Monday, January 19, 2009

Is nothing sacred?

Bagpuss, not satisfied with taking over London, has now decided to invade English cricket.

Some goon who unashamedly calls himself Lord Marland of Odstock and ran Boris Johnson’s successful campaign for London mayoralty, (although, we all know it was actually some nasty piece of work Aussie that did the dirty, somehow Boris’ old chum was awarded the “Campaign Manager” title) wants to become the new chairman of the ECB.

Boris, flexing his political muscles further, plans to tighten his strangle-hold of the English establishment by sending Oddsocks forth to capture the ECB.

The London Mayor was heard to have said,

“Well, uh, buh buh, it’s kinda, buh, buh, gosh, right! Buh buh. The Johnson house will subjugate the masses through insidious control of its essential institutions, confounding all those who stand against us! Crickey.”

That Giles Clarke, a respected and hard-arsed businessman, has come under challenge from a minion of walking flan, is a sign of troubled times for English cricket.

Clarke hasn’t been a bad chairman. He hasn’t done anything that any other English chairman from the hallowed histories of the ECB wouldn’t have done – with the possible exception of ol’ Lord Bumsoak, whose solutions to administrative problems usually involved large vats of sherry, some well-oiled bats and twelve naked schoolboys.

But, politics is politics, and when the rats smell an opportunity, they begin to talk about strategic leadership and the need to gnaw on the rotting corpses of roadkill.

So, some nobody, whose only claim to fame is an association with the Tory party financial scandal that involved cheating electoral laws by fraud and winning over huge sums of money by misleading the authorities, thinks that he can do a better job than someone with actual abilities.

It’s a bit annoying that English cricket is such a preserve of the political right. I don’t make this objection so much for partisan reasons – my politics is somewhat broken anyhow – but it would be a fantastic addition to the game is so left-wing perspectives were brought into the game.

The Twatford affair would have been considerably more entertaining had (Sir?) Arthur Scargill been at the reins.

“Aye, Twatford lad, let me have a go at they lasses. Hallo love, we’ll keep the red flag flying here. Ooh flippin’ Norah.”

That’s right. We need more communists in English cricket.


The Old Batsman said...

Clarke's major error was in failing to grasp the significance of the IPL quickly enough.

I'd say that the problem with a business background is that it's essentially adversarial, whereas running the ECB is about politicking and creating consensus, not least with the BCCI.

any mug can (and apparently has) find three counties ready to back an application. I would look seriously at any candidate with a strong background working in and with India.

The Atheist said...

OB, I really couldn’t disagree with you more. The ECB had very few options in terms of the IPL. Aside from surrendering much of the early season to a corporate money fest in a far away country of which we know little, Clarke’s hands were tied. Along came Mister Money, and with him a feasible solution.

The opposition to the Twatford farce was non-existent – aside from a few smarmy bloggers like myself and other rogue elements, everyone thought it was a good idea. The entire institution of English cricket was for it. The players were for it. No one else involved in the game would have made a different decision. Not even this goon putting himself forward.

I’m not sure about the adversarial aspects of business. You need to work with other people to make loads of money out of them.

Clarke’s done a good job – he’s just been unlucky with his timing.

The Old Batsman said...

I do take your point, and it's easy to write in hindsight. However, the kneejerk reaction to the IPL was a defensive one. If we'd struck a partnership at an early stage, yes we might yield some of May (that sacred two-test series...), but what might we gain, in terms of IPL matches here, our young players in the draft, no discontented England players, a strong relationship with the game's financial centre and so on? Ultimately, the window will open anyway, and to use an awful business-ism, it's usually better to be in the tent pissing out.

As far as business goes, in my very limited exposure to it, you're right, they band together to make cash. But they usually combine it with vigorous defence of their own patch - as per the point above, their first reaction is usually to hold their position and go from there.

But I'm not anti-Clarke. He's obviously very clever, and he's regained ground in India. Marland's already had a go at joining the FA, so cricket's not even a first choice - which shows in the arguments he's advanced so far.

Dave said...

Failing Scargill, may I suggest Tony Benn? He did say he wanted to concentrate on politics, after all.