Monday, June 23

Cricket

With Italy's exit from Euro 2008, my summer of sport looks finished, at least until August, and the resumption of hostilities in the league. Yeah, OK, Wimbledon has started, but Tennis isn't really a sport, is it? It's just a game to see who can use Persil the most efficiently.

There's cricket as well, but that seems like a side-show compared to the money talk going round at the moment. While the million quid a game 20-20 matches will be sensational, you can see that the players aren't launching themselves whole heartedly into the current test series, and why should they? There was a story recently that for winning the second test against NZ, the England players received £500 and their expenses. Big deal.

As if to compound the problem, the MCC, cricket's governing body, decided to live up to all of the 'stuffy old man' stereotypes. Kevin Pietersen invented a 'new' shot, which in a sport with a near 200 year history is quite a big deal. Changing hands mid-delivery, and the slogging the ball away for 6, Pietersen showed bowlers the world over that the game had changed.

The MCC though, decided it shouldn't. If the bowler has to declare a change of bowling side, then the batsman should as well. It shouldn't be allowed. It's like FIFA trying to ban the Cryuff turn after one too many Swedish left backs were left on their arses.

It remains to be seen which way cricket will go, if it will encourage action and invention, or if the MCC will stamp down on new ideas to keep test cricket as the flagship form of the game. I for one can't wait for the 20-20 games with the big money, but I'm just as excited for the Ashes next year. Cricket is sat in a very strong position, more so than football maybe, let's just hope they don't blow it.

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