Bring out your dead – the mortician’s cart rolls by the ECB

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We’ve a slight concern that the ECB’s new chief executive referred to ‘the England Cricket Department’ in announcing Paul Downton’s sacking, as if English cricket really were a corporation in which broad, curved desks were every bit as important pieces of equipment as bats and balls. Nevertheless, it’s hard not to feel some sense of relief that someone involved has finally taken a fairly obvious, logical decision.

Back in October, we asked if the entire organisation could be dissolved, to be replaced by something more representative, but we knew that this was unrealistic, which was why we’d shifted to ‘sack Downton and Whitaker‘ by last month. It sounds like we’re getting our wish.

Almost as if he has spent the last 20 years ‘outside cricket’ working in a bank, Downton was found wanting. Personal attacks are needless and distasteful. He was merely the beneficiary of a nasty little system and his story ends with him also falling victim to that system by way of its inevitable failings. He appeared to allow himself to be bounced about by superiors as well as those under him. It’s easy to influence people who don’t know their stuff. When you know your world inside-out, you have the clarity which breeds conviction.

Selectors are harder to appraise, but Whitaker, if he goes, can have few complaints. His predecessor, Geoff Miller, presided over a period of success which ended at almost the exact moment he walked out the door. It’s long enough ago now that what has happened since surely has to be meaningful with regards to Whitaker’s performance.

The pair will be replaced by one bloke who will be responsible for the men’s England cricket team and nothing else. Michael Vaughan appears to be an early frontrunner. He would presumably have to detach himself from the ISM Sports Management firm for this to happen, which would at least mean he wouldn’t be clogging up column inches and frittering away airtime talking up its clients while trading on his reputation as an Ashes-winning captain.


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  1. I don’t think my opinions diverge on any cricketer’s playing and media career more than with Vaughan. Loved him as a batsman and of course he was a great captain. Now he’s an awful tweeter with constant annoying ‘banter’ and an execrable commentator.

    Is it too much to hope that cool, clever, captain Vaughan might re-emerge if he takes this ECB job?

    1. This squared…( I don’t know how to express that numerically on a keyboard hence resorting to typing it out like an idiot)

  2. Dear god, please prevent vaughan from having a prominent role in the ECB. The faint patina of heroism conferred by winning the 05 Ashes has long ago been worn away to expose an egotistical idiot who prefers cheap sensationalism to rational thought. If he is given any more exposure, let alone power, english cricket just might become unwatchable and I will be forced to transfer my allegiances to Bangladesh and no one wants that. Amen.

    Vaughan is a dick #justsayin (as he might put it). Is there no one halfway competent and less than unbearable to run the ECB?

    1. Alec Stewart?


      At least if Vaughan got the job he’d probably push Cook and Moores out along with Whitaker. And we wouldn’t have to suffer as much of his media drivel.

      I liked Vaughan a lot when he was playing. Have no time whatsoever for him since.

    2. Butcher. Mark Butcher should be in charge. He is brilliant. Why didn’t it come to me before? He is the most sensible, unaffected media presence around and is also, impossibly, cool…

  3. Giles Clarke continues to hang around, mind. Like the smell of a girlfriend’s perfume, long after her initially dubious charms have given way to an abrasive and controlling nature.

    While the poor sap who’s still paying for her expensive habits (the ECB) still thinks the sun shines out of her arse.

  4. What’s Clive Woodward up to these days?

    Is Pat Howard still doing whatever he does for Australian cricket? Should we get ex-Leicester Tiger centres running cricket everywhere?

    1. If Leicester-based leaders are really the order of the day, you could always disinter Dick the Shit again and give him a go at running cricket.

      I can envisage the KC piece about it now:

      Richard The Third’s back…

      …as in returned, he hasn’t got…

      …well actually he has got…

    2. Convenient for Loughborough, too. #justsayin

      Give me the job. I’ll do most of it from here and I can stay at my parents’ whenever I absolutely need to be around.

    3. Paul Dodge to sit above Ravi Shastri as grand Panjandrum of Indian cricket? You heard it here first.

    1. Another part of what I thought was the immortality of my childhood proves that I was wrong. I feel a bit more lonely now.

    2. It shows just how long-lasting Richie was that he was a part of both mine and Bert’s respective childhoods.

      All together now: “No point in looking for that one…let alone chasing it…that’s gone straight into the confectionary stall and out again.”

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