A little bit about me and my little blog

This is by far not the first cricket blog to be written and it certainly won't be the last (or necessarily the best). But it's mine.

This is mainly an excuse for me to carry on about a sport that has been something of an obsession since I was knee high to a middle stump. An obsession which has never left throughout the many highs (behave, there have been some) and lows (and boy have there been many of those…..) of being and England cricket fan in the years since.

The views and opinions in this blog are entirely my own. Sometimes light-hearted, occasionally irreverent, hopefully never offensive.

What gives this fool the right to have an opinion on this great sport? Where are his credentials I hear you ask? Well I think my catch at mid-on in the inter-house final at Heath Grammar school in 1981 speaks for itself…..

Sunday, 16 February 2014

The Well Bowled, Harold A -Z of Cricket - C is for Calm
I know what you're thinking - Calm? Not cover drive, Captain Cook, Calamity-down-under, Compton, Cowdrey, Cricket Club or any other other C-related cricket word?

Well no, because in the past few weeks it seems that cricketing reality has become as twisted and confused as ever I can remember as an England fan. The multitude of ever increasing volatile assertions on the future of English cricket (including those within the game who should know better) which have recently bordered on blind panic, have been everywhere.

Yes I know that over the past few months English Cricket has been rather careless and irresponsible in holding on to what it had, quite frankly on somewhat of a cataclysmic level. Let's see if I can remember all that we've lost or simply mislaid off the top of my head; A world class top-order batsman, a world class off-spin bowler, the fourth highest Test run scorer in English cricket history, The Ashes, the ODI series, the T20 series, oh and our most successful ever coach by a country mile....... That's one heck of a depressing list and one which could no doubt be added to by someone else who had both the inclination and medication treatment available at the time.

Another thing that we seem to have completely mislaid is any sense of perspective, if the multitude of panic stricken and often volatile comments on both social and traditional media are anything to go by. 

He who shall remain nameless 
- my cryptic skills 
know few bounds
For example in the last week we've had the respective opposing camps in perhaps the daddy of all the current debates arguing either for the virtual deification or execution of a certain player who shall remain nameless. I say remain nameless because in the last week or so I have become almost physically nauseous whenever his name yet again comes up on my Twitter feed, radio, TV, Internet and newspapers etc etc (you get my drift?). So for the sake of this short article (and my sanity) I will not refer to him by name, I shall instead cunningly rearrange his initials and simply refer to him as PK. You may not believe that I'm a fan of the guy, but I have long supported and justified him as a man and cricketer. I appreciate that you may not know who I'm talking about.....

The unceremonious and very public sacking (for that's what it was) of PK was both debatable in its cricketing merits and the way it was undertaken by the clowns hierarchy at the ECB. The chaotic events first instigated by the fools at the  ECB ECB was mirrored by the very public spat between seemingly the rest of the world and PK's very vocal famous and influential supporter, who for the risk of my offending him and thereby causing work again for my over-stressed legal team I shall refer to to him again in a cleverly cryptic sense - Mierce Porgan. Whilst I am and forever will be a huge fan of PK's cricketing talents, referring to him as his mate Mr Porgan did as 'Englands greatest ever player' is taking hyperbole to a level that even I wouldn't dare attempt.

Even now the very public nights of anger and emotion surround the whole affair as accusations of Captain Cook and Matt Prior having a pivotal role in PK's removal seem to further galvanise opinion. Come on people, lets move on, rebuild the team and just calm down.

Ahhhh, happy times.....
As I write this piece on a very sunny and rather lovely mid-February afternoon the main conversation in the Twitter universe seems to be the head-coaching/director of cricket/boss man replacement for Andy Flower. I, like many others, thought that the sacking leaving by mutual consent of our most successful coach EVER was yet another knee-jerk panic decision from the jokers people in charge.

I honestly excepted at least a few considered and calm weeks of thought and discussion about what went wrong from our perspective, but instead was rewarded with what appeared from the outside to be a DONT PANIC DON'T PANIC!! sort of reaction that we last saw in an episode of Dads Army.

Yes he was the person in charge and therefore ultimately responsible for the calamity-down-under, but I sincerely felt that the highs far overshadowed the lows of his tenure as the excerpt provided by the BBC shows below;

England under Andy Flower

  • August 2009: England regain the Ashes with a 2-1 series victory
  • May 2010: England win their first ever ICC global event in the World Twenty20
  • January 2011: History is made down under with England winning their first Ashes series in Australia for 24 years
  • August 2011: England whitewash India 4-0 to go top of the world Test rankings
  • August 2013: England beat Australia 3-0 for third straight Ashes series win
  • April 2009: England dismissed for 51 against West Indies in Jamaica in Flower's first Test since taking over as interim team director
  • May 2009: Hosts England suffer humiliating defeat by the Netherlands in their opening match of World Twenty20
  • February 2012: England crash to a 3-0 series defeat against Pakistan in UAE
  • January 2014: England suffer a 5-0 Ashes series whitewash for only the third time in their history
The man had so much more to offer in the role.

However, once again levels of blind panic seem to be taking over even the sanest of us when it comes to Flower's successor. The main contender seems to be soliciting the more extreme and negative of comments - some (again who should know better) going as far as suggesting that it would be cricketing suicide and downright madness to give Ashley Giles the job. Now I'm in no real position to talk about being correct in terms of predictions, I for one suggested that way back in 2009 that a certain Mr A Flower would be a dud as England coach and would never be much of a success. So you can take with a pinch of salt that I also think the same of the King of Spain's chances of being a a smash hit as head coach  - after all, his tenure so far as ODI supremo has been, well, pants hasn't it?

Bloody Mitchell Johnson?! - I'd have had him in my time!
However, we all need to (yes you've guessed it) calm down and take a breath or two. Whoever does eventually take the reins should be given every chance to succeed - my worry is that Giles won't be given that opportunity by the wider public if it is he that is given the job. 

At least some semblance of calm sanity did seem to reappear recently when Angus Fraser was chosen as a new team selector and then Paul Collingwood was installed as England’s assistant coach for the short tour of the West Indies and the World T20 finals in Bangladesh. Now at least some steel might be installed again.

People have very short memories. Yes there are problems in our game and overall set-up, but leaving aside the obvious exception of the IPL we've been in a pickle once or twice before and things have eventually improved. We were indeed beaten by a far better team than any of us realised over the winter as the recent smashing of the Saffers in their own back yard by Mitchell et al in the first Test earlier this week indicates - so maybe a little perspective is in order eh?

As long as we all stay calm we'll be fine.

1 comment:

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