August 11, 2011

Test Championship

A suitably silly trophy

The ICC Test Championship Mace on display, Melbourne, January 4, 2009
The ICC Test Championship Mace on display  © Getty Images

Emma John has an amusing article in the Guardian about the mace presented to the top Test team in the world. She wonders whether the ICC decided on a mace as a prize since it signifies "authority, power, medieval concepts of feudalism".

As prizes go, the mace is gloriously bonkers, a surreal reminder of just how trivial a concept sport is. Congratulations, you have won a purely fictitious battle, whose outcome is of no lasting consequence – now have this ludicrously expensive replica of an ancient bludgeoning instrument. And yet, given the chance to have my photo taken with any sort of trophy or even – crikey – hold one, I will go weaker at the knees than Ben Foden at a Saturdays gig. Maybe it's because they're markers of permanence in an otherwise impermanent and ultimately meaningless milieu. As Keats said, a thing of beauty is a joy for ever. And a mace is for life, not just for Christmas.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.