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RE: Phillip Hughes - 27/11/2014 11:13:53 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17421
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
I really resent the Telegraph posting and publishing these screen-by-screen image shots of Phil Hughes collapsing and NSW players holding up his limp body and head. There is absolutely no need for that and it is, within less than 24 hours of his death, nothing more than a shock and awe stunt to increase their profits. Frankly, it's depraved, the video can't be helped to a degree as the game was screened live but the cameras panned away once they realised how serious this was. There's absolutely no need for this and how typical that this paper, with who writes about cricket for it, should sink to these depths. The Telegraph should be easily singled out too, as far as I'm aware no-one else has published these photos, perhaps one of their record beacons Michael Vaughan or Shane Warne can explain why they feel proud to have their names attached to this kind of awful and upsetting journalism. What makes it worse is that they are trying to paint it like some kind of photographic breakdown and diagnosis of his 'condition' which is utter bullshit, we all know that already and it's just an excuse to show it.

It also infuriates me to the ends of the earth that on a day of such heightened cricket news, for lack of a better term, we are inundated with quotes from "famous" cricket fans and opinion-makers like..........Nigel Farage and Piers Morgan!? Oh piss off! Two of the worst possible people at a time like this to seek comment or advice from, given their extremities. It's not like cricket isn't short of a tonnage of intelligent, considered and prolific fans. Michael Parkinson and Stephen Fry to name but a pair who easily nail the other two to the wall.

Show a bit of morality and respect.

< Message edited by Goodfella -- 27/11/2014 11:41:56 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 #: 6991
RE: Phillip Hughes - 28/11/2014 10:16:13 AM   
Professor Moriarty

 

Posts: 10469
Joined: 6/10/2005
From: the waters of Casablanca
A couple of well-written posts mate.

There was an article in the paper at the beginning of this week where police had had to ask people to stop taking pictures and filming with their phones at the site of a fatal accident. I was sickened at the thoughts of where someone lay dying or just dead people were stood around ghoulishly pointing phones and taking snapshots. I've not seen the Telegraph this week, but their actions seem the mass market equivalent of that, sickening.

I disagree on one point. I think cricket outside Australia should go ahead this weekend. I think each match should start with a minute's silence and I think this gives fans the best way to pay tribute to Hughes.

As concerns any changes to the game. I've not seen any video of the incident or seen the photos. But from the description I've heard, the hook shot is played before the ball gets there resulting in over-rotation of the batsman before the ball reaches. I'll leave it to players and coaches to make these decisions, but it seems to me that it is extremely unusual playing a short-pitched ball coming onto the batsman that it is played so early. The vast majority of blows to the head I've seen are through late shots and the ball coming onto the player much faster than anticipated.

I don't want to be complacent, I think that there should be some inquiry by those in the game. But this doesn't feel like the 30s or 70s when short-bowling looked like a serious accident waiting to happen. This just sounds like a very unfortunate sequence of events. I could see maybe some form of neck protector on the back of future helmets, but any ideas of outlawing a bouncer would be a complete knee-jerk and unrealistic proposition IMO.

< Message edited by Professor Moriarty -- 28/11/2014 2:19:46 PM >

(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 6992
RE: Phillip Hughes - 30/11/2014 1:28:27 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17421
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon

quote:

ORIGINAL: Professor Moriarty

A couple of well-written posts mate.

There was an article in the paper at the beginning of this week where police had had to ask people to stop taking pictures and filming with their phones at the site of a fatal accident. I was sickened at the thoughts of where someone lay dying or just dead people were stood around ghoulishly pointing phones and taking snapshots. I've not seen the Telegraph this week, but their actions seem the mass market equivalent of that, sickening.

I disagree on one point. I think cricket outside Australia should go ahead this weekend. I think each match should start with a minute's silence and I think this gives fans the best way to pay tribute to Hughes.

As concerns any changes to the game. I've not seen any video of the incident or seen the photos. But from the description I've heard, the hook shot is played before the ball gets there resulting in over-rotation of the batsman before the ball reaches. I'll leave it to players and coaches to make these decisions, but it seems to me that it is extremely unusual playing a short-pitched ball coming onto the batsman that it is played so early. The vast majority of blows to the head I've seen are through late shots and the ball coming onto the player much faster than anticipated.

I don't want to be complacent, I think that there should be some inquiry by those in the game. But this doesn't feel like the 30s or 70s when short-bowling looked like a serious accident waiting to happen. This just sounds like a very unfortunate sequence of events. I could see maybe some form of neck protector on the back of future helmets, but any ideas of outlawing a bouncer would be a complete knee-jerk and unrealistic proposition IMO.


Thank you.

Unfortunately it says something for the morals and vanity within our modern society. Problem is that some people do want to see these kind of photos, whether it's the shock and awe, the intrigue, or just that we are so desensitized to horror and trauma these days that we are actually heading the other way and are almost thrilled and excited by it. Of course, until it's one of our own, then it's a very different story. What did relieve me a little here though was that all media organizations had access to the photos because they were shot by an AP photographer, but only the Telegraph went ahead and purchased and published them. I'm sure we'll see them from the rest in the future but they at least had the foresight and compassion to wait, it's made the Telegraph look like right tossers and for that I'm very glad, it's made a buffoon out of the likes of Michael Vaughan who have been retweeting them and I'm glad of that too because, 2005 aside, that guy has become class a twat since he retired and got into broadcasting and journalism.

It's totally fair to think cricket should have gone ahead, I suppose it would have been what he wanted I imagine, but I think this has so dramatically changed the shape of the game and the way we view it that a mark of respect was needed. The two England internationals felt expectedly sombre but not only that it was hard to enjoy any aspects of the cricket to be honest. Everything eventually snaked back to this tragedy somehow and no amount of silence or black armbands could really soften that, I felt players and fans needed a few days although I understand those who have travelled to watch games and the effect this would have on them.

As for England and ODI's, the knives are out for Alastair Cook again, spearheaded by Kevin Pietersen who knows that every word he bangs onto his Twitter feed comes with a mega microphone attached. He has waltzed into the position of every average fan's favourite armchair moniker, regardless of whether he's right or wrong about Cook's tactics, and he's more right than wrong, his motivation is a personal one. Trigger fingers have been pulsating for Cook since January, he'll pay the price at some point somehow, it's inevitable, but it won't be for the right reasons. You'll see it a year further down the line, England will still be poor in ODI cricket. They've never taken it seriously enough and showed it individual respect in an approach, they've used it as an inconsistent breeding ground for young test cricketers which has not only dragged us so far behind the rest of the world, it's actually not helped any players develop for test cricket because there is such a vastness in preparation and approach to the two formats of the game that outside of basic skills, individual intangibles and abilities there's nothing to be gained. Gary Ballance walked into the England test team mid a calamitous series and proved himself a master of the most difficult batting spot on the order. His background screams Twenty20 and ODI big-hitting middle-man. He didn't need either to make it in test cricket and if he'd been in either before it wouldn't have made him any better of a test player than he is now. It hasn't made Chris Woakes any better of a test player, and he's been around the England ODI set-up for two years now, it hasn't improved Steven Finn, in fact he's gone backwards with a multitude of technical issues and a constantly revolving door of stop-start cricket in his life and it'll ruin promising young left-armers like Harry Gurney who still need another year in county cricket as it is and are far better primed for first-class cricket anyway.

Selection is our biggest problem and Cook plays a key role there but these problems have existed a long time before he took the captaincy. We have been self-imposed in an arcane and stubborn attitude where we have refused to keep pace with the rest of the world in the way limited overs cricket has evolved. We have ignored or backlogged naturally-talented one-day players like Alex Hales, Jason Roy, Samit Patel, Gary Ballance and James Taylor. We make it impossible for them to break into a side where they are the most natural choice, and we overwork bowlers like Jimmy and Broad into the ground and past them we have gone everywhere from Finn to Bresnan and back and we are now plucking young bowlers like Gurney out of the counties because they offer us something different in a left-handed approach. We're grasping at straws, there's no formula too it, we stick with the old boys no matter how badly they struggle, we throw in two future test candidates and pluck one or two youngsters who have some recent name value and hope it bundles and works. We have a captain who is not naturally aggressive in either his batting or his approach to the game, and the latter is an oversell anyway. You don't need a 'risk-taking' one-day captain if you have a top order who can dominate bowlers, but we don't have one. We only have two batsmen with a strike rate over 80. The middle order collapses because they hit the panic button as they start to realise the clock is ticking and don't really know what to do, that's why you see clusters of wickets fall to orthodox shots that don't clear deep cover. It's not like all those wickets are mishits or genuine edges, most of them are catches that come out of the centre of the bat or off the top and bottom edges where they simply don't have the wrist power to match the stroke to the pace of the delivery, are pretty well timed but with no real power because most of our batsmen are steady accumulators who suddenly realise that we're 180-odd for 4 with 18 overs left to go, the spinner is on, the field is set back and we really need 300 on this pitch, so they decide to crack it a bit more or walk down and try and wallop it, and get stumped, like yesterday.

In ODI cricket you have to exert yourselves over the bowlers. You cannot allow them to tie you down with dot balls and not take advantage of the powerplays and intermittent periods. England coast along through the first powerplay like it is the opening of a test match, one batsmen will usually try and assert himself somewhat whilst the other will hit everything in the offside and leave everything else. It's not about going out there and smashing it about but in those first five overs you want to make 45 runs plus and you need to be scoring at seven plus an over. This is where you get on top of the bowlers and force their captain to be a bit more attacking afterwards to try and take wickets because they know in ODIs you can't always just set the field back and wait for a breakthrough, especially in the era of the 360-degree modern batsman. Cook himself doesn't sit back, he just doesn't really have the make-up or the players to really set anything up. He's not overly conservative by any means, he's just ordinary because most of his players are at this level. England play well enough to beat teams like Ireland and Bangladesh, but are a long way behind everybody else and it so comes down to personnel before it does tactics. Tactics can only be implemented by the personnel who best exploit them. That's not a batsman like Ian Bell I'm afraid, it's far easier on non-turners in England to make 100 off 110 balls for Warwickshire than it is to unsettle Steyn and Morkel on a dusty Australian track. Much, much easier, there's not even the competition, because he's a very classy and talented international batsman he'll always excel in the counties in one-dayers, but he has never really penetrated for England and could be one big change if he stepped aside for Hales or Roy. Root is too alike as well, him and Bopara are virtually identical, and I'm not sure there's room enough for both in a modern ODI team. We have no natural replacement for Cook as captain either, Morgan is out of nick and not much more of a instinctive captain himself and Taylor is too young and too likely to struggle to assert himself in the role because he's not even featured regularly in the team. A viable candidate could be Ballance who has been around one-day cricket in three different countries for some time and is a positive, confident young player who has surprised us all. But he doesn't even seem to be getting picked to play at the moment...

The bowling is average. We miss Broad when he's not healthy, Finn is only just returning himself and not consistent, we lack another fast bowler and Tredwell should play every game because he ties up an end, really restricts the run-rate and builds up pressure to take wickets, dropping him is unacceptable as far as I'm concerned, we'll need his efforts badly on the faster Australian pitches. Keep Bopara for his medium-pacers which are tricky and he's usually economical too but I'd like to see Broad and Finn lead this attack at the WC and I'd like to see Bopara and Tredwell bowl 10 overs apiece each game. What you do with the other 10 I don't know but those four are our best attack in this format of the game in my opinion.



_____________________________

"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 #: 6993
RE: Phillip Hughes - 1/12/2014 10:05:01 AM   
Professor Moriarty

 

Posts: 10469
Joined: 6/10/2005
From: the waters of Casablanca
I agree with your points again.

Winding the clock back many years to when I first started to watch cricket, the ODIs were an appendage to a test tour. A way of playing a few more games, getting a couple of quid more in and nothing more. We've talked before about Jayasuriya and the Sri Lankan team around the '96 WC changing the face of one day competition. That is almost 20 years ago. And yet there is the feeling that there is still this prevailing attitude that England management and selectors don't realise it's a different game, with different skill sets. That doesn't necessarily mean that test players can't excel as OD players and vice versa, but it does mean that some players may be better suited to one format than another. I thought England had made headway when a different captain was picked for each, but still we seem to find it hard to shake off the shackles.

Coming back to Power Plays. I think we still have this deeply prevailing mentality that you play for your wicket. It's Boycott-esque. Sure it is nice to get runs in the one-dayers, but it is usually more important to make 50 off 60 balls faced than 80 off 120 balls faced. And as you say that means you have to exert yourself over the bowler. What it doesn't mean is that you have to run down the pitch looking to loft every ball into the stands. But I think it requires players who have the intelligence that before the ball is bowled they are thinking, okay if he pitches it up I can squeeze one out to cover and we can scamper a single, if it's on my legs there's a gap down at 3rd man and if he drops it short he's brought in mid-on so I can play a shot over the top there. Then you are almost scoring before the ball leaves the bowlers hand, rather than playing each on its merits and clocking up the dot balls.

Just one final word on Hughes. I found it very moving that his score had been given Not Out. I dunno why, but it really got to me.

< Message edited by Professor Moriarty -- 1/12/2014 10:12:47 AM >

(in reply to Goodfella)
Post #: 6994
RE: Phillip Hughes - 4/12/2014 9:50:57 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17421
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
I have such huge admiration for Jason Hughes and his family. Despite having a pro sports celebrity amongst them until he was so unfortunately taken, they have not lived their lives, and yesterday, at their most weak, vulnerable and intimate, they were exposed to the public eye internationally and the words and efforts they displayed only go to reflect exactly why Phil was such a loved player and gentleman of the game. He'd have been as proud of them as much as I'm sure they're proud of them and, whilst this is quite naturally always going to be said regardless, I think Hughes really was such an upstanding young man, so incredibly down to earth and a very genuine person. It's pretty clear cricket and the wider world is worse off for not having this young man in it anymore.

As for Michael Clarke, well, I'm not sure I have the words for him. I've just watched the speech and I can't think of a single person that wouldn't choke. The amazing thing about Clarke's candour throughout this terrible affair has been so beautifully self-aware. He knows not an iota of this is about him whatsoever, but about at the same time knows he is in the position where everyone is going to look his way for leadership, tribute and the proverbial shoulder to cry on, and he has been so damn incredibly considered, caring and modest about it it's so easy to see why even us English should love this guy. And, to think, his ability to 'lead, guide and motivate' was, for so long, questioned in Australia. Fools, what on earth did they see? Well I'm sure they know today. It's just such an absolute tragedy they had to find out in these circumstances. The support he's given both families has been tremendous too, there's no air of role-playing or public relations about it whatsoever either, he truly has once again reminded me why I think he's such a fantastic cricketing man. Cricket is ever a stronger sport for having someone like Michael Clarke in it and influencing everyone around it.

The tributes to Hughes have been absolutely blistering, it was to be expected, but perhaps not to this scale. The whole sporting world has come together for the #putyourbatsout international tribute. From Neil Robertson having his on display at the UK National Snooker Championships to Hugh Jackman placing his by the curtain of his latest Broadway show, it's been quite surreal and as cliched as these things can sometimes get it just goes to show the level of effect this has had on the wider public in general. Nobody ever expected to see in this cricket and it really has shook the game to it's inner core.

Shahid Afridi, one of the game's eccentric and wild characters and often less than comfortable in front of camera, also took absolutely no time today to ignore all the questions about Pakistan's recent one-day turnaround and dedicate the win over New Zealand to Hughes and his family. The first test between India and Australia next week is going to be very emotional too, I wish I had more to say about England after watching them yesterday too but I'll leave that for another day. It just doesn't feel right to talk about the game of cricket right now.


_____________________________

"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 #: 6995
England sack Cook - 20/12/2014 6:39:25 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17421
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
The reckless timing of this decision to sack Cook as ODI captain is the most frustrating part of this whole debacle for me. We are less than three months away from the World Cup, what on earth do the ECB and the selectors think this decision is going to influence in that time-frame? To go, in the space of a week and one ODI series, from a full vote of confidence to a midnight firing less than 24 hours before the full squad for the tournament is announced is both insulting and careless. What it says to me is that the decision was made under pressure, press pressure to be precise, public, or seemingly demand. One, like with all of England's one-day cricket decisions, not actually made with thought and no haste, but rather one made to appease, or one with an ulterior motive. The ECB have got their scapegoat for their impending World Cup failures, before the cricket itself has even started. Maybe Cook isn't the right man for the job, but the ECB should have been more careful in their planning back in 2011 when they decided to appoint Cook as captain so they could breed him for the test captaincy, which like I've previously mentioned is what they do with a lot of players in the ODI squad who they expect to be playing test cricket at some stage. There is no way the ECB just woke up to this last night though, they've known it for a while and whilst they haven't aided Cook at all as ODI captain by approaching the format with the intentions of actually being prosperous at it, all they've done is thrown a piece of flesh to the bloodhounds to get them off their back for a while. They've also sold out the one man who stood by them and fought desperately hard to try and rebuild his team and dressing room, whilst not really taking any accountability themselves.

The replacement, Eoin Morgan, has shown no formidable form as a captain. He's simply the next "best" thing and that's debatable as it is. He's a batsman who's really struggled for form himself the last 18 months too, so the pressure of captaincy at a major world tournament should do him the world of good...By disgracing Cook so publicly and in such a hasty and back-stabbing fashion they've also probably left him questioning his entire international future and if I was Cook I'd take Christmass off completely and then I'd take the next few months to decide if this is what I want anymore, and by that I mean international cricket. He's a class county cricketer who would be a terrific servant for Essex, and he's a farmer by trade. He doesn't want or need this anymore, and I would not be surprised if he tendered his retirement and a small part of me hopes he does, and he will be as classy and modest about it as we've come to expect from him. Basically, he's a really nice bloke, and nice blokes don't get very far in the modern world do they? Also when I see that the ringleaders against him are two people like Kevin Pietersen and Piers Morgan it makes me realise how much I hate modern sport to be honest and why so many people older than me, especially my Grandparents, became so disillusioned with it. I'll never stop loving cricket but this decision along with the Andy Flower one last year have cut pretty deep and I think the ECB have tried to appease what they deliberate to be masses with these kind of decisions. The statements from Paul Downton and Cook are also directly contradictory, so that goes to show you that they were not on the same page yesterday and Cook already hinted he may not get over the decision. We also got another great indictment of the selectors ignorances when Downton went on to discuss world cup squad selection and said of James Taylor, "his rise to selection has been surprising." You what Downton? What the hell county cricket have you been watching, we've all know about the quality and talent Taylor possesses for the past four years! James Whitaker should certainly know, Taylor started his career at Leicestershire!

The head on stick mentality that has dominated football is growing in cricket and it'll steadily seep the soul out of this game too, we'll have a franchise-based domestic T20 tournament before long here where you won't be able to take a piss at a county ground without it being sponsored by somebody, but unlike India we don't have the love of devotion for the game over here that will see us through test cricket.

As for England's World Cup squad itself, I'd be asking the selectors why it's taken this long to realise Gary Ballance is actually a better built batsman for one-day cricket than he even is for tests? He's been playing like it for Yorkshire since 2012, we're less than two weeks away from 2015 and they've only just noticed? What's the point of reverting to 50-over games domestically if you don't actually go and watch the players? James Anderson and Stuart Broad are both good but not match-winning ODI bowlers, and both have been overworked recently and in an Ashes year it'll be intriguing to see how that pans out, at 32 and with recent injury problems I'd really want Jimmy to focus on test cricket. Ian Bell is much the same, and drifting in the one-day game and could easily be replaced by Jason Roy. England have point-blank ignored great potential in the likes of Graham Napier too, and that's just baffling. They have an unknown criteria for selecting ODI squads and outside of foolishly using it as a pool for potential test players, I can't figure it out. Only Bangladesh in the full ICC members have selected more ODI players in the last 20 years than England, they can't find what they want and the formula. This open-ended argument over an 'attacking' captain is tiresome. Define an 'attacking' captain, those who think Pietersen is should watch the India series back in 2008 and his recent stint with the Dehli Daredevils where he totally lost his way in the middle of games, I won't criticise him for what I won't criticise Cook for but stop banging on about an attacking captain. You don't necessarily need an attacking captain to win games, you just need a captain who, at the end of the day, makes more right decisions than wrong ones but more importantly who has the arsenal to effect them, and England's one-day captains haven't and when their own form has dwindled it's just made it easy to fire them and make it look like it's all their fault.

And, for what it counts, since Cook has now departed, I'd give the captaincy long term to Ballance. He'll show the ability he has as a batsman in the New Year, he's a very good slip fielder, he's a presence around the team on the field and he's fitted in very well in a short space of time, he's also in excellent form, he displays himself as a character mature above his years. He strikes me as someone who could rise to the role and I'd like to think he'd be considered a candidate.

As for the future of players careers, I think Craig Kieswetter's may be coming to a sad and premature end. The horrific eye and nose injury he suffered against Northamptonshire last season has cost him next year too and he's struggling to regain full vision, in wake also of what has happened to Phil Hughes it is incredibly unlikely he will ever play the first-class game again without having 100% vision, regardless of being a wicketkeeper or not. He is now set to not have a chance to play any first-class cricket for almost two years, that's a very long time at this level and with the surgery now almost five months prior you have to wonder how significant a setback this in the recovery plan he originally had. I wish him all the best and really hope this isn't the last we've seen of him (another mistreated England player too) but I fear it may well be.


< Message edited by Goodfella -- 20/12/2014 8:51:20 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 #: 6996
RE: England sack Cook - 21/12/2014 11:35:44 AM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17421
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
I think also if we go back to 2011 and look a bit more closer at the Cook appointment as ODI captain we can see the clear flaws in the ECB's approach to one-day cricket. Cook hadn't played the format for over three years and didn't have the make-up of the majority of opening one-day batsmen in the world, that's not to say he's an especially poor player by any means, he averages 36 and has five hundreds and 19 fifties. He has a strike rate of 77 but can play his shots but he's a watchful player, one who can take his chance but isn't necessarily an aggressor, that can work in one-day cricket if you build around it. That's not to say you automatically pick that player regardless of form or circumstance, but Cook actually has the highest winning percentage of any England ODI captain (which says so much for the ongoing problems we have in the format of the game) and has an average of 41 when we've won in that percentage. He has also led England to only their third-ever one-day tournament final, he's also never captained in a World Cup and never got a chance. For all the trepidations today about this being the right decision and to quote Michael Vaughan, "better late than never", none of them can actually tell you who the ideal captain is, or rather what kind of captain they should be? No-one's got the answer, they can all tell you what they don't want, and that's the captain who's teams lose more matches. But all this nonsense about 'attacking', 'instinctive', 'aggressive, 'opportunistic', they're just adjectives, nobody's explored the issue any further because they don't nowhere to start. Cricket captaincy is all about ebbs and flows, judgement and reaction, it also wins far less matches than you think, especially in one-day cricket. Take Australian opener Aaron Finch, he can completely take a game away from the opposition in a matter of four to six overs, if that in some cases. He's a terrific timer, with brutal strength and power and one who plays with the full face of the bat. Take Lasith Malinga. His unique, unorthodox, toe-crunchers won Sri Lanka far more ODIs than tests, it wasn't a captaincy brainwave to realise that Malinga is the your best bowler for the first five and the last five overs (look how much they've struggled whilst he's been injured, but is Angelo Mathews a bad captain now too?). That's just two examples of the now and then that give an idea as to exactly how you give yourself the best shot at winning in the one-and-done game, captaincy plays a part but not to the level it's been passed off with by the English media. They have a personal dislike for Cook since last January, or at least a fair percentage of them do, and they don't like his captaincy style because he played a role in a consortium that made a brave decision to get rid of what they considered to be a harmful entity to their dressing room environment. A man who since has done exactly what every pathological liar does, blame everybody else, and pretend his past is of absolutely no relevance whatsoever.

England's biggest problem has been selection. Their ignorance of players like Graham Napier, Adil Rashid, Peter Trego, Craig Kieswetter, David Willey, Gary Ballance, James Taylor, Johnny Bairstow, Jason Roy and Luke Wright, to name but a few, has cost them and will continue to do so. They don't pick the best 15 one-day players in the country, they have an alternative criteria that is driven by test cricket and a stubborn attitude against modernising and developing. They don't have to sell their soul to do that but they should have 50-over cricket back domestically in this country five years ago and the selectors should be treating it as their go-to point, not the Lions squads, of which some I think they are simply picking out of a hat. We have two batsmen with a strike rate over 80, Cook's actually got the next highest strike rate of the top order. We have too many like-for-like batsmen - Bell, Root, Bopara - we have left ourselves short a second spinner and we have an inconsistent seam attack without a convincing one-day strike bowler, Jimmy tops a lot of statistics leaderboards but at the last two one-day tournaments has only taken two wickets in a match three times.

As for Kevin Pietersen again stating his desire to play for England, I ask of him why? If the dressing room was full of dominating coaches, anarchy from the corners and bully-boys, why do you want to play with them again? You've had plenty of success at all levels and you yourself said England would never win the World Cup and your not wrong, so why are you so keen to re-join them again? Only the fan-boys are fooled. Pietersen has spent much of the last year doing his level best to taint English cricket forever and regardless of what a talented player he is letting him back in the dressing room would set a very dangerous precedent, England got rid of him for a reason and the inevitably of a destructive end is always the way for a character like Pietersen. Sadly, until he retires fully from the game, we are going to be fending off the fires set in defence of, at heart, an unpleasant individual and I think that a lot more 'decent' men like Cook and Flower will pay the price.

_____________________________

"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 #: 6997
RE: England sack Cook - 25/1/2015 10:47:06 PM   
Goodfella


Posts: 17421
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: North Devon
I had come here (at long last) to post my thoughts on England's recent tri-series and try and encourage some build-up and enthusiasm for the forthcoming World Cup but unfortunately we have to first address the continuing and forever irritatingly interfering circus that has become Kevin Pietersen cricket (can't believe they haven't release a game yet to be honest, seriously EA what are you up too?) and some nonsense about Eoin Morgan's Australian libido.

First up, let's all take a moment to point and laugh at Kevin. Last month he went on another one of his public 'name and shame' campaigns in which he spent a day of interviews telling every peewee journalist who would listen he'd had a clear and concise conversation in which skipper Eoin Morgan had told him he wanted him "in his World Cup squad." The interviews hit the airwaves and Morgan, under his own steam and no directive whatsoever from the ECB, released a personal statement saying he had had no such conversation with Kevin, hadn't talked to him in at least three months and was very happy with the squad of players he had and didn't appreciate anyone suggesting otherwise. Pietersen wrapped up over that one pretty quick and hasn't been back there since. It's in his book too, which should give one of many indications as to the sabotage of lies, mis-truths and misdirection campaigns that work of fiction is. I just finished Ricky Ponting's autobiography. It makes Pietersen's inane ramblings look like the Heat annual.

Today Pietersen has been again banging on his franchise T20 cricket drum. Of course one of the top three paid T20 franchise players in the world is going to want every cricketing nation to host a T20 tournament, no-one honestly believes self-motivation doesn't play a key role in this creeping phenomena among cricket's former "elite" who either stand a very realistic chance of playing in it, or coaching, or commentating it? The comments that are particularly eye-catching are the ones where he refers to every 18 to 23 year-old playing domestic county T20 cricket as a "muppet." That was especially endearing and the circus that has now become Kevin Pietersen Ltd is starting to not only frustrate more people, but also expose him for his true colours as a rather supersillious prat who's bloated egomania is again struggling to fit it's leash, a bit more public support than he could have imagined and he goes and puts his foot in it again.

I've done the reasons before why franchise T20 cricket won't work in England, from a logistical perspective and a financial one, but there is also the little issue of the supporters. Transgressing to a franchise format will mean cutting the 18 current counties to at least 12, if not less. That is a huge systemic change which is likely to have a very adverse effect on all counties involved in the change. Given England's two most profitable counties when it comes to T20 cricket, Somerset and Sussex, would be swallowed up by other, "bigger" counties just makes no worthwhile sense. County cricket is already fighting to survive against the grain in the modern era as it is but can you honestly see fans of Leicestershire travelling to Trent Bridge to watch a game or Somerset fans travelling to Bristol when T20 crowds have actually decreased? It does nothing for the extra money academies can supplement from the ECB for selecting seven plus 18-25 year-old English qualified players if all their money is swallowed up by overseas paypackets for T20 'superstars', it will result in academy cuts and it will result in less and less young boys considering professional cricket and the possibility of first-class international cricket because of not being able to fall back on T20 cricket. I realise that sounds hypocritical, but it's a reality. The ECB definitely have to keep trying to redevelop domestic cricket in this country but franchises are not the answer, it's not at all appealing to the British market either. Just look at rugby's spectacular failure at it, football won't ever consider it, Team London is never going to work in any frame outside of perhaps something like cycling, we're far too partisan, our allegiances and roots of culture in our sporting teams far too important, in many ways it's the reason why English cricket still keeps so many of it's traditions of the village green culture. It might sound sentimental, but again it's a reality. It works in India because they have transgressed heavily to Western and, especially American, culture in the last two decades and because T20 is their primary format of the sport now. It's worked in Australia because cricket is very much still a major sport over there, they have enough cricket-loving cities to encompass a franchise system that doesn't bear any effect on their state teams and they are not in any other direct competition with any other major cricketing events due to guaranteed good weather, something we most certainly can't say of England.

The easiest (and I use that term lightly) way to try and tackle the problem of continual modernising of cricket through T20 in this country is to stop dicking around with the summer schedules and simply block off one whole four to six week period for the format. Not three periods of two weeks, or one of four and one of two or six of four days and blah, blah, blah. Just one flat T20 season from the end of July through August. It'll make it far easier to attract the overseas players then and you can use international cricket like the Ashes to your advantage. Friday evening and Sunday afternoon crowds for T20 cricket at Somerset were at their height during the 2013 Ashes, it doesn't have to work against you if you market it right and you are not in a position to move it around freely like India and Australia can because of weather.

But, y'know, back to the actual cricket. I've watched most of England's three matches now and I have to say it's very much the mixed bag I expected it to be. The bowlers have done pretty well on some flush pitches that have offered a good battle between bat and ball but have been unable to dislodge a troubling batsman each time they've faced Australia. Against India Finn did a really good job of getting a short ball on a perfect length to beat Dhoni and completely write off any very meagre hope of a fightback but it seems to me unless we get you on the rack early and never really let you off, one is allowed to linger or you have a solid top-order puncher then we will always find a way to offer you 50 or 60 extra runs to make a game of it. That's how England lost the first game, they were bowling in all the right areas to David Warner but it wasn't working, we needed to change it up like we did against India but Jimmy and Finny were always going to get punished in that glare because once the seam started to ware it became too easy for Warner to play his shots away and he has really configured himself as a 360-degree player who looks to hit the ball across the ground now, especially with Clarke being absent, he realises his role is pivotal to top-order success.

India were very lazy in their shot selection against us and their bowling was truly uninspiring, made it easy for Belly with Binny and Yadav putting them in the slot like that. Australia beat us with only seven of their World Cup squad players the other night and that does not fill me full of confidence for the Valentine's Day opener at the MCG. I'm glad we've come to our senses and given youngsters like James Taylor an opportunity, he played well against India and showed how well he can use his wrists and feet on a quick pitch. Morgan's captaincy so far has been very indifferent, looked easy and comfortable when winning, and wandering when we've lost which is no surprise really. We bowled well on a true pitch to take it to the wire against Australia but opening the field on those last two overs was a six-of-one, half-a-dozen-of-the-other decision given there was still plenty of bounce. I am really starting to look forward to the World Cup though, it'll be good, if nothing else, to get some competitive cricket back and of course the World Cup is lots of fun even if the games come in a fast and blurry mess, are all on somewhere between the hours of 1.30pm and 3.30am for us Brits and even if England are likely to be lucky to get out of their pool (not literally of course).

I also hope the ICC do in fact vote a yes on allowing Mohammed Amir to return to cricket. I think he has served his time, I think it is clear from the staggering evidence this was a vulnerable young man who wasn't protected properly and a victim of those around him and of a populist corruptive culture that has plagued his home-game a long time before he picked up a cricket ball. There are already concerns about the evidence to the durability of the key witness Mahmood (also the undercover journalist) but I suspect even if he exaggerated certain circumstances for his own extra benefit the key points of the case are still true and with video evidence and a number of confession it's important that we see this as a reprieve for Amir, rather than any remorse on the part of the cricketing bodies. I think there is every likelihood he could start his career again domestically here and it won't be long before he's back playing for Pakistan, he's still their best seam bowling talent by a country mile and for the sake of a game it would be a shame to see a talent like his never on the field again, cricket partially has nobody else to blame but itself for the situation it found itself in with Amir and cricket fixing remains a major problem in the game and one that is not likely to go away quietly anytime soon. There's a lot we don't know too and a lot that the ICC, especially the significant Indian extension, would prefer we never found out. Amir is easily caught out and all too easy to shoulder all the blame, the problem is far deeper and more deep-seated than him and two senior players though and even I recommend one cricket book to read over the coming few months it is definitely Ed Hawkins Bookie Gambler Fixer Spy. That'll hit you harder than any Steven Finn bouncer will.


_____________________________

"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 #: 6998
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