Is Ben Foakes being treated fairly by England?

Posted by
< 1 minute read
Ben Foakes (via Sky Sports)

Simple question, but we ended up writing quite a lot of words on the subject for Cricket 365.

As we say in the opening paragraph of that piece, there hasn’t really been any one occasion when we’ve felt like England have gone out of their way to spurn Ben Foakes. It’s more of a cumulative thing.

Again and again, Ben Foakes is not picked for England. The effect is kind of like doing a jigsaw. As more and more pieces go in, eventually you see the picture and think: ‘Hey wait. Do they just hate this guy for some reason?’

Here’s another point that is not directly related and which we didn’t touch on in the C365 piece. It relates to how England’s catching has been fairly shit in recent times.

The team management will always say that fielding is hugely important to them, yet when it comes to picking the most important fielder in the team, they repeatedly fail to pick the guy who pretty much everyone agrees is the best in that position.

It feels like that action contradicts the words. Could the implicit message that fielding is most definitely a secondary concern somehow seep through to the other players?


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. Sorry about the lack of ‘content’ over the last week. We figured at least half of you would have your mind on other things.

    1. ..and at least half of us would be sneaking every spare minute (of which there are few this time of year) to try and figure out Bert’s crossword, which is a real cracker.

      I’ve solved about 75% of the clues now, but the last 25% are going to challenge me good and proper.

      Loved the Ben Foakes piece. I decided to be excited again, just because no-one else (who had expressed a preference) claimed to be excited.

      Just to nitpick at one aspect oft hat piece: I think the James Hildreth’s shortcoming might be that he doesn’t have an answering machine, rather than a complete lack of telephone.

      I nearly missed out on ossobucco and 27+ years with Daisy in similar circumstances, as the following Ogblog piece reveals:


      Conclusion: James Hildreth needs to buy an answering machine. Fact.

      1. Just three unsolved now and they are all clues I feel I should be able to solve at this stage, as they all have something to do with the central conceit: 13, 24 & 34.

        It is a very good puzzle, Bert. You’ll need to stay away from bars permanently now as there will doubtless be swathes of Pinot Grigio swiggers wandering around looking for you with black spots ready to put in your hand.

      2. 34 is quite an obscure thing – your best bet is to go with the additional “assistance” clue and work it out from that.

        13 is not really cryptic.

        24 you have no excuse for. Just think about it, man! I mean, you’ve got three out the six letters for god’s sake.

      3. Irritated that I didn’t just write down the answer to 34, as I got to it but concluded that it is not a word. Perhaps the clue should have owned up to being 1-4 rather than 5 (or indeed the erroneous 6).

        Kicking myself that I didn’t get 13. I probably should have worked out 24, Bert, you are quite right. I could have been a contender.

      4. Irritated and kicking yourself – these are exactly the emotions that cryptic crosswords are designed to engender. Despite the fact that setting them is palpably easier than solving them, you are still left with the feeling that the setter (*) is condescendingly smug and patronising about your efforts. “Oh, you had to think about that one, did you. Well I guess you would, wouldn’t you.”

        (*) Not me, I’m not like this. I refer to all other setters, you understand. I think you’ve done marvellously, for you.

  2. Do the ECB simply fear the possible Stokes/Woakes/Foakes triumvirate/trifecta/tripod, and the inevitable ‘Stokes, Woakes, Foakes, eight other blokes, choke’ jokes?

  3. Unrelated, but Justin Langer was talking in the media about maybe recalling Siddle, and he said “He did a really good job in the Ashes”. This instinctively felt wrong so naturally the first place I decided to check was your “2019 Ashes Worst XI” article and lo and behold there he is, 7 wickets at 42. I guess the adjective “really good” has much less meaning these days.

  4. Is it conceivable that the selectors have decided that Ben Foakes will never be selected again?

    If so, might one of the selectors, nervous of Ben’s possible reaction to the news, phone the poor fellow up and say, with trepidation…

    …”th-th-th-th-th-th-th-th-that’s all, Foakes”?

Comments are closed.