Notes from the pavilion for November 2nd

Links of note from the past 24 hours:

  • Loadsa money – Here’s a fun fact: On arrival at Derbyshire, Wavell Hinds will make more money than highest paid West Indies cricketer

Broad shooters

I had a very enjoyable day clay pigeon shooting with Chris Broad and his son Stuart. There were only a few of us there – a media day for Volkswagen – and both of them were on great form. Naturally, although Stuart had never shot before, he beat the rest of us – including Ian Valentine, who writes here, whose full-time job is for the Shooting Times. Photos below (you need Flash installed). A piece will be up at Cricinfo tomorrow or the day after.

I can see me enjoying shooting. It was tricky at first, and I never really got the hang of the “rabbits”. But the faster clays high up in the sky were pretty easy once you “followed through”. And yes, there were loads of cricketing clichés flying about all over the place. West London Shooting School – highly recommend it.

Stuart Broad and Chris Broad clay pigeon shooting

‘Sub-editors will have to change’

A challenging piece from Lloyd Shepherd:

That said, subs will have to change, and I see that change being an evolution into a profoundly different role: that of curators of the news space created by the news brand. If Arianna Huffington was right when she described news media as having attention deficit disorder while the blogosphere was obsessive-compulsive, then we need some more obsessives around the place to keep the place tidy. By which I mean keeping content organised around topics, farming tags, checking search terms, seeding communities, enriching text with pictures, sound and video. As well as keeping those childish reporters in line with their spelling and grammar. More obsessives required, please. There’s a ready supply on the subs desk.

This is the why online journalism is such an exciting place: it’s constantly changing. Right now, anyone working in online media needs to be as multi-dimensional as possible, particularly subs. From my experience, the online world needs concise and accurate writers more than ever before. Speed and accuracy are everything, a fact that might suggest the sub’s role is increasingly redundant…but as Lloyd says, there are plenty of other things to satisfy their OCD…

An alternative cover for Fletcher’s autobiography

Another cheeky piece of photoshopping from Mike who has created an alternative front cover for Duncan Fletcher’s autobiography, Behind the Shades.

ICC centenary celebrations

So, in 2009, the ICC will commemorate its centenary and the big cheeses are going to meet up to discuss how to celebrate this momentus occasion. Patrick says:

Any bright ideas out there for how the ICC should mark the occasion? I’d quite like them to have a month of apathy, when they do no administrating and we can see whether the game will survive. Or how about a month-long World Test Championship, when the leading eight Test nations, divided into two pools with a final for the teams that come top, compete in the only proper form of cricket?

Nah. They’ll probably just have another 50-over tournament to fill the gap between the 2008 Champions Trophy and the 2011 World Cup.

Any ideas? Now that they live in Dubai – where, among the desert camels, you can find an indoor ski centre – why don’t they create a vineyard? ICC Chardonnay, 2009 in honour of, well, you know who…

Nestled between the Home Office and a children’s classic

What company does Duncan Fletcher keep? Well it’s certainly not with Ian Botham, Geoff Boycott as we’ve found out today. But here’s his book, on Amazon’s bestsellers nestled between a weighty-looking tome of Life in the UK (hmm) and There was an old lady who swallowed a fly. It’s 127th at the moment and could well be in the top 10 if the Daily Mail continues to serialise it. My copy’s about to land on my desk too, which is thoroughly exciting.


Notes from the pavilion

Better cricketers buy Lara Bingles

Struggling with form? Can’t find the middle of your bat? Depressed in the slips and unable to concentrate? Worry no more! Get yourself a life-sized Lara Bingle doll!

Michael Clarke from Australia did just that – and is reaping the rewards handsomely. “Seeing somebody like Lara certainly makes me happy. I have something to look forward to when I get home,” Clarke said of his new Lara doll. “I enjoy spending every spare second I get with her.”

But Clarke has a warning for you aspiring cricketers: don’t rush out to buy a Bingle without carefully considering where she will sit in your home. “I’ve got renovations going on in my house at the moment,” Clarke said. “Maybe she will move in when they are finished.”

Don’t confide her to your homestead though. Take her to a nice restaurant. But remember: her right hand is superglued to her left arm, so position her appropriately.

If you can bear the nauseous tripe, every Australian newspaper has it all in sickly lovey-dovey detail for you.

Duncan’s book

So then. No going quietly into the shadows for Duncan Fletcher, whose autobiography is exposing Andrew Flintoff’s drink problems (among other things). But where do the public stand on the whole issue? I’d be interested to hear everyone’s thoughts.

Fletcher says he’s been let down by Flintoff, that Fred was too wrecked to even throw a ball (let alone catch it). This is woeful behaviour for a sportsman, especially one described by Brett Lee as a supreme athelete. But why didn’t Fletcher – the most powerful man in English cricket – nip it in the bud at the first offence?

And why was Flintoff given the captaincy ahead of Andrew Strauss? At the time, we all bought into the fanciful notion that Flintoff alone could help us retain the Ashes; a leader of men rather than a tactician. He’ll drag the players with him through sheer brute force, we thought. So, it seems, did Duncan. Or was Fletcher so concerned with Flintoff’s levels of drinking that he thought the captaincy might rein him in? Either way, he – and David Graveney – must be accountable. It was a gross error and has cost England, Flintoff (and Strauss, let’s be honest) severely.

Who was he out drinking with? Yep, Ian Botham (who naturally doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with sinking 12 bottles of Chardonnay. In an evening). Me and my miniature mate Dan from the magazine were discussing this today, and he reminded me of a piece Simon Hughes wrote in relation to Flintoff’s World Cup boozing:

Before the last day of an England Test in 2004, I was on the pitch chatting with Andrew Flintoff when Ian Botham strode over. “There he is, the world expert on batting,” Botham chortled, referring to me, “the bloke who used to fall asleep fielding at long leg. True, you know! [Unfortunately it is]. Now then Freddie, you and Harmy are coming out with me tomorrow night!’ Flintoff nodded in approval.

When the two had gone their respective ways, Michael Vaughan wandered over. I congratulated him on his second century of the match. “Thanks,” he said. “Nice track, innit. What was Botham saying?”

“Oh, he was promising Harmy and Freddie he’d take them out tomorrow night,” I replied.

“Oh no he’s not,” Vaughan said. “They’re not going out with Beefy! There’s another Test match in three days’ time.”

Vaughan’s authority is his greatest asset. What will Duncan’s book bring tomorrow?

Tonk a Pom

Forgot to mention in the previous post that Ford are also offering Australians the chance to “tonk a Pom“, in case they wish to relive their glory days last season. Of course, no self-respecting Aussie would lower himself to such heinous activity, right?