Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Why I hate the England cricket team

It has been a while since I have blogged. Years, indeed. Life and laziness are the causal factors, but also a rising disenchantment of the game.

Well, not so much the game, but the players.

This is a generally a symptom of age: a cliched tail of creeping curmudgeonliness in one who was once so youthful and open-minded. And my source of inspiration has been a book, gifted to me recently, an autobiography of Channa Gunasekera, a post-independence Sri Lankan cricketer.

Amongst the score-setting and name-dropping, the author indulges in a closing rant on The State Of The Modern Game. His main complaint is the lack of decorum in contemporary players. Upon taking his 19th wicket in Old Trafford, Gunasekera muses, Jim Laker took his cap from the umpire and sauntered off the field of play. Now, such feats would be accompanied by a parade of shrieking and frolicking performed in similar fashion to delirious sea nymphs.

Far from role of the sport to civilise and educate young men in the conduct of gentlemen, we now watch the childish cavorting of the England cricket team. I couldn't stand watching their fist pumping, champagne wanking, teeth gnashing, hair gelling, urn slobbering and oafish defilement of everything about the game.

Look at their faces. Look at all their odious obnoxious faces. Now look at Jack Hobbs face. Which would face would you prefer your son to wear? Which face would you like to see about you on the train carriage to work? And in the office?

Would you enjoy Stuart Broad leaping on the desk and bellowing a mindless ‘come on’ into your face as another invoiced receives approval? Wouldn’t you prefer Jack Hobbs understated nod at a job well done?

This belies crickets role in our lives. It is not about winning or losing. It is much more important than that. Cricket is a teacher, a kindly, school masterly guru showing us the way to live our lives. It is about reserve, fair-play, honesty, playing with a straight bat and treating your fellow human being as you yourself would like to be treated.

It is not about winning at all costs. It is not about commercial deals. It is not about playing hard on the pitch. It is not about watching a bunch of preening footballers on a round pitch. It is not even about publicly urinating on the same pitch where Tony Locke bowled England into Ashes glory in 1953. It is not about pissing on the game.

It is about respecting the game. And respecting the way of cricket.