The Feckless Five

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.

Kevin Pietersen has already apologised and committed himself to playing for England in all forms of cricket.  What more is there to apologise for?

Here are a few questions the Feckless Five should answer:

  1. How many people does KP have to talk with to get this sorted? Why?
  2. Why can’t Hugh Morris show some balls and talk with KP one to one?
  3. Will the ECB apologise for leaking confidential contract discussions?
  4. Will the ECB insist that Graeme Swann publicly apologises for his comments about KP in his book?
  5. Will the ECB put in place a clear and stringent policy for players’ use of social media?
  6. Will the ECB educate players to keep themselves to themselves around non-professional cricketers?
  7. Why can’t the ECB follow basic common sense best practice and be consistent in its handling of issues?
  8. Who is behind this malicious, idiotic idea of another apology?
  9. Will the ECB commit to giving the Feckless Five proper training on man management?

Of course, the ECB won’t want to give a straight answer any of those questions.

Yates thinks the answer to question 8 is Andy Flower.  A man known for his balls of steel, a man known for his sheer bloody mindedness (or stubbornness depending on your point of view).  A man Yates admired for his talent, hard work and his guts in flipping the bird to a power crazed dictator.

There is no doubt that Andy Flower is an intelligent man.  So why has an obviously intelligent man failed to manage an admittedly challenging individual?  This latest report has destroyed any remaining faith Yates had in Flower as a coach and manager.  To say that hurts like hell.

Coaches often have a use by date, whereafter their thinking, ideas and processes become staid and ineffective.  Yates thinks that Flower has reached his sell by date.  Duncan Fletcher did not see his use by date approaching with England.  Will Flower dig in and refuse to go?  The late David Shepherd said “Better to go at five to nine than five past”.

The often underrated Ashley Giles has said that he doesn’t feel ready for the England job yet, even though many may see him as the next in line.  Any replacement for Flower must be a considered decision so there will be no anointing of anyone here just yet.

Yates maintains that Hugh Morris is unfit to hold the post of Managing Director, England Cricket and must go.  Yates has seen tweets saying that if England lose badly in India then Flower must go.  A sentiment with which Yates agrees wholeheartedly.

Edward Bevan, the voice of Glamorgan cricket commentary has rightly praised Flower and Morris for what they have achieved.  Yates acknowledges what Flower has achieved but should Morris really take credit for the hard work of others?  It is not what they have achieved that is the issue here; the issue is the chronic mishandling of an issue that should never have been allowed to rise in the first place.  Collier, Clarke and Miller should fall on their swords too.

2012 has been an amazing year of sport in England.  It is such a pity that the John Terry episode and the ECB’s incompetence have tarnished one of the most incredible sporting years.