Were Alastair Cook (and his family) ‘let out to dry’ by the ECB?

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Via ECB.co.uk
Via ECB.co.uk

Alastair Cook has said that the ECB “kind of let me out to dry a little bit” over Kevin Pietersen’s sacking and the ensuing brouhaha.

Being ‘let out to dry’ makes him sound like a cat who’s mistaken bubble bath foam for solid land and now needs the back door to be opened so that it can dry its soggy legs in the sun. But let’s fight back our natural inclination and not dwell on that minor slip of the tongue and instead focus on the more significant inaccuracy in that statement.

A little bit?

The ECB’s quasi-nepotistic public pronouncments seemed almost purpose-made to undermine Cook’s captaincy. As we wrote at the time, statements seemingly intended as props to support him became sticks with which the public and press beat him. This went on pretty much throughout his captaincy. Whatever his aptitude for captaincy, he is a very resilient man.

Giles Clarke’s comment that “he and his family are very much the sort of people we want the England captain and his family to be” may have become infamous as some sort of crystallisation of the outdated prejudiced views at the ECB, but it also made Cook – through no fault of his own – the embodiment of that attitude.

If it was a garland, it was a rubber one that was instantly set on fire. Actual support, in any tangible, pressure-alleviating sense, was conspicuous by its absence. Intead, Cook was just foisted up there as a figurehead with a big ol’ target across his chops.

We could go on, but you’re busy people and it feels like a ‘less is more’ kind of a day. Should you be in need of further reading, here’s three more links that we may or may not have included had we gone on.


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      1. When my dog has been in a Fen ditch, he is ‘let out to dry’, when we forget he is out there, he is ‘left out to dry’ and when he’s been washed after rolling in Badger crap he is ‘hung out to dry.’

      2. It took 24 hours for anyone to point that out to us.

        We knew no-one was paying attention any more.

  1. Unrelated, but did any of the people who said they were going to send us ‘spotteds’ for Cricket Badger actually do so?

    1. Does a ‘spotted’ have to involve the cricketer actually doing something of minor interest? If I walked past one in the street, would that count? It’s not much of an anecdote.

      1. The less that happens the better.

        Honestly. Do people not believe us on this?

        The ideal would be an obscure county player doing almost nothing at all but with quite a lot of circumstantial detail.

      2. I consider my anecdote about walking past Tim Murtagh while I was heading north and he was heading south along Lisson Grove to be one of the finest anecdotes ever to grace Cricket Badger. Indeed, one of the finest to grace any organ.

      3. With all due respect, everyone knows that Bob Willis on a train is the pinnacle.

        This is largely because we’ve received accounts meeting that description on about half a dozen occasions, all from different people.

        Sadly not had one in a while though.

      4. Also acceptable to do a half-arsed job in anticipation of receiving follow-up questions from us once we know the bare bones of it.

      5. I did say ONE OF the finest, KC, the Murtagh sighting is ONE OF the finest.

        Of course the Bob Willis ones are the very pinnacle. In particular MY Bob Willis one, southbound on the Northern line, 27 August 1977, being the pinnacle of that pinnacle. I really must Ogblog it soon.

        Did I ever actually submit the Ged and Daisy sighting of Bob Willis, him on foot crossing the Marylebone Road, us in Noddy Honda on the way to the theatre?

        Happy days.

      6. I suppose an account of Andy Zaltzmann doesn’t count? He’s almost a cricketer… insofar as one can be simultaneously almost a cricketer and entirely not one.

    2. It might help if Cricket Badger were to publish one of these “cricketer spotted” things periodically; weekly perhaps.

      It might further help if you were to provide a second example, possibly a humorous, made-up example, by way of encouraging submission.

      Just an idea, KC, just trying to help. 😉

    3. Still haven’t gotten around to sending mine in, I will eventually! I also have a sort of spotting of a minor Australian first class cricketer, which I’m guessing you will be right into, I’ll try and type that up too.

  2. I was at Fenners for the Sri Lanka under 19s Test last summer and spotted Chris (?) Something who was the bloke who dropped Brian Lara, who then went on to score his record of something something. Probably not surprising as I think Chris (?) Something is the coach for the England under 19s. He looked red in the face. This probably doesn’t count as a cricketer spot, more coach spotting. I bet there’s a coach spotting club. I hope that helps.

  3. I spotted Alastair Cook in Waterstone’s yesterday buying a book on the art of after dinner speaking.

  4. Ok, 3. 5 more cricketers spotted – NS Siddhu, Mike Holding, Zaltzman and (almost) Sachin Tendulkar. On their way!

  5. A few months ago I spotted Monty Panesar getting on a train if that’s of interest? It was at Chelmsford station and the train he caught was going to London. Monty was wearing a smart suit and carrying a laptop case. I also saw him go in and out of the gents toilets before the train arrived. In other cricketer spotted news, my neighbours used to see Alastair Cook regularly in our local Tesco, just buying his dinner like he was a regular normal bloke and everything.

    1. You’ve rather shot your spotting bolt by writing it out in full here and now. Sure there are plenty of people who won’t see this though, so we’ll stash it away.

      Thanks. Any others, email them to cricket at sportsbadger dot com.

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