February 2009

Thanks to Jrod for pointing out that the job description for post of “England Team Director” is available online. Take a look. Seems like rather a lot of obvious detail, and you’d like to think that any candidate good enough to do the job would have been known about already. Still, even at the ECB I guess that they have to keep HR happy and that no-one is immune to employment law.

For your benefit, rather than reading the entire 1,500 word ad, here are some edited highlights and thoughts:


Job Title: England Team Director
Job Type: Full-time
Location: Loughborough (quick trip down the M1 for me, far better than fighting my way into Nottingham)
Salary: Not disclosed (less than it would have been with Stanford millions)

The vision of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is to become and remain the most successful and respected cricket nation in the world. Good luck.

Applicants should have the following attributes:

· Strong disciplinary skills (got to keep KP and Fred in line)
· Excellent communication, interpersonal and influencing skills (please win lads, please win)
· Excellent media skills (“I know we got bowled out for 51, but we are taking positives from it”)


Do you run a business? Are you interested in cricket? Would you like to be a nice organisation, support cancer research, meet a few cricket journalists and bloggers, and have a whole heap of fun at the same time?

If your answer is yes to most of the above, then do we have an opportunity for you!

The Village Cricketer, and its Australian arch-nemesis Cricket with Balls, are looking for corporate sponsorship around the Pre-Ashes international charity cricket match they will contest in aid of the Everyman Male Cancer Campaign in June.

We are seeking corporate assistance in three areas:

We have had significant interest in the event to date, with a number of cricket’s finest journalists keen to participate, as well as a whole bunch of cricket bloggers. We are confident that an event of this nature, held in the run up to the Ashes and as part of Everyman Male Cancer Awareness Month, would provide any organisation aligning itself with the event with significant PR opportunities, in addition to knowing that they have contributed to a very worthy cause, helping fund research to cross out prostate and testicular cancer.

If you are interested and would like to discuss further, you can get in touch by leaving a comment, or by emailing thevillagecricketer@googlemail.com.

So, about 8 days after the Antigua test was meant to have started, the Windies tailend clung on, and blocked their way to an unlikely draw. Sure, the pitch at the ARG remarkably lasted the full five days, and a fantastic test ensued, however, having seen England strive valiantly, it was hard to to accept a draw.

Sure, losing time to rain in the morning, didn’t help, and the decision not to enforce the follow-on will now be debated, but we remain no better informed as to how good England are at the moment. Sure, the Windies stood up manfully to the task and seem to be a far better team than the one England have dessimated over recent series, but England’s bowling attack have been made to look a little toothless.

India’s monumental run chase before Christmas caused worries, and this only compounds them. We rely too much on Flintoff, and when he isn’t 100% we appear no more penetrative than the Kiwis. I’m concerned.

TVC is a little bemused by calls for Giles Clarke’s head over the whole Stanford-gate affair. Clarke has certainly got egg on his face from his dealing with Stanford, but I think it goes a bit far to expect him to lose his job too for embracing a potential sponsor?

It is no secret that the traditionalists don’t like the fact that Stanford is a loud, brash Texan, who flaunted his money, flew a helicopter into Lords and did not show due deference to the stuffed shirts. Wisden, the MCC and certainly the Leicestershire chief exec (who couldn’t get on TV quick enough to pronounce the entire matter an absolute disgrace, sack the board) must be delighted to be able to say ‘I told you so’ and that lairy Americans that bounce WAGS on their knees and don’t understand the subtleties of the longer form have no part to play in the English game.

English cricket (like other nations and other sports) is dependent on sponsorship and Stanford provided what – until recently – looked like a good source. Clarke would have been neglecting his duties not to explore the opportunities on offer, no matter how unpalatable the individual offering that sponsorship. I’m no great fan of the ECB, however as far as I see it Clarke only did what is part of his job, that of seeking sponsorship to help fund and grow the game.

Stanford might be proved a crook and the US courts will decide whether that is the case. The ECB has suspended negotiations after it transpired that there is a case for Stanford to answer. Not sure what more is expect from the ECB?

Does anybody else find it kind of weird that there is a very white left-handed dwarf playing for the Windies?

I’ve got no problems with it, despite the guy seeming very, very Australian (albeit like an eight year old Australian child), cos we have pinched plenty of Zimbos, Saffas, Kiwis, Aussies (remember Pattinson? No, didn’t think so) and West Indians over the years. It just seems strange. Plus, anybody else noticed that he seems to do all the West Indian outfielding?

Jrod over at Cricketwithballs doesn’t like Brendan Nash: “I never like Nash, he bored me, bowled scabby little off breaks and made runs against Victoria.”

I love this. Not only has England racked up a sizeable first innings score at the Antigua Recreation Ground (and I am very much loving Chicky’s disco between overs), it is very apparant that England and the West Indies have been reduced to playing village cricket.

My reasoning? Only the true village cricketer will be able to discuss the trials and tribulations of playing cricket on what – in the winter – is a football pitch.

Yes, normally we only have to deal with a bobbly outfield, sometimes having to move the goal posts, and muddy goalmouths after a wet April. In the West Indies, on the other hand, the actually allow the football players to play on the square.

In fact, at this very moment in time, Freddie is steaming in, trying to pitch the ball on what was the line of the centre circle. This, it appears, to cause the ball to shoot along the floor… or shoot off a length.

Proper village, proper cricket, great fun. Faaaaaaaaaantastic.

There is nothing like a long day sprawled on the sofa, enjoying some test match cricket from the West Indies. This, unfortunately, is nothing like a long day sprawled on the sofa, enjoying some test match cricket from the West Indies. That is because there is no test match cricket from the West Indies. That is because the outfield is unsuitable for cricket, so there is nothing to watch. 10 balls is all they managed.

Play has been abandoned for the day, and probably the entire test, because the outfield is dangerous. Even assuming there is a pitch available at the Antigua Recreation Ground – the only possible alternative – it would take three days for all the TV kit to move.

£40 a month for Sky and no cricket, a joke!

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