Das Ding an Sich or Drawbridge Down – Why It’s Time Team England Management Went for a Clumsy Solution


Those who have visited the National Cricket Performance Centre, Loughborough, will know that the glass doorway to this nerve centre of cricket in England and Wales is approached by way of a bridge, all rather reminiscent of, among other besieged entrances, the one taken by Charles 1st into his Carisbrooke confinement.

Phenomenally the span is fixed, but ‘the thing in itself’, the noumenal, is a draw bridge and the draw bridge has been up for many months.

Yesterday, inside the Centre’s print room, where copies of the infamous 84 page Nutritional Guidance for Hosts to the England and Wales Touring Party to the Antipodes 2013/14 were impressed from the divine (original) form, the machine was whirring again.

“’Ou’s this geezer Dildo anyway?”

“Chris Dillow? He’s a Marxists the Gaffer thinks a lot ov.”

“Waz this about then? Seys “Revenge Effects”. We planning fer 2015?”


“Revenge. I likes the sound of that.”

Chris Dillow, who Third Man once described as ‘that radical left arm around the wicket bowler whose front-on and off-the -wrong-foot action delivers very late away swing – a sort of Proctor through the looking glass’ has written an important piece and it is refreshing to see that the Central High Command Cricket England ™ has registered its importance and is already disseminating it’s intelligence to underlings.

The Dillow piece is an extended comment on this from Smudger Smith (RHB, RAMF), copies of which had already emerged warm from the copier and are being collated.

“Smudge ‘as cum up wif anotha one then?”

“Quality, mate, quality, that boy.”

“As soon as I sees him, I seys, ‘quality bat’.”

“A rare’ne.”

“An ‘ard worker wif the right stuff seys the Gaffer.”

Here’s the point that Smudge makes, ‘Some players need to be managed towards greater discipline, focus and restraint. Others require the opposite encouragement, to be set free from stifling executive control. Hence two questions – where each player stands on that spectrum, and how to move them in the appropriate direction – add up to a definitive set of judgements for all captains and managers.’

“Yer see, Smudge’s using an early two dimenshunal form of Cult’ral Theory: the ‘higherarchical’ an the ‘individulistic’.”

“Yer means he’s not yet factored in the ‘fatalist, the ‘egalitarian’ and the ‘autonomous’?


“But the boy done gud?”

“O yeh.”

Thankfully, copies of Organising and Disorganising: A Dynamic and Non-linear Theory of Institutional Emergence and Its Implication by Michael Thompson are already a well thumbed essential in the kit bags of all support staff. (WISH)

As the blurb says, “There are five ways of organising: the hierarchical, the egalitarian, the individualistic, the fatalistic and the autonomous. Each approach is a way of disorganising the other four: without the other four, it would have nothing to organise itself against.

“In Organising and Disorganising, Michael Thompson gives a detailed explanation of the dynamics of these five fundamental arrangements that underlie ‘Cultural Theory’.

“We may believe that our perspective is the right one and that any interaction with opposing views is a messy and unwelcome contradiction. So why should egalitarians engage with individualists, or hierachists with egalitarians?

“Using a range of examples and analogies, the author shows how the best outcomes depend upon an essential argumentative process, which encourages subversions that are constructive whilst discouraging those that are not.

“In this way each approach gets more of what it wants and less of what it doesn’t want. Michael Thompson calls these best outcomes ‘Clumsy Solutions’.”

“Lower the drawbridge and let the others in!” yelled Andy (WISH).  


1 Comment

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One response to “Das Ding an Sich or Drawbridge Down – Why It’s Time Team England Management Went for a Clumsy Solution

  1. growltiger

    It is so much to be regretted that the successes of the Strauss era were so largely attributed to the inception of Flowerism, an unsophisticated form of obsessive attention to detail, too evidently answering repetitively questions of past relevance (and thereby ensuring failure) . Strauss’ s aphorism (quoted by Smith, op cit) evidences a sensitivity to the need for adaptive variety within discipline. When this was removed, only the rule-book was left.

    Cultural Theory seems to me more typological than explanatory. But there is little doubt that openness to diverse influences would improvd Flowerism. But the Essex monoculture observed by Smith is surely too arthritic to be worth improving. It would still miss the point.

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