Happy Proper Crimbo

Hi folks. I quickly wanted to wish all our readers, commenters and guest writers a very merry Christmas. My advice is simple: forget India, look forward to the upcoming ODIs (when we might actually win a game), eat as much as possible, and drink your own body weight in brandy. The last of these helps when it comes to the first by the way.

It has been a really enjoyable year at TFT. It’s been a challenge running the blog in Maxie’s absence but one I’ve enjoyed. If you’re wondering what happened to Eat My Sports, I found it was just too hard to keep up with everything. I don’t get as much time to watch sport now that I’ve got a second child, so it made sense to focus on cricket.

TFT has also developing something of a brand (for want of a better word) over the years and it seemed a lot easier to put my own stamp on an established domain than start afresh. That google traffic helps! Plus an established domain is quite a valuable asset apparently. It’s certainly helped to attract advertisers looking for sponsored posts etc. This helps to cover costs.

Overall I’ve been really happy with how the year at TFT has gone. Traffic is slightly up since I took things on – although not as high as it was in those manic days following the Kevin Pietersen controversy – and we now have over 800 subscribers. Mailchimp has proved rather useful!

However, no matter how much work I put into the site myself, TFT wouldn’t be what it is without you guys. I realise most people visit the site to see what other cricket fans are thinking and saying (rather than just to read my increasingly incoherent jabbering) so please keep those comments coming. Your contribution is absolutely vital and very much appreciated.

Before I sign off, I’d quickly like to thank all our guest writers: Garry White, Hector Cappelletti, Frazer Loveman, Sam Blackledge, James Hindle, Kevin Galvin, Liam Hope, Mike Faulkner and Phil Ryan. Please keep the good stuff flowing! I wouldn’t be able to keep the site going without guys like you.

And of course, I’d like to thank all our regular commenters. We’ve had some fantastic debates over the last year. We don’t always agree but it’s always great fun! Big thanks go to (in no particular order):

Simon H,

Paul Baldwin,


Andy in Brum,




Pete Cresswell,

Giles Falconer,


Jeremy Pooley,



Neil Harris,

Jenny H,

Matthew Allatt,


Max Sawyer,




Dave Larder,

Elaine Simpson-Long,

Lionel Joseph,

Man in a barrel,



Hamish Allen,

Bob W,



Ironballs McGinty,









Ian P,

and, of course, Tregaskis.

(Apologies if I’ve left anyone out!)

I’ll sign off there and leave you to your third helping of turkey torpedoes. My plan for the rest of the day is to continue building Kylo Ren’s Lego Command Shuttle with my little boy. And (inevitably) watch my rugby team Worcester lose its relegation dogfight with Bristol.



Ps Yes Worcester did lose. Even though Bristol had a player sent off after 10 minutes. Our management would make a Peter Moores / Paul Downton combo look positively brilliant.


  • Many thanks to you James for all the work that must go into your captivating, self depreciating and amusing blogs. Always giving rise to the most interesting debate and discussion. I happily look forward to each one.

  • Thanks for the thanks, James. Sorry my contributions tailed off mid season. I had a few issues but have returned to the blogging world with some verse (I have a back catalogue of work so don’t have to do much). My love of cricket has taken a holiday too – Giles Clarke et al) but who knows, several resignations and cricket being played with more smiles, less petulance and some FTA I’m sure my love would return quickly. Best wishes. :)

  • Thank you James. You and Dmitri are top of my favourites list on the Ipad. So good to get discussions about what interests cricket lovers as opposed to the media just trying to be controversial.

    Looking forward to plenty more

  • Well done on having an enjoyable forum. It’s the only one I’ve found where every single poster actually loves the game and isn’t just trolling about one thing or another or has ‘favourites’ who eventually mean if you don’t agree you get hounded out .

    Anyway, sa vs sl test cricket is on which is a better bet than the slap and tickle stuff :)

  • Merry Christmas to you too James, and thanks for another year of insight and debate. Well done for keeping it going in the presence of small children (I think doing anything non-child related is a massive achievement with kids around…). I hope we don’t forget about India though – there’s so much to learn there if we genuinely aspire to be the best in the world, as opposed to kidding ourselves after we’ve rolled over the Boks a couple of times on green tops next summer.

    Here’s to a fresh start under a fresh captain in 2017!

    • Good luck with that.. a win vs a poor sa new summer and people will be claiming the lads are world class again sadly

      • Yes I agree a few wins (especially any success in the champions trophy) will paper over the cracks. I think the break between now and the next test will allow Cook to hang on to his job.

    • Well done for keeping it going in the presence of small children (I think doing anything non-child related is a massive achievement with kids around…)

      And also the bit about an enjoyable forum.

  • Cook will do what is right for the team. It will depend on the message carried by Strauss. If it’s thought that ‘now’ is the best time for Root to take over, Cook will go. If not, if he can muster up the heart for it, he will stay. I hope Cook stands down as captain otherwise the summer will be all about him and calls for him to go. I’m known to be a fan, he has done great service, but his time for the captaincy at least, has run.

    • Interesting thought Jenny. Could be that those behind the scenes may think that we can’t go any further as we are. The Biggest change must be Cook

    • Which would be fine if one had any confidence that he really knows what is good for the team.
      He’s a fine opening batsman, and seems to be respected by his team, but I have seen very little evidence of much capacity for strategic analysis.

    • I think England could be in for a very troubling year in test cricket Jenny. With SA coming to town with a strong seam attack and of course the Ashes tour, if there isn’t major surgery done on the side there could be 2 big series losses out of 2. The South Africa away series was a fine achievement even if SA had a few issues of their own at the time but they seem to have sorted a few of those out for the time being while many problems with the batting line-up make up of pace attack, spin options are chiselling away.

      Should Cook keep the captaincy role and have a poor series with the bat v SA and Aus (and there is a fair chance of that happening given his recent record against good quality quicks) it may not be just the captaincy that he might have to quit and he will be 33 at the end of the Ashes tour. There seem to have been a few batsmen folk at the age of 33 who’ve been discarded in the last few years thinking of Bell and erm some other bloke with a South African accent…………………Perhaps it is English cricket’s milder version of the 27 club!

  • Thanks for the enjoyable reads over the year James. Not always agreed with you but it great that people can have a decent discussion without it all getting petty and name-calling.
    Keep up the good work.

    • Cheers Bob. Good sensible debate is what keeps this blog going. Cricket is a game of opinions and I often find that I disagree with myself on occasions! By which I mean I change my mind on certain issues.

      No pundit is ever 100% right all of the time. Remember Alan Hansen’s infamous ‘you win nothing with kids’?! There’s no monopoly on the truth. We just all have our say and see what unfolds.

      Professional media obviously have access to the players and sources, but one area where bloggers have an edge is being able to rant / let off steam without necessarily caring whether they’re right in the end. I always suspect many professional journalists hedge their bets a little, because if they’re wrong they have their professional reputation to consider.

      I don’t really care much about all that. At the end of the day I’m just a fan like everyone else. I just want to encourage some open debate, have fun, and see what others think too. I’m always pleased when readers (like yourself) say they disagree with something I’ve written but keep coming back for more :-)

  • Seasons greetings to you James and everyone else. Always a pleasure to pop on here and engage. I wish I could have eaten and drunk and make merry and forget about the Indian test nightmare but I had returned from India on Christmas Eve with food poisoning which has made it a bit difficult. I’m on the mend now though so will no doubt be around more in the forthcoming weeks!

  • Happy New Year James.
    I’m sure 2017 will give you plenty of material to keep this blog and it’s readers going.
    Enjoyed the freshness of the blog in the last 12 months. Life as indeed so does cricket keeps moving on (at a breakneck pace)
    You’ve done a top job of trying to keep up!


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