Comments for en-gb 30 Tue 28 Jul 2015 08:40:07 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at Spin_King_05 It's pathetic to compare Clinton and Blair to Mandela. Clinton and Blair are the typical slimey, masters of spin. Of course all fools fall for people like them. Mandela is a man of substance. He was never a slimey character. About Stanford being like Clinton and Blair: Sure, it is easy to imagine. But, please leave Mandela out of it. Tue 04 Nov 2008 01:49:31 GMT+1 normanag The Romans had circuses, gladiators, chariots. The poor underpriviliged 'masses' were given these displays to keep them somewhat contented. Today we are in the same boat. Instant gratification - even instant coffee. Our span of attention gets shorter by the day. Reading books is tricky. Watching a five-day cricket match must also be getting tricky compared with what is on offer now. I watched the Australian touring team of 1948 with Bradman & Co. I was 16. I kept the scorecard of every ball. Maybe age gets to you after a while. Somehow with this kind of entertainment we have lost something as we are indeed daily losing other essential qualities about this 'sceptred isle' in so many ways. Mon 03 Nov 2008 09:15:06 GMT+1 2 of 3 wbc5380. You mean Antigua and Barbuda, not Barbados.Personally, I prefer test cricket over 20-20. I find 20-20 had to watch. But unfortunately we live in an age where everything is instant. Most people prefer a 3 minute pop song over a 25 minute symphony.James Bond over shakespeareA 90 minute football match over a 5 days cricket match.Fewer people want subtleties, nuance and a technical battle. 20-20 appeases these people. It's not taken people away from test cricket. The people who watch solely 20-20 were never going to watch test cricket anyway.It's adding a new audience. What can we do about it? The traditional cricket audience is shrinking; but not because of 20-20. Sun 02 Nov 2008 12:44:21 GMT+1 BeeNign "they make you feel you are the only important person in the room."It is sad that you feel you need some kind of validation from rich playboys and public figures in this way. Sadder still that you think we should all buy into it. Sun 02 Nov 2008 12:36:54 GMT+1 wbc5380 Sir Allen and his charm offensive clearly has the Islands well-being at his heart (he is the second biggest employer in Antigua and Barbados, holds dual nationality and is the first American knighted in the Islands)I also acknowledge sport moves and changes. Tony Grieg illustrated rightly that the Packer series brought cricket kicking and screaming into the modern era, but is this circus really about motivating and improving development in the sport or an effort to 'baseballise' cricket laying foundations for the US market by the stroke of a pen in a cheque book. Black bats, dug outs, coloured kit, day nighters, bank rolled by a billionaire Texan. It sounds like a soap opera! OK, we have some of this now, but Stanford has taken this to a new level. We are not just watching the excitingly and hopelessly pathetically named Hampshire Hawks, Essex Eagles et alia play, but the 'Superstars' vying for payment beyond the level of gluttony.Regarding Stanford's manner with people...Every good PR savvy businessman, politician or speaker knows how key it is to engage with people and audiences - good target research and well judged charm is obvious. In all sorts of industries we meet people with those skills every day...What is truly important is how much sincerity and empathy are behind these words. He is obviously media, brand and attention hungry (his picture on team sheets next to captains, rights to enter dressing rooms, photos with girls on his lap (whoever they be!)). His apparent closeness to the players - "I spoke to Matt [Prior]". Is this the conduct of a man committed to youth development rather than personal development? Maybe it is, but he is woefully naive?Monetary input is welcomed into all sports at grassroots, but I do question whether the ECB have got into bed with the right man so to speak, and they are now paying the price of sullying cricket's traditionally noble image with the greenback to assuage IPL pressure for English players.Lets not send cricket down the same route as an NBA, Superbowl, World Series. True patient and talented test cricketers are delicate prizes now, as focus shifts, understandably for players, to the shorter 'more exciting game' with money and media bling available in it's wake. We may risk footballising cricket, encouraging primadonnas after ferraris and diamond rolexes...As for Nelson Mandella (a stoical and self depracating man), I don't think he has self promoted himself in such a vulgar way, but will nevertheless be wishing England luck tonight. Sat 01 Nov 2008 20:54:17 GMT+1 renrutmit people like Stanford should not be allowed near our national team, he and the ECB are complicit in devaluing what it means to be handed the honour of playing for your country, and reducing it to no more than a side show albeit a well paid one. Where will it end, playing a saturday afternoon match for some rich billionare on the lawns of his mansion?? Sat 01 Nov 2008 04:44:19 GMT+1 Sparkle shivfan, let's hope you get your wish and South Africa sell their souls next year. Fri 31 Oct 2008 23:04:14 GMT+1 dawse123 The truth of this article is that it contains nothing of interest and provides no insight.Insightful comment gives personalised views within a context of balanced opinion. Thus designed to encourage debate.The only debate I can think of is "how on earth can this blog come from the BBC's cheif sport's editor?". Comparing Stamford to Mandela is not only crass but potentially offensive to those to all those that see Nelson as a hero and role model.Back to basics BBC, let's have some real journalism please! Fri 31 Oct 2008 19:06:46 GMT+1 Alex Gubbay - BBC News #18 - the reason we haven't added Stanford quotes in text form is that not just that we have added Mihir's interview in full in video form, but also done a comprehensive separate story based on it here: Fri 31 Oct 2008 17:03:16 GMT+1 fjsm33 Floridajani - sorry, but it IS sport, whichever way you look at it, however, I agree on the whole with what you say, it's concentrated sport for the mob who want their entertainment to be untaxing and cheap 24/7/52.The sad thing is that it cannot NOT have an effect upon test cricket, and as with most things these days, the form of the game that takes the greater level of understanding, patience, poise, elegance, grace, tactics and skill is not what the "x" generation wants - it's "boring" to most people, compared to (for example) a James Bond film with 9 billion pounds worth of special effects and explosions crammed into every 3 seconds of screen time. It would be nice if we could simply say "let the masses have their entertainment and we'll continue to enjoy the purer form", but I seriously worry that they will struggle to co-exist. Afterall, there are not many Kevin Petersens to go around, and he only has the same amount of time as the rest of us, in which he has to make his career decisions. Sadly, I think the "entertainment" industry will eventually sap ALL of the time the top cricketers have to give, and test cricket will become a second teir game, for those who cannot make the cut as entertainers. Fri 31 Oct 2008 16:52:35 GMT+1 Romajani First there was convetional cricket 3/5 days of wonderful summer pasttime.Then arrived one day 60/55/50/40 over games played under conventioanal terms (not rules). Then we had pyjamas introduced and still the game had not lost its traditional mode completely.Now arrives the instant gratification version of 20/20. This is a completely different mutation of the original. I dont really mind it but to call it cricket is to give it credence it does not deserve. It is a theatrical perversion of a great game in an American fashion. It is an evening TV pasttime like the rest of American "sport". Entertainment for entertainment's sake with LOADS O' MONEY. So lets treat it as such and enjoy it for what it is but lets not call it sport. In the same league as darts, snooker etc. Fri 31 Oct 2008 14:50:45 GMT+1 cubancricket Perhaps the British press is worried Stanford will Americanise cricket; some might say this is already the case with advent of 20-20. However, 20-20 still retains a lot of British charm than american vulgarity we are used to.but i do think stanford's heart is in the right place in that he genuinely cares about the game and wants to get a foothold in AMerica. He has done apretty good job in Colarado with his experiemnet and has managed to get Sunday's game on US terestrial TV. Fri 31 Oct 2008 14:50:09 GMT+1 cubancricket Lets treat 20-20 cricket for what it is - which is entertainment. Its not a stage where brilliant cricketers will necessarily excel even though Glenn McGrath was his usual miserly self in the last IPL, Shane Warne was brilliant in leading the Rajastan Royals, Hayden was prolific before going back to Australia. However, it is also a stage where mediocre batters who hit the ball hard can perform because it is more a show of brawn than excellence as a cricketer. Having said that, on the whole, you will still get the best cricketrs outperforming lesser cricketrs but not by as much as in test cricket.I think guys like Adam Hollioke, Brendan Julion would have been briliant at this even though they were not brilliant international cricketers. Fri 31 Oct 2008 14:41:41 GMT+1 shivfan I think this is an excellent article by Mihir....The rest of the British press seem to be obsessed with tearing Stanford down, and are looking under every stone and in every crevice for a negative story. Finally, we have a story that tries to add some balance.Quite frankly, all this moaning and whining from the English press and players is getting annoying. I would much rather see the Stanford Super Stars play South Africa than a whingeing England team next year.... Fri 31 Oct 2008 14:16:25 GMT+1 staygold I suspect that most of the comments that have been removed are expressing their distaste at the toadying tone of this article a little too colourfully.To many, Bose is a highly respected journalist, but the articles he pens make him appear little more than a mouthpiece/apologist for men of considerable influence.And he's the BBC Sports Editor. Lovely. Fri 31 Oct 2008 13:26:06 GMT+1 Andyj247 fjsm 33 in ref to *19My point exactly!!! The man has done nothing wrong, the england team have reacted and he has apologised. The funniest quote i have read is "he (stanford) is walking around like he owns the place!" LOL!!!Ian Botham is totally right - stop moaning and get on with it!! Fri 31 Oct 2008 13:18:53 GMT+1 sweetsmellofsuccess I see my post, along with presumably anyone else who dared to criticise Mihir's approach to this story, was removed. Score one for free speech...let me try again.This article does not include carefully weighed evidence about the nature of the tournament, and neglects the poor attendances, mediocre pitches, flimsy practice conditions, and everything else that makes this tournament seem amateurish in its' concept and organisation. On the other hand, Mihir does seem to be personally taken with this man. I would prefer to see a story that has some informed comment, rather than a subjective reaction to some fairly lame flattery. Fri 31 Oct 2008 13:05:11 GMT+1 karim1981 Is this the BBC way of getting one over on Sky. When the cameraman said he saw these women, surely he as a SKY crew would have known who these women were... I think BBC are just revelling in their rivals mistakes. Fri 31 Oct 2008 12:53:23 GMT+1 fjsm33 This whole business of him frolicking with the WAG's is so bizarre. If my wife chose to sit on a billionaires knee and giggle girlishly, it wouldn't be the billionaire I'd be angry with. Why has Stanford copped the flak for this? The WAG's are grown women, able to make their own decisions and could have, when invited to sit on his lap, said " I don't think that would be appropriate", but they didn't. Personally I don't know what he's done wrong there. Fri 31 Oct 2008 12:49:27 GMT+1 AndyPlowright #11 - Alex GI agree that it is important to hear from Stanford himself. The thread that erupted over the WAG incident on this link ( was pulled, not perhaps uncoincidentally aty the same time that the BBC was being hauled over the coals for the Brand-Ross incident. On that thread, I denounced forumites and David Lloyd alike for making slanderous comments about the like of Emily Prior, and said that we should wait for her story and for Stanford's story. So I agree with you that Stanford should speak from his perspective about what happened. However, in this article, he doesn't speak. There is not one quote from Stanford in writing. Not everyone wishes to have visual links when a good bit of text would do. This is why the article feels like a PR job on behalf of Stanford. Evoking the name of Mandela as someone Stanford compares to seems utterly ridiculous.I don't believe Stanford was guikty of anything more than simple hi-jink stupidity with the WAG incident. It has been overblown. In particular, I hope Emily Prior goes back to the UK and calls her solicitor becuase the Daily Mail article on the incident was derogatory and pretty much alleged that she was the one at fault and was out playing with other men whilst her husband played cricket. This incident has distracted from the real issue, and that is whether this Stanford competition is an exhibiton of cricket at its finest or just one man's ego trip. Reading the way Mihir seems in awe of Stanford, I'm wondering if the hard questions were asked. I'll listen to that video interview later tonight and see how it sounds. Fri 31 Oct 2008 12:36:14 GMT+1 Diggers This post has been Removed Fri 31 Oct 2008 12:04:42 GMT+1 gay fish I don't have a problem with the man the tournament or the money. The fact that I haven't seen a single ball of the whole tournament (well the warm up games) is a bit worrying. I was hoping that the game would have been on terrestrial tv as there are still a lot of people in the uk who don't know how exciting 20-20 is as they don't have sky television. However with all the debates about the licence fee and what it is used for at the moment I doubt that something as innovative and exciting as 20-20 would be first pick for the bbc. A real shame. Fri 31 Oct 2008 11:47:53 GMT+1 Andyj247 Seems to me this is a another case of overblown mob mentality from the media, very much like what has been happening with the whole Radio 2 thing recently. Seems that people are like sheep - not watched or listened to any of the games, but complain loudly anyway.I can totally understand why Matt Prior wouldnt be happy seeing his wife on a big screen sitting on anothers man lap while playing a game of cricket, but before we all blame stanford, the girls didnt look that unhappy or distressed did they? There were laughing and giggling along with him.I think to put in perspective this was a silly minor incident which Stanford has apologised personally to people involved and i dont think it should be laboured on. Jonathan Agnew has constantly got on his high horse about this tournament - but if he was so against it perhaps he should have stuck by his principles and not gone out there to cover it for 5live - or maybe the thought of a 5 star hotel and escaping an english winter for a week or 2 was too great to turn down? As for the tournament its been a bit strange, wicket is poor, so many dropped catches plus the crowd to me seemed bored when England played Middlesex for example - it was all too "English" for them, but that will be very different tommorow night - I will be rooting for the Stanford team but i hope for either side the game isnt lost to a dropped catch because of the floodlight problem. I would hate to be the one responsible for losing just under 10 million for the team!!Next time around maybe a rethink of the structure and conditions but i think the concept can work and be a success. Fri 31 Oct 2008 11:23:20 GMT+1 ChelseaSaffer This post has been Removed Fri 31 Oct 2008 11:17:02 GMT+1 Shanonman Could I suggest that those of you who are denegrating Allen Stanford do a little bit of research on him. You will find that this guy uses his billions not only to promote many sports including the great British sacred cow that England wrongly believes it owns and controls ,Cricket, but also Tennis Golf and various other sports. Not only that but he is philantropist who continues to evote a lot of his time and his clout to donating and generating vast sums of money for charitable causes such as hospitals for sick children. Haven't seen the ECB doing much along those lines have we ? British media, stop trying to do to this man, one of the good guys, what you have managed to do this week closer to home . Concentrate on reporting on the sport, stop muck-raking. Fri 31 Oct 2008 10:58:45 GMT+1 sweetsmellofsuccess This post has been Removed Fri 31 Oct 2008 10:53:33 GMT+1 Alex Gubbay - BBC News #8 - mistake duly corrected, thanks for pointing it out.#3 - if you look at Mihir's blog from yesterday, and our coverage throughout the week, not least from cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew, we have certainly reflected the criticism there has been in the build-up to the game. That said, it is also important to hear from the man himself, especially in the light of all that criticism. Fri 31 Oct 2008 10:08:14 GMT+1 DaveC My problem with the "WAG incident" is not with what he did per se, but now it becomes clear it was nothing more than a contrived photo opportunity. He openly admits that he didn't know who they were and went over to them not out of any genuine concern to ensure that they were enjoying the game and had everything they need (like a good host would), but because the cameraman thought it would make a great picture to see him up close with a group of attractive young women in the stand. And this is supposed to make us all feel better about it?I really must be getting old. Fri 31 Oct 2008 09:47:31 GMT+1 levdavidovich So, essentially what you you are saying is that many people, inclduing administrators in sport and journalists like yourself, are easily led, fooled and conned by charm and smarm.To able to fool people in this way is a requirement for a successful politician. Such a politician knows he doesn't have the abilty to do his job adequately, so he needs to rely on fooling people. Fri 31 Oct 2008 09:43:32 GMT+1 sukmeplums 'ECB chief executive Keith Bradshaw '. Keith Bradshaw is MCC Chief Executive, not ECB Fri 31 Oct 2008 09:37:41 GMT+1 politeBoobie Actually, Sir Allen turned my opinion around on Thursday evening. I thought he was some sort of vulgar chancer, but the way he spoke in his Five Live interview made me believe he is just what he is: an open, exuberant and harmless American.It is possibly true to say that we have had a clash of cultures here and that the fault lays in mistaken expectations on both sides, rather than anything else. Fri 31 Oct 2008 09:22:00 GMT+1 jamminben13 This post has been Removed Fri 31 Oct 2008 09:19:48 GMT+1 AntonfromLancs Lord MacLaurin's comments to the effect that the Stanford series is an overpaid pantomime have a whiff of hypocrisy about them. If Stanford wants to spend his money this way, why shouldn't he? If some fortunate players want to accept his invitation, why shouldn't they? Nobody has to watch the games - that too is a personal choice. I'm not interested in them, but I switch off rather than grumble...MacLaurin constantly prioritised money during his stay at the ECB, although Sri Lanka won the World Cup on a pittance in the modern era. Who is he to say that some 20/20 tournaments are OK but not this one? Fri 31 Oct 2008 09:19:14 GMT+1 Estesark This post has been Removed Fri 31 Oct 2008 09:14:32 GMT+1 AndyPlowright How many BBC staff are out there for this jamboree? I'm sorry Mihir but this comes out as nothing more than PR for the Stanford machine after a few days where a lot of very respected cricket writers and some of the players themselves have been less than praiseworthy over the whole event. You say he's like Blair and you give over an anecdote of Blair knowing IOC names on a one-to-one basis. You then talk of your meeting with Stanford and reveal that he didn't know your name upon meeting. So how exactly is that like Blair? Blair did his research work beforehand: Stanford didn't. How exactly are they similar in that front? Stanford taking steps to find out how to pronounce your name comes over as nothing more than simple politeness. If we're going to use correct pronunciation of names as a standpoint for comparisons to Prime Ministers and Presidents, then John Motson has been researching correct name pronunciations for years. Can we compare him to Nelson Mandela?The Mandela element really is pretty hilarious. Comparing a black man who was locked up for a fight against apartheid to a Texas billionnaire is stretching credibility to a huge degree. Stanford has been guilty of being dreadfully naive. The incident with the wives was blown up enormously but the dfence of 'I didn't know who they were' is pretty shallow, or am I the only one who thinks that pulling unknown women onto your lap and putting your arms around them is a little bit off? He has no cricket pedigree, no cricket background yet he is thrust into a position of real power purely because of money. That sets a worrying precedent for cricket. Fri 31 Oct 2008 08:56:58 GMT+1 jezzar An interesting piece. Personally I don't think this has anything to do with Stanford per se but a rearguard action against 20-20. The saviour of cricket has suddenly turned into the soul of the games lethal murderer. There is a serious likelihood that 20-20 could become the dominant format of cricket destroying test cricket in the process.I have been to numerous 20-20 games and enjoyed them but they have none of the grace or talent required in the longer version of the game. All my memories of classic moments have come from test cricket ehich is and should remain the pinnacle of modern cricket.Negative bowling which relies on the batsman making a mistake makes for dreary cricket but is the norm in 20-20. I cannot see a place in modern 20-20 cricket for the classic fast bowler or leg spinner learning their trade. The batting is explosive when successful but after a while it does just become very boring unless a genuinely good batsman gets in but in the future will any young player fed on 20-20 develop that technique?I like 20-20 and think it has an important role in the modern cricket world but it will only continue to be successful if there is a healthy test match cricket scene to encourage the development of technique which at the moment does not appear to be the direction this is going. Fri 31 Oct 2008 08:56:01 GMT+1 Kíllìnghölmê_Clᥠ(aka Charlie Cheesecake) All these men, who I have met, have one great quality - when they meet you they make you feel you are the only important person in the room._______________________________I've lived and worked in America for a number of years and for me, Allen Stanford epitomises the stereotypical American businessman. He will tell you exactly what he thinks you want to hear and make you feel like you are his bestest buddy in the whole wide world. The sad fact is that nothing of what they say actually needs to be based in truth, as it is more important that they feel really good about makeing you feel good. So Mihir, I think you along with a number of others have been 'suckered in'.This individual is attempting to turn cricket into a three ring circus. Next thing you know bowlers will be "running up to the plate". Fri 31 Oct 2008 08:45:18 GMT+1