slug it out for the last semi-spot. Less pretentious, but exactly what the ICC would want. If only they could get away with it …


  5. jennyah46 Jun 13, 2019 / 6:42 am

    Excellent and perfectly put. Every word of this is true.


  6. Miami Dad's Six Jun 13, 2019 / 7:15 am


    *trousers £719k per annum*


  7. Deep Purple Fred Jun 13, 2019 / 8:09 am

    I agree with everything you’ve written, and share the pain, but for some reason it’s the Holding thing more than anything that raises my blood pressure.

    I can’t make up my mind why, weather it’s the stupidity to think that controversy and argument has no place in sport (what’s the point of sport if you can’t argue with your mates about the umpires/bad sports/borderline decision/luck of the draw etc?) Are we supposed to be so supine we just witness a poor umpiring display and wipe it from our minds, pretend it never happened?

    Or is it the stupidity to think that commentating should be like cheerleading: avoid controversy, smile brightly, be positive? Do you think that’s why people tune in? Did they never listed to Richie Benaud?

    Or is it the unspeakable arrogance to tell one of the living legends of the game, and a respected commentator, what to say? This is the tail wagging the dog. Holding should walk away from their tournement and tell them to go screw themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thelegglance Jun 13, 2019 / 8:38 am

      As ever with this, the issue is not them trying it on with someone like Holding who will tell them where to go, it’s that plenty of others will silently abide by the shot across their bows.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. nonoxcol Jun 13, 2019 / 8:16 am

    I am not enraged, but genuinely bewildered, by the number of comments below Andy Bull’s article (now at nearly 1,000) which treat it as an article of faith that Channel 4’s coverage of Test cricket was terrible and so we should all genuflect to Sky.

    I know I’m amongst like-minded people here, in general, but I don’t feel I’m mis-remembering. Former poster Nicholas was especially vociferous in his defence of C4: not only did I agree with everything he wrote but I didn’t even see how C4’s coverage and wider contribution (especially the big screens) *needed* defending. Have a quick read of this contemporary piece, for example:

    “Thirty, 60, even 90-second interruptions in coverage are okay by me – it’s a fair trade for what Channel 4 has brought to the party.”

    I remain puzzled as to why A) below is characterised a sulk from people who don’t have free stuff any more, while B) is *not* a petulant whine from people who didn’t get 100% of the free stuff back in the day, combined with a twist of “I’m all right now thanks Jack”.

    A) I have to pay extra money for an international team sport that used to be free and is now *completely* behind a paywall with *no* compromise at all, making it unique among the three biggest team sports in this country. Those responsible ignored all warnings about the possible consequences.
    B) When it was free I used to miss some balls because Channel 4 cut to horse racing, therefore they were terrible and Sky are worth the money.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thelegglance Jun 13, 2019 / 8:36 am

      It amuses me how on the one hand people defend it being on Sky because the media landscape has changed dramatically, and on the other berate Channel 4 for skipping to the racing in that very different media landscape 15 years ago. There’s a word for that kind of wanting it both ways.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Metatone Jun 13, 2019 / 9:14 am

      I find it bizarre. I’ll never forget in 2007 when a not-so-prominent cricket writer decided to outline to me all the innovations Sky had brought in and I was able to point out that 80% of those he named had arrived with C4…

      I also find it bizarre that people can’t understand the money dynamic.
      I’m a middle aged, middle class bloke with a family & with some (not a huge amount) of disposable income. I simply can’t justify a Sky Sports sub to myself, despite being enough of a cricket tragic to be haunting a cricket website. (As noted, I had a voucher for NOW TV discount this month, so I’m luxuriating in watching some games as I’m working from home a lot… but I may well not be able to justify paying for the Ashes…)

      What chance a kid (who doesn’t even get to make the choices) in a household doing a little less well on the money side ever gets exposed to the game?

      Would I watch more cricket if it was free? Yes. Is that why the ECB should be thinking about it? No.
      Should they still be thinking about it? Bleeding obviously, surely?

      Liked by 2 people

      • thelegglance Jun 13, 2019 / 9:22 am

        There’s a certain strata of society that looks at their own circumstances and can’t comprehend that it might not be true of others. All the defence of Sky in comments like on there ultimately come down to an “I’m alright Jack” attitude.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Mark Jun 13, 2019 / 6:04 pm

          Yes, but many of those people were moaning like hell when they didn’t have a BT contract. I’m all right jack is ok until you have to pay extra to watch the Ashes in Australia.

          Now Murdoch has sold Sky sports all the trendies at The Guardian can like it.


    • SteveT Jun 13, 2019 / 12:13 pm

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but if you didn’t fancy the racing you could switch over to More4 and the cricket would continue? I certainly remember doing that, especially on Saturdays


  9. Deep Purple Fred Jun 13, 2019 / 8:40 am

    Holy shit, Jim Maxwell is promoting this blog! Now BOC has truly arrived!

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Jun 13, 2019 / 8:42 am

      We had Dan Brettig as well. The Australians get it. Might even see what is coming for them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Deep Purple Fred Jun 13, 2019 / 9:19 am

        They might see what’s coming because Australians have a fine sense for the traditions of the game. Their inate sense of fair play, inclusiveness, and egalitarian social mores…no OK, I’ll cut the horseshit.
        But one of the interesting aspects of the sandpaper debacle was the action taken by CA was apparently in response to public outcry about the reputation of Australian cricket. I don’t know if this was true, and how much of it was spin, but if CA felt their hand was forced by public opinion, then I’m glad to see that public opinion still counts for something. It’s one thing that can protect the game from the predators.


        • dArthez Jun 13, 2019 / 10:43 am

          Obviously not Australian, but I recall the politicians, including the PM speaking out on sandpapergate as well.

          Serious question:

          When is the last time any British MP / politician publicly spoke about cricket, other than perhaps a reference to crown jewels (television rights), or the occasional reference to the dilapidated fields, that should be bulldozed to make way for new development? Oh, and please for the love of cricket, I don’t count Theresa May being fasttracked into Lord’s a cricket story.


          • thelegglance Jun 13, 2019 / 10:44 am

            Theresa May genuinely is a cricket fan, so she does count. But equally, that it’s treated as an eccentricity rather highlights your point.


      • dlpthomas Jun 13, 2019 / 9:23 am

        Like most people, Australians don’t see what is coming till they walk right into it. (cough cough Brexit cough cough)

        I think many people in Australia (myself included) mistakenly believed that the anti-siphoning laws meant that international cricket had to be on free to air TV and were thus surprised when Foxtel got the sole rights to white ball internationals.


    • thelegglance Jun 13, 2019 / 8:51 am

      The Twitter reach is growing quite nicely. We only started taking it seriously a year or so ago, and it’s more than doubled in that time. Things like that help massively, whenever someone with lots of followers interacts, we get a surge.


  10. Metatone Jun 13, 2019 / 9:49 am

    10:48 – still light rain at Trent Bridge, looks like there won’t be any play for a while.


    • LordCanisLupus Jun 13, 2019 / 10:56 am

      I didn’t post anything at the time, as I was on one of my breaks from the blog, and Danny was ripping the competition apart without any assistance.

      Andrew Miller gets us.


  11. LordCanisLupus Jun 13, 2019 / 11:24 am

    I am the acknowledged genius.

    In case my new fan reads me, Lawrence’s piece was insipid. I love his work with Wisden.


  12. thelegglance Jun 13, 2019 / 11:26 am

    A fan gets in touch.


    • LordCanisLupus Jun 13, 2019 / 11:35 am

      We’ve been doing this for 5 1/2 years, and some of those we’ve criticised have got in touch, met us and know where we come from. Obviously Russell struggles with that.

      I’m still not sure about the last part. Is he referring to the “ageing fanbase” stuff? Because that’s how the ECB word it. They aren’t going to say “catastrophic drop off in the 20-40 group” because that makes them look bad – so project it. They then called that fanbase “obsessive” and dismissed our views as the new competition “isn’t for you”.

      Hence I say, and Jackson can read, Macpherson and/or Patel. If Will wrote it, he bought that lazy line. If it came from Patel, then it’s the usual shameful nonsense.

      These are big boys and girls. I like who has supported this piece.


      • thelegglance Jun 13, 2019 / 11:39 am

        Don’t mind him disagreeing at all, it’s fine. But I read it and am a bit confused about what he’s complaining about. He’s exercising his right to criticise which is all any of the pieces are on here too, and no one is forcing him to read a cricket blog located on the other side of the world either.

        But it’s ok, not everyone will agree. Nor should they. Just a slightly confusing line of critique.


      • nonoxcol Jun 13, 2019 / 11:39 am

        Looks like you might need to amend the site’s standfirst….


    • LordCanisLupus Jun 13, 2019 / 11:40 am

      I note he corrected morons to clowns. The clowns referred to in the piece, are, of course, those who peddle the line that we should quiet down and make this a success. Yes, I call them clowns. They reach more people than we do, hence we are here to say what we think they should do.


    • Mark Jun 13, 2019 / 12:09 pm

      Says someone who calls himself a senior editor.

      Notice how the media all circle the wagons, and big each other up. It’s a deluded cult of self loving clowns and morons who spend their days having to stick their long pointed noses up the backside of the people/organisations/stars/corporate entities they pretend to cover.

      Have you no self respect Sir? . Every day it must be terrible to have to suck it up again before you plunge your nose up the rear end of someone who you need acces to. Fake fake fake!

      Become a bus driver or a shrimp peeler and actually add some real productive value to your life.

      As Dmitri says, the game should be on their knees thanking people like him for caring about a sport to still fund it and take some considerable time out of his life to write a blog about a sport that now hates him, and those of us who have supported it for much of our lives. There is no sport in the world that hates its customers as much as cricket does.

      The Guardian below the line is cult on a par with the mooonies. ECB cheerleaders to a man and woman. Cheering on the Titianic as it steams towards the iceberg oblivious to the fact they have been wrong about everything for the least five years.


      • LordCanisLupus Jun 13, 2019 / 4:30 pm

        Much of my opinion of individual journalists was formed around 2014. Some have slightly redeemed themselves in my eyes, not that my view matters. As I am told so frequently, and as I acknowledge, I am just one person. But as I also point out, I am in a full-time job, and write in my increasingly limited spare time. My job, which, incidentally, is criticised by a load of people who know f for freddie all about it, takes up more and more of my life so cross referencing from HDWLIA is difficult. So I react, and hey, people seemed to agree with it if you look at the hits, the retweets, and the comments. That some in the media and with past links are telling us to shut and get on with it. That the ECB allowed Sanjay Patel to spout nonsense, relayed by the up and coming talent in the field of journalism. That Holding’s silencing, not by authorities, but by the TV company themselves for fear of upsetting the authorities, hardly smacks of a good environment on the one hand, and honest brokering to its paying audience on the other.

        In 2014 the sort of reaction I got from Andy Bull and Russell Jackson would scare the living daylights out of me. Now, with the team we have, it doesn’t bother me so much. What I do see is that many are extremely thin skinned (hey, so am I) and Bull going back through his golden greats won’t persuade me that when push came to shove, he wasn’t with us. Or me. I called him, and the collective that only just seem to have realised that there is a massive issue now the World Cup isn’t driving the nation, idiots. Harsh? Probably.

        The reaction amused me. I like that they respond, and people can make up their own minds. Another schism is being inflicted on the game in this country and they are going to need to decide if they are on the side of the cricket fans, or on the side of the authorities. The form guide, given they need access, is pretty easy to read – links or not.

        Jackson’s nonsense was brilliant. I don’t appoint myself as some know all, a genius. That’s being a twit. These writers know they get criticised. So do I, and I’m not appointing myself as anything great. Get on with it. Answer the points made, don’t throw shade back because your feelings, and vicarious feelings are hurt. In the words of Public Enemy, “What side you on, what M***F**ing side you on?”


        • Mark Jun 13, 2019 / 5:49 pm

          I found cricket by my self on free to air TV as a child,I liked it, I was lucky enough to play it, and then as I got older to watch it. I paid for it through the gate and on pay TV. Now I’m told that my generation are the problem. The ills of the game all reside with the over fifties.

          We are told that we are too set in our ways, too inflexible, (we want county cricket in June and July.) So they are creating a new game called 16.4 for morons who can’t count to six. These geniuses, who apparently love cricket, (according to market research not released ) but at the same time can’t understand the game are the new target audience……

          “Hey look, we have got a new nut product, and we are aiming it directly at people with nut allergies! But people who like nuts can go f themselves.” Good luck with that

          But now we nut lovers are told we must go and support this new nut free game as well because there are no alternatives. English cricket once again reduced to a giant fat TINA. I will take Bumbles advice, which was…. if you don’t like it, don’t go. So I’m looking forward to spending the £700 a year I waste supporting cricket through Sky at the end of the summer. But who cares, because people like me are the problem.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Andy Bull Jun 13, 2019 / 7:12 pm

          Ah, I can see I’ve made a mistake here. There’s me being an idiot again.

          I thought you might want to chat about some of this stuff – the ECB, participation, Sky, FTA, media coverage – since I’ve been writing about it for years and you mentioned my writing in your post. But you seem to be more into doubling down on the insults, and shouting about picking sides and Public Enemy lyrics, so I’ll leave you to it.

          Good luck with the blog.



          • Sean Jun 13, 2019 / 7:23 pm

            Andy, I’m not sure what you hoped to achieve by posting a series of articles on here. The point Dmitri made stand true, that if you have only just noticed now that putting cricket behind a paywall is harmful, then have you not seen the viewing figures and the reduction in people playing the game reduce alarmingly over the years?

            Take that as an insult if you wish, but I believe we have been commenting on such things for as long as the blog existed. Trying to come across as morally wronged does you no favours at all

            Liked by 1 person

          • Deep Purple Fred Jun 13, 2019 / 8:30 pm

            It may be that you have a point Mr Bull, but coming on here with a sarcastic, supercilious tone and then be affronted at the reaction is hardly a great way to join the discussion. The outcome is pretty predictable.

            So you’ve referenced a few articles about FTA going back 5 years. Good. Doesn’t change the central thrust of this blog, as I understand it, that the course of cricket has been turned towards the interests of the financial interests, rather than the fans and players at all levels, and that you and many other journalists have been slow to call this out. (Others may disagree with me, if they feel the blog has a different focus, there are many voices here).

            I do remember positions taken by you, back when I used to read the Guardian, which were wildly supportive of Stanford, and complacent about the attempted take over of the ICC by the big three, which would explain the skepticism about your writing you have seen. You are also, unfairly or not, caught up in a broader reaction against the Guardian and its former chief cricket correspondent for an extremely haughty, exclusionary and cynical tone. I believe this was responsible for the destruction of that rarest of things that was developing there, a considered and intelligent BTL community.

            If you’re getting flack, it’s because people have genuine and deeply felt views on cricket and its management. Your attempt to come here and pick a fight rather than engage seems counter-productive, and franky just confirms worst suspicions. I’ve taken the time to reply to you, it doersn’t/wouldn’t surprise me if many don’t, as they’ve heard it all before.

            As for the way they quote Public Enemy and many other lyrics here, I actually share your annoyance, I don’t get it, but it’s what people here are in to, some at least, and it’s hardly to relevant to anything is it? It’s pretty easy to ignore if you really wanted to discuss rather than dispute. I ignore their stupud jokes all the time, and inflict mine on them in revenge. Grow up.

            Liked by 3 people

  13. Andy Bull Jun 13, 2019 / 12:26 pm


    Someone just sent me a link to your blog. I was interested to discover that I’m an “idiot” who has “rarely been on the side of the great unwashed” because I’ve been “too easily persuaded by the administration”. You learn something new every day, don’t you?

    While I’m learning things, I thought you might, too.

    Here’s an article from 2014:

    Here’s one from 2015:

    And another:

    Here’s one from 2017:

    Here’s one from 2018:

    Here’s one from March:

    Here’s one from May:

    I’m used to people writing rubbish in respond to the rubbish I write myself. I don’t normally reply, because where would it ever stop? But I wouldn’t want you to think I was “taking you for a mug”.

    I hope the lie down helped,
    Andy Bull


  14. LordCanisLupus Jun 13, 2019 / 7:57 pm

    Two Tweets:

    My mistake. Not tough to think Selvey was speaking on behalf of his county, if not actually voting, but that’s what being a part-time writer with a full-time job means.

    Yes. Sir. I got it.


    • Mark Jun 13, 2019 / 9:25 pm

      Well he did use the word “we” so I assumed he was speaking on behalf of other people, Namely Middx. If he means just him, he should say “ I.”


  15. man in a barrel Jun 14, 2019 / 7:50 am

    Does he know what “ex officio” means? It means “by virtue of one’s position”. So he appears to be saying that he didn’t get a vote and that was because of the position he holds. It doesn’t make much sense to me


  16. SamuelB Jun 18, 2019 / 10:31 am

    Hi all!

    This article is pretty thought provoking and it’s hard to disagree with the general thrust of the polemic.

    There were plenty of delusional people BTL on Andy Bull’s article trying to insist that getting NowTV was both cheap and easy, which rather ignores the fact that however cheap and easy one might *think* it is, back in reality the viewing figures on sky sports tend to be about 5-10% of the same sport on FTA. Just whinging that people *should* tune into sky ignores that they actually don’t.

    However, the sentence,

    “Except putting an Ashes test live on free to air?”,

    seems to assume that with no Cricket on FTA for 14 years that just “putting” the ashes on TV is a simple matter.

    I very much doubt many of the backroom staff and technicians for C4 who worked on their live cricket coverage are left working for the channel, so getting cricket back on FTA is going to be a technical challenge for whichever broadcaster decides to take it on.

    My understanding from synthesising the swirling gossip of the internet over a few years is that the ECB realised they had made a mistake by sealing the whole sport away quite quickly, but even in 2008/09 found minimal interest among FTA broadcasters in broadcasting test cricket. I’m not sure how true that is (if there were no competitors why does Sky pay the ECB so much…), but it does come up a lot from seemingly informed sources.

    When criticising the Hundred I think you have to bare in mind that there was, by most accounts, virtually no interest on FTA stations in showing Cricket matches as long as T20. Personally, I would have offered a 16 over tournament (even less balls!) rather than fiddle with having a long final over. However, the ECB probably felt that given they were constrained to offer something different to T20 they had to at least give the tournament some kind of identity.


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