@DavidMutton rings the Great House from Stateside today to tell the Squire about James Morgan’s important, powerful, damning, accurate demolition of Paul Downton’s dismal diving, ducking response to Simon Mann’s reasonable good-natured inquiries.
It has to be said that the Squire has been mortified by things that have happened prior to and during the Tour of Sri Lanka.
“It is vital when dealing with organisations to ask the question: ‘where’s the power?”
True. The Squire keeps to hand his ECB Power Map. It is spread out on an ancient map-table in the Great Library. He takes Third Man thither.
“Look here TM. Where’s the source? Is power in the hands of Cook … of James Whitaker … of Downton …. of Moores … even of Giles ‘Tradesman’ Clarke? No it’s still Flower’s power.”
“Every dumb decision that the ECB has made over the last 18 months originates from that man, Flower, his beastly managerial culture that stamps on Flair and Improvisation with the Hammer of Conformity. The decision to keep Flower and his Odious Culture of Compliance with its Fearful Clientism has extinguished the Very Life Force of cricket in England.”
“No-one other than Moores would a) have been acceptable to Flower and b) have accepted the limited scope of the coaching job on offer in the first place. England chose a local lad when someone of world class was essential.”
“Flower and Moores have to have Cook until Root is thought ready. Ditto Morgan. So having inked those three batsmen into place others have to be batted out of position, and yet others excluded from the side completely. It is the price of having a compliant Captain and paramount Flower.”
“The whole rickety edifice is bolstered by carefully distributed access to information that produces a compliant (client status) mainstream media that uses what intelligence it has to invent ways of justifying in the unjustifiable Though Mann did a better job than most with his opportunity.”
“Carefully distributed access to cricketing development opportunities from 15 years of age onwards, isolation of the England development programmes from counties creates, client-like and compliant cricketing talent to the exclusion of those who do not pass the Flower Entrance Exams and regular Performance Reviews ensures that no one can develop let alone get themselves selected who has not come through this factory.”
“How many Maxwells, Warners and Finches are out there ready in our Green and Pleasant Land to tan the leather and mock the mighty?”
“It’s Fordism in a Post-Fordist cricketing world. It’s anathema to our Generation Y cricketers which is why so many of them are failing to express their full potential in this stultifying regime.”
“It’s the business strategy dictating the cricketing strategy, dictating the development strategy, dictating the selection strategy, dictating the communications strategy to the utter frustration everyone and which James demolishes in his excellent piece.”
“Get me Downton and Whitaker on the Dog and Bone, TM. If they have anything about them, after an ear battering from me they’ll have those numpties out on their ears immediately after the World Cup. They could do a bit of recruiting while they’re over there. Can’t they see what’s been happening in Yorkshire? In Yorkshire, Third Man.”
“And get me a cold towel while you’re at it.”
“And a brandy”
“A large one.”