Friday, April 18, 2008


Call me a reactionary - in fact call me anything you like (Ishmael?) - but I entirely agree with this. One of the glories of cricket was always that its players were the best dressed of any sportsmen. White trousers and shirt, cream wollen jumper if needed, cap - elegant and perfect in every way. All changes to that look have been for the worse - and now, the fleece! Well, for heaven's sake...
On the other hand, as a traditionalist, I've nothing against this IPL 20/20 extravaganza. Competitive cricket began as a gimmicky, crowd-pulling, big money game (the money was in the betting - as it no doubt is in India to a large extent) with all manner of crazy games, stunts and challenges. Even after the Victorians tidied it up and made it a game for gentlemen, it still had its larky side - the first Australian touring team, for example, was made up of Aborigines, who entertained the crowds with spear throwing and boomerang demonstrations. It's a wonder the game ever settled down into the grand, stately and infinitely subtle thing it was through much of the 20th century. So long as that 'real' cricket - Test matches and the 3/4 day game - continues, the crowd-pleasing stunts don't matter (and, in their crude way, they'll entertain an awful lot more people than any other form of cricket).


  1. Yep, I can picture Colin Milburn now, Black North Face jacket plus Rohan lined bags.

  2. Ah, Nige, I'm with you. Those days of glorious youth when the great Trueman, at the end of an over from the equally great Statham, would peel off the product of eighteen sheep and throw it with disdain at a long-suffering umpire before questioning the parental legitimacy of a fretful batsman.Then, after six balls, the lanquid Statham would make his way up from long leg before demonstrating his nausea-inducing double-jointedness by putting both hands over his shoulders and down his back, grabbing the bottom of his sweater with both hands and taking it off in a single movement. They just don't make men and sweaters like that any more.