Friday, April 20, 2007

Two contrasting affairs

Andrew Strauss may have indicated as much with the Kensington Oval pitch, but today's World Cup was indeed a "strange" one.
The match schedule showed a meaningless match between West Indies and Bangladesh. It was anything but off it as ECB chairman David Morgan spoke of Duncan Fletcher's resignation and, as the last question was asked in the Brian Lara press conference, the day concluded with the news that the great left-hander would be retiring from the international scene.
So, two highly contrasting conferences. In the morning, Morgan buffed most of his questions to John Carr, the board's cricket operations man, and there was barely any sentiment given to Fletcher after he effectively took England from the pits in 1999 to Ashes winners seven years later. That the ECB made a mess of the previous day (when they should have told the media) was clear to see as Morgan apoligised for not only the board's handling of the issue but also England's World Cup failure.
Fast forward to the end of play and Lara was wrapping up talking about the West Indies win over Bangladesh. He took one more question and, looking visibly peeved, then jaw-dropped everyone by saying he was to quit all forms of cricket.
Press conferences are usually dour affairs: today saw both sides of the coin.