Is that Sportco, can I speak to JZed?


Hi, is that Alex/Joe/Nathan/Jos/Scott/Angela?

It’s James Whitiker here.

Just wondered whether you’d be free to play next week?

Alex/Joe/Nathan/Jos/Scott/Angela:    Jim, you’d better speak to my agent.


Hi, is that JZed?

This is James Whitiker.

I’m here with Andy. We were just wondering whether Alex/Joe/Nathan/Jos/Scott/Angela might be free to play next week?

Jim, I have a few concerns. My client, as you know, is keen to help the old country, proud to wear the cap, but there’s IPL9 and we’re keen to pursue certain leads in the BB.

I think we can dovetail things for you on that, JZed.

Look Jim, let me be frank.  We have real issues with the culture you’re running.  It’s quite restricting.  There have been worries expressed over your handling of some very talented young players in recent years.  You know, they might have been better advised to give you all a miss.

That’s not strictly fair, JZed

You know these young guys, Jim, it’s not the way they see these things.  It’s about flair and self-expression.

Now JZed, we want self expression, you must know that.

It’s one thing saying that, Jim, it’s another giving real licence.  The way my client sees it, you can’t succeed unless you have a personal connection. It’s all a bit too authoritarian at the moment.

If you wanted your clients own choice of coach or mindunfcuker, we’re cool with that.

That’s good of you, Jim, but I really think maybe this year, if you don’t mind, we’ll give it a miss.

But we haven’t talked coin yet?

That’s really not the issue Jim. We here at Sportco, we think long, long term. So, don’t be frightened to lift the phone anytime in the future. Always ready to talk … and good luck next week. Caio Jim!




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2 responses to “Is that Sportco, can I speak to JZed?

  1. The issue of coaching is something that interests me more and more. In the “old” days, if you were selected for a national team, then it was acknowledged that you didn’t really need coaching. Mike Brearley famously refused to let coaches near Graham Dilley etc when they were picked for England. Richie Benaud used to say that there were no coaches in the Australia set-up in his day but, if you needed some advice, you could go to senior players such as Keith Miller or Arthur Morris.

    Closer to our times, I heard Mark Butcher say the other day that, if he needed batting coaching while he was in the English side, he wouldn’t have turned to Gooch or Fletcher. Famously, he spent one winter working on specific aspects of technique with his father, Alan. It seems that you need someone who knows how you have developed and what you were doing when you were batting well, rather than an all-purpose “expert” to tell you the proper way to do things.

    IVA Richards did not have much use for coaches but he did on occasion express appreciation of Tom Cartwright, who had played some role in his development at Somerset. He was good at letting Richards know when he was getting into bad habits. After Somerset dispensed with Cartwright’s services, Richards once had a few sessions with the new coach – Peter Robinson, I think. It came down to comparing video footage of Richards in form and Richards out-of-form, to try to detect what was different. The guy you trust, who knows your game, could have done that more easily.

    You think of the list of England fast-bowlers who have been wrecked by coaching – Devon Malcolm, Syd Lawrence, etc. Well-intentioned coaches were trying to get established bowlers to alter their actions to conform to some kind of bio-mechanical or even aesthetic template. They thought Lawrence was crouching in his delivery stride and tried to get him to stand taller – and the patella snapped.

    There seems to be an age beyond which coaching can only be remedial. You cannot seem to make significant alterations to a player’s game after 18, 19? You can work on getting more side-on in delivery, as John Snow did in the late 60s in order to develop his “away-swinging bum ball”, but that was refining his action, not altering it.

    So when Boycott and co harp on about Root getting back into the county game and working on the movement of his feet, I fear the horse has bolted. Root’s technique is now forged, for better or worse. John Edrich and Chris Broad (come to think of it, Captain Cook himself) enjoyed considerable success without discernible foot movement. Root needs to find a way of playing within the limitations of his game. Efforts to change it now, I suspect, will only be counter-productive.

    Your views would be appreciated as always.

  2. There is much sense in what you write Diogenes.

    Besides tampering because you are paid to tamper (though that never applied to MIshy, for example or French) there is also the culture of the ‘camp’ which may not be conducive to everyone and which becomes a real issue as this new generation comes into contact with it.

    How does a cricketing pro relate to someone who diarizes their visits to his mentor? Especially those born ’85 to ’90?

    Is there is something that Lehmann brought to Australia that Flower may never be able to bring to a group of England and Wales raised players?

    He does Woodward, sort of, for organizing the resources, but with so much detail in place can he do that extra that Brailsford seems to be able to do: prep+ ?

    Focus can distance. Distance interferes with the chemistry.

    Just a suspicion.

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