BREAKING: Daily Mail Journalists seen at County Cricket Game

Tottenham Hotspur FC are reeling tonight after it transpired that cricket journalists from SPORTSMAIL cheated on them to cover a championship match

Tottenham are said to be reviewing their relationship with the SPORTSMAIL cricket writers following the shocking revelations that they were covering a cricket match at Chelmsford when they knew full well that news organsation is contractually obliged not to send its senior cricket writers to a county championship “whenever Spurs or Manchester City playing somewhere.”

“This is a betrayal of journalistic principles” said a spokesman for the North London club. “Everybody knows that the Daily Mail couldn’t give two flying figs about a professional cricket match featuring 5 test cricketers that decided who won the 2nd division of the county championship.” They went on further to say “We understand the need sometimes to write lengthy pieces asking questions about Kevin Pietersen and pressuring the government to tear up civil liberties so that we can convict anybody we like in our editorial pieces and then have Richard Littlejohn kick people to death, that’s completely acceptable and understandable in today’s media environment. But to cover a championship game when the football season has started is just not cricket in our book.”

A spokesperson for SPORTSMAIL was contacted, but all they kept on saying was “Kevin Pietersen” in an exasperated tone, before breaking down and quietly weeping.

Jay Rayner on George Monbiot


Monbiot article on fish.

Jay Rayner’s response

Having just spent a year writing a book about what sustainability in the food supply really means, obviously I have no argument with George over the importance of the subject. But what he must also know is how complicated it is; how so many things you assume to be the case often aren’t. Certainly it is no place for over simplifications. Because if you do that you find yourself having to recant publicly, as George himself has had to do in recent years over nuclear energy and veganism.

On monkfish, for example, George quotes selectively from the website he points to. It does indeed mention a lack of monitoring and that the ‘species is vulnerable throughout their range.’ But it also says: ‘Monkfish is usually only targeted in gillnet fisheries. Gillnet caught fish tend to be larger and thus are more likely to be mature and therefore the more sustainable choice. Status of stocks and management vary, but the best choice for trawled monkfish is from Iceland.’ In no way can it be said to be a blanket denouncement of eating monkfish. Likewise, while George insists the MSC is the only reliable voice on this, there are other sites, especially looking at Monkfish caught off the US coast, which give a different picture.

That’s the thing. It really is complicated. George bigs up Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall for his great work on fish sustainability. And it’s true. Hugh’s done brilliant things. However one of Hugh’s strategies was to talk up mackerel, by getting us all to eat deep fried mackerel baps. Since then the mackerel fisheries around the Faroe Islands have become a major cause for concern. Mackerel is no longer the great universally sustainable option we thought it was. Likewise, we have long understood that cod was a no-no. And some of it is. But if you get cod from the Barents Sea, where there has been a bio-mass explosion, it’s fine. All of this does put the onus back on consumers to be responsible for their shopping decisions.

George Monbiot recently published a piece on his blog laying into the organisation Media Lens, with good reason. They hector, attack and abuse anybody who does not totally agree with their old school leftist position. In today’s piece about fish sustainability Monbiot uses exactly the same tactics. It’s crude, blunt, hectoring and over simplistic. He calls for a debate but with a clear subtext: we all debate it until you realise how clever and smart I am and agree with my position and do what I say.

The Guardian and the Observer probably talk more about sustainability than almost any other British newspaper organisation. (Certainly I mention the issue in my reviews of sea food restaurants). We do of course need to keep an eye on our approach to these things so we genuinely do practise what we preach. But attacking good chefs, all of whom have done more to influence consumer opinions in the right way than self-righteous George can ever dream of, is not just irritating. It’s shabby, and amounts to little more than grandstanding.

Elanor Rigby (The England Lions version)

If a player makes a hundred in a Lions game but nobody is there to see it, does it happen?

Ah look at all the Lions players
Ah look at all the Lions players

Ravi Bopara, picks up runs
In a ground where a Lions game has been
Lives in a dream
Waits for the squad announcement, wearing the face
That he keeps in a jar by the door
Who is this selection for

All the Lions players
Where do they all come from?
All the Lions players
Where do they all belong?

Andy Flower, writing the words
Of a sermon that no one will hear
No one comes near
Look at him working, updating his laptops
In the night when there’s nobody there
What do the Lions players care?

All the Lions players
Where do they all come from?
All the Lions players
Where do they all belong?

Ah look at all the Lions players
Ah look at all the Lions players

Ravi Bopara, test career died in the lions games
And was buried along with James Taylor’s name
Nobody came
Andy Flower, wiping the dirt
From his hands as he walks from the game
No one executed their skillsets.

All the Lions players
Where do they all come from?
All the Lions players
Where do they all belong?

Politicians playing sport and sportsmen playing politics

An apt quote from George Orwell given the winter's trials and tribulations.
An apt quote from George Orwell.

If Moeen Ali gets punished for wearing a wristband, then I hope the next time a cricketer has to meet the likes of Mugabe during a game that they set him straight on what a hideous person he is and make the fine from the ICC worth it.


The Fallen

In October the ECB awarded central contracts for 2013-14 to the following:

James Anderson (Lancashire)
Ian Bell (Warwickshire)
Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire) 
Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)
Alastair Cook (Essex)
Steven Finn (Middlesex)
Kevin Pietersen (Surrey)
Matt Prior (Sussex) 
Joe Root (Yorkshire)
Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire)
Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire)

Were this the USSR we'd see several gaps in this photo now.
Were this the USSR we’d see several gaps in this photo now.

7 players are now not available for selection through long-term injury (Swann, Trott and Prior), form (Finn and Bresnan) and long-term decisions (we all know who).

Central contracts were introduced to provide stability and continuity of selection. Arguably October’s contract list has arguably contributed to instability this year. Too many players were playing too much cricket and the players and the English game in general has borne the brunt.

It’s such a shame that when they negotiated the central contracts price rise in October that the players did not negotiate for time off rather than more money.

Hymns and Arias for Twenty20

I wrote this in April after Glamorgan beat Surrey and posted it as a comment on the Guardian’s website. Now Glamorgan are back there tonight in a Twenty20 here it is on here for posterity.

Guide me, O thou great Reesdeemer,
Pilgrim though this barren land(of division two);
I am Wagg, but thou art Allenby;
Hold me with thy powerful hand;
Bragg of Newport,
Wagg of Rugby
Beat Surrey now and evermore
Beat Surrey now and evermore


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