Friday, August 03, 2007

Misplaced Condescension

I've already said that I think the jelly bean saga a ridiculously overblown piece of nonsense. If it was childish of the England cricketers to leave a jellybean on the batting crease, then it was equally puerile to get annoyed by it. India played better, England were unlucky with the toss. End of story. Simon Barnes, however, in getting righteously angry with England, tries to demonstrate why the Porsche Carrera comment was an outrageous insult (rather than the lame conversation it appeared to be.
The stump microphone picked up a classic piece of sledging wit during that second Test between England and India. “I’m driving a Porsche Carrera; what’s your car?” Thus the exquisite Wildean wit of the modern England cricketer is laid bare.

It is, of course, the sort of remark you would expect from a Porsche driver, a Porsche being the naffest car ever manufactured. But is it a suitable remark to make to a man from a Third World nation who is a guest in your country? The combination of vulgarity and insensitivity is mind-numbing.
This is beautifully patronising, and wholly wrong-headed. Does Barnes think the Indian team are plucked out of the slums in Delhi and given whites? Sachin Tendulkar recently signed a $50 million contract for God's sake, his response to Prior would probably have been, 'I don't know, what day is it?' Sourav Ganguly isn't short of a bob or two either. In fact, Indian cricketers generally have a bit of a reputation for being minted. So Barnes can stop having an auto-outrage attack on behalf of the Indian nation. As I've said before, if you're more worried about jelly beans and innocuous sledging than about beamers and running through the crease, you've got your priorities skewed.

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