News emerged overnight that Andy Flower might be on the shortlist to replace Gary Kirsten as India coach. Oi India! Hands off our coach! You’ve already got the World Cup. Give the rest of us a break. Besides, did you actually watch England in one day cricket’s showpiece? We were rubbish. Flower only does Test cricket. Let us wallow in our ODI misery and enjoy our Test successes. You don’t want to be humiliated by Ireland do you?!
Joking aside this rumour is probably just hearsay. We all know that Flower was frustrated by England’s hectic winter schedule, but he’s unlikely to leave us in the lurch. His name isn’t Troy Cooley. Besides the ECB have already responded to India’s alleged interest by working out a new lucrative deal for the mastermind behind our Ashes triumph – a package they’re putting together with typical lightning speed. They hope to make the offer at the end of the month, just three and a half months after our victory in Sydney. Nice one lads.
The other big story yesterday was that Kevin Pietersen has thrown his hat into the ring to succeed Andrew Strauss as our ODI skipper. The news has come as a bit of a shock to be honest. We half expected KP to retire from the fifty over format. At times he’s looked about as interested in one day cricket as my mother (which isn’t very much) and the physical demands of playing all three formats of the game has been taking its toll on his body. Hands up who thought he might retire from international cricket altogether and concentrate on the IPL? The thought had certainly crossed my mind.
Of course, the news that KP wants to lead his country in the fifty over format is great news. Getting the captaincy back might be the shot in the arm his career needs. He just hasn’t been himself recently, and let’s face it, our middle-order needs him fit and firing. The worry is however, that if he’s overlooked for the job, Pietersen really will retire. And who could blame him. He is, after all, the stand out candidate for the job. Ignoring his credentials would seem intransigent and rather petty.
The other candidate for the post is Stuart Broad, who seems far too wet behind the ears. Yes, we know that the enfant terrible of England’s pace attack is suppose to be bright, but he’s shown a frightening lack of maturity at times. Giving Broad the captaincy now, when he’s so young and lacking in captaincy experience, could be a huge mistake. If England get on the wrong side of a few umpiring decisions, I can see Broad provoking an incident that makes Mike Gatting’s infamous spat with Shakoor Rana look like a kids’ tea party. What do you think?
Interesting story. I suppose coaching the no 1 team is a big deal, but I think Flower wants it to be England.
Re Troy Cooley, I suspect you’re being unfair. One of the few genuinely interesting insights from Duncan Fletcher’s autobiography was the story of what happened to Cooley. I’ll check the details later when I dig the book out, but I think the gist was that Cooley asked for something very reasonable – like having employment guaranteed for two years, or something (which, as he’d turned England’s attack into the best fast bowling unit in the world, and had to relocate his family from Australia, seemed pretty reasonable) but the ECB refused, basically keeping him on as a temp. The ACB offered him a proper job with a proper contract, and so reluctant was he to leave the team he still asked England to reconsider and said he’d compromise his already reasonable request. Apparently the ECB just let him go. Bizarre.
I imagine KP doesn’t really want to play ODI cricket, but he desperately wants to be Test captain again, and he knows the next one day captain will be favourite to succeed Strauss as long as it’s a Test player. Means to an end.
Re Broad, I think he would be a shocking captain. He behaves like a child half the time and he rarely seems to have the wit to use his undoubted ability to even half its potential. However, I thought one straw man referred to had already been put out of its misery. The suggestion that lacking captaincy experience should bar a player from captaining England is obviously a logical fallacy, as the captain will always be an England regular with a secure place, and anyone playing for England is barred from almost all county cricket. If you don’t play for your county you can’t captain your county.
I had another look at the Cooley thing, and it was reported a few other places, too. It seems my recollection was right – the ECB dragged their feet about a deal, didn’t offer him a job, and allowed him to drift out of contract. He wanted to stay, and asked for a two year contract, they refused, and the Aussies offered him a job. The ECB just let him go.
As he was a major part of the set-up that had just won the Ashes back, it was shameful. Let’s hope they don’t do the same thing with Flower….
I may well be alone here, but I honestly thInk that England would be better off ditching KP and moving on.
Any relationship is not healthy if one party gets something out of it and the other gets nothing. KP clearly gets an awful lot from England, a central contract and a high profile which enables him to command big money from sponsorships and endorsements. He never plays county cricket and rarely lives up to expectations.
Ravi bopara played badly in three tests and was dropped like a bad habit. KP has played badly (with a couple of exceptions) for tue last two years and still commands a place in our line up.
Like most people I love to watch him play well, I’m just tired of watching him waste innings. If he looked like he really wanted to be there I might feel differently. Like any big time Charlie he loves the adoration that comes from success, he just seems to have forgotten that it takes a lot of hard work to get that success.
We should move on and plan for the next world cup with a young squad that can get us there.
Ok, begin the argument!!
KP has never been the same since they sacked him as captain – one of the most ill-considered, unjust, and selfish acts ever undertaken by English cricket administrators (amid stiff competition). It’s one thing sacking a captain because the results are poor; you can get over that. But the ECB hung him out to dry, never explained their reasoning, and allowed a wholesale character assassination to play out across the media for weeks. KP has never recovered from this; he lost his self-belief. It’s a terrible shame, as until then he was shaping up to be one of the most influential English players of all time.
The fact that the ECB sacked Moores anyway proved that KP had a point. The ECB just didn’t want to tolerate the England captain telling the world what most people already knew! Very strange. I totally agree that KP’s sacking was a turning point in his career. I’m not sure he lost confidence because of losing the captaincy, but it certainly seemed to effect his game. It was almost like he lost a bit of motivation – which is totally understandable. Although he plays for England and the fans, it’s hard to escape the fact that he also plays for his employers, who treated him rather shabbily. However, once his formed dipped he found it hard to get back to his best … probably because his technique is so odd.
I suggest that if Flower is seriously think about leaving, we should clap him in irons and send him to the tower – or perhaps we should do that to the ECB if they let him go.
As for the ODI captain, no one really jumps out at me. I was not a fan of appointing KP when they did, but to be fair to him once they had appointed him I thought he was doing an ok job and thought the ECB cocked it up (again). So he was good enough then why not now (to captain England)?
As for Broad, it may just be what he need… it may make him take a bit more responsibility and calm him down. He does seen to understand the game. He won’t be the first, slightly immature lad to be promoted at a tender age to captain his country – and a few have done well!