2T20England’s BROADside about resting players

As I sit listen­ing to the T20 freak-show (it mar­gin­ally beats whatever soap based rub­bish the wife is watch­ing) I’ve been con­tem­plat­ing the debate that’s been stirred after Eng­land res­ted five key play­ers for the ODI series.

Cap­tain Cook, Bell, Graeme Swann, Jimmy Ander­son and T20 cap­tain Stu­art Broad are all put­ting their feet up and let­ting a new-look Eng­land take on the Aus­sies for the five match series.

Former Cap­tain Michael Vaughan has had his say and Stu­art Broad has fired back. The media have of course jumped on to a healthy debate and stirred it into a bit of a row.

For me there’s pluses and minuses on both sides. I’ve pre­vi­ously argued for giv­ing plenty of people out­side the start­ing XI a chance to shine when it doesn’t mat­ter. A five match series is per­fect for that. It also allows import­ant play­ers the chance to rest up in what is an increas­ingly demand­ing inter­na­tion­al fix­ture list.

But really! Five play­ers? That does seem a little extreme. Cook was off form in the test matches. Only time in the middle is going to improve that. I also don’t see the harm in the oth­ers play­ing a couple of matches or so – one on one off as it were. You can then bring the new play­ers in to a strong team with well estab­lished players.

All in all I think a poor decision over­all. And as Vaughan argues it’s a bit dis­ap­point­ing to the punters who have splashed out on expens­ive tickets.

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gravatarJon Scaife

And now the dust has settled we learn that the fans were enter­tained by a match that broke 3 records des­pite both sides only play­ing 3 of their test team in the game.
Looks like the ODI’s might be exciting…

gravatarJon Scaife

I’ve been half dwell­ing on the same thing, although I did­n’t write about it because I think it’s a media made storm in a tea­cup. For starters Vaughan has been labelled by the media as call­ing for a refund. This makes it sound rather more than it was. What he actu­ally said (in 2 tweets on twit­ter) was
“I would have only res­ted Cap­tain Cook. Plenty of time to rest from Sept 16th — Nov 21st!!!? Can­’t sell tick­ets then rest 5 star names!!!!” “No prob­lems rest­ing play­ers but I think sup­port­ers who have paid good money to watch the best should get a small refund…”
“A small refund” — OK, Vaughan is an adop­ted York­shire­man and under­stands the import­ance of value.
How­ever — these are tinky winky crick­et games — people who go don’t go to see high class crick­et, they go to watch a slog­fest so do they really care if Cook or Trott don’t play? They want to see the likes of KP.
Also, you don’t hear com­plaints any more when top Premi­er­ship sides rest play­ers in the cup com­pet­i­tions. Fans know that and pay accord­ingly. Eng­land are known to have dif­fer­ent sides for the 3 forms of the game.
So, onto what Broad had to say. He did­n’t say Vaughan was “dis­respectu­fl” with a full-stop. He said “I think they’re [Vaughan’s com­ments] dis­respect­ful to the side that’s going to go out on the field.”
I think that’s fair enough com­ment. Vaughan was say­ing the play­ers going out on the field were worth less to watch. That may be true or it may not be, the time for such com­ments is after the games, if Eng­land lose heavily.
The rest of Broad’s com­ments were straight for­ward com­mon sense which could­n’t eas­ily be giv­en a spin by the media so they’ve not been heav­ily referenced.
Any­way, 2 things should be learned from this:
1. If you go to tinky winky crick­et games, don’t pay top dol­lar for your tick­et think­ing you’ll see the Eng­land test 11 — you wont.
2. Wherever pos­sible ignore the shriek­ing noises com­ing out of the media. There are sales to be made in crick­et cov­er­age at the moment, but no more test matches to write about so the media are gen­er­at­ing worth­less bor­ing noise instead.