England have hired a Yorkshireman as coach and no-one’s really noticed

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Chris Silverwood – true or false? (via ECB video)

England have promoted Chris Silverwood to head coach. No-one’s really acknowledging it because he was coaching Essex before he joined the England setup, but Chris Silverwood is from Yorkshire.

Is that significant? Of course it’s significant. England at one point hired straight-talking, no-nonsense Yorkshire stereotype Ray Illingworth as chairman of selectors/coach/’supremo’ (he said it frustrated him he couldn’t captain the team on the field) and he fell out with quite a lot of the players and achieved very little.

Illingworth dovetailed with his captain, Mike Atherton, in much the same way that a texting driver’s car dovetails with a cyclist pulling out of a side road. In his autobiography, Athers said that Illy displayed double standards, wrecked team spirit, made unproductive public pronouncements and held back the development of the England team by spurning young players.

As we said, Illingworth was a Yorkshire stereotype so surely the world should be expecting something similar from Silverwood – the situation perhaps even compounded by the fact that he’ll be working alongside a Test captain who’s also a Yorkshireman.

But there’s none of this. There have been no references to Ray Illingworth and if there were, they’d be emphasising how Chris Silverwood is a very different person who will go about things in a very different way.

It is almost as if English cricket is refusing to deal in Yorkshire stereotypes. We can’t say we remember that happening before.


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  1. It’s worse than that, KC:

    Captain of the Test Team – Yorkshireman
    National Men’s Coach – Yorkshireman
    National Women’s Coach – Yorkshireman
    Chairman of the ECB – Yorkshireman

    This takeover of all the instruments of power has already started to be felt. Lancashire have been told to rename the Statham End the Trueman End. The Hundred is to be renamed Th’undred, and the sponsor changed from crisps to Pontefract Cakes. And the official policy of the ECB on everything has just been changed to “You can bugger off the lot of you.” Dark days, my friend, dark days.

  2. I’m a Yorkshireman. Far too many of us are or were cunts: Boycott, Trueman, Gough, Vaughan, Graves, etc… You can tell they’re cunts – embarrassing cunts – because they always go on about Yorkshire, call it God’s Country and shit like that. Cunts. When Silverwood was playing for us he didn’t seem like that. Decent, down-to-earth bloke not obsessed with his own voice and county of birth. When I’ve heard him interviewed since he became a coach he’s come across well. Not at all like a cunt. He also has had Anthony McGrath with him as a coach too. McGrath falls very much into the not-a-cunt territory too.

    If I remember rightly, Silverwood’s a blackbelt in something or other too. Not many seem to be reporting on that. Basically, if all the international coaches meet up and it all kicks off, we’ll win.

    1. Justin Langer’s also a black belt, isn’t he?

      Pretty confident Ravi Shastri isn’t.

      1. I’ve just looked it up and you’re right, dammit. I still reckon Silverwood could take him though. After all, he’s from God’s Country, we’re tougher up here, etc… etc…

      1. Apologies. But professional Yorkshiremen bring out a rage in me that few other things in life can compete with. Makes supporting my county of birth much more difficult than it should be.

        Gough – listened to his radio show a handful of times and he seemed to wallow in that opinionated, ill-informed ‘just saying’ persona that the others in the list fester in too readily. To be fair, he had Ronnie Irani in with him at least once, which may have influenced matters.

      1. Very much so. When Yorkshire were winning the County Championship at Trent Bridge in 2014, Ryan spent the penultimate day seemingly more bothered about playing a game of hide and seek with a couple of young spectators while he was fielding on the boundary. Top bloke.

  3. ‘Ey oop lads, eeh bah gum, stick of rhubarb, granny’s pinny, free lard! I didn’t get owt of my 7 test appearances averaging over 40 wi t’ball with any of thy namby pamby, shandy drinking buggery! Belt oop.’*

    *Leaked transcript of Silverwood’s first presser

  4. Chris Silverwood spent four seasons at Middlesex in the autumn of his playing career, where he proved a very popular character despite Middlesex’s poor first class performance during that time.

    He then went to Essex as bowling coach, triggering great success, but only after being elevated to the role of main coach.

    The man is a fine chap and surely, so many years after leaving Yorkshire, he has left his flat cap and whippet days behind him.

  5. I’m just glad he’s not a ‘brand’, ‘hype’ coach parachuted in, but a relatively low-profile, yet successful professional from within your system being asked to step up. The eventual outcome may still go either way, but the intention seems right.

    1. We think it’s good to alternate between low profile domestic coaches and high profile overseas ones so that you get different things to moan about.

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