Geoff Boycott’s comments about Mike Yardy have attracted a lot of criticism. When told that Yardy was being forced to go home because of depression, Boycott said:
“I’m surprised, very surprised. But he must have been reading my comments about his bowling, it must have upset him.
“Obviously it was too much for him at this level. If any blame is attached it’s partly to the selectors because I’m sorry, he’s not good enough at this level.”
That sounds very heartless, but the truth is that it betrays Boycott’s unusually narrowly focused interaction with the world rather than any actual callousness on his part, as is shown by his later comments when it is pointed out to him that Yardy is suffering from an illness:
“It’s obviously very sad, but I’m not a medical man, so I can’t tell you what it’s like to be depressed. I’ve been lucky, I’ve been good enough … until you’ve had depression I don’t think you’re qualified to talk about it.”
For Geoffrey Boycott, everything in life revolves around how good you are at cricket. Every success, every problem – all of it derives from cricketing ability or lack thereof. Boycott is not a cold-hearted man. He is just someone who struggles to see the world as other people do.
Tell Geoff Boycott that Mike Yardy is suffering from depression and he simply can’t imagine how Yardy might be feeling. His immediate response is to imagine Geoff Boycott in that same position and deduce what might have happened based on that.
We named our England heroes for the World Cup before it had started. We remember now that cricketing heroism is more about what you do on the pitch than the shape of your head.
That said, the man named on the basis of head shape, Tim Bresnan, has been something of a success. He’s taken wickets and often looked England’s best bowler, particularly against India. Maybe phrenology is the way forward.
Mike Yardy is the other hero who’s actually played. While he could maybe have bolstered his figures had he played against the Netherlands, it now seems like his one-day career may have run its course. There always seemed to be an England policy of playing Yardy as a bowler for as long as they could get away with it, in which case, shame on them for overplaying him before the tournament. He could have been their secret tool.
Luke Wright’s not been seen. The High-Visibility Tabard of England Squad Membership must be so firmly affixed to his torso that he cannot be picked lest he be mistaken for a steward while fielding on the boundary.
As for James Tredwell, in naming these England heroes, we wrote:
“Yes, he is in the squad. You’d probably forgotten.”
We stand by that.
No Mike Yardy for England’s World Cup opener against the Netherlands? Are they saving him for later in the tournament?
Maybe he’s being remoulded as a secret weapon. Although if that’s the case, he’s not very weapon-like. He seems like something altogether more functional, like a spanner or a screwdriver.
Maybe he’s England’s secret tool.
We’re aware that sounds like a euphemism.
If you’re English, your heroes shouldn’t be talented or eye-catching. Being English is about celebrating the people who really don’t seem like they should be doing something, but are doing it anyway and are doing it well.
Here are the official King Cricket heroes for the 2011 World Cup. These are the guys we’ll be rooting for.
Bit trendy after doing a hell of a lot to help England win the Ashes, but only trendy in the way that the theme tune to the Bill was trendy after they jazzed it up a bit.
Tim Bresnan is from Yorkshire and he has quite a round head. Those are qualities we can all appreciate.
Yes, he is in the squad. You’d probably forgotten. You know of James Tredwell, but you don’t really know much about him.
James Tredwell looks older than he is and bats ‘a bit’. His spin bowling is not in any way eye-catching and he is so low profile that we have just had to create a category for him having never properly written about him before. An ideal World Cup hero.
As we’ve said before, we don’t actually know whether Luke Wright is a batsman, a bowler or simply a blank canvas who doesn’t get injured. When he does play, he tries very, very hard.
Quite possibly the best of the bunch. As a batsman, he will never be a joy to watch. As for bowling, he has an approach that betrays a deep-seated loathing of any form of entertainment.
Mike Yardy is basically there to ruin cricket matches. If England win the final because he’s bowled 60 deliveries straight into the batsman’s legs without really spinning it at all, he will be the English hero to end all English heroes.