England’s priorities and Parkinson’s law

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< 1 minute read

Work expands to fill the time allotted. We remember one particularly undemanding week where we made a plan to buy a toothbrush on one day and toothpaste the following day. Good times. Credit to England’s bowlers then for not performing as if they’ve got 468 runs to play with.

These kinds of ultra-conservative declarations can sap the sense of urgency from an attack. Maybe the weather helped their cause. The threat of bad light and then rain today added a frisson to a fairly moribund scenario and perhaps helped England take six wickets on day four when they might otherwise have rationed them more carefully.

The key with this declaration was the prioritisation of a Test series win over a Test match win. A draw is enough for England to secure the series, so if that’s your primary goal, it makes sense to remove an unlikely defeat from the equation. Were Test wins the primary goal, more would be risked in pursuit of one. The rights and wrongs of that perhaps merit discussion. However, we simply cannot be bothered venturing an opinion.


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. Spookily, the last paragraph of the above posting (apart from the final sentance) is almost a verbatim transcript of a conversation between me and Daisy some three hours before your publication, KC.

    I know you are good with computers and all that – so were you listening in this morning?

    And if you were listening in, how do you feel about the other major decision Daisy and I were discussing over breakfast; tuna pate, mackeral pate, that crab stuff or taramasalata?

    1. We were not listening. Please could we have more information about ‘that crab stuff’ before committing to a position. Also, how are these things being served? What accompanies them?

    2. Many thanks taking so much interest, KC, despite the absence of eavesdropping.

      Bit difficult to describe the crab stuff – hence my choice of phrase. I think Daisy buys plain, white crab meat and makes up her own dressing, comprising mostly ginger, spring onion, mayonaisse and lime juice.

      There is some pitta bread, some carrots, plus tomatoes, salad leaves and sprign onions sufficient to make up a decent salad. Also some lime.

      I await your sage advice with intense interest and more than a little hunger too.

    3. We think the crab stuff sounds like the winner there, by some margin. And yes, a touch of sage wouldn’t go amiss, but we don’t feel it’s absolutely necessary.

    4. Many thanks, KC for your sage advice and for sparing us your valuable thyme.

      You are a tarragon of virtue.

    5. Shame the ground was so parsley occupied for the fennel few days. Mace for a poor atmosphere.

    6. I toyed with another herb pun, but then worried that the pun I had in mind wasn’t good enough.

      I was stuck in the coriander of uncertainty.

  2. I was angry at England’s lack of urgency. Then I switched on the TV and found that Ian Botham held the same opinion. I am now taking a long hard look at myself.

    1. It is difficult when that happens, but it’s important to remember that Botham isn’t *always* wrong. Often he’ll flit from one opinion to the exact opposite so he does sometimes arrive at sense – or pass through it en route to somewhere else.

    2. I’d rather England annoy Botham than win matches. If they can do both, so much the better.

  3. There has been a bit of a fuss made over unnecessarily defensive fields deployed during the final innings, particularly the man at deep point for Fulton (this one particularly got to me as I was therefore subjected to the tedium of Botham endlessly banging on about it!)
    A cynic might think that certain bowlers in a bit of form of late might have been seen this as an opportunity to work on their averages. Shurely not?

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