One of my more entertaining duties at work involves handling things to do with named chairs/statutory professorships/whatever you want to call them*. These can have files that go back 150 years, in which I occasionally have to look stuff up, and when I do I cannot deny that having looked up [the religious approaches of previous professors – I particularly enjoyed that one, which revealed one joining the Ba’hai in 1912] I spend an extra bit of time reading the random letters from Tolkien/committee papers written on the back of during the war paper shortage/sets of horrifically embarrassing press cuttings about a scandal/humorous notes full of ‘my dear Carruthers’ and ‘good chap’ and ‘a damned close-run thing’ etc.
But I digress. The thing I am currently looking up is not a tangent, but a query around a thing that the faculty would like to change when making its next appointment. I am checking whether anyone has ever tried or desired to do this before. To which the answer is yes, they have been wanting to do this for nearly 45 years, but every time the issue arises it is too much bother and they say that they’ll do it just as soon as they’ve avoided it one more time**. Not this time they bloody well won’t.
All of which is going the long way round to say that the ECB needs to sack Alastair Cook as captain now because they ought to have sacked him sooner, and if they don’t sack him and let him go away and bat a bit, then they will inevitably end by having to sack him and he won’t be able to come back and bat at all. Which will hardly be great for him or the England team. And for goodness sake, stop this quasi Gentlemen and Players business and consider giving the captaincy to a bowler.
It won’t happen; the selectors are serial offenders, the failure of management and leadership goes far beyond the captaincy, the rank favouritism is obvious and increasingly heading for disaster, and
*Like the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professorship of Anglo-Saxon held by J.R.R. Tolkien.
**They nearly managed it in 1975, but there were objections and rather than have the argument, they caved.
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