Glen Chapple is playing cricket and pretending he’s not great at it

Posted by
< 1 minute read
Photo by Sarah Ansell
Photo by Sarah Ansell

So we’re calling him out on it.

For every Shivnarine Chanderpaul, trying to convince people he’s still got it at the age of 40, there’s a Glen Chapple, sidling into a coaching position and inexplicably trying to convince everyone that he hasn’t still got it.

Chapple’s not fooling anyone.

> Glen Chapple might be superhuman

Playing against Gloucestershire, he’s not opened the bowling and he batted at eleven. He made 29 not out off 13 balls and we fully expect him to prove his worth with the ball later today.

Presumably, the thinking is some sort of misguided ‘give youth a chance’ thing. Bollocks. Youth has plenty of chances. The whole sport’s geared up towards youth. People are forever getting selected on promise and potential. Give middle-age a chance, we say.

None of this self-effacing last-into-bat, coming-on-second-change cobblers. Get stuck in. Whippersnappers are there to be spanked by wily old gnarldogs. That’s the natural order of things. Do what you are meant to do, Glen, and don’t stop doing it until you are either 100 per cent grey or 100 per cent bald.

You give youth a chance and you end up having to come to terms with names like Fynn Hudson-Prentice. What the hell is that? This is something worth fighting to hold at bay.


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


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. The Inescapable Logic of Youth is that if you select a 20 year-old you get at least a fifteen years of excellence from him, whereas if you select a 35 year-old you’ll be lucky to get more than a season or two. And this is true, which is why you should never select anyone over the age of 32. What’s the point, they’ll be finished in a couple of years.

    Of course this means our 20 year-old now has a reduced career expectancy, because as soon as he turns 32 all the above applies to him as well. In fact, it poses the question about what to do with 29 year-olds, who are now within three years of the definitive end of their career (see The Inescapable Logic of Youth for details). No point whatsoever in picking these people, they’re just filling a space that could be taken by someone with a dozen years’ potential.

    So for all practical purposes, 29 is the oldest age anybody should be selected, and correspondingly, 26 year-olds are looking a bit long in the tooth for serious consideration… cont.

  2. Australia have the advantage over England in that this department. The campaign to re-select Chapple starts here. While they’re at it, what’s Paul Nixon up to these days?

  3. As for the Ashes, I wouldn’t change much. Subject to change on today’s play. Ballance keeps his place. Can’t drop him after one bad series. He’s been brilliant since the surprise decision to put him at 3. Bell should be dropped as his batting and surprisingly poor fielding signal something isn’t right. Hales is the obvious choice after his county season. The bowling concerns me. Wood has been impressive. Broad was much better at Lord’s but is still a concern, as is the burdening of both him and Anderson. Plunkett and Barker must play during the Ashes when our bowlers look jaded. Stokes and Ali arent good enough with the ball to be anything other than a 5th bowler. Ali may prove me wrong as he did last summer, but he certainly won’t be enough in the UAE. The only obvious spin option is Rashid, as he had a good season in division 1 and is doing pretty well this year after 2 games.

Comments are closed.