Following England’s legendary tour of the West Indies in 2009, there was considerable debate over which players would be selected for the national team in the upcoming Ashes series. Although 51allout (the website) had not been set up then, its founding fathers were at the time coming up with a weekly discussion surrounding the performances of the probables, the possibles and the Plunketts. Conveniently these were all carried out in private, so our complete overlooking of Jonathan Trott went unnoticed beyond the stained walls of our bedsit.
Fast forward Flower’s five years in charge, and here we are again, only this time with a public sounding board and the mandate that comes from 2,997 followers on twitter. England are fewer than 12 months from the World Cup and they probably know no more than four players certain to form part of their squad. As for the Test team? Well, we consider Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson and Ben Stokes to be the only players whose names are inked in on the team sheet. All other spaces are, as they say, up for grabs. In other words: has anyone seen the keys to the Rob Key bandwagon?
So once the season is underway – and we mean properly underway, rather than having the counties playing against Scumbag College – we will launch England Watch. The only place on the entire internet where Liam Plunkett is guaranteed a fair hearing.