CategoryECB

What English cricket could *really* learn from rugby

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The other day here at TFT, James reflected on one of 2014’s less-reported episodes of ECB misjudgement: their obsession with Stuart Lancaster. If you’ll forgive me, I’d like to give the subject one more airing (even though Dmitri has got in first). A quick recap. In March last year, Giles Clarke told the Evening Standard: Stuart Lancaster has done a fantastic job. In a very...

Brian Close, 1931-2015

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There are a few things cricket blogs can do better than the mainstream press. Obituaries are rarely among them. I’d love to pay fulsome tribute to Brian Close, but I rather doubt I’d do him justice. Close was never England’s finest batsman or bowler. But he was the stuff of genuine cricketing legend. Pugnacious, rebellious, insanely brave, Close was one of the most colourful and...

The Tom Harrison interview revisited

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Last month, Tom Harrison – the chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board – gave his first full media interviews – to Sky Sports and Test Match Special – since taking up his post in January. It is to be regretted that in a climate of continuing political turmoil in English cricket its most powerful executive remained in the shadows for seven whole months. Did...

Ker-ching: part four

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Throughout the 2015 international season we’ve been researching the price of tickets for England matches. We approached each host county and asked them to tell us how many seats they were selling, for each match, in which price brackets. Only Durham, Glamorgan, and Warwickshire, were prepared to disclose the exact number of tickets available for specific prices. For those grounds we were...

Balancing the tightrope

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Although team selection issues may divide opinion, it almost goes without saying that the vast majority of English cricket fans are appalled by the ECB’s institutional conduct over recent years.  The carve-up of cricket the board agreed with Cricket Australia and the BCCI last year is in my view the most egregious of all of their misdemeanours, given its far-reaching implications for the...

Why are we playing less cricket?

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64,000 fewer of us have played cricket this year. The ECB’s 2014 National Cricket Playing Survey revealed a seven per cent fall in participation from 2013, down from 908,000 people to 844,000. The figures are based on responses from 37,500 individuals, although it’s not clear – so far as I can see – who was surveyed. Are these people league club players, or village/parks...

The silence is deafening

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Ten days have now passed since the confidentiality agreement expired and still the ECB haven’t told us why they sacked Kevin Pietersen. What are they waiting for? Huge significance was attached to the lifting of Pietersen’s gagging clause. What would he say? And now he’s said it, what does it mean? But amid all the heat and noise around his book (see our review by Tregaskis)...

Secrets and lies

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It’s now only three weeks until Kevin Pietersen’s book is published. Across the crickosphere the air hums with the sound of knives being sharpened, loins being girt, hatches being battened down. It is the eve of the war. This won’t be pretty. During the next month or so, we will hear claims and counter claims, perceptions aplenty, and just maybe, some specific and genuine...

The turtle tank revisited

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Over the last twenty four hours this blog has found itself at the eye of a Twitter storm. It began yesterday when Piers Morgan reTweeted a link to an article by Tregaskis we published in May – Inside The Turtle Tank. It examines the management culture of the ECB, and how its failings in regard to Kevin Pietersen led to his estrangement and ultimate sacking from the team. Jonathan Agnew took...

The fifth ODI

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And so to Headingley, for the final ODI of the series, and Alastair Cook’s last international appearance of the season. Will England adapt their tactics and approach? Can they find solace in a consolation victory? Or will India complete the whitewash? We welcome all your comments as the match progresses. However, James and I (separately) are both away from internet access for most of the...

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