Wednesday, January 07, 2009

England cricket is rotten at the very top

The departure of Moores and KP must surely be the final nail in the coffin of the incompetent and malignant regime of Giles Clarke and David Collier at the ECB. It actually defies belief what damage these two have done to the good name of England cricket and if they had any decency they would go – NOW!

The charge sheet against Clarke is long and shaming. It isn’t only the Stanford debacle that must be laid firmly at his door. Far from it. He has single-handedly ensured that by his complete failure to manage his staff, starting with the otiose Collier and including the selectors and above all the Coach that he couldn’t run the proverbial piss up in a Brewery. Whilst Clarke was gallivanting with Stanford and his tainted millions England cricket was sailing into very squally waters indeed.

The finances of the ECB are huge, but under Clarke no serious effort has been made to correct the imbalance which exists between the money that is needed to create a credible cricket infrastructure in England, and the ridiculous handouts that sustain the untenable County system. In short Clarke wastes our money.

The next charge is in respect of the media rights to England cricket. Surely the imperative has to be to ensure that the maximum number of TV viewers can see the game – not to maximise revenues. Clarke’s ignorant and abusive diatribes at the BBC were uncalled for and counter-productive. The BBC has walked away from covering England international cricket largely because Clarke, in his pursuit of riches from Sky, gave them no encouragement and his arguments otherwise are utterly disingenuous.

It is the vulgarity of the man and all that he does that sticks in the gut. The departure of Michael Vaughan had all the hallmarks of an organisation riddled from the top with people who haven’t a clue about man management. The failure to create a hierarchy within which the Coach and the Captain worked harmoniously together is also a direct consequence of the Clarke/Collier axis’s incompetent management behaviour and style.

The enduring memory of Giles Clarke will be Stanford which reduced the game of cricket to a fairground attraction and did untold damage to the reputation of the game. It was the antithesis of the Spirit of Cricket.

I’m very sad to see Pietersen go – rather less so to see the departure of Moores. But let’s put the monkey fairly on the right shoulder – stand up Giles Clarke and wave goodbye.

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