We put up a podcast a few days ago about spy films following our trip to see Kingsman, the latest comic book adaptation by
Michael Matthew Vaughan.
Today’s post however is a bit of a deviation from our normal format and hopefully acts as a bit of promotion for our sibling blog that Alec will be restarting for the Cricket a World Cup.
For those of you who love cricket, please keep reading. For those of you who don’t, please read anyway as it’s about more than an obtuse English sport.
“Cricket is a wonderful sport. It’s played all over the world but often only at the apparently begrudging tolerance of its governing body: the International Cricket Council or ICC.
Ahead of the game’s marquee event, the World Cup, the ICC has insisted that the next edition will be played by 10 instead of 14 nations. Leaving aside the fact that 14 nations is less than half the football World Cup, this is a kick in the teeth to those nations lower down the sporting pecking order.
Global cricket is split into 2 factions, the full members and everybody else.
The full nations are: Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the West Indies and Zimbabwe.
The rest of the cricketing field is split into several tiers, explaining the formation and rationale of which would take a long and circuitous route to fully explain.
The ICC’s decision to effectively gut its biggest tournament is a travesty because some of all sports’ greatest stories come when the little guys give the playground bullies a bloody nose, and in Cricket World Cups no team has done it quite like the Irish. At the 2007 tournament they tied with Zimbabwe and beat Bangladesh and Pakistan. Then in 2011 they played one of the most enthralling matches ever to beat England, thanks to the fastest ever century by Kevin O’Brien. Highlights of his innings alone are justification for the very existence of YouTube. If you care about sport, about fairness and about the fact that there is more to life than making sure those with power and money keep their power and money, please make known your displeasure at what the ICC has done otherwise we may see very little more of these heroics in future.
And these anecdotes barely scratch the surface of the smaller nations in cricket. For a much more complete picture one could do far worse than pick up Peter Miller’s and Tim Wigmore’s Second XI: Cricket in its Outposts. Along with some quite incredible statistics (such as the fact that there are more cricket clubs than rugby clubs in Scotland), they tell a fascinating story of how the sport is growing in some unlikely places in spite of the apathy and antagonism of the big names at the ICC table.
Fun to read, excellently written, often uplifting, always fascinating and occasionally heartbreaking it lays down a very early marker for the sports book of 2015. It certainly makes a better case for expanding the World Cup than Dave Richardson of Giles Clarke made for shrinking it.”