I watched England play Middlsesex in the Stanford 20/20 the other day. As I type I'm watching the farcical $20 million dollar match. Now ignoring Alan Stanford's antics with the England WAG's which, to be frank, amused the shit out of me (notes on that later), that game epitomised the worst of cricket. A couple of half-decent teams playing bloody average cricket in the pursuit of a few big slog. Texan oil money funding cricket? Wasn't this once a game for gentlemen?
But the worst thing was the colours. Middlesex were in pink, England were in red, the umpires were in a migraine inducing shade of purple and even the commentators had been kitted out in canary yellow.
Add in the floodlit green grass and the whole thing was like a very bad acid trip. No wonder England were dropping catches. And no where to be found was the glorious, traditional white.
Also missing was the decent cricket. Half-arsed and sloppy, like twenty20 itself, funded with megabucks to impersonate baseball and treat the bowlers as machines. The pitch is terrible. The money seems to be a substitute for class, tradition and quality.
Now, I'll admit when it comes to cricket I am something of a troglodyte. Give me men in whites, five days of hard slog in the sun, where plans are laid sessions in advance and heroes are made through tenacity and talent - not wild slogging. I LOVE test cricket. It annoys the hell out of me to see these hit and giggle games take more importance as they rake in more cash.
You may say that twenty20 is the future of cricket and sad old (young!) bastards like me should recognise it. But I ask you, how many of these English players with their WAG's in tow would swap the chance of a million dollar paycheck for winning the next Ashes series in Australia? I'd bet every single one.
Of course now that's a moot point. The English have CHOKED. Really really hard. These young "Stanford Superstars" have just become very rich men. I can't help but wonder how many of them will go off the rails with this new money?
And now for something completely different, yet sadly the same...
For all my posturing about rugby this year, a game against Australia in Hong Kong, in late spring... Totally didn't inspire me. The Bledisloe was ours already, we had played Aus three times already, and once again it seemed like nothing more than lining the coffers of the respective rugby unions. Average game too.
Money and sport... Fuck that.
What Shane Really Means is.....
5 years ago