Last might I went to Hove Cricket Ground as a member of the Sussex Cricket Society to hear a talk by Brian Scovell. I know Brian who worked as sport journalist on the old Daily Sketch and then the Mail, covering cricket and football for many years, and has written biographies of Brian Lara, Bill Nicholson and other sporting luminaries.
He spoke of these cricketing personalities to an elderly audience. He reckons that a figure in the news and under the cosh has only 5 shots and that is Alistair Cook, I personally feel sorry for the beleaguered England captain as we have been here before. If history does not repeat itself, cricket does, as over the last 35 years the dominant cricketing figure -Botham, Gower, Flintoff and now Cook – captains their country to suffer a loss of form. They are not either unsuccessful skippers. Michael Vaughan was probably the best captain of recent years though I always thought Mike Gatting underrated and badly treated. As is often the case, those that castigate Cook, largely the press and ex-players, particularly those in the Pietersen camp, are short on alternatives. The name Joe Root is bandied about but his form may suffer and he has no experience .
Brian is probably more confident with the written word rather than spoken one as his delivery lacked a touch of animation. He provided an interesting insight into many of the key players over his lifetime and there is certain integrity about him, which is not always an adjective one applies to describe a sports journalist.