Posted by: tootingtrumpet | July 1, 2009

Farewell then, Michael Vaughan

mv1As expected, Michael Vaughan retired from playing cricket today in time to slide into a commentator’s seat for the upcoming Ashes series. You can read elsewhere of his centuries, his Number One rating as a batsman and of his record number of victories as England’s captain, so what The Trumpet offers here is a personal view.

On the upside, Vaughan was often a delight to the cricket connoisseur, whether he was elegantly despatching a cover drive or placing a fielder just where the batsman didn’t want one.  He was a decent bowler on his day, which gave him an understanding of how to get the most from an attack, as bowlers and as men. He was a tough nut too, as hard with himself as he fought back from operation after operation on his wonky knees as he was on players who failed to measure up to his exacting standards. Most of all, he was a perfect foil for Duncan Fletcher as the Zimbabwean steered England from the nadir of 1999’s defeat to New Zealand to the apogee of The Ashes win of 2005.

On the downside, Vaughan was a stubborn man who was not averse to looking after his personal interests. Cricket made him wealthy, but that wealth didn’t stop him accepting a full central contract in Autumn 2008 nor his pursuit of outside money-making activities, whilst relentlessly saying that England’s players need more rest. His relations with the Press were often characterised by mutual mistrust, with the Press, for once, somewhat justified. Perhaps least atttractive in the Trumpet’s eyes was Fletcher and Vaughan’s championing of the England “Bubble”, an elite, closed group of favourites that built the attitude and confidence that delivered the Ashes, but excluded many whose faces didn’t fit The Bubble played a key role in England’s swift decline in the late Fletcher and Moores eras.

So no cold May mornings at Derby with Yorkshire 20-2 and a job to be done and no sitting in the Pavilion with Adam Lyth and Jonathan Bairstow passing on accumulated knowledge in private for free.

The Trumpet wishes him well and thanks him for the glory days.

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Responses

  1. Goodness, I hope no-one in England reads this, you’ll be transported.

  2. To be honest , even as a captain he was not that flash. All keep talking of the Ashes 2005 – it was not as if that England walloped Australia.

    The two tests they won, they won by 1 run and 3 wickets – i.e. if the luck of the draw had gone Australia’s way, it could easily have been 5- 0 to Aus.

    The one test they lost, they were absolutely hammered by Aus, even after dismissing Aus for 191 in the first innings ! So what was special of his captaincy then ?? Beggars me !

    As for a batsmen, you are talking of one good test series ( Ashes 02/03), and then it’s whole lots of ‘ what ifs’ innings. His avg of 41 proves it. He was a nobody in ODI’s. So why people say he was a good batsmen confuses me !

    But of course he is highly regarded because he got back the urn after 15 years !!!! What a tosser if you ask me :-)

    • A little harsh – captaincy could be said to be at its most important in a tight series in which the victories come by two runs and three wickets. He was world-ranked Number One for a while, so his batting, at its best, was good.

  3. I’ll miss him. Even his endearingly shit fielding.

    http://tinyurl.com/kq58f4

  4. Some personal thoughts on MV:

    -Vaughan not doing well in ODIs will always be one of those unsolved mysteries for me.

    -As for his test average of 44+, a sheer waste of talent.

    -I dunno about others, but since childhood, I always expected Eng captains to be like the school first X1 captains in P.G.Wodehouse books.I can say Vaughan fitted the bill perfectly, when the going was good for the team.And because I never liked Nasser Hussain, I wanted Vaughan to succeed. Also, my one-year career stint in England coincided with Chelsea’s golden run in EPL and the 2005 Ashes :)

    -Yes, the cover drive.The best I have seen from an English batsman in ages.MV’s cover driving was very close to VVS Laxman in aesthetics.

  5. Kumar – I don’t think MPV was athletic enough for ODIs. Good point on Wodehouseian captains and, yes, just behind VVS, but there’s plenty of room in that space!

  6. I am always happier with England captains that went to Public School. Lord Brocket has the style to really get up Punter’s nose.

  7. Bush – There’s something in that. Just had a quick look at 1956 and PBH May was captain. I suspect he went to a public school!

  8. Toots,

    Yes, Peter May is from Reading, Berkshire and went to Charterhouse School in Surrey, followed by Cambridge Univ.


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