Alec Stewart is the newest blogger on the cricket circuit – he now blogs on BBC’s Test Match Special blog.
You’re not going to believe this, but the focus of Stewart’s first post (up yesterday) is on wicket-keepers, more specifically, England’s new wicket-keeper Matt Prior. “No wicket-keeper since I retired has put up an unanswerable case to be selected for England through weight of performance in either county or international cricket,” begins the Gaffer unselfconsciously. And goes on to a truly searing insight: “Whoever was selected therefore had to be picked on potential rather than results.” Ah, now that explains why England don’t seem to prefer youth – they need results before they get on to the playing field.
After a bit of praise for Prior, Stewart makes a small confession: “At this stage I must say I’m slightly biased towards Prior as he is a client of the management company I am part of,” sounding appropriately sheepish as he says it. Of course, his views on Prior are “based purely on my cricketing knowledge and not from any commercial viewpoint.” Stewart does seem to know Prior really closely though. How else would he “inwardly… know he is very nervous as any debutant will be”?
But Stewart saves his best for the unfortunate Paul Nixon. “I think deep down he will know that at the age of 36 it’s probably not the right time to make a Test debut,” he opines sagely. Patience, Nicko, may be 37 or 38 is like the right age.