On the front foot: Love him or loathe him, it's impossible to ignore Clarke

Forget the cricket, the week's most memorable presence in Barbados has been Giles Clarke. He has variously attempted to charm the media, thank his wide circle of supporters (9,000 emails, he claims), and mock his enemies.

It has been, in its way, a riveting spectacle, not least because he has managed to avoid fully addressing the sleazy love affair that the England and Wales Cricket Board enjoyed with Allen Stanford and from which they have now extricated themselves. This has further annoyed those who see Clarke as the devil incarnate.

No sooner had Clarke been confirmed as the ECB chairman for a second term than he offered himself for interview by all and sundry. The upshot was feathers being spat. Rod Bransgrove, the chairman of Hampshire who is Tom to Clarke's Jerry, was understandably miffed at the scathing references to himself. A day later, an email arrived from the Hampshire Cricket Members Committee, defending their owner and saviour. Sides have been taken. Sir Ian Botham, once recruited by Clarke during his tenure as Somerset chairman, is now firmly aligned with the Bransgrove camp. News has also emerged of Clarke's elderly mother being pestered by reporters. For what reason, nobody has yet adequately explained. Clarke courts controversy because he excites opinions, and while he will not be resigning he will add to the gaiety of the nation.

Ashton knows the score

'Test Match Special' has appointed a new scorer to replace the late Bill Frindall. He is the genial Malcolm Ashton, who is already familiar to listeners as BBC Radio's one-day scorer. Ashton has a splendid track record. He has the doubtful distinction of being England's last official scorer on tour, a job he did (together with that of all-round organiser) with accuracy and joie de vivre until it was decreed that an official scorer on tour was no longer needed. He knows that he has a hard act to follow in Frindall but Ashton, who was in Barbados to test the water this week, may not be quite so eager to intervene in the commentary.

Tharanga fails first test

Amid the plethora of Test runs scored in the past few days, Philip Hughes (pictured below) and Tharanga Paranavitana might have felt distinctly alienated. There can be no lonelier feeling than being a Test opening batsman making a duck in your maiden innings. Paranavitana, in Karachi, and Hughes, in Johannesburg, became the 35th and 36th examples of Test openers to score nought on debut. Len Hutton remains perhaps the most illustrious after 72 years. Paranavitana's plight was slightly worse than that of Hughes, who at least faced three balls. He is one of only a handful of openers dismissed by the first ball they received in Tests, though he might have been given succour by his partner. The same fate befell Malinga Warnapura in 2007.



Windies tour a turn-on

The West Indies is a good tour for cricket on satellite television and therefore, by association, for Giles Clarke. He was a prime mover in negotiating the original deal with BSkyB and whatever the rights, wrongs or misgivings, has seen off his assorted opponents – including the likes of Mark Nicholas, who might have seen a return to terrestrial as his only way back into live UK coverage. The last day of the Antigua Test, astonishingly, drew Sky's largest-ever coverage for Test cricket at 1.2 million viewers. That the match took place was in many ways down to Clarke's drive. He is imperfect; his opponents look a rabble.



s.brenkley@ independent .co.uk

Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Commonwealth GamesEntertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
The actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game