October 8, 2008

English cricket

'Who gives a damn? It's not cricket'

Siddhartha Talya

Angus Fraser, in the Independent, writes that the rest of the cricketing world, or even the vast majority of England supporters, could not care if the US $20 million match between Stanford All-Star XI and England gets cancelled. Fraser feels the match is nothing more than an exhibition game, as it is just a move by Allen Stanford to promote himself and his company, but provides the ECB an opportunity to have greater control over its players.

Teams play matches to be successful and win trophies for the country they represent and the fans who passionately follow them. For a player, fortune is amassed and fame is gained as a direct result of excelling in these events and winning trophies.

Stanford's match, however, is different. It has been arranged almost as a "Big Brother" experiment, so that a billionaire can promote himself and his company while watching how players react when playing under a huge and falsely created amount of pressure. The game is an irrelevance. No trophy of any value will be won and the performances of the players will not appear in their career records. It is nothing more than an exhibition game.

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Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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