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2021 - 2022 Ashes

Is there a particular reason why Bairstow has been left out apparently in favour of Pope? He may be injured but that hasn’t stopped Stokes from being in the side.

I think Bairstow’s thumb is fractured, so batting would be risky, not to mention painful. Stokes can bat, but I don’t think we’ll see him bowling. Apparently he hurt himself just now, throwing the ball hard.

Thanks Clive, I had forgotten about the thumb.
I hope Pope gets a few.
I have to say the wicket looks very green. No wonder Labuschagne slipped and fell over!

This is a very true indictment of the chasing of the white ball success. There MUST be players (even very raw) in the county game that can do well in test cricket given time. If there aren’t then what on earth are the county coaches doing?

Another disaster this morning. Another embarrassing batting collapse. The England camp is now at its lowest ever morale. The 5-0 drubbing in 2006 (or thereabouts) was grim as was the 2013-4 tour, but this series takes the appalling honour of the worst (by some distance) that I can remember. (My memories go back to 1971).
There are no quick fixes. I note from the Sunday Telegraph that Ashly Giles and Mo Bobat ( the latter being “performance Director”) will be writing the post tour report. They are the first two that should be shown the door.
Strauss is being mentioned as a successor to the hapless Tom Harrison. He will I think be the best (and about the only serious) option. Sport England needs to look at the board at the ECB and seriously ask themselves if they have the right people for the job, the backgrounds of some of them are frankly irrelevant. Diversity is all very well but it seems to have become an end in itself and no longer a means to an end.

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Are you are seriously arguing that too much diversity is why we are where we are with the ashes tour? Maybe an adding up of who runs cricket will reassure you that a minority group is still well represented in English cricket. The minority group being white, public school educated men.


You pick the best for the job. I don’t care where they have been to school, who there parents are or what colour their skin is.

I have (fairly recently) started to believe that actively seeking to have a diversity of backgrounds and attitudes is in fact a desirable end in itself. Having a range of perspectives when constructing plans of any kind helps to guard against various tendencies that homogenous groups have to assume similar things are true. Maybe it’s especially important for England to pursue diversity in leadership because we are so bad at the moment. Actively seeking players and staff with very different experiences to the existing lot, as a desirable attribute, when looking to appoint the right person, doesn’t mean it is essential. I agree that it shouldn’t preclude an excellent, white, public school educated man getting a look in. It might be better to devalue that particular attribute in the pursuit of excellence though.

Caveat: I have no idea, but …It may be that failings in the English game at the moment have more to do with staid attitudes about how to train for and play the red ball game, rather than it being down to a trend towards diversity or innovation.

I hope this isn’t too glib, but the Australians spend time in the bullpen using baseball bats to hit baseballs. If the English team were doing that and failing, I suspect there would be cries of ‘bad form’ from experienced English fans, when we still inevitably failed to win a Test. I think that might show that there is a tendency to distrust new methods or strategies within English cricket, diversity included, and I am quite sure there could be essays written about why that might be.

Ultimately, if we were winning all the time, noone would give a monkey’s about diversity, because we wouldn’t need to change anything. As it is though, I think it is probably a useful part of a complicated solution to having a terrible team.


Specifically on this point, the ‘best choice’ is very subjective and will be informed by one’s background and experience. I’ve seen Jonjo Shelvey rifle in some belting goals on MOTD, but have rarely witnessed Neymar do anything of note. In my experience, Jonjo is by far the better player.

Sorry if the football reference counts as thread drift…

I haven’t really applied my mind as to who I would have on the board of the ECB if given the choice. Having said that, from what I have seen I would certainly want Heather Knight. She has always struck me as highly talented, mentally tough and a very good leader. I have no idea where she went to school. I would also want Michael Vaughan and Ottis Gibson.
And as for those important form filling administrative tasks Novak Djokovic would not make the cut.

Not sure that Michael Vaughan would get very far just now😬

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I totally agree with this comment. The best person for the job is the best person regardless of anything else. The powers that be can start with axing the current performance director and coach.


And yet he still never really looked in.


The great thing about Aussie tennis players is that they really know how to return a Serb.


Okay. Slightly lost, confused, annoyed. So the interim guys running English cricket have decided to drop both of the most successful and experienced bowlers from the team.

I say ‘slightly’, I mean almost in tears about the level of dumbness this shows. I suppose we have to look forward to Root being kept on at number nine for his spinning while retaining the captaincy. Could somebody please take the entire of the ECB to a nuclear bunker and lock them in forever.

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