The “Spirit of Cricket” lecture that wasn’t
Two days after Tony Greig appealed to the BCCI to abandon self interest and "embrace the spirit of cricket”, and editorial on Cricket Couch, states that Greig’s lecture drove an additional wedge in to an already polarized cricket world.
There was a larger point to the lecture delivered but was undermined by the contradictions, sweeping generalizations, blanket statements and factual inaccuracies that formed the edifice on which a very valid point resided. The lecture did not advance the discussion on the current state of affairs within cricket but instead drove an additional wedge in to an already polarized cricket world. People who already had established views that aligned with the general theme of the lecture felt emboldened that a speaker at such a magnificent platform was taking up their cause, and those who began the day thinking that the speaker had an axe to grind would have walked away from it with their notions reaffirmed.
Vic Marks, writing in the Guardian, says that Greig’s analysis that India must put aside its self-interest for the greater good of the game, is in stark contrast to what he did in his own career, by signing for World Series Cricket to better his own self-interest.
He explained that one of his reasons for aligning himself with Packer was to secure the future for himself and his family. Clearly self-interest was a significant factor. Yet here he was beseeching India to put aside self-interest – or at least immediate financial gain – for the greater good of the game. In simple terms Greig's analysis was this: that India holds the future of the game in the palm of her hands. Everything hinged on India's willingness to apply the "spirit of cricket" and to make some financial sacrifices along the way, a simple analysis but also an alarming one.