If there is any element of truth in Nick Hoult’s article in today’s Telegraph, it goes to show that Yates was wrong about the Three Stooges. It is The Feckless Five – Hugh Morris, Giles Clarke, David Collier, Geoff Miller and Andy Flower – who are showing their complete unsuitability for working with top level sportsmen.
There has been some utter garbage written about the ongoing situation between Kevin Pietersen and the ECB, much of it from the newspapers, whose “journalists” seem more intent on simple attempts at humiliation and muck raking rather than doing some decent investigative journalism and highlighting the flaws in the ECB’s handling of the situation. Others have made sly digs at KP in their writings when KP himself has no relevance to a story of a recovery from cancer. David Lloyd’s latest effort on ESPNCricinfo after today’s events is another pretty poor effort.
The only sensible writing on the KP issue Yates has seen so far have come from George Dobell, Michael Holding and Sambit Bal. Along with those writing for newspapers, many other former players talking about or writing about the game have singularly failed to provide any insight into the inner workings of the ECB top level management and the failures of Hugh Morris, Giles Clarke and David Collier.
It gives Yates no pleasure to post this entry. Yates is not normally taken to such strength of criticism. However, the decision by Hugh Morris and the ECB senior management to drop Kevin Pietersen for the crucial third test match is the culmination of incompetence and bad management by Morris and his colleagues.
It also goes a fair way to surrendering the coveted #1 test team ranking to the South Africans.
The ECB’s finding sufficient evidence to impose a life ban on Danish Kaneria came as a welcome indication of a zero tolerance policy towards any involvement with match fixing.
This would render Kaneria unable to play any cricket under the auspices of any ICC affiliated governing board. The PCB indicated that they saw no reason to dispute the findings of the tribunal, so Kaneria’s career seems to be sliding to an ignominious end.
The news that KP has quit One Day International and T20 International cricket came as a bit of a surprise to Yates. Yes, the ECB’s recent fining of KP for a relatively inoffensive tweet was pathetic, pedantic and shows how scared the ECB is of upsetting a major source of its income but may well have had more of an effect than many would have thought.
In his statement KP made it clear that he wanted to play in the upcoming World T20 tournament but that ECB rules prevent him from retiring from one of the limited over formats. That the ECB seemed incapable of a sensible degree of flexibility and are happy to see KP quit begs the question just what kind of leaders do the ECB have.
Yates writes this entry with a heavy heart and a sense of dread. When Yates says that Essex are a club which he had supported for 30 years until moving south of the River Thames you may understand why.
Yesterday’s sentencing of Mervyn Westfield will be remembered more for the explosive revelations made in the run up to lunch more than the fact that Westfield got a 4 month sentence. Those following Richard DJ Edwards’ excellent live Tweeting of the sentencing saw bombshell after bombshell land which must surely have a devastating effect on Essex cricket in particular.
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….
The Morgan review generated much discussion before its eventual publication. Now it has been published, not only are Yates’ and others criticisms shown to be valid, the report itself is one of the weakest documents Yates has ever seen.
Yates has seen plenty of poor efforts at documentation and reports in his time but this has to be one of the poorest to ever sully his monitor with its presence. Were Yates a CEO in receipt of this document he would throw it back at David Morgan with a demand for a fuller document with detailed and substantial evidence.
The news that David Morgan’s review into the county season is to be accepted by the ECB comes as no real surprise. Coming on the back of England’s number 1 test side status, this effort by Morgan seems a bit odd to say the least. Yes, we’re the best test side in the world so let’s cut the first class cricket that made us so and bend over for the Champions League.
Currently we have two Championship divisions of nine teams. 16 games is the sensible, logical and balanced approach to have – each team plays the others in its division home and away. How is a cut to 14 games per season going to work? Which teams miss out on playing each other, why and under what process is this determined? The idea is fundamentally flawed.