Tuesday, 25 June 2013

A Very Capel-able Choice

The announcement of David Capel as England's second Assistant Coach may not be quite the 'big name' appointment we were (sort-of) promised; but I still think it is a good move.

Capel brings with him some of the depth of experience that both Head of Performance Paul Shaw, and fellow Assistant Coach Carl Crowe, lack - having played 15 tests and 23 ODIs during a long First Class career; followed by an extended spell as head coach at Northants.

I also think it is very important that Capel is essentially an "outside" appointment. He is someone who will bring something new to the camp and perhaps shake things up just a little.

Whether he can do so in time for The Ashes is another question - England fans need to be patient with the new regime. But longer term, I think the future looks a little brighter with Capel in it!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

The Women's Ashes - Five Things We WON'T See!

We don't know what will happen during this year's Women's Ashes; but here are five things that (probably) won't:
  • Amy Jones dropped for throwing a punch at Holly Ferling during a late-night drinking session at All-Bar-One in Chelmsford High Street.
  • Lydia Greenway suspended for failing to hand in her homework.
  • Sarah Taylor in trouble for sharing text messages with Ellyse Perry alleging that Charlotte Edwards was having "a bad hair day".
  • Holly Colvin "papped" wearing a false beard and a green-and-gold wig.
  • Jess Cameron investigated by the ICC Anti-Corruption Panel for financial irregularities perpetrated during a game of Monopoly in a rain-break at Wormsley.

Monday, 10 June 2013

England Meet The New Boss

For the England girls, today saw the announcement of the first squad of the post-Lane era, and it was very-much a case of: meet the new boss, same as the old boss! Injuries aside, all-bar-one of the players who went to the World Cup, are in the new selectors' squad to face Pakistan next month*.

As with the men's team, the biggest debate is likely to center around who is to open the batting alongside the captain. With Danni Wyatt looking distinctly out of her depth at the top of the order during the World Cup, it is going to be interesting to see who gets the nod from the selectors. Though with Holly Colvin injured, and Wyatt therefore all-but certain to play as a bowler, perhaps they will stick with her for the Pakistan games and see if she can settle into the role.

* The "bar-one" is Tammy Beaumont - who it turns out is captaining the Academy team. (I did wonder what she'd done wrong - nothing, it turns out quite the opposite!)

Friday, 7 June 2013

Women's Ashes (Mostly Not) On SKY

In a reply to Martin Davies on Twitter, SKY TV appear to have confirmed that there will be very limited coverage of the Women's Ashes on SKY Sports.

The @SkyCricket account tweeted:  
"Last 3 matches* of women's Ashes series live on Sky Sports."
(* In other words, the 3 T20 matches.) 

I have to admit that I was pessimistic that ANYTHING apart from the two T20 double-headers would be televised, so in a way this is good news.

But I am still a bit disappointed - providing the Test "goes the distance", that's 7 days of cricket going begging; and while it's SKY's prerogative not to show them if they don't want to, I do think that fall-back rights should then revert to someone else who might.

Meanwhile, we should give a cheer to BBC Radio 5 Live, who will be broadcasting every game; and I look forward to tuning-in on those days when I can't be at the ground. (And possibly even those days when I am - although it isn't clear whether the coverage will be on 5LSX or only on-line???)

(Finally... today's WTF? Award goes to Laura Malkin, for her reply to Martin's plea for all the games to be shown - apparently "that would be very boring"!)

Monday, 3 June 2013

Paul Shaw Very-Much NOT Appointed England Head Coach

So at least we now know why England hadn't appointed a Head Coach going into the 'Super Threes' weekend - there isn't going to be one!

According to a press-release from the ECB, Paul Shaw (formerly the Women's Academy Head Coach) has been appointed to something... but that something isn't Head Coach - it's "Head of England Women's Performance"; and as far as I can see, it involves doing his old job plus Mark Lane's old job.

I have to say that I find this really bizarre.

First, by (in effect) replacing two jobs with one, it appears that we no longer have anyone with sole, dedicated responsibility for the national team - instead, we have one man, wearing two very different hats - and outside of the circus, that's neither cool nor funny!

Second, the job as a whole sounds very-much like the 'Director of (Women's) Cricket' role that was mooted in the press a couple of weeks ago. Except that it's not called 'Director of Cricket', it's called 'Head of Performance' - a manifestly lesser title. Why? Politics? Money? Pettiness*? Color me confused!

But to conclude on a brighter note, hopefully this now brings the interregnum to a close.

Whatever his title, Paul Shaw has a big job ahead of him; and as an England fan I can only wish him luck and success.

* I wouldn't put it past them!

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Where's The Coach?

The England squad begin their 'Super Fours' boot-camp at Loughborough today (Saturday 1st June); and unless I missed the press release* they go into this training exercise** without a Head Coach.

Or rather, without a named Head Coach - it is quite possible that The Powers That Be know what's what, even if they haven't told us. (Or the players!)

There were rumors last week that the ECB were set to unveil a new setup, with a Director of Cricket and a Head Coach, but (again, unless I missed the press release) no such announcement has been made!

The rumors were well-sourced; but I am starting to wonder if they were really just one side of an on-going "discussion" within the ECB.

Does any of this really matter? Yes! This isn't the village scratch XI - it's England! If we want a professional women's cricket team, we have to start acting like one; but here we are, going into an Ashes Summer, looking more and more like a shambles.

* ...and I'm pretty sure I didn't!
** ... and the fact that one of the 'four' is a men's schoolboy team gives the lie to it being anything other than a training exercise.