The thing about talking grandiose self-serving bollocks is that not only does it expose your fundamental hollowness, but the fundamental meaninglessness of what you said may well also be exposed.
Late last month, as the IPL scrabbled towards its inevitable postponement, the most eye-poppingly you-don’t-even-believe-this-yourself justification for continuing came from the interim chief executive of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Hemang Amin.
Writing to the players about the increasingly terrifying Covid-19 situation in India, he said: “When you all walk out on to the field, you are bringing hope to millions of people who have tuned in. If, even for a minute, you can bring a smile on someone’s face, then you have done well. While you are professionals and will play to win, this time you are also playing for something much more important … humanity.”
This begs the question, who is playing for humanity now that the tournament’s been suspended?
Or, alternatively, is it possible to play for humanity at a later date when the public health situation is far less severe?
Those are rhetorical questions. Basically, the situation is this: no-one is currently playing cricket for humanity and humanity is no worse off than it already was.
There is a tendency to imbue fun things with importance. This is okay up to a point, but it is important to acknowledge that there is a very definite ceiling to fun-importance and that ceiling falls quite some way short of, say, the provision of life-saving oxygen.