7 May 2007

The Schofield Report

There is an epidemic of enquiries and reports across all publicly accountable organisations these days, whether it be government or, in this case, the ECB. Clearly there was a requirement to look into what happened in Australia and the Caribbean, as is the case after all tours whether they be successful or otherwise, but is it just Cricket Burble that thinks there are too many people contributing?

The list of authors are a list of ex England cricketers and Ken Schofield himself, who was Executive Director of the European Golf Tour for 30 years. The full list of these ex-players compiling the report are: Nasser Hussain, Nick Knight, Angus Fraser, Hugh Morris, Micky Stewart and Brian Rose. Cricket Burble would be very interested to hear how they are going about their task, because seven heads is surely too many to collate a report like this? And why the list of 6 ex-England cricketers - playing cricket doesn't necessarily mean that you are in the best position to evaluate the backroom processes of an international cricket team - in fact, some like Hussain, are too close to Fletcher and some of the players to be truly objective, even if it is only on an unconscious level.

If you take Hussain in particular, he went very public in his autobiography about his huge admiration for Fletcher - while he would certainly be able to put this to the back of his mind, he must be able to admit he's not the best man for this job. Interestingly the report is meant to be delving into the team's affairs over the last 4 years - one wonders what has happened to the previous tour reports that must have been compiled. And have you noticed the significance of the dates involved - Hussain was still playing at the start of the 4 year period he's looking into. Hussain's decision to take up the ECB's request to play a part in the report seems all the more odd because of his quite correct publicly stated objections to "jobs for the boys". He outlines in his book just why he feels so many counties are poorly run - because they are run by ex-cricketers rather than businessmen.

When Greg Chappell resigned as coach of the Indian team he allegedly declined to give in his post World Cup report that was expected of him and the BCCI didn't push him for it. Duncan Fletcher's ECB legacy it appears, is out of his hands too, although the decision wasn't of his making. Let's hope that Schofield and his ECB assembled group of ex-international cricket players, can come up with a report that really drives English cricket forward, rather than digs knives in to various backs. If they do, they at least will have proven that they perhaps were right for the job of writing the report, even if there are too many of them.

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