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January 2009
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Miles Jupp: ECB’s show of strength just a petulant outburst

January 15th, 2009 by Miles Jupp in England and tagged , , ,

Normally I love it when there is some cricket news to fill the quiet spells between tours but the KP-Moores saga has quickly become unsavoury. Attempting to get a grip on the events in this particular power struggle has been exasperating, and for two reasons. First, some papers have carried for over a week a series of opposed accounts of England’s dressing-room politics. The only conclusion that can be drawn from this is that people are letting on more than they know. The word-count-to-fact ratio has been staggeringly uneven – a lot of back-page space has been filled with hopeful improvisation.

Secondly, and far more importantly, the ECB has displayed all the dignity, poise and sensitivity of a drunk, rampaging rhino. It is appalling to see the number of quotes in articles attributed to ‘an ECB official’. If a person was responsible for that many leaks in this space of time then they are incontinent.

This obsession of anonymously feeding self-serving information to the press is symptomatic of broader problems within the ECB. Hugh Morris’ short stint opening the batting for England coincided with the exact moment that I started to obsess about cricket. It’s sad to see this decent and workmanlike fellow struggling to be diplomatic AND having to be the mouthpiece for an organisation obsessed with self-preservation.

The ECB, perhaps in exasperation about its dwindling power in the world game, has developed a CV that is a catalogue of self-harm: the departure of Troy Cooley; players hurried back after injury; the Stanford affair; the IPL dithering …

Clearly many at the ECB shared KP’s view about Moores but for KP to be seen dictating terms was more than their regal puffery would allow. This is why both Moores and KP are gone. What the ECB imagines to appear as a show of strength looks like a petulant outburst.

It’s as if Solomon, at the dividing of the child, told both mothers to bugger off and kept the baby for himself.

Miles Jupp is an actor, comedian and cricket fan

Posted in England | 1 Comment »

Opening A New Chapter: What Matty Hayden Did Next

January 15th, 2009 by Alan Tyers in Alan Tyers and tagged , ,

I walk down the frozen produce aisle, swinging my shopping basket, glaring at a few people. Going to the supermarket is a challenge, but I’ve never ducked a challenge. A shelf-stacker is making a pyramid of canned soup. I smash it down. Nobody can live with my POWER.

People say it’s much easier to knock over tins of soup these days than it used to be, but I’ve done it all over the world – Tesco, Pick And Pay, Indian roadside stalls. And you can only knock over what’s put in front of you. I’ve always managed to do that. It’s not my fault if the standard of tin-stacking has gone down.

Fishing counter. I whip out my trusty fishing pole Big Sue and settle down. No bites yet, but I can afford to be patient what with little Alfie there to… oh. Alone now. Settle back and think of the good times. Cry a bit, but in a manly way.

After a while, a shop assistant comes over.

“You’re an obnoxious little weed,” I say wittily.

“Er, okay sir,” say the weed. “But would you mind not dangling your… fishing rod?… in the frozen fish counter. It’s not hygienic and it’s upsetting for the other customers.”

I tell him that top-level grocery shopping isn’t a popularity contest. It’s about results. And fish.

“Look,” he says. “What would Jesus do?”

Good question. I pop in a bit of chewing gum and mull it over.

“Show commitment?” I suggest.

“No,” he says.

“Be positive?” I say.


“Catch a fish?” I say.

“No,” says the man. “Look. Whatever. But He probably wouldn’t sit in a supermarket polluting the fish and being mean to people. And your surfboard is blocking the aisle.”

That’s an interesting thought. I plan to put it in my next book: How To Cook Kangaroo Roadkill On A Surfboard. It’s kind of a love story, but with recipes and inspiring anecdotes about commitment and mateship.

Roy even says he’s going to learn to read so he can really enjoy it. Thinking about that inspired me so much that I destroyed a display of pasta sauces. There’s so much still to live for.

Alan Tyers will not miss Matty Hayden

Posted in Alan Tyers | 4 Comments »

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