*** Update: The Full Toss has now returned! James is editing the site solo.
We’ve got some news for you today. It’s both bad news and good news.
Here’s the bad news … As some of you may know, we’ve had quite a few problems at TFT over the last few weeks. We got hacked. Then we got hacked again. The culprits, it seems, were the Chinese (or some Chinese people anyway).
Concealed deep in our files, alongside some malicious code, were hundreds of hidden pages selling fake handbags, jewellery and other assorted crap. These webpages were all in Chinese symbols. ‘Take away’ from that what you will.
Although we’ve now moved hosts, which means that the site is now much faster and secure, sorting out all the problems was a rather grueling and frustrating process. It also gave us the chance to take stock and reflect on where we are and where we’re going.
Consequently, after a great deal of soul-searching, we’ve reluctantly decided to take a break from The Full Toss. This is partly because Maxie, for reasons he explains below, wants to retire from the crease and return to the stands. But it’s also because I can see the huge potential in taking the spirit of TFT but widening the scope to encompass a range of sports. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while now.
The good news, therefore, is that I’m going to continue blogging – but under a new banner. Rather than merely discussing the big stories in the world of cricket, I’ll be discussing the big stories in the broader sporting world too.
Cricket will still be my bread and butter, so there’ll still be plenty of cricketing analysis (starting with Sunday’s 3rd Test), but I feel the time is right to diversify. I know many of you love other sports too, so I hope you’ll welcome the opportunity to talk about other things as well.
The new blog is called Eat My Sports! – a name that encapsulates what the new site is all about. The emphasis is on putting your views across and encouraging banter and debate. In many ways it’s the same TFT mantra but on a larger scale.
When you think about it, the issues we hold dear at TFT – the cost of following a game, TV access, administrative unaccountability, disenfranchisement of supporters – are just as pressing in rugby, football, golf and other sports. When we’re not talking about action on the pitch, we’ll be discussing these vitally important issues.
The other bit of news is that we’ve developed an app for the new site, so it will be easy to read new articles and join the discussion when you’re out an about. I’m particularly excited about this. It’s really quite good – as you’ll see when it’s ready to download in a couple of weeks.
Anyway, it’s time for me to hand over to Maxie. I hope to see you all soon at the shiny new site – which you’ll find looks remarkably similar to this one! Thanks for all your support over the last few years. I really appreciate it.
The blogosphere is a fertile breeding ground for outlandish conspiracy theories, but on this occasion I will have to disappoint those of a feverishly imaginative bent.
I’d love to tell you I’m leaving TFT because the ECB’s henchmen have threatened to set about me kneecaps with a baseball bat. I’d be thrilled if I could inform you I’ve been hypnotised by Pam Nash and am taking up a twin-role as Mike Selvey’s PA and secretary of the Alastair Cook fan club. I’d be delighted if I were able to break the news that I’ve seduced away from TFT for a new vocation dropping grapes into Piers Morgan’s mouth.
Alas, none of these are true.
The real reason is that everyday life has made it increasingly impossible for me to do justice to my responsibilities as co-editor of this blog. In my day job, I am a freelance – often on the road and regularly facing challenging deadlines. Away from work, I have another, far more important new commitment – as a father to a three-month old daughter. Regrettably but inevitably, the combination of work and family pressures no longer leaves me with time to contribute meaningfully to TFT – which is why, as you may have noticed, I’ve only posted rarely during the last couple of months.
After six years of hard work building up this site, the last thing James and I desire is for TFT to wither away into a shadow of what we’ve always wanted it to be – a vibrant, up to date, well-informed and relevant repository for debate and comment on English cricket. I’m not saying we have necessarily lived up to that aspiration, but when we began to realise how practicalities were making it hard to achieve, we knew the time had come to move on.
I’ve hugely enjoyed every minute of the last six years and at the risk of self-importance I think there’s one thing we can be genuinely but collectively proud of: the sense of community among the TFT family of writers, readers, and commenters. We have often disagreed on issues but we’re united on what really matters: the good of the game of cricket as part of the fabric of English life.
Before I go, I need to say an awful lot of thank-yous – to every single person who’s ever taken time out of their day to read our posts or take part in the discussions, either as commenter or guest writer. There are too many people owed thanks for me to risk trying to name everyone – as I’ll inevitably, accidentally, leave important people out. Nevertheless I really must express my gratitude to Dmitri, The Leg Glance, and Tregaskis, for their endless advice and support, but most of all to James, not only for putting up with me for all these years, but for running the blog single-handedly during my regular and lengthy periods of absence.
But as James says, this isn’t really goodbye, but hello – to a shiny new blog which will harness the spirit of TFT and take it into all kinds of exciting territory we never previously dared explore. I will be popping in whenever I can with guest posts, or just joining in the chat.
See you at www.eatmysports.co.uk