Saying The Wrong And Right Things

Saying The Wrong Thing: Paul Rupert Downton

People wonder what Yates’ beef is with Paul Rupert Downton and whether it’s personal. It isn’t personal. Even though his middle name is Rupert. Regular readers will know that any bad management and senior stupidity gets my ire. The ECB has excelled at both recently.

Yates is fundamentally opposed to Downton’s ditching of Kevin Pietersen, the bullshit reasons he’s used to justify this, his retention of David Saker and his refusal to do anything about the fast bowling coaching that ruins cricketers by interfering with talent and trying to make them fit one box.

Yates deeply resents being told that he is “outside cricket” purely for having opinions, expressing them and asking questions. Yates is nobody’s robot.

It bemuses Yates how a man who played only 30 tests, scoring 795 test runs can claim higher knowledge than one who has played over 100 tests and scored over 8000 test runs. Does working for a bank suddenly confer higher cricketing knowledge? If it does then why has Yates yet to see the Paul Downton cricket coaching manual?

Yates has encountered some extremely poor managers over time yet none of them would have matched Downton’s brazen ignorance of the confidential agreement with KP in speaking negatively of him in an interview.

KP’s response was polite yet forthright, reminding a man who should have known better that he was well out of order. The grovelling apology which came out from the ECB can only be described as utterly humiliating and designed to prevent a well deserved legal arse kicking from KP’s lawyers.

No MD, senior manager or manager Yates has worked with would ever have broken a confidential agreement. Given some of the s**thouse people included in that list we can see just how poor Downton’s display was. Utterly unfit for a Managing Director.


Saying The Wrong Thing: ECB England Captain Alastair Cook

The Mankading debate was reawakened when in the 5th ODI Senachucker ran Jos Buttler out at the non-striker’s end having already warned him about backing up too far.

ECB England captain Alastair Cook said that “a line has been crossed“, not referring to the crease line Buttler should have had his bat grounded behind but to some kind of unwritten, unacknowledged agreement that you just don’t do this kind of thing.

Pillock. Prize pillock in fact. Yates is surprised that Giles Clarke wasn’t wheeled out to slate Johnny Foreigner and his dashed unsporting conduct (he may have been, please say if this was something Yates missed while overseas).

Does ECB England’s brand of “Englishness” include a 1930s view of and attitude towards folk from other countries?  Could be a good band name there. Johnny Foreigner and His Dashed Unsporting Conduct. Not a rock band, maybe more Chap Hop a la Professor Elemental?

Mankading is not unsporting. Trying to sneak an unfair advantage is. There is no sympathy here for anyone who gets run out in this way. Buttler should have learned a lesson there, especially as he was (as George Dobell points out) in the Somerset team when Murali Kartik did the same thing to Alex Barrow.

Now Alastair Cook has railed against Shane Warne’s criticism in his commentaries and written pieces.

Let’s be honest and say that Warnie isn’t anything like as entertaining as Hendo from the much missed Test Match Sofa. But the Aussie Auton does have one hell of a good cricket brain.

Cook may subscribe to the Joe Lynn Turner approach to reading the press (if you believe the good stuff they write you’ve got to believe the bad stuff so don’t read any of it) so might not be aware of the perception that the KP sacking made him look extremely weak and lacking innovative thought. His comments suggest that unlike JLT, Cook does indeed read the papers, watch the television or at least have a minion who does that for him. Coming as it does in a perceived lack of test form, this also does not make him look good.

Alastair Cook should have noted that KP has kept silent in the face of the near constant diarrhoea that passes for writing from Derek Pringle.

When Steve Davis was robotically terminating all comers on the green baize in the 1980s many branded him boring. Spitting Image did a sketch which nicknamed him “interesting”. It changed perception of and interest in him.

To people of a certain generation that nickname stuck.

Maybe Cook should find a good nickname and embrace it? None of that “Enforcer” crap Sally Broad tried – there’s only one Clint Eastwood, there’s only one Arn Anderson.


Saying The Right Thing: Mike Hesson

Compare these useless utterances with the response of New Zealand coach Mike Hesson to the news that Kane Williamson’s bowling action is finally to be subjected to testing. Let’s put aside the fact that Yates has been calling Williamson’s action suspect for over two years yet umpires have only just reported it.  It has been and now due process must take its course.

ESPNCricinfo reports Hesson as saying:

“I wouldn’t say it was completely unexpected and we are fully supportive of going through the process,” Hesson told Radio Sport. “There is concern there but Kane has never changed the way he has bowled in international cricket over two years ago. There appears to be a clampdown by the ICC in terms of suspect action and, if that’s the case, then I applaud that.”

Calm, clear and sensible. Hesson went on:

“[Williamson is] just miffed with the timing of it. But, as I said, if they are going to make a clampdown on illegal action, then that’s fine. All that Kane wants to see, and all any player wants to see, is a level of consistency.”

Again, calm, clear and sensible.

An example for the rest to follow.


Saying The Right Thing: Lalit Modi

The news that Lalit Modi may be teaming up with The Cricketer Magazine is interesting.  Yates hopes that this does bear fruit so that there is a voice out there which challenges the ECB, something the BBC’s cricket correspondent has consitently failed to do of late.

As ESPNCricinfo reports

The ECB dismissed Modi’s comments. “The ECB does not even entertain the claims of a man who has been a fugitive from justice in his own country”, ECB spokesman Colin Gibson, told News One TV. “He is banned for life by a BCCI enquiry which was led by respected politician Arun Jaitley.”

A PR spokesman’s comments mean absolutely nothing.  In Yates’ eyes PR means spin, lies and evasion.  Let’s see what happens when this comes to pass and Modi calls things as he sees them in the printed word.