What an entertaining past few months we’ve seen in England! I’d love to have been a fly on the wall, a fly capable of listening to and understanding the doublespeak and management gobbledygook spouted. The imagination boggles at the way the ECB conducts itself; hiring Moores after the last debacle. Then getting newspapers and Twitterers to fire him before doing him the basic courtesy of calling him. The handling of the KP affair over the last 2 years ( or has it been more ?) has been a pathetic, limp mess of management failures. I wonder why anyone would want to work for the ECB today.
I was never a huge fan of KP but he was one of the best they had. I’m sure there were issues on both sides. KP felt the ECB condoned people who needled him and made him an outcast. As an employee, I do think he was victimized by others and the managers did nothing about it. He fought back the way but in these kinds of situations he was never going to win the war.
I do think that the true stories have not yet come out and as players from that era start retiring and becoming independent of the ECB, Strauss and Flower we shall see more backing for KP. We’ve seen some come out in corroboration, a tad cautiously perhaps, but definitely I think we haven’t heard the whole story. Craig Kieswetter is the latest to provide insight into the England dressing room in an interview that echoes KP’s assertions. KP didn’t know how to say it but there is truth to what he did say, one has to believe. It was ( is ) easy to brand him selfish. It’s also a very lazy thing to do. In the absence of an unbiased investigation we shall never know for sure, but I do think he was as wronged as he wronged. Just by seeing the sacking sagas of Moores, KP, Cook, Downton and you know that the ECB is a very large, blackened pot that has absolutely no business calling KP a kettle of stinking fish.
Now of course, England have a new coach and have beaten New Zealand with an aggressive approach. How long will this last? How long before they scare themselves with their own aggression? To me, today, it all looks like they’re in a runaway car without brakes. England is high on the “new beginning” and the old England will appear as soon as Starc or Johnson rip out Cook in the second or third over in Cardiff.If there is one thing I’ve learned in my career it’s this: corporate cultures don’t change when the executives remain the same. To make the change stick you have to get rid of the executives who created the earlier pre-change situation. As a telling pointer, let me point out the handling of Adil Rashid and the use of Moeen Ali at #8, as a bowler / allrounder. Also the continued run for Stuart Broad who is well past his expiry date.
Which brings us to the summer squash, Ashes 2015. More on that soon.