I hate cricket. It's a stupid game. It's so bloody middle class. All that guff about cricket on the village green and stopping for tea harks back to an England that never existed. Not for me, anyway.
My local county cricket club, in Edgbaston (a resolutely middle-class suburb), is Warwickshire, a county Birmingham is no longer part of, and hasn't been part of for at least as long as I've been alive. If there was a West Midlands County cricket club, I still wouldn't support them. It might be different in other counties, but they're isn't really a West Midlands identity. Maybe it's because it's a relatively new county, but there isn't as much pride in being a West Midlander as, say, a Yorkshireman has in his county, nor do we have a county stereotype like Essex has.
Brummies couldn't give a fuck about Coventry, or Wolverhampton, or Walsall, and neither could they give a reciprocal fuck about Birmingham. That's why football is better. When you go to a footie match, there's a real sense of belonging to your community.(Unless you're a Man Utd. supporter, in which case you could be from anywhere! Glory hunting bastards.)
The game of cricket itself is stupid. They play in the summer but wear jumpers. They stop for tea. They can play a game for five days and still draw. Commentators say stuff like 'silly mid-off'
and 'gully' and expect you to know what they're on about, and they don't want to explain it to oiks like me in case I get interested and want to take my working-class arse into Edgbaston.It's such a snobby game! I mean, it's only been in the last few years that women could go into Lord's club.
The snobbery reared its head in the recent Andrew/Freddie Flintoff 'falling off a pedalo pissed' incident. There were a couple of people saying it was a disgrace, but generally the consensus was that "he's been a bit of a silly boy, but boys will be boys, let him get on with his cricket" (which I kind of agree with. The most exciting sportsmen, generally, are the pissheads- Alex Higgins, Maradona, Botham, Gazza, Paul Merson, George Best, Greavsie-the list goes on and on...) but if you imagine that if it was an English footballer at a World Cup that fell off a pedalo whilst pissed up the reaction would be 'SEND THIS DRUNKEN YOB HOME!!', because football is still seen as a game for oiks (although, lately, it's priced out of this particular oik's price range), and is played by mostly working class men, and if we do things like get drunk, it's an outrage, but if a cricketer does it, it's just horseplay.
The recent suspicious death of Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer ( whose name sounds a lot like a local Central TV newsreader; I initially thought Bob Warman had been killed suspiciously!) and the Cronje match-fixing scandal shows that cricket is totally corrupt and is probably as fixed as wrestling is. (Although, recent events in Italy show us that football isn't squeaky clean either.)
Cricket is a throwback to the empire, and we should leave it the past, and it's kind of ironic that the countries we once lorded over keep beating us at it. I can't wait for this cricket world cup to finish.