Graham Thorpe

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Blog Posts by Graham Thorpe

  • Rashid selection is a mistake

    Adil Rashid has not bowled nearly enough in Twenty20 cricket to warrant his selection for the World Cup in England this summer.

     

    I do not have the spinner down as a player for that format, and purely on that basis, I do not believe he should have been selected.

     

    He is a fantastic player with an abundance of talent, but I believe Rashid has been brought into the squad simply to gain some experience and to spend some time around the other players in the setup.

     

    I do not agree with that way of thinking. I'm a big believer that you should pick your best bowlers, and not overly complicate the selection process.

     

    Personally, I would have gone with Michael Yardy or Chris Schofield, who would both have been tremendous additions to the squad.

     

    As I have said before, Yardy is a very intelligent, thoughtful bowler who is very good with the bat in his hands too.

     

    Schofield provides something different, and would have also been a strong addition to the squad with the variety he can offer.

     

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  • Gayle got exactly what he deserved

    Chris Gayle's attitude was astounding: for a visiting captain to arrive in to the country two days before the first Test match is pretty pathetic. 

     

    The fact that the IPL players were short on preparation for the longer form of the game has been talked about a lot; but for an opposing skipper to arrive so late was beyond belief.

     

    To arrive in the country two days before such an important international match was a very poor effort.

     

    I can understand that money is attractive, but to have the opportunity to lead your country in a Test match at Lord's should be of greater importance: it clearer was not for Gayle.

     

    I think the West Indies captain has let his side down in a big way. He will shrug his shoulders and say he doesn't care, but it just shows his commitment in a poor light.

     

    If you want to play in the IPL; fine. No one should begrudge a professional cricketer that opportunity, but you must turn up for a tour at least 10 days before the first Test begins.

     

    Clearly, he had no

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  • Key can unlock Twenty20 glory

    It would have been nice to have kept Andrew Strauss as captain for the Twenty20 World Cup, but it's not a big deal that he isn't.

     

    It's still a relatively new format, the tournament is still a new idea, Strauss is still a new captain and I don't honestly think it'll hurt the team to have a different skipper for a few weeks.

     

    Sure, in an ideal world Strauss would have been there - but he'll have had a frank discussion with Geoff Miller about whether he wanted to be part of the World Cup, and he's obviously not comfortable with it.

     

    Having one captain for all forms is great in theory, but if it doesn't work it doesn't work - no big deal.

     

    The game is changing, squads are changing, and although you want your team to gel as much as possible you also need to pick the best 11 guys to get the job done in each of the different formats.

     

    And the demands of Twenty20 are such that the selectors really need to analyse who those players are.

     

    Forget whether or not they've played for their

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  • Time to put IPL on terrestrial TV

    There's no doubt the IPL is an extremely positive thing for cricket, but what I find really frustrating is the fact that a large number of fans and players in this country will not get to see any of the action.

     

    Having the IPL games live on Setanta, while county and international matches are on Sky, makes it a very expensive business to follow cricket across the board these days and you can't expect everybody to shell out.

     

    It's a real shame and I just wish something could be done about it.

     

    It would be great if the IPL was on terrestrial TV. That way, young players in this country could get a feel for how exciting this game can be and get a good look at the best in the business playing Twenty20.

     

    The IPL has done wonders for the profile of cricket. It gives kids something else to tune into and I have no doubt it will draw more players to the game.

     

    But if you could put it on terrestrial television in the UK that profile would go through the roof.

     

    - - -

     

    The big crowds at the

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  • IPL in South Africa makes sense

    To be honest I'm not surprised the IPL decided to host the tournament in South Africa this summer and not in England and Wales.

     

    The ECB would certainly have done an excellent job hosting the matches, and it would have been a great event to see on these shores, but a congested calendar of cricket would have made it a complicated operation. Ultimately I think the IPL made the right choice.

     

    The South African season will be drawing to a close when the IPL arrives and they will therefore have the resources available to deal it. They will also have the weather.

     

    I do worry about the crowds in South Africa however. They might struggle to fill stadiums unless the IPL franchises do everything they can to make themselves attractive.

     

    There is an argument for the teams having a greater number of South African players, but that may be difficult now the allocations have been settled. Still, it wouldn't surprise me if something along those lines was agreed and the IPL bent the rules a little.

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  • Bridging the great divide

    When I was playing for England it was pretty much the case that every man in the team was taking home the same amount of money. Darren Gough might get the odd free hi-fi system thrown his way, but ultimately we were all in the same boat.

     

    But the IPL has completely changed the dimensions of the England dressing room. Now you have a few select guys earning huge sums of money, which has made a big, big difference to the team dynamic. 

     

    The IPL auction showed that some players are more fortunate than others. It is not Kevin Pietersen's fault he was drafted, nor should Paul Collingwood or Andrew Flintoff be held responsible for attracting large fees.

     

    Ultimately, cricket is a short career and you never know when an injury might end your playing days. I don't blame any of these guys for grabbing the cash when they have the chance.

     

    But when you get somebody like Ravi Bopara picking up a big deal, when he's not even part of the England touring party in the West Indies, it has to affect

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