Thursday, 8 January 2009

Maestro Boycott Speaks:

Here, in the Daily Telegraph. I have to say that there is a consistent anti-Moores bias emerging here. The paper broke the story, Scyld Berry was for Pietersen, and now Boycott, a hero round here for his near-sabermetric understanding of the game on the field, comes out with a few choice anti-Moores comments.

It has to be said that the EWCB emerges with very little credit from all of this. They seem to have chosen Moores rather hurriedly - he was a pal of Hugh Morris, the managing director - then chose as captain a man who clearly didn't have much faith in Moores, but who fit a different criterion, unifying the captaincy of both the Test and One-Day sides. Then, the EWCB's man, Moores, gets summarily dumped when it gets a bit hot for the EWCB. If a Test side's quality is revealed from the top, no wonder England are in a bit of a downward spiral at the moment, since the board running the show seems to lack grit.

Living in England as I did for so many years, I did find that a chronic problem was what I call 'isolated decision-making'. This is the sense that you narrow a question down to its absolute core, applying Ockham's razor (and what country did that come from?). The board identified a problem in having separate captaincies, and solved it by selecting the player most likely to keep his place in both sides. Unfortunately, this isn't my preferred method of 'consequential decision-making' - the first decision is the crucial one, and all subsequent decisions must take this into account. After selecting Moores, the ability to work with Moores became a significant factor. As long as Pietersen can't work easily with Moores, better to live with the separate captaincies problem. It's something you learn from studying military history: lay down your logistics network first, then the conduct of operations fits into that template.

Maybe it's a bit early to believe the Australians are taking much interest in this at all. A scan of one paper shows they're busy patting themselves on the back for an excellent Test series. The English are obsessed with the Ashes, when they can't even get past the likes of India, South Africa and Sri Lanka. It's back to Ockham's razor - what's essential is beating Australia. But if I were an England commentator, I'd be more worried about what's going to happen in the West Indies.

1 comment:

  1. Really enjoying this blog so far, can you tell us more about Boycott's sabermetric credentials?