Category Archives: BBC

An Open Letter To Colin Graves And Tom Harrison

Dear Colin and Tom,

I don’t envy you the tasks you guys now face.  You take up your roles at the ECB with the national governing body looking greedy, petty, obsessive, controlling, incompetent, mendacious, out of touch and snobbish.  Most importantly the ECB has alienated a lot of people and smeared an imperial shedload of faeces on its brand over the course of 2014.

If it weren’t for Ched Evans the FA would look better than the ECB right now.  That’s how bad things are.

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2014 Season Commentary Feedback

When prompted to e-mail the BBC and ECB with feedback on this season’s cricket commentaries, Yates sent one response to the BBC and a fuller response to the ECB.  Yates has previously expounded his support for the County commentary teams.

Praise is given where due but so is criticism.  If you’re new to DCTWO then please take it as read that as a Surrey supporter I am a big fan of Mark Church and Johnny Barran’s commentaries.    Some people (*cough* Michael Vaughan *cough*) would do well to embrace their Twitter presences and bring them to the commentary box – his recent tweets have been much better than his TMS output.   TMS in its current state is a vastly inferior product to what it used to be – it needs overhauling.

That said, so does anything in the ECB which Giles Clarke and Paul Downton have had anything to do with.

Yates is looking forward to reading KP’s autobiography.

Thank you to all involved in the County Cricket Commentaries during 2014. May you all winter well.

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Team Waitrose Or Team BBC? Agnew Must Decide

You may have seen the cringingly awful Waitrose promo video that hit the net last week and then mysteriously disappeared.

If you didn’t see it then let Yates provide a brief summary.

“Starring” Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad doing the Full Kit W****rs thing in a Waitrose store with BBC Cricket Correspondent Jonathan Agnew providing TMS style commentary.  The advert featured Jimmy rubbing an apple on his groin a la polishing the ball, Stuart diving to catch something dropped by a shopper, David “Bumble” Lloyd as a delivery driver and a nauseating name check for Paul Downton right at the end.

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ECB England – A Devalued Team

The announcement of Peter Moores as England Head Coach has confirmed Yates’ thinking since Paul Downton was announced as Managing Director of England Cricket.

Instead of harshly examining a system which is obsessed with turning fast bowlers into musclebound mechanical men who break down far too often or looking into why the batting coaches were unable to get through to the England top order how to play Mitchell Johnson, Downton decided that he’s tired of dealing with those bloody irritating colonials who speak their mind and used the Ashes whitewash as the ideal opportunity to saddle Kevin Pietersen with the blame.

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The Season Arrives

The cricketing winter has been unpleasant in a number of well reported ways, so it was with a real sense of pleasure that Yates switched on the Surrey v Glamorgan commentary this morning.

When Yates was a student, the only cricket commentary he could find on his combined television/radio gadget was BBC Radio Wales.  So much of Yates’ academic output was created, revised, sworn at, rewritten and finally submitted with the tones of Edward Bevan, Don Shepherd and Wilf Wooller in the background.  And 20+ years later Edward Bevan’s voice is still the voice of BBC Radio Wales cricket.

To hear Mark Church and Edward Bevan commentating on that first session of the season bought a sense of happiness and well-being to Yates. First class cricket is the bedrock of our game and deserves good support.  The winter’s events – what was done, what was not and what should have been done – may well have repercussions still to come.

For now we can focus on county cricket and enjoy the start of the season.  The hopes, aspirations, predictions, rekindling of friendships and comradeships, taking seats at grounds and watching the game we love, discussing it online, getting selfies with players and the other stuff we do which friends and family may not understand.

To us all – players, commentators, journalists, writers, bloggers, supporters and everyone involved in cricket – Yates raises his glass to you and wishes you a happy and successful season.

TMS v TMS

It sounds like some kind of WWE tag team grudge match.  In one corner is Test Match Special’s Jonathan “The Assassin” Agnew and his partner Christopher “Cool Man Jiving” Martin-Jenkins, in the other from the Test Match Sofa crew is “Dangerous” Daniel Norcross and Gary “Nailer” Naylor (Be gentle on Yates, he couldn’t think of wrestler type nicknames for the other Sofa crew.)

Yates can’t quite see Aggers going all Randy “Macho Man” Savage on the Sofa crew but a recent article by CMJ has caused something of a stir, going down about as well as Yates’ Great White Eared Elephant impression at his mother’s birthday party.  Words like “predatory” and “pilfering” have been seen doing the rounds.  Yates isn’t sure the “Macho Man” would ever have used the word “pilfering” though…

Editor of The Cricketer (which now owns the Sofa) Andrew Miller posted a reply in the Daily Mail and the discussion has been ongoing via Twitter for a while now, with tweeters from both sides having a say.

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Giles Clarke: Real Halfwit Or Just Trying To Be One?

Yates had some strong words about David Morgan’s review the other night so it would be wrong of me to allow Giles Clarke’s latest utterances to go without a response.  Giles needs to stop taking whatever pills he’s been on and wake up.  Or perhaps someone would be kind enough to introduce Giles to a clue stick in the form of the Mongoose MMi3.  Yates is surprised that someone with the business acumen of Giles Clarke has ended up spouting rubbish and looking like a puppet.  Which is exactly what has happened here.

But before I do, what is it about sports administration and governance that attracts or turns people into retards and halfwits?  That could be one hell of a long discussion:

Septic Blatter, Numbnuts Srinivasan, Ijaz Butt, Justin Vaughan, now Giles Clarke – all apparently successful yet responsible for some mind blowingly stupid acts and utterances over the years.  Yes, there are plenty of others but to catalogue such halfwittery would take time that Yates doesn’t have right now.  Don’t forget the chaos within Sri Lankan cricket either.

Anyway, back to the issue at hand.  Cricket faces a number of threats.  Match fixing is the most discussed issue at the moment. The ACSU’s failure to apprehend corrupt players is an indictment on the ICC.  Match fixing has now been confirmed in the English domestic game and could have massive repercussions.  The ICC itself doesn’t seem to have any clue how to progress the Associate nations towards test level and was massively rebuked by boards and fans for its initial desire to discount them from the World Cup. Its governance structure is outdated and cannot pass any description of real impartiality and having the interests of the game at heart.  It is open to misuse and bad influences by vested interests.

Which leads me nicely onto the greed of the BCCI, which is well known, as is its bullying attitude whenever something it doesn’t like comes along.  Like the ICL.  Oh yes, Yates will alwsy remember the behaviour of the BCCI and Justin Vaughan.  The Board for Control of Cricket In India throws its bloated, greedy weight around every chance it gets.

Meanwhile in England, the vagaries, strangeness and vested interests of local councils threaten our first class counties.  Well meaning but ultimately flawed ideas are being mooted to change (and weaken IMO) the domestic structure.  More counties are reliant on getting a test match during the season and face financial troubles if they do do not get one; such a  business model cannot expand and continue to work.  Finally the BBC is considering cuts which would render its radio county cricket coverage only marginally better than that of Planet Rock.

So, what does Giles think is the biggest danger facing cricket?  No, it’s not him looking like a sack of faeces tied up with string whenever he’s on television, it’s….

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Save County Cricket From BBC Axe

The cuts announced by the BBC have caused a lot of concern for those employed by the nation’s public service broadcaster.  The Licence Fee is a unique way of funding, some argue it to be anachronistic and tax-like in these modern times but it supposedly serves to keep the BBC as a public service broadcaster.

The possibility that the BBC’s local radio stations are under threat from these cuts and a review exercise brings the unpleasant possibility that its excellent coverage of county cricket may fall under the axe.  If that happens then I believe that the BBC will have completely lost the right to call itself a public service broadcaster and should lose the Licence Fee completely.

The BBC does a lot wrong.  Paying Jonathan Ross obscene amounts of money to make knob gags being one.  Not bidding for the rights to show test cricket on television is another.  There are things that need to be changed at the BBC.  However, it must be said that the BBC does at least a few things right.  Its coverage of county cricket on the radio and over the internet is excellent.

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