AuthorBilly Crawford

Squandering the Crown Jewels

Last week I had the privilege of attending a live County Championship game for the first time in nearly two years. Northamptonshire’s Wantage Road ground looked positively picturesque and the gentle hum of spectators was as tranquil as it had ever been before these dark last 18 months. I was also able to witness a young English spinner bowling with guile, control and generally giving a wonderful exhibition of his craft, ending up with 7 first innings wickets. The name of this young bowler? Dom...

An indictment of the ECB

Remember the term ‘fortress Edgbaston’? Well, the best way to undermine a stronghold is to chip away at its foundations until the whole thing collapses. Billy Crawford gets to the root of the problem … Cast your mind back 16 years to September 13th, 2005. Thousands upon thousands of people lined Oxford Street and crammed into Trafalgar Square to greet the England cricket team. Such was the clamour for the national summer game that 20,000 people had been turned away from Old...

Ollie Robinson deserves understanding as well as condemnation

Yesterday should have been the proudest moment of Ollie Robinson’s life. He had made his Test debut for England and taken his first test match wickets. His day ended slightly differently than he might have expected, however. After racist and offensive tweets made by Robinson as an 18-year-old emerged, he was placed in front of the TV cameras, clearly a broken man, while the great and the good of English cricket lined up to condemn him. The ECB chief executive Tom Harrison was harshest. “I do...

Time to welcome the good guys of world cricket

Every now and then a player comes along who reminds us all why we love sport, why it matters to us and most of all how it should be played. This year we have been blessed with 11 of them. They are the New Zealand cricket team and they really are a breath of fresh air. To those of us who follow cricket closely, this will be no surprise. The revolution in New Zealand cricket first began with the appointment of Brendon McCullum in 2012. Much has been made of the attacking, fearless brand of the...

Why I just can’t fall in love with T20

Stanley Kubrik subtitled Dr Strangelove, his superb Cold War satire, How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb. I really wanted to call this article How I learned to stop worrying and love T20 but I just can’t bring myself to do it.  I should be able to. After all, I don’t need sports to go on for days to be able to enjoy them. I am a passionate football and rugby fan, both of which complete an entire encounter before a Test match has even reached lunch on the...

T20 is the real threat to Test Cricket, not poor pitches

In the last week there has been an extraordinary amount of media hyperbole about the condition of the pitch for the 3rd Test in Ahmedabad, where England succumbed to a humiliating two day defeat. The general opinion seems to be that such pitches are a threat to the very existence of Test cricket. In the Daily Telegraph, Simon Heffer even suggested that the wickets taken in the match should be disregarded by the Wisden Almanack.  Of course, the pitch was substandard and prepared with India’s...

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