Oh Shut Up

Apparently Eoin Morgan, who is employed by the ECB, is a big fan of the ECB’s new 100 concept. Well I never. Here’s what he said to the press recently:

“I think the noise that it’s created is brilliant, it’s good news, because you get the same people who love the game – like I do – coming to the game and complaining about it, because staying rigid is what we’re used to and what we enjoy. But there’s a huge element of staying rigid that can eat away at the game an deter the popularity of the game and that’s a big worry. So the hundred format, I’m a big fan of it.”

Now let’s just get this straight. Eoin thinks that it’s great that people are complaining about the competition. Because, due to reasons, anything that makes people uncomfortable must be good! I have to say that’s exactly what went through my mind when I watched Star Wars The Phantom Menace. I was thinking “what a load of bollocks this is … so therefore it must be brilliant”! Someone call George Lucas and give him a medal for urinating all over a franchise that was special to so many.

Eoin’s comments come hot on the heels of the ECB’s test captain Joe Root also singing the praises of the ECB’s new 100 competition. Who didn’t see that one coming? His words seemed to be straight from an ECB script:

“It’s going to appeal to a completely new audience and I think that’s great … We’ve got to be very careful we don’t measure it against the other formats…it’s something to gather a new audience and gain interest, not a threat to other formats”.

It’s amazing what otherwise sensible people will say when they’ve got their employer’s hand up their jacksie. The ECB is undermining county cricket, first class cricket, and the long-term prospects of the England test team, and yet the test captain says it’s a good thing. Thank God Joe’s words will carry little weight. After all, he hasn’t been an authority on 100s for some time.

While I’m giving Eoin and Joe a roasting, I’d also like to publicly shame Stuart Broad, who welcomed the 100’s “unique selling point”. My advice to Stuart is this: leave the marketing jargon to the big boys mate. Just because something’s unique doesn’t make it a selling point. Chocolate with arsenic in it would be unique. But who the hell would eat it?

Now I never thought I’d say this – I had to pinch myself after writing it – but thank heavens for Alastair Cook. The former skipper’s views appear to be much more in line with his follow professionals in the county game. When addressing the media at Rusthall Primary School (which is just up the road from me) he damned the competition with faint praise. He said he ‘understood’ why the ECB are trying something new but overall he was cautious:

“There has to be a place for five-day or four-day cricket … the difference, for me, is the satisfaction of a long game compared to the thrill of a shorter game … there’s a bit of caution with me. I still think you have to protect the traditional cricket … at the moment, all the money is in the shorter formats of the game … there must be a way of combining the two and protecting Test cricket because of all that it stands for.”

Well bloody said, Alastair. Although he didn’t go to the same lengths as Chris Rushworth, who apparently described the new competition as “a load of bollocks” on Twitter, I think it says a lot that someone who is often portrayed as the board’s champion has reacted less than enthusiastically. What’s more, it’s good to see someone so prominent sticking up for first class cricket. After all, somebody’s got to.

James Morgan

2018-04-27T16:51:20+00:00April 27th, 2018|Talking Points|11 Comments


  1. Harmy's Head April 27, 2018 at 7:43 pm - Reply

    Can’t really blame Root or Morgan – whatever they might be thinking in private about the ECB’s latest bit of stupidity, the board pays their wages so of course they’ll say what they’ve been told to. Most people wouldn’t publicly criticise their employer so it’s unrealistic to expect them to do anything other than toe the party line.

    What’s more disturbing about the way the 100 competition was introduced is the almost total lack of consultation with the cricketers who’ll be playing in it. Apparently three players were asked – Morgan, Daryl Mitchell and Heather Knight – before the announcement. But Mumsnet thought it was a great idea so that’s ok then 🙂

  2. Silk April 27, 2018 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    Morgan seems to have said the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard anyone say in public. I paraphrase,

    “People who pay to watch cricket hate the idea, and people with no interest in cricket like the idea because people who like cricket hate it. Therefore it’s a good idea.”

    That’s such a staggeringly, amazingly, mind-numbingly stupid statement it’s a wonder he can walk and breathe at the same time.

    (and I like Morgan)

    • Benny April 28, 2018 at 4:48 am - Reply

      Well translated. Hasn’t Warner already put that into practice and got banned for it?

  3. SimonH April 27, 2018 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    Those other “rigid” sports should get a dose of the Morgan treatment! 90 minutes for football? Make it shorter and while we’re at it, scrap offside because mums probably can’t understand it! 18 holes of golf? Make it 5 holes of crazy golf with one hole randomly two miles long! As for tennis, with its five sets and scoring system that requires counting up to forty, hand it over to people who hate it and see what they can come with!

    Meanwhile, the ICC have finally killed off the Champions Trophy although with its previous ability to come back from the dead more often than Nosferatu, they need to drive a stake through its heart to make sure. The replacement is…. two T20 World Cups in consecutive years. Genius! This, plus the decision to give all T20s between ICC members full T20I status, are further stepping stones to the complete takeover of T20 across most (and quite possibly all) the cricketing world.

  4. Simon April 28, 2018 at 3:53 am - Reply

    As Silk points out above, this is mind boggling. Morgan says: “…it’s upsetting people that already come to a game and that’s the point of the product.” I suspect the ECB is employing the technique used by despots (and dodgy marketing executives) for centuries. You create a controversy and keep it going to make your regime (or product) look more revolutionary and significant than it really is.

    Personally I’ve had enough. I’ve written a few comments on this blog as well as a letters to other publications arguing against the idiocy of the ECB’s plans for this new tournament. The damage has probably been done already, but I’m no longer going to contribute even in my small way to assisting the ECB’s promotional activities, so no more letters. My protest will now take the form of not watching any England matches or even supporting England teams as long as this poisonous ECB management team is in office. Any success by the national teams will be used by the ECB to justify their actions. I realise that this will have absolutely zero impact, but at least it will make me feel better.

  5. Doug M April 28, 2018 at 6:50 am - Reply

    Morgan is an average cricketer who Middlesex don’t even pick. The 50 over game would manage fine without him. To be honest the likes of him and Root should really just shut up, instead of talking in ECB babble. These “stars” are brought up with the County system and then contribute to it’s downfall. Pathetic really.

  6. Comte April 28, 2018 at 8:19 am - Reply

    Morgan has elevated himself to the position of Mega Twerp. Normally this status would only be acquired after several years of talking bollox put he’s managed it in the space of a few words. As he seems to enjoy the concept of brevity I trust he will respect that during his stays at the crease.

  7. Kevin April 28, 2018 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    Root, Morgan & Broad are all in favour of the 100:ball stuff, as they hope to be paid lots of £££££’s by one of the franchise’s.
    The likes of rent-a-quote Vaughan, and the disappointing Atherton, will also be paid to cover it. So they are all thinking what’s best for me, NOT what’s best for the future of cricket. Good for Mr. Cook, saying what most cricket fans think.
    There is a need for T20 to finance the game, but we don’t need 2 competitions.
    Also interesting that Morgan’s mates don’t like T20, but will be attracted to the 100 ball stuff. So losing 40 balls from the game, makes all the difference to the mythical ‘new audience’ we keep hearing about.

  8. Comte April 28, 2018 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    I’ve been mulling this over. 100 balls is not cricket so let ’em form a separate sport called, say, Feckit. The ECB can be wound up and replaced by Cricket UK (or something). Harrigraves and Strauss and co can move to the new organisation, taking Morgan with them. If they want to use Cricket UK grounds, facilities and players they will have to pay for them. They can have a new window September through October. Other than that they can pee off and leave the rest of us alone.

  9. Kenaz April 29, 2018 at 12:20 am - Reply

    Morgan is like the arch-mercenary of cricket; from defecting from ”real” country in order to further your career; to barely playing for Middlesex, instead becoming a Twenty20 mercenary; to playing dodgy T10 competitions in the UAE.

    And now he is supporting this 100 monstrosity!

    You have to wonder whether cricket was ever a ”fun/hobby” thing for Eoin Morgan (not to mention a ”pride/patriotic” thing) which is where it begins for most players, playing in a park or back garden, emulating Viv or Gower. I can picture a young Morgan at the crease in Ireland, already meticulously plotting a ”career pathway” aged 9.

  10. Cricket-Now May 3, 2018 at 10:00 am - Reply

    No surprises here. What an irony ECB is so far up its own ass but still can’t see this crap!

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