Broader Issues Should Not Exonerate Moores

Moores in first stint

Yes, I know. England won’t win the World Cup until there’s root and branch reform of the English game and we change our attitude to ODI cricket.

I also realise we won’t win a global tournament until a franchise based ELP is established, and those responsible for abolishing 50 over cricket in England between 2009 and 2013 are hung, drawn and quartered.

However, there is one thing the authorities can do to improve England’s performances right away: sack Peter Moores.

I don’t mean to be harsh – as I wrote yesterday, Moores seems like a decent man doing his best – but what’s clear now more now than ever is that Moores’ best isn’t anywhere near good enough.

It’s hardly a surprise. Moores was horribly out of his depth last time he was England coach. We were told he had learned a lot since then but results are equally bad, if not worse.

When Moores was reappointed, Downton argued his failure in the job first time round should be seen as a positive: falling flat on your face can apparently lead to enlightenment.

You’ve got to laugh. I bet Downton never sacked an incompetent worker in The City then reappointed him a few years later because “he’s learned a lot since he shredded important documents by accident and spilled scolding hot coffee over the CEO”. The logic used to justify Moores’ reappointment was post-rationalisation of the worst kind. And it looks even more ridiculous now.

Even if we put the politics of his reappointment to one side, Moores’ position is now untenable. When a group of players are performing well below their potential – and make no mistake, this England team has some talent – the coaches must be blamed.

When Kevin Pietersen was sacked, the ostensible reason was to create an environment and culture in which cricketers could thrive. Moores has singularly failed to achieve this.

England misunderstand what creating a successful environment actually entails. Removing egos might improve team spirit to a certain extent, but the overall environment is bigger than how chummy players are.

As Nick Compton reminded us on Sky the other day, confident, brash, aggressive individuals can be a positive influence: they are winners, and their confidence and positive thinking can rub off on those who aren’t so sure of themselves – especially youngsters finding their way. Picking match winners, and actually winning a few matches, also improves the environment.

Although some things are beyond a coach’s control – and the players must take their share of the blame for the World Cup disaster too – it’s the coach’s responsibility to foster an environment in which players feel comfortable and can flourish. I’ve seen no evidence of this whatsoever under Moores. England have looked unsure, timid and tense.

Downton and Moores talk a good game – and many people were initially taken in by the former’s affable persona – but the proof of the pudding is in the eating:

The first time Moores was in charge, the senior players disliked his methods and the team regressed. History is repeating istelf: Moores simply cannot get the most out of England’s senior players. Perhaps, as a product of the county system with little experience of the international game, Moores struggles to inspire anything other than county cricketers.

People point to England’s resurgence against India last summer as evidence that Moores can indeed hack it. They ignore the loss against Sri Lanka, the humiliation at Lord’s, the fact that England’s bowling improved when Anderson and Broad started ignoring team instructions, plus the obvious point that India were completely disinterested …

Now the amiable Cook is no longer the focal point, mainstream journalists like Stephen Brenkley are finally portraying Moores’ solitary series win for what it really was: a decent, but by no means seminal, achievement against a side that didn’t really care; it was the only bright spot in a year of constant disappointment. Moores has won just one series out of five, and overseen our worst ever World Cup humiliation.

Moores has also been found wanting tactically. Buttler was hidden down the order at seven; Ballance was brought in at three (even though he bats five for Yorkshire in limited overs cricket); Hales was in and out of the side then finally tried at number three (a new position). Taylor did well at three, but was promptly moved to six (again, an unfamiliar position). And finally, after performing pretty well with the new ball in the warm-up games, Chris Woakes was suddenly first change again.

Moores’ tinkering resembled Claudio Ranieri on amphetamines. The bowling plans were also nonsensical. The management complain the attack was too samey, but they hardly gave Ravi Bopara (who is skiddy and offers some kind of variation) a bowl.

Downton might complain about the side’s lack of experience, but twelve months ago he was heralding the arrival of new talent. If fresh blood was required after the Ashes, and he was responsible for ushering in this exciting new era, he can hardly blame lack of experience for England’s woes. I’m sorry Paul, but you can’t have it both ways.

What’s more, England have treated their remaining experienced players very dubiously indeed: Bopara’s 119 caps were deemed surplus to requirements on the eve of the tournament, the benefit of Pietersen’s 136 caps discarded a year ago, and James Tredwell didn’t get the chance to add to his 44 appearances.

The ‘inexperience’ excuse also seems hollow because Bangladesh’s team has even less caps than ours. There are less holes in a kilo of Swiss cheese than in Downton and Moores’ defence.

I should also mention that David Saker, the longest standing member of Moores’ team, was arguably the coach who performed worst. Never before has an international attack bowled so short, for so long, for so little reward.

How fitting that the final two wickets that sealed England’s fate yesterday came from yorkers – the delivery our bowlers neglect so palpably.

In Downton’s interview with Sky yesterday, plus the video published on the ECB website (in which he produced exactly the same sound-bites), the MD backed Moores because it’s still “early into his appointment”. We were also reminded that things were always going to be tough.

While there is obviously some truth in this – Moores is not the only England coach to suffer World Cup humiliation – transitional periods don’t necessarily have to be this way.

When Darren Lehmann took the Australia job many thought it was a poisoned chalice. The Aussies had just been whitewashed in India, senior players were throwing their toys out of the pram, and there were fitness concerns over several senior players. Michael Clarke’s position as captain was also under scrutiny.

It took Lehmann just a few months to turn things around. He realised Australia still had a number of very good cricketers. The problem was the environment created by Mickey Arthur. It wasn’t working, so Lehmann changed things – the atmosphere became more relaxed, the approach to training changed and players were encouraged to express themselves and play aggressively.

When Mickey Arthur was sacked the ACB ushered in real change. Going back to Tim Neilsen, as England went back to the future with Moores, was never an option.

Nobody is pretending that firing Moores will solve all England’s ills – there’s still the small matter of those who appointed him – but it’s the logical first step.

Ask yourself this: would Australia be in the position they are now had they shown faith in Mickey Arthur?

Changes off the field won’t be effective unless the team is being coached and managed by the right people. Tactics, selection and the team environment matter. To argue otherwise is ridiculous.

This World Cup has been a disaster. It will be an utter catastrophe if ECB politics keeps Moores in place.

James Morgan


  • Moores should certainly be sacked. But what about Downton himself? And Saker? And the selectors, especially James Whittaker? And what about Andy Flower who still exerts so much influence and was, undoubtedly, the advisor behind Pietersen’s undeserved sacking and Moores’ undeserved re-appointment?

    As far as I am concerned, English cricket deserves much better people in important management and coaching positions.

    • All of ’em Zero. All of ’em! Has anyone noticed that there has been nothing coming from Darth Vader Clark? Where’s he hiding. Had plenty to say when Graves said KP could come back and play for England. Now this utter humiliation and he is silent. If the stitch up between the County Chairman to allow Clarke to continue to be involved in the ICC, we might just have seen the back of that thug!

      • Giles Clarke should be locked up wherever Stanford is. The two crooks deserve each other.

        • I love it. He’s an awful man and a ridiculous looking figure.. After he made a presentation at the Oval to Kevin to mark his 100th test if I remember rightly, he was walking away with a lackey only inches behind me. There was no one else there so I was listening to every word he said. H was being so rude and sarcastic about Kevin’s presentation. Unfortunately, they then veered away from me and that was it. I was getting ready to pass it on to a newspaper after he’d hung himself properly.

        • Just to be clear, Clarke has never been convicted of criminal offences. Be careful folks.

          • I don’t know much about the Stanford Affair only what I’ve picked up on here and on Dmitri’s blog. However Clarke is, at present, conspicuous by his absence. He had plenty to say when Graves offered KP a way in – albeit dodgy way in – Clarke, Downton and Whittaker all said there was no way back for KP. Now silence from Clark? Hmm. Don’t like the man whatsoever. Don’t like Downton – who has said that Moores will carry on – nor do I like Whittaker who has also said that there is no way back for KP. So who is in charge here? I am not holding my breath that Graves will do all that is necessary to change the culture that surrounds England Cricket. It is a wait and see jobby. Something drastic has to change. What is going to happen when England meets New Zealand and the West Indians? I can’t even brace myself to think about the Ashes.

            Is Graves going to deal with the deadly coaching? I was interested in what George Dobell has said:
            ‘It is at Loughborough – Bluffborough as it should be known – where fast bowlers are homogenised, where individuality is crushed and where a game that should be largely instinctive and joyful becomes scientific and filled with fear. At every level, coaches and support staff motivated by justifying their own continued employment, tinker and tamper with natural talent. Players prosper despite, not because, of their involvement.’

            There is so much that is wrong about England from top to bottom. It is going to take a very determined man at the top who is willing to make the decisions, no matter what the fall out is. Seeing Downton still posturing makes me sick.

    • Many would say that sacking Moores would make Downton’s position untenable.

      I’m sure we’ll all discuss Downton, Flower etc in the coming days. Today I just wanted to focus on Moores in this particular article. Feel free to broaden the discussion though.

      • Of course it would.
        Which is probably why Downton still has “full confidence” in him, despite what every other observer is calling one of our most humiliating defeats ever.

        • Downton’s credibility is nil. I take comfort in the fact that this is the guy that said Alastair Cook would definitely be ODI captain for the World Cup, only to be completely undermined when less than a week later Cook was gone. His opinion is completely worthless as the Cook incident demonstrated.

          • I only hope Colin Graves has the bottle to do what needs to be done. First things first, Moores should be given his P45, swiftly followed by Downton. There is more dead wood in the management set up that needs to dealt with but it would be a positive start towards creating the right environment to turn things around.

            • I wonder what Geoffrey Boycott has said/will say to Graves? Can’t imagine he wasn’t, or won’t be blunt.

        • Absolutely right Nigel. I think this is a stand off between Downton and the incoming Graves. Downton seems to think he is god. I am sorry to say this but I really do despise him for what he has done to England Cricket this past 14months. And I feel sorry for Moores. He’s been used by Downton. He was chosen because he would do exactly what Downton wanted. And of course he is a good scapegoat for Downton if it all goes pear-shaped. At the moment he talks about Moores being the only person to lead England, but given what he did with Cook, if push comes to shove, Downton will get rid of Moores to save his own neck. Downton and Clark disgust me. Moores was just too pliable and out of his depth. And yet he does have to go. But the whole system has to change and that means all these buggers need to be sent packing.

    • I don’t think anyone is giving the players a ‘get out clause’ – certainly not Bob Willis – indeed the ‘inexperienced team’ England fielded is being blamed for the misery by Clownton himself!!!

      • oh, and neither Moores nor Downton accept any responsibility for anything and Giles Clarke has ‘disappeared’

  • I maintain that being knocked out of this WC at the group stages is the best thing that could have happened to Eng. No more denial is possible; no more excuses will be taken seriously.

    It’s pretty clear that devaluing limited-overs cricket hasn’t worked for the ECB, the Eng players or Eng fans. From now on, ODIs and T20s must be given equal priority with Tests. If that means having 3 completely separate teams for each format with 3 different coaches and only a few players playing in more than one format, so be it. The whole Eng cricketing world (including the fans) must be willing to do whatever it takes to move into the 21st century.

    This may well involve doing things that many Eng fans and cricket-lovers won’t like. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned from this débâcle, reactionary prejudices can no longer be respected or listened to.

    • Why 3 completely different teams? Australia seem to do ok with many test players in both formats of limited overs cricket

      • “IF that means having 3 completely separate teams for each format…”

        Learn to read.

    • “If that means having 3 completely separate teams for each format with 3 different coaches and only a few players playing in more than one format, so be it”.

      Can you name any other successful international team that does that? Look at the SL team that won the T20 WC and you see the Test team (Sanga, Mahela, Mathews, Thirimanne, Herath) provided the backbone of that side with some additional one-day specialists.

      We need to develop the flexibility in our top players to be outstanding in the different formats.

      • “IF that means having 3 completely separate teams for each format…”

        Learn to read.

        • He read it fine, and pointed out in return that the teams most successful in all three formats have the same core (and same coach, for that matter), and asked if there was a successful precedent for what you were suggesting.

          So you learn to read, and learn some fucking manners while you’re about it ‘Anonymous’.

    • I agree. Me and my hubs were discussing this very thing today. The ECB has been so backward looking for so long. It seems as though they think they can still sing “Rule Britannia” as the leaders of the Cricket world. I think we all know that just ain’t so. Downton and the rest can make the excuse that we don’t really care about short games but it ain’t so. Whilst we continue to prevent any development of our players for the short games we will continue to be a laughing stock. What the ECB and its mates need to learn is that the rest of the world is moving forwards; The rest of the world doesn’t need England anymore. Many of the best players in the world play in the IPL. The cream of cricket playing could have really raised the game and mindset of our players. What did the ECB do? Prevent it. So whilst the rest of the world and his wife were shoulder to shoulder with the cream of cricket, our blokes were denied. Whatever anyone thinks of IPL and all the arguments around it, it has been a place where cricket players have been able to learn from the best. If the ECB really wants to develop England Cricket then it needs to catch up with the rest of the world. No one owes them a damn thing. If they do not change their ways then the rest of the world might say: Foxtrot Oscar to England we just don’t need you anymore.

    • I booked Lords because I wanted to see New Zealand play. England didn’t come in to my thoughts. That’s where we’re at I’m afraid.

  • To me, English cricket is rotten through and through. From the faceless individuals at the ECB who employ a “yes man” who has been out of the game for years in Paul Downton and who sell not just their soul, but all the cricket lover’s souls by fiercely defending their decision not to show any live free to air cricket on television. These same individuals who carve up cricket between themselves and BCCI and CA and tell everyone it is in the best interests of world cricket.

    Yes, rotten through and through when I go to watch my beloved Hampshire at the awfully commercial Ageas Bowl and buy a tasteless, tiny burger for £5 and a pint of pish for £4.50. The ECB are pushing a culture of greed and of people who are too afraid or too well paid to argue.

    The debacle that was the World Cup for England has shown this country’s cricketing authorities up for what they are. Greedy, clueless and gutless and until it changes at the top we will carry on getting ripped off at county games, unable to watch cricket unless we succumb to the Sky bandwagon and of course, carry on watching inadequate
    coaches lead England to humiliation and humiliation on a world scene.

  • PETER MOORES (actual comment) : ‘We thought 275 was chaseable. We will have to look at the data’.
    PAUL DOWNTON (actual comment) : ‘I have every faith in Peter Moores. He will stay.’
    You couldn’t make this up could you. And this is the mentality of the two main guys in charge of the future of England cricket! Perhaps WE should look at the data!

  • Moores may be a decent man as we keep hearing. He kept schtum after his first sacking. That was good. He also acquiesced (at least) in the Pietersen sacking and had a big enough ego to accept the job a second time around which is less so.

    He seems like Graham Taylor or Steve McClaren to me – a decent domestic coach but out of his depth on the international stage. Even the FA didn’t try to reappoint McClaren.

    Who would replace Moores? I can’t see an English coach up to the task (although I’m suspecting we might end up with Farbrace). The inability of English sport to produce quality coaches needs some serious analysis (if only we had people called journalists to examine such things!). One small step would be for some of our coaches to get involved in the IPL. Shane Bond from NZ is the latest from another country going that way. Moores would have learnt a lot from trying some of his methods on David Warner or Dale Steyn. The mind boggles!

    • I can see Farbrace getting the gig, but if I was s betting man I’d put a few quid on Ashley Giles. Why? Because he’s a safe pair of hands, won’t rock the boat, and would be by far the most ridiculous appointment imaginable. Meets all the ECB’s criteria ;-)

    • and there lies the rub!! The lousy rotten ECB embedded journalists who have blindly supported that shower of shit unquestioningly for so long are every bit as culpable in my opinion! I note tht even Selvey has turned, somewhat, on his beloved Downton!

      • Only because he needs to explain to his bosses why he has been wrong about everything for the last year. If they were paying attention Selvey would be out on the street by now.

        So now after this latest disaster brought to you by a cast of clowns that Selvey has backed he is pretending he played no supporting role in the mess.

  • Apparently, according to the sainted Selvey, Saker has already given 6 months notice to the ECB. But symbolically, they should sack him anyway, just to make a point.
    What on earth has he got on the upper echelons that he wasn’t got rid of last Winter? I don;t suppose we’ll ever know . . .

    • “Saker has already given 6 months notice to the ECB”

      Excellent news, then he’ll be around with the wonderful Peter Moores and the terrific and insufficiently lauded Alastair Cook for the Ashes.

      Should be a great clean sweep.. I mean series.

  • Everyone talks about Downton as if he had some sort of senior job in the City……clerk more like… out of his depth

  • I take no great pleasure in saying I predicted this outcome before the cup started. Moores must go now, my worry is who replaces him? I would love to see Paul Collingwood given a go. That would be a genuine statement of intent. I also think Neil Harris is right in saying that Broad, Anderson, Bell and Morgan must also go along with Ravi Bop being finally cut loose. (Link to his excellent blog is in the comments above).
    Seeing as you mentioned him, what would be the odds of Mickey Arthur being brought in? They went back to Moores after he had failed, I wouldn’t put it past them! Horrifying thought!

    • Morgan was handed the poison chalice and parachuted in a few weeks before the start to captain Cook and Moores team. You could see he was operating in a strait jacket, and that his soundbites, within a week or so, were pure Moorespeak. He needs to get to the IPL to straighten his head out, despite the likes of Selvey villifying him for not going to the Ireland ODI

  • Not to worry – the longer Moores has a job the worse we’ll become. The worse we become the more likely the whole ECB dungheap will eat itself. It’ll happen now, or it’ll happen after the Kiwis stuff us, or when the Aussies marmalise us. It’s going to happen this Summer. Downton can continue with the lionising of Moores and Cook but we are gonna get flushed this Summer. Put a monkey on it.

    Do we have a super rich Kerry Packer type in this country? A lover of cricket who can fund an anti-ECB and a new national structure for non-profit? Just day-dreaming…

    • Rebel leagues are probably the best way forward for the global game. Smash the monopolies…

  • This is fairly devastating as an example of being hoist with your own statistical petard…
    “…Moores’ record first time around was played 73, won 29, lost 32, drawn 8. Add in his results in the last year (played 36, won 13, lost 21, drawn 2) and you find he now has the worst record of any of the four coaches the team have had, worse even than David Lloyd’s in the days before central contracts. Not only that, Moores’ record is, in fact, worse than those of every other current coach of a Test-playing nation. West Indies haven’t yet appointed a permanent replacement for Ottis Gibson, but the win/loss ratios of the eight remaining coaches range from 2.625 for Darren Lehmann down to 0.795 for Waqar Younis. Moores comes in just a lick below that at 0.792. Right now, “a look at the data”, to borrow the man’s own phrase, shows that judged by his win/loss ratio Moores is both the least successful coach in England’s history and the least successful coach on the international circuit.”

  • Give me the choice between the greatest coach of his generation, and the greatest players of their generation. And I will take the greatest players every time thank you very much. I just think international coaches are overrated. Moores comes across to me as a comic figure. Stats and data, David Brent speak.

    Whether he goes or not, will there be any real change? It seems to me the people above him who don’t want change,will dump him if it saves their jobs.

    We have had various coaches over the last 25 years and it has not made much difference to our ODI cricket. The more power they get the weaker the captains perform. Where we need good coaches is at the lower level at county cricket and youth cricket. We need good coaches at Loughborough, improving players not destroying them. The bigger issue about Moores is why was he appointed after failing before? And was it done to keep a line of control to Flower.

    Produce good players and then get out of the way. Don’t rely on Svengali types to run every aspect of the process.

  • Lots of good points here.
    Crucial for me is that Bopara and Tredwell were in the squad, but not properly tried out in the warmups. I can believe that actually neither of them would have fared well on these pitches. But if you have them in the squad you have to try them in the warmups, so that you know. That’s really a basic of management. And it’s lacking such basics that suggest Moores isn’t right for the job.

    I’ll note in passing that:

    a) His first tenure was a train wreck – and it wasn’t just about player disagreements – the results were not good either.

    b) There was no evidence that he had actually learned anything from the last time around. Despite the fluff pieces from some of the press, his methods were rather unchanged.

    Finally of course, Saker – what happened there? He had the players bowling well early on in his career. Something very strange occurred…

    • “Finally of course, Saker – what happened there? He had the players bowling well early on in his career. Something very strange occurred…”

      I think what actually happened was that his predisessor Ottis Gibson had got the bowlers into good nick and had established a set up that got the absolute best out of them. Saker inherited the system, changed it to suit his methods and in the process completely screwed everything up.

  • The format of this World Cup meant that even if England played badly they could comfortably make the quarter finals. So the fact they didn’t get that far is beyond shocking.
    Especially when you add this was not played in sub continent and we had a free 6 months of odi cricket on run up.
    No England coach in a generation has had this much going for them leading up to a World Cup yet still there are excuses.

    Darren Lehman lost 3-0 in his first series as coach but the Oz team got themselves in winnable positions in FOUR of those test matches. We have not looked close to winning in the games we lost.

    The only reason I have heard to keep Moores is for the sake of maintaining consistency but this is a guy that used JELLY BEANS as a tactic, picked Pattinson, lost Vaughen & Peterson as captains, got relegated with Lancs and as far as I’m aware has never won an odi completion with anyone.

    But hey at least he inspires ‘ethics & unity’

  • Loved this comment by MildredPlotka under the Selvey piece:

    “Paul Downton has a managerial role with the England cricket team, and yesterday stated that he didn’t know anything about T20 cricket and the way that it had changed the game. Yet he appointed the coach.

    Downton has a public relations role with the ECB, and yet very early on admitted he had never heard of social media.

    Every day must be so exciting for him. So many new things to find out about.”

    LOLOL. Actually, I feel like crying.

    • Just heard on TalkSport that Downton asked John Etheridge who he thought should be England coach today. Classic! To be honest, I think Etheridge has probably watched more cricket and knows more about the modern game than Downton, so why not :-)

    • Which also involves a fair degree of mind reading.

      Talented guy, that Barnes.
      Or do I just mean over imaginative ?

    • Be fair. He blamed more than just KP, and identified a “Curse of the Bambino” for English cricket.

      “The parody Twitter account KPGenius caused deep pain to Pietersen. It follows that it gave deep delight to people in the England team who found Pietersen difficult to deal with. The subversive giggling created a deep fissure through the team. When you have such a geology it doesn’t take much to create a major landslide.

      And that’s what happened when England went to Australia in 2013 still fancying themselves a great cricket team. Mitchell Johnson’s ferocious bowling acted like a ton of dynamite on that fault line and the team collapsed. A team of talented players found that they could do no right. It was a tour punctuated by the departure of cricketers who could take no more, and it was followed by that of coaches who felt the same.”

      In other words, he blames KPGenius and KP’s egotism equally.

  • Anyone listening to 5Live ?

    The panel are a bunch of apologists for the current setup.

  • James
    PLEASE don’t use ‘less’ when you mean ‘fewer’. Undermines your argument no matter how powerful !

    • Oh John you pedant. I apologise unreservedly.

      I’m an advertising copywriter by trade, so I’m allowed to bend grammatical rules and write conversational English. I’ll continue to start sentences with ‘and’ too :-)

  • Given the Broader issues, when thicko Stuart came in and smashed an unlikely six, why did he grab a single off the last ball of the over and take Woakes off strike – a guy striking the ball well and with 40 runs to his name? Is there a more stupid cricketer than Broad?

    • Yes, Anderson.
      As night watchman in Australia — after Flower pushed him out there to risk getting a F- broken arm in a lost cause, he took a single off the first ball he faced and got the recognised batsman on strike, who then got out.
      Or years ago v. WI when he was sent in as night watchman and then batted on the next day for an hour and scored about 3 when quick runs were needed. WI escaped with a draw and (if I remember correctly) the series.

      Stuff like that is what coaches should be explaining to their players. Or should have explained in club cricket. It’s fairly simple tactical stuff. Or even simpler stuff, like the bowler getting behind the stumps for a run out. Or the non-striker backing up properly (and legally) and not wandering out of his crease aimlessly like Cook always does. (At least they’ve learned that since the summer, I notice.)

  • Could Graves be using Pietersen as a trojan horse to force a confrontation with Downton, Whittaker and others? Downton has said the team is too inexperienced, KP has more experience than almost anyone else in the team. Moores said there are no better players he could pick. KP has the highest ODI average, I believe, compared to anyone who played against Bangladesh.

  • I am going to go back to the Dexter days and blame England’s defeat on the fact that Moores had not shaved for at least 3 days. How much more obvious does it get than that? The ECB ran out of razor blades.

  • So, I wake up this morning to find that both Ali and Woakes are injured and not playing in the game against Afghanistan. What’s this all about – what injuries? how long have they been there? Doesn’t this sound all too familiar???

    And Downton’s called for a review of the WCMess – hohohoh – nothing ever changes with this lot

  • Eject Moores: acquire normality.

    Eject Saker: acquire unsullied fast bowlers.

    Eject Downton: reacquire his salary and some office space at Lords.

    Eject Whitaker: acquire… yes, I’ll do it for free. CV’s in the envelope. Stamp’s in my wallet.

    Reacquire KP: bat like it’s 2019.

    But – hang on! – if the cricket team’s like the soccer team we’ll out-worst ourselves in the next World Cup and go out after three matches… assuming we are allowed in the slimmed-down competition.

  • George Dobell’s latest has this line tucked away:

    “Whitaker, who not long ago said Pietersen would “never” play for England again, will meet the player shortly to discuss that very possibility”.

    • That’s interesting Simon H. Ooh I missed that one. Interesting that when Graves made that announcement, Clarke, Downton and Whittaker all said it was a non-starter. Decision was made over a year ago and Whittaker said that there was no way KP would ever play for England again. So changed his mind aye? If I were KP. I would wait and talk to the organ grinder rather than the monkey! Maybe the power game behind the scenes is hotting up more than I thought? Who knows, Graves might just sweep them all aside. I won’t hold my breath though. The thing that really bothers me is that none of us knows what “deal” was done to allow Clarke to remain at the ICC and Graves to have a free hand? It was clear that some of the county Chairman wanted to ensure that Clarke would be allowed to stay at the ICC. So what was the “deal?” It does seem that there is a lot of power play going on, otherwise why would Whittaker have a chat with KP, given that Whittaker said only last week that there was no way back? Someone kicked his backside? Graves promises transparency at the ECB. Have to wait and see just how transparent the ECB becomes.

      • With regard to the odious Clark. The writing was on the wall that the County chairmen would vote him out. The deal was that if he was made Hon. Pres. with no executive powers and appointed to be the ECB’s representative at the ICC then he could slip out quietly without suffering the ignominy of losing the vote and being kicked out completely. Whilst at the ICC he will be controlled and scrutinised by the ECB board.
        I would have just let him be kicked out, but, with everything blowing up and everything that needs to be done now he’s just one less irritation that has to be dealt with?

  • Little nugget on Downton from the DM

    “Paul Downton, managing director of England Cricket, must realise his job would be untenable if Peter Moores, whom he appointed as coach, is axed after the World Cup debacle.
    Downton naively rounded on a group of cricket reporters in Wellington during his stay at the tournament to ask them to lay off the beleaguered Moores and get behind him instead”.

  • Carberry said something interesting about the use of stats — that at Hampshire he was given freedom to just get as many as he can, according to the conditions, but in the England dressing room they would have worked out how many runs they think are needed in those conditions, and he’d be told they want to be 40/0 after ten overs, or something. That’s exactly what the press has been accusing Moores of doing. Butcher said something similar a while ago.

    Also looked at the interview with Downton, where he says they would have fancied themselves against India, had they not already been knocked out at the earliest possible moment…. Holy heck that guy is a fool. Does he even know which sport he’s in charge of?

    • I reckon that’s the no. 1 cause of England players failing. The counties train them to play properly, and then the England coaches demand that they play arse-backwards. No wonder they all get worse…


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