Gough to replace Cooley?

Scott mentioned that Darren Gough won the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing competition and, hot on the dancing heels of that comes the news of Steve Harmison calling for twinkle-toes to replace Troy Cooley. Bit soon, I’d say – but not a bad call for the future, I reckon. He’s not dumb, Darren.

England crash and burn… BBC blamed

Well, why not.. have to blame someone

England’s cricketers may think twice about receiving any more awards from the BBC. Only a few hours after their triumphs in Sunday night’s Sports Personality of the Year show, they embarked upon their darkest day of this whole disheartening tour.

Yesterday’s thumping seven-wicket defeat by Pakistan would have been bad enough were it not for the additional news that Kevin Pietersen is battling a cracked rib, and, worst of all, that the team’s much-loved bowling coach, Troy Cooley, has defected to Australia.

With the exception of another fine innings from Liam Plunkett, England were as insipid yesterday as they had been inspired on Saturday. No one can say for sure whether they had been affected by the previous night’s festivities, but the fact is that their three highest scorers had all gone to bed early, rather than staying up with the rest of the team for the BBC awards.

It really was a much better performance by Pakistan and I think normal service will resume for the rest of the series.

Lillee quitting Cricket Australia (and “Pace Australia”)

Forgot to post this last night. Lillee is probably the foremost authority on pace bowling – and, importantly, in pace-bowling coaching – but he’s not being paid enough, apparently, and is stepping away from Cricket Australia. More hereand here

Great shame for Australia, and I wonder who will get him? Not England – no money, and we already have Lillee’s understudy Troy Cooley [see previous blog]. I think he’d be most tempted with India or Pakistan – but West Indies is where he should go! Start to find some new Ambroses, Marshalls, Garners & Holdings…put West Indies cricket back on the map with some terrifying fast bowlers (oh – and ban Basketball whilst you’re at it, Dennis…)

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?