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January 2009
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Sam Collins: Peter Moores – Taking the positives

January 8th, 2009 by Sam Collins in England, Test cricket

That faint praise in full:

Andrew Strauss (On taking the captaincy): “Peter Moores put a huge amount of effort, enthusiasm and determination into taking England forward. Certainly he’s shown a lot of integrity.”

Nasser Hussain (Daily Mail): “Was he the wrong man? Moores did as well as any other Englishman who has coached the team. Apart from Fletcher, every other coach has been more of a manager figure - there to put out cones and organise nets.”

Hussain (Sky Sports News): “He sets the team up brilliantly every morning; he trains them well. They are finely drilled every morning.”

Mike Atherton (The Times): “Most of the players like Moores and think that he is a decent and honourable man, but they have reservations that he is the right person to take them to the next level. Moores’s removal is harsh in the sense that he is a decent, hard-working and loyal man, who has behaved throughout this past week with great dignity. Nor should it be forgotten that he inherited something of a disaster: but he failed to arrest the decline.”

Chris Adams (The Times): “He’s a fabulous person. From what I can tell at least three quarters of the England side were enjoying everything he was bringing.”

David Hopps (The Guardian): “If there was a unanimous view about Moores among England’s players it was that he was a decent bloke who might be in the wrong job, but that decision was a matter for the ECB, not a cause for a players’ rebellion.”

Duncan Fletcher
(The Guardian): “As for Moores, I feel for him. I know what a tough job coaching England can be, and you don’t like to see any individual treated like this. I know he never did less than his best, but it’s not an easy role. Some coaches are great with inexperienced sides; others have specific technical strengths. Very few can cover all the bases.”

Angus Fraser
(The Independent): “The one person to feel sorry for is Moores, who has done little wrong. It is right to question his suitability for the post – too few players have made progress during the 20 months he has been coach – but throughout this entire escapade he has conducted himself in a dignified manner.”

Stephen Brenkley (The Independent): “Moores became bogged down in a mixture of coach and management speak, swallowing the instruction manual followed by the self-help guide. He leaves with dignity intact and, although he probably had to go in the end because of the circumstances, he can be deemed unfortunate.”

Nick Hoult (The Telegraph): “A popular man with a keen analytical brain.”

And the inevitable spade-caller:

Geoff Boycott (The Telegraph): “As for Peter Moores, his departure doesn’t bother me. For a long time now I have felt this was an accident waiting to happen.
The ECB appointed Moores on the say-so of his friend, Morris, and the chief executive, David Collier, without advertising the job. He was the most qualified on paper, but that means nothing. He has no Test experience and knowledge of overseas conditions, which is when a coach can help a captain.

I’ve never been impressed with his training methods: ice baths after play, leaping into the swimming pool and playing soccer or rugby at the end of the day. It’s all sugar and spice, it looks good, but there’s no substance.”

Sam Collins is web-editor of

Posted in England, Test cricket | No Comments »

John Stern: “This won’t happen again”

January 8th, 2009 by John Stern in England and tagged , , ,

Who said this and about whom?

“There was a disconnect between X and the whole of the management of ECB – that won’t happen again.”

Answer: Giles Clarke, ECB chairman, talking exclusively to TWC in late 2007 about the demise of Duncan Fletcher. (Clarke became ECB chairman after Fletcher had left his post)

“That won’t happen again,” he said.

Well, it has, and then some. The point of the Schofield Report and the appointment of Hugh Morris’s position as MD of England Cricket was to provide credible leadership for all cricket-related matters. The problem with Fletcher was, according to Clarke, that he refused to report to Tim Lamb, the then chief executive. This was a problem presumably inherited by Lamb’s successor, David Collier, despite being, according to Clarke “a proper chief executive”.

So the ECB introduced another layer of management and filled it with a former player and good egg that players and coaches would all respect, right?

I know Morris personally and he’s a top man, no question. And I don’t just mean he’s a nice bloke. He’s tough (don’t forget he has survived throat cancer in the recent past), fair-minded and intelligent with bags of integrity. And he cares as deeply as anyone about the health of English cricket.

But you have to wonder what the heck has been going on when the rift between Moores and Vaughan/Pietersen has been an open secret almost since the day the coach was appointed.

Yet the impression is that these problems have only been addressed once the rift was made public. It looks like a head-in-the-sand job that has caused way more rancour and resentment than if the issue had been met head on (privately) much earlier.

And to conclude this process by canvassing opinion from players and coaching staff about the dressing room seems to put all concerned in an utterly invidious position.

I’m not suggesting Morris needs to fall on his sword here but we’re still none the wiser about who is actually in charge here.

And as for that moment when KP meets up with his team-mates again, some of whom have clearly helped engineer his departure: fly on the wall anyone?

John Stern is editor of The Wisden Cricketer

Posted in England | 2 Comments »

Revealed: Minutes from the ECB Teleconference that sealed Kevin Pietersen’s fate

January 8th, 2009 by Alan Tyers in Alan Tyers, England and tagged , ,

Present Via Webcam: Giles Clarke, Dennis Amiss, Jack Simmons, David Collier, Keith Bradshaw, Nigel Hilliard, Sir William Morris, Stephanie Sexxx.

Apologies: Geoffrey Voletrouser (plotting relaunch of Woolworth’s), The Bishop Of Durham (attending Macworld conference), Giles Giles (fact-finding mission to Aruba), Fishy Tucker (deceased).

Agenda: Uppity Bok and what to do about it; possible introduction of slimline tonic into committee room minibar.

Minutes: After some technical difficulties with the “webcam’ and the “computers” it became clear that Stephanie Sexxx was not a board member after all and that there had been a mix-up with the “web address”, although motion to have Ms Sexxx accepted onto the board for future meetings was carried unanimously bar just one abstention (F Tucker).

It was felt by all members that this Pietersen johnny had got a bit too big for his boots and the whole matter was just beyond the pale.

At least one member felt that we should have sorted his type out at Mafeking when we had the chance and that the Bok were basically no-good rotters.

It was also speculated as to whether the Bishop of Durham could have Desmond Tutu in a fight.

Attempting to draw the meeting back to the matter at hand, the chairman asked members to consider Pietersen’s demands.

It was felt that Pietersen’s request “to have a massive great big temple built in my honour like MS Dhoni is getting in India” was unrealistic.

One tentative proposed solution was to ask Sir Allen Stanford to pay for the temple but then sneer at him behind his back while taking his money.

It was agreed to wait and see what the Indians did and then desperately try to catch up while pretending we thought of it first.

As to the claim that Pietersen “had lost the dressing room” several members felt that there was no shame in a chap getting a bit confused after a good lunch and that it could have happened to anyone.

Peter Moores was generally felt to be an irritating squit.

However, members expressed concern that Pietersen would only grow more insufferable with time, with one asking “imagine how demanding he’ll become if we actually win any cricket matches”.

In the end, Pietersen’s “it’s me or him” ultimatum was put to a vote, with three votes for “me”, three for “him”, one for Eoghan Quigg and one for the UK Independence Party.

It was felt best to get shot of both Pietersen and Moores and the committee turned its attention to the thorny matter of the slimline tonic.

As recorded by Alan Tyers and definitely not leaked by anyone in the England set-up, none of whom would ever stoop to such a thing

Posted in Alan Tyers, England | 5 Comments »

Jrod: Thankyou England, we can count on you

January 8th, 2009 by JRod in England, The Ashes and tagged , , ,

Thank you England.

It hasn’t been a great time for Australian cricket fans.

Old dudes can’t be culled. Spinners can’t be found.

Captains can’t work out fields or over rates.

Prolific batsmen face private credit crunches and 20 wickets a match is a pipe dream.

And the bloody South Africans beat us at home. We should be suicidal, and we were.

Now England has opened our eyes to the beautiful nature of the world, the lightness and puppy dogs.

KP was England’s white knight. The man was going to take them to a promise land of Ashes glory and unheard of gloating and celebrations.

MBEs were drafted, streamers were ordered, and English fans had actual confidence in the state of their team.

After one dead rubber victory he was going to win the ashes, cure cancer and sing Hallelujah on a talent show.

Now he has quit, after losing 20 million dollars, a one day series and a test series.

He said it’s me or him, and they said it’s both of you.

And this brings me the joy that one can only hope for when their first child is born, or when they see the Natalie Portman strip tease in Closer.

I can handle Australia being useless if England are a mess.

Although I probably can’t handle losing to England, but I didn’t think I could handle losing to South Africa, but the scars on my wrists have been healing up nicely.

So thank you England, for curing Australian fans of their misery in our darkest hour, we can always count on you.

Jrod is an Australian cricket blogger, his site won last July’s Best of Blogs in TWC

Posted in England, The Ashes | 4 Comments »

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