Sunday, July 24, 2022

Private Eye's Remote Controller is no cricket fan

It seems churlish to complain about an issue that covers the great Market Harborough bungalow mystery, but the Eye TV column this time is piss poor.

Take its author Remote Controller's description of Andrew Flintoff as "the last-but-one 'next Botham'".

The rest of us stopped talking about "the next Botham" almost 20 years ago when, er, Andrew Flintoff established himself as a test-class allrounder. 

He didn't stay at the peak of his form for many summers, but while he did he was a key member of the side. And because that peak included the classic 2005 Ashes series, Flintoff will be remembered for just as long as Botham will.

And then there is this gem about the series Freddie Flintoff's Field of Dreams:

This series is also disfigured by the BBC's belief that the most important scores in sport now are chromosome counts and position on the A-B-C1-C2-D-E scale.

If you love cricket you want everyone to be able to play it. Indeed, part of the Tory love of the game comes from the soothing picture of the Lord of the Manor and the labourer meeting as equals on the field of play.

And if you want England to do well you want wide participation too, because if the game is confined to the higher classes then there will be a smaller pool of talent to draw on.

But for Remote Controller maintaining privilege seems to be what matters. Because if we do nothing the game will be increasingly dominated by the products of private schools.

He must have loved the Noughties, when England tried Alex Loudon (Eton) and Jamie Dalrymple (Radley) before running out of ideas and being obliged to turn again to Graeme Swann (some ghastly comprehensive somewhere).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think it was Macaulay who said that if the French had played cricket, they wouldn't have had a Revolution in 1789. Cricket was the only leisure pursuit enjoyed by both the aristocracy and the lower orders - they literally had to "get off their high horses" in order to play together. All other activities - particularly the various forms of hunting - were essentially class based.