Thursday, August 04, 2011

Being wrong about cricket

I have commented before on the difficulties political journalists can get themselves into writing about cricket – and for all his faults Simon Heffer does at least know about the game. This article, however, by the Guardian’s Peter Wilby stands alone in its worthlessness. It’s partly about how marvellous it is that second and third generation British Indians prefer to support the country of their great-grandfathers rather than the country of their birth. It’s also about how marvellous it is that world cricket is now dominated by India.
I’ll admit to disagreeing on both counts here. If I were to emigrate to Australia, I would continue to cheer for England until the day I died. But I would expect my children to aspire to the baggy green. I think it’s a shame that there isn’t greater assimilation in this country, and I also think it’s bad for what might be called communal relations. There are a few role models to follow – Nasser Hussain and Monty Panesar to name but two – and it would be nice to think that British Asians might come in the future to put the stress on the first half of that construction rather than the second. Equally, while I agree that it’s no bad thing for world cricket that the game is no longer dominated by the MCC, I’m not so sure that the BCCI is a particularly terrific replacement.
Reasonable people can reasonably disagree on all that, but there’s little point in looking for serious cricket analysis in a piece that contains lines like the following:
When the Australians were getting uppity in the 1930s, cheekily putting tariffs on British cricket balls and other goods, the English establishment concocted bodyline bowling to teach them a lesson.
Because, obviously, bodyline bowling was designed to punish Australia for its protectionist trade policy. Sheesh.


Anonymous sewa elf said...

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4:23 pm  

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