What blew down the ECB House of Cards? KP – the autobiography reviewed

Article written by on October 10th, 2014

So what blew down the ECB House of Cards in the end? Was it Mitchell Johnson running in with the Fremantle Doctor behind him? Or was it KP, ace or knave, the man who never quite fitted into any suit? I called a spade a spade he writes but I was never part of the club. The man with the diamond earring whose pack questioned if his heart was in the right place.

Pietersen, in his expertly ghosted new book, talks extensively about his sense of being “outside cricket”. Maybe this is the reason that is has been left to others “outside cricket” to ask the kind of questions of the ECB that those inside it seem unwilling or unable to do. The book reads sometimes as a constant battle, personal and cultural, with people who just don’t get him. As Pietersen himself admits, the fault is not one-sided. He didn’t fit the mould of a traditional England test cricketer and had no time for the performance-management culture so beloved of Andy Flower. When the ECB used him and Andrew Flintoff as poster boys to attract new audiences in 2005, he argues that the arrangement would only ever work as long as his performances didn’t dip. Once they did he expected to be cut off.

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The mysterious case of the possibly-tampered-with non-dossier

Article written by on October 9th, 2014

KP: “I’ve read there is a ‘dossier’, a four-page document that lists my crimes in Australia … The problem is, it doesn’t actually exist

When in the week that Kevin Pietersen was doing media interviews to promote his book, and extracts were being published in the Daily Telegraph, the “dossier” finally appeared no-one was very surprised. As Pietersen made clear in his book, the standard ECB tactic used against him over the years was to leak confidential information to privileged journalists. The Daily Mail had been posting hints as to what we might find in there all week.

On Cricinfo, UK Editor David Hopps wrote the following:

ESPNcricinfo is in possession of a legal document that provides a clear insight into the ECB state of mind as it contends with the fallout from the end of Kevin Pietersen’s England career.”

After a correction from the ECB the article was amended to say that,

The ECB confirmed the document was part of the Pietersen analysis, but stated: “It is simply part of a privileged legal document, produced by the ECB’s lawyers compiling information as part of the ECB’s internal due diligence ahead of the release of the Kevin Pietersen book.

The date on the dossier is 22nd September 2014 which supports the assertion that it was only drawn up recently in preparation for the expiration of the confidentiality clause and the book release. No-one is denying that dossier was leaked but there now seems to be some controversy over who leaked it.

On 9 October David Hopps posted the following on twitter, then promptly deleted it:

“@DavidKHopps: Will the media please wake up to the fact that ECB did not leak the KP document”

When I questioned this and queried who else could have leaked it I was told that:

“@DavidKHopps: There are millions of possibilities. You are leaping to conclusions with no evidence. That’s all I am saying.”

This seemed a surprisingly strong response from the person who had written the story. There was also the question of why if this point was so important he had promptly deleted his own tweet.

As Geoffrey Boycott has observed in an article today, there is an information vacuum here. I personally can’t see who could have leaked the document other than the ECB or the lawyers involved and I respect Cricinfo’s right to protect their source but this does feel like another rather extraordinary episode in the KP saga.

Does it matter if it wasn’t the ECB who leaked the story? Well, the main criticism was of the pettiness and ridiculousness of what they have admitted to be a genuine document so not really. It reflects slightly better on them in PR terms but the fact that both the Daily Mail and Cricinfo had this information suggests that if the ECB didn’t leak it they ought to be finding out who did. We are of course regularly assured that the ECB doesn’t leak. Nor does the government.

I just find it curious the over-reaction from David Hopps and the accusation of “wild theories” and “bad journalism”. He has done an excellent job on the story so far and I am still confused as to why the original tweet was deleted.

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KP – dispelling the myths

Article written by on October 8th, 2014

My, my, the establishment is out for traitor’s blood. The anger inherent in every KP discussion seems to stem in large part from the insistence of #TeamECB that none of his complaints are valid and that his own actions are beyond the pale.

Take this quote from Peter Oborne, writing in the Spectator today:

Pietersen’s story is already starting to fall apart. Fellow players like Graeme Swann say his account is ‘fiction’. The claim of dressing room rivalry in Australia has been undermined by the revelation that after the first Test last November Pietersen said that ‘this is the best England dressing room environment I have ever experienced’.

The claims about bullying have not been sustained, while giant question marks surround Pietersen’s own treatment of junior players, including James Taylor and Michael Carberry.

The utter determination to dismiss the “bullying” story despite corroboration now from Chris Tremlett, Ajmal Shazhad, Jonathan Trott, Jonathan Agnew and even Ricky Ponting suggests that the only fiction is coming from those who remain in denial.

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Don Bradman Cricket 14 gets new update on Consoles

Article written by on September 17th, 2014

Users who have been following the progress of Don Bradman Cricket 14 on the PC version might have been feeling a bit left out of late, but that’s about to change with a bug fixing and gameplay tweaking update for the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game being made available today.

While this patch doesn’t get the ‘Patch 3′ designator, and as such does not yet include features like co-op play that are planned for that future update; it does have some worthwhile improvements that make the game much more enjoyable to play. My personal favourite change is to the stump physics – which has the stumps uprooting themselves more often while bowling, which makes getting a wicket that much more satisfying.

Plus, the patch fixes some bugs that many users were facing, including fielders that walked to the ball and a bug where appealing led to the game freezing up.

Full change-log follows,

Bug Fixes
– Fix for C&B being shown in Wicket HUD when not caught by bowler.
– Fix for an instance of “Umpire’s Call” giving wrong decision.
– Fix for fielders sometimes walking to the ball when fielding.
– Fix for Appeals Causing a non-responsive state

– Tuning of physics relating to trajectory off bat with good timing.
– Tuning desire to run of striking batsman if player is non-striker in Career.
– Tuning of bowler speed differential.
– Tuning of edge chance on defensive shots.
– Tuning of ground friction in field.
– Tuning of physics with relation to edges.
– Ball carries to slips fielders more often.
– Tuning of Stump Physics.

– Career difficulty will only go up for appearances at International Level.
– Added Toggle for Transparent Batsman to D-Pad DOWN.
– Added Toggle for Transparent Wicket Keeper to D-Pad UP.

The patch will be rolling out shortly on consoles, and that batsman transparency toggle feature would be a good way of being able to know that you’ve got the update – which is usually a process of just starting the game while your console is connected to the internet and waiting for a prompt to install the patch.

People playing the Steam version of the game on PC will already have this patch and don’t need to do anything to get it.



International Cricket Captain 2014 releases August 9th

Article written by on August 6th, 2014

International Cricket Captain is nearing release of their edition for 2014, with the game getting a much needed interface overhaul as one of its main features, along with improvements to the match engine and updates to the player database – as is traditional in the yearly releases. The game is being distributed via Steam for the first time, which I certainly appreciate. While there isn’t any pricing information at this stage, the game is scheduled for release on the 9th for Windows PCs.



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