If the ex-coach of a team I supported spoke out of the team’s woes and discomforts, a few weeks before a pretty major Test series, I’d be pretty peeved. Luckily, for once, my team isn’t on the receiving end. This is a difficult time for South African cricket – for African cricket, in fact – and Graeme Smith can hardly have welcomed the comments Bob Woolmer made today:

[from BBC]

“Even sections of the local media who supported him [Smith] are now questioning him,” said Woolmer, who played Test cricket for England before taking up coaching. “

He’s had quite a turbulent career, Smith. He came in and captained SA almost immediately, ahead of their most popular (and talented) player Shaun Pollock. Another Natalian, Klusener – equally adored by his home fans – was dropped, Smith stating that he was a bad influence on the team. But in 2003, he then starting smashing England apart with 2 massive double centuries. The following quote tickled me

“”That bloody Smith! How am I supposed to hate him when he keeps scoring all those runs?” a nursing sister in a busy Durban medical practice spat with a scowl as she averted her eyes from the waiting-room television even while South Africa marched to their Test triumph at Lord’s. She wasn’t entirely unserious. “

Now he faces England again, who possess not just more firepower but more professionalism and a slick unit. Will he fight fire with fire like last time?

Troy Cooley article

A well deserved article about the success of England’s bowling in the past 12-18 months – and the man behind the success, Troy Cooley. He’s done a very good job – without him, would Harmison have developed as well as he has?

The interesting phrase he, and in fact Marsh, uses is their comment on the development of the “person” in a bowler. I don’t doubt this is true, especially in Harmison’s case, but how much of the England success is down to the Australian mentality?

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