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Monday, May 11, 2015

ECB sacks Peter Moores rather unceremoniously !!!

The England and Wales Cricket Board should "hang their heads in shame" over the treatment of Peter Moores and must act quickly to appoint his successor, says former captain Alec Stewart.  Moores was sacked on Saturday after Andrew Strauss was appointed national director of cricket.  But the news was leaked on Friday during England's washed out one-day international with Ireland in Dublin. Peter Moores sacking was not 'kneejerk' says -  Incoming England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Colin Graves.

After the 1979 tour of England came the most shabby treatment, the Indian Captain Srinivasa Venkatraghavan came to knew of his being dropped through an announcement on the aeroplane [as it is often heard !]   There are more than handful of West Indians out here performing well in IPL 8  - those who come readily come to mind are :  Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Smith, Dwayne Bravo, Andre Russel, Lendl Simmons, Chris Gayle,  Darren Sammy .. at a time when England is touring WI. The visitors were expected to pummel down the hosts.  The first test seemed lost but tailend fought strong to save the test.   In the 2nd test, England had it easy – a 9 wicket win.   In the 3rd Test at  Bridgetown, England made 257 and bowled out WI for 189 – only to be bundled out for 123 – WI won  by 5 wickets.

Peter Moores was at the helm – a former County cricketer himself, Moores played as a wicketkeeper for Worcestershire and Sussex and captained Sussex in 1997.  After successfully coaching Counties, he  was appointed coach of the full England team in April 2007.  In Jan  2009 Moores was removed as coach following a public falling out with Kevin Pietersen, who also left his position as England captain.  He was at helm when India toured in 2007 he is sacked again, rather unceremoniously !!

Tom Harrison is not a household name just yet but the England and Wales Cricket Board’s new chief executive has been sending forlorn employees on their way with a regularity that Lord Sugar might envy, writes Guardian.  Andrew Strauss, now installed as “Director, England Cricket” has been presented with a blank canvas and the opportunity to come in with some mouth-watering replacements. In practice, Strauss was fully involved in the decision to sack Moores, which was revealed 36 minutes after his own elevation had been confirmed by the ECB.  Some reports even suggest that the serious decision was taken even before someone officially had the authority to do so.    

Strauss is no stranger to media and controversy.  Those remarks about Pietersen, unwittingly aired in July when Strauss was commentating at Lord’s during the MCC’s bicentenary match, did complicate the situation a little. Some theories going around suggest that  Jason Gillespie, Yorkshire’s coach since 2011, is the preferred replacement for Moores. Given the frenetic activity and the timescale – the Test series against New Zealand starts in 11 days, the one against the Aussies in two months – he has scope to negotiate that “good contract”.  The name of Justin Langer  was also going rounds – though there are reports that he is comfortable continuing coaching WA and staying in Perth. 

Former captain, Michael Vaughan has labelled Peter Moores' sacking as disgraceful.  He is quoted as saying – ‘I am not the biggest fan of Peter Moores as a coach but I like him as a person and the only word I can use for the way his sacking was handled is disgraceful’.  In England as elsewhere,  it  is not the first time this has happened. News broke of Alastair Cook's sacking as one-day captain before he knew about it and now the same has happened with Peter. It is a poor way to treat  men who contrive to give everything – but to the administrators, it is the result that matters – when it is not to their liking, heads must roll – there has to be some action, and some one has to go.   England & Wales Cricket Board can now talk in tough terms that they will not tolerate non-performers !!  - probably that could have happened immediately after their poor campaign in the World Cup 2015.   The loss at Barbados provided them just the right opportunity.  He is not Duncan Fletcher and he is not coaching India.

I am a big fan of Gillespie. I like how he has worked at Yorkshire, the way he deals with players, supporters and the media. I like his his carefree attitude. It is important in the England job that the coach does not take himself too seriously and treats success and disappointment in an even manner. Gillespie has a good cricket brain and England badly need someone who has played at the top level. They have lacked the wisdom of someone who knows what it feels like on the good, hard days in Test cricket.

Jason Gillespie admitted yesterday he is flattered to be linked to the job as England cricket coach on the day it emerged Peter Moores will be sacked from the post.  To the embarrassment of the England and Wales Cricket Board, the news Moores would be fired by incoming director of cricket Andrew Strauss when he assumes control on Monday, broke during England’s washed-out one-day international in Ireland. It is understood Moores had not been told officially and Moores’ agent described that as “appalling”.  The fact that Colin Graves is taking over as the chairman of the ECB next week is likely to help the pursuit of the former Australia fast bowler. The pair have a close relationship and it was Graves who, as chairman of Yorkshire, appointed Gillespie four years ago to coach at Headingley.

Moores has paid the price for an abysmal winter, during which England were knocked out of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand at the group stage and then failed to beat West Indies in the recent three-Test series.  Statistically, his present tenure from 2014 has not exactly been praise-worthy  - in 52 matches, England lost 29 and won 19 !

There  is widespread criticism on how ECB has handled the situation. Yes coaches, for that matter everyone are judged by results ! – but the way the decisions are conveyed need to be gentle and diplomatic !  - the over-use of statistics also did him in.  The opportunity against underdogs is always fraught with danger – a victory may get swept under the carpet as nothing, while a loss could have heads rolling – and that is the way of life.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

11th May 2015.

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