Anorak News | No Excuses

No Excuses

by | 4th, September 2003

‘MARK Butcher is heard by the Telegraph saying that there can be no excuses should England fail to beat South Africa at The Oval in the fifth and final Test of the summer series.

England can’t even catch a cold

“This game will come down to 11 men on the field,” says the Surrey batsman. “The rest is peripheral.”

The “rest” is the state of the county game, the confidence at the heart of the team and just about anything that can be trotted out in the aftermath of an English defeat.

And already Lord MacLaurin, the former chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, is talking about restructuring the domestic scene.

He says that the number of top counties should be reduced from 18 to 12, a move that would result in the loss of more than 100 professional cricketers.

Perhaps this would work well, and a more streamlined league, as in Australia, will help the sport internationally.

It’s just a shame that the good Lord didn’t champion such ideas during his six-year tenure as the top nob in English and Welsh cricket.

If he did mention such changes, he did so in a whisper.

Meanwhile, England’s footballers are still gearing up for their Euro 2004 qualifier in Macedonia this Saturday.

And the big news is that Frank Lampard is really up for it. How the Macedonians must fear the Chelsea player.

But while the Guardian watches Frank get into shape, the Times was in Barcelona last night, watching the Catalans take on Seville in an ill-tempered match.

The key thing about this game is that it kicked off around midnight, a schedule that did not prevent 80,000 fans from attending.

The added allure of 100,000 free Kit Kats and bowls of gazpacho soup were in evidence. As were the matchsticks used to prop tired eyes open.’

Posted: 4th, September 2003 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink