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Red hot silly preppers

Bumble's feeling the heat, but did Ireland warm up too much?

Features - David Lloyd Posted 20th September 2012 view comments

As far as I'm aware, I'm going to be in a TV studio with Kevin Pietersen on Friday.

Kevin has been working as a studio guest out here in Sri Lanka and he's definitely earning whatever he's getting paid. The pre-shows are longer than the matches and the post-shows go on for hours as well!

Warner & Wilson: would a yellow card have ended their spat?

Warner & Wilson: would a yellow card have ended their spat?

Thankfully, I'm only doing the pre-show before going to do commentary on the England match but I believe I will be on with Kevin. Now I'm not going to bring up all the controversy over his situation with the England team, but if he wants to talk then I'll be all ears.

And, of course, if the host of the programme brings it up then I will certainly have my say.

I was staggered by the amount of prep work Ireland did before the match. We were all sat in the commentary box saying 'this lot are going to be knackered'.

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Personally, I'm not a big believer in the idea of team spirit winning things in sport. We did a fly-on-the-wall documentary on Worcestershire throughout the season and they seemed to have a tremendous team spirit, but not enough talent. In the end they got relegated.

Conversely, if you look at the great Australian team that won everything in the 1990's, it's common knowledge that they didn't get on with each other. However, they were all supremely talented. The key is that they got on with the job.

Now I don't know what's happened with Kevin Pietersen, but it looks like it's gone beyond that. I may be wrong here, but from what I can tell the issue seems to be that the player wants to pick and choose when he turns up and plays. It may be something else, but if that is the issue then, quite rightly, he should then be told that he can't do that.

A team can't function that way. As I've said before, can you imagine if Robin van Persie went to Sir Alex Ferguson (who owns his contract) and said: 'I've got a great offer to play for Inter Milan in February. I need some time off.' It just wouldn't happen!

I want to make it clear that the ECB aren't being pig-headed here, there's far more to it than that.

People are now asking if Kevin will ever play for England again. The old cliché is that you can never say never, but it appears the two sides are a long way apart.

Warming up

It's all been about heat and jet lag here in Colombo so far.

The matches I've been to have been quite low key. There was hardly anybody in the stadium for Australia v Ireland, but I'm sure people will wait to see that their team is through to the Super Eights before they come.

Australia don't take many away with them, but there was a pocket of support for Ireland. I met a few of them in the bar afterwards and they were jolly, if a little disappointed in the way the team had played.

One observation I would make is that I was staggered by the amount of prep work Ireland did before the match. We were all sat in the commentary box saying 'this lot are going to be knackered'.

As you can well imagine it's stinking hot out here, but they were working for a long, long time. They were throwing, catching, playing touch rugby... and the bowlers were bowling for an hour and 20 minutes. We reckon they were out there longer than the game took!

In my experience I'd want it to be short and sharp, then get inside. Keep all your good work for the main deal!

Card sparks

My idea of bringing yellow and red cards into cricket was brought to the fore again during that match.

There were a lot of verbals between David Warner and Kevin O'Brien during the Ireland innings and when Warner came out to bat we saw the Irish wicketkeeper Gary Wilson get right into him. There was then a stand-off involving Shane Watson.

Umpire Aleem Dar stepped in, but they didn't take a blind bit of notice and it started again once he'd returned to his position.

The umpires then went to the Ireland captain, who is responsible for his players - but as far as I could see they did not go to the batsmen at the crease (although I assume they would have spoken to the Australian captain after the game).

Under my process, the umpire would have issued a yellow card to both players - and if they went at it again then they would be sent off and the team would play with 10 men. I said this on commentary and Nasser Hussain was aghast at the thought.

My point is that it probably wouldn't get to that point. After a yellow card they would stop straight away. On Wednesday they took no notice of the umpire because there was no deterrent.

It would also ensure that everybody in the ground (the few that were there...) was aware that a course of action had been taken.

I think it would work perfectly.

New-look Lancs

Finally, I was interested to find out that Lancashire have a new chief executive.

Daniel Gidney used to work at Coventry's Ricoh Arena and was the Midlands Business Person of the Year for 2011. He's brought big bands like Coldplay and Oasis to that venue and that sort of thing will be integral to Lancashire in the future.

This is a big announcement because Jim Cumbes has overseen the development of the ground and having done his time he wants to retire. This new chap will need to provide some continuity.

These days I wonder how much chief executives have to do with cricketing matters. I assume very little. He has to run a business - but we must remember that the core business is cricket and I hope that he can re-establish that with a team that has been relegated to Division Two.

It's imperative they come straight back up, as Yorkshire have. Note to Lancs: they did it with young players. I notice Sajid Mahmood has already gone, so steps are being taken.

Anyway, good luck to the new chief exec. I wish him well.

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