David Gower believes there was “an element of implied ageism” in the decision by Sky not to renew his contract once the Ashes finishes next week. The comments come as the former England captain, who has spent more than 20 years with the television broadcaster, prepares for his final Test match behind the mic at the Oval on Thursday.
The silent treatment. It’s one of those theories, reverse psychology if you will, that is applied to those opponents who are believed to crave the limelight, the attention. Those who need something or someone to rise up against in order to perform at their best. No surprises, then, that it was tried by many against one Pietersen, Kevin.
They were, both, a once-in-a-generation match. A once-in-a-generation innings. Only there were two. Within 42 days of each other, in fact. Perhaps it was fate, written in the stars. The answer to the great question of life, the universe and everything is, of course, 42. “42 days, in this instance,” said Douglas Adam’s supernatural computer, Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.
Twenty-something Stuart Broad was all about the headlines. The eight-for at Trent Bridge, five-for-one at Newlands or dismantling India in Manchester. He formed a partnership with James Anderson that beat all that had gone before. There was always a sense, however, of Anderson as the reliable performer, Broad the young upstart, blowing hot, but occasionally cold.
The instinctive reaction was one of pity. A man doing his job, not particularly well, but doing it nonetheless. Umpire Joel Wilson struck a lonely figure in the middle of the vast expanse of Edgbaston, surrounded by a crowd known for its intensity and a press box notorious for its unforgiving nature. The less said about social media the better.
About halfway through the afternoon session on day three, England’s ninth-wicket stand tilted from the vaguely irritating to the deeply frustrating phase for Australia. The interactive scoreboard had just flashed up a 50, the partnership neatly compiled between Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad, before the television cameras quickly panned to Steve Smith.
Isabelle Westbury reports on how the ‘British’ duo were signed as replacements with great success
There is something about defying expectations that suits the English. Label them favourites and they self-destruct. Make it clear from the outset that they are very much second best, however, and the English thrive.
The Grade Cricketer: Don’t Touch It! with Steve O’Keefe
Fox Sports Australia
19 January 2018
There may be a post-Ashes lull in the Australian summer, but that doesn’t stop us recording the longest show of all time. Stick with it though, as Steve O’Keefe walks us through everything from under 10s rejection to a 12-for in Pune, and everything in between. Isabelle Westbury goes a few more rounds with us and explains the Stokes affray thing, and Andrew Walton from MyCricket joins to celebrate 10 years and explain why he killed the art (science?) of lying in cricket
The extent to which county cricket is clearly ignored by pundits and decision-makers is damning, says Isabelle Westbury.
BBC Test Match Special – BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2017 Interviews
The Ashes: Australia v England
18 December 2017
3rd Test, Day 5
The WAVA, Perth, Australia