No Graeme, you don’t need to average over 45 to have an opinion

Graeme Swann’s dismissal of anyone’s opinion that averaged below 45 in Test cricket is both naive, and shows a lack of credibility as a pundit.

The notion that a someone’s opinion is only valuable if they’ve been there and done it, is a load of nonsense.

Some of the best journalists and coaches in the world never played cricket, such as Gideon Haigh, widely regarded as one of the best writers and cricket historians, ever, and most of the staff at ESPNCricinfo, who work tirelessly to cover our game. 

Not to mention, New Zealand’s coach, Mike Hesson, who has never played a first class game in his life, but has taken his side to dizzying heights of success. 

England’s coach and assistant coach, Trevor Bayliss Paul Farbrace neither played Test cricket. They played under 100 First Class games between them.  

So you see, when on Wednesday, Graeme Swann sent a tweet, saying “I will accept ‘lack of footwork’ or ‘should’ve been forward’ from anyone with a test average over 45”, many people who for a long time thought he occasionally lacks credibility as a pundit, had their fears confirmed. 

Screenshot 2016-01-06 11.18.07

One can only assume he doesn’t mean a Test match average of over 45, but an IQ Test average, because if it were the former, he would quickly be out of a job himself.

As would most of his colleagues and ex-colleagues, such as: Graeme Gooch (ex-England coach), Mark Ramprakash (current England batting coach), David Gower, Mike Atherton and Andrew Strauss (all of whom work for SKY as pundits, and are all ex-England captains).

Others he wouldn’t listen too include Graham Thorpe, Marcus Trescothick (two of England’s best batsmen in the last 20 years),  Nasser Hussain and Alec Stewart (both ex-captains), Ian Bell (technical master), Colin Cowdrey, John Edrich, and two more ex-captains, Michael Vaughan and Ian Botham, just for good measure. 

And there’s more. Allan Lamb, Mike Gatting (ex-captain), Mark Butcher, Paul Collingwood, Matt Prior, Jonathan Trott and Andrew Flintoff (ex-captain.) These are of course, just English players.  There would be a long long list of players from around the world. 

Oh, and any bowler that has ever played the game.

Or any batting coach around the world that has never played a First Class or Test match. 

 Whereas Swann was a fantastic off-spinner who gave England fans a lot of joy, in a single comment, he has shown himself to be immensely shallow as a commentator on the sport.
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