Not since England’s Ashes glory of 2005 has the British press devoted such column space to cricket this week.
And understandably so. While the continuous Breaking News ticker rolling across Sky Sports News may have displayed the hyperbolic phrases of ‘crisis’ and ‘chaos’ with characteristic indiscriminate abundance, it cannot be denied that English cricket is enduring a state of turmoil.
I do not wish to add my own twopence-worth to the volumes of commentary on the subject, but would rather highlight some of the more quotable and insightful words of wisdom expressed by some of our best sports journalists this week:
From an Australian perspective it all seems a uniquely English muddle, everyone just being first a little too polite, then rather too panicky.
Andrew Miller likened the whole situation to a Shakespearean history plot in his creative piece on Cricinfo. Lawrence Booth’s outline of the divisions within the England camp created the impression of a high school common room more than a national side’s dressing room. And Jim White’s hilarious depiction of KP placed in Celebrity Big Brother merely emphasized what a farce the whole mess has become.
The schoolboy cliques that had been allowed to develop and divide the ranks were also named in The Times on Thursday – including a small posse, amusingly named (for obvious reasons) ‘The Young and Blonde’. This sat alongside Patrick Kidd’s hilarious introduction of the current situation in the England camp, dramatizing the storyline as all our favourite American drama series introduce the next episode with ‘Previously, on…’:
Kevin plotted against Peter but ultimately may have lost his job because Andrew doesn’t get on with Kevin and made sure that Hugh, who has long been a buddy of Peter, knew that he didn’t like Kevin…Michael and Kevin get on but could Michael just be using Kevin to get what he wants? And why does no one ever mix with Monty?
But above all, the most eloquent piece I’ve read throughout all the to-ing and fro-ing this week has to be Ed Smith’s summary of Pietersen’s merits that ran in today’s Telegraph. If you read nothing else on the subject, read that, and then tell me that KP won’t regain the captaincy before the year is out.