Here is my latest cricket analysis podcast with John Buchanan and Trent Woodhill.
After being outed as a new breed of cricket geek, I’m about to confirm that.
For this World Cup I’m chatting to John Buchanan, and hopefully Trent Woodhill, about the trends and tactics of the World Cup.
This is for proper cricket nerds, it’s not full of penis gags, it’s full of World Cup trends and the like.
The first episode is here. Flexible batting orders and other stuff.
The second is here. Four men out, left arm freaks and my endless search for keeping analytics.
A café near my place is shutting down. It’s called the Looney Tunes Café and it has decent food and nice staff. But the owner of the building has decided that he wants a bigger glossier café in its place and the current homely style of café is not going to match his new building.
Now watch me say that John Wright (the soon to be former coach of New Zealand) is the Looney Tunes Café and John Buchanan (current New Zealand director of cricket) is the forward thinking building owner trying to get the most out of his investment.
It’s easy to make John Buchanan out to be the bad guy. A non-Test playing bookish nerd who looks like Ned Flanders who is overly fond of lawn bowls and ancient Chinese text. It doesn’t help that Shane Warne never misses a chance to abuse John Buchanan, or that several of Buchanan’s theories don’t really make much sense.
But NZC didn’t pick Buchanan by accident. They appointed the guy with the wacky theories to propel their mid range side to greater things. New Zealand is not a country rich with cricket talent or facilities; they have always been at their best when their team comes together as one unit to knock over the better sides. Even with players like McCullum, Ryder, Vettori and Taylor, they seem to rely on a team effort to win big games. And like the Oakland Athletics, they’ve only got so much to work with.
Buchanan has had success. Not so much with his theories or wackiness, but with his record. Take out his time with KKR in the IPL, and he’s coached one of the most successful teams in world cricket and won shield titles for a team that had never done it before. He’s successfully got inside the head of countless opposition players by “accidentally” leaking player dossiers. Even Shane Warne believes his maiden over theory.
The problem is that few cricket fans in New Zealand would know or care about this. John Buchanan’s just not well respected in New Zealand. Most people only know of Buchanan in New Zealand because he hired a lawn bowls administrator to work for NZC. You can’t put that up against John Wright. A former NZ warrior with two stints as coach. Old school, smart and universally accepted. It’s unfair to John Buchanan.
It’s also another reason why John Wright and John Buchanan weren’t ever going to be ideal partners. One believes in cricket laws and man management. The other believes in spreadsheets and KPIs.
NZC were betting each way on this. Hoping that this odd melding of old and new theories would somehow blend beautifully. It hasn’t.
John Wright is leaving.
New Zealand has lost it’s most respected coach, and people are talking about John Buchanan like he wants their team to be coached by a team of alien ninja turtle Avatars who sprout mantra’s from Tony Robbins speeches. Which he may.
John Buchanan is not as useless as many say he is, nor as good as NZC think he is. But the NZC have made their decision. They now need to find a coach who is reading from the same copy of the art of war as Buchanan is. Or they need to clear out Buchanan and start again.
If you are going to make a choice, make one. You may not be able to replicate the homely food of the Looney Tunes Café, but you sure as hell want to make sure the food is really good and that it matches the décor and setting of the new establishment to ensure the locals don’t get angry.
It’s one of the biggest questions in cricket, and also, kind of stupid.
If you are talking about him, he isn’t a no one, not even in quantum physics.
Buchanan’s comments got international media attention, that isn’t a nobody. If I said KP was going to be a liability, it wouldn’t make a newspaper. Unless I also claimed I had photos of him dressing as Xena.
But what is Buchanan?
A leech that attached itself to very strong creatures in New Texas and Australia and just sucked them dry ensuring he had a long and fruitful career whilst looking at a clipboard.
An enigma of cricket coaching that gets the most out of hard working players and completely pisses off the talented players in his line up.
A series of atoms formed into the shape of a man with a ridiculous moustache.
A cardboard cut out that you plonk in front of reporters for press conferences with a tape recorder attached and wows reporters with his knowledge of motivational speak and old crappy Chinese writers.
Something Shane Warne dragged in on his shoe.
Cricket’s first coaching accountant, who made sure that his team were rarely in the black.
Someone who got famous for accidentally leaving out his team notes for a shield final, and then did it on purpose a bunch of times after that without ever coming up with a more original idea.
Sourav Ganguly’s pet.
The ultimate cricketing conman.
One of those people who gets jobs they shouldn’t because they interview so well.
It’s all a rather large mystery. He seems to exist, earn money, get more work, is often quoted in the news, and yet, what is he?
I doubt he is human, but he also doesn’t feel robotic or alien. Perhaps he is a hybrid species of animal, one who can impress the people who matter, frustrate those who don’t, and continue to talk in a deep serious tone for hours on end while certain people nod in agreement.
Shit, maybe he is a priest. He certainly looks like he could be a priest from the wild west with that moustache and his love of wide brimmed hats. Helping the gold miners and annoying the gun slingers. Giving advice that can often be ignored by most people and seems to give comfort to a few. Always wanting to be involved, but never really getting his hands dirty. The nerdish straight laced one who never quite fits in with most of the regular folks yet the towns elders really like having around.
He definitely isn’t a nobody, and if you call someone a nobody, aren’t you really saying they aren’t a nobody? Surely the best way to call someone a nobody is by saying, “sorry, who is that, nope, never heard of him”.
John Buchanan has been fired/pensioned by the Kolkata Knight Riders.
I am as shocked as you are. Apparently John had his vision, but the results just didn’t develop.
What was John’s Vision?
Luckily for you I have developed a portal In John Buchanan’s head, it can only be used once, as frequent exposure will lead to Probotism.
While I don’t suggest for one moment that my way is the best way, or indeed my way is the only way, this is the way I think you should try, as there is no other way that I have tried that works as well as my way. I live it, breathe it, eat it and stroke it and I’m happy to share a simple outline of it here and let you decide what its value is to you.
There is a mix of principles which connect through everything I do, and while that encompasses such things as vision, planning, fascism, organizational culture, moustaches, stretching beyond hypothetical boundaries and so on, essentially, at the core of it all, is consideration of the individual.
It is about the whole person, not just the staff member, the robot, the cricketer, the sadist, the volunteer, etc. or how best we can use a person’s skills to benefit the bottom line, achieve company results, destroy the losers. It’s about valuing the individual and his or her needs to develop intellectually, emotionally, mechanically, technically, socially, hirsutely and spiritually.
Ultimately, in understanding your self, accepting your self, re-programming yourself and then loving your self for who you are, your personal style, your methods of communication become consistent. People understand you and what you stand for.
It is from this point that managing, coaching, leading others can begin. This is all hard to do, almost impossible
This is why I believe the only way forward is building Queensland style cricket Robots. Tall, tanned, broad shouldered, slightly retarded, athletic cricket robots. They shall bowl every ball in the corridor, hit the ball very hard, and be well-rounded robots.
I will rule the IPL with these brutes, and when I am finished with winning the IPL, my Queensland style cricket Robots, known as Bichels, will take over the world and then Shane Warne and Sourav Ganguly will be hung, drawn and quartered while I sit on a mahogany decking chair and drink Bundaberg rum.
They will pay; you will all pay; as long as my Vision for the KKR team works. It is my way or death.
I think we are all glad his vision did not work.
If you want to know more about John’s visions, or if you want Queensland Robots for your own gain, visit John’s website.
Everyone knew that when John Bhooka Naan was given a job by the poms Shane Warne was going to pipe up, he is as predictable as he is good.
But how many people thought Stuart MacGill would as well?
“John Buchanan’s mantra has always been that if the players look after themselves, the results will look after themselves,”
“In 2005, Australia had a very, very good side, all they needed to do was tailor-make a game plan, and we didn’t. We didn’t spend any time on their players or conditions.”
“What won England the Ashes in 2005 was their bowling, and if you look at it now, we got (bowling coach) Troy Cooley and they got John Buchanan.”
“Troy Cooley won England the Ashes and John Buchanan lost it for us.”
“I don’t begrudge Buck for trying to make a living, but his coaching record in England isn’t crash hot. He lost the Ashes and had a stint with Middlesex that also didn’t work out.”
The best bit about all this isn’t that MacGill has come out against Buchs, it’s that he did so in the Murdoch press.
How angry must he be at Buchanan to speak to them.
Perhaps it is because he didn’t get a game that series…
Well not really.
Or do they.
John Buchanan, Ned Flanders or Bhooka Naan to some, is coming over to sort out the English Elite coaching system.
It is not an interesting choice, because it is John Buchanan, but it is interesting timing, less than 10 days out from the Ashes is his start date.
And he is not so much coaching the players, but coaching the coaches.
He has some new rules for this job:
Abolilsh all players from blogging.
Change the rule on how many kolpaks or international players can play (the more the better).
All players to learn how to grow moustaches.
No one is to call Andy Bichel a racist.
Success is sure to follow.
England obviously want to cash in on the Kolkata Knight Rider vibe.
So I think they should go one step further and also get a famous actor to own them.
I have narrowed it down to Ray Winstone, Collin Farrell, and Ross Kemp.
All choices Freddie would approve of.
They will then need to change their kit as well, more bling, less school boy collars.
Do you ever get the feeling the difference between Bennett King and Bhooka Naan was timing, and Warne, McGrath, Gilly, Hayden, Ponting, Martyn, Gillespie and etc.
I think I know Bradley Hodge as well as anyone who doesn’t know him, I am sure he would disagree with me, but he doesn’t have his own blog (or does he?), so fuck him.
And Brad is struggling at the moment.
Well not at the moment, for his whole IPL career he has been ordinary, and there is a reason.
Brad likes one of two things, to be the man, or to be pumped up.
For Victoria, and whichever county side he signs for, he is automatically the best batsman, and if he isn’t, he walks around like he is until everyone assumes he must be.
Try doing that in a change room with Prince Brendon, Gayle and the Giant Alien Lizard Ganguly.
On occasions when he walks into a dressing room with bigger names he needs something else to hold onto.
Ricky, bless his heart, understood Hodge.
They are roughly the same age, were both child prodigies, both footy players and are both pretty sure of their own abilities.
Had Hodge not had 6 odd years where he couldn’t buy a run, they would have been life long teammates.
When Brad comes into the Australian side, Ricky can’t stop making noises about how great he is, how he would be an automatic starter for most other sides, and then he bats him in important positions.
What generally happens is Hodge makes runs for Australia, his not inconsiderable ego is fondled nicely, and he does his job of back up top order international batsman rather well.
The knight riders- off chasing phantom bloggers, designing blingy uniforms and losing games – haven’t spent any time pumping up Brad.
And his shithouse performances reflect this, but its not too late.
When he is struggling for Victoria, however rarely that has been in the last few years, I always imagined that Scholes, Hookes or Ship sent Brad out into the crowd (is 12 people a crowd?) and his mammoth ego is re inflated and runs are forth coming.
Buchanan can declare a day, preferably a match day, the ‘Brad Hodge is the greatest batsmen ever’ day, and get SRK (who is more mascot than owner) to spend that whole day talking Brad up, feeling Brad up, and taking that Ego to ejaculation point.
I promise the Knight Riders that this will work.
For the latest developments in the Fake IPL Player Saga click here.
There is a new blog out there called Fake ILP player.
And it is written by a kolkata knight rider in South Africa.
It is pretty funny at times.
“Then Mr Kaan Moolo, the former India fast bowler who built his career sucking the lord’s dick told us that there’s been a change in plan.”
“Apparently, Vinnie Dildo (our owner) is here”
“During our meeting when our jackass coach was telling our fast bowlers on how to bowl at the Pedophile Priest, he had said that we will play on a new wicket and hence the ball will have carry etc”.
“A little birdie just told me that the Sheikh of Tweak tried to get over yesterday’s defeat by diving into 3 pairs of mammary land. As per reports, the 3 angels surrounded him after the opening ceremony and the 4 left together for the Sheikh’s hotel.”
“Lord Almighty just walked past me. He nodded at me and acknowledged my presence, for the first time I think. That’s a start. He has been kind of insecure since yesterday when he was stripped of his captaincy.”
Warne, Ganguly, Buchanan, oral sex and sex toy jokes.
My kind of blog really.
I tried to read the art of war once, I wanted to know why so many wankers thought it was a bible.
I got about 12 pages in.
Since then I just assumed anyone who took it too seriously was a massive tool.
Queue the quote.
See what this book does to you.
I have heard people compare it to politics, wall street, social activism, and the film industry before.
It’s like a self help book for pushy cunts and self righteous asswipes who want their chosen field to be the one some Chinese dude was thinking about.
That it’s John’s favourite book does not surprise me, it was always going to be this or Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance.
The truth of the matter is that there has only been one piece of art the was made to describe twenty20, and that is the film American Astronaut.
If that doesn’t explain 2020 cricket, I don’t know what does.