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July 2008
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John Stern: Bradshaw’s on the money

July 16th, 2008 by John Stern in County cricket, IPL, International, Twenty20

Keith Bradshaw cut a slightly distressed figure on Sunday morning. Distressed in the sense that apples become distressed, not as in unhappy. Bradshaw, the MCC’s chief executive, looked bruised and a bit battered, though still full of good humour, as he welcomed guests to the MCC’s hospitality at Lord’s.

He might have spluttered into his cornflakes that morning after reading public rebukes from the club’s chairman Charles Fry and president Mike Brearley, who used most of his Observer column on the subject. I hope Bradshaw doesn’t get too fed up with all the hassle caused by the leaking of his new Twenty20 plan and clear off back to Tasmania. He has, as Brearley acknowledges, “brought an engaging and expansive spirit of openness … sees change as opportunity … ready for new ideas and new challenges”.

The plans were discussed yesterday at an ECB meeting and, according to reports, did not receive much backing which is depressingly predictable. If we agree (and it is a moot point) that English cricket has to develop some sort of alternative/rival/complement to IPL then the proposals put forward by Bradshaw and David Stewart, the Surrey chairman, make a lot of sense.

As Richard Hobson wrote in The Times, how can any league be considered ‘Premier’ if it includes all 18 counties? There is no way that there is enough global talent to spread across 18 teams. The nine-team idea (eight would be better) makes common sense and is an enticing prospect.

As Bradshaw points out, just because nine of counties are not involved does not mean that they are ostracised. They can and will benefit financially, just as they do from England team revenues.

The message to the reactionary counties is: get over yourselves and bring on the EPL! And let Keith Bradshaw run it.

John Stern is editor of The Wisden Cricketer

Posted in County cricket, IPL, International, Twenty20 | 5 Comments »

Your chance to ask KP the questions

July 16th, 2008 by Sam Collins in England, Miscellaneous and tagged ,

Ok. We need your help.

For the September issue of the The Wisden Cricketer we have a big interview lined up with everybody’s favourite switch-hitter Kevin Pietersen.

It’s another huge month in the life of KP, what with the Test series and then the prospect of captaining England’s one-day side against the country of his birth, so it should make for a cracking read.

So far so good, but KP is a bit bored of us, and we can’t for the life of us think of what to ask him that we haven’t asked him already.

And that’s where you come in.

Email us at [email protected], or post below, any questions that you would like us to ask big Kev on your behalf.

Nothing rude mind, but don’t be afraid to go a little left-field, and those that ask the best questions will get their names in the magazine.

We’re expecting big things from you, so get posing, the interview is next Wednesday (23 July), and don’t forget to leave your name and where you come from (e.g. Glenn Roeder, Norwich).

The September edition of The Wisden Cricketer will be in the shops on August 15

Posted in England, Miscellaneous | 28 Comments »

Rob Smyth: Cricket must open its mind to rotation

July 16th, 2008 by Rob Smyth in England, South Africa in England, Test cricket and tagged , , , , , , , ,

We’re not remotely aware of the contents of Geoff Miller’s underwear drawer, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if contained therein are seven pairs of pants, each discreetly marked with a day of the week.

Miller seems to be a man of routine, for whom familiarity breeds contentment, for whom change is the thing that rattles in the trouser pocket. Imagine the torment he must have gone through before shaving off his beard. In everyday life this might evoke a kind of tragic, quintessentially English eccentricity – the kind portrayed in the Blur song Ernold Same - but in his day job it is a serious virtue. Since moving from the ranks of selectors to head selector, Miller has furthered the policy of stability preached by Duncan Fletcher and, to a lesser extent, Miller’s predecessor David Graveney. The result was that, at Lord’s, England set a new record by playing the same side for six Tests in a row.

That will almost certainly end at Headingley, but only because of the truly exceptional circumstance that is Andrew Flintoff. While England’s policy is undeniably admirable, and infinitely preferable to the pin-the-tail-on-a-donkey policy of the late 80s and early 90s, it is arguable that they have it taken too far, particularly in an age when physical demands on players are greater than ever. This stability is getting out of hand.

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Posted in England, South Africa in England, Test cricket | 7 Comments »

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