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    Member Interview : Robert

    Many thanks to our resident Englishman Robert for his insightful views and opinions! Good read.


    PakPassion.net : Tell us a little bit about yourself.

    Robert : I was born in London in the sixties to white working-class parents. Mother is English, from a big Catholic family; father Irish - an Ulster Protestant Loyalist. Dads family came to England in the 1930s. He served in WW2. His elder brother was an Officer, killed on active duty. Dad saw Hutton and Compton bat against Lindwall and Miller in the fifties.

    Cricket has been a gateway to my understanding of other cultures talking with West Indians, Indians and Pakistanis about cricket brought about a sense of connection, and I learned about their different views of history. I became a more pluralist thinker.

    Im married to a British Guyanese with three grown-up stepchildren, two of whom have children of their own. One died as an infant that was the worst day of my life. Her short span taught us to be kinder to each other. I read to the little ones and encourage them all I can so that they grow up feeling confidence, with an appreciation of education as a route to success.

    I work as a health and safety manager, travelling all over the south of England and Wales. This is a common second career path for middle-aged blokes here. It took ten years to get professional qualification and membership. I also have a hypnotherapy practice I help people to stop smoking, with their body image issues, with anxiety and phobias.

    Imagine Walter White with a Home Counties accent and youll have a fairly close picture of me. My step-kids were roaring Walter on because he reminds them of me! Apart from the drug dealing, murdering, lying and manipulation, mind. Though I do have a black hat.


    PakPassion.net : James Taylor's illness; Have England lost a potential great?

    Robert : To me, the descriptor 'great' should be reserved for the absolute top-line players like Tendulkar. I was sorry that James had to retire so early. Unlike many England players coming up now, he had a good idea of how to play spin as well as pace. He could have been a solid number 3 for England for ten years.


    PakPassion.net : Your top 5 cricketers of all time? and why?

    Robert : Dr Grace, because he popularized cricket throughout the world. He was the first international sports star and the best player of the nineteenth century. More people had heard of WG than Queen-Empress Victoria.

    Sir Donald Bradman because he was nearly twice as good as his top contemporaries. People who can remember Denis Compton say that modern cricket fans simply wouldnt believe how good he was, particularly against spin a whole skill-set has been lost as the game has evolved. But Sir Donald was twice as good as Compton even. His impact was similar to that of Babe Ruth in baseball he changed the sport. To control him, Jardine invented fast leg-theory which effectively turned the batsman into a target everything was at the ribs or the chin. They had to ban that tactic because it would have ended cricket.

    Among spin bowlers Id have to say Warne. His control was astonishing. Nasser explained that if he dropped short, it was on purpose setting you up for the lbw. Id have liked to have seen his great forebears Grimmett and OReilly to compare them all.

    That leaves two spaces. Ill go for two all-rounders: Sir Garfield Sobers and Imran Khan. But that means leaving out Kallis. Darn. Can I have six? Sir Garry did everything well and a couple of things superlatively well. He was the best batsman of his day. Id like to see his bowling figures in each of his three styles but these are not available. I suspect he was a dangerous left-arm opening bowler, from what Woolmer wrote. I think he was a tight SLA but expensive when he bowled his wrist-spinners, perhaps buying wickets. With Imran you get a competent Test batsman, and the best ever fast bowler from Asia. There have been here very few better than him anywhere, ever. Perhaps only Marshall. As skipper he turned a shambles into a war machine.

    Im going to talk about Kallis too. Stastistically he is the best player ever, though stats are the beginning of wisdom, not the end. He may have been the best ever slip catcher. He was a competent fourth seamer and an anchor with the bat. Some say he bailed out when the pressure was on, but there were many other times when he stood up. In a team with a weaker bowling attack I think he could have been an opening bowler who took 400 Test wickets and batted at #6, scoring fewer aggregate runs but faster. He was the ultimate utility player and SA were lucky to have him for so long.


    PakPassion.net : Is it about time that Asians living in the UK start to pass the Tebbit Test?

    Robert : I quite liked the old Chingford Skinhead (Tebbit), but in my view his criterion for national identity is too simplistic. My Dad always shouted for Ireland when they played England at football and rugby. But he shouted for England when they played anyone else! I would like to see British Pakistanis getting behind England in matches not involving Pakistan.

    Of course, to do that they have to feel part of this country. Its the second- and third-generation syndrome. My wife tells me that her peer-group of British Caribbeans went through this phase. Their parents were more British than the white Britons in some ways, but the children did not feel that connection. There was mass violence in protest at their treatment by Police and Government, but they found self-expression in new types of music they developed. Most people love music and the new influences became woven into British culture. Some British Pakistanis seem disconnected and take refuge in political forms of Islam, to gain the narrative they need for their lives to make sense. I dont know how that will shake out in the decades ahead, but Im hopeful that we can all pull together. Love is the answer to fear.


    PakPassion.net : If you had the choice, would you have kept Kevin Pietersen in the team?

    Robert : This saddens me even now. I reckon England would have won in UAE if hed been there. I think hes a complex man who needs to feel a lot of love from those around him. England didnt give him that love, at least not in a way he could understand. He managed to alienate a lot of people, including Cook who had pushed to get him back in the side. As @Junaids says it might have worked out better for him with a direct sergeant-major type bloke like Alec Stewart as supremo, who would have given him a rollicking at times and a cuddle at others. There is a very close parallel with Gower England lost the last quarters of the careers of the best batters of two generations.


    PakPassion.net : Favorite Pakistani cricketer (current)?

    Robert : Amir. He was very exciting to watch in 2010 he was better than Wasim was at his age. The real deal - truly remarkable ability.


    PakPassion.net : Can you share your memories of televised English domestic cricket in the 1980s when there were more stars than in the IPL?

    Robert : There were plenty of stars around in the eighties you could watch a match on BBC and see Botham facing Garner or Hadlee. I remember Somerset vs Middlesex where Botham was on 96*, scores level with six balls left. Somerset had lost one wicket less and would win if no more runs were scored. Gatting brought a spinner on to try to tempt him to hole out, thinking Botham would go for the hundred, but he patted six balls back and thereby won the match.

    When I was at Bradford Uni I would walk to the Park Avenue ground near halls of residence and watched Kapil Dev bowling at Geoff Boycott one time.


    PakPassion.net : Imran Khan v Mike Procter v Richard Hadlee v Clive Rice v Tony Greig v Ian Botham?

    Robert : Botham was the best cricketer in the world from 1977-82. The best batter of the four Test all-rounders, and by far the best catcher as good a slip-fielder as Ive seen, he caught everything and would make incredible leaps in front of the other slips. Early on he was an excellent fast-medium swing bowler who moved it both ways and could bowl sharp surprise bouncers he got a lot of guys out playing the hook. Unfortunately he picked up various niggling injuries which reduced his effectiveness. He should have really worked on his batting and become a Test number 4, but that declined too. In the end they were picking him more in hope than expectation. He played 20 tests too many and that messed up his figures. Also he tried to larrup the Windies pace quartet and that rarely worked he should have occupied the crease and ground it out like Imran. He had some bad luck in that he was made skipper for ten Tests in a row against the Windies at their summit, and he had a rather poor bowling attack missing Willis and Lever. Though I remember his eight-fer at Lords in 1984 he was running in so fast followed up by a blazing 80, hitting Marshall and Garner to all parts. Basically he relied on huge natural ability and didnt work hard enough to do his vast ability justice.

    Hadlee and Imran were the best bowlers, as good as anyone who ever played, perhaps behind Marshall only. Hadlee modelled himself on Lillee and had the lot movement both ways, pace changes, lifters, yorkers. He bowled four stock leg-cutters per over then mixed it up with the other two balls. Imran was more of a bulldozer with his sheer speed and enormous inswing, so good to watch with that huge leap in his delivery stride. Lillee taught him the leg-cutter when they played in World Series Cricket and he got even more formidable. Hadlee was a good late-order batter who could score fast fifties, but Imran was a proper Test batsman. He was usually quite slow but clutch, digging Pakistan out of holes while making sure that the tail didnt get blown away. Only six Test hundreds probably didnt do justice to his batting skill. He was the best Test skipper after Lloyd retired no great tactician but he had a really good eye for players who had the mental aptitudes to succeed in Tests, and he kept his excitable young teams calm under pressure. Hed be in my all-time first eleven, batting at eight below Sobers and Gilchrist.

    In some ways Kapil was the most exciting because he was so unpredictable and scored so fast, quite a lot faster even than Botham. His figures with the ball should have been better but he was usually the lone gun in a weak Indian attack, and again he carried on far too long because India wanted him to pass Hadlees wicket record, and kept picking him despite a decline in his bowling.

    Rice might have been the best of the lot if not for his back problems certainly the most capable batter, and properly fast before his injury. After that he bowled medium pace. I used to like watching him skipper Notts, he seemed to know just how to pace his innings, was crafty with his bowling changes and of course had Hadlee to get him five wickets on the Trent Bridge greentop. I remember the televised all-rounder competition in 1984 Rice, Botham, Imran, Hadlee, Kapil and Marshall, which Rice won rather easily.

    I never saw Proctor. I understand that he bowled off the wrong foot and was lethally fast and hostile. He certainly busted up the Aussies in one Test series. So sad that he lost most of his career to the South Africa ban.


    PakPassion.net : Favorite commentator of all-time?

    Robert : I never heard Arlott. I grew up listening to Johnners, CMJ, Trevor Bailey, Alan McGilvray, Tony Cozier, and the best of them all Richie Benaud. All gone now. I like Agnew. I like the Sky boys Bumble for his humour, Nasser for his steely incisiveness, Mikey for his calm consideration.


    PakPassion.net : Do you think Pakistan will give competition to England this summer?

    Robert : I think England will win because of their more stable batting and strong bowling but the Pakistan attack is good enough to win a Test, or maybe more than one if there are some dry wickets for Yasir. Some County groundsman might make a dustbowl it has happened before, such as that Bunsen served up for Murali. He got 15 wickets in the match and Sri Lanka won by an innings.


    PakPassion.net : Thoughts on Misbah-Ul-Haq?

    Robert : Hes done a good job as skipper, calm on the field and getting clutch runs like Imran did. Hes done well to pull the side together after the 2010 fiasco. Staying Pakistan skipper seems a pretty tough task to me, so he must be a capable guy.


    PakPassion.net : Who should succeed Alastair Cook as captain of England? Would giving Joe Root the responsibility over-burden him?

    Robert : Some England batsmen have lost consistency when given the armband. Vaughan was the classic example, and to a lesser extent Strauss and Cook. Bothams game went to pieces. Willis went into deep trance and forgot to set fields. But Gooch got better. I hope Root will go the Gooch way and start to convert more of those fifties into centuries. He seems a happy bloke and the current coaching structure seems to have taken the pressure off Cook.


    PakPassion.net : Favorite posters on the forums?

    Robert : Anyone who challenges my views in a polite way, while prepared to listen to, reason and modify his position. Among others: @Junaids, @James, @Thivagar, @nish_mate, @Yossarian, @Gabbar Singh, @godzilla, and @Markhor who has perhaps the most clarity of thought of all.
    @Jadz for her anodyne wisdom.


    PakPassion.net : Why have the English soccer team been underachievers?

    Robert : Firstly because the World Cup usually happens right after the English season, so our top guys are fatigued and carrying niggling injuries. Secondly, because they do not seem to play with the passion that they do for their clubs for some reason. Thirdly, because our top guys are simply not that good, and often tactically inept at the highest level. The strength of the Premiership is the overseas players.


    PakPassion.net : Some of your hobbies?

    Robert : I ride my bicycle. Its a road bike with drop handlebars, but with relaxed geometry and 30mm tyres to soak up the bumps. I did a thousand miles on it last year, including charity rides in support of disabled Armed Forces veterans and cancer research. A highlight was being clapped into a Regimental HQ by soldiers in battledress I felt ten feet tall. It helps keep my weight down and protects my heart as I get older.

    I play electric bass to a reasonable standard. I get up on the bandstand at open-mic jazz nights and play Miles Davis and Duke Ellington numbers. I play walking bass, giving room to the other players while creating a structure for them to extemporate on, and sometimes the band leader nods to me and I get a sixteen-bar solo! This is a great joy for me, exhilarating. An eminent pianist told me I play well that was a nice moment. I try to improve through deepening knowledge of harmony, chord structures, scale theory. Music is a language notes are the words, chords and scales the grammar.


    PakPassion.net : Your opinions on Sadiq Khan? (Mayor of London)

    Robert : I am very pleased by Sadiqs success. He is the working class son of an immigrant who achieved so much - as solicitor, university lecturer, Cabinet Minister and now London Mayor. Hes the soft-left unity candidate Labour needs and would be a brilliant choice as Leader. I hope he can be a healing factor in our society assuaging Islamophobia, while giving more young British Muslims an example of how to succeed within the system and maybe improve it, rather than drift into radicalism.


    PakPassion.net : What has kept you on PakPassion for so long? (2007present)

    Robert : Somehow I have avoided being banned! Seriously, its a good place to talk about cricket and I have learned a lot from Time Pass.


    You're one microscopic cog in his catastrophic plan, designed and directed by his red right hand.

  2. #2
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    A good interview. You sound like a true gentleman.

  3. #3
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    Good interview

  4. #4
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    Enjoyable read, especially on the Tebbit Test question. Always a fair and balanced poster. Thanks for the shout-out too.

  5. #5
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    Loved reading this whole interview. Excellent poster


    Hard to get a handle on this double edged sword

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    Yes Bob, do you wear a wig? Just kidding. You don't have to answer that.

    Excellent answers. Really enjoyed reading it. Well done.


    Forgive when you are on top. Don't you want to be forgiven?

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    Excellent Interview. Good to know that his favourite Pakistani cricketer is Amir.


    Rule #1 Im always right
    Rule #2 If im wrong please look at rule #1

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by IslamabadUnited View Post
    Excellent Interview. Good to know that his favourite Pakistani cricketer is Amir.
    not many options to choose from - So...


    You're one microscopic cog in his catastrophic plan, designed and directed by his red right hand.

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    A fascinating read. Lots of interesting insight.

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    Good interview from a good poster.

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    Enjoyed reading his intelligent opinions.

  13. #12
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    PP is much richer with you on here uncle Rob.

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    Damn, knew he was an older lad, but didn't know he was that old. Had an older brother image of him, but now it's more like father like image.

    Good interview, nice, tolerant, and a cultured brit, three qualities that would suit anyone from any part of the world.

    Maybe when I come to Britain in about a year or so we'll have some fish and chips or something.

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    Must say I find it very very curious how your father was an Ulster Protestant Loyalist yet supported Ireland over England.


    See You Space Cowboy....

  16. #15
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    Fantastic interview. Loved every bit of it. Pleasure to read sir.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk


    "Don't get attached to anything you're not willing to walk out in 30 seconds" Neil McCauley, Heat

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    Proper dashing interview. Really interesting to see how far cricket has come from 1970s onwards

  18. #17
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    One of my favourite posters here. Always good to read his views.

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donal Cozzie View Post
    Must say I find it very very curious how your father was an Ulster Protestant Loyalist yet supported Ireland over England.
    He did marry a Catholic lady though, so it doesn't sound like he bled orange blood!

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    Amazing interview way too polite a poster, wonder if he became passive over the years.


    In cricket, my superhero is Sachin Tendulkar. He has always been my hero.
    -Virat Kohli

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    None of my questions were included..


  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donal Cozzie View Post
    Must say I find it very very curious how your father was an Ulster Protestant Loyalist yet supported Ireland over England.
    As I say - identity is complex! He considered me an Irishman too!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    He did marry a Catholic lady though, so it doesn't sound like he bled orange blood!
    Had the sash his father wore, though..... it's still in his old cupboard.

    She became a Proddy anyway.

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    @Robert sir great interview, i always thought you as a young person


    Eat, Sleep, Back The Team....Repeat!

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    @Robert is the champion.

    You're PP's asset and a very cultured man too.

    Do you often go to the stadiums to watch Test matches? Will you be there to watch Amir?

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    What a wonderful interview!

    I'd expand on his comments about England's failure in international football. It extends to Messi too.

    Too many games during a modern season, and no winter break.

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    Kudos Robert...very good read!

    Few more questions.

    1) Do you remember India's first away win against England in 1986? What was the reaction back home then? Was it more of "well England lost to a better team" or "It was a more of England losing rather than India winning".

    2) Was the pitch for the 1983 WC final biased against India (it was a green pitch) because India bad beaten England in the semi finals? What is your opinion?

    3) What made you to not quit supporting cricket when England was poor in the 90s?


    Win or lose - it is Team INDIA I choose...

  28. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by dani2k View Post
    Kudos Robert...very good read!

    Few more questions.

    1) Do you remember India's first away win against England in 1986? What was the reaction back home then? Was it more of "well England lost to a better team" or "It was a more of England losing rather than India winning".

    2) Was the pitch for the 1983 WC final biased against India (it was a green pitch) because India bad beaten England in the semi finals? What is your opinion?

    3) What made you to not quit supporting cricket when England was poor in the 90s?
    1. I was at the Lord's match in 1986. Under heavy cloud, Kapil knocked our top order over and England struggled. They had just got back from a 0-5 mauling in WI and some of them looked like they didn't want to play cricket any more! Poor Gooch seemed to be expecting 90 mph missiles and was through with his stroke before balls from Binny and Madan Lal got to him, so kept getting out lbw. The Indian batting line was definitely stronger than England's. England kept picking marginal players such as Slack and Athey instead of Broad. Gatting was on towering form IIRC - he was the only one who could have got into the Indian side that year.

    2. I doubt such chicanery took place. IIRC the Windies pace quartet was just too quick to exploit the movement available, whereas the Indian medium pacers were the right speed for it.

    3. I nearly gave up in 1989 after the Ashes apocalypse - it was 0-4 and would have been 0-6 but for the weather. But England kept having these mini new dawns such as 1995 when they held WI and 1998 when they beat SA. Fraser, Cork and Gough were all good bowlers when they could get on the field. England were much worse in the latter half of the 'eighties - the attack was usually powderpuff.

  29. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
    @Robert is the champion.

    You're PP's asset and a very cultured man too.

    Do you often go to the stadiums to watch Test matches? Will you be there to watch Amir?
    Not for a long while now. I used to go with my father, but he passed away. London test matches are stupidly expensive anyway. Thank you for the positive words.

  30. #29
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    Out of curiosity, Robert have you come across any folks who have seen both Bradman and some of the "modern" players ( Viv, Sachin etc.) play ??

  31. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrish View Post
    Out of curiosity, Robert have you come across any folks who have seen both Bradman and some of the "modern" players ( Viv, Sachin etc.) play ??
    Bradman is passing out of living memory now. You'll have to find a 95-year-old!

  32. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Bradman is passing out of living memory now. You'll have to find a 95-year-old!
    I remember you writing somewhere that you had conversations with people who saw him play.. That's why I was wondering

  33. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by dani2k View Post
    Kudos Robert...very good read!

    Few more questions.

    1) Do you remember India's first away win against England in 1986? What was the reaction back home then? Was it more of "well England lost to a better team" or "It was a more of England losing rather than India winning".

    2) Was the pitch for the 1983 WC final biased against India (it was a green pitch) because India bad beaten England in the semi finals? What is your opinion?

    3) What made you to not quit supporting cricket when England was poor in the 90s?
    Can I expand upon @Robert's answers to these questions?

    INDIA'S VICTORY IN ENGLAND, 1986
    Let's be honest here. @Robert is a sheer gentleman and he gave a rather diplomatic response to this question.

    But I will translate his diplomatic response into what he really meant, because I was there too!

    Nobody in the whole of England thought that England were beaten by a better team. We all knew the opposite - England had won a Test series in India just over a year earlier.

    No, the reality was that England lost to India - and would have lost to Cambodia or Burkina Faso - because they were still completely shell-shocked from the 5-0 Blackwash away to the West Indies just 6 weeks earlier.

    Mike Gatting's nose summed it all up.



    The batsmen and bowlers had lost all confidence by the time India arrived. And the imbecilic selectors had banned Ian Botham for non-cricketing reasons - the tabloid media had for the first time gone on the West Indies tour, and Botham was basically banned for his antics with Miss Barbados rather than the drug charges. And then they got Derek Pringle - a certified number 8 batsman - to bat at number 6.

    The actual truth is that England had a really good team at the time. They won the Ashes at home in 1985 and away in 1986-87 on a tour in which they also beat the West Indies and the powerful Pakistanis in ODI series.

    India just got lucky, playing England when they were out on their feet after a West Indian battering. And New Zealand enjoyed the same good fortune that summer.

    THE 1983 WORLD CUP FINAL PITCH
    It was a normal damp summer English wicket. The summer of 1983 was consistently grim.

    In reality, a greenish pitch favoured India massively over the West Indies by bringing their medium paced mediocrities a degree of menace. Sandhu and Madan Lal would have been toast on a modern ODI strip.

    WHY STAY LOYAL TO ENGLAND IN THE 1990s?
    England really weren't that bad. They tended to lose at home to Australia and Pakistan in Test series but beat or at least draw with everybody else at home.

    England fans only judge international cricket by Test results. Nothing else counts - we view the other forms of the game as inferior and meaningless. Our only terrible summer was 1999, but again, that was off the back of a terrible home World Cup campaign and was explainable as such.

  34. #33
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    Maybe a not too pertinent question on PP- but your favourite ale whilst watching cricket on a summer's day?

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    Excellent interview from one of my favorite non-pakistani posters.

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    What's the progress report on Tim Bresnan, the next Kapil Dev?

  37. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by freelance_cricketer View Post
    What's the progress report on Tim Bresnan, the next Kapil Dev?
    He is not carrying enough weight

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    Good interview.

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    @Robert

    Excellent interview. Agree with everything on the cricket players mentioned - Botham, Imran, Sobers, Hadlee, Kapil ....

    Liked your 5 players' list - though 1 'll not be there in my list. WG is understandable for a British man, but I'll pick Viv in place of him in my 5. I am also, very much borderline between Sobers & Wasim (not that I am comparing who is better - but I have seen best days of Wasim, & hardly few footage of Sir Gary).

    Regarding English football team, I think, most European leagues actually finishes in mid May these days. Only in EPL they play in the coldest part of the year for 2/3 weeks, but that actually shouldn't be any excuse for a tournament in June-July. Spain, Italy & France also has 20 teams league & because of the winter break, actually, their schedule is packed in Feb-April, more intense & stressful. FA plays 2 domestic KO Cups, unlike other major leagues, but FA Cup & League Cup is single league these days mostly; while in Spain, France, Germany & Italy, they play Cup ties double league from round 1. While European club qualifiers starts from August. Considering these, top players from major teams (including Latins), more or less are busy for 10 months & ~70 competitive club matches season.

    I think, the missing link in English football is that, players get too much money & attention at a very younger age, therefore the hunger is not there. EPL is all about money - FA is allowing owners to pour money & earn more in return; but the clubs youth program is very poor. English young players hardly get any game time at highest level, for which their skill doesn't develop after a certain level. Besides, most EPL clubs use English players more as a hard worker - almost every club use foreigners as the play maker or lead attacker. On players' part, I think in EPL, there are 7/8 clubs with large support base & 100+ years history & a financial muscle that has put about 11 or 12 EPL clubs among the richest 20 Soccer Clubs in world; therefore may be players are often happy to be their Club hero & filthy pay cheque. As long as "home grown" clause is there, English players 'll be over priced & paid like Terry, Rooney, Shaw, Carroll, Lallana, Sterling, Cole (s) or Walcot.

    Above all, compared to the financial muscle of FA, they are doing almost nothing for youth programs that France, Germany, Holland, Spain, Portugal, Italy or even now Russia is doing. Look at the French, Dutch, Spanish or German kids (not to mention Latins) - their fundamental skills & ball control is much better than English boys, who are mostly physical with speed & mass being their best asset - these kids can't compete at 23 with better skilled players, when both are full grown. For example, say the French kids - Varane, Coman, Ousmane, Pogba, Griezzman, Martial ....... comparing their skill & salary/price with Walcott, Shaw, Stone or Sterling; probably we can understand, which of these kids have better chances to win a EURO or WC between the age of 23 to 35.

  40. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by nish_mate View Post
    Maybe a not too pertinent question on PP- but your favourite ale whilst watching cricket on a summer's day?
    I like a lot of dark cask ales - by which I mean the product of small local breweries, rather than what comes out of those towering lager silos. Doom Bar is a good one, from Cornwall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    Can I expand upon @Robert's answers to these questions?

    No, the reality was that England lost to India - and would have lost to Cambodia or Burkina Faso - because they were still completely shell-shocked from the 5-0 Blackwash away to the West Indies just 6 weeks earlier.

    .
    Dont you think six weeks is enough for a bunch of sportsmen to recover from a set back? You are trivializing this like six days...

    Agree with you that on hindsight the 1983 WC final pitch favored the Indian seamers. But the English management would have expected otherwise. Kapil had said that when he saw the pitch for the first time he got so angry because there was thick grass on it - his point was that an ODI wicket esp for the final of a world event had to be fair to both batsman and bowlers. Ok being a bataman's game it could be 60 - 40 but still it had to be fair. In this case it wasn't.


    Win or lose - it is Team INDIA I choose...

  42. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    1. I was at the Lord's match in 1986. Under heavy cloud, Kapil knocked our top order over and England struggled. They had just got back from a 0-5 mauling in WI and some of them looked like they didn't want to play cricket any more! Poor Gooch seemed to be expecting 90 mph missiles and was through with his stroke before balls from Binny and Madan Lal got to him, so kept getting out lbw. The Indian batting line was definitely stronger than England's. England kept picking marginal players such as Slack and Athey instead of Broad. Gatting was on towering form IIRC - he was the only one who could have got into the Indian side that year.

    2. I doubt such chicanery took place. IIRC the Windies pace quartet was just too quick to exploit the movement available, whereas the Indian medium pacers were the right speed for it.

    3. I nearly gave up in 1989 after the Ashes apocalypse - it was 0-4 and would have been 0-6 but for the weather. But England kept having these mini new dawns such as 1995 when they held WI and 1998 when they beat SA. Fraser, Cork and Gough were all good bowlers when they could get on the field. England were much worse in the latter half of the 'eighties - the attack was usually powderpuff.
    Thank you Robert. Appreciate your views.


    Win or lose - it is Team INDIA I choose...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    Can I expand upon @Robert's answers to these questions?

    INDIA'S VICTORY IN ENGLAND, 1986
    Let's be honest here. @Robert is a sheer gentleman and he gave a rather diplomatic response to this question.

    But I will translate his diplomatic response into what he really meant, because I was there too!

    Nobody in the whole of England thought that England were beaten by a better team. We all knew the opposite - England had won a Test series in India just over a year earlier.

    No, the reality was that England lost to India - and would have lost to Cambodia or Burkina Faso - because they were still completely shell-shocked from the 5-0 Blackwash away to the West Indies just 6 weeks earlier.

    Mike Gatting's nose summed it all up.



    The batsmen and bowlers had lost all confidence by the time India arrived. And the imbecilic selectors had banned Ian Botham for non-cricketing reasons - the tabloid media had for the first time gone on the West Indies tour, and Botham was basically banned for his antics with Miss Barbados rather than the drug charges. And then they got Derek Pringle - a certified number 8 batsman - to bat at number 6.

    The actual truth is that England had a really good team at the time. They won the Ashes at home in 1985 and away in 1986-87 on a tour in which they also beat the West Indies and the powerful Pakistanis in ODI series.

    India just got lucky, playing England when they were out on their feet after a West Indian battering. And New Zealand enjoyed the same good fortune that summer.

    THE 1983 WORLD CUP FINAL PITCH
    It was a normal damp summer English wicket. The summer of 1983 was consistently grim.

    In reality, a greenish pitch favoured India massively over the West Indies by bringing their medium paced mediocrities a degree of menace. Sandhu and Madan Lal would have been toast on a modern ODI strip.

    WHY STAY LOYAL TO ENGLAND IN THE 1990s?
    England really weren't that bad. They tended to lose at home to Australia and Pakistan in Test series but beat or at least draw with everybody else at home.

    England fans only judge international cricket by Test results. Nothing else counts - we view the other forms of the game as inferior and meaningless. Our only terrible summer was 1999, but again, that was off the back of a terrible home World Cup campaign and was explainable as such.
    Yea Ofcourse all Indian victories are not due to any quality of the Indian team. Burkina Faso and Cambodia? Keep your biases out next time

  44. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    The actual truth is that England had a really good team at the time. They won the Ashes at home in 1985 and away in 1986-87 on a tour in which they also beat the West Indies and the powerful Pakistanis in ODI series.
    I argue that England would have lost the 1985 Ashes if Alderman, Rackemann, Hogg, Hughes and Yallop had been available to Australia.

    The 1984/5 India-England series was a triumph because the England team was so weak! No Gooch, Botham, Knott, Old, Emburey, Lever or Hendrick, and Chris Cowdrey at #6. But the team of 1986, though reinforced by Gooch played terribly and India were deserved winners. I remember the TMS Indian commentator - who was it now - saying "May the best team win!" and Johnners quipping - "No, I don't want the best team to win!"

  45. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    Can I expand upon @Robert's answers to these questions?

    INDIA'S VICTORY IN ENGLAND, 1986
    Let's be honest here. @Robert is a sheer gentleman and he gave a rather diplomatic response to this question.

    But I will translate his diplomatic response into what he really meant, because I was there too!

    Nobody in the whole of England thought that England were beaten by a better team. We all knew the opposite - England had won a Test series in India just over a year earlier.

    No, the reality was that England lost to India - and would have lost to Cambodia or Burkina Faso - because they were still completely shell-shocked from the 5-0 Blackwash away to the West Indies just 6 weeks earlier.

    Mike Gatting's nose summed it all up.



    The batsmen and bowlers had lost all confidence by the time India arrived. And the imbecilic selectors had banned Ian Botham for non-cricketing reasons - the tabloid media had for the first time gone on the West Indies tour, and Botham was basically banned for his antics with Miss Barbados rather than the drug charges. And then they got Derek Pringle - a certified number 8 batsman - to bat at number 6.

    The actual truth is that England had a really good team at the time. They won the Ashes at home in 1985 and away in 1986-87 on a tour in which they also beat the West Indies and the powerful Pakistanis in ODI series.

    India just got lucky, playing England when they were out on their feet after a West Indian battering. And New Zealand enjoyed the same good fortune that summer.

    THE 1983 WORLD CUP FINAL PITCH
    It was a normal damp summer English wicket. The summer of 1983 was consistently grim.

    In reality, a greenish pitch favoured India massively over the West Indies by bringing their medium paced mediocrities a degree of menace. Sandhu and Madan Lal would have been toast on a modern ODI strip.

    WHY STAY LOYAL TO ENGLAND IN THE 1990s?
    England really weren't that bad. They tended to lose at home to Australia and Pakistan in Test series but beat or at least draw with everybody else at home.

    England fans only judge international cricket by Test results. Nothing else counts - we view the other forms of the game as inferior and meaningless. Our only terrible summer was 1999, but again, that was off the back of a terrible home World Cup campaign and was explainable as such.
    Sure mate Sandhu and Madan Lal would have been toast on Modern Pitches, but then my mind goes to the first innings of the 83 final and a question comes on a pitch where Sandhu became a menance, why did the Windies quicks allow India to score 183, that too a quartret of

    Holding
    Marshall
    Roberts
    Garner

    That pitch that bowling attack, India should have been bundled out for under 50.

    But hey whatever floats your boat old chap.

  46. #45
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    But nish_mate, India deserved that victory. They were the first great specialist ODI side in 83-87!

  47. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    But nish_mate, India deserved that victory. They were the first great specialist ODI side in 83-87!
    Deserved? Lol even Pakistan deserved the 99 WC with the squad they had, but capitulated under pressure. Since when did derserving have any impact on the results?

  48. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by nish_mate View Post
    Sure mate Sandhu and Madan Lal would have been toast on Modern Pitches, but then my mind goes to the first innings of the 83 final and a question comes on a pitch where Sandhu became a menance, why did the Windies quicks allow India to score 183, that too a quartret of

    Holding
    Marshall
    Roberts
    Garner

    That pitch that bowling attack, India should have been bundled out for under 50.

    But hey whatever floats your boat old chap.
    I think there is merit in Robert's view that perhaps the west indian quicks were too fast to exploit movement where our guys bowled at a lesser pace and used the movement better. I am not an expert on fast bowling so I might be wrong

    But whatever it is Indian batsmen deserved credit to even make that score and though underdogs India did have a decent claim to the cup in 83. At the end of the day they had beaten the then invincible world champion west indian team 2-1 in three encounters in that world cup. Remember when they came to the cup they had won a grand total of 1 world cup game across the previous two editions. So to put up such a performance in 83 and cross the line was indeed champion stuff .

    They did repeat the champion act in 85 in Australia by winning the champions trophy proving that the world cup win was no flash in the pan.


    Win or lose - it is Team INDIA I choose...

  49. #48
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    That was a terrific Indian ODI team.

    The World Cup was early in the summer - like now - when damp conditions would aid the medium pacers.

    And Gavaskar, Srikkanth, Amarnath were really good batsmen too.

    I loved watching the 1983 Indians. A really great ODI team, and they proved it 18 months later in the ODI "World Championship of Cricket" in Australia.

  50. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    That was a terrific Indian ODI team.

    The World Cup was early in the summer - like now - when damp conditions would aid the medium pacers.

    And Gavaskar, Srikkanth, Amarnath were really good batsmen too.

    I loved watching the 1983 Indians. A really great ODI team, and they proved it 18 months later in the ODI "World Championship of Cricket" in Australia.
    You do have a point that between 83 and 87 we did have a goodODI team and apart from the occasional blip of being white washed at home by the Windies or beaten by Pakistan at home (which was the norm) we were quite decent in world championships (friends across the border would point the Australasia cup win by Pakistan - point taken as well )

    This was why there was great disappointment when we were swept out of the 87 WC at home by Gatting and go. England avenged their 83 SF loss to us in style! No one saw that coming - everyone was expecting an Indo Pak final at the Eden Gardens..


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  51. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by nish_mate View Post
    That pitch that bowling attack, India should have been bundled out for under 50
    They were too fast to exploit the conditions. The slower Marshall of 1988 would have been unplayable on it. Same thing At Headingly the year before - England went in with Willis, Dilley and Cowan who were too quick, while the Kiwis medium papers won the match.

  52. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    They were too fast to exploit the conditions. The slower Marshall of 1988 would have been unplayable on it. Same thing At Headingly the year before - England went in with Willis, Dilley and Cowan who were too quick, while the Kiwis medium papers won the match.
    How I wish the same theory repeated itself for our test tour of England in 2011 mate Praveen kumar and RP Singh to turn unplayable while we somehow negotiate Broad and Anderson. Alas! Not to be and what a thrashing it turned out to be! Even a 1-3 result would have been face saving but a blob was absolutely face palmish..


    Win or lose - it is Team INDIA I choose...

  53. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by dani2k View Post
    How I wish the same theory repeated itself for our test tour of England in 2011 mate Praveen kumar and RP Singh to turn unplayable while we somehow negotiate Broad and Anderson. Alas! Not to be and what a thrashing it turned out to be! Even a 1-3 result would have been face saving but a blob was absolutely face palmish..
    That Indian side didn't seem to want to be there. Apart from The Wall. A surprising result as the Indian FM array has often been effective in England, given moist air and some grass on the wicket. Even Bresnan was playing like Kapil.

  54. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    That Indian side didn't seem to want to be there. Apart from The Wall. A surprising result as the Indian FM array has often been effective in England, given moist air and some grass on the wicket. Even Bresnan was playing like Kapil.
    I know....I remember your thread likening him to the next Kapil and was genuinely annoyed . So what is the next Kapil upto these days?


    Win or lose - it is Team INDIA I choose...

  55. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by dani2k View Post
    How I wish the same theory repeated itself for our test tour of England in 2011 mate Praveen kumar and RP Singh to turn unplayable while we somehow negotiate Broad and Anderson. Alas! Not to be and what a thrashing it turned out to be! Even a 1-3 result would have been face saving but a blob was absolutely face palmish..
    That was a finished geriatric team taking on a relatively young team at the peak of its powers. The defeat was inevitable. The whitewash was a credit to the sustained ruthlessness and professionalism of that English side.

  56. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by street cricketer View Post
    That was a finished geriatric team taking on a relatively young team at the peak of its powers. The defeat was inevitable. The whitewash was a credit to the sustained ruthlessness and professionalism of that English side.
    True, England were undoubtedly the better team...but whatever could go wrong went wrong in that tour for us as well - Zak pulling off of the first day effectively meaning we played with 10 players only , Gambhir's concussion, Dravid being DRSed repeatedly (some were freak decisions), Viru being flown in only to get a king pair, Dhoni recalling Ian Bell - it was getting to a point where it was becoming funny even for an Indian supporter.

    And on top Broad chose to turn around his career at the wrong time for us..he was phenomenal mostly with the ball but sometimes with the bat too! Not to forget people like Cook and Bresnan who mercilessly flogged us into submission..lol.


    Win or lose - it is Team INDIA I choose...

  57. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by dani2k View Post
    I know....I remember your thread likening him to the next Kapil and was genuinely annoyed . So what is the next Kapil upto these days?
    The New Kapil is still playing for Yorkshire, and was a key element in their Championship win last season.

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    Good read. Nice to know a bit more about the posters. Thanks Robert.

    Let's not talk about the 2011 tour, blew $5000 to come and watch a pot-bellied RP Singh open the bowling for India. Zaheer's injury really hurt us, but the batsmen had no excuse. Still, at least I got to see Dravid carry his bat and then walk out to open! And Tendy almost got his 100th 100 @ kennington so, not the worst trip...

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