Tom Maynard

Everyone associated with Surrey cricket in any way cannot help but have been devastated at the sad news of Tom Maynard’s passing earlier today, aged 23.  Yates freely admits that he cried on and off for most of the afternoon, and there may still be more tears to come.

Many things struck Yates about Tom – his sense of honour, leaving Glamorgan after the removal of his father Matthew from his coaching role; his ability to belt the bad ball and many good balls to the boundary and his awesome power off the back foot. Yates had the pleasure of seeing a couple of his innings this season and marvelled at just how hard he could hit the ball.

To see Tom take guard at the crease was to see someone ready for battle.  Every shot he played had intent.  Yates is certain that had Tom not been taken from us, he would have played for England and become a Surrey legend.

Yates feels for Tom’s parents, Matthew and Sue.  Parents shouldn’t outlive their children and my thoughts are with them and with everyone at Surrey and Glamorgan CCC.  As mentioned on Twitter, this is the third such bereavement Surrey has suffered in the last fifteen years.

Please take time to read these other excellent pieces about Tom:

The Middle Stump

The Reverse Sweep

Surrey Cricket Blog

Rest in peace Tom.

ECB In Couldn’t Manage An Orgy In A Brothel Shocker

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.

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Surrey v Leeds/Bradford MCCU, 1st Day

The first day of the season for Surrey supporters saw the sunny weather of previous days disappear in favour of windier and far chillier conditions.  Fortunately the flask of hot Orange Barley Water served Yates well throughout a day which did little to offer any answers to the questions about Surrey’s batting order.

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The Season’s Here!

And about time too!  The sight of a sun-drenched Kia Oval outfield yesterday evening was truly a pleasure to behold, lowering the blood pressure and reminding Yates that it won’t be long before the County Championship starts.  Ah, the County Championship.  Where cricketers from England and all over the world have started, continued and completed their cricketing education, many going on to perform with honours and records at the highest level.

You know, the one that’s supposedly watched by a few men and their dogs.

Woof.

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What’s In Your Cricket Box?

Yates is getting twitchy.  The kind of twitchy that has him testing bowling actions in the empty canteen with an orange.  The kind of twitchy that comes from seeing Surrey CCC on his bank statement, showing that the upcoming season’s membership has been paid.  The kind of twitchy that comes from seeing @surreycricket’s photos and videos of pre-season training.

It won’t be long and the first games of the new cricket season will be upon us.  Yates has still to decide whether to drop by the University game at the Kia Oval but will be going to the first day of the County Championship season, the home game against Sussex.

As the weather can be somewhat variable – from freezing one’s nether regions off in the morning then by end of play having the start of a suntan – Yates is contemplating what will go in his cricket box this season:

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Westfield Conviction & A Question I Dread To Ask…

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.

Continue reading Westfield Conviction & A Question I Dread To Ask…

England: Frozen Against Spin?

Congratulations to Pakistan on their test and series win over England.  Misbah-ul-Haq’s calm captaincy has helped unite and shape this Pakistan team into a cohesive and, more importantly consistent unit.  It used to be said that the only thing that was consistent about Pakistan was that you were never sure which side would turn up.  Perhaps that is changing, and about time.

The departure of Iajz Butt from the PCB could not have come soon enough.  That he had never arrived there in the first place must be the wish of many more than just myself.  With continued calm captaincy and leadership, provided that the retards are kept from positions of power and influence at the PCB, this Pakistan team could become a very very good side indeed.

Yates likes Mohammad Hafeez and Saeed Ajmal in particular and enjoys watching Umar Gul and Younis Khan too.  Make no mistake, this series win is well deserved and a rocket up the backside of the England batting.  So while Yates raises a mug of Darjeeling to Misbah and his team, the attention must now turn to the England batting.

Continue reading England: Frozen Against Spin?

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….

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

The Morgan Review: A Vehicle For Change? I Think Not

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.

Continue reading The Morgan Review: A Vehicle For Change? I Think Not