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RE: England v India - 23/8/2014 6:24:06 PM   
Professor Moriarty

 

Posts: 10467
Joined: 6/10/2005
From: the waters of Casablanca
Just made a start on Agnew's Cricket: A Modern Anthology. Very nicely written so far.

(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 6961
RE: England v India - 23/8/2014 6:49:40 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17394
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon

quote:

ORIGINAL: Professor Moriarty

Just made a start on Agnew's Cricket: A Modern Anthology. Very nicely written so far.


That's on my shelf, waiting for a read, glad it's good I'll look forward to that. Currently reading Somerset chairman Andy Nash's 'A Year in the Life Of'. Great read about the heart of county cricket.

Also started to put my Antigua package together. Currently we're set on 1750 pp which is a saving job, but affordable. It covers 2 weeks in private accommodation and that includes flights, test tickets and spending money.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Professor Moriarty)
Post #: 6962
RE: England v India - 23/8/2014 6:57:14 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17394
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
It would have to be Freddie at Edgbaston wouldn't it?

I think Bell's eagnerness to stick one to his former team-mate got the better of him there. It was back of a length, fairly straight and unless Bell strikes it perfectly he's always going to struggle to clear the rope, and it was a fantastic catch by Brown as he was running backwards.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 6963
RE: England v India - 23/8/2014 8:29:47 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17394
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
Lancashire have started this chase really well. Sometimes it's difficult to pick up the ball under the glare of the floodlights, especially this late in the day when there is very little natural light left, but so far they've done very well and Tom Smith and Ashwell Prince need to lay the foundations here and continue to put early runs on the board. Take some sting out of the 182. Warwickshire batted well and have set quite a target but they're bowling a bit too full here for the powerplay.

I wonder with England's one-day squad selection for the forthcoming series against India they have focused on continuing to grow and develop a watered down test team (hence the selections of Hales and Gurney) rather than focus, as they claim to be about too, solely on one-day cricket and what's best for England there heading into a World Cup year. I do feel for Sam Robson though, when he settles he's a quality batsman capable of scoring runs in test cricket but a massive technical flaw was exposed this past series and I suspect his confidence was so shelled that he ended up leaving straight ones because he was so worried about anything in or just outside the line of his offstump, it consistently dug away at him mentally and left him totally redundant at what to play at and what to leave.

< Message edited by Goodfella -- 23/8/2014 8:40:14 PM >


_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 6964
RE: England v India - 23/8/2014 8:58:53 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17394
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
This has been a brilliant spell of bowling from Boyd Rankin. As you so often see in T20 cricket just a handful of overs can totally change the frame of game and typically on a fairly flat pitch like this it'll lie with the batsmen but here all Rankin is done is find a third and a half offstump line and hit it repeatedly and use the bit of extra bounce the wicket is offering to make it more difficult for the batsmen to time and control their shot. It's done Lancashire up completely as not only have they lost two quick wickets forcing them into their middle order but they've also struggled to score freely as Rankin's pace has made it far more difficult to hit him away the way they were against Javid and Clarke, who were a tad too full earlier.

< Message edited by Goodfella -- 23/8/2014 9:26:01 PM >


_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 6965
RE: England v India - 23/8/2014 9:16:04 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17394
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
For a team who pin so much on spin in T20 cricket it's Warwickshire's seamers who have made the big difference here. Rankin with the perfect line and length and now Hannon-Dalby changing up his pace and length every delivery and not giving the batsman anything to work with. A wicket and just 10 runs off two overs, another fine spell that has been the game-changer here that will probably keep the T20 trophy at Edgbaston.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 6966
RE: England v India - 23/8/2014 9:33:15 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17394
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
Ian Bell, again. That is an absolute snaffler. That is going at some lick off the middle of Clark's bat and he takes it going backwards and at a height a player of his size can often struggle to reach in the inner field, much let alone that deep and with the rope grazing his heels.

I am a little torn here. Birmingham deserve this with the way they've bowled and the fact that most of their squad is home-grown (mind you, so is Lancashire's) but if Freddie leads Lancashire home here it'll be a wonderful moment to witness....

two straight sixes from the big man!! 14 needed off the final over, what a finish!!

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 6967
RE: England v India - 23/8/2014 9:48:50 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17394
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
Congratulations to Warwickshire. Outstanding today, thoroughly professional and disciplined in their cricket and well balanced. They're bowling in the final really did the job for them because those two spells from Boyd Rankin, Oliver Hannon-Dalby (excusing the Freddie sixes, because I think they were written in the stars) and Chris Woakes was some of the best bowling I've ever seen in T20 cricket, especially given the pressure they were under. They all found a really good line and length and bowled very cleverly, changing up their paces and never letting the batsmen settle. It was a fantastic effort at the end of a long day of body-draining cricket and they completely deserve it.

Commiserations to Lancashire. Captain Paul Horton will receive a fine for his foolish and unprofessional behaviour following his wicket but that aside they've played well and they almost made it a magical ending at the end there but it wasn't too be. Freddie Flintoff can leave professional cricket behind holding his head high after coming out and pushing everyone's throats back out their mouths for a few moments or two. Great battle between him and the young Woakes too, very fitting as well given how many of us believe that Woakes has the potential to finally be that genuine all-rounder replacement for Freddie.

T20 cricket has it's flaws and it's fears as the monster it is (and could become further) but today once again was another superb, dramatic and highly entertaining finals day. This model the ECB use for this format often receives criticism, some just and some not, but the Finals Day set-up is the true highlight of the entire tournament and should never be changed.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 6968
RE: England v India - 24/8/2014 10:15:59 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17394
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
I don't buy into any of the nonsense coming out of the India camp right now, by bringing Ravi Shastri in as coach for the one-day series they are beginning the process of unseating Duncan Fletcher. I sincerely doubt Fletcher is at all pleased with the decision and how much he's been made the scapegoat for the test series failings and I suspect the BCCI know this to a degree and know a strong-minded character like Fletcher is probably considering his own future already. I don't really know why India think that a coaching change for one-day cricket is a need anyway; I'll be very impressed if England win this series, not so much because I don't think the squad we've picked for it is the right mix of players, but not least of all because India are far better than us at one-day cricket and these are the two formats of the game where they don't need a change of leadership, tactics of energy. Shastri is an appointment that suggests that the BCCI feel that Fletcher's approach is "un-Indian" and maybe it is, but maybe that's the problem with India in test cricket, that their approach simply doesn't work. Let's see Shastri, and I have nothing against him, have a go with the test squad and see how he fares.

Having said all of this, don't expect to see any cricket at Bristol tomorrow. The horrendous weather setting in will take care of that and that's a massive shame for all the fans who have already purchased tickets and accommodation.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 6969
RE: England v India - 28/8/2014 12:03:43 AM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17394
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
It was comprehensive for India today and a thoroughly damning inspection of just how far behind a nation like them we are when it comes to the 50-over format of the game. There are several key contributions to this outcome, not least of all which is our selection policy, which is jaundiced at best. Despite insisting we would be focusing on one-day cricket from this point on out, with a World Cup next year, we are instead continuing to use the one-day format to try and continue to grow and develop players for the tests. We have effectively picked a watered-down test team, like we did for the West Indies earlier this year, and we have not recognised that we have players that are better suited to one format than the other. Cook's own rise back to the one-day game came, perhaps, through this policy and whilst I think it's worked for him to a degree; he's certainly a better one-day batsman and captain than anyone gave him credit for previously, it doesn't work for everyone. Alex Hales and Harry Gurney have both shown good one-day form for their respective Nottinghamshire, but Hales should have been in the one-day team close to a year ago anyway, and Gurney was poor for the England Lions so given that tri-series was supposed to give the selectors a better idea of who to pick for this series then I'm quite baffled as to how he came up trumps, alongside a batsman who was probably a given pick before that series even started? Both, however, entice the selectors in terms of a test future. Hales is the positive, top-order aggressor who the selectors may fancy as our David Warner and Gurney is the left-arm, versatile quick who our selectors are instantly attracted too because of the intangibles who remind them so much of favourite Ryan Sidebottom, who was picked way beyond anything resembling form.

England's selectors lack bravery, nouse and simply refuse to change a gear in their one-day selection policy. They should never have left Jason Roy, Ravi Bopara, James Taylor, Johnny Bairstow, Luke Wright sitting at home, and they shouldn't have left Steven Finn out of the team today. Graeme Swann is quite right, England's attitude to one-day cricket is poor, it's been poor for quite some time, it's not through lack of effort but it's through the selectors and the ECB's attitude to the format when push comes to shove. It's taken them this long to finally reintroduce 50-over cricket to the domestic game, they have three or four Lions tours a year and despite the form of the participating players rarely does it actually engage in a step-up that isn't already pre-planned and it seems, certainly in the case of Roy, they are just stone-wall ignoring talent. The stubborness is deafening and it's where the ECB disengage with the fans too. It doesn't send a positive message to younger players either. "If you play well, you may very well play for England." That doesn't appear to be the case all round. Just look at James Taylor. What more's he going to have to do? This might sound silly but he's going to be 25 by the time the next World Cup starts next year, if he doesn't get picked for it he'll be almost 30 by the time the next one comes around. We retire players at 33, at what point is it totally fair for Taylor to step back and denounce himself from England. Focus on Nottinghamshire and the lucrative one-day contracts available domestically around the world? I would, and who would blame him? Roy is young but his talent is self-evident for everybody to see, he's a game-changing batsman who will help to exorcise some of Pietersen's ghosts too. Why wait? He's in a rich run of form and clearly very confident, I don't want to say he's the complete package because he hasn't played international cricket yet but you're not going to get much further forward on him without actually picking him. Bopara should have been one of the first names on that team-sheet, the lacklustre reason why not, "trying a different team balance", is a load of old tosh as well. Nothing's changed bar Hales and Gurney, and neither of them replaced Bopara. Going back to Ben Stokes is all very well and good but that has the distinct feeling it is designed to get him back in the England set-up with test cricket in mind, Stokes is in fact a very good one-day player but England use him all wrong in one-day cricket. He should bat higher up the order like does for Durham, and he should open with one of the new balls when Broad isn't available, also an area where he's proved strong for Durham because he puts pace and bounce on it early.

Luke Wright's someone else I want to talk about too. I don't know what else he has to do to win favour back with England short of shitting rainbows on his way to the crease. He's gone all over the world and played 50-over and T20 cricket and been a sterling performer who's broken records with the bat. If we're going to stand a chance of winning the World Cup you need players like Roy, Wright and Buttler who can dominate an innings. Then you add the accumulator's like the Cook's and the Bopara's, who may not have a particularly high strike rate, but can bed an end down and frustrate a bowler and nurture an innings. That's the balance of a one-day team. With bowling you're going to need quicks in Australia and England have that in Finn and Stokes, who should have played together today. I'm always proved wrong about Jimmy in this format but I still worry about the workload of cricket he takes on, and I think this forthcoming World Cup should be his last. You need a spinner too, and this is where England have at least gotten something right. James Tredwell bowled very well again today. Very tidy, deceives in flight and always bowls very tightly, it's not going to turn greatly in Australia and New Zealand but Tredwell will build pressure and keep run-rates down, he's the one very solid, one-day-frame pick in that team today.

Chris Woakes bowled well today too, Chris Jordan was horrendous and his bowling action needs looking at. It looks far too stuttery and it lacks control, his form is so see-saw that England can't just plough along with him and not do some work in the meantime. He bowled well in short spells during the test series but more of his wickets were gifts than Woakes, take nothing away from him, but he's far away from where England need him to be to get consistency.

I wish England would look at the Indian and Australian models when it comes to one-day cricket and realise the best notion is to pick the players best suited for that format. Taking risks is a big essence of this format of the game and England have to learn to take them, they have to recognise their current policies aren't working, start looking at dropping players like Ian Bell from this side of the game and picking some of these naturally-talented, young batsmen we have in our ranks and giving them a chance to grow and develop their game internationally before the World Cup next year. We are blessed with twelve one-day games before Valentines Day at the MCG and I do not want to see us blow them playing the same old players with the same old ideas and then trying to act mildly surprised it didn't work out.



_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 6970
RE: England v India - 30/8/2014 10:57:41 AM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17394
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
England have lost the toss and are batting first in the third ODI at Trent Bridge. India clearly enticed in their decision by a typical Nottingham pitch that they hope will swing plenty in the first innings and then settle down later. I'm not sure India have made the best decision there, if I was them I'd have batted first after the score they made midweek. England aren't very good at chasing and India batted beautifully last time out, even if this pitch does swing there's every chance it might turn later too. I'd want to set the tone to dominate us the way India know they can in one-day cricket.

No surprises that Finn has replaced Jordan after his wayward bowling at Cardiff. England's selectors really need to stop chasing the idea of their perfect all-rounder and allow these young players to develop their game more and build on their strengths, and see where it takes them. We put that unnecessary pressure on Broad and it stifled his batting and bowling for the better part of 18 months, now the pressure of him filling that particular role is off he's started to show more consistency. You don't have to have a natural, game-changing all-rounder to be successful in all formats of the game and England haven't had a great one since Beefy anyway - let's be clear, Freddie was a terrific player on his day but never had the consistency or the long-term health and fitness to be considered in the top twenty all-rounders of the game. Woakes is someone I genuinely believe could get there one day but he needs the time and the support, and not to feel like that is the expectation of him.

Dave Nosworthy stepped down as Somerset's director of cricket yesterday, a decision which I am hardly surprised and not at all disappointed at. I haven't been a fan of Nosworthy since day one and his appointment hasn't worked out. I think he's failed in improving the squad enough to be competitive across a 16-game first-class season and whilst we have fared better than we expected this season the lack of an experienced strike bowler, we simply weren't going to take 20 wickets often enough and our policy with our spin bowlers has been disappointing, I simply can't understand why George Dockrell and Jack Leach haven't played more, especially when you consider how much trouble we've had finishing tails off this year. Nosworthy's main forte is in winning one-day trophies, it's how he made his name as a coach in his native South Africa and this is why his appointment so baffled me because the club insisted he was being brought in to improve our first-class prospects yet his strengths are mainly in T20 cricket. And the killer blow for Nosworthy there has been that we've gone backwards in both one-day trophies, having not made the knock-out stages of either for the first time in four years this season. It was a hard job to improve us in one-day cricket short of winning a trophy, but not only has that not happened but we struggled this season and that's very unlike us, we made a lot of changes too and I don't think the team every truly settle. It simply hasn't worked with him and whilst the statement reads as it's his decision to return home a board meeting was called on Wednesday to discuss his future and I suspect there was a bit of a push, we didn't want to outright sack him so there was a mutual agreement decided at that meeting. Having also made significant changes to our coaching set-up this season it would surprise me if Nosworthy had made those decisions without, at the time, planning for a long-term future so I think he's been politely shown the door with a dignified exit offered to him. He could have waited until the end of the season to discuss his future with his family but Somerset understandably want to start the search for a new man now, and I think it's in that they've ultimately controlled this decision. I hope we can now return to having Andy Hurry as head coach and appoint a director of cricket for the more traditional role of overseeing the development of cricket at the club at all levels and across all formats whilst allowing Hurry and Tresco to run first-team affairs, I also want someone who understands the culture and style of the club and the desperation of the supporters to win our first-ever county championship. We need someone with experience in the first-class game at a playing and coaching level too, Nosworthy didn't have that and that's a must for me on the resume. It will be a sought-after job, Somerset are one of the most profitable counties in the game with a prestigious history that just doesn't have the cream on the cake so to speak. It's a job and a half to bring that to the county but we shouldn't be short of applicants with an impressive ground with major developments already underway and the possibility of a World Cup, a very solid academy structure, a talented playing staff and a propserous area and fan-base.
I'd also weep with joy if we appointed Andy Flower, but we won't...

< Message edited by Goodfella -- 30/8/2014 12:00:20 PM >


_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 6971
RE: England v India - 30/8/2014 11:23:03 AM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17394
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
This has been an impressive start from England. Going at just under 5 an over but moving steadily and looking very comfortable. Cook has played some delicious shots and India haven't really bowled well too him, trying to swing it back into him but more often hitting the slot where Cook absolutely loves to pull or hook it. Cook does look like he's up for this, perhaps playing with a chip on his shoulder after another public spat with Graeme Swann this week. This is where Cook has a positive shortcoming, he's such a nice, decent and honest bloke that he struggles to handle what he perceives as such personal criticism. He has to learn to ignore it, he's probably never going to win with portions of the media, former player, close friend or not. Don't rise to the bait and give them the extension on the story they want. I love Swann but he's with TMS now and he's going hunting, let him talk and focus on the cricket. He's always been highly opinionated and may well have kept his real thoughts and feelings close to his chest in the England camp. He's not wrong about certain aspects of England's one-day policy and I totally agree that the game has transformed rapidly and we have not with it, but Cook has played and captained better than people think for England in this format of the game and I would not be changing skipper six months before a World Cup anyway. He needs to use this series to continue to lift his confidence with the bat and trust his instincts when it comes to the field. He may not have a natural one-day mind as a captain but I don't think many English players do, but he's actually the least of our problems with what's wrong at the top in one-day cricket in this country.

I think England's challenge today will come in how they tackle the middle overs and push on without losing a cluster of wickets.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 6972
RE: England v India - 30/8/2014 11:48:03 AM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17394
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
Nice bowling by India to get rid of Hales. They've recognised he's a strong onside player and they've tried to tuck him up as much as they can these last few overs and Raina has unsettled him by giving him that width he wants and he hasn't timed the attempted paddle sweep at all well. He's played well again for his 39 though and showed he's a settled player in this format. He needs a long knock to really get him started and show off his skills as a big-hitter who can score quickly, but that will come with time. We can say looking at his partnership with Cook though that they are the almost-perfect contrast for one-day cricket. Bell at the crease now, an average of 36 and a strike rate of 76. A half-decent record in one-day cricket, although not against the better teams but too similar to Cook in style. I sometimes feel like he's picked for his experience and his fielding more than anything, he's been dropped down to three in the order to make way for Hales and he jumped from five and four to open the batting after the 2011 World Cup. It feels like England have never been completely sold on him as a one-day player but don't seem to want to consider dropping him for some reason, I think he's a fantastic player and I'm a firm favourite of his but in this format his position is expendable because of his style and scoring rate. To be honest I would have had Jason Roy here if it was my England team.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 6973
RE: England v India - 30/8/2014 12:12:54 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17394
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
Spin has done it again here for England, and part-time at that. Root can be as frustrated all he wants but he was out and he has no-one to blame but himself. There's a hint of turn out there and England's batsmen have been getting too far forward against the turning ball and are struggling to control their shot and balance. The batsmen need to learn to see the field more against the spinner, learn to use their feet more and get back late against the turning ball so they can play with the spin, find the gaps and rotate the strike. Pushing out against spinners who don't completely turn it but just tweak it is always going to get you into problems, the ball does enough that you lose control of your position at the crease and are often beaten playing forward and stumped or caught because you are committed already and don't have the time to adapt your body position.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 6974
RE: England v India - 1/9/2014 9:49:42 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17394
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
I'm a big supporter of his but I don't think Cook captained very well at all on Saturday. I think with India only needing 229 to win England's reliance on their seamers with nuturilized field settings was never going to work if we didn't make a big scalp whilst both balls were still fairly new. Cook's not helped here by the decision to have only one spinner in the team in Tredwell, we don't have to pick another spinner, just pick Bopara. It's how you tie down a batting team and take wickets through creating pressure. Tredwell was difficult to score off again on Saturday and England really could have used another bowler like him at the other end, one who could nurdle away and tie the run-rate down. But this is one of several areas where England are lacking in one-day cricket.

Spin did it for us with the bat, and some part-time at that. Same old England with their lengthy forward defensive strokes and their pre-meditated sweeps. We have simply got to be braver and recognise how much this format of the game has changed and start picking players who are talented and positive in one-day cricket, not just playing a watered-down test team. We are so painstakingly slow at this and it's going to cost us again this year. I agree with Swann that these simply aren't the best eleven one-day players in the country right now. I'd start by examining the positions of Ian Bell, Joe Root and Ben Stokes as one-day players and why we're actually picking them, I actually agree with the latter having a future in this format of the game but we need to use him properly, not just play him as if it were a test match. Stokes can bat four or five in one-day cricket and is a good opening bowler, I think I've said this before.

Cook needs to learn to ignore the criticism as well, and so do his coaches and team-mates. We can't rise to every bait and I don't think Cook is ever going to win with every corner of the media, no matter what he does. Friend, ally, former team-mate, it's irrelevant. He's not going to get any free lunches and the only way to handle it is to go out there and prove them wrong like he did in the test series by getting his head down, scoring some runs and taking some things from there. Cook is a very decent chap but, frankly, is starting to come across as a little too nice for his own good. No point taking what Swann says to heart, he's entitled to his opinion and he works for TMS now with Vaughan in his ear every day so your going to hear some stuff from him. Shake it off and move on, really want to prove him wrong then badger the ECB to change things further from the top and go and win the World Cup. That's what we really all want because despite the stubborness of us English cricket fans in insisting all we really care about is test cricket the fact we are one of only three teams to have never won a 50-over international trophy (and one of those teams is technically an associate nation!) is utterly absurd!

Speaking of the absurd, Freddie Flintoff's escaping of a driving ban after he was caught doing 87mph in Cumbria, already with 9 points on his license! The judge letting him off based on his charity work and his 'children's security' was frankly both utterly ridiculous and incredibly incompetent. His charity work plays no part and they take driving licenses off speeders all the time who need their vehicles to go to work and support their families, so why is Freddie any different? Freddie's charity work is commendable but he's in a remarkable position to provide it, and could continue to do so if it meant so much to him, with or without a car. As for the 'security of his children'?Rubbish. He's Freddie Flintoff. He's not a Hollywood a-list celebrity. He doesn't have a security detail and his wife is usually spotted with them anyway. Sorry to get a little tabloid here but he's a repeat offender who deserved a ban, simple as, and from what I can understand he didn't get one simply because some of the intracities of being famous. Well, that's good, maybe when he's at his next 'non-stop charity event' he can have a chat with Speed Kills at exactly the type of damage he could do at 87mph...

Adam Lyth scored another ton for Yorkshire today in the Red Rose derby. 182 hard-fought runs on a tough pitch. Sent a loud and clear message to the England selectors that he can't do much more to be noticed.


_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 6975
RE: England v India - 2/9/2014 9:06:12 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17394
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
The Cook critics are back out in force again, and as sanctimonious as ever. It is in their sheer desperation to have Cook sacked for something that I am more endeared to support and defend him. I don't think he's captained very well at all this series and I have been crying out for an England one-day overhaul long before he was appointed, but sacking the captain to justify personal recriminations towards him are not going to solve England's one-day problems.

Cook's biggest problem right now are runs again. Jumping up and down on his back about his strike rate of 76 isn't going to help matters either, it'll just make him more incompetent at the crease, like he was today as we saw him try to cut a seaming ball late, looking to hit four through anything that was slightly wide on the offside. It wasn't great bowling from India today, it was wicket-to-wicket bowling with a bit of seam movement. It wasn't Lasith Malinga or Dale Steyn, it was England capitulating against Indian bowlers who figured out they could get in their heads quicker than knock their stumps over.

As for his captaincy, Cook is partly let down by the selectors there who don't pick a squad that is either well-balanced or with the view to playing the best eleven one-day players in the country, or even picking a few of the most talented and trying to build around them. It's summed up by the three changes England have made this series, which have simply been personnel changes with no real plan or tactic in mind. That's because Moores and Cook don't know their best England one-day team with a squad like this, because it wasn't picked with one-day cricket in mind. They need to come to this realization soon and if they don't I'm all for making changes there too, but for the right reasons, not to satisfy the Kevin Pietersen Fanclub.

At this point, with a World Cup on the horizon we are going to have to stand by Cook and give him the winter to try and turn things around, like we did with the test summer. We have no natural successor and the changes we should make should be around him now. Bring back in Ravi Bopara and our two best young batsmen in Jason Roy and James Taylor and see if that can't ignite something a bit more in our performances by recognising how much this format of the game has changed and picking talented players who have changed with it.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 6976
RE: England v India - 9/9/2014 9:48:01 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17394
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
I'm very disappointed to learn that Saeed Ajmal has been suspended from international cricket after the ICC deemed to have found his bowling action to be illegal in testing at their facility in Brisbane last month. I'm also incredibly cynical about the testing, the motivation for the testing and the ICC's recent shifting of the goalposts regarding the formats for the testing themselves. Ajmal was reported last month during the test series in Sri Lanka, it's not the first time he's been reported as he was by England back in 2009 and then inferred by Andrew Strauss in 2012. Despite these reports and claims Ajmal was tested twice and his action was deemed to be perfectly legal, but, just like with Murali, with two reports to his name and two tests proving negative, the ICC altered the laws for spin bowlers who bowl a doosra two weeks before Ajmal was tested and he failed on all counts by 15 degrees. The ICC have also confirmed on the same day they've announced his suspension, that they will move away from the clearly-flawed and dubious centre tests to players wearing in-match sensors which not only give more accurate readings on the degree of the arm straightening but also are a far better judge of where these supposed illegal deliveries take place, whether it is a certain type of ball they are bowling, how frequently it happens and hopefully it should clear up any mess about how intentional it is or isn't. It'll help bowlers who are making non-forced errors with a delivery like the doosra which is a delivery that requires near-perfect timing on elbow and arm extension.

The doosra has always perplexed us non-sub continental nations and frankly, it's infuriated us. Not just because of the amount of our batsmen who have gotten out to it, but also because our spin bowlers have never been able to perfect it and sorry, but we've seen jealousy rise out of that. England have rejected it altogether as a credible delivery and talk about it with a pompous disdain, Australia banned teaching it like it was some filthy, naughty joke and the only South African bowler to ever come close to nailing it, Johan Botha, had his case so poorly mishandled by the ICC he could have walked down the wicket with two balls and sent them in opposite directions and probably still gotten away with it. It has been Pakistan's secret weapon since the mid to late 1990s, or rather not so secret but still entirely unpredictable and often unplayable. India never really liked it much either because it was something their 'next door minions' Pakistan and Sri Lanka did better than them at, they had Harbajhan who was a complete fruit loop but could bowl a perfect doosra. When he retired they stopped caring and I'll tell you for nothing the BCCI will have had something to do with this decision.

As for what happened to Moeen Ali during the T20 win over India on Sunday at Edgbaston, well, that kind of behaviour can go and take a very long walk off a very short cliff. We do not tolerate racism or religious discrimination in any form in cricket and it's totally unacceptable. This game holds itself to a higher standard and whilst it might be slowly selling out other parts of it's history it should never turn a blind eye to it's traditions of respect for yourself second and your opponents first. Things will always happen in matches that our contenious, that's the nature of the beast but that's why we scrutinize everything that brings the standards and reputation of the game into disrepute, even if it's amongst our own, there should be no partisanship when it comes to that in cricket. What Moeen experienced on Sunday was horrible and intimidating, English fans boo Australian players on occasion and vice versa but it's not usually centrally focused on one player, it's not because of their race and religious beliefs and it's done in the manner of a gameful rivalry. That wasn't what Moeen experienced, he had persistent booing and jeering, chanting and no doubt personal comments tossed around that he could hear, the Police state otherwise but that's because none were reported bar one fan who went as far to report afterwards what they described as a 'hate crime'. I would suggest then that it's been far more than cat-calls. Unfortunately with such widespread reports of it and such a huge and lively crowd, nailing down and finding main perpetrators and offenders would prove incredibly difficult. Moeen's family have made the job so much easier for the Police by being so patient, considerate, understanding and remarkably modest following the events. Which says so much for their faith and beliefs and ethos than it does for any of the morons mocking him.

Moeen should have been allowed to enjoy Sunday in his home city and to do it proudly for his country and for whatever he damn well pleases. As long as he continues to play good cricket for England he can take it from whatever place he wants.



_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 6977
RE: England v India - 10/9/2014 10:26:59 AM   
Professor Moriarty

 

Posts: 10467
Joined: 6/10/2005
From: the waters of Casablanca
The PCA boss didnt' help did he? Put this together with the LMA's recent view that the texts by the then Cardiff management team were banter and you just wonder what planet these guys live on. It's not like they are some closeted academics, they are involved in a multi-cultural game, but they've not got the sense to run a bath let alone a sport.

Clearly here the booing was based on religion (compare it to the booing against Broad) and I just don't think we have room for it in the game. Comment on the sport, but let's leave the religion at home and if a minority of fans don't like that let's have the ejected out of the game so the rest of us can get on with it like proper people.

I think one of the most important aspects of cricket when I was growing up (and the 70s really were a different landscape than today) was that you'd see players like Viv Richards and Imran Khan as heroes. And you know I really think cricket did its bit there to help me grow up seeing that race wasn't really that important. So, I'd like cricket that is a melting pot of English, South African, West Indies, Australian, Sri Lankan, Indian, Pakistani, etc. keep that good work up.

The Ajmal case. Well we've seen bowlers from all corners reported and suspended so I don't know if I want to read too much into this. Obviously we have the timing of the top ranked bowler before the WC, but maybe it is better to get that storm out of the way now than in the WC.

(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 6978
RE: England v India - 5/10/2014 11:16:54 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17394
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
This is just the start of this Kevin Pietersen shit. I'll attack it all tomorrow after work.

EDIT:

I'll say this for now though, as a starter. Bowler reacts raccously after fielder drops catch. Film at 9. No different in any team. Never seen Prior single out any player and never seen him scream at anybody, obviously we're not behind the scenes but what Pietersen is claiming should have been caught on camera, or at least some of it.

Here's a list of names for Pietersen though -

Natal, Nottinghamshire, England (thrice).

One common denominator, and it ain't Matt Prior.

< Message edited by Goodfella -- 5/10/2014 11:21:41 PM >


_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Professor Moriarty)
Post #: 6979
RE: England v India - 7/10/2014 10:43:04 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17394
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
From the past 48 hours I can tell one thing for sure and that is that Kevin Pietersen and the ECB didn't so much as divorce, as partake in domestic violence before trying to burn the house down, and ultimately kill each other, something the pair are still very much trying to a do. Except now it is through the medium of media, which is a never a good thing, and with no invested interests anymore this could progress into the catfight I fully expected it too, and one that could carry on for the next few years, let alone months. The cricket media interest in Pietersen is so high all around the world that they won't let it lie, and whilst he continues to slip them headline-grabbing stories that bump any actual cricket to the bottom column, this is how it's set to go on. The release of the book technically means very little, Pietersen's interviews with the Telegraph and Radio 4 have already gone beyond anything in the book so far, and will continue to do so I imagine, armed by some very close people who are either inflammatory public speaks already, or who have built careers off damaging those of others.

The ECB, meanwhile, handle a public relations situation of this magnitude about as well as a dog handles eating dinner with a knife and fork. Whilst we still believe their decision was firmly right and justified, the way they have gone about dealing with the subsequent consequences from it shows how antiquated they are as an organization. Morally right, practically wrong.

Spare me all the nonsense about the confidentiality agreement ending at midnight on Sunday. Pietersen has been leaking his discomfort, and the alleged discomfort of others, for years now, and none so more than through Piers Morgan in the winter of last year, that much was obvious as I said back then. The ECB have never really taken to Pietersen and neither have the coaches, or many of the players. It's not about talent, or race, or newspaper-inches (it certainly isn't about the latter, how much national press does cricket really get in this country outside of an Ashes year? Not nearly enough for there to be an in-house battle over it!). It's about one man's own personal struggles to cope with his self-esteem, his ego and, frankly, his own mixture of regret and disappointment over the way the start of his cricket career unfolded, versus a team and a country who have stuck feverishly to the game and their own roots, in the way they conduct, manage and relate to themselves and one another. They have practised tolerance, but only so far as to when it serves them, which is why I maintain that partially that's why England brought back Pietersen in 2012 after the texting scandal. They still felt they needed him, at the start of this year they felt he was expendable, not just because they were under pressure for somebody to be, but because they felt they were starting afresh, he was older and more injury-prone and they'd had enough. The dossier displays a relationship that had gotten so rotten that it wasn't benefiting anyone anymore, and as much as Pietersen may wish things had ended differently and he was still playing for England, I suspect a bigger part of him than he'll ever admit is quite relieved he's not. And that has nothing to do with any 'bullying culture'.

That's rubbish, that's crap right out of putting the I before the team, and we're not talking in shot selection here. Pietersen didn't like the approach of the likes of Flower, Moores and Strauss and because he gained, rather than lost, when he quit the South African set-up I think the stars had gone to his head and he believed he was always going to be in a position to take his competitiveness too far. His father brought him up like that, so it's no real surprise he is the way he is. He is vain, but he's also secular, he doesn't really want to run things but he wants to be able to have the massive influence when it suits him. That's always going to clash with a strongly-disciplined and decisive system that the likes of Flower would implement, they are about as far away as you are going to get but to call a man who so willingly abandoned his native country in a brave and commendable defence of equality a 'bully' is ridiculous. It's bullshit, it's libellous and it's trying to strongly taint and condemn a man who worked his backside off during England's most successful era in their history. It's no coincidence that Pietersen falls out with any strong-minded coach or individual, forget not liking being told what to do, he straight up doesn't like anyone else who can hold their own in a room without being incredibly pompous with it. Strauss, Flower, Moores and Cook are all very different characters with one common trait - they are psychologically very tough and strong, and they don't pay attention to a lot of what goes on outside of the walls. We saw that in Cooky this summer just gone. Not all of it has been right or profitable, some of it has been too stubborn, but their motivation has been nothing but good, and it has overseen plenty of good times, and for the world of modern sport a good dose of their attitudes is still required, unless you want to see the game end up like football.

As for Matt Prior, even big Pietersen fans like Peter Miller and George Dobell struggle to buy into that one. Pushing past time on an international career perhaps, a 'bully' and a 'screaming, back-stabbing team-mate', no-one is purchasing that gem. It has sold Pietersen short these last 24 hours because Prior was not just a great servant to the English game, but a terrific bloke, one spoken highly and admirably of by his England team-mates, past and present, several of whom Pietersen cites as of receiving this treatment. There is simply no evidence to back up Pietersen's claims here and, as for dropped catches, well that's just part and parcel of the game. Bowlers are grumpy sods, Jimmy and Broad probably close to the top of the list, but Pietersen seems to be making a mountain out of a molehill to back up his erroneous claims whilst not actually being able to provide any more weight to the argument they 'bully' team-mates. Shouting in a hot second or three of frustration at a fielder is not 'bullying'. If Pietersen had cited incidents off the field of play following the exchange that were ongoing and disruptive then you could understand the concerns, but from what I've read so far there isn't (yes I have an early copy of the book, I always said I'd give it the bare time of day before I took it to town first).

When Pietersen refers to character assassinations against himself, he needs to remember they pre-date England. Every dressing room from Natal through Nottinghamshire, any dressing room where he has had to share a lengthy spell with, this has happened. Any team environment, team heirachy, he's never been happy, he claims to have voiced his displeasure but only after the time itself. At the point of eruption he can usually be found stabbing somebody in the back, or that's how it very much appears, and now he cries wolf about it. There is one common denominator. No not everybody else was perfect, but Pietersen's presence is overwhelming and his actions are not that of a growing modern approach to sport, they are that of a man who is going to piss quite a lot of people off, and with just cause.

I'm not surprised to see him turn on Graeme Swann either. Intriguing that he can be so palpable towards him in the summer when he believes he is supporting his cause whilst supposedly writing words in black and white that pin him as a ringleader. Swann is too silver-tongued for a cat like Pietersen, but he was full of praise for his wickets and the bowler and team-mate he was, one who had had enough himself. But now he's a complete cunt? Another one people are really struggling to buy.

Speaking of the narrative too, Flower played a key role twice in bringing Pietersen back to the England fold. Why he'd do this if he's had it in for him since 2008 I do not know? Had it in for him since 2012? Very possible. Also, Pietersen apologised for the texts he sent about Andrew Strauss, and he did so both publicly and off his own back, via his Youtube channel without the ECB's consent. Nobody has ever accused them of including any private team information or tactics, but that wasn't the point? It was his attitude towards the team as a whole, summed up in this behaviour, not even about 'respect for your captain', not that you should need to have to desire that. It's a little late now to be saying he shouldn't feel he has to apologise if he did it so willingly himself, and continued to do so up until the point he was sacked by England. So you either lied up until that point, or you're lying now? I don't know why these other players don't validate Pietersen's claims either. Nick Compton has never suggested any of this at Somerset, and neither has Ravi Bopara who is also a close friend of Pietersen. The 'younger players' he won't name are interesting, given England's little use of younger players prior to 2013 and Prior's non-involvement in ODIs. I also can't imagine Ben Stokes being scared off by anybody, nor Gary Ballance. Pietersen is going to have to go back into successful times to claim requisite there, and I would imagine a dressing room controlled by bullies and dictated like an army training camp would not likely result in the kind of success England enjoyed. Also, if memory serves me correctly, we were the best fielding team in the world at that stage, and by a long margin. Ajmal Shahzad has said he felt under extreme pressure when fielding for England, in all of his eleven ODIs, stating he "got stern looks from players" when he misfielded. Hardly damning.

You also can't complain about a schoolteacher-style stance from a head coach when it would appear, according to Pietersen anyway, that his players were acting like children, swearing at each other, throwing tantrums in meetings and conducting popularity cliques at play-time.

A lot doesn't add up. The ECB dossier leaked by cricinfo stabs at a lot of what we could already guess about. Pietersen's distance from his team-mates, both physically and mentally, and the future of the team, his code of conduct and behaviour towards coaches and captains and a quite serious allegation that Pietersen disclosed to a team physiotherapist that if England lost the third test then he may as well pack up and go home with the injury problems he'd been having. Part of me wants to take him to town over all these claims, but I don't fully trust the ECB's nature over some of them, and I don't think the ECB would ever fully disclose the reasons discussed in that meeting at the hotel anyway. Of course the dossier is also a partial leak, and a complete mess, with mis-spelt names, and I should suspect it's been tampered with, it's a legal document anyway so I should imagine it will never truly get in our hands anyway.

It's part of their antiquated approach anyway, this is merely their shot back at a man they not only so publicly disgraced, but are now quite so willing to effectively admit they adamantly dislike, and him vice versa. The difference for Pietersen though, they aren't the first and neither are the circumstances. That is the one grey are Pietersen point-blank even refuses to address. And he is not a man who has been unwilling to dodge the difficult questions, even when he gives answers we really don't like.

Straight up and down of it, for me, is that he is a supremely talented man who's shot selection at times was represented well with the way he handled himself off-the-field. He was intrusively competitive and narrow-visioned, and I'm not sure he ever got over South Africa letting him walk away quite so easily. He has driven team captains to throwing his kit off the balcony to becoming so infuriated with them himself he has text opposition team-mates abusive messages about them. The ECB may be antiquated in some of their approaches but Pietersen isn't a rough diamond, he's a blood diamond, and he's simply not worth the hassle, and that precedent was set a long time before Andy Flower or Matt Prior turned up at Lord's, and that is Pietersen's biggest problem.

Moving away from Pietersen though, belated congratulations (with a grimace!) to Yorkshire on winning their first county championship in well over two decades. They thoroughly deserved it and I think Jason Gillespie has put himself in a prime position for the next top international coaching job, be that potentially India, with the way he has gone about balancing experience and youth there in all format and coaching up formidable talent that hasn't seeped away solely into a T20 mindset. What the ECB did (sorry them again!) to captain Andrew Gale was completely uncalled for and unfair. Yes, he's facing a serious charge, a dressed-up one at that though, but that's no kind of punishment that fits the crime. To strip him of that moment was personal and unwarranted, and it was also prior to an investigation, effectively condemning him with guilt before even a fair hearing. The case wasn't also anywhere near public enough for the ECB's claim that him lifting the trophy would bring the game into disrepute, but it is now. I have also met Gale and he's a top chap, and whilst I think a high-winded 'kolpak' insult is at best ill-advised, and at worst brash and generalising, I wouldn't go so far as to call it racist, and I would say it was more a lack of self-control where emotions are concerned than an ugly mindset. He was also very quick to apologise for his actions, both to his team-mates and to Ashwell Prince and Lancashire, and that was before the story became public. He's a better professional than that and he knows it, and the ECB should have treated him like that. If he's found guilty he deserves a right punishment, and there are more severe but reflectively fairer ones the ECB can administer. That one was cruel and unusual, and I imagine even Prince would agree with that himself.

I'm absolutely delighted that Somerset are moving on from Dave Nosworthy with the appointment of Matthew Maynard as the new director of cricket. I punched the air with delight when I heard the news because of the three main candidates interviewed, he was the one I hoped for the most but expected the least. He went head to head to head with Ashley Giles and David Houghton, two other very strong candidates, but Maynard won the board over with his reputation in four-day cricket across two continents, both as a player and a coach, and his excellent man-management skills. He, like Gillespie, balanced youth and experience very well at Glamorgan and he is very much in touch with the modern game, without over-excelling it. He's a great character and a very positive leader and he's exactly the kind of homegrown, down-to-earth, smart, quick-thinking and decisive man we need running this cricket club now. He has international coaching experience with Duncan Fletcher, my kind of coach, and he understands the drive for success and individual talent, and the resolute of team, he might finally be able to tip the balance at Somerset in terms of having the right mix and direction to win the four-day competition.

My one reservation, and I feel terrible for saying this, is what happened to his son. We're two years on and this will be a significant relocation for him and his family and I do have my concerns as to how ready he is for that. Maybe the fresh start will help but those kind of memories will live on regardless and how he and his family settles down here will be crucial. I hope, and know, the club will give him all the support he and his family need in that regard.

I'm also glad Trescothick is still the captain in his plans for next season. He has one to two years left of his glorious playing career and there is no reason not to keep him in charge, he's tactically sound and has been let down by unpredictable pitches and lack of squad depth. Maynard's biggest challenge will come in deciding who succeeds him. The most natural successors are all in their mid-to-late 30s (Hildreth, Thomas) and to get the best out of these experienced veterans and the talent at the other end of the age scale we need the success now, which is why I think next year and how he settles and how he develops this squad over the winter is absolutely vital, it's a bit of now-or-never for Somerset, there's no breaking-in year unfortunately, not without the loss of the seasoned heads who can help play a major role in guiding us home to a trophy. Compo would be my ideal captain to replace Tresco and for us to give Kieswetter the one-day captaincy long-term, but we'll wait and see.

< Message edited by Goodfella -- 8/10/2014 12:11:46 AM >


_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 6980
RE: England v India - 8/10/2014 10:14:41 AM   
Professor Moriarty

 

Posts: 10467
Joined: 6/10/2005
From: the waters of Casablanca
I think your piece may be more interesting than the book

As KP seems to consider this an appropriate juncture to look back on his career, let's do that too.

quote:

Straight up and down of it, for me, is that he is a supremely talented man who's shot selection at times was represented well with the way he handled himself off-the-field.


You can't doubt that KP has a natural ability, which I am sure he has grafted at himself. He has an ability to strike a cricket ball that I expect over 90% of professional cricketers envy.

But, he never achieved what he truly could with this. How many times have we seen him throw his wicket away with a poor shot?

You can not separate one from the other at the top level. To be talked about in the same breath as the absolute best, you can't just use your talent to please yourself and to entertain the fans. You also have to develop and nurture it to the benefit of the team, to put your ego to one side and make an innings.

His many supporters will point to his match winning innings, to the way he could turn a game by taking the attack to the bowlers. Nobody will deny that he was a great cricketer, but his own inability to do more than what came naturally stopped him being a cricketing great.

Just as KP has not really matured as a cricketer, I think questions must also be raised about whether he matured as a man. Without meeting him or wading through his book, etc it is hard to be firm on this. But the snippets I read about a bullying culture, just don't feel right to me. They feel more like someone who can't integrate with those around him, who doesn't really get what is going on rather than anything else. Maybe again this is a sign that someone who is all natural talent doesn't quite get that for the rest this is also a professional career, one where they strive to deliver their best and where they expect their colleagues to rise to the same level, not just to give it their best and if they are out they are out or drop a catch and its dropped.

(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 6981
RE: England v India - 8/10/2014 1:16:02 PM   
superdan


Posts: 8304
Joined: 31/7/2008
I've only read excerpts and have obviously never met the bloke or been privy to what actually went on. But part of me thinks that as with anything like this there is probably an element of truth with some of what Pietersen has said, but only in the sense of how it made him feel. There have been times where I've witnessed conversations where each party has a completely different retelling of it after. I don't doubt Flower seemed rather stern and humourless to Pietersen, since I've always thought that's how he came across anyway. But he's the boss, you aren't meant to like him. The difference is that many players under him haven't felt that he was being overly strict or singling them out, whereas KP obviously did. I've watched the bowlers (Broad in particular) behave a bit shabbily towards the outfielders if they've made a mistake, but I won't buy that it was massively over the top or really anything all that unusual in top-level cricket.

I think KP simply doesn't respond well to criticism, and seems reluctant to take it on board, perhaps perceiving it as a personal slight or something. Certainly, it is hard to take the word of someone who has had several fallings out with more than one team, and yet denies that they themselves are ever the problem.

(in reply to Professor Moriarty)
Post #: 6982
RE: England v India - 21/10/2014 3:00:41 PM   
Professor Moriarty

 

Posts: 10467
Joined: 6/10/2005
From: the waters of Casablanca
What do you make of events surrounding the WI team and them pulling out of the India tour?

Different commentators have told us for years that cricket in the Caribbean hangs by a knife edge, and unless this is swiftly and amicably settled I just wonder if the legal costs, loss of revenue from subsequent India tests and other damage might tip it over the edge.

(in reply to superdan)
Post #: 6983
RE: England v India - 25/10/2014 7:44:49 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17394
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon

quote:

ORIGINAL: superdan

I've only read excerpts and have obviously never met the bloke or been privy to what actually went on. But part of me thinks that as with anything like this there is probably an element of truth with some of what Pietersen has said, but only in the sense of how it made him feel. There have been times where I've witnessed conversations where each party has a completely different retelling of it after. I don't doubt Flower seemed rather stern and humourless to Pietersen, since I've always thought that's how he came across anyway. But he's the boss, you aren't meant to like him. The difference is that many players under him haven't felt that he was being overly strict or singling them out, whereas KP obviously did. I've watched the bowlers (Broad in particular) behave a bit shabbily towards the outfielders if they've made a mistake, but I won't buy that it was massively over the top or really anything all that unusual in top-level cricket.

I think KP simply doesn't respond well to criticism, and seems reluctant to take it on board, perhaps perceiving it as a personal slight or something. Certainly, it is hard to take the word of someone who has had several fallings out with more than one team, and yet denies that they themselves are ever the problem.


It really is quite a simple analogy. When you're winning and things are going very well, everybody is over the moon. When you're losing and the heads are down, people begin to question things and inevitably turn on each other to quash the growing distance they feel with themselves. The difference is that, whilst Pietersen agrees with this, he believes that the likes of Andy Flower and Matt Prior were already contributing to this downfall through their management and persona's before the slide actually started, which is something that carries no previous credibility and that I firmly believe is massively egregious. Pietersen himself is quite confident and sly enough to sit there and flaunt the "everybody is a different character" line when it suits an argument against the career-long criticism he's received, but isn't quite so quick too afford that too others. His putrid resentment towards Flower was never an issue when he sidled up to him when England were looking to appoint a new ODI captain, whether he has some rights in the way he may have felt about certain situations he shoots himself in the foot when he goes behind the back of his colleagues in order to make significant personal gains. There is nothing wrong with ambition and pushing your case but Pietersen goes about it in all the wrong ways, and that's what's led to him being held back from senior management. It's not whether he'd actually make an effective captain or not, it's the team dynamic he creates. Tactically he could be the best captain in the world (he's not by the way, he got trounced in India and his IPL captaincy has been about his image, not his captaincy style) but he's not a leader, you can't be a leader and have pulled those kind of punches, it's never going to work long-term and England found that out five years ago. I imagine Flower figured that out even quicker which is why Pietersen believes he has a personal 'grudge' against him, he probably does, but for all the right reasons. It was Flower's job to protect the best interests of the team and I suspect he knew Pietersen wasn't trustworthy in the long-term and was a disruptive element in the dressing room, which is exactly how England came to sack him in the end. Was there a 'smoking gun' across the course of the Ashes last winter? Probably not by definition. There were a number of smaller incidents and relationships were clearly breaking down again, if they were ever truly rebuilt that is, and this, as I've said all along, was inevitable. This 'marriage' between Pietersen and England was always going to end in divorce after about 2009, although I believe Pietersen's character and attitude never really settled in the England dressing room and his cult hero status in 2005 and 2006 always had a much darker side. It was a case of when, not if.

You should also struggle to fool people when you open up the rounds on one of the best coaches England have ever had, both from a cricketing and man-management viewpoint. He calls him a 'mood hoover' and a 'dictator'. This is a man who so selflessly put his life in imminent danger to stand up for equality causes in Zimbabwe, to the point of where he still can't return home over ten years later. I don't expect Flower to be anywhere near as vain as Pietersen and he will say very little and continue on his work with England's younger players, but I hope somebody gets his back outside of the camp itself. I hate what Pietersen has tried to do to Flower, I hate it most because it's been partially successful and it's tainted everything he's eve done for England and his fantastic career as both a player with Zimbabwe and Essex, and a coach. This is what people will remember. This fucking bullshit, and that winds me up no end. Cook was spot-on the other day too in response to the book. He didn't get personal with any of the accusations (although actually Cook is left relatively alone by Pietersen, he states in the later chapters that "he's a very decent bloke and I felt really sorry for him after the winter") but chose instead to quite simply say he feels that Pietersen has "tarnished" one of England's greatest ever eras and calmly and resolutely state that there is no way England could have been so successful if there was such disengagement within the dressing room on all levels.

Pietersen also claims to have admitted to making mistakes himself, but reading back through the book there is not one transparent admittance or apology to these. He admits to feeling bad about the way he handled the Andrew Strauss texts, but doesn't actually believe he was wrong to do it, because he didn't expose the team through any leak of tactics, although the very fact he text South African players and displayed the clear divide he felt with his captain and exposed England to this IS a potential tactic in cricket. He'd have been better off messaging them that Bresnan might open the bowling in my opinion, he knew exactly what he was doing midway through a very difficult series and it was the second group of texts he'd sent to try and unseat Strauss, and that would be the fourth captain or coach Pietersen had tried to get rid of in his career. Pietersen is very good at playing and anointing himself as the only honest and reflective man left in English cricket who has learnt this from his own mistakes, but he's not. He doesn't even admit to mistakes, he spends 150-odd pages trying to justify them, and his book tour reeks of a game of getting the general public on his side with vastly open book signings and TV tours in crisp grey suits and with that effected English that he speaks. The book, for the record, isn't a sports autobiography. If you want one of those this week go and buy Ian Poulter's. You want 'revelation' and 'scandal' and 'claim' and 'conjecture' that will have you falling off the fence in no time, then go buy Pietersen or Keane's.

Pietersen is often claimed to be misunderstood. Actually, it's Pietersen who misunderstands. Throughout the entire book he references times when he was offered help and support by the likes of Flower, he treats it as someone trying to get their mitts on him and control and 'dictate', what he fails to realise is that the team environment that helped England gain such great success was there to help him. He just didn't want any help, because he's an egomaniac who at the same time lacks an incredible amount of self-esteem, despite all the layered bullshit. As I've said before, Pietersen is the contradictory mix of a outwardly confident and cocky ego and a total introvert. Problem is I don't think anyone has ever properly recognised this problem enough to tackle it and it's manifested itself into someone who has made decisions and done things that to everybody else will be seen as untrustworthy, deceptive and, in some cases, downright treacherous. Sometimes I am so often caught between hating Pietersen and mildly feeling sorry for him because I'm not sure he even knows who he is, but his personal, libellous attacks on great and respectful men in English cricket quickly chases me back to the former.

The ECB lost their guts in 2012 and are more than a bit responsible for why they are where they are now. They've handled this situation terribly and have come out, to the average eye, looking ridiculously old-fashioned and out-of-touch whilst Pietersen's look modern and brave, a crusader if you will. It's actually wonderful, in my opinion, that the ECB still protect such high-standing values and behaviours this game has always been so reputable for but they should have got rid of Pietersen two years ago. They have fumbled their way between doing what they believe in and trying to please the masses, and retain a talented player. They were perhaps right to take this approach in 2009 but 2012 should have been a step too far and they should have got rid of him. They didn't and have chosen too know and that has made their decision look incredibly dodgy, which is why they are making such a mess of the public relations side of things and are playing right into the hands of Pietersen supporters. Problem is that Pietersen supporters have short-term memories and think he's never done anything wrong so perhaps they're better off not saying anything at all, don't lose a half-arsed email sent on a train or leak a dossier that reads like a year eleven pupil's handbook. There are too many new faces in England management as well that any defence is going to not immediately get called for sucking up to the new employer. You are just going to have to trust people can work it out for themselves over time, and that's the price you pay for not making this decision two years ago. You could have nailed Pietersen's arse to the wall in every television, radio, newspaper and internet interview you gave then and his book now would be little more than a collection of hateful and bitter revenge tactics, or at least Pietersen's support group would be considerably smaller in my opinion or certainly not carry the same level of clout.


_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Professor Moriarty)
Post #: 6984
RE: England v India - 25/10/2014 8:16:52 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17394
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon

quote:

ORIGINAL: Professor Moriarty

What do you make of events surrounding the WI team and them pulling out of the India tour?

Different commentators have told us for years that cricket in the Caribbean hangs by a knife edge, and unless this is swiftly and amicably settled I just wonder if the legal costs, loss of revenue from subsequent India tests and other damage might tip it over the edge.


This is not the first time that relationships have broken down between the WICB and it's players over a variety of issues, but the lead-off hitter has always been pay disputes, Chris Gayle's decision to quit international cricket for the first time in 2010 didn't stem from a scheduling crisis, it amounted from the fact he simply didn't trust the WICB to do the right thing by him and advance to a centrally contracted system that would guarantee players annual salaries and for him that was the polar opposite of the riches independent T20 tournaments were offering him. We really can't correlate too much on the kind of pay disputes that the West Indians and Sri Lankans, in particular, suffer from. We are talking here about situations where not only are players not paid what they're owed, in some cases they're not paid anything at all. They have to subsidise their own travel expenses and accommodation costs in some cases, or fund their own kits and preparations. For a seemingly professional set-up from one of international cricket's most storied nations when it comes to the game itself, you would think and expect much better, but that's often not the case. Revenue is a major issue, as is getting into bed with criminals like Allen Stanford. There are accusations, broken promises and just trace back through the years - 1978, 1998, 2005, 2009. Stand-off's between boards and players where often the players were more than justified. The difference is now that the players have pulled out of a tour and that will be seen with great weight of distaste by cricket fans in the Caribbean. But, then again, this has been coming for awhile.

The IPL and such tournaments have helped entice matters further. West Indians are the second most popular players selected at the auction (behind the Indians obviously) and the money they can earn there isn't just more than, say, a centrally-contracted English or Australian player can earn, it from virtual rags to riches. The West Indians have never been paid properly, even when they were winning, but they were an underdog then with an axe to grind that was more than just about money. I suspect the likes of Michael Holding and Sir Viv Richards always knew they'd never be the ones renumerated for those efforts, they played for their own backs and to prove a point, and for the next generation and that's never been honoured and that's a big part of why we are where we are now. They also have a players union chief in Wavall Hinds who signed the new bargaining agreement with his country's board without consulting a majority of players first, and those agreements are mess anyway, they've been causing problems for West Indian cricket for well over a decade now so scrap them and move forward with a centrally contracted system.

Clive Lloyd will be the shades of glue still currently holding any resemblance of an international cricket team and management structure together currently and whilst we are all deeply sad, if a little riled, that it has come to this that a team can actually pull out of playing an international series it is something we should all try to understand a little better. I do not believe the West Indians to be mercenaries because when have they ever had the temptation to be? A mercenary needs to experience the riches to make him want to desire them more. Sure the West Indians have played and been paid well by the IPL but all they want is a decent salary from their board that matches what the other full nation members players earned. They also need to get rid of the collective bargaining agreements that are antiquated and subject to the board and players association chief's negotiation, the players should receive central contracts that they negotiate through their association chief and that are legally binding and do a far better job of protecting West Indian cricket for both the players and the board than these shady back-alley deals between old friends and favoured sons do.

Also, Sri Lanka have had the same problems these past years, and Stuart Laws "left" his role as head coach not long after the last one. Ottis Gibson also "left" West Indian cricket recently, just as this bargaining agreement story started to gain some traction that the players weren't happy with their board or the WIPA. Both coaches most likely backed their players, and both were most likely fired for it. And both were very good coaches, and that points to corruption as well.

The biggest issue for the West Indies now is that their decision to pull out of this tour halfway through will cost the BCCI money, and the last enemy you want to make in world cricket right now is the BCCI. South Africa and England are due next too and they are already reviewing their options. Pakistan cricket survives a home series ban and countless incidents of corruption because of it's country's love and desire for cricket and it's sustainable talent pool which is held back by poor management and poor coaching but could be far better than it actually is on the field of play. The West Indies face the serious possibility of not surviving because those key factors have disappeared on the Islands. We should all genuinely fear for the future of West Indian cricket, but it's a fear that we should have held for a lot longer than just the past few days.

_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Professor Moriarty)
Post #: 6985
RE: England v India - 25/11/2014 8:46:00 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17394
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
I think I speak for everybody when I say I wish Phil Hughes the very best over the coming few days and beyond. Words can't really sum up how frightening that looked, but the reaction of the players around him spoke volumes, and beyond the sport of cricket it must be a very scary and traumatic time for his family and loved ones right now. The most important think over the next few days is that doctors are able to ascertain exactly how much damage has been caused as I would suspect, and reports do indicate, that he is in an induced coma right now.

He had a terrific pair of summers with Worcestershire and was on the brink of an Australian test return, and deserved to be, but the priority now is his health and wellbeing and we hope that he'll be okay. There really is virtually no prevention for what happened, it is one of the risks of the game, and on the sharp, mean pictures of Oz they will dip back in like that and it is a pure case of luck.



_____________________________

"It is the Shawshank Redemption! Just with more tunneling through shit and less fucking redemption."

If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.


(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 6986
RE: England v India - 26/11/2014 11:41:43 AM   
Professor Moriarty

 

Posts: 10467
Joined: 6/10/2005
From: the waters of Casablanca
Desperate news about Phil Hughes, let's hope it all works out.

As a co-incidence, I started reading Mike Brearley's seminal tome on captaincy. And one of the first things he deals with is bouncers and how he doesn't advocate over use of them or their use against rabbits who can't protect themselves, but strongly feels that a bouncer is part of a bowler's arsenal that they should be able to use and if you don't want to face a bouncer you should look at another sport.

I also feel for the bowler, Sean Abbott. He's going to be feeling terrible about what's transpired and might even find it hard to start bowling again. I'm sure that if you asked anyone in cricket they'd be telling him its not his fault, it's just what can happen in the game, but must be hard to convince yourself of that.

In other cricket news, I can't even bring myself to look at the scorecard for the first 1 day international against Sri Lanka such are England's abject performances in this style of game

(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 6987
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