RECENT political history suggests it is dangerous to make this type of prediction, but if Andrew Strauss is not appointed England’s new director of cricket I will eat my hat.
That hat is not made out of marzipan, incidentally, as I do not like marzipan. Yuck.
In actual fact, I do not really possess a hat – but you had better keep that under your hat.
The point is, the worst-kept secret in the history of worst-kept secrets is expected to be confirmed in the next few days.
Strauss, the former England captain, is set to assume overall control of the England cricket team.
Whether it turns out to be a case of “hats off” to those who have made the decision is about as clear as the average political poll. The cricketing landscape is about as settled as the political one, with more upheaval than you could shake a hat at or, for that matter, a slice of marzipan.
Fine player that he undoubtedly was, Strauss is perhaps not the most inspiring choice for this newly-created position.
A naturally cautious captain and batsman, he would not look out of place in the current England regime that is steadily falling apart at the seams.
Terms attached to Strauss invariably include “safe pair of hands”, “sound administrative skills” and “jolly good fellow”.
Why, he might almost be mistaken for a younger version of Paul Downton, the man he will effectively replace – albeit one who is a good deal closer to the modern game than Downton was.
Indeed, some might say that Strauss is too close seeing as he only left the international arena in 2012.
He is still good friends with former opening partner Alastair Cook, the England Test captain, whom many feel should not be the captain.
Strauss may yet reveal an ability to take tough decisions (reports suggest he is about to sack coach Peter Moores), but whether he can shake off his naturally conservative approach remains to be seen.
His appointment seems a bit like changing one old car for another old car – one that may ultimately be no more likely to get you from A to B.
Exactly what influence and authority Strauss will have is not yet clear.
Michael Vaughan apparently pulled out of the running due to the limitations of the job, the exact ins-and-outs of which have yet to be publicised.
A personal view is that it smacks of another unnecessary tier of management that the England team could do without.
Why do we need a director of cricket if we already have a captain and coach?
At Yorkshire, the system works because Martyn Moxon, the director of cricket, oversees the entire cricketing operation at the club and leaves coach Jason Gillespie and captain Andrew Gale to run the first XI.
But after all the hoo-hah that has attended the creation of the new England position, do we really suppose Strauss will not be hands-on with the first XI too, thus potentially compromising the captain and coach?