ECB premier league vision fades with Home Counties break-up

The ECB’s drive to bolster professional cricket by focusing on a premier league structure has been quietly shelved, and there have been suggestions that the policy has actually been reducing the number of active players in club cricket, with standards in decline during the recession. Lord MacLaurin’s celebrated report Raising The Standard, published in 1997, …

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Interpol offering reality check

INTERPOL, the international policing organisation, have offered to help the ICC by taking steps to prevent organised crime from infiltrating cricket. This follows hard on the warning by the ECB this week that the domestic game in England remains vulnerable to corruption. A cold draught has been blowing into the game since the Pakistan corruption case at Southwark …

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American captain on fraud charge

STEVE Massiah made his United States debut with a rapid century against a Minor Counties XI at Stone in Staffordshire in 2000 before climbing the ladder to the captaincy. So this week’s news of his arrest and charge in New York with an alleged £32,000 mortgage fraud has stunned the American cricket community. Massiah, 32, …

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Yardy honest about depression

THE Sussex captain Michael Yardy has disclosed he has been suffering from depression, a condition that led to his withdrawal from England’s World Cup campaign before the quarter-final against Sri Lanka in Colombo. There were two interesting aspects to the ECB announcement. Firstly Yardy was referred to as an all-rounder, a description patently wide of …

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Ponting rants for subdued Australia

THE futility of Ricky Ponting’s argument with the umpires on the second day of the fourth Test in Melbourne was clear. Australia’s captain did not seem to know that the burden of proof rested with the referring party for the third umpire to overturn an on-field decison. Only wicketkeeper Brad Haddin seemed to think there …

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England must drop jaded Finn

THE difference between the two Ashes sides was never as wide as the chasm suggested by Australia’s trouncing at Adelaide. In the Pom euphoria it was forgotten that England’s suspect batting had flopped in the opening Test at Brisbane in the crucial first innings. The batting failed again in the third Test at Perth, though …

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Lions can look back to Moores era

ENGLAND have announced a Lions party to tour the West Indies for two months as part of the first class championship after a gap of exactly 10 years, when Peter Moores was the coach. James Hildreth has been made captain of a group of players rich in promise, with the coach still to be confirmed. …

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ICC start Pakistan talk shop

THE Pakistan Task Team, a panel set up under Giles Clarke by the ICC to drag Pakistan cricket out of the mire after spot-fixing allegations, has underlined the zero-tolerance policy towards corruption. The panel’s main activity has been to help educate players on corruption issues and to make reforms to restore confidence in the administration …

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England’s day of The Pylons

THE selection of the 6ft 7in Chris Tremlett for the tour of Australia is a sound move, and England could field the tallest seam-bowling attack yet to hit Down Under if James Anderson were to be injured in the Ashes series. Tremlett could be drafted in to join Stuart Broad, only an inch shorter, and …

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Pakistan alienation almost complete

THE alienation of Pakistan from world cricket continues — partly with blame and partly without — as the relationship with erstwhile friends, England, on and off the field dissolves into hostility. This week’s ECB press release said it all. Terrorist activity left Pakistan unavoidably without a home base, attracting sympathy and help, but now there is corruption suspicion …

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