January 2009
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Miles Jupp: Spare a thought for JP

January 9th, 2009 by Miles Jupp in England

At this time of year who’d have expected this story? Even the story’s main protagonist was on holiday.

I don’t know if it was pedantic behaviour or control freakery but clearly KP felt it was important that we knew when he resigned. And clearly he felt he had to go. He must have realised that to make an ultimatum when you’ve only been in a job five months isn’t so much treading on thin ice as standing on extremely thin ice that you’ve already pissed on.

Whatever Moores or the ECB have done has angered KP so much that his wife was clearly unable to convince him that it was worth waiting until they got home before he started doing anything about it. “Come on Kevin”, she must have pleaded with him, “everybody knows it’s never a good idea to make work calls when you’re on holiday.” Poor JP – this can’t have been her most relaxing break, especially with Dancing on Ice just around the corner.

If Vaughan’s omission was a source of contention between the two men, then it was no more than a symptom of an altogether larger beef. And KP is probably not a good man to have difficulties with. In the flesh he is an incredibly imposing figure – tall, broad and muscular. If you angered him in a confined space, then I don’t imagine it would take too long before he started thrashing about like Dumbo’s mother.

Anyway, a whole host of worthies we’d almost forgotten about have put in their tuppence worth on the subject of the captain-coach relationship. Among these Mr R Illingworth from Pudsey in Yorkshire who said that “the captain should have the main say; he has to be the main person. If he doesn’t have the main say then he doesn’t have the backing of the players when he gets on to the field”. Is that the same R Illingworth who was both coach and chairman of selectors during Mike Atherton’s reign and frequently refused to let the captain field players of his own choice? He has clearly lost his memory and it was irresponsible of his nurses to let him talk to the media in the first place.

This has been a wretched start of the year for English cricket and other than those who have kept totally silent, few have come out of it well. People have spoken out of turn to the wrong people and that is how an unworkable situation becomes an unpalatable one. And it seems to me that the more money floods into this game, the lower price people involved in it are placing on their dignity.

Miles Jupp is an actor, comedian and cricket fan

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