A brave new era for English cricket?

Andrew Strauss captained England to an emphatic win over the West Indies

Andrew Strauss captained England to an emphatic win over the West Indies

THIS WEEK’S Coventry Conversations media lecture series will discuss all matters cricket related, with two of the most knowledgeable figures associated with the West Indies sport joining forces to debate issues ranging from England’s recent Test Match success (see below), the state of West Indian Cricket, and the English Cricket Board (ECB) accepting the money of cricket entrepreneur and alleged fraudster, Sir Allen Stanford.

Clem Seecheran is Professor of Caribbean History and Head of Caribbean Studies, London Metropolitan University, and will be joined by David Dabydeen, a Guyanese-born critic, writer and novelist, who is the director of the Centre for Caribbean Studies and currently a Professor at the Centre for British Comparative Cultural Studies at Warwick University.  ‘Cricket writing and the Caribbean’ will be discussed on Thursday, 14th May, at 1pm in the Ellen Terry building, ETG34.

  • England’s recent Test Match Special victory over the West Indies

 

THE BEGINNING of a bright new dawn, or yet another flicker of misguided optimism and hope? They are the two questions England cricket fans are currently weighing up in their minds, after Andrew Strauss’ new-look side ruthlessly crushed a shambolic West Indies inside three days at Lords, writes Iain Green.

Ravi Bopara excelled in England’s consistently problematic number three position, closing the door slightly on Warwickshire’s Ian Bell, Owais Shah and former skipper Michael Vaughan, while the jury is still very much out on Tim Bresnan, who looks like likely to lose his place to Andrew Flintoff on his return from injury.

But England’s main find, who was hand-picked by the newly-appointed coach Andy Flower, is undoubtedly Graham Onions, who, on his test debut, was mustard. The swing bowlers’ five wicket haul in the first innings was the catalyst for a superb England display; and all this from a man who was dropped from Durham’s team at the end of last season on their way to securing the County Championship.

However, there are still questions to be answered despite England’s encouraging ten-wicket win following the ‘Calypso Callapso’ that is becoming such a prominent feature within West Indian cricket away from home.  Alistair Cook, despite his decent scores, has an evident technical problem that sees his head continually ‘fall over’ when attempting to play forward, Kevin Pietersen, is still at odds with both his own game and the ECB, and the aforementioned Flintoff is now injured as often as he is fit.

All of the above should please Australia heading into the Ashes summer, with their own new breed such as Phil Hughes, Marcus North and Ben Hilfenhaus suddenly finding their feet and sparking into life; demolishing South Africa on their home soil in the process.

As ECB director Hugh Morris said this week, “the test will be how these new players adapt to problems, rather than simply taking wickets.” This in itself is a plausible statement. But factor in the fact that in a crisis, the selectors often revert to the ‘old-guard,’ and you begin to question whether or not Morris’ statement refers to the players in question, or the selection committee itself.  Maybe we will get a good indication as the summer progresses…

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