Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Review of the 1st Test in South Efrica

Jingle Bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way, oh what fun it is to watch England win away. So we only go and beat the number one side in the world by a mere 241 runs. England won their first match in a series away to anyone decent for years, whilst the hosts had a shocker as they capitulated in Durban. It was their fifth defeat in six at Kingsmead and the venue for the traditional Boxing Day test will soon be about as popular as grandad a couple of hours after the Christmas sprouts. This was an old fashioned Test match, one for the connoisseur and whilst not a classic it made fantastic viewing. South Africa were awful here to be honest as England went Bok Bashing.


Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Wot no Jimmy?

James Anderson's a doubt for the First Test at Durban which starts on Boxing Day which could well be series defining. News came through last night which will put a smile on the South African top order more than when David Cameron is served pigs with blankets with his Christmas dinner. Whether this is a smokescreen from the English management is to be seen, but the hearts of English men and women sank with the news, in a similar way to my kids when they unwrap a lump of coal in a couple of days time. So who will replace him?

The Burnley Express

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Sport for All?

There has been a lot of talk this week from the ECB about changing the perception of the game at grass roots level. Initially my eyes skimmed across the usual bluster, and then something caught my eye. This was something new, something different and it seems change is afoot. Not just with me, but for well respected journalists such as David Hopps. We are talking about an Aussie. Matt Dwyer, the ECB Director of Participation and Growth could just be the best thing that has happened to English cricket in years...if not ever.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

The Squad to South Africa

Today the squad to South Africa was announced. With the Test match at Kingsmead in Durban kicking things off on Boxing Day we are only just a month away from the series. With surprising omissions and one or two inclusions the squad has caused controversy and debate on social media all day. Here we look at the good, bad and the ugly within the England team.

Ian Bell

Saturday, 14 November 2015

A trip to the 'Port

Last Thursday I put on the third Pushing the Boundaries show at Newport Cricket Club with four Glamorgan players. This time it was for the Tom Maynard Trust as well as Melanoma UK and all in all, a good time was had by all. Matt Maynard, Robert Croft, Mike Powell and Mark Wallace gave up their free time to be a part of the show, and in Croft's case he became the star...but more about that later.

Dan with Maynard and Croft

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Pushing the Boundaries tickets

Tomorrow night Newport will see the biggest sporting event since the Ryder Cup and with four legends of Glamorgan cricket in attendance, Barack Obama's visit a couple of years ago to the Gwent city, will look like small fry compared to what we have going on!

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Review of the 3rd Test v Pakistan

And so it came. Ben Stokes, the charger of Sharjah went for a wander and was stumped. Pakistan won the series 2-0 and England have some serious thinking to do. The biggest selling English newspaper in this part of the world might be called The Gulf Today but despite England battling hard, the gulf today between these two teams is vast. Read on, and let Theresa May have full access to your browsing history as we review the story of the third Test match from the UAE between Pakistan and England.


Monday, 26 October 2015

Review of the 2nd Test v Pakistan

So near and yet so far, was the story of this Test as Adil Rashid almost salvaged a draw from the jaws of certain defeat in Dubai. For some of England's players this might be more Bye Bye than Dubai as a couple of them look shot to pieces, but if truth be told it was only one bad session that cost the visitors here. Whether that elicits a knee jerk reaction or whether the selectors will keep faith with the likes of Bell and Buttler remains to be seen? Like Abu Dhabi, this one went down to the wire, but unlike Abu Dhabi the Living Daylights couldn't save the draw. No Skyfall or even nightfall here in Dubai...


Sunday, 18 October 2015

The Death of the Tail Ender

Chris Martin averaged just 2.36 in Test cricket. He ended up with 110 more Test wickets than runs. But are the likes of Chris Martin a thing of the past? Has technology and other aspects of the game meant that these types of player are no more? Here guest blogger Rob Johnston finds out...

Tuffers...a genuine tail ender

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Review of the 1st Test v Pakistan

For four and a half days this match was as interesting as Glenn Hoddle's commentary on ITV. Low crowds, a pitch that was so far in favour of the batsman that the bowlers may well have been blindfolded and an atmosphere that was more Derby than Abu Dhabi, meant that this one was destined for a draw. What kind of draw though was unexpected. Billy Bragg may have sang about getting "the last flight out to Abu Dhabi" in a pop at the banking industry but if you spent your ill deserved, austerity fuelled bonus watching most of this snoozefest, you'd want to be on the first flight out of there. This one was an advert for Nytol. Luckily for me, I was doing something far more interesting during this than watching the game, as I did a stock take of all the individual staples in my office. And then it exploded into life...

Atmospheric Abu Dhabi

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Speaking with a Spinner

Gary Keedy has just retired after twenty three years in the game. In a career that saw him have spells at Yorkshire, Lancashire, Surrey and Nottinghamshire, Gary picked up over 900 wickets in the professional game with his slow left armers. Unlucky to never be picked by England, he was an integral part of Lancashire's first county title in decades with his wickets. Now on a mission to try and impart the knowledge that he picked up and helping slow bowlers with his new venture Spin Science, we caught up with him recently and discussed his career. Read on to find out about Old Trafford protein blizzards, unorthodox methods from Peter Moores and the art of spin bowling in this hilarious interview with one of the stalwarts of the English game...

Gary Keedy, one of two Lancashire spinners in the game, made 13 ...
Gary Keedy

Monday, 28 September 2015


Rugby World Cup 2015, England v Wales and in the first half referee Jerome Garces had a word with both captains as the game threatened to boil over. "I'm in charge here", he bellowed and both Chris Robshaw and Sam Warburton nodded and said "OK". In fact I think one of them may have even mumbled a "Sir" on the end, but it is interesting to see the respect the officials have in rugby from the players. Football could certainly learn a lesson, but could cricket as well? Who knows what the answer would be...

Warburton and Robshaw...respect

Sunday, 27 September 2015

LVCC Division One End of Term Reports

It's that time of year, when county cricketers are called in to see the headmaster and get their end of term reports. How did your team do? Did you take our advice back in April and are now kicking back in the Caribbean on the earnings, having bashed your local turf accountant? Or are you, the missus and the kids facing a harsh, bleak winter? However you have done, this is still the best competition in the country cricket wise. Here we have a look at how your county did in 2015...

Patterson giving something away for once

Thursday, 24 September 2015

The Farmyard XI

It has been a bad week if you are a pig. Not content with being killed for your meat, it turns out that a future Prime Minister then decides to get sexual with you. This week's revelations that the most high profile leader to stick his appendage into a pig's mouth since Monica Lewinsky was employed at the White House, has sent the Twittersphere into overdrive. So, with a massive credit to Glamorgan CCC fan Paul Mokler, we cheered pigs up worldwide with a cricketing pig XI. Not content with that, they need someone to play against so Paul drew up a cricketing sheep XI. Here are the teams...

The Pig XI unveil their mascot

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The Middle Stump End of Season Awards

It's that time of year again boys and girls. As the nights draw in and the weather turns chillier, we look back at the 2015 season and it is award time. None of these will be found at the PCA night in a couple of weeks, but here are the alternative awards for this year...

Munch's Scream

Monday, 14 September 2015

Pushing the Boundaries

Tickets are now on sale for the funniest thing to hit since South Wales since Shane Watson's lbw review in Cardiff this summer. On Thursday November 12th Matthew Maynard, Robert Croft, Mark Wallace and Mike Powell, will be joining me on stage for an irreverent Q and A session in aid of Melanoma UK and The Tom Maynard Trust. Newport Cricket Club will be the venue and tickets are on sale now. Click on the poster below for details on how to get your hands on one.

Tickets here

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Dizzy's Dynasty

Yorkshire today wrapped up their 33rd County Championship trophy. As predicted on these pages back in April and last year, Jason Gillespie has put together one of the finest sides in the club's history. It's easy to say that Yorkshire will win the title, it's on a par with saying Celtic have a sniff of the Scottish Premier League, but could this be the finest side ever in the history of the White Rose? Possibly... record

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Maintain a 16 match County Championship

It's not often these pages get political. However, there is something I would urgently ask all Stump fans to get behind and that is to sign a petition to keep the two divisions of nine sides in the County Championship. England have become significantly better at Test cricket since the two division format has come in, as those with memories stretching back to the 80's and 90's will testify. I love the County Championship and this is something serious that needs sorting. And pronto...

Root...a product of the 16 game LVCC

Monday, 7 September 2015

The Merry Go Round

"Wake me up when September ends" might be the title of a song by Green Day but it has been more Groundhog Day, or should we make that Groundhog month for a number of cricketers. This is the month equivalent to the footballing transfer window, when players are released and find themselves new deals. September has become a cricketers agent's wet dream; the month for wheeling and dealing and getting your man a new contract. For others, it is the end of their career.'s a new deal

Friday, 4 September 2015

The Stump goes through the 500k barrier

Yesterday the Middle Stump had its 500,000th reader. From a small acorn formed over a pint, the oak tree is growing and along the way it has been a marvellous journey. Just over three years ago, I decided to write for a bit of fun. The odd anecdote had sprung to mind, and I wanted to get them all down on paper. To think that half a million people would read the rubbish that I write was beyond my wildest dreams and it has been a journey and a half.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Pushing the Boundaries

I am delighted to announce the third Pushing the Boundaries show in aid of Melanoma UK and The Tom Maynard Trust at Newport CC on Thursday 12th November at 7.45pm. After the carnage of Headingley with the Yorkshire boys and the chaos in Southgate with the Middlesex chaps, we are taking the show to South Wales to do live Q and A's on stage with a star studded Glamorgan line up, who are giving up their time for these brilliant charities.

Matt Maynard

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Farewell to three great batsmen

There is something sad when a cricketer retires. This time of year in England, the season slowly closes the curtains and settles down for the winter, and those who we pay good money to watch finally hang up their bat. None of the following three may be English but all of them have made their mark for varying reasons on English fans, and with a tear in my eye we will see them no longer don their whites in the test arena. Bowlers around the globe may have a different viewpoint however. Farewell then Sanga, Pup and Buck.

Clarke and Sanga

Monday, 24 August 2015

Review of the 5th Test v Australia

In a week where the names of those who wanted extra curricular affairs were leaked, Australia romped home under leaking South London skies at the Oval. Many of the Aussies will have played their last game on these shores, whilst you wonder if the same might happen for a few, younger English players. Whilst those on Ashley Madison, the ones in dead marriages and craving excitement had a bad week, for those English fans watching this dead rubber and craving excitement, it wasn't much better. Australia walked this one, and it was a return to the bad old days. After their resounding win at Lord's, there was more capital punishment on the other side of the Thames for Cooky and Co.

The Oval

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Still work for England

So England have won the Ashes and what do they do? They went back to the bad old days. Conservative when winning the toss and sticking the Aussies in, their batting came unstuck against the short ball. You would think that this England side were world beaters judging by some of the comments I have read recently, yet this was the worst Australia side I can remember since 1985, possibly even the Packer era when we played their second string. Yes, England are improving but there is a long way to go. Problems at the top of the order and in the spin department still exist, as Geoff Boycott has reminded us once or twice over the summer. The Ashes may have been won, but all is not quite right in the garden of England. UAE might be next to Dubai, but it could be bye bye for some of this side.


Sunday, 9 August 2015

Review of the 4th Test v Australia

So the Ashes are back in England. This was a comprehensive win in Nottingham and in reality it was sealed after half an hour. Stuart Broad ripped through the Aussie batting and picked up the best figures by an English seamer in Ashes history as he bagged 8-15. In the hometown of Ken Clarke, this match saw the resignation of Michael Clarke as England moved into an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series. Here we review the fourth Test match from Trent Bridge.

Trent Bridge

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

The Mind of Mitch

Mitchell Johnson has come out in the Telegraph this morning and said that he doesn't think that the heat that he is absorbing from the English crowd affects his game. I most certainly disagree. He also said that it takes the heat off of his team mates. Yet again, I disagree. He said that it used to get to him, but doesn't any more. Yet again I disagree. Here's why...


Friday, 31 July 2015

Review of the 3rd Test v Australia

"Do I not like that" was a quote made famous by a man who cut his teeth in Watford and then came to prominence in Birmingham, but that is where the similarities between Graham Taylor and Steven Finn end. A quick game is a good game say the lazy journalists, as this one in the second city was done and dusted within three days. That famous Warwickshire fan Shakespeare once said, "better to be three days early than a minute too late" as this one was more or less in the bag by the end of Day Two. Even the English girls were happy with a premature ending as England thrashed the Aussies by eight wickets, in the cauldron of Edgbaston.


Thursday, 30 July 2015

Our trip to Edgbaston

I have never been to Edgbaston before. It has had a reputation for being England's loudest and most patriotic ground. It has a reputation for being raucous. It has a reputation for being intimidating for visiting sides. It was all of those, and the Hollies Stand where we were, was rocking. I loved the place, I thought the ground was excellent, the people were magnificent and it was real. None of the artificial hype of some grounds, none of the snootiness, this was the heartbeat of English support, in the heart of England, and the players responded accordingly.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Lashings at Eversholt CC this Thursday

Ok, firstly let me assure you that the above headline isn't an invite to a sado-masochistic dungeon. Oh no, this is far less painful! For just a fiver this Thursday 30th July, you can go and watch a star studded team of ex internationals take on Eversholt CC, at their beautiful village ground and in the process help raise a few quid for Prostate Cancer UK. If you haven't been to Eversholt CC before I would seriously recommend it. Just an hour from London or Birmingham, it has featured on our most beautiful grounds on these pages, and with the church overlooking the pavilion, the swimming pool at the other end and an idyllic village setting, it is a great place to settle down for the afternoon.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Book Signing this Friday at Taunton

This Friday I will be signing copies of my book Characters of Cricket in the club shop at the County Ground, Taunton as Somerset take on Middlesex in the NatWest T20 Blast.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Review of the 2nd Test v Australia

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" said a bloke called Charles Dickens, but this was proper dicking handed out to England by Australia. Whether you choose the former or the latter of the opening line will be dependent on which hemisphere you are from, but after Cardiff where we had such Great Expectations, these were Hard Times for England at the Bleak House of Lord's which was a Tale of Two Countries. The Aussies just about squeezed past England by the margin of 405 runs. If you had paid a hundred quid a ticket as an English fan to watch this, you'd be furious as it made Raheem Sterling's price tag look like a bargain.

Lord's...the scene of carnage

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Aussies Cracking Up?

Australia seem to be in a bit of a pickle. Not the sort that accompanies the filling of Mike Gatting's cheese sandwiches but they seem to have some serious problems. Injuries, lack of form and rumours of rows behind the scenes have all plagued the tourists since their arrival on these shores, and if you believe everything you read or hear, then they are in total disarray. Saying that, they have been here before. Remember 'homeworkgate' and the sacking of Mickey Arthur? They bounced back from that quickly enough. Here we look at what is being discussed in the cricketing world regarding those boys in the Baggy Green caps.

Clarke...plenty to ponder

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Review of the 1st Test v Australia

"Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, if Root don't get ya, then Moeen must" to paraphrase a famous 70's banner but England went one nil up in the series thanks to the spin twins. Cook outhought Michael Clarke from start to finish in this Cardiff test, as the undercooked Aussies had a warm welcome in this hillsides from a partisan crowd. Some from New South Wales probably can't wait to leave South Wales, as England sent out a message. It might not avenge for the horror of THAT tour, but by god it was sweet. Here we review the fantastic first Test match from Cardiff, and trust me, it's not as bad as a Shane Watson lbw review.


Friday, 10 July 2015


Much has been said about the pitch for the first Test in Cardiff. When we saw Mitchell Starc's fourth ball of the match bounce twice on the way through to Brad Haddin, we either thought that this was a Sabina Park mark two, or had about as much life as the Athens bond market. Yet for me, this has been a brilliant Test wicket so far from an English point of view, and Cardiff should be applauded for producing such a pitch. A decent batting track where runs have come at around four an over, will no doubt become more bowler friendly as it wears.


Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Test Match Game

Back in the late 70's and early 80's, computer games were about as technical as Atari tennis, perhaps getting as advanced as watching doubles; two sticks on each side whacking a ball back at each other whilst the noise was a form of torture to those from previous generations. This lot may have lived through Hitler's Blitz, rationing, and some even through the financial crash of the thirties, but put the sound of an Atari on, and they surrendered to anything that you wanted.Then along came a game that made everyone happy....Test Match.

The Authentic All-Action Cricket Game

Monday, 22 June 2015

A New England

"I don't want to change the world, I'm not looking for a new England" sang Billy Bragg back in 1983, when Brad Haddin was merely a middle aged bloke. However cricket wise, the world changed a long time after that when it came to one day cricket, and England had to wait until 2015 to accept it. With the aggressive, hard hitting tactics that we have learnt from the World Cup, the future is finally bright for English cricket fans. The style of play, the players to walk the walk and the positive play has been a joy to behold. Now let's take it forward...

Bragg...Billy, not Will

Thursday, 18 June 2015

The Outgrounds Part 2

Judging from the response the other day on my feature on outgrounds, the English cricket public loves them. Sadly, some are no longer used. The cost of running a headquarters for the counties means they can no longer be fitted in to the busy schedule, others deemed not fit for purpose and some sadly have gone for good. The corporate world dictates that where once stood athletes in flannels that we all checked out, now the only thing we check out there is our weekly groceries. Here we have a look at some of the venues sadly no longer used for first class cricket.


Tuesday, 16 June 2015

The Outgrounds Part One

Midsummer in England. Strawberries and cream, the cacophony of laughter from marquees, the sound of ball on willow on pitches where amateurs normally play, an equal amount of well behaved dogs and rabid children running wild amongst England's heartbeat; its cricket clubs, whilst Wimbledon tennis plays silently on the backdrop of the television in the clubhouse bar, packed with club members beaming with pride that the professional game has arrived at their club. This can only mean one thing; the outground season is here in the County Championship.

Cheltenham College

Friday, 12 June 2015

The Freak Dismissal

Seeing Simon Hughes, the Analyst and not the ex Member of Parliament for Bermondsey, put up a freak dismissal on Twitter yesterday, it got me thinking about some of the weirdest and wackiest ways of getting out. Here are the first 5 according to the Middle Stump, with more to follow next week or when we can't think of anything to write about. Let us know if you have any others...

Monday, 8 June 2015

Dad's Army

Firstly, apologies for not writing a write up of the second Test versus New Zealand. This wasn't because we lost, apathy reigned or sour grapes. Quite simply it was because I was in Greece and didn't see enough of the game to paint a true picture, not that it ever matters much on The Middle Stump anyway. Whilst sitting in a taverna, eating a souvlaki with the skewer driving through the middle of it, much like the Kiwi bowling to our middle order I wondered if we have played our strongest opposition so far this summer? I wondered if we build up the Aussies too much, as we tend to do in these shores, and I have come to the conclusion that we have. Here's why...

English or Australian this summer?

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The Dodgy Track

Pitches have caught the headlines this week again in County Cricket, as the Hove track has been talked about by the twitterati. The thriller against Warwickshire this week, comes on the back of a shocking wicket versus Middlesex and Lancashire second eleven who abandoned a couple of games earlier in the year. Hove was one of the quickest tracks around in the eighties, one where facing the likes of Garth Le Roux or Imran was as enjoyable in Sussex as a night out in Crawley. Having had a few years of benign surfaces, which helped Mushtaq Ahmed no end a few years back as he spun them to the title, they have relaid them to try and get them back to their old ways.

Tranquil Hove?

Monday, 25 May 2015

Review of the 1st Test v New Zealand

What a Test match. Positive cricket thrilled a partisan, yet knowledgeable crowd at the Home of Cricket as England finally won having been in boxing parlance, floored in the first round. New Zealand played their part in a game which was a fantastic advertisement for cricket, as England won just eight overs from the finish by 124 runs. NW8 may be the part of the world where Vanessa Feltz resides, but it was the English cricketing public gorging on a five day binge, as this game was the lobster thermidor of cricket. This was tales from the unexpected from the start, until Moeen Ali caught Boult down at third man to win the game. Here is our review of the brilliant, wonderful first Test match versus New Zealand.

The Home of Cricket

Thursday, 21 May 2015


Watching some of the fields that Brendon McCullum has set in recent times has been an absolute breath of fresh air. The antithesis of a couple of slips with a third man as the insurance policy, is great to watch and has been rewarded. McCullum captains the way he plays, taking the game to the opposition and this is what England need to start doing. Positivity is rewarded in the game, the aggressive approach and for me, the last few years watching England have lacked this.


Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The Gareth Andrew interview

Gareth Andrew has been around for years. Still only 31, he made his debut in 2000 in first class cricket playing in the Nat West for the Somerset Cricket Board. A career has since seen him play for many seasons at Somerset and Worcestershire, and many finer judges than me have said that he would have played for England, especially in the shorter format of the game, barring injury. We caught up with the all rounder recently, whilst recovering from illness, and despite the odd sneeze and splutter he was a great bloke. Read on to find out Moeen Ali's problems with his beard, how Gareth did his bit to get Worcestershire promoted last year, and what Justin Langer said to Jack Shantry.

Gareth Andrew during a Photocall for Worcestershire County Cricket ...
Gareth Andrew

Thursday, 14 May 2015

The Run Out

"Yes....No...Yes...Wait...Oh shit, sorry". How many times have you said those words whilst batting? How many times have you HEARD those words whilst batting? No doubt hundreds, possibly thousands of you were run out last weekend all over the UK. Communications akin to those of the ECB break down, and you are left stranded, and you become as popular with your batting partner as your average journalist is with Nigel Pearson. It has happened for centuries, it will happen for centuries, and nothing is more amusing than the run out.

Donald...famously run out in 99

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The Strauss of Pain

The soap opera of the ECB rolls on and on. Not content with giving us a crap team on the pitch, charging us through the nose to go and watch them, we now have a situation played out for free which is far more entertaining than watching a diet of 83mph right arm seamers try their hearts out for their employers. Kevin Pietersen has been told that he is not trusted by Andrew Strauss and the twitterati is in uproar. However, he has not only been carted out of the team, but offered a role as one day advisor. WTF? That is the equivalent of getting dumped by your girlfriend and then her asking you what she thinks of your new bloke. Strauss? Sounds like someone at the ECB is Brahms and Liszt.

KP...not in the circle of trust!

Monday, 4 May 2015

Opening Up

With the eulogies flying around regarding Jonathan Trott, and even Trotty himself giving the Barmy Army a farewell salute, we now look to the future as to who will grab that opening role. There are quite a few candidates flying around for this position and here we discuss the runners and riders for the slot.

Robson...goes big when he gets in

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Review of the 3rd Test in West Indies

So England threw it away. The third Test in Barbados was played out on a sporting pitch but one that ultimately provided a fantastic contest, and saw the Windies level the series at one apiece. The Windies played very well but this will be the last hurrah at this level for a number of individuals. Trott, Moores, Chanderpaul, Whitaker and potentially others could have their P45's awaiting. A Cook hundred, the first for two years, was ultimately in vain as this England side burnt their Bridgetown's with many of their supporters. The St George's flags may have over taken this ground, but it was the flag of West Indies that the supporters were rallying around at the end. Read on as we review the Barbados Test.

The new look Bridgetown

Win a Copy of Characters of Cricket

It is the most explosive read this side of religion and to celebrate it being launched on e book/kindle we have a FREE copy to give away to one lucky winner. The book has chapters on the guys who were real characters of this game; Shane Warne, Kevin Pietersen, David Lloyd, Phil Edmonds, Phil Tufnell, Monty Panesar, Gladstone Small, Mark Vermeulen, David Smith, Peter Roebuck and many more. Find out which cricketer was hanged, who have been to prison, along with the good guys, the ones who made us smile and the ones we worshipped.

Win yourself a copy of the book. All you have to do is tell us the result in the England v West Indies match, and by how many runs or wickets. The closest one wins. To win, you MUST use the hashtag #characters. Competition will close when we deem fit (for obvious reasons) and in the event of a tie, we will pick a winner out of a hat. Good luck...

Thursday, 30 April 2015


Reports in the Telegraph this morning that the ECB have appointed Mark Fordham to its board have opened up the prospect of franchises coming to English cricket in T20 for the 2017 season. Fordham has previous, being the mastermind of the IPL in 2008 and the Caribbean Premier League. He also was the brains trust behind Project Victoria, a top secret mission by Giles Clarke which looked at potentially franchising English cricket previously, and led to him being about as popular with Giles Clarke, as Giles Clarke is with your average English cricket fan. They settled their differences out of court. However, not everyone thinks franchising is a good thing and with the might of IMG behind it, are we selling the soul of English cricket again for a few quid? I for one, am disenfranchised. I hope I am not, as Nigel Pearson would say, "being an ostrich".

Lord's...the corridors of power