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Moores, Cook, Farbrace and “re-connection”.

2014 May 9
by Legsidelizzy

Despite my natural cynicism and my continuing annoyance at the KP decision, I have a feeling this new England era might actually be far more likeable than the old regime had become.

There’s clearly been a conscious decision taken by Peter Moores, Paul Downton and Alastair Cook to try and be more open, a little more honest and less chippy with the media.

The #askmoores twitter Q+A was bland and inane in the content but the intention to try and engage with supporters was clearly there and that’s to be applauded.

At the waitrose sponsorship launch last week, Moores recognised that the way to get England supporters back on side was to “re-connect” with them and the way to do that was primarily through the media.  Leave aside the corporate nonsense phrase, it was a glimmer of hope that under Moores, England cricket might just be more enjoyable, more relaxed and more fun.

Alastair Cook looked more relaxed than I’ve ever seen him, he talked fluently, he smiled, he joked. Despite his protestations that Flower wasn’t too controlling, we all know differently.  Unleashed from the Flower shackles and with fatherhood perhaps having put cricket into some sort of perspective, we might well see a captain who feels empowered to be in charge and relaxed enough to allow his players the freedom that adults who are good enough to have been picked for the country should be afforded.

The addition of Farbrace can only be a good thing too. From all I know of him, he’s a straight talking man who enjoys his life, he’s a man more often than not with a smile on his face and who clearly loves cricket but not at the expense of life.

If Moores can learn to speak English rather than coach as his first language, we have the makings of a new era that even if it takes a while to have sustained success will be more likeable, less chippy, less arrogant and much more enjoyable to watch.

Supporters are much more likely to be forgiving of failure if the management and team are seen to be open, honest and doing their best.   And they might even manage to exorcise the ghost of KP with the right approach – even if the on field results aren’t perfect.

 

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  1. May 9, 2014

    It’s basic PR stuff that people like me tell their clients all the time – smile, make eye contact, appear open, be a human being not a robot.

    There’s also a massive role to be played by the “off the record / relationship building” chats that aren’t about giving hacks copy, but about creating long term understanding of what an individual / client is trying to do. Mike Selvey refers to this sort of thing a lot of the time – chats over a beer with David Saker etc.

    Basically it’s about building trust and understanding so that when mistakes are made, the media at least understand what England were trying to do.

    Whilst I’ve never worked around sport (apart from tangentially) the challenge to this stuff is how these guys will operate under pressure. Will they remain open and honest, or will they revert back to closed corporate speak?

    Oh yes, and on KP? Whether the decision was right or wrong, the managed the communications appallingly. Leaks and rumours haven’t helped.

    Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing – and in this case they have a perfectly acceptable reason to do so – “We are confident that we have made this decision for the long term good of English cricket. However, this is a matter of employment law. Due to contractual negotiations, we cannot make any comment at this time”.

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