David Willey is out of step with the world

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< 1 minute read

Two examples which highlight how unutterably dreadful David Willey’s timing is.

Example one. In March 2019, Sky Sports commentator Ian Ward delivered the definitive expression of incredulity when David Willey opened the bowling against the West Indies in an Alice band. (You may have seen it.)

In July 2020, almost every England cricketer seems to sport an Alice band, sweat band, bandana or similar, because apparently England cricketers are unable cut their own hair, unlike everybody else in the entire country.

David Willey no longer wears an Alice band.

Example two. In July 2019, David Willey was seen celebrating winning the World Cup – in a promotional video for a computer game.

Because of course David Willey had not won the World Cup with England. He had been dropped on what we feel a strong urge to refer to as the “eve” of the tournament, even though that is calendrically inaccurate.

David Willey is of course now in very fine form, when we’re just about as far from a 50-over World Cup as it’s possible to be and when even the ludicrously regular T20 World Cup has been pushed back.

Conclusion. We are hugely confident that come the next major tournament, David Willey will have very recently suffered a colossal loss of form or a ruptured pancreas or a lost passport.

We are equally sure that he will again have sufficient hair to necessitate an Alice band while everyone else will have stopped wearing them.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. Reflecting on Willey’s poor sense of timing, including the timing of his birth, I feel there are a lot of top-rate West Indian fast bowlers of a bygone era with no Test caps and a desperate urge to sue their mum and dad for not waiting another twenty years. And a stack of nineties Aussie first-class batsmen in a similar boat. I don’t think England has generally been a place many players would feel birth-year regret – probably something that has affected wicketkeepers most badly over the years, what with only one in the team and the possibility of reaching your peak while some other guy’s got the gloves and isn’t in the mood to be deprived of them – but 30 years ago was definitely not the optimal time to be born as a very decent English pace bowler / all-rounder.

    1. Absolutely with the wicket keepers. Ben Foakes would have walked into most England teams, and should be walking into this one; but Trevor Bayliss and Ed Smith.

      1. Presumably 43 years ago wasn’t the optimal time to be born as a half-decent English top order batsman (although you’d think it would be, just like every other year), but a good time to be born a plummy rich kid who gets to go to public school and Cambridge (again, like every other year).

        In other news, Ed Smith is much younger than I’d have guessed.

      2. If he had been born 53 years ago I reckon his first-class average north of 40 would have ensured he’d have got an extended run in the team, or more likely (this would be the ó0s after all) been in and out a bit. As more of a 2000s player than a 90s one, and whose only international games were in 2003, the competition was hotting up by then. Think he feels like he should be older because he retired relatively young with injury and didn’t make it into the 2010s. Darren Stevens is older than Smith and has made it into the 2020s with a decent innings against Essex yesterday!

      3. I like the idea of the ó0s as a decade but I meant the 90s of course… Now Stevens is in the wickets too! Once his cricket career is over perhaps Duracell should hire him.

    2. I was also born at the wrong time. I was born in 1973, so my twenties started in 1994. Great Britain’s worse ever Olympics was in 1996. The national football team’s worst ever ranking was in 1995 after not even qualifying for the 1994 World Cup. Nobody on this site needs reminding about the cricket team in the nineties. My cohort were the worst sportsmen (and women) this country has ever seen.

      This I suspect, was not a mere statistical freak. The state school which I went to provided awful access to sports and no coaching worth the name. My local cricket club was incredibly unwelcoming and ran one youth team, almost exclusively for sons of current or former first team players and again, no coaching. I’m not suggesting for a moment that lack of opportunity and talent denied me a career as an international sportsman, lack of talent already had that sewn up, but there must have been hundreds of people with more ability than me who withered on the same stony ground.

      Sorry for the rant, Bail Out, as this wasn’t really the point of your post!

    1. But the spectators have all got ankylosing spondylitis or something, so haven’t returned!

      1. I know some people who are mightily peeved by the last-minute prohibition of their anticipated spectating at the Oval today.

        I must say that, personally, the idea of “socially-distant cricket spectating in the flesh” is oxymoronic, much as “socially-distant sex” would be.

        I did very much enjoy watching, listening and score-following on-line today. It felt almost like summer proper at last.

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