Welcome to The Full Toss Cricket Blog.
As our strap-line says, we are the voice – or at least a voice – of English cricket.
We are the amateur cricketers debating the latest selection dilemma over a pint after the game. We are the Facebook soap-boxers holding court on whether it should be Bairstow or Stokes for the 1st Test. We are the punters who fork out £70 once a year for a day at the cricket.
We don’t get paid for watching cricket, but we love it. During at least one winter tour, we will have followed entire sessions of play via Ceefax page 341, nervously re-entering the room to see if there’s another line of blue on the screen.
We are sceptical about cricket authorities and generally affectionate towards our players. No matter how far ahead England might be in a Test match, we anticipate defeat. We are, perhaps, the grass roots – or at least some of them.
We are hardly the first cricket website to represent this perspective, which is why we stress that The Full Toss is only a voice. Nevertheless, we sense a slight gap in the market.
There are two particular inspirations. Firstly, the blizzard of debate and cricket chatter on Facebook and Twitter during the 2009 Ashes – the way a friend would post a provocative status update, about strategy, selection or predictions, and everyone else would then pile in with their two penn’orth. Our aim is to bring those discussions together under one roof.
Secondly, our growing sense that cricket insiders and professional journalists, for all their indispensable expertise, sometimes misread or overlook the emotions of ordinary followers. A classic example occurred during the fourth innings of the 2009 Oval Test match. The pundits, knowing from personal experience that Australia had no chance of chasing down the target to win, glibly but correctly assumed the result was a foregone conclusion.
At home, it wasn’t quite as simple as that: we still thought England would lose.