In Defence Of Boos – and the updated day two preview

Given it seems to be the hot topic at the moment, a quick additional post to address the matter seemed appropriate.

There has, particularly in light of Steve Smith’s century, been something of a backlash against booing by many people in this game. Some people who purport to be cricket fans, and even a few journalists and commentators, have said that the English crowd shouldn’t boo at all. Or, if they do boo and jeer cricketer, that they shouldn’t do so when that player has just reached a milestone.

A few have even suggested that the people who continued heckling through thick and thin don’t know about or love cricket.

For a start, coming from professional cricket journalists, it might surprise them to learn that their wages come from avid cricket fans such as those who will have paid upwards of £60 to be in the stands at Edgbaston and are the most likely to subscribe to cricket magazines too. They might want to be careful before alienating them. Journalists paid to be there berating those who pay the often extortionate charges within English cricket grounds is rarely a good look.

But, more generally, I think they’re completely missing the point. Fundamentally, practically no one is booing Smith because he’s a great batsman and they want to distract him. I don’t think Kohli was abused by the English crowds last year, and he’s a great batsman. No one is booing Smith just because he’s a cheat. I doubt Faf du Plessis would get the same treatment at Edgbaston, despite his own ball tampering charge. No one is booing Smith just because of his nationality, as shown by the Australians who haven’t been the target of abuse by the Hollies Stand.

Smith and Warner are copping these boos because they are (and I’m moderating my language for the blog here) absolute pricks. They lie, they cheat, they insult, they’re hypocrites, and they’re smug and arrogant about it. They are, as people, almost completely loathsome individuals. And they’re unlikeable when they have zero runs, or two, or fifty, or a hundred, or a hundred and forty-four.

It is, you could argue, not entirely their fault. Jarrod Kimber wrote a long and illuminating ‘essay’ about how Australian club cricket moulds young players coming into the game into abusive, cheating pricks. By the time most Aussie cricketers reach the professional game, the die is already cast. But, even allowing for that, Smith and Warner are stand-out pricks within the Australian cricket team.

Some people try to make Smith and Warner sympathetic, saying they were harshly and punitively dealt with by Cricket Australia. That much is undoubtedly true. But that doesn’t make them not pricks. In fact, it was Smith’s cocky press conference with Bancroft after the end of play at Newlands which likely ignited the furore in Australia over the ball tampering and caused the bans to be so long in the first place. Many Australians don’t even like and respect them, so why should we?

I wouldn’t go as far as to say that booing a player is always acceptable. When it’s based on race, religion, sexuality or some other protected status then I would say that was over the line. An example of that would be when Moeen Ali was abused by a portion of Indian fans for his Pakistani muslim heritage during a T20I in 2014, coincidentally at Edgbaston. I also think that verbal abuse should be moderated to not teach any kids in the crowd any new words which their parents might not approve of.

But beyond that? If you pay for the ticket, I think you’re entitled to express your opinion.

Whether that’s clapping politely or loudly vocalising your dislike, that’s up to you.

And to keep the content of Dmitri’s post last night, here it is replicated in this new post:

Panel Prep

So, to prepare those we are going to ask to be on our panel, we thought we’d give you a couple of questions to opine on before play:

  1. 284 – good, bad or indifferent? Let’s ignore the eighth wicket going down at 122 (alright, don’t) but as play stands now is this a winning score for Australia?
  2. Steve Smith – best test batsman at the moment, or is this bubble going to burst (or both)?
  3. On a level of 1-10, with 1 being chilled, your reaction to your premier bowler getting injured after four overs, having been injured in the run-up to the test?

We won’t be able to live blog today – or if we do, it will be intermittent, but please keep checking in to see if we do provide updates. That said, it was great to see the in-play comments from you, and also thanks to Sean and Danny for all the efforts yesterday. We will try to live blog when the occasion merits it.

Boring Stat Watch

Steve Smith made the joint 99th highest score for Australia in meetings between the two countries. He joins former captains Don Bradman, Greg Chappell and Ricky Ponting in making 144 in Ashes tests. It was the 314th test hundred by an Australian against England.

Stuart Broad took the 254th five wicket plus haul in an innings for England against Australia. These were the joint 207th best figures for England v Australia (Broad has the best figures by anyone not called Laker, of course). Geoff Arnold took 5/86 at Sydney in 1975.

284 is the equal 500th highest score in England v Australia matches. On the five previous occasions the score has been made, the team making 284 has won twice. Australia in 1895, and memorably, England at the MCG in 1982. On the three other occasions, the team making 284 has lost (England at the MCG in 1921, Australia at Lord’s in 1934 – the only time 284 was made in the second innings of the test and England at The Oval in 1972).

In 1982, Australia replied to 284 with 287. In 1972, Australia replied to 284 with 399. In 1934, England had made 440 before Hedley Verity did his thing. In 1921 Australia followed 284 with 389. In the only other time Australia scored 284 in the first innings of the test match against England, we followed up with 65 and 72.

Too Many Tweeters

OK. Statwatch done. Let’s look at ConnWatch…




Now for Shiny Toy…

Hyperbole Watch..


Four day tests

Birds of a feather

Did Selfey have anything to offer?

Blocked By Paul, Watching Paul

Paul Newman watch…

If there was any concern the Ashes might for once be forced to play second fiddle this summer to an extraordinary World Cup then we need not have worried.

This was a superb and eventful opening day to the biggest Test series of them all from the moment David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, two of the three members of ‘The Banned’, walked out to the most hostile of Edgbaston welcomes.


There was a totally hapless display from umpires Joel Wilson and Aleem Dar that was only partially rescued by the Decision Review System and, frankly, was simply not good enough for the highest level of the game.

There was an atmosphere like no other at any English ground, with the Hollies Stand loudly but never too nastily taunting the disgraced Australians and their captain in Tim Paine who had goaded them on the eve of this always epic contest.

But, above all, there was the controversial figure of Steve Smith, the captain sacked in disgrace in the aftermath of sandpaper-gate, defiantly and brilliantly rescuing his side from the brink of disaster and inspiring them to what looks like a highly competitive score.

and he’s not letting up…

And at the centre of it was the man who haunted England during the last Ashes with his idiosyncratic but world-class batting before his world fell apart when the poisonous culture that had infected his captaincy unravelled spectacularly in Cape Town.

This was Smith’s first Test innings since that cheating scandal 18 months ago but how he made up for lost time with an exceptional 144, more than half their score, that puts Australia on top in this first Test and could well have set the tone for the whole series.


Sadly, no Martin Samuel this time around.

Oh No, Not Him Again

Tom Harrison was on Sky and TMS this lunchtime, presumably because doing the rounds at a mere “warm up” against Ireland to bask in the glow of the World Cup victory wasn’t significant enough. I listened to it this lunchtime, well the TMS bit, and it was every bit as depressing as you would have thought. He did virtually everything he could to avoid mentioning the Hundred by name, but did mention Sky at every opportunity. There will be a massively enhanced partnership next year – I’m not sure what Sky will be doing to enhance it, more repeats of Masterclass? – and somehow in his haze of bigging up Sky, he said 13 million watched the World Cup and of all outlets Sky had the most. Can’t offend the chief partner. According to Tom we will be getting 100 hours of free to air cricket next year. If BBC have 10 matches of 3 hours duration and a couple of other games, where is the rest coming from? Someone tell me. There was more. Much more. But not much new. I saw Gower congratulate Harrison on the World Cup win. We are absolutely stupid. Partners indeed.

So, on to Day 2. Please fire away, please answer the day’s panel questions, please keep the fires burning. It’s going to be an interesting day. I leave you with this on the booing of the Sandpaper Gang..

I was at the Gabba that day. I heard Aussies around me tell him to stop being soft and get up, but then change their tune when he was stretchered off. However, I will never forget the weapons grade bell-end who spent almost the entire day calling Matthew Hoggard a wanker all day. The problem with us being sanctimonious about booing, pretending we’re a moral paragon, is that we’re not. Neither are England fans a bunch of scum, as those who tut tut in the comm box about this sort of thing make them out to be. Like everything, you pays your money, you takes your choice. I feel it is unwise for any ex-pro to criticise supporters on how they support the game.

Enough of that. Hope you enjoyed this mish mash. Comment away on Day 2.



86 thoughts on “In Defence Of Boos – and the updated day two preview

  1. thelegglance Aug 2, 2019 / 9:30 am

    Apologies to those who have already made comments on the previous thread, but Danny put this one together and said he’d put it up at the end of the Test, but we all thought it worth putting up now, so have combined them.


  2. nonoxcol Aug 2, 2019 / 9:34 am


    Well, this is the first time in five years I find my loyalty to this place and its predecessor severely tested.

    That’s not a flounce, by the way. But I’d take note of it all the same.


    • thelegglance Aug 2, 2019 / 9:36 am

      It’s an opinion. Surely you want people on here to give an opinion, and then argue against it if you don’t agree?


      • dlpthomas Aug 2, 2019 / 10:36 am

        I think it was a bit over the top. I remember an interview with Trescothick where he openly bragged about using mints to shine the ball throughout the 2001 and 2005 Ashes series. He seemed to find it all quite funny. Is he also a smug, arrogant prick? (I’m not having a go, it’s a serious question)


        • thelegglance Aug 2, 2019 / 10:42 am

          Well, I’m not going to answer for Danny – I’ll say it’s absolutely fine for you to make that point too.

          Here’s the general thing – we don’t argue with each other in the comments, because it looks rubbish if we do, but we agree or disagree on many of the posts, and it would be odd if we didn’t. Which shouldn’t be taken for either approval or disagreement with this one, it just means that I’m entirely comfortable with those who agree with every word of it, or disagree strongly.

          The only way to avoid that is to write something anodyne and hold back on an opinion. I don’t think that would be a very good idea.

          Liked by 1 person

        • LordCanisLupus Aug 2, 2019 / 10:55 am

          A couple of points, if I may.

          1. We are a broad church and have differing opinions on subject matter on this blog. There is no editorial line. This is not to distance myself from a post I might not agree with or reinforce a post I totally agree with. I wouldn’t have booed Smith. I can understand why, though, and pantomime booing especially. I’d definitely want them to stop now as it probably galvanised Smith.

          2. I come at the sanctimony aspect from two angles. First, and most of all, was the press tut tutting. Controversy sells tickets. Tumult gets listeners. The history of the Ashes is fraught with temper tantrums, full-scale blow-ups, world scale sledging and all sorts of intrigue and controversy. The media play on it when they want to – both English and Australian – and it is not for them to decide when the genie comes in or goes out of the bottle. I am not about to be told how to spectate at a cricket match by Jonathan Agnew, Sam from the Cricketer or Michael Vaughan. As long as it is not breaking the law and not being an arsehole to your fellow supporters, you get to spectate how you want. I wouldn’t boo Smith or Warner, to be honest. I felt Ponting embarked on a campaign of intimidating umpires, which is why I wasn’t a fan of his. I didn’t stand up for Cook for reasons you will all be familiar with. The media want hype, controversy, attitude, edge until they get offended. Well, I’m sorry. You aren’t the arbiter.

          3. But let’s face it, the bans were a joke. The Australians got caught up in their own piety and had to do something. It’s for them to decide. The Aussies, lest we forget, booed Mark Waugh and Shane Warne in the wake of John the Bookie. So save me that old nonsense. And yes, our lot are just as bad (it will take a while to forget the Anderson/Jadeja dust-up and how our press went into Free Jimmy mode).

          4. Sorry it is tagged on to this, dlp, but It’s not easy for me to comment remotely without tagging it on to one comment.

          We put this up now because it is a talking point, we know our readership is divided on this, but it is something worth airing while the iron is hot. We don’t shirk from these issues and we have our views. I hope people have been here long enough, and seen what we’ve written, to know that is our modus operandi.

          Liked by 1 person

          • thelegglance Aug 2, 2019 / 11:00 am

            Point 3 is the one I’ve always found by far the most interesting. The ball tampering itself didn’t bother me, as it’s always gone on. The amusement at the crazy way they did it is a side point.

            Australia’s reaction to it though, now that did fascinate me.


          • LordCanisLupus Aug 2, 2019 / 11:17 am

            Absolutely, and the part Australians totally missed the point on with most English fans. We were astonished that they went into self-flagellation mode (well I was) and decided to get up on a high horse. A year ban was mad, utterly mad. I never thought the Aussies would be like that. The contrast with Stokes, and our willingness to bring him back as soon as we could possibly get away with it was also strange – that given the keenness to get shot of KP for the crimes of being a whistling, window gazer.

            As far as I am concerned, Smith and Warner, and Bancroft are back and if they are in the 1st XI on merit, then so be it.

            Liked by 1 person

          • thelegglance Aug 2, 2019 / 11:22 am

            Yep, a year ban was insane. I can only assume it was because of the *way* they did it, rather than the fairly routine act of ball tampering.

            I just can’t get particularly annoyed when any team or player does it. In competitive sport, people act outside the rules. Plus ca change.


          • dArthez Aug 2, 2019 / 11:29 am

            Remember, it was okay for the Australian media to catch Faf in the ball tampering saga (lolly-gate) in the earlier series in Australia. The players themselves (Aussies included) did not have much of an issue with it; it was Dave Richardson who laid the charge. But undoubtedly the Aussie media, and the controversy they generated did not help the Aussies in South Africa, when the host broadcaster did some investigations. And then it still took them an hour to find evidence.

            So other than media sanctimony, why is it left to the host broadcaster to find evidence of cheating? And does this mean that host broadcasters cover up cheating if their team is engaging in it (there is some evidence to suggest that that may be the case)? And what is the ICC doing about it, other than completely ignoring the sad reality?

            No team in world cricket is a paragon of virtue. Honestly, it would not take more than an hour to compile a list of 50 incidents, across all teams, and everywhere in the world. With in most cases the players involved getting away with less than a slap on the wrist, even if they injured opposition players in the process of playing the game.

            What is fascinating, or rather sad, is how people in audiences will only see what they want to see, and ignore all the crappy behaviours of their own side. I could be wrong, but I think that was less true in the past.

            Liked by 2 people

          • thelegglance Aug 2, 2019 / 11:42 am

            The bit about it being the broadcaster is really important. I can’t see Sky going out of their way to highlight England doing dodgy things with the ball.


        • Mark Aug 2, 2019 / 10:57 am

          I think there is a disconnect between two groups of people. One group see this as simply ball tampering, and think Smith got way too bigger ban.

          Group 2 see a much bigger picture about a certain Aussie way of going about things….which was arrogant, smug, hypocritical, border line offensive and when it blew up in their faces caused great delight in those who were sick of being told what was acceptable.

          For this group they are not interested now in being told what is acceptable behaviour by people who got to decide what the line was, and often abused it.


          • LordCanisLupus Aug 2, 2019 / 11:11 am

            Things that have pissed me off over the years about English cricket fans.

            The trumpet. The effing trumpet.
            The Barmy Army, especially in Australia. What started as a bunch of supporters and equality of misery is now a tedious brand, more an entitled travel agency than a fan group.
            The “Easy Easy” chants during the 2005 Ashes.
            Jerusalem, again by the Barmy Army.
            Sports Travel Groups tut tutting their way around overseas tours as if they bloody own the place, with their branded polo shirts and silly bags.
            Parochial nature of chanting, the fact it can be tedious when done more than once an hour (See “Today is Monday at Adelaide in 2002)
            Whinging when we can’t get tickets to away fixtures, and because host authorities price us out or do differential pricing.

            But do you know what? I can’t stop them doing it. I may not be right in my assessment of them. They are, pretty much, all cricket fans. They all, pretty much, pay for their tickets.

            The Ashes is now turned into a football-like contest. It adds to the fire, and it sometimes detract from the game. I say this, if you dish the abuse, you have to take it back. It isn’t a one-way street. I liked this post because it set out a view, and it was defended. Other views are available. We are, still, cricket fans.


        • dannycricket Aug 2, 2019 / 4:55 pm

          I’m pretty sure that interview did in fact incense a large number of Australians, who would no doubt call Trescothick and England arrogant cheaters and hypocrites. Murray mints are certainly mentioned by a lot of people as a retort to sandpaper-related jibes. I’d say I personally have a lot of respect and admiration for Trescothick as a player and as a person, but your opinion may differ and that’s fine. I would say that it’s sledging and personal abuse which really lowers my respect for cricketers, and Warner (with Smith’s blessing as captain) is the pre-eminant on-field abuser of the modern era. Anderson is perhaps the main proponent of sledging in the England Test team, and I do like him a lot less because of it.


          • dlpthomas Aug 3, 2019 / 9:38 am

            I’ve always been a fan of Trescothick but I remember thinking “Jesus mate, you might want to keep that story to yourself”.

            One of the interesting things since the sand-paper incident is the decrease in reverse swing by all teams. I’m sure it is a coincidence and has nothing to do with fielding sides being on their best behavior.


    • Ruth Aug 2, 2019 / 10:36 am

      I have to agree with you Nonoxcol. Danny has shown himself to just as he described Steve and David.

      Pommie arrogance at its best.


      • Sean Aug 2, 2019 / 10:43 am

        What about when Moeen was racially abused by the Aussies. Same goes for Carberry. I guess that was just banter too, definitely not worse than booing Steve Smith.


        • thelegglance Aug 2, 2019 / 10:47 am

          A race to the bottom in terms of behaviour by pointing at the other isn’t going to leave anyone looking especially noble.

          Liked by 2 people

    • dannycricket Aug 2, 2019 / 3:49 pm

      I’m sorry you feel that way. Is there something in particular that you feel was wrong?

      My point of view is that it’s not practical or fair to tell people how they should feel, or how to act beyond significant (mostly legal) boundaries. I think the straw man argument “If you don’t respect Steve Smith then you don’t like cricket” is insulting the intelligence of many cricket fans. I would argue that the more you learn about Smith and Warner, the less likeable they become.

      And, I should add, I personally don’t boo anyone. Or shout abuse. I’m just not wired that way. I simply think other people are allowed to do so if they want, and should not be castigated for doing so.


      • nonoxcol Aug 2, 2019 / 8:50 pm

        Hello again Danny/all. I decided to literally “have a day off” before replying. It isn’t really my style to do a drive-by shitpost, as I hope you appreciate. I always intended to explain this more fully.

        My main problem, as I suspect long-standing posters would have been able to work out, was the repeated use of “pricks”. I very much doubt I’d have much time for David Warner as a bloke, as he’s obviously done some crappy things off the field. I was more surprised to see Smith bracketed with Warner, as I’ve seen as many people praising his pre-2018 character as slating it. Also, there’s no mention of Bancroft. In that context, I don’t think you can reasonably blame a reader for drawing the conclusion that you’re being somewhat disingenuous when you say they’re *not* being booed because they’re great players. It seems indisputable from here that the most dangerous men on Australia’s team are Smith and Warner, and if you want to defend booing *them* why not just say that? I don’t think it’s universally acknowledged that they’re “pricks” or “completely loathsome individuals”. I thought the consensus of opinion was that Warner was a nasty piece of work and Smith was kind of a blank, but I accept I may have missed something along the way that backs up your view. Furthermore I can’t accept the notion that it’s more likely Smith is being booed because he’s a loathsome individual than because he’s a cheat. Thanks to CA and media coverage (as well as Ashes hype), he’s a far more high-profile cheat than Faf could ever be. I really think that’s the determining factor, rather than his personal qualities or lack thereof.

        But really, the larger point is this. I do not, and never have, given a flying fuck about the character or extra-curricular activities of sportsmen and I only ever cared about what they achieved on the field. It hardly needs saying, but that’s a significant part of why I found HDLWIA and BOC in the first place. I was sick and tired of reading articles that repeatedly emphasised the immense character of one South African born batsman and one Zimbabwean born coach while using an awful lot of words to say over and over again ad nauseam that another South African born batsman was a bit of a prick. Or, if given licence, even a cunt. I might be in a very small minority, I don’t know. But cards on the table: not only did I not give a toss about textgate, or how fantastic a lamber Cook was, I don’t care who sledges who, I don’t give a monkeys who tampers with the ball, I don’t care whether Botham was unfaithful or smoked cannabis, I don’t think Greg Chappell ordering an underarm ball detracts from his 53.86 average, I don’t care that Broad didn’t walk, I don’t care about Mankads, I don’t care that Shane Warne probably used a masking agent, and you probably get the point by now. Re Smith, Warner and Bancroft, I ended up sympathising to some extent because I’ve scarcely ever seen such a disproportionate response to anything in professional sport. And for that we can thank another bête noire, the ever-giving wonder that is cricket administrators.

        Again, I might be some sort of crazy radical here, I don’t know, but I’ve always been able to separate art from artist. So if we wanted to digress and go beyond sport, my opinion on Michael Jackson hasn’t moved an inch as a result of Leaving Neverland. I made up my mind back in the 90s. It never stopped me from listening to and loving ‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough’ and ‘Billie Jean’, and it pisses me off that we’re *now* supposed to cancel him or something. Most of what he created after 1987 was junk anyway. John Lennon, if certain sources are to be believed, was a wife-beater. Still think he made a lot of imperishable music, but ‘Run For Your Life’ is a nasty, misogynistic piece of shit that has no business closing an album as good as ‘Rubber Soul’.

        I then look at myself and say: well, does this make you a hypocrite, because you have no time whatsoever for Ben Johnson, Justin Gatlin or Lance Armstrong? Perhaps I am. But I can rationalise it by knowing beyond reasonable doubt that they cheated to gain an advantage in an individual sport where the measurements and results are absolutely clear. The Smith/Warner/Bancroft thing was dumb, incompetent, tawdry and entirely without discernible gain. I’m almost tempted to think that the sheer embarrassment and humiliation was punishment enough, but then Ximinez, Biggles and Fang got involved.

        Of course, a lot of this is determined by personality as well. I think it’s clear by now that I am among the least partisan posters on here, and even I’m still quite surprised by this given how I used to feel about cricket until 2013. Even so I was never one to traduce an entire nationality, which seems to be a growth industry BTL these days, depressingly (not here, thankfully). I’m inclined to wish the British/English would develop the gift to see themselves as others see them, and find the more jingoistic elements of sports fandom unutterably dismal. Put it this way, I find it difficult to believe there isn’t a strong overlap between this element and yesterday’s booing. If that makes me a pompous git, so be it. It just bores me. Laughably, I tried to join in with this sort of thing a couple of times at Tests a while ago: the last time was India running Bell out on the stroke of tea at Trent Bridge in 2011. I just felt embarrassed afterwards, and in that particular case India were quite within their rights to do what they did, and Bell should have made 137 not 159.

        I haven’t walked a mile in someone else’s shoes, so I automatically tend to respect different opinions and try to avoid judgement, unless they’re self-evidently contemptible. For instance I’m entirely with you and with the consensus on those patronising media tweets: I don’t believe they should be telling people how to behave, even if I instinctively agree with their sentiment. But then I take that one stage further and wonder how many of these people booing have even made the attempt to walk that mile. Do they really not think that professional sportsmen in their prime, deprived of a year at the peak of their sport by virtue of what seems cruel and unusual punishment but one which is nevertheless a consequence of self-inflicted piss artistry, haven’t had to look deep into themselves in order to come back? Haven’t had some difficult and ugly conversations with people they’re close to? The tears that may have looked like pure self-pity are almost certainly full of shame and self-reproach, combined with the knowledge that it can’t be fixed, it’s in the history books forever and for some it’s always going to tarnish your achievement. It’s pretty big stuff to deal with, especially in public. Which is why I thought this was the best tweet I saw on the subject:

        I think, in conclusion, I expected to see some of these aspects addressed instead of just dismissing Smith and Warner as a pair of loathsome pricks.

        Liked by 1 person

        • dlpthomas Aug 3, 2019 / 9:49 am

          “I thought the consensus of opinion was that Warner was a nasty piece of work”
          I’ve seen articles by journalists who have spent a lot of time with him where they describe him as “complicated” – smarter than people think and capable of both acts of kindness and diskishness.


          • nonoxcol Aug 3, 2019 / 10:08 am

            Well indeed, I didn’t want to go that far but my default is not to judge unless and until I know someone’s full story. This has got me into trouble when I appeased someone who then proved himself to be just what I suspected: the nastiest piece of work I have ever met as an adult. But on the one hand I won’t do it again, on the other I reserve proper anger for people who’ve done me serious wrong personally or are in a position of real power which they can use to hurt people. People in sport just aren’t worth the emotion, even if sport itself still can be. I’ve even forgiven Diego Maradona after 30 years!


          • thelegglance Aug 3, 2019 / 10:09 am

            I’ve not forgiven the referee…


        • Rooto Aug 4, 2019 / 7:22 am

          Excellent post, NOC. I can’t listen to Rubber Soul any more, but I’m not booing those who can. All Smith, Warner and Bancroft deserve is reintegration (and all the stuffing up one end).


  3. Sean Aug 2, 2019 / 9:52 am

    ‘Those who have paid upwards of £60’. I looked at tickets for this Test at the end of last year and the cheapest tickets I could find in the Hollies were £90. And yes, if you’ve paid £90+ for a ticket, you can boo anyone you want..


    • dannycricket Aug 2, 2019 / 3:49 pm

      Well yes, I thought it would be more but was expecting a chance to double-check that before posting…


  4. thelegglance Aug 2, 2019 / 10:09 am

    Presumably Tim Paine will get plenty of stick for only having three slips in the second over the morning?


  5. Mark Aug 2, 2019 / 10:21 am

    Smith and Warner are, as you rightly say loathsome individuals who can, and did dish it out, usually with with giant dollops of smugness. So now they have to take it. Wasn’t it the Aussies who marvelled and celebrated the concept of “mental disintegration?”

    Sorry, I don’t remember the Melinda Farrels of this world saying it was’t cricket.

    I’m and sick and tired of smug, freeloading blue ticks on twitter lecturing people how to think. And it’s always the same group think of a class of people who get paid to tell the punters how lucky they are to sit at the feet of the modern media Palace of Versaile types.

    I’m sure they will be telling us to “eat cake” soon. Lots of buttery cake, which incidentally they also won’t have paid for…..


    • dannycricket Aug 2, 2019 / 3:52 pm

      Melinda Farrell is, in fairness, against ‘sledging’ by all teams and fans as far as I’m aware. Most of the Cricinfo Aussies seem to be, unlike their TV and newspaper counterparts.


  6. Mark Aug 2, 2019 / 10:34 am

    Roy out, nicked off to slip. Who in the world saw that coming? 9 overs gone of new ball. 22/1


    • dlpthomas Aug 2, 2019 / 10:37 am

      I see Vince made runs in the Blast. Just saying.


  7. Grenville Aug 2, 2019 / 10:57 am

    I find Danny’s view astonishing. I also don’t believe that anybody hates Warner or Smith that much. I don’t believe that Danny hates them. They are probably without the need for any penis substitute, being massive knobs and all. This is a trait they share with most people who are focused enough to be that good at Cricket. It isn’t something that bothers crowds.

    Smith and Warner are being booed because some people think that is funny and somehow part of their role as a fan / spectator. I hate it for two reasons. It is fake and it is not how I want sport to be understood.

    You turn up as a ‘fan’. You adopt a role, a persona. You help create the spectacle, the circus even. It divorces cricket from reality. Sport, cricket, could matter. It is amount the greatest of human achievements. We create, out of material reality, beauty and meaning. We can come to understand ourselves through playing and watching games. When it is a bit of fun, a pantomime, all that is lost.

    Of course the crowd are right, as against me. Cricket is already lost a community endeveaour. They are correctly responding to what is in front of them. I don’t have to like it and I don’t.


    • dannycricket Aug 2, 2019 / 4:14 pm

      Yes, that’s certainly part of it. I would say that I don’t boo people myself, and I would certainly say that I didn’t like it either. It’s a noise literally meant to sound unpleasant. But I don’t insult people that do it by suggesting they’re stupid and don’t understand the situation either.

      I would say that Australian men’s cricketers do tend to be more extreme examples of prickishness than most other professional sportsmen, and you really should read Jarrod Kimber’s essay for a vivid description of how it develops from the club game upwards. That Warner and Smith stand out for being clearly worse than the rest of the Aussie team shows how bad they are. It’s not just all of the stuff they have said and done, much of which is terrible, it’s that they are so lacking in self-awareness that they complain when other teams do it to them. I just can’t respect someone who does that.


      • Grenville Aug 2, 2019 / 6:04 pm

        I take the point about the great and the good creating this shitshow as they promote ‘bantz’ for the ‘lolz’. The blame lies with empty suit and his media chums. They’ve stolen our game and turned it into corporate plaything. I don’t much care for lectures from ‘Aggers’ and ‘Vaughney’.

        The middle section of your article reads to me like a justification of the crowd’s behaviour. I am quite prepared to criticise the crowd here. It makes me sad. I think that their behaviour is unjustified.I don’t think that anyone, let alone the mass, thinks that Warner and Smith shouldn’t be out there because they are massive pricks or cheats or for any other reason. Nor do I think that they don’t appreciate the bloody impressive innings Smith played. I think that they prefer baiting the aussies and being part of the fun to reveling in human excellence. Sure it’s their choice, but it’s sad and they are, I think, on the wrong side of the fight against the corporate take-over and destruction of cricket as a pastime I can live for.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. thelegglance Aug 2, 2019 / 11:04 am

    Think the level of expectation I’ve got to is that I’m feeling 39-1 represents a cracking start from England…


    • dlpthomas Aug 2, 2019 / 11:07 am

      I’m losing count – was that the 8th wrong decision?


      • dArthez Aug 2, 2019 / 11:11 am

        Yup, 8th wrong decision, in slightly over 7.5 hours of cricket. Good thing for the umpires if t his is going to be a short Test …


        • thelegglance Aug 2, 2019 / 11:12 am

          The umpiring hasn’t been great, but I’m not going to pile into them for that one – the ball tracking was a surprise.


          • dlpthomas Aug 2, 2019 / 11:34 am

            OK, how about that one?


          • LordCanisLupus Aug 2, 2019 / 11:37 am

            Did it hit the off stump? That one.

            Reading text as the game goes on is bloody awful. Will have to wait for an “in-play” clip that the likes of Selfey and Harrison so adore.


          • thelegglance Aug 2, 2019 / 11:41 am

            It did. And pretty hard too. I can’t blame the umpire for thinking that woody sound was the bat.

            There’s a difference between understandable errors and poor ones. There were lots of poor decisions yesterday, but the two today have been forgivable.

            I’m quite comfortable saying some of the decisions yesterday were poor without pretending to be a perfect umpire myself and slating them for those two today.

            Liked by 1 person

          • LordCanisLupus Aug 2, 2019 / 12:02 pm

            You will no doubt not be surprised that this is not an in-play clip the BBC shared with its audience.

            I did not get the choice to consume this piece of action in a bitesize chunk, because it was denied to me. Take that Selfey-EmptySuit


        • dArthez Aug 2, 2019 / 1:12 pm

          Don’t think howler number 10 will be seen as a reasonable, but incorrect decision. big edge, yet given lbw.

          In terms of wrong decisions this Tests (not all of them were bad decisions, in the sense that they appeared to be reasonable, such as Root’s bail trimmer)

          Wilson: 5
          Dar: 5

          But yeah, 10 wrong decisions on 11 wickets fallen thus far is not great.

          Liked by 1 person

          • thelegglance Aug 2, 2019 / 1:58 pm

            Yep, and that’s fair. The umpiring has been pretty poor, and I suspect now their confidence has been shot by the mistakes.

            But sometimes the way they get leapt on for what are reasonable, if incorrect decisions smacks of bandwagon jumping.


          • Mark Aug 2, 2019 / 2:22 pm

            The problem is the review system makes no distinction between the understandable umpires mistake, such as Roots that hit the stumps, and a complete howler by the umpire.

            If England had no reviews left Root would have been out just the same as if it was a very bad decision. I am rapidly coming to the view that umpires call is making the whole thing farcical. Either all decisions should be reviewed or none. And we all know what will happen to the over rate if all decisions are reviewed. So we muddle on.


          • thelegglance Aug 2, 2019 / 2:24 pm

            My sympathy for teams who blow reviews (and they do have two in Tests) and then suffer an iffy decision later hovers somewhere around zero.


          • Sean Aug 2, 2019 / 2:45 pm

            Yep same. Especially when it comes to Stuart Broad reviews


          • dArthez Aug 2, 2019 / 3:00 pm

            Not sure if I agree with that entirely. If you can be out on umpire’s cal, on whether or not it pitched outside leg, then marginal decisions can and will go against the reviewer, even if it was sensible to review (how can it be umpire’s call; it is not like the stumps are moving – this is not an issue with the umpire’s making a call here, but with the system, saying that it is pitching / not pitching in line, depending on the original call made – which is logically ludicrous, since the issue here is what actually has transpired, rather than something that might transpire (it is not predictive). It either pitched in line or did not.

            It used to be far worse in the past, when a team lost its review on umpire’s call. Even worse could have been that the umpire makes a wrong call on say being caught behind, and then the decision gets upheld on 2 or 3 umpire’s calls on pitching in line, hitting wicket etc., as the batsman did not hit it. Which might have been not out if the umpire had detected there was no edge (so in effect DRS would then mean that a mistaken decision gets upheld on DRS, but the correct decision too would have been upheld on DRS – make sense? No of course not).

            And that still does not address the issue if the third umpire gets it wrong (and that has happened on several occasions). Because then you lose a review due to an umpiring howler, even if you made the right call to review. And if you then get sawn off by dodgy umpiring and can’t review it, because the third umpire made an error on an earlier review, you get punished over and over again.

            Then there is the proprietary nature of DRS. We actually don’t know how reliable it is. And to trust the powers that be on nothing but their word, is not exactly the most confidence inspiring exercise in cricket. But honestly, if they wanted to, they could speed up the whole process by increasing computational power to basically move to real time DRS.


          • thelegglance Aug 2, 2019 / 3:05 pm

            I totally agree with your last paragraph – DRS is deemed right because it says it is, with no appeal or cross referencing.

            But I would contend that if (and it is probably is an “if” these days, given how the use has changed over the last few years) the idea is that it’s there to overturn clearly wrong decisions, then using them up on a marginal one is an occupational hazard.

            Personally, I’d re-inforce that position by only giving teams one review they can keep if successful. Then it would be used sparingly rather than tactically. But that’s just me!


          • Mark Aug 2, 2019 / 3:43 pm

            I would go completely the other way. My starting point is to get as few wrong decisions as possible. So I would give sides five reviews each innings. That should eliminate almost all errors. If a side uses up five reviews then they are morons, and dereserve their fate.

            I think it’s inevitable that the game will move in that direction over time. Once the technology is there people get used to the idea of correcting errors. One day there may not be any on field umpires in Test cricket. Or perhaps just one to keep order. Unthinkable twenty years ago, but becoming more likely.


  9. Mark Aug 2, 2019 / 11:36 am

    It’s a pedestrian over rate this morning. 19 overs in one and half hours. With only one wicket falling, and some overs of spin.

    I know, I know nobody gives a shit, and the match will finish inside four days so who cares?

    Much more important to get back to moaning about booing.


  10. dlpthomas Aug 2, 2019 / 12:06 pm

    Good session for England. Without meaning to jinx any-one, the batsman who is not known as Root, is doing quite well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thelegglance Aug 2, 2019 / 12:14 pm

      When was the last time England reached the heady heights of 80-1 in a Test? It’s probably more recent than I think.


      • Mark Aug 2, 2019 / 12:22 pm

        Knowing England, that will mean a complete failure of the middle order!!!

        They just need to bat the day with few wickets down. If they finish up 230/3 say that will be fine.


    • dlpthomas Aug 2, 2019 / 12:48 pm

      You have to feel sorry for him.


  11. Benny Aug 2, 2019 / 1:13 pm

    Not keen on the suggestion that if you’ve paid for your ticket you can behave how you want. For those who have bought tickets and want to be absorbed by a gripping test match, not wishing to sit amongst a bunch of guys dressed as bananas and booing, I have more sympathy. Same with trumpets and Jerusalem as Dmitri says, not to mention – what were those bloody trumpet things called that were all around the WC in South Africa.

    Just watched the start of Sky’s series on KP. At his first test, at the Wanderers, he walked to the wicket accompanied by a torrent of booing and abuse. Nasser reckoned that just geed him up.


    • dArthez Aug 2, 2019 / 1:23 pm

      Vuvuzelas, is the word of the noise-maker in South Africa.


    • LordCanisLupus Aug 2, 2019 / 1:37 pm

      There is a difference from behaving how you want with behaving how those that haven’t paid for their ticket want you to behave. This smacks too much of the prince and the paupers. I don’t want to be surrounded by the effing trumpet player and the singing clowns, nor do I particularly want to be subjected to look at me fancy dressers, but I’m not going to say they can’t do it. The ground authorities can make their rules, and you can choose to enter on that basis or not. Recently, I’ve chosen not to.

      Booing a player because it offends someone vicariously is not enough reason to berate that supporter. If they are booing to be part of a crowd, I’d suggest they think for themselves. But I’m not going to have a pop because they don’t like someone / something because it upsets the pearl-clutchers. No way.


    • Sean Aug 2, 2019 / 1:50 pm

      If you’re going to buy a ticket for the Hollies stand, then you have to be prepared to put up with it. If you don’t like that sort of thing, then it’s best to sit elsewhere. Normally I’m not a big fan of the whole mob mentality and especially the bloody trumpeter, but I make an exception when I go to Edgbaston, because the Hollies is such good fun.

      Equally, it’s generally pretty well humoured and I’ve never seen any trouble there personally unlike the Western Terrace.


    • dannycricket Aug 2, 2019 / 4:22 pm

      I agree, to a point. I hate it too. When I turn up to a game, or something like a music concert, I sit there quietly and try to absorb as much as I can. If anything, I’m even more extreme. I don’t like people talking during play, let alone booing or singing or playing the bloody trumpet. But I accept I’m in a minority and that the people near me have as much right to enjoy the spectacle in their way as I do in mine. And I try never to judge them as being worth less because of it, which is what I think some of the comments yesterday seemed to imply.


  12. quebecer Aug 2, 2019 / 2:30 pm

    hmmmm… Joe kind of gave that away.


  13. Deep Purple Fred Aug 2, 2019 / 2:53 pm

    I note the comments from LGL and Dmitri that it’s a broad church, everyone is allowed to have an opinion etc. Fair enough.
    I also note that people are free to vote with their feet, and if the quality of the above post became representative, then I’m sure I wouldn’t be alone in using my feet. I’m seen the Guardian blog descend to tabloid levels, to a point where it’s now unreadable, it would be a shame if this one followed the same route.
    Fortunately, it’s an outlier, in what is otherwise an intelligent and considered blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. quebecer Aug 2, 2019 / 3:59 pm

    interesting thing on the commentary about the ball change. Apparently, the replacement balls are all from the India series last year, where every ball seemed to swing. The Dukes this year (according to Broad) don’t swing, so the replacing them with one from last year that does is a handy advantage if you can do it – and let’s be clear, both teams have been trying.


    • thelegglance Aug 2, 2019 / 4:02 pm

      Sky corrected that just now to say that they are this year’s balls, but are marked differently in this batch which caused confusion.

      It’s an odd thing to have uncertainty about.


      • metatone Aug 2, 2019 / 4:15 pm

        It’s not really great for Test cricket that the “new old” ball swings and grips for spin so markedly better than the one it is replacing – makes the chances of a game lasting 5 days even lower.


        • thelegglance Aug 2, 2019 / 4:37 pm

          Isn’t that why all teams try it on? England are more guilty of this than most.

          Liked by 2 people

      • Mark Aug 2, 2019 / 4:17 pm


        Trouble is….now Sky are an ECB partner (Harrison can’t wait to tell us every opportunity) I take with a pinch of salt anything they say regards the ECB.

        I didn’t bother watching the KP thing either. It smacks of……now it’s a safe distance we can give him a platform. Cook has retired, he has retired we can send Nasser along for a jolly.

        Next thing they will be calling him an national treasure.


      • Quebecer Aug 2, 2019 / 4:24 pm

        Thanks for that


        • thelegglance Aug 2, 2019 / 4:37 pm

          Weird though – they’ve been talking about “last year’s” balls for days now, even back to the Ireland Test. All of a sudden, as though they’d only just realised it was a thing, someone pipes up saying that’s not the case. I’d been hearing exactly the same as you as well.


  15. metatone Aug 2, 2019 / 4:17 pm

    Rory made us wait, made us nervous, but he’s done it.
    Really glad for him, he rode his luck at times, but he’s certainly grafted for it.


  16. Leningrad Cowboy Aug 2, 2019 / 4:39 pm

    Agnew was commentating with Tufnell on TMS in the morning session when Burns played an airy-fairy drive at a wide ball and missed it completely. Agnew proceeded to ask Tufnell which England batsmen ‘would never have played that shot’ because they were ‘brilliant’.

    I thought it was going to be a light-hearted jibe at Boycott, who had been chuntering earlier about the way Roy had got out. It turned out to be an entirely serious point about Sir Alastair Cook.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Grenville Aug 2, 2019 / 5:49 pm

      Ha ha, A Cook had a bit of habit of wafting outside off before he got going, iirc.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. quebecer Aug 2, 2019 / 5:20 pm

    Big chance for Mo when Aus (eventually) bat again. Lyon getting good turn already, lots of lefties in the Aus line up, and footmarks pretty serious already.

    Liked by 1 person

    • metatone Aug 2, 2019 / 5:59 pm

      Agree with this. England getting a lead and Mo doing some damage is going to be crucial, as it’s clear we’ll struggle against Lyon in the 4th.


      • quebecer Aug 2, 2019 / 6:21 pm

        He really doesn’t need to do too much. In fact, overdoing it is the thing to avoid. Mo gets really nice drift in to the leftie from around the wicket, and with the turn he’s going to get, he just needs to not panic, get the pace of the pitch, and be patient. And possibly not that patient anyway.

        I don’t think Aussie batsman play finger spin in these conditions particularly well. I think in Aus finger spinners do well if they can get bounce (Lyon) but here it’s all going to be about drift and turn.

        (secretly got my fingers crossed here saying, please oh please oh please be true…)


  18. riverman21 Aug 2, 2019 / 6:02 pm

    Well played England. Take a bow Rory Burns.
    For me the best day of England playing “Test” cricket for the last 5 years.

    And yes I am over 50 so a purist at heart.

    Liked by 2 people

    • thelegglance Aug 2, 2019 / 6:21 pm

      Nothing worse than writing 900 words to say what you’ve just said in 30…


      • riverman21 Aug 2, 2019 / 8:15 pm

        Thanks for the compliment. Thoroughly enjoyed your review of the day TLG. And let’s be honest I certainly could not do the full review justice like you guys do every day.

        I agree it’s a great match this one and quite unexpected. Looking forward to day 3.

        Liked by 1 person

    • quebecer Aug 2, 2019 / 6:24 pm

      I’ve decided not to dwell too much on the fact you’re absolutely right as it’s a bit depressing regarding everything else in the last few years, but yes, especially with Smith yesterday as well.


      • riverman21 Aug 2, 2019 / 8:46 pm

        Believe me it was not easy to express admiration given Smith’s actions but I felt compelled to say it. For once the Vaughan hyperbole sounded right to me.

        I grew up going to see England at the Oval 78-82 and the thought of booing an opposition player was not the done thing. So I’m a product of my time but I get the debate. We live in a different age where we pay our money and can all have our say.

        The great thing about this site has always been to read opinions of cricket lovers who aren’t paid to spin a line in the social media age.

        There are moments where great players brought the game into disrepute. Richards pressuring the umpire to change a decision, Gatt jabbing his figure at Rana.

        I’ve always thought Lehmann and Warner as the most culpable and Smith as slightly the patsy. I know others will see it differently. Captain has the ultimate responsibility on the field.

        Personally I would never boo the making of a century by a player who’s served his punishment. It strikes me personally as boorish. But I get the why.


  19. quebecer Aug 2, 2019 / 6:26 pm

    Have to say, so far the cloud cover has batted for England.

    As it should, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

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