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Reflections on the test – is conservatism an English disease?

No doubt a number of MCC members, if not all of them, will be voting conservative in the upcoming general election. It would be interesting to know how many are genuine Cameroons (that’s fans of David Cameron, not ageless footballer Roger Miller), or whether the English cricketing establishment is simply attracted to the word ‘conservative’ by instinct. After all, if conservatism means ‘risk averse’, ‘unnecessarily cautious’, and ‘unadventurous’, then the England team is scrupulously...

It’s just not test cricket

Bangladesh have turned themselves into a useful one-day outfit. They have some flamboyant batsmen, useful all-rounders, and a couple of tidy spinners capable of stemming the run flow. What they don’t have, however, is dangerous pacemen, tactical awareness and self-discipline. Unfortunately for the hosts, these are the qualities that Test cricket requires. On Friday’s evidence, it’s easy to see why so many observers believe the ICC was hasty in granting them full test status. Before this game...

The ECB’s new friends at Conservative Central Office

Few topics reveal the warped nature of ECB cricketing logic more vividly than their desperation to avoid returning The Ashes to terrestrial TV. And now Lord’s top brass will be pinning their hopes on a Conservative election victory in May. The party’s sports spokesman Hugh Robertson this week implied that a Tory government would not enforce the David Davies review’s recommendations – namely, that home Ashes series be ‘listed’, and available only on free-to-air channels. Robertson’s analysis of...

Afghanistan: cricket’s new frontier?

. It’s hard to think of a more marvellous cricketing story in recent times than Afghanistan’s qualification this weekend for the World Twenty 20. At virtually the same moment as thousands of troops poured into Helmand for the Nato offensive, a thousand miles away in Dubai, the nation’s cricketers were beating Ireland by eight wickets to win the ICC T20 qualifying tournament. It was their fifth win from six games in the competition, including victories over Scotland, UAE and – most resonantly...

England heading into uncharted waters with captain Cook

Let’s just think about this for a second. On the one hand there’s Paul Collingwood – a senior pro with captaincy experience that commands the respect of his team mates (and who is, incidentally, already captain of the T20 side). On the other there’s Alastair Cook, a man with little to no captaincy experience, who doesn’t seem like a natural leader, and who was fighting for his place in the team just three weeks ago. So who is the better candidate to replace Strauss as captain for the upcoming...

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