Kings XI Punjab April 13, 2012

It’s not jealousy, KP

Why Mr Pietersen has got it wrong about English attitudes to the IPL

Kevin Pietersen has suggested that there is a lot of IPL jealousy on the part of English cricket, which is a bit silly. It isn’t jealousy, KP. Large numbers of English cricket folk genuinely aren’t interested in the IPL. Each to their own. I happen to find county cricket the epitome of tedium, a yawnsome Victorian relic that belongs in the scrapyard of history, along with the penny farthing and the gin shop.

Yet just because I don’t like the county snoozefest, does that mean I am jealous? Such a proposition doesn’t even make any sense. I could realistically harbour feelings of jealousy towards a man who owned a really splendid hat or a woman who won $65 million on the lottery or a stock exchange trader who makes a fortune by using other people’s money to play a glorified game of “higher or lower”.

But jealousy towards an entire competition? No, the abstract noun that KP should have used is “snobbery”. Cricket is riddled with it, like a Georgian trestle table infested by woodworm. For some, the only proper game of cricket is one that takes a minimum of three days to complete. Anything shorter than that is fit only for commoners who value such vulgarities as entertainment or excitement.

Snobbery in some fields, I can understand. It takes time and a certain intellectual capacity to learn to appreciate fine art or ballet or a piece of music that lasts for seven hours and doesn’t include guitars. But cricket snobbery, like the commentary style of Danny Morrison, makes no sense at all. It’s like a street sweeper looking down on a scullery maid because cleaning the kitchen floor doesn’t take very long.

While the rest of us just enjoy cricket in all its forms, the snob confines himself to just one. It’s a curious form of masochism but it does have a history. There were snobs in 18th-century London, turning their noses up at the raucous cricket played on the Artillery Ground, and 100 years later, other snobs were being rather sniffy about the large crowds who turned up to watch northern league matches.

Although to be completely fair, it isn’t only cricket snobs who don’t like the IPL. The fans of Kings XI Punjab haven’t got much joy out of the competition so far either. If life is a vale of tears, for followers of the silvery-red franchise it has been an ocean of sorrow. And yet today in Mohali, against Pune, amid a plague of moths, they got a win in IPL5; a momentous and possibly not to be repeated occasion.

It was a scrappy sort of affair and it started to go wrong for the turquoise-wearing ones from the moment that the cowboy Jesse Ryder and his compadre Sourav Ganguly got into a tangle. It was Jesse’s fault. Given his proportions and Sourav’s dislike of sudden movements, the attempt at a quick single was as ill-advised as two seals taking a shortcut through the polar-bear enclosure on their way to the fish shop.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • testli5504537 on April 28, 2012, 15:47 GMT

    The feeling is mutual with the rest of the world regarding Ashes...a huge non-event!!

  • testli5504537 on April 16, 2012, 11:36 GMT

    Maybe just maybe the English prefer their own T20 league as opposed to foreign one when all the game are played during their work hours? Just a thought.

    I do find it laughable people are saying English players aren't up to playing in the IPL. Those would be the same players that are currently ranked No. 1 in the world, with a domestic team making the semi-finals of the Champions League (despite all elements of organisation stacked again them). What's laughable is the fact only 4 English players have been selected for the IPL and non Pakistan players. Despite being the most recent world cup winners.

  • testli5504537 on April 16, 2012, 8:36 GMT

    There is nothing to be jealous with county cricket.So, why people would be jealous of that.England always tries to be the best but they could not be in cricket.

  • testli5504537 on April 15, 2012, 17:24 GMT

    its for sure jealousy at the progress and success of IPL

  • testli5504537 on April 14, 2012, 13:58 GMT

    not surprised mr hughes.that this blog does not have any comments prob because you have not published any of the comments since they were all disproving your jealousy and snubiness..well enjoy living in ur small pom world..hopefullly youll wake up soon! cheers

  • testli5504537 on April 14, 2012, 6:51 GMT

    Ha. Good one. What is cricket without snobbery. In fact, I have found it the only recourse when debating its merits with those yet to be initialized to this peculiar game, like say, the Americans. Snobbery works like a charm to put to end any whiff of ridicule, especially when exhibited whilst wearing an off white sweater. As for the IPL, does it even matter if anyone else outside India care? With a catchment population of a billion plus, there is enough patronage to sustain it. I suspect any attempts even by the organizers of this funfest to spread the game offshore is only to increase its value to the local customer. Indians tend to feel better about their product when others find it cool too. So, please, if a few of you can humor us and turn around now and then from pastoral county games to glance at sixes that turn into maximums and catches that are always kamaal, we can all get along just fine.

  • testli5504537 on April 14, 2012, 6:37 GMT

    Well said. Who is jeaolous of that crap? IPL has been a real revelation as far as I am concerned as I never knew that there will be a form of cricket that I just wont care about.

  • testli5504537 on April 14, 2012, 6:01 GMT

    I have been reading ur articles from quite some time now,the only thing that comes to my mind is u have some serious knowledge on cricket. Y dont u write some serious articles? Bare in mind this was an hillarious article especially the " It was Jesse’s fault. Given his proportions and Sourav’s dislike of sudden movements" part.What a cracking end.

  • testli5504537 on April 14, 2012, 5:29 GMT

    I am trying to read Andrew's article for second time...I get it...only thing I am confused this article supposed to be funny?...I am not being sarcastic (I dont have ^famous english sarcasm in me)

  • testli5504537 on April 14, 2012, 5:25 GMT

    " It’s like a street sweeper looking down on a scullery maid because cleaning the kitchen floor doesn’t take very long"

    good one, but you do realize that you have to live in the UK and your chances of living large in India are slimmer than Trott's, right?

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