DCMS Committee Investigation Into The Future Of English Cricket

Yates was somewhat taken aback upon reading that the DCMS Committee will be inviting The Mediocre Men (that’s Colin Graves and Tom Harrison to new readers) to an evidence giving session focusing on the future of English Cricket.

Let’s put this in context.

Around the time of the release of the excellent film Death Of A Gentleman, a demonstration mourning the death of Test Cricket was held outside The Oval to highlight the unacceptable conflicts of interest in the highest level of our game’s governance. Not only were Jarrod Kimber, Sam Collins and my dear wife there, but so was one Damian Collins MP.

Collins promised that he would get Giles Clarke (who was then in charge of the ECB and who came out of the DOAG film looking a complete and utter Gareth Hunt) up before the DCMS Committee.

Come August 2019, the same Damian Collins is now Chair of the DCMS Committee and this promise has never even come close to being delivered. Collins seems reluctant to address or discuss this with anyone, a reluctance that suggests some kind of vested interest. Damn sure doesn’t pass the sniff test.

And yet here we are, official confirmation of The Mediocre Men coming before this Committee.

What’s changed? Why the sudden interest from Collins now?

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The Darts Regulation Authority – Another Kangaroo Court

The Professional Darts Corporation is the top level of darts, it has achieved much since those fraught days of legal threats following the split from the BDO and continues so to do.

With Barry Hearn running the show, PDC events are well attended, well run and punters who go along get to see top class darts and generally have a good time.  There’s a lot of love for the PDC and in particular the European Tour here.

That said, there is a festering, malodorous presence lurking around the PDC. Its name is The Darts Regulation Authority.

The ECB’s Cricket Discipline Commission has been given a justified kicking here. Now it’s time for the DRA to get the treatment.

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Ben Stokes Trial Aftermath

Ben Stokes has been found not guilty of affray.  Due Process has been followed and we must respect the decision of the jury. In the aftermath of these proceedings questions are already being asked of the CPS and attention is now turning to the ECB.

Specifically the Kangaroo Court known as the Cricket Discipline Commission and what the ECB will do following the case. Yates has written previously about the CDC in very disparaging terms and has very little confidence in it.  Perception here is that the CDC couldn’t be more Kangaroo if it was staffed by Australians dressed in Skippy costumes, drinking Castlemaine XXXX and doing Bill Lawry impressions.

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Damian! Damian! It’s All About Me, Damian!

Damian Collins MP has suddenly gotten very ballsy and issued a formal DCMS Committee summons to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook.

Given the public exposure about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica this is one case where doing bugger all isn’t seen as a sensible thing to do, even if government minsters generally haven’t got a Scooby about internet and tech issues.

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The Cheating Three

​There has been a lot of discussion about the severity of the punishments handed out to Steven Smith, Cameron Bancroft and David Warner, The Cheating Three (hereafter called TCT).

There has also been some fantastic coverage, notably by Geoff Lemon and Adam Collins. Yates raises his glass to Geoff and Adam for their work and hopes they’re enjoying a decent rest.

Let’s bring some clear headedness and context to the punishments handed out. No judgements about the conduct, no smugness, just keeping it real.

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On Former Players Turning Pundits

This piece is one that had been brewing for a while.  Recent events compelled its completion.

More and more it seems that a career in professional sport is seen as a springboard into the media covering that sport.  Broadcasters and journalists are being replaced by former players, some of whom are little more than mouthpieces, puppets or poor jester impersonations.

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Scarred For Life Vol 1 Review

If you grew up in the 1970s then you may well see something on the cover which, if it didn’t freak you out certainly sent a chill down your spine.

Many things that are created are invariably influenced by the life experiences of the creator.  So you could perhaps argue that any “darkness” people perceive in the stuff covered here is in no small part down to what the creators lived through and dealt with.

In some ways they are a valuable social history, showing things which people have evolved to recognise are inappropriate.  It is important to remember where we came from.  And maybe where we are heading back to after Brexit.

But let’s leave the politics aside and focus on this cracking piece of work. Let’s open by quoting Edward van Sloan’s introduction to the 1931 Frankenstein movie:

“I think it will thrill you. It may shock you. It might even horrify you”

Now we’ll quote Motorhead’s “Born To Raise Hell”:

“You don’t know what happened, not if you weren’t there”

Well thanks to Scarred For Life Volume One if you weren’t there you will have a far better idea of stuff that we read, watched, played with and ate.

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PDC World Darts Championships Predictions: Round 1

It’s that time of the year when people dressed as bananas can be seen in the vicinity of the historical building that is Alexandra Palace.  It can only mean that the PDC World Darts Championships are here.

In a first attempt at punditry, Yates offers a few thoughts on possible upsets.  First round games can sometimes be twitchy, if there are going to be any upsets they’re likely to be in this round.

Being a good Methodist boy Yates knows nothing about betting so take these predictions with a pinch of salt.   Please don’t take these tips personally; Chez Yates we have our favourites and we wish them well regardless of what the tips may say.

As Lemmy sang, “It’s all about the game and how you play it”.  A raised glass and good luck to everyone taking part.

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Introducing Mike “The Elephant” Yates

Folk may have seen the odd tweet or two about darts.  Please say hello to Mike “The Elephant” Yates in this autobiographical post.

Growing up we always had darts on the tv if it was on.  Winmau World Masters, News Of The World, Unipart Home Internationals and of course the Embassy World Professional Championship.  World Of Sport sometimes showed Darts and it was on World Of Sport that I saw John Lowe hit the first televised 9 dart finish.

Eric Bristow was the big cheese, cocked little finger, cigarette in hand and big mouth. He was on his way to 5 world titles so could walk the walk as well as talk the talk.  John Lowe was the England captain, calm and dignified.  Pear shaped flights with unicorns and rainbows on.  Still my favourite flight design now.  My darting hero was and remains Bob Anderson.

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Fit For Purpose?

Are the ECB Management Fit For Purpose?

“Fit for purpose” is an interesting phrase.  One of those business bullshit phrases but one that carries some actual clout.  It is subjective; who decides what constitutes “fit for purpose”?  What one may hold as a definition will differ from that held by others.

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