The disintegration of Kevin Pietersen is complete
Following the reintroduction of Peter Moores, the disintegration of Kevin Pietersen as an England cricketer is - according to the ECB - complete. It would certainly take something remarkable to envisage a recall now, however much attention is paid to KP's "everyone deserves a second chance" tweets.
Few would dispute the notion that Moores is a good coach. Bringing the county championship to Old Trafford in 2011 was no mean feat. And in the pro-Moores narrative, the 'dismissal' of Pietersen proves he was right to take on the KP ego in 2008.
There remains a tendency to query whether Moores' lack of international experience will count against him. That was said to be the cause of the previous rift with KP, who was reportedly not alone in his feelings.
Cricket remains a bastion against change when it comes to international appearances being regarded as important for coaches. Even football has grown up - a bit - on that score. Cricket’s intransigence reflects the uniqueness of the game and the never-ending debate about the importance of the coach’s role per se. But with England at a very low ebb, Moores may find that the timing of his second coming is just right.
It’s not only England’s batting line-up that is uncertain
Most of the chat about the make-up of England’s test team for this summer revolves around the batting line-up. Only half of the top six that lined up in Brisbane last November are likely to make the squad for the first test against Sri Lanka at Lord’s in June. Alex Lees and Gary Ballance both gave the selectors something to think about over the Easter weekend, with scores of 90 and 174 respectively – albeit against a fairly modest Northants attack.
However, on the bowling front too there must be considerable uncertainty about England’s preferred line-up. The spinner’s spot is completely open and there will be plenty of competition for the third seamer’s spot, with another Yorkshire player, Jack Brooks, currently looking good. But what about the leaders of the attack? Stuart Broad, fitness-permitting, is inked in. Jimmy Anderson, meanwhile, had a poor time of it against Warwickshire yesterday – 25 unproductive overs for 82 runs.
One wicketless innings is hardly something to be hugely concerned about yet Anderson’s peak may just have passed and he will need some bravura performances this summer to re-cement his position as England’s number one. He will be glad to see his Lancashire coach taking the England reins.
Just call me Gorey
Peter Moores may well be the right choice for the job of rebuilding that England require. As a first step he might like to deal with the dreadful form currently being shown by the squad in their nicknames for one another. No sooner had his appointment been announced than Alastair Cook was merrily talking about how “me and Mooresy” had to have clarity of purpose.
This is utterly shambolic and shows the depths to which England have plunged in their total lack of imagination. Alastair Cook himself, who was naturally enough given the moniker ‘Chef’ early in his career, appears to have become ‘Cooky’. Belly and Broady are among the others who have inspired such passion that they are given nothing more than a casual ‘y’. Why indeed?
As a young leg-spinner growing up in the nineties, I was called ‘Warney’ on a fair few occasions. ‘Al’ and ‘Tex’ were more imaginative offerings that came and – fortunately – went. Mooresy must encourage greater thought among England’s nicknaming processes. Alternatively, they could try something really barmy and refer to each other simply as ‘Peter’, ‘Alastair’, ‘Ian’ and ‘Stuart’.
The Light Roller’s cricketing ambitions for Bambino Roller remain undimmed. England’s women at Chelmsford later in the year will, I have no doubt, convince my 4-year-old daughter that this is the game for her.
However, early season practice has had to be curtailed for the time being after an accident with some key equipment. It might have been imagined that pink foam bats were fairly durable but they are evidently no match for the full weight of a railway sleeper even when dropped only from a modest height. It was, I should make clear, an accident, not a scientific experiment.
The breakage is one thing. The child’s utter lack of concern is quite another