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Despite it being the middle of June and the height of the cricket season, the main sports coverage in both television and newspapers, it seems to me, is almost entirely devoted to the game of football compared to that of cricket.
In fact, I would go so far as to say that our beloved summer game could almost be classed as an also ran in relation to football, for we are for ever being fed news about the latest multi million pound player transfers to those clubs able to afford these astronomical amounts of money. About the latest club managers sackings; about new club managers appointments; about club teams updates in the remotest parts of the country that we have never heard of before. And so it goes. . . On. . . and on. . . and on. . . and on. . . I'm wondering, will it never end, this overfeed of football information? Especially when our game of cricket is hardly mentioned at all. There's no mention of the county cricket scores by the television anymore. Indeed, you would be hard pressed to find them in most of the newspapers anywhere these days also, except perhaps in the small print hiding in the corner at the bottom of a page somewhere. You may well ask, 'But what about 20/20 cricket? That gets plenty of coverage' My reply is, ' But what about it?' After all, this smack-bam-wallop! interpretation of the game is hardly cricket now, is it? Oh, I know it draws large crowds to watch it. And there's lots of money for everyone involved; but we all know where that debacle in the West Indies led us recently, don't we? It's all hype and no substance, in my opinion. The whole character of the game will be lost if we carry on in this way, and we'll find it ending up the same as football. Money! Money! Money! With players contesting the umpires decisions, arguing with them, swearing at them, even being sent from the field of play because of their outrageous behaviour toward them. Who wants that? I know I don't.
And this kind of behaviour has now also become part and parcel in club cricket up and down the country ever since the introduction of league cricket over the years, with players slagging each other off in a most ungentle many way that it has actually become acceptable as the norm by everybody. What used to be looked on as an enjoyable afternoon's game of cricket between two friendly, good-natured teams appreciating each other's skills, has now been turned into what can only be described as a war zone out on the cricket field on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
In those happy days long ago when cricket was played as it should be, it was a recognised thing that after the match the custom was to then enjoy a glass of ale in the pavilion bar with the opposition to discuss the game we had just spent all afternoon playing together. And it was here that we learned so much about each other both as players and as individuals. We actually respected one another's cricketing talents. Not like now, where if you lose a game, your opposition will be showered and changed and on their way home without a mention of the afternoon's contest within minutes of the match ending. There appears to be so much hostility between players now, which is such a shame, because ultimately the game, in my opinion, will suffer because of this bad attitude and general lack of respect for it if continued in this manner.
Which only leaves me to just repeat: 'What have they done to our beloved game of cricket?'
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