January 2009
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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 »

2 Responses to “John Stern: "This won't happen again"”

  1.   Paddy Briggs says:


    As I said in an earlier post the questions that Morris needs to answer are:

    (1) Are you really responsible for overseeing the England team?
    (2) If yes want have you been doing over the past week?
    (3) Given the shambles all around you will you now resign?

    It may be tough to throw these at a self-evidently decent man – and one who handled the India tour complications well. But he is the line of management responsible both for the coach and the captain. Therefore the monkey was firmly on his back to make it work. He should have been on the phone to KP saying something like:

    “Kevin. We are hearing what you say about your relationship with Peter Moores. Please don’t do or say anything precipitate and when you are back in England lets get urgently together to discuss it. The ECB appointed you as captain for the long term and we want you to succeed. But we really must follow a proper process in respect of the definition of roles – including yours and of the coaching team. Please hold fire and we will sort it out together as soon as possible.”

    Maybe he did just that in which case he should tell us so. The performance at the Press Conference yesterday was unforgiveable. No doubt the lawyers were in the background (Ugh) but really what a way to treat the hacks – and the watching public!

  2.   Paddy Briggs says:

    Somebody’s telling Porkies here - and my guess is that it is not KP. His interview in the NOW today says categorically that he had the support of Freddie and Harmy - who had previously been reported as not backing him.

    My guess is that the question that the ECB asked the players was “Do you want Moores replaced as coach?” rather than “Do you want KP replaced as Captain”. They assumed that if you answered NO to the first question then your answer to the second had to be YES. Not so.

    I think that KP had not lost the support of any of his teammates. But that did not mean that all of his teammates agreed with him over Moores. What the ineffable ECB should have done is NOTHING – until KP had returned home and they had had a review with him and Moores of the options. It is an utter failure of management and more heads need to roll – starting with Morris and Collier.

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