Abandoned West Indies tour is not in the spirit of cricket

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Richie Richardson has even been practising

We consider the Spirit of Cricket – the branded, upper-case initial letter creation of the MCC – to be a nebulous pile of bollocks. You can quote us on that. However, that isn’t to say that there is no such thing as the spirit of cricket.

The Spirit of Cricket (branded) is all about fair play and doing the right thing. The spirit of cricket (unbranded) is the way the game really works; the unspoken rules of the sport as they have naturally evolved. As such, the West Indies abandonment of their tour of India is most definitely in contravention of the spirit of cricket.

No option?

The board’s argument is that they had no choice but to call the tour off once the players had announced their intention to return to the Caribbean. What utter, utter horseshit.

Since when have cricket matches demanded that both sides have their best players, or indeed sufficient players, available to them? Cricket in its purest grassroots form demands only one individual to represent his or her side. That person phones round available players in a vain attempt to drum up an eleven – any eleven – for the next match. If they fall short, the team either plays short-staffed or the opposition provides a few spam-handed incompetents to supplement their numbers.

On no account is the match called off.

A West Indies XI… or VIII or IV or whatever

Obviously, as this is international cricket, the West Indies cannot make use of Ajit Agarkar or any other Indians as they are the wrong nationality and therefore ineligible for selection. That’s fair enough, but surely they can still get a few blokes out onto the park?

Richie Richardson’s there; he’s a decent bat. Stuart Williams is assistant coach; he can open. Clive Lloyd’s knocking about and Curtly Ambrose has been working as bowling consultant. You’ve already got a half decent side there in our opinion. Rope in a few physios and management figures for fielding duty and they could still beat most sides in the world.

Stop your bleating and get on with it.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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    1. Curses. We’ve had to revert to WordPress’s in-built image system because the one we’ve always used is no longer supported.

      As well as storing images in a really crap way, the hover captions demand a bit of a rigmarole.

      Should be sorted now, even if it isn’t really worth the wait.

    2. Phew! I was worried that you had perhaps reached an impasse in negotiations with your first-choice hover caption and therefore had no alternative but simply to abandon hover captions altogether.

    3. No. As you can see, in the absence of our first-choice hover caption, we simply called up a second-rate replacement.

    4. Hmmm, a Sunday morning rush piece for sure, but I wouldn’t want KC to stop writing facetious drivel.

      Many of us come here for serendipitous browsing, delighting in finding well-constructed argument here and facetious drivel there…

      …but I suspect David Oram’s outburst is born of profound worry about the BCCI, WICB and ICC. This matter is a crisis that could damage irrevocably West Indies cricket and therefore international cricket along with it. That is not a funny thought.

  1. Ah, sarcasm, irony tongue-in-cheek stuff and all that. Took me a few sentences to realize. Maybe I’m getting slow.

  2. I read that as “doing the right thang”. I immediately imagined you wearing a pink hat, white gloves, a lot of bling, and entering the dance floor with the DJ yelling “Yo, yo, yo, alexx bowdennn in da house”.

    All this could’ve been avoided if you had not put your face on AOC. Smiling and all. (Yes, this issue ain’t gonna die).

    1. Not our decision. We managed eight years writing on the web without our face having to get involved but we always knew that somebody somewhere would demand its presence at some point.

    2. You need to stop worrying about what people think of your face. To help you, I’ve penned a few basic thoughts:

      Your face is lovely.

      Hope that helps.

    3. No, YOUR face is lovely.

      Hmm. The ‘no, you are’ riposte doesn’t seem to carry so much weight in this instance.

  3. Richie looks in better shape than Jesse Ryder. If the entire West Indies has packed a sulk, then surely a Second Division County needs an opening bowler.

  4. The thing that’s odd about this dispute is that it isn’t between a players’ association and a governing board, but rather between a select group of players and the head of the players’ union.

    The issue at stake, from what I’ve gathered, is that the board and the WIPA want a greater (far greater) share of the payment to be allocated towards players at domestic level, and the players who regularly represent the national team are upset because that means they’ll be making a lot less.

    I’m not saying it’s necessarily the truth, but a common criticism of West Indies players of this era has been that they’re less concerned with cricket in the West Indies than they are with getting paid. This doesn’t do a lot to dispel that image. Of course, there’s also the argument that there’s more important things than image.

  5. Given that the BCCI runs the IPL, I would have thought that this could have been settled fairly easily by banning all the departing players from the IPL. Shorn of almost all opportunities to make a living from cricket, the players might be in a better place to understand who actually provides justification for their otherwise bizarre set of skills. Maybe they could find lucrative employment in all those other fields of enterprise where hurling a projectile at 80mph towards a target 20m away is an important skill.

    Stoat hunting? Come on, there must be hundreds.

    1. The one that springs immediately to mind is mass murder.

      I… probably shouldn’t be saying this in a comment.

  6. What the fuck is going on? Not only did University Challenge tonight have a question on test matches at Old Trafford, the music round answers were The Smiths, Billy Bragg, The Fall and Joy Division. And then, unbelievably, there was a starter question and all three follow up questions on ankylosing spondylitis.

    1. It must be something like that. There is literally no other possible explanation.

      This has seriously twisted my melon. I thought I was having an awake-dream.

    2. I came here to say what Bert said but he had already said it.

      On the Spondylitis question, the contestants grinned at each other like it was some sort of in-joke. It was the best episode in the world. I found that I couldn’t speak.

    3. I am still in turmoil. This needs a proper investigation. There is no chance it could be coincidental. One of your minions, the silent or the loud-and-annoying ones, MUST have had something to do with it. Maybe it’s Paxman himself, in disguise.

      This is the greatest day since the greatest post day. You need to shout this one from the rooftops, KC. University Challenge! Not Celebrity Squares or Question Time or anything. University fucking Challenge!

    4. Oh do calm down, it’s not Blockbusters. It’s not even the Crystal Maze.

      I want to see a Crystal Maze challenge based on Joy Division and ankylosing spondylitis, possibly set in the Aztec era.

      They can even use an extra rubbery Ollamaliztli ball to simulate conditions at Old Trafford.

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