Friday, January 16, 2009


“Anyone looking at the situation rationally would realise even a Don Bradman figure couldn’t win an election against Giles now”

(Andy Nash – Chairman, Somerset CCC, speaking about the upcoming election for ECB Chairman.)

Let's leave aside the sheer sycophancy on display here - a level of obsequiousness that would make even Prince 'Sooty' blush.

Let's also ignore the fact that, based on simple statistics, Don Bradman is one of the greatest sportsmen of all time, and the greatest batsmen in history.

No - let's compare their records as cricket administrators - only fair really, because as far as I know Giles Clarke has never even played first class cricket.

Bradman was widely recognised as a positive force for attractive cricket during his term as an Australian selector. (Link) According to Jack Fingleton in his book 'the Greatest Test of All' it was Bradman who persuaded Richie Benaud to go for the runs on the last day of the first test against West Indies in 1960 - thus prompting the first ever tied test match. (At the time of their conversation, Australia were 92-6 chasing 233 to win...)

Later in his administrative career, Bradman won the respect of many in cricket for his work in reconciling the two sides of the Packer controversy.

Even better than that though, is his successful campaign after the 1958/59 Ashes tour, to eradicate 'chucking' from the game - well, for at least thirty five years anyway...

As for Clarke, two images keep coming into my head. First - the sight of England players wives lapdancing for Sir Allen Stanford in Antigua. Second - the newly deposed England captain, who made the mistake of assuming that the contents of a private discussion with the Chairman of the ECB would remain confidential, walking back through Heathrow Airport with an armed guard.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Don was also influential in Australian cricket cutting sporting ties with Apartheid South Africa.