Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Anything you can do, I can do worse

It used to be a source of smug superiority for cricket fans, that at least we were a pure sport uncorrupted by money, unlike football. When Formula 1 had to trim its own sails to stay afloat last year, it seemed like the financial idols worshipped by global sport were starting to wobble.

So it's humbling to discover that cricket, one of my passions since the first time I witnessed a Boycott forward defensive, isn't immune. In fact, one begins to suspect a plot:

- The Aussies, age-old rivals, begin to fall apart. So what do we do? Get bowled out for 51, just to give them some encouragement ahead of the Ashes.

- The West Indies try to play a Test match in a sandpit, which is called off after 2 overs, and have to relocate to a derelict former ground. National embarassment. So what do we do? Get into bed with a businessman who we discovered yesterday has been charged with fraud.

Cricket, like much English sport seems to have a chronic inability to get on top and stay on top. Strangely, this doesn't seem to be shared by Scots - witness Alec Ferguson and (increasingly) Andy Murray. Failure is always just around the corner.

But that's life. Jesus comes down from the glory on the mountain to find his incompetent disciples mishandling an attempted healing. Moses comes down from meeting God on Mt. Sinai to find the Israelites worshipping a creature of gold. Gold was an idol then, and it's an idol now. I can't remember who said that money is a good servant but a poor master (maybe because nobody ever said it). I just hope that the soul of cricket isn't so far sold that it can't be recovered.


  1. Money quote: admit it, David - you didn't even run it through Google, did you?

  2. Thanks Phil, I've always said that blogging is a team game, just like cricket....

    actually, no that's a lie. But I saved 7 gms of CO2 by not doing the Google search, so my laziness is making the world a better place for my children.