Who’s got gloves? Have you got gloves? Okay, you’re picked

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Say what you like about Craig Kieswetter’s work behind the sticks, at least he owns a pair of gloves. We’ve half a mind that he’ll end up as England’s Test wicketkeeper simply because he’s the only one who spends any time actually keeping wicket.

Today’s Yorkshire report on Cricinfo centres on Jonny Bairstow. The angle is that if Matt Prior can’t prove his fitness, Bairstow may well play as wicketkeeper in the first Test against Sri Lanka. For the record, Prior hasn’t yet kept wicket this season. And nor has Bairstow.

Their other rival, Jos Buttler, is making a concerted effort to make up for not really having been a wicketkeeper in the past by trying to get a full season in behind the stumps for Lancashire. After three matches, he is now away with England.

But back to Bairstow. While he wouldn’t necessarily be our first choice, we do feel that he got the faecal end of the stick during the winter. Having barely played – as either a batsman or as wicketkeeper – he was brought back into the side and scrutinised. An Ashes series is no place to try and get over a bit of rustiness. It was reminiscent of Chris Read’s raw deal in 2006.

We’re not really sold on Bairstow being a wicketkeeper at all, but we also don’t think his recent international performances should be considered ‘the norm’.


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. Is it too late for a surprise international recall for Tim Ambrose?

    Is it too late for a shock international recall for Chris Read?

    Is it too late for an astonishing international recall for James Foster?

    Is it too late for a (playing for PNG does not count) international recall for Geraint Jones?

    Is it too late for an overdue international recall for Alec Stewart?

    Is it too late for a nostalgic international recall for Jack Russell? Bruce French? Alan Knott?

    I demand answers. And possibly, the post-mortal recalls of Edward Tylecote, Punch Philipson, Alfred Lyttelton and Mordecai Sherwin.

    1. I have long conjectured suitable novelty matches to serve as overdue replacements for the Gentlemen vs Players, Left-Handed vs Right-Handed, Over 30s vs Under 30s (the veterans usually won, incidentally), North vs South, Possibles vs Probables and the roundarm Experimental Matches (All-England underarm vs Sussex roundarm, slightly predating the Chappell brothers).

      Today it dawned on me that historic selectorial jiggerypokery might afford the prospect of “England International Wicket-Keepers A” vs “England International Wicket-Keepers B”. The kind of match which is a lot of fun on International Cricket Captain, until you realise that none of your players has a suppressed, Tatenda Taibu-esque, inner demon bowler just waiting to be released, and the chances of your captain heaving 175 not out off 171 balls before taking 8/43 in between stump duties are risibly poor. Unfortunately, unnecessary and underfunded research suggests there are only 21 current and former non-fill-in England Test keepers still alive – to achieve a full complement of players, the ECB needs to either work on the speed at which it spins the Selectorial Merry-Go-Round Of Caprice, or develop a plan to maximise the execution of its necromancy skills.

    2. Bruce French is too busy being the wicketkeeping coach. Which must be fun with Downton, Moores and Farbrace all hanging around.

      Oddly, I was wondering yesterday whether Kieswetter might get the nod. Obviously, it /should/ be Eckersley, but he isn’t keeping either.

      What about this Foakes chap I’ve heard about? Sounds like his name would fit if nothing else.

    3. Bailout, thank you for bringing those marvellous fixtures of yesteryear to people’s attention. Sorry the third umpire took so long to approve your comment.

      Mildly Amused By Paul Merton, it’s weird that we actually recognise you, even though you’re going by an assumed name. You have made that weird blue Christmas tree thing your own.

  2. Robert William Trevor Key has got a bat. He has used it to smite Surrey’s bowlers for 126 runs this week.

    The ratio of King Cricket posts about Rob Key to Rob Key centuries is 1:1 this season.

    Just think what a second thrashing at the hands of our Bobby would do to Jade Dernbach’s England prospects? We politely request action.

  3. The wicketkeeping position should be decided by who has got the biggest piles.

  4. Kieswetter is such a foul specimen behind the stumps. They wouldn’t dare.

    1. We like it, but didn’t know what to leave as a comment, so didn’t.

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