August 22, 2011

Horse 1220 - Is Cricket Really Going Through A Bad Patch?

Going into Day 5 of the Fourth Test against India, England have a commanding lead having declared at 591 for 6, with India bowled out for 300 and now being "invited" to follow-on are 129 for 3; still requiring 162 to make England bat again.

On ABC Local Radio this morning, a discussion was had which basically suggested that the only reason that England were on top at the moment was because that cricket generally is going through a bad patch.
What rot!
Accusations of this nature weren't made when Australia were on top smacking all and sundry, or when India reached the summit of Test Cricket. So why is it that when England gets to the No.1 ranking does it suddenly become a case that cricket is going through a bad patch?

Largely because Britain had an empire and was genuinely horrible to other peoples more than 60 years ago and because Britain has a tradition of being able to laugh at itself, Britain and by inference England has becomes an unwritten case of an Acceptable Target.
England is seen by the cricket world as the Upper Class Twits, the Aristocrats, maybe the Gentry and "Old Money", despite the billions of Dollarpounds now flowing into Indian cricket.

It was the same when England won the Rugby World Cup in 2003.
The England Rugby team in 1998 had suffered the "Tour From Hell" including a 76-0 loss against Australia and then set about changing the structure of the RFU. The fact that England had spent five years rebuilding the team from the ground up was totally overlooked but pundits and commentators when England won the World Cup in 2003; Rugby must have been generally going through a bad patch because the thought that England might have actually through hard work and effort built a world-class team was totally unacceptable.

So it is with the English Cricket team.
England in 2006/7 suffered a five-nil whitewash on the tour of Australia; then had a disastrous ODI World Cup in the West Indies in 2007. The coach Duncan Fletcher resigned, and have steadily rebuilt the squad into what it is today.

Can it really be the case that England is the best in the world because they actually are the best in the world finally? Maybe it's because we're used to seeing season after season of poor performances that there is just some sort of emotional discord that makes it impossible to believe.

England No.1? Yeah right, cricket must be going through a bad patch.

No comments: