The Only Person Who Has Damaged Graves’s Reputation is Graves Himself

Long time readers of our blog will know I’ve never been a massive Kevin Pietersen fan. He used to delight and frustrate me in equal measure. I don’t think he should walk back into the England team – although he should be first reserve – and I fully appreciate that textgate and his autobiography damaged his reputation badly.

However, the way he has been treated this week makes me extremely angry. It’s not so much because I have sympathy for Pietersen personally (although I do have a little) the issue for me is how our cricket board behaves: the evasions, the spin and the risible logic employed to justify insane decisions. It makes me seething angry.

Above all, however, I resent the patronising way the ECB continues to treat it’s public. We are not morons, so please stop treating us as such. Colin Graves’s risible statement today, in which denies misleading Pietersen over his England future, is just the latest lamentable example.

Graves’s argument is contemptible. It’s weak, appears disingenuous, and is about as convincing as the acting in a Greek soap opera. He fudges the issue and even has the temerity to pose as the injured party – suggesting he’s mortally offended that his reputation has been smeared.

The new ECB chairman is fooling nobody. The only person who has damaged Graves’s reputation is Graves himself.

I have to confess I know very little about Graves. I’ve read that he’s done a good job at Yorkshire and used to be a successful businessman, but I had no strong feelings about him either way before today.

However, in one stoke, on his first day on the job, he has succeeded in turning me – a loyal, passionate England fan of thirty years, who has followed the team to the other side of the world – completely against him.

His pathetic explanation – that he offered Pietersen no guarantees that he would be picked for England if he scored runs in county cricket, and therefore slamming the door in his face was in no way a u-turn or contradiction – insults our intelligence.

Anyone with half a brain knows that telling someone there are ‘no guarantees’ is not the same thing as saying ‘you’ve got no chance mate’.

If Colin Graves had been honest with Pietersen, he would’ve said “I’m sorry Kevin, we don’t trust you and consequently you’re not going to play”. Instead, he said he wanted the best players playing for England and that KP might have a chance of playing (or would have more of a chance) if he played county cricket.

As it turned out, the bit about scoring runs in country cricket was the mother of all red herrings. The door has been slammed in Pietersen’s face because of ‘trust’ issues – which have absolutely nothing to do with playing for Surrey whatsoever.

Graves therefore gave Pietersen a total bum steer – and for that reason alone, he misled Pietersen. And if he misled Pietersen, then most people will conclude that he was dishonest. End of.

The chairman’s statement is therefore the archetypal politician’s explanation. At no point does he deny that he wiped the slate clean with Pietersen – but he still implies that Pietersen is a liar and has somehow besmirched his reputation. It’s beyond parody.

Amazingly, Graves also tries to pose as some kind of moral bastion, who has actually taken Pietersen’s best interests into consideration: he claimed that telling Pietersen where he stood ‘allowed him to look at this opportunities’. I’m sure he’s really grateful!

I really hoped that with Giles Clarke and Paul Downton out of the way, the ECB’s smugness and endless spin would be toned down. This now seems a vain hope. This new regime seems just as bad – and incredibly, even more incompetent.

Cricket fans are generally an intelligent and discerning audience. If Colin Graves thinks supporters won’t see through his nonsense I’m afraid he’s got another thing coming.

There is very little hope for English cricket at this juncture. The new chairman and CEO were supposed to reconnect with supporters and move English cricket into a new era. They didn’t necessarily have to recall Kevin Pietersen to do that – all they needed to do was treat everyone the same, pick the team on merit, and introduce what Andrew Strauss called a little ‘honesty’. Instead, all I see at the moment is bluff, evasion and the same worrying inability to take responsibility for mistakes.

I think the obvious point is this (from what I can discern). A month or so ago Graves was prepared to move on, or at least remove the ban on Pietersen, but Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss emerged as two major roadblocks. Indeed, Graves’s decision to appoint Strauss now looks as misguided and inappropriate as many of us suspected it would be weeks ago.

What’s wrong with being honest, Colin? Why didn’t you just say something like this today:

“Yes, I talked to Kevin a few weeks ago and at that stage it looked like it might be possible for him to play for England again (although I gave no guarantees).

However, unfortunately things have moved on. We now have a captain and Director who don’t want to recall him, and I promised I would defer to my Director in all matters of selection; therefore it’s out of my hands.

It’s tough on Kevin, of course, but what I said to him was true … at the time. It’s a shame for him that the situation is now different”.

I suppose saying the above would’ve been just a little too straightforward and sincere for the ECB. I despair. I really do.

James Morgan



  • I think had Graves said what you suggest at the end there, he would be in a whole heap of shit with KP’s lawyers.

  • After KP’s phone conversations with Colin Graves, from which he clearly formed the impression that he would be given due consideration for selection subject to satisfactory county cricket form, his thinking and actions were hardly covert. Anyone could’ve looked at his Twitter page to see what his understanding of the situation was. There were speculative articles in the press about which counties would or wouldn’t be likely to offer him a berth. His IPL contract negotiations were also covered by the media as he extricated himself from his T20 commitments and went on to join Surrey with the stated aim of winning back his place in the England team.

    Are we being asked to believe that Graves was in a coma while all this was going on? Surely if KP really was labouring under a misapprehension about his chances of ever playing for England again the thing to do – about six weeks ago at least – would’ve been to ring him again to straighten things out and thereby avoid this week’s train wreck?

    I’m not a lawyer, but Pietersen (having given up his IPL gig for very well documented reasons) may want to speak to his legal advisors about whether he would have a case against the ECB for loss of earnings. I know that for him none of this is about the money, but just sayin’.

    • “Surely if KP really was labouring under a misapprehension about his chances of ever playing for England again the thing to do – about six weeks ago at least – would’ve been to ring him again to straighten things out and thereby avoid this week’s train wreck?”

      Nailed it.

      • The fact that Pietersen was only put straight after Strauss took over strongly suggests something had changed.

        • Surely they chose Strauss because he would execute a strategy that had already been decided? It beggars belief that they would appoint Strauss and only then notice it had some implications for the Pietersen situation.

        • Didn’t Graves meet with Giles Clarke to make this decision? And didn’t they also meet to rubber stamp Strauss into the job? Isn’t this what has the rest of the board up in arms because they were not consulted or had a chance to discuss these two issues?

          I am so utterly exhausted by these miscreants. They are totally unprofessional, lying bastards.

          Why the hell is Graves doing a Cook: My integrity and my reputation dar de dar. I couldn’t care bloody less about Graves reputation and integrity. He doesn’t have any integrity. He’s already proved that in spades. He’s gone from being Yorkshire’s hero to being yet another rubbish ECB muppet. I did expect this crap from Downton and Clarke but not from Graves.

          If he is upset then it is his own bloody fault. He’s driven himself down a cul-de-sac of his own bloody making. Get over your bloody self Graves. You’ve started off your first day even more badly than Strauss and I never thought that was going to be possible.

          We’ve gone from one moronic load of weasels to another lot of moronic weasels in one week.

          I see Selvey is all over Graves like a rash. Dominic Cork’s bile being spewed all over the airways. Hells bells can it get any worse.

    • I agree wholeheartedly that the sacrifices KP was making in order to have a chance of playing for England were so significant, and so well-known, that there is no excuse for not correcting a misapprehension on his part–if there were one, in the I Don’t Think So dept.

      And the most precious thing they stole from him was time, which they cannot give back, even if they would, even if they gave a damn.

      It’s hard not to suspect the big change stemming from the cave-in to Captain Blackmail.

      At this point I don’t want them to get Gillepsie. ECB doesn’t deserve him.

  • The law should only be invoked when things have broken down – that is what contracts are for, to sort out the mess when things break down. If Graves wants to go down a legalistic route, then the whole of cricket will suffer. Only the lawyers will benefit.

  • I wouldn’t really want to see this end up in court either, but that might be just what the ECB are now concerned about (in which case they’ve made a rod for their own backs).

    I suspect they gambled that – at 34, hampered a bit by old injuries and returning to red ball cricket after a lengthy break – KP wouldn’t do enough at Surrey to make a compelling case for inclusion in the England team and that they wouldn’t ever be forced to admit that the stuff about wiping the slate clean wasn’t all it seemed.They doubtless hoped that interest in him would fade, along with the thorny subject of his sacking, while they would come out seeming (slightly) less oderous for having been seen to give him a chance. Like a Scooby Doo villain, they would’ve gotten away with it too if weren’t for that pesky 355 innings…

  • I don’t agree with the way he’s behaved but I’m prepared to accept a version of events where Graves’ original intentions were honourable, only for various forces at the ECB and England cricket team to force him to endorse Strauss’ decision that Pietersen will not feature while Cook remains captain.

    It may not have worked that way, but I do struggle to believe that anyone would be quite so horrifically spiteful as to lead Pietersen up the garden path in the manner that has transpired, particularly as Graves and Pietersen don’t appear to have any previous.

    There is no doubt Strauss et al handled it atrociously and Graves’ embarrassment has stemmed not so much from what he told Pietersen, rather the moronically cack-handed way Strauss handled it. I seem to remember reading somewhere that Strauss’ dissertation was in game theory……

    Above all, the timing of everything is utterly brainless. Strauss and Graves should have presented themselves to the media in their new roles together, and then met with Pietersen.

      • Even if Grave’s original intention re. KP was honourable (and I like many trusted it was so until this week) then any benign intent he may have had is now totally negated by his closing ranks so cravenly with Strauss, Harrison et al. Anyway, it doesn’t really matter. Graves is now formally Chair of the ECB which, as a corporate entity, has behaved abominably.

  • The only way to change their behaviour is to cut off the money.

      • Well, on 1 March Hoult reported:

        “It is very simple. What happened in the past is history and there is no point talking about it,” Graves told Telegraph Sport. “I was deputy chairman when the decision was made [to sack Pietersen] and I supported it so there is no point pulling that to bits. But if he wants to play for England then he has to play for a county. That is his decision.
        “If he does that and then comes out and scores a lot of runs they can’t ignore him I would have thought but that is up to him.”

        Graves has told us that he is a man of integrity, so Hoult must have made this up. No other possible explanation ;-)

        • If journalists care about the truth they should cut and paste those quotes and put them up against Graves’s quotes today. They should hold him accountable for changing his position and then pretending he hasn’t. I have no respect for Graves at all.

        • I asked Nick Hoult earlier this evening if what Graves has said today puts his piece in trouble? I’ve just looked and the tweet has gone? Very worrying for him I should say. He’s not a happy bunny. Neither is George Dobell:

          “The hypocrisy in the ECB ‘trust’ argument is repellent.”

  • I am bitterly disappointed: I sincerely believed that Graves was a no-nonsense guy who would bring a more honest, direct approach to the ECB. When even Geoffrey Boycott, a man who has known Graves for nine or 10 years, is saying he led Pietersen up the garden path, it’ll take more than striking a wounded pose to persuade anyone else.

  • I seem to be in a minority of one. If so, then I suppose one has a duty to speak up.
    Although no doubt the exact wording of what Colin Graves said to KP may be in doubt (surely it should have been recorded by mutual agreement?) the thrust seems pretty clear beneath the various interpretations.
    – Graves gave Pietersen his personal and pre-office view that there was a necessary pre-condition that KP would have to fulfil before he could even hope of being selected for England again (ie signing up for County cricket and scoring a lot of runs.)
    – But Graves did not say or imply that fulfilling this criterion would be, in itself, sufficient to cause the selectors to re-select KP for the national squad.

    Necessary, but not sufficient.

    Now it may be that KP is a bit simple. He does seem to have a history of run-ins and disputes with just about every team he’s ever played for and a host of former colleagues and team-mates who are sceptical of his ability to subjugate his ego to any team’s needs. KP must surely also be aware that he must be viewed as both untrustworthy and potentially litigious and that his own apparent “straight-talking” has been only too obviously belied by his more covert communications. But it looks painfully obvious to me that he was offered the bottom rung of a ladder by an incoming Chairman prior to taking office in a spirit of “making a clean breast of things” but, in what some may see as fairly typical style, chose to interpret the bottom rung of that ladder as the only rung on a jumping off point to re-selection.

    Strauss then seems to have tried to clear this up and the talk of “manly conversations” and being able to put history behind them all sounds as if they were on the right track. The offer of an advisory role therefore represented one more rung on a ladder towards selection (rather than an illusory or insulting gesture that some seem determined to interpret it as) but one that KP is not keen to pursue.

    I’m sure that there has been some ineptness and some particularly bad timing, but really? Catastrophic? Not so much. Just one man’s inappropriate egocentricity demonstrating its (perhaps-)final element of Greek tragedy. Sadly predictable.

    I should also say that I feel sorry for KP. I have no doubt that he feels, exactly as he says, that he was misled and taken down the proverbial garden path. But I also have no doubt, personally, that there was never any promise made and always the thought that the County runs would only be a first and necessary step towards eventual re-selection.

    Sorry – that does seem to be just me and I really don’t intend to annoy or upset, but it’s my honest belief so I thought that I should share (sits back, feeling almost sick about pressing the “Post Comment” button). Done!

    • “He does seem to have a history of run-ins and disputes with just about every team he’s ever played for”.

      He didn’t have a run in with Hampshire, he didn’t have a run in with Surrey, he hasn’t had runs in with his franchises and he didn’t have a run in with England in the Fletcher/Vaughan/Flintoff era. His troubles at Natal and Notts involved faults on both sides. Most of his troubles have been with England under Giles Clarke and Andy Flower – and he has been more sinned against than sinning (as James, no KP-fanboy) elegantly argued not that long ago.

      Jeez, how many more times?

      • How many times is someone going to quote that bloody sentence. They say this stuff over and over and over again. Trouble is that it stuck like glue. Despite the fact that all the teams around the world say KP is brilliant in the team.

        Methinks, when a professional cricketer, who never hardly says a word on or off the pitch but just gets on with doing his job, one ought to take notice of what he has to say!

        According to Bell he never saw KP do anything untoward in the dressing room. He also said that he loved playing with KP and missed him. Then he said that the team really needed KP for these tests. No wonder he has been relieved of his vice captaincy. Plenty of others have said the same: Carberry, Panesar, Trott, Bopara, Finn, Broad, Root, Tremlett, and Bell to name but a few. Not forgetting, Vaughan, Simon Jones. Flintoff – who said KP wouldn’t even get in his top ten of awkward players, but would in his top 3 players of all time.

        It seems that this phrase needs to go in the bin where it belongs. I think I should certainly trust Bell & Sangakkara more than I should ever take any notice of the ECB, Cook, Prior & Swann & certainly not Flower.

        Bunch of vicious Hewey, Lewey & Jewey of England. Bullying got so out of hand, Strauss and Flower never, ever dealt with it and it because they didn’t want to. The team were going down the pan and someone had to be blamed. KP was such an easy target for all these buggers.

      • And we need to add “Broady” to the list of people not offended by KP. I hope Mr Clatworthy is reading these rebuttal pieces by SimonH…eventually the penny might drop that KP is being Goebelled by this meme.

      • “There was never any doubt about his ability,’ he said. ‘But I think his departure from here has been to everyone’s benefit … We don’t miss him.” Mike Newell – Nottinghamshire coach.

        Depressingly familiar.

        • “Depressingly familiar” says Mr Clatworthy, for the first time citing some evidence. Well done, Mr Clatworthy, you are starting to learn how to argue in a grown-up manner. However, I contend that this is the only evidence you can bring. How do you interpret the ringing endorsements from Alec Stewart, Sangakkara and just about every other person who has ever played with KP?

          R Kaushik in
          Wisden India puts it quite nicely:

          “This is the body that talks about trust issues, through Andrew Strauss, its new director of cricket and the man who has had the most public go yet at Pietersen……I find it interesting, intriguing, even baffling, that no one else outside of England who has shared a dressing room with Pietersen has had one unkind word to say about him. Pietersen has played franchise cricket across the globe, interacted with peers and youngsters, and drawn admiration for his professionalism, his work ethic, his ability to integrate into the environment, his willingness to share his knowledge and experience and assume a mentoring role that England are so happy to ignore, if not ridicule.”

          But obviously, Mr Clatworthy, you know better. Unfortunately, you will probably do the same as Strauss…and resort to the repetition of lies.

    • Why ask someone who can’t be trusted to play for you to advise you about anything,never mind about how those you do trust should play?
      The logic escapes me

      • That’s because there is no logic. The ECB & its acolytes don’t do logic. They just do innuendo, spite, bullying, lying. Integrity? The ECB, et al, don’t even understand the meaning of the word, not even if they fell over it. Nearly two years of this crap and we get rid of a few of the culprits only to employ even more idiots. You couldn’t make this stuff up. Aussies think England Cricket will go even more down the pan than it has already. Once again, the ECB is in a hole of its own making and just cannot stop itself digging. Maybe this lot will bury itself and then we can get some real cricketing people in. Graves said he wanted to reconnect with fans? Well Mr Graves you have failed spectacularly.

    • That’s all well and good, but that’s not what has happened. He’s been told there’s no route back for the foreseeable. I can’t see how the one day advisory role could ever be interpreted as anything more than a piss take. If Strauss had said, “well done, keep it up and if one of the middle order fails you’re in” I’m sure he and certainly I would accept it and crucially for that bunch of twats, he still wouldn’t be in the team. However, what’s happened is more like what happened the first time. They didn’t drop him, they sacked him. I don’t think I ever would have noticed how fucked the ECB was if they’d just dropped him. (Actually I probably would have done as I was ways suspicious about what happened to Compton, Panesar et al and I can’t stand the Jimmy, Swanny, Broady, Cheesey cabal.)

    • Xan B, at no point has Pietersen ever said that he *expected* to be re-selected if he scored runs for Surrey. Only that he expected, based on what Graves had said, that he could be considered for selection like anyone else. That there would be a clean slate.

      Bearing in mind that he was told last year that he would never be selected for England again ever, this would be a chance to get back into normality and be treated like any other batsman.

      That’s all he’s ever said. He’s never suggested that there was a guarantee of selection, or that he thought there should be. He never suggested this would be the only rung on the ladder (though one might reasonably think that 355* would allow one to perhaps skip a rung).

      Colin Graves’s original remarks also bore this out. They were perfectly reasonable remarks and were carefully examined by many at the time and were clearly understood. He covered his back by saying that it wasn’t up to him to make the selection decisions, but he thought if KP scored a lot of runs for a county that he “couldn’t be ignored” and that it “wasn’t about personalities”.

      Then, first of all Harrison told KP “we want to work with you” and then Strauss told him, and publicly stated, that he wasn’t trusted and wouldn’t be selected for the foreseeable future.

      Pietersen has been consistent in this situation and has been honest about what he was hoping for. He was also completely open about it and the ECB could have contacted him at any point to say “don’t bother, you won’t get picked”. They chose not to.

      I don’t always think KP behaves well, but I can’t see that he did get it wrong here or deliberately misinterpret anything. He was misled, given contradictory responses, and the goalposts were moved.

  • My guess is Cook told them in the West Indies, after winning the second test perhaps, that he wouldn’t stay on if Pietersen came back. They then appointed a candidate as comma director who they knew would be perfectly happy to comply with Cook’s wishes and exclude Pietersen. At that point Pietersen had yet to stake his claim for consideration by scoring big runs for Surrey. They hoped and probably believed he never would which would at least have diminished the uproar even if the basic duplicity would have been the same
    Perhaps the reason for not considering him would have been a little different. Form not good enough to overcome trust issues? Then with immaculate timing he made his case as spectacularly as possible leaving them neck deep in the proverbial shite.
    Largely speculation of course but every bit as plausible as the stuff we’ve been fed by the dissembling shower at the ECB

  • Can I have a go at Dominic Cork? His latest attack on KP really has got my goat.

    Let’s just remind ourselves of what sort of person Dominic Cork, who calls Pietersen “a bad egg”, is.

    1. Giving away county captain’s kit and stealing his car.

    There’s one ugly incident that has not gone past the dressing room door until now. It happened in 1997, when I was playing for Derbyshire against the touring Australians. I’d had some stern words with Derby problem child, Dominic Cork, about his attitude and fitness. After we’d spoken, and while I was in the middle batting, he proceeded to distribute the contents of my ”coffin” – five bats, many pairs of gloves and a host of other pieces of equipment – to a heap of kids, leaving me with nothing.

    He then proceeded to move my car from the car park to a street some two kilometres away. I informed police, thinking it was stolen, and it was found 48 hours later. Suffice to say I didn’t stay too long with that club.

    2. Refusing to bowl to the field he was set and throwing the ball at the England captain.

    DOMINIC CORK was at the lowest point of his bleakest year when he committed the sin which would have seen a less talented cricketer banished from the England team for ever.

    He was bowling in a Test in New Zealand when he and skipper Mike Atherton clashed over the positioning of a fielder.

    With a flash of the petulance which frequently returns to haunt him, Cork thrust the ball towards his captain and said: ‘Right, you ******* bowl then.’

    Even now, more than a year later, Cork will not help the incurably naive by filling in even the initial letter of the missing word.

    He confesses, though, that ‘it’s not one a good Catholic boy should have used to a man in any walk of life, let alone the England captain.’

    3. “Often involved in on-field tussles with the opposition, even if it meant going up to batsmen and pushing them intentionally for virtually no fault of theirs” (Abhishek Mukherjee) — the evidence:


    4. Humiliating an England team mate and a fellow fast bowler, one who had a better career average than anyone has subsequently managed for England:

    Moreover, my colleague Angus Fraser told me the other day that Cork was the only fellow England player he nearly punched, that once on a tour to South Africa he was serving as 12th man and Cork had him running this way and that fetching him things, as if to prove the point that he was playing and Fraser wasn’t.

    5. Making public allegations and refusing to back them up. Alleged that Pietersen “squared up” to Cook in the dressing room in Australia, then tried to climb down by calling it an “altercation” rather than “squaring up.”

    Dominic Cork – there was no ‘squaring up’ to Alastair Cook or ‘off-field antics’ in Australia – you are lying,plain & simple.— Jessica Taylor (@JessicaLibertyX) February 5, 2014

    Challenged on a radio program by Piers Morgan to repeat his allegation, Cork once again retreated behind the “altercation” claim. When pressed that he had originally said “squaring up,” Cork denied that that suggested Pietersen was getting ready to punch his captain.

    But Sky Sports reported Cork as saying “I heard there was nearly a dust-up, a fight in the Sydney Pavilion – you can’t do that to a captain.”

    6. Character references: “A show pony and a prima donna with an attitude problem…so unpopular with England players on last winter’s tour of New Zealand that they wanted him sent home.” (Geoffrey Boycott). “A big spoiled brat” (David Graveney). ‘A misfit…all too often he becomes the type of character who can be as unpopular with his team-mates as he is with the opposition” (David Lloyd). “You can’t keep acting like a kid. You’ve got to grow up.” (Darren Gough). “…a sad little man who’s always been stupendously jealous of KP’s greater talent.” (Piers Morgan, but probably right on this occasion).

    As this is an apolitical blog, I’ll steer clear of his nauseating, strident political views.

    • Well said Clive. Shows the depths of hypocrisy he’ll stoop to. He kept banging on on Talksport about Pietersen needing to go back to county cricket and score some runs
      Another one who assumed it wouldn’t happened. When it does he exposes his malice for all to see. A truly nasty man

    • ECB have alreadu said they except his explanation……hope some ody was around taking pics with a phone somewhere

  • Martin Crowe has just issued a warning to almost every country in international cricket:

    “This story is among the most controversial of all the sagas England cricket has endured over its history. The recurring nightmare has set back the natural evolution of their game; it will take more time than one might think to restore. It has led to the ECB taking its eye off its sole purpose: to present an important pastime during the summer months that can lift the spirit of a nation and take their minds off the everyday struggle.

    In the last few years the board has forgotten its role of patriotism. The ECB aren’t representing their patriotic fans anymore, just their self-serving egos, to match that of Pietersen. If Pietersen is a strong patriot – which one must surely be to qualify to play Test cricket for a country – then I have seen nothing of it. He is on a personal crusade, and always has been. They are as bad as each other, and therefore there is only one solution.

    Forgiveness. Colin Graves needs to tell Andrew Strauss, Peter Moores, KP and Alastair Cook to grow up and go get the Ashes back for the people of England. Put all of the culprits and egos back in the room together, proving once and for all that they do care about the hard-working folk doing the hard yards who need something to cheer. Forgiveness is all that is required. Every single person must forgive. It’s all useless history to carry. There is an urn to be won, and Joe Root is the man with no fear to lead this team out.”

  • Since the ECB have made this into an drawn-out ad hominem attack on KP, who are the character witnesses (current/former players) each side can call on?





    I know which team my money would be on!!

    • Compton, Panesar, Hales, Crowe!! Quite a squad that.
      Add Mooresey to the ‘Against’ team

  • I’m a simple soul, although I have considerable experience of management. If the KP issue is still rumbling on after 18 months, the ECB are incompetent – no question about it

    • Couldn’t agree more. I also have experience of management and of being (how can I put it?) “actively encouraged to move on” from an organisation by a very,very bad senior manager. In this case it took them two years to do it, which was a long time considering that the annual staff turnover rate was in any case running at 35% (so many others were being “moved on” and so eager were people to escape even if they weren’t being forcibly ejected). I’ve seen incompetence (individual and corporate) close up and I doubt the stench will ever completely leave my nostrils. I get much the same odour every time I read of the latest events (I nearly said “developments” but that could feasibly be read to suggest progressive improvement over time, which would be quite wrong…) at ECB.

    • Chappell has been critical of Cook as a captain for a while. That line about England should dismiss those players who approve of Cooks captaincy is an old one of his but a real good one.

    • Chappel gets it.
      To an outsider, English cricket appears to suffer from a desire to have every player fit a mould. Cricket is a team game played by individuals. You can’t expect players to express their individuality on the field and then leave it in their locker, like a discarded bat, as they depart the dressing room.

    • If they want to revive the spirit of 2005 why don’t they appoint the captain and select the players who, y’know, were actually members of that team so, and forgive me if my argument’s a little complicated, were forgers and bearers of said spirit. Oh……

    • Last October, Strauss gave an interview to a business website. “The people I admire most in business are the disrupters,” he said. “The people who change the face of the industry that they’re involved with.” Oh, the irony.

      Unfortunately, Cook, Flower and Strauss are all men who cannot admit to being wrong.

    • So the full list of players who don’t want KP is now:

      1. Cook
      2. Prior (not currently in squad)
      3. Anderson.

      • Don’t forget Pringle.
        Who was spewing bile again yesterday on R5.
        And doesn’t appear to have taken on the new ECB line that playing in the IPL is officially a ‘good thing’.

  • Harrison: “Terrestrial is becoming, frankly, less relevant every single year in the context of how people consume media”

    what a stupid fucking twat that man is. He couldn’t possibly be more wrong.

  • It’s been 18 months. I haven’t seen anyone, not even Clive, put it was well as Ian Chappell did in his article.

    “If Pietersen was found guilty of disagreeing with Cook’s captaincy then they’ve hung the wrong man. England should have dismissed those players who agreed with Cook’s captaincy. ”

    We’ve had Downton, Prior’s soft-tissue, Broad’s injections, a dossier, ‘not a massively low-ebb’, the World T20, the Sri Lanka debacle, being bounced out by India, the WC debacle, the Windies debacle, the re-appointment and inevitable sacking of Moores, KP over and over.

    What is comes down to is just those two sentences. I’m going to repeat it like a mantra.

    “If Pietersen was found guilty of disagreeing with Cook’s captaincy then they’ve hung the wrong man. England should have dismissed those players who agreed with Cook’s captaincy. “

    • With respect, we are dealing with the English establishment here – they don’t care how stupid they look. They send men and women off to war and don’t care how many are killed. They remove all of our community services and don’t care about the consequences. They use taxpayers money to bail out the banks – because it’s not their own money. They kill disabled people for fun and don’t care about the consequences. Does anybody here actually think that they care what the population thinks about them. They don’t care how stupid they look. They are always right!


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