England January 16, 2010

Englishmen behaving badly

Stroppy reactions to allegations, tantrums on the balcony – welcome to the toy-tossing session
59


'This isn't what we ordered. Prior-y let's make an official complaint' © Getty Images
 
It is hard to like the England cricket team, and not a man given to hard work, I have decided to take the easier alternative. I do have something of a headstart. Towards Swanny, Belly, Trotty, Cooky and the rest of them, their Twittering, their self-congratulation, their screaming like excited chimpanzees when one of their number catches a ball or ties his shoelace, I was already entirely indifferent. And recent events have provided plenty of fertiliser for the healthy antipathy I am cultivating towards the gentlemen who wear embroidered lions over their left nipple.

Take the upcoming tour of Bangladesh. A good opportunity to get some experience of Asian conditions? A chance to support the newest Test nation and give their supporters something to cheer about? Nope. It wasn’t so long ago, Mr Strauss that you were out in the wilderness of the shires, contemplating the futility of existence as you toiled away in front of two men and a dog. A handful of Test wins later and you’re suddenly too showbiz to go to Bangladesh. You need a rest. From what, exactly?

And there was something else I was going to talk about. Now what was it? It’s on the tip of my tongue ... Ah yes, I remember. Ball-tampering! I’m sorry, was that me? I don’t know what came over me. I sometimes have these explosive outbursts, usually involving highly inappropriate and profane language. Most unfortunate, particularly when it relates to something so seedy, so disreputable and so utterly un-British as the aforementioned interference with spherical objects. Ball- tampering! There I go again. Excuse me.

Still, I’m not the only one who’s said it. Some people were saying it on the television. Some ex-players, who really should know better, wrote it in newspapers. What was Michael Vaughan thinking? Children might have been reading! AB de Villiers said it at a press conference, but then he is South African and can be relied upon to completely misjudge the public mood. In fact, he used the phrase, “a little bit naughty”, which sounds delightfully camp when uttered in an Afrikaans accent (go on, try it).

Thank goodness then, for Wing Commander Strauss and the long hours he has put in with the Indignity Coach and the Chutzpah Co-ordinator. Just hours after his chaps had been caught live on television variously tenderising the ball with a boot or picking at it with a specially attached graphite fingernail, he managed not just to refute or deny it, he gave a sound tongue-lashing to those reprobates who had dared to offer the merest hint of a suggestion that an Englishman might have even contemplated contravening Law 42.3 or any of its sacred sub-paragraphs.

And backing him up in one of the tabloids was David Lloyd, employing a clever analogy to explain to us non-cricket folk why we hadn’t seen what we thought we’d seen. It went something like this:

Imagine Jimmy Anderson is a driver. Stay with it, it’s worth it, I promise. Now, imagine that Law 42.3 is a 30mph zone. Jimmy, in tearing at the ball with his fingernail, was merely doing the equivalent of 35mph in that zone. See what he’s saying? Jimmy was breaking the law, but only a little bit. Conclusive, I think you’ll agree. Although it does beg the question as to what 90mph might represent in this analogy? Presumably, destroying the ball with an acetylene torch and sprinkling the ashes onto Daryl Harper’s shoes?

You might think, then, that having scraped through that little difficulty, the England chaps might be keeping a lower profile. But not a bit of it. On Thursday they threw a team tantrum on the dressing-room balcony when Alastair Cook was dismissed. Then on Friday, another decision went against them and all of the England toys (officially merchandised rattles and dummies are currently available from all good retailers) flew out of the England pram. They made an official complaint. Against whom, for what reason and with what aim, it is not clear. But be in no doubt that it was a complaint and that it was good and official too, no doubt written in his bestest handwriting by the England coach. As you read this, Andy Flower is still sitting outside the match referee’s office, holding his breath in protest.

Fortunately, there are some former cricketers upholding the dignity of old Blighty. On Thursday afternoon, the day’s play had drawn to a soggy halt. In the Sky studio, David Gower, attempting to spark a little time-filling conversation, revealed that at dinner the previous evening he had been discussing with friends the prospects of any of the English players getting into a combined team. With undue optimism, he threw the subject open to his compadre from Lancashire.

“I haven’t given it any thought,” replied Athers, “It’s not the kind of thing I talk about at dinner.”

Ouch! This was the precisely the kind of deadpan comeback with which Atherton made such a fool of Allan Donald at Trent Bridge back in 1998. I remember it as if it were yesterday. Donald sweated and swore and ranted, but he just made himself look silly. I remember thinking at the time: get on with it, Mr Donald, show a stiff upper lip man. Don’t make such a scene. Yes, the ball bounced off the batsman’s glove and was caught. What do you want to do? Make an official complaint?

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • VegeMiter on January 19, 2010, 22:15 GMT

    Didn't hear England whinging (nor Australia for that matter) when Billy Bentfinger wrongly gave Kasprowicz out (caught behind) to end the second Test Match in the 2005 Ashes series with Australia just a couple of runs from victory, to deny them a 2-0 lead. Also not one single whinge from Ricky Ponting during the last Ashes series after getting a howler at a crucial stage at Lords. No wonder England aren't keen on the review system – had it been around (particularly in 2005) the result could well have been different (pretty hard to come back from 0-2 down?). Yet the Australians, and particularly Ricky Ponting rightfully acclaimed England as deserved winners. What a contrast to England's current attitude?

  • Arthur Evans on January 19, 2010, 17:16 GMT

    I agreed with the article, but will say that England contributed to an enthalling test series...Tests are alive and well!!! I am South African and can still admire the stout hearted Englishmen from twice staving off defeat. As for review system....loved it....more than held up its own..And by the way the English benefited too...and Broad my boy..learn to walk!!!

  • Mr Sidney,Mo on January 18, 2010, 19:42 GMT

    Well written article...hilarious and to the point. Why is it when England are on the receiving end they whinge, when everything goes their way they are quiet? You have to take the rough with the smooth...Remember time wasting antics during the ashes?? I din't see England complaining then!!

  • simon on January 18, 2010, 15:45 GMT

    As a POM, I'll take the cliche's about whinging on the chin as usual.

    What I fail to understand though is how we're always lucky to salvage a draw when other teams are 'resilient'. You can't ride luck for 5 days.

  • Corkie on January 18, 2010, 12:03 GMT

    UDRs worked very well in the Hobart test - basically because one side wasted theirs early, and further disputes became irrelevant.

    "Hotspot" is a brilliant technological addition to the game - Channel Nine used four cameras in Hobart - cost about $100,000. At those prices, however, you need an extra 2,00 customers paying $50 each to cover the expense! Were the paying spectators allowed to see the same vision that the 3rd umpire sees, I think those 2,000 would turn up. It is partly the frustration of sitting there knowing that TV viewers all around the world have a better idea of what is happening that keeps bums off seats. Get real, administrators!

  • Gareth Mckinnell on January 18, 2010, 10:59 GMT

    I have been very disappointed with the English cricket team on this tour. I heard about the ball tampering, but didn't see the footage - but the reverse swing the English were getting was suspect under the conditions. What I did see was the English wasting a lot of time, particularly in the third test - actions which may well have cost SA the match. In the first test they whinged about UDRS but in the second, when decisions went their way, they said they thought it works well. I always had a lot of respect for Strauss, even though he is an SA ex-pat, but I'm not so sure anymore. Big up to Collingwood though, he's the one Englishmen that really impressed me this series.

    It should not be for the SA team to file official complaints in such blatant situations - if the evidence is there on camera, the ICC should step in - but then again, the ICC is not known for it's iron fist. The SA team probably just wanted to get on and focus on the series instead of indulging in off-field dramas.

  • nieldy on January 18, 2010, 10:10 GMT

    I agree with the Stuart Broad comment. He's been given out by a conclusive replay and still stands there protesting. I can see umpires the world over looking at that and giving him no benefit of doubt in the future

  • spewy on January 18, 2010, 9:12 GMT

    Love the comments. Some people just dont get the whole Page 2 thing.

  • bga1966 on January 18, 2010, 7:39 GMT

    andrew strauss at the post match presentations was pathetic bringing up the umpire review system was bad work, they were outplayed in 3 of the 4 tests and should be elated drawing the series.

  • MO on January 17, 2010, 19:54 GMT

    Struass is an average tactician,good man manager and good player-all these factors eluded him during the Joburg test. Batting first,excluding Onions and losing composure are a collective leadership problem and Strauss/Flower have to take this one on the chin. No need hiding behind smokescreens. Sort out the tactics, Broads behaviour,Trotts time-wasting,Pietersons slump and Priors overconfidence-a test series win was thus squandered-not through bad luck. Taking your eye off the ball against stronger opposition never works!

  • VegeMiter on January 19, 2010, 22:15 GMT

    Didn't hear England whinging (nor Australia for that matter) when Billy Bentfinger wrongly gave Kasprowicz out (caught behind) to end the second Test Match in the 2005 Ashes series with Australia just a couple of runs from victory, to deny them a 2-0 lead. Also not one single whinge from Ricky Ponting during the last Ashes series after getting a howler at a crucial stage at Lords. No wonder England aren't keen on the review system – had it been around (particularly in 2005) the result could well have been different (pretty hard to come back from 0-2 down?). Yet the Australians, and particularly Ricky Ponting rightfully acclaimed England as deserved winners. What a contrast to England's current attitude?

  • Arthur Evans on January 19, 2010, 17:16 GMT

    I agreed with the article, but will say that England contributed to an enthalling test series...Tests are alive and well!!! I am South African and can still admire the stout hearted Englishmen from twice staving off defeat. As for review system....loved it....more than held up its own..And by the way the English benefited too...and Broad my boy..learn to walk!!!

  • Mr Sidney,Mo on January 18, 2010, 19:42 GMT

    Well written article...hilarious and to the point. Why is it when England are on the receiving end they whinge, when everything goes their way they are quiet? You have to take the rough with the smooth...Remember time wasting antics during the ashes?? I din't see England complaining then!!

  • simon on January 18, 2010, 15:45 GMT

    As a POM, I'll take the cliche's about whinging on the chin as usual.

    What I fail to understand though is how we're always lucky to salvage a draw when other teams are 'resilient'. You can't ride luck for 5 days.

  • Corkie on January 18, 2010, 12:03 GMT

    UDRs worked very well in the Hobart test - basically because one side wasted theirs early, and further disputes became irrelevant.

    "Hotspot" is a brilliant technological addition to the game - Channel Nine used four cameras in Hobart - cost about $100,000. At those prices, however, you need an extra 2,00 customers paying $50 each to cover the expense! Were the paying spectators allowed to see the same vision that the 3rd umpire sees, I think those 2,000 would turn up. It is partly the frustration of sitting there knowing that TV viewers all around the world have a better idea of what is happening that keeps bums off seats. Get real, administrators!

  • Gareth Mckinnell on January 18, 2010, 10:59 GMT

    I have been very disappointed with the English cricket team on this tour. I heard about the ball tampering, but didn't see the footage - but the reverse swing the English were getting was suspect under the conditions. What I did see was the English wasting a lot of time, particularly in the third test - actions which may well have cost SA the match. In the first test they whinged about UDRS but in the second, when decisions went their way, they said they thought it works well. I always had a lot of respect for Strauss, even though he is an SA ex-pat, but I'm not so sure anymore. Big up to Collingwood though, he's the one Englishmen that really impressed me this series.

    It should not be for the SA team to file official complaints in such blatant situations - if the evidence is there on camera, the ICC should step in - but then again, the ICC is not known for it's iron fist. The SA team probably just wanted to get on and focus on the series instead of indulging in off-field dramas.

  • nieldy on January 18, 2010, 10:10 GMT

    I agree with the Stuart Broad comment. He's been given out by a conclusive replay and still stands there protesting. I can see umpires the world over looking at that and giving him no benefit of doubt in the future

  • spewy on January 18, 2010, 9:12 GMT

    Love the comments. Some people just dont get the whole Page 2 thing.

  • bga1966 on January 18, 2010, 7:39 GMT

    andrew strauss at the post match presentations was pathetic bringing up the umpire review system was bad work, they were outplayed in 3 of the 4 tests and should be elated drawing the series.

  • MO on January 17, 2010, 19:54 GMT

    Struass is an average tactician,good man manager and good player-all these factors eluded him during the Joburg test. Batting first,excluding Onions and losing composure are a collective leadership problem and Strauss/Flower have to take this one on the chin. No need hiding behind smokescreens. Sort out the tactics, Broads behaviour,Trotts time-wasting,Pietersons slump and Priors overconfidence-a test series win was thus squandered-not through bad luck. Taking your eye off the ball against stronger opposition never works!

  • Ballie on January 17, 2010, 12:40 GMT

    Broad's antics this morning, time wasting again,etc confirm Andrew's perspective. Glad that Smith saved his review for Broad. Pretty pathetic.

  • StaleFresh on January 17, 2010, 6:02 GMT

    Yes, the english team behaviour when things slightly go against them are more melodramatic than ekta kapoor's soaps.

  • Barry Jessop on January 17, 2010, 5:49 GMT

    Thoroughly enjoyable article made even better by the comments excoriating Andrew! (You must feel a bit like Salman Rushdie Andrew!)And by Giles Clarke whingeing like a stuck pig about the UDRS.I think this system has added a wonderful new dimension to the game and enhanced the drama of Test cricket. Players need to think more carefully about appealing and the public become more involved in the whole theatre of appeals, reviews,number of appeals remaining etc. It is obviously an imperfect system ( especially without Hotspot and Snicko) but is a vast improvement on the past. Without UDRS Collingwood would have wrongfully perished first ball at Newlands and deprived us all of an enthralling Test.Only Luddittes in the ECB would want to throw something out that is stimulating considerable interest in a wonderful pastime.Have a nice cup of tea Giles and RELAX!You are missing an enthralling series and not doing English cricket any favours by your behaviour.

  • Nair on January 17, 2010, 5:27 GMT

    Humor needs to be subtle and on point. You are splattering a great deal of matter across the landscape hoping that some might pass off as satire. You might want to just take a few vital observations on a cricket topic and give them a personal twist. In this article, you come off as a whiner seemingly angry against England team because they are not preserving their English upbringing. The topic itself is not relevant these days and the therefore humor does not emerge.

  • merrilee on January 17, 2010, 4:58 GMT

    Finally an accurate article about a team other than Australia .

  • schalk on January 17, 2010, 4:27 GMT

    The "if India had done this..." stuff gets old very quickly on Cricinfo in general. But more importantly, why does no one mention that Smith was given not out by the on field umpire as well. UDRS actually gave England a second chance at the decision. As for the article, I share some of the sentiment, but it is just a little too snarky even for the Poms. God I hope we beat em. And this time for real!

  • E on January 17, 2010, 4:20 GMT

    Everyone knows the poms are whingers and the way they celebrated the 2 draws was ridiculous, celebrating mediocrity/lucky escapes.

    Indians and Pakistanis always throw the race card into the ring as well, get over it

  • VeNkY on January 17, 2010, 3:01 GMT

    Andrew buddy some people just dont like humor if it is on their own.Now they are asking for your sacking. I would be sad if they sack you.

  • Spaceman! on January 17, 2010, 2:37 GMT

    if the ball really was tampered with it, SA should have lodged an official complaint. the fact that they didn't indicates that they didn't really believe they had a case and so should just shut up. end of story.

  • honey on January 17, 2010, 2:26 GMT

    a painful article to read. Really disappoints. C'mon just LOOK at other teams for once. Whenever anyone has anything bad to say about cricketers they point and go straight to England. It gets very tiring and quite boring.

    Quite frankly this article could have been applied to ANY team.

    rubbish article.

  • A Pom called Wanda on January 17, 2010, 1:57 GMT

    What exactly would the review system have to have done to be considered a failure, it's provided controversy throughout the series and failed to correct two clear decisions in this match alone only having any real value in overturning two of Darrel Harper's shocking decisions. If it doesn't correct wrong decisions, detracts from the cricket (opinion only), provides more controversy than an absolutely brilliant series, and provokes all these comments above how can we claim a success? A good system is an invisible one, especially in a trial series. Think of the introduction of powerplays which fitted into the game with minimal fuss and just general interest. This technology has bumbled half-formed into the game and failed in every major respect!

    Some of your other points are valid if not a little band-wagony. Really hope we can continue to appreciate a fantastic performance by SA which rounds off an utterly enthralling series.

  • p-dogg on January 17, 2010, 1:47 GMT

    England are the luckiest team in world cricket, they were lucky with ashes, they were lucky with the one day series in S.A and they are lucky with the current test series in S.A. It seems to me English cricket is just based on sheer luck!!! Compaired to S.A, AUS, IND which is based on skill. Their reactions tell the story. WHAT A JOKE!

  • H. Macqueen on January 16, 2010, 23:22 GMT

    Are you having a laugh? Put yourself in Strauss et al's shoes - their opposing captain and best player is not given out on the most blatant edge in history in the most important test match of the tour and when it is referred to a system supposedly brought in to stamp out just such a pour decision it is STILL not given out. Then, only a innings later 3 yes THREE equally blatant outs are not given. Would YOU not be a touch peeved? You could argue that those decisions at very least cost england 200 runs and at most the whole series. The ECB are the only board to say no to the new system and it looks like they were right. Its a total disgrace. The ICC is as impotent as my granddad and he's been dead since 1967. Harper as 3rd umpire is like giving Prince Philip a ipod and expecting him to know how to use it. Last question: Tony Hill. Deaf AND blind? Give the blatant anti-English ramblings a rest Andrew Hughes and write an intelligent article for once. Love and kisses.

  • Dirkie on January 16, 2010, 23:22 GMT

    Bloody nice article this is. The englishmen have very bad sportmanship. They always find excuses for everything that went wrong, when in fact they tamper with the bal. they always think they're better than the empire. Even when they get struck in the middle of their pads they want to review it! The south african's showed they are better than the english when they did not gave an official compaint about the ball tampering which could possibly resulted in a banning of the 2 players.

  • ST on January 16, 2010, 23:05 GMT

    Genius!

    Ball tampering, time wasting, over appealing, specialist 12th men, leaving the field 'injured' shortly before coming on to bowl, getting advice from the balcony before leaving the field of play, etc, etc... Oh and jelly beans!!!

    In response to Gower's question. England are already a 'combined team'. The 'United Nations of England'.

  • Tony on January 16, 2010, 22:58 GMT

    I’ve got some advice for you Mr Hughes. Once you’ve written an article, go away and calm down a bit, perhaps sleep on it, then re-read your article in a calmer frame of mind. The reason I make this point is that you’ve unfortunately suffered the worst kind of “pot calling the kettle black” that I've witnessed for some time! As a result your entire article becomes nothing more than an amusing demonstration of your own hypocrisy. You’ve sat there merrily loosing your own self control and throwing your own toys out of the pram complaining about others losing their self control! My advice to you is that you quit your day job quickly because professional sport is full of passion and yes, some whinging. If you don’t like it, you’ll end up simply writing articles like this for the rest of your life and fail to demonstrate any kind of journalistic talent.

  • Peter on January 16, 2010, 22:54 GMT

    One of your better articles, not trying to be as funny this time because generally you're not. Most of your writing is from a teenagers point of view but this one has some actual content which is a nice change.

    You're improving Andrew, I'll give you that, I was actually engaged the whole article which was a first.

    Bout time someone mentioned how righteous the english cricket team (and supporters) are... so quick to dish it out to Aus or whoever but when the boots on the other foot........??

  • Tim McBinn on January 16, 2010, 21:09 GMT

    Sorry, am I missing something here??! What have England or South Africa done to behave so badly? I've followed this enthralling series closely but did I miss something?

    This article is much ado about nothing. All the incidents we've seen are nothing out of the ordinary in the world of cricket. Every test playing team have complained about bad umpiring. Every team has their own imaginative method of shining the ball. Every team gets bad calls. The title should read 'Cricketers behaving badly'. In fact I've THOROUGHLY ENJOYED watching the passion on which both teams have gone about playing this test series. Come on Andrew, who would want to be down under, or in Bangladesh, when there's a good old Anglo-Saffer series on? No one.

    Personally I would legalise ball tampering. We've had a decade of tedious run making and quite frankly I would love to see the pendulum swing back in favour of the bowlers!

  • Abhi on January 16, 2010, 20:40 GMT

    Fantastic article. England are the worst combination in sport. Average and arrogant.

    If you are amazing like Australia were or Muhammad Ali was, you can get away with arrogance.

    If you are average like India were in the 90s, and England are today you need to remain humble.

    Broad is the biggest sissy in cricket, and Anderson is a one-trick pony. Their tantrums need to be nipped in the bud by Strauss and Flower, not encouraged.

    As for Sunny's comments on Broad. Sorry Andrew, but he was spot on. While he is uttely tactless, he is correct - as Broad's tantrum the very next day proved.

    "You are average. Spend your time improving instead of whining"

  • Barry on January 16, 2010, 19:23 GMT

    England were remarkably quite about the no-ball that claimed Graeme Smith's wicket when he was pressing on and just short of 200 runs. That poor decision was far clearer than his apparent edge. All other incidents have been amplified to the point of nausea. Can they just not get on with it instead of throwing mini tantrums each time they feel slightly aggrieved?

  • ashtung on January 16, 2010, 18:42 GMT

    Refresh my memory here. Ain't you the one who criticised Sunny for criticising Broad Jr, who you yourself are criticising for pretty much the same reason.

    But here, I don't agree with you. For starters, what choice did Strauss have other than supporting his players. Would not he be criticised if he acted otherwise.

    And the Poms are right in complaining about the 3rd umpire.May be it's not obvious but umpiring standards are falling by the day and the ICC lets them get away with it. A field umpire may make mistakes but a 3rd umpire must be spot on and so should be the refree in his judgments (think Broad sr.).It's time the ICC took a sterner stand on these issues.

    n now some feedback for you Mr. Hughes: I am a fan of your articles but the last 2 seemed more like a letting off of steam rather than the satires (which I believe you are expected to right). If you were an Indian, someone would have asked by now "Biwi se Jhagda ho raha hai kya". (no offense in case it's true) ;)

  • ashtung on January 16, 2010, 18:34 GMT

    Refresh my memory here. Ain't you the one who criticised Sunny for criticising Broad Jr, who you yourself are criticising for pretty much the same reason.

    But here, I don't agree with you. For starters, what choice did Strauss have other than supporting his players. Would not he be criticised if he acted otherwise.

    And the Poms are right in complaining about the 3rd umpire.May be it's not obvious but umpiring standards are falling by the day and the ICC lets them get away with it. A field umpire may make mistakes but a 3rd umpire must be spot on and so should be the refree in his judgments (think Broad sr.).It's time the ICC took a sterner stand on these issues.

    n now some feedback for you Mr. Hughes: I am a fan of your articles but the last 2 seemed more like a letting off of steam rather than the satires (which I believe you are expected to right). If you were an Indian, someone would have asked by now "Biwi se Jhagda ho raha hai kya". (no offense in case it's true) ;)

  • Alex on January 16, 2010, 17:54 GMT

    Spot on, and I'm English. There are always claims that "everyone is at it" but England appear to be consistently worse in bad sportsmanship. Three other examples to add to the above - England in the West Indies last summer throwing the ball in on the bounce from square leg to rough it up; the persistent flouting of the 12th man rules; and Broad's tactic of pointing to an imaginary fielder to distract the batsman in the WCT20, compounded by Colly claiming it was as innovative and good for the game as Angelo Mathews clawing that ball from over the boundary! Disappointing but true - England have a very poor attitude, and it is possible to play the game with passion and without resorting to cheating. (Rant over...)

  • Jo on January 16, 2010, 16:52 GMT

    You have written what I have been thinking and saying over the years. England,the Exalted, cannot ever be wrong. Well it's now out in the open and official or is it unoffical? - the English cricket team, the Exalted, is liked by possibly as many as I can count on my fingers.

  • Mo on January 16, 2010, 16:32 GMT

    You forget, Donald at least had the excuse that the TV umpire turned him down so was right to be upset. Oh wait I mixed that up. I would be upset to see an umpire as incompentent as Harper turn up at our village pitch this coming season

  • geoff wilson on January 16, 2010, 16:26 GMT

    If, say, a Martian landed on earth, and, after having been taken to our leader, had asked : "What is a whingeing Pom?" the clearest, most concise answer would have been: "The Entire English Cricket Team and coaching staff". Good Grief, what a bunch of snivelling losers they are!!!

  • Katherine on January 16, 2010, 16:22 GMT

    Enjoyed the blogpost. I too was taken back mentally to Trent Bridge 1998 and this morning looked at the articles from that day on Cricinfo Archive. Found the sentence following the description of the Donald/Atherton interaction quite fun in the light of what has gone on the past day and a bit in Joburg -- I Quote "By now some of the South Africans, definitely not getting the rub of the green, had worked themselves into a positively English state of righteous indignation." end quote. It was already famous back then!

  • sajjo on January 16, 2010, 15:42 GMT

    south africa should have complained. why didnt they? if it were west indies or an asian team accused of this, im sure they would have complained officialy.

  • rahul on January 16, 2010, 14:49 GMT

    what the ....!!

    Hughes was the same man who went ballistic over sunny's comments...

    Prar, you are spot on.. !!

    Someone gimme an explanation, Esp. Hughes if you can too.!!

  • Swami on January 16, 2010, 13:27 GMT

    UDRS farce is getting quite ridiculous even by ICC standards. I am yearing for those years when common sense was taken for granted. Now ICC needs to legislate the size of TVs, the volume at which it must be tuned into or else the umpires ( even my 2 year old kid can turn up the volume enough to hear what he wants ) are clueless. I am waiting for ICC to administer a hearing aid test next for the umpires.

  • andrew schulz on January 16, 2010, 13:26 GMT

    True that the English whinging has been pathetic. But judging from the responses from our subcontinental friends, a similar article needs to be written about the Indian and Pakistani teams.

  • Ben on January 16, 2010, 13:18 GMT

    That's so classic! There's nothing like good old British satire to get people going.... and before i read the article I was just thinking that these 'gentlemen' sure have been whinging a lot lately.

  • Ben on January 16, 2010, 13:17 GMT

    That's so classic! There's nothing like good old British satire to get people going.... and before i read the article I was just thinking that these 'gentlemen' sure have been whinging a lot lately.

  • chandana on January 16, 2010, 13:02 GMT

    Its always been in the English game, Atherton with dirt in his pockets, Nasser with toffee in mouth, etc. Broad is a chip off the old block: an arrogant son who is not as great as he thinks, just like the father. Flower is a joker who tries to blame all the ills that befall his team on the officials, be it batting fielding or bowling. After all England may just end up winning this series as well after being the lesser performer, as in the case against Auzzy. Just like in the ashes they have won about 2 sessions out of say 50 and think they are the best of all in the world. If Swann thinks he is great spinner am sure the BANGLADESH batters will teach him a thing or 2, especially after playing a couple of Indian spinners. The only star in that team seems he does not want to be there, no wonder with the lot around KP. Go on winge as much as you can do English cricketers 'cos you are better at it than any one else including the associates!!! LOOSERS

  • Dirk Short on January 16, 2010, 12:57 GMT

    Nice article. On the issue of technical reviews, the whole world knows that England Cricket is the only board who opposed the new technology. I hope they are fair in acknowledging the fact that the technology overturned a substantial number of incorrect on-field decisions during this series so it has proven two things. Firstly, it is better to have it then not have it. Secondly, the 3rd umpire keeps the human factor well and truly in the review system (which ironically, seems to be upsetting the English). Keep in mind that border line decisions have gone the way of the original on-field decision.For the sake of the rest of the world, I hope the English team's winging about technicalities stop and their focus returns to the game.This has been a brilliant match (and series) and if SA wins this match, it will be a more than fair reflection of the series (where it could be argued that England are fortunate not to be 2-1 down).

  • Whocares on January 16, 2010, 12:51 GMT

    Pathetic article. Right at home on this awful website.

    I hope you don't get paid to do what you do. Then again, Glenn Beck does, so I'd hardly be surprised.

  • MeikoElektra on January 16, 2010, 12:39 GMT

    Andrew, I must assume that you didn't see the Australian on-field behaviour during the visit by the West Indies this summer.

    South Africa have been talking big all series, but they're yet to deliver the results. Sour grapes in my opinion, and the ball tampering (if it really was that, which I doubt) had no impact on the match as far as I saw.

  • Chris on January 16, 2010, 12:00 GMT

    I love the fact that, despite the article having nothing to do with Australia whatsoever, we still get a mention within the first half dozen comments.

    Let's be honest, you guys have a complex about us because we dominated cricket for so long. It's understandable. But we aren't anymore, so perhaps you may want to investigate the removal of the gigantic chip on your shoulder.

    Just a thought.

  • Tom on January 16, 2010, 11:51 GMT

    This has to be one of the least intelligent and most childish articles I have ever read on cricinfo. Your arguments don't stand up to any scrutiny. All sides have a tendancy to complain a bit when things don't go their way, England are no worse than any other side. Are you really saying that the whole Smith/Harper affair was absolutely fine and England should have just said, oh well never mind he forgot to turn the sound up-something a 5 year old would have realised was important. As for the ball tampering it was the duplicitous nature of the South African reaction, to complain in public but then not feel strong enough about it to make an official complaint, that upset alot of people.

  • Dan on January 16, 2010, 11:49 GMT

    A pathetic non-sensical rant.

    The irate racist mumblings in the comments section are quite ridiculous.

    Anyone who actually has a modicum of intelligence will not bother reading this man's poor excuse of work. It reeks of jealousy and a lack of understanding.

    ESPN should employ someone of a higher class. Indeed, Neville Cardus would have been appalled at this dreadful fellow.

  • Kieran W on January 16, 2010, 10:33 GMT

    Perhaps someone could help me out. In what way exactly does the behaviour of the England team highlighted in the first paragraph of this article differ from that of any other international cricket team? If anyone else can spot the difference then they are picking up on something that passes me by.

    Too "showbiz" to tour Bangladesh? No sir, England are just a cricket team who (and I would imagine they are far from alone among international cricket teams in this belief), find it tedious in the extreme to have to pretend that a Test Series against Bangladesh is an appropriate use of the term "Test Series". Bangladesh are simply not a Test Match class team.

    Re the supposed ball tampering incident, the Saffers didn't have the balls to make a proper complaint; end of story.

  • Albin on January 16, 2010, 9:29 GMT

    Had India or Pakistan been playing and these things had happened, the media team would have raised a hugh cry and the match refree would have suspened some players. Poms & Kangroos will always get away with teses minor things ala Shane Watson,Haddin & Johnson.

  • Prar on January 16, 2010, 8:57 GMT

    Im not sure, but wasnt it you who went ballistic when gavaskar effectively said the same thing about broad behaving like an ass?

  • Del Crabb on January 16, 2010, 8:38 GMT

    What a ridiculous article. England are no better or worse than any other team in world cricket.

  • Kevin M Machado on January 16, 2010, 8:26 GMT

    Well written mate

  • F.T.R. Chichester on January 16, 2010, 7:46 GMT

    Funny... but unfair.

    It's this type of article that explains why England have been such a soft touch over the years. They get such a hammering from pious journalists every time they even look like stepping out of line that they end up concluding: "Sod it, let's just keep our heads down and play boring, passionless cricket".

  • Auchi, Sri Lanka on January 16, 2010, 7:40 GMT

    I generally like your articles, but this one was not as good as the previous ones.

  • Dez on January 16, 2010, 7:30 GMT

    The most honest article about the English team that I have read. It's a real pity that South Africa did not lodge an official complaint about the ball-tampering. If it were Pakistan, there would be month-long bans and calls for disqualification. Money and skin-colour rule in the cricket world!

  • Nikhil on January 16, 2010, 7:29 GMT

    watever happened to the phrase english gentleman......i wonder if that is still a word......

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Nikhil on January 16, 2010, 7:29 GMT

    watever happened to the phrase english gentleman......i wonder if that is still a word......

  • Dez on January 16, 2010, 7:30 GMT

    The most honest article about the English team that I have read. It's a real pity that South Africa did not lodge an official complaint about the ball-tampering. If it were Pakistan, there would be month-long bans and calls for disqualification. Money and skin-colour rule in the cricket world!

  • Auchi, Sri Lanka on January 16, 2010, 7:40 GMT

    I generally like your articles, but this one was not as good as the previous ones.

  • F.T.R. Chichester on January 16, 2010, 7:46 GMT

    Funny... but unfair.

    It's this type of article that explains why England have been such a soft touch over the years. They get such a hammering from pious journalists every time they even look like stepping out of line that they end up concluding: "Sod it, let's just keep our heads down and play boring, passionless cricket".

  • Kevin M Machado on January 16, 2010, 8:26 GMT

    Well written mate

  • Del Crabb on January 16, 2010, 8:38 GMT

    What a ridiculous article. England are no better or worse than any other team in world cricket.

  • Prar on January 16, 2010, 8:57 GMT

    Im not sure, but wasnt it you who went ballistic when gavaskar effectively said the same thing about broad behaving like an ass?

  • Albin on January 16, 2010, 9:29 GMT

    Had India or Pakistan been playing and these things had happened, the media team would have raised a hugh cry and the match refree would have suspened some players. Poms & Kangroos will always get away with teses minor things ala Shane Watson,Haddin & Johnson.

  • Kieran W on January 16, 2010, 10:33 GMT

    Perhaps someone could help me out. In what way exactly does the behaviour of the England team highlighted in the first paragraph of this article differ from that of any other international cricket team? If anyone else can spot the difference then they are picking up on something that passes me by.

    Too "showbiz" to tour Bangladesh? No sir, England are just a cricket team who (and I would imagine they are far from alone among international cricket teams in this belief), find it tedious in the extreme to have to pretend that a Test Series against Bangladesh is an appropriate use of the term "Test Series". Bangladesh are simply not a Test Match class team.

    Re the supposed ball tampering incident, the Saffers didn't have the balls to make a proper complaint; end of story.

  • Dan on January 16, 2010, 11:49 GMT

    A pathetic non-sensical rant.

    The irate racist mumblings in the comments section are quite ridiculous.

    Anyone who actually has a modicum of intelligence will not bother reading this man's poor excuse of work. It reeks of jealousy and a lack of understanding.

    ESPN should employ someone of a higher class. Indeed, Neville Cardus would have been appalled at this dreadful fellow.