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John Stern: Moores set to be wrong casualty for England

January 6th, 2009 by John Stern in England, Test cricket and tagged , , ,

This wouldn’t have happened if Andrew Strauss was captain.

Sure, there is no compelling case to suggest that Peter Moores has done a cracking job as England coach but equally there isn’t much except circumstantial evidence ­ and the opinions of one or two Fletcherites who can’t let go ­ that he is a malign influence on the England team.

Colleagues disagree about things all the time, important things too. That doesn’t mean relationships are unworkable. Indeed it can mean the opposite.

Creative differences make for healthy teams.

Strauss was the common-sense option as captain when Vaughan resigned last August and he looks an even better choice now, and not just because he’s started scoring runs again.

Leadership is not about ego or breast-beating. It is about inclusiveness, inspiration and, inevitably, compromise. The ability to do the latter is not a sign of weakness but strength.

If the press reports are to be believed, Moores will depart his post this week. The ECB will have got rid of the wrong man. Let KP do the batting, and Strauss do the leading.

John Stern is editor of The Wisden Cricketer

Posted in England, Test cricket | 10 Comments »

10 Responses to “John Stern: Moores set to be wrong casualty for England”

  1.   Paddy Briggs says:

    The English cricket establishment finds it hard to cope with a Captain with cojones (Greig, Close…). Vaughan had them, but was quite a diplomat and had a strong ally in Duncan Fletcher. Pietersen runs on a supreme self-confidence which comes in no small part to never having been part of the flaccid and unambitious world of English cricket – especially English county cricket. KP used Nottinghamshire and Hampshire simply as necessary tools to realise his ambition to play international cricket. Once he achieved this he has never looked back.

    KP’s leading by example started in his very first Test match when he top-scored in each England innings at Lord’s in the first Ashes Test of 2005. KP was absolutely key to the regaining of the Ashes in 2005 as much from his attitude and style as from his contributions on the field of play.

    Moores is a product of the English County system as player and coach. This system is moribund, outdated and complacent. It produces people like Moores – jobsworths with no real thirst for a fight and none of the get up and go that we regularly see from Australia and South Africa - and now also form India.

    KP, like Tony Greig before him, doesn’t think much of county cricket and doesn’t think much of the putrid English cricket establishment. He is a winner and he doesn’t want banal and pedestrian time-servers like Moores in the dressing room!

  2.   Suave says:

    I’m finding it hard to disagree with Paddy on this one.

    Has the world gone mad? Am I slowly going insane? Or even quickly insane?

    I don’t know, but I like the cut of this young fella’s jib!

  3.   Gumbo says:

    Paddy, while i agree with most of what you say (that made me shiver with dread a little), i take issue with you calling Moores a “jobsworths with no real thirst for a fight and none of the get up and go that we regularly see from Australia and South Africa”.

    Moores’s problems seem to stem from exactly this - he’s the kind of coach who gets in players’ faces and tells them how to do things, rather than sitting back and judging a player before making a decision. It appears he has too much of a thirst for a fight.

  4.   Jack says:

    Paddy Briggs has it right, and Stern is 100% wrong! Moores is a dreary county product and a mediocrity. Why must England settle for mediocrity? Creative differences? Give me a break! This is a battle of wills and Moores is monumentally, stupidly obstinate. Strauss was never the right choice as skipper. He’s too nice and too quiet for the job. England did well to try KP and already good signs are there. He has the mix of cojones, skill, panache and risk-acceptance to take England to the top. He’s like another Close or Illingworth. Dont blow it, ECB.

  5.   Gumbo says:

    Cojones: worst word ever?

  6.   Paddy Briggs says:

    The departure of Moores and KP must surely be the final nail in the coffin of the incompetent and malignant regime of Giles Clarke and David Collier at the ECB. It actually defies belief what damage these two have done to the good name of England cricket and if they had any decency they would go – NOW!

    The charge sheet against Clarke is long and shaming. It isn’t only the Stanford debacle that must be laid firmly at his door. Far from it. He has single-handedly ensured that by his complete failure to manage his staff, starting with the otiose Collier and including the selectors and above all the Coach that he couldn’t run the proverbial piss up in a Brewery. Whilst Clarke was gallivanting with Stanford and his tainted millions England cricket was sailing into very squally waters indeed.

    The finances of the ECB are huge, but under Clarke no serious effort has been made to correct the imbalance which exists between the money that is needed to create a credible cricket infrastructure in England, and the ridiculous handouts that sustain the untenable County system. In short Clarke wastes our money.

    The next charge is in respect of the media rights to England cricket. Surely the imperative has to be to ensure that the maximum number of TV viewers can see the game – not to maximise revenues. Clarke’s ignorant and abusive diatribes at the BBC were uncalled for and counter-productive. The BBC has walked away from covering England international cricket largely because Clarke, in his pursuit of riches from Sky, gave them no encouragement and his arguments otherwise are utterly disingenuous.

    It is the vulgarity of the man and all that he does that sticks in the gut. The departure of Michael Vaughan had all the hallmarks of an organisation riddled from the top with people who haven’t a clue about man management. The failure to create a hierarchy within which the Coach and the Captain worked harmoniously together is also a direct consequence of the Clarke/Collier axis’s incompetent management behaviour and style.

    The enduring memory of Giles Clarke will be Stanford which reduced the game of cricket to a fairground attraction and did untold damage to the reputation of the game. It was the antithesis of the Spirit of Cricket.

    I’m very sad to see Pietersen go – rather less so to see the departure of Moores. But let’s put the monkey fairly on the right shoulder – stand up Giles Clarke and wave goodbye.

  7.   Daniel Brigham says:

    They haven’t actually departed yet …

  8.   Paddy Briggs says:


    What are you waiting for? A farewell ceremony with the Brigade of Guards band playing Jerusalem? Giles Clarke weeping as he hands over flowers? David Collier telling one of his awful “jokes” as Moores and KP burst their sides with laughter? A school chapel service of remembrance with the lessons read by CMJ?

    They are gone. Period.

  9.   Shutts66 says:

    You’re all wrong! Ask KP to chose his new England coach. And then tell him to inform the squad that 50% of their salary is required to pay the new man his wages!
    I thought that the whle point of Moores was that he was an average player - and was disappointed that no-one took hold of him and developed him to a higher level. This then drove him to become a top coach.
    KP is clearly a driven individual. From lower order off-spinner to world class batsman.
    They say that opposites attract. Perhaps the problem here is that both are too similar. Too single minded.
    The best XIs (or XII if you include the coach) do not always make the best team. The blend must be right.
    ECB - please do not appoint Strauss as your new captain if you also intend to appoint a laid back coach. Mix and blend your options, please.
    The Ashes are 180 or so days away. That gives us time for 2 more coaches and 3 more captains.
    I can’t wait.

  10.   Gumbo says:

    So the ECB have sacked KP. So why then sack Moores? Surely that’s acknowledging that KP was right about him? So then why sack KP? It hurts my head.

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