Time to dissolve English cricket
It's being reported that Andy Flower will walk out on England unless he gets his way. What he allegedly wants is Kevin Pietersen out of the team. A lot of people are with him on this - they don't like Kevin Pietersen because they feel that he's the kind of person who'll walk out on England if he doesn't get his way.
Maybe they should both go. In fact, few people are doing much of any significance while they are with England - maybe everyone should go. English cricket appears spiritually insolvent at present. Perhaps we should just draw a line under it and move everyone into new fields. The cricketers have spent the last few weeks being wound up by Australian players, fans and newspapers, but maybe it's time for a different kind of winding up. The fans have a strong case for petitioning the court to have English cricket dissolved, because it appears totally incapable of repaying its debts.
It could work out well for everyone. Matt Prior was dropped a couple of matches ago and already he's out there saving lives, talking a man out of jumping off Pyrmont Bridge in Sydney. How did he do this? Perhaps he drew on recent experiences to emphasise how it could all be so much worse. Who knows? All that's clear is that his performance was far more accomplished than recent ones in front of and behind the stumps.
Similarly, while he was an England cricketer Graeme Swann had nothing better to do than crack jokes on Twitter. I've just checked his feed now and at the time of writing, there had been nothing since Christmas Day. Clearly now he does have something better to do, even if it's not entirely clear what that is.
The only argument against selling off English cricket's assets and calling it a day is the risk that the problems might not die with the organisation. It could be that the Ashes 2013-14 virus everyone's clearly carrying might spread further, laying waste to the nation through a hard-to-define combination of stagnation and emptiness.
Up and down the land, previously sure-handed waiters and waitresses will spill their culinary cargo. Teachers will become so afraid that their pupils might be criticised for making a mistake that they will instruct them not to carry out any work whatsoever. Delivery men will spend hours refusing to knock on any doors in case they have the wrong address and when their suitability for their role is questioned, they will inexplicably shout through the letterbox of a house they have selected at random in order to show intent.
Bland, self-important corporations will be particularly hard hit. Managers, directors, executives and anyone with a three-letter abbreviation masquerading as their job title will simply throw in the towel when confronted with a difficult situation.
Difficulty meeting the demands of a particular client? Get rid of them; find a new one. Talented employee not buying into corporate values and culture? Get rid of them; find a new one. Organisation not seeing success in recent months? Sell off its assets and shut it down for good. Whatever it is, just make the problem go away.
Alex Bowden blogs at King Cricket