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Tuesday, 18th October The War On One-Day Internationals may not involve tanks, camouflaged trousers or iffy occupations, but that doesn’t mean it’s not real. There are people out there who want to destroy our way of life or, at the very least, to significantly reduce the amount of 50-over cricket we are able to watch, which is almost as bad. And these people are not shifty subversives skulking in dingy alleyways. They operate in broad daylight, on our most popular websites (and thecricketer.com).
“It now seems pointless warning the administrators about the proliferation of one-day cricket. They simply are not listening and will only learn when the paying public start voting with their feet.”
Quite so, Mr Agnew. Any idea when this voting-with-feet thing is likely to happen? I only ask, because one-day internationals have been going since 1971 and y’know, they’re kind of still popular and that. At least, they are with the people who matter, which is us, the spectators. We know commentators and journalists don’t like them, but since you don’t even pay to go to them, this is a bit rich. What’s that, Mr Roebuck?
“It is widely believed that the 50-over version of the game has become tired.”
Widely believed? You mean you asked a couple of fellows in the press box and they agreed with you? Come off it, chaps. We like the 50-over stuff. That’s why there’s so much of it. You won’t save Test cricket by attacking the formats that pay for it.
Wednesday, 19th October Time for a brief word from our sporting ethics correspondent, Mr Tim Bresnan, with his take on England’s rather aggressive approach to their Indian tour.
“As a fast-bowling unit, we can't really use the ball to intimidate as much as we'd like in India, with it not bouncing so high, so we have to do other things to get into the batsman's bubble, whether it's a little bit of a word or a look or a stare. It's all handbags, to be honest. No one really pays much attention.”
So if it’s all handbags and no one pays much attention, why not save your breath, rest your frowning muscles and concentrate on trying to bowl straight?
Thursday, 20th October Those sensitive dears at the WICB are still refusing to pick Chris Gayle because he said nasty things about them which were only mostly true (you can be sure that if he’d libelled them, they’d be all lawyered-up and dragging him through the courts as we speak.) Clive Lloyd says they are entitled to take umbrage, well yes, but on the other hand, they could just suck it up and do the right thing for West Indian cricket.
Criticising the coach is one thing, and if he hasn’t already, then Big Chris should probably throw a little sorry Otis’ way. But isn’t taking flak part of the WICB’s job description? Has Julian Hunte never been criticised? Does he burst into tears and run out of the room every time a journalist accuses him of something? Does Mrs Julian Hunte have to tread on eggshells every time she raises the thorny issue of the toothpaste tube being squeezed from the wrong end? Get a grip, Dr Hunte, give your ego the day off and pick up the phone.
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Andrew Hughes is a writer and avid cricket watcher who has always retained a healthy suspicion of professional sportsmen, and like any right-thinking person rates Neville Cardus more highly than Don Bradman. Providing his ransom demands continue to be met, he has promised never to write a whimsical book about village cricket. @hughandrews73