Posted by sean on July 22, 2013 at 11:18 pm in Cricket with No Comments

I’ve been following a lot of the Ashes series this past fortnight. When I say ‘a lot’, I spent the last two weekends watching non-stop cricket on my iPad. I did little else. I am not normally a huge cricket fan. I’ll watch the odd England international and have seen Somerset play during one of their annual visits to Bath. I’m no David Lloyd.

While my knowledge of cricket is similar to that of Gareth Southgate’s understanding of football (i.e. I know nothing), I have thoroughly enjoyed watching Australia suffer at the hands of Ian Bell and the rest of the England team.

I do like the difference between how football and cricket players conduct themselves in post-match interviews. Your typical professional footballer will scratch the bag of his ear nervously, using the words “you know” a thousand times before hastily leaving the interview to commit some form of adultery. Whereas your England cricket player will be polite, confident and gracious throughout. When his questions have all been answered, he’ll go to a local orphanage and read children a bedtime story.

Even off the field they’re different. I loved how Graeme Swann got arrested for drink driving in the most middle-class way possible. After a dinner party, where he drank a few glasses of wine, he arrived home (by taxi), to find his wife’s kitten trapped under the floorboards of their home. In a scene fit for a BBC sitcom, Swann is forced to drive to Asda in the middle of the night, to buy screwdrivers to get the cat out. A decent chap is Swann, who was found not guilty, and rightly so.

How does your typical footballer get charged with drink driving? No doubt in his Bentley, speeding down a motorway at 120 mph, after he has spent an evening at a nightclub drinking excessively. Probably with prostitutes. They too would be found not guilty, but that is because our legal system is fucked.

Top-flight footballers are generally twats, whereas crickets are role models.

Despite my love of football and interest in cricket, I’m not really the sporting type. However, during my school days, cricket was the only sport I chose to play – as opposed to other sporting activities, which were forced upon me during PE. I always thought I was pretty good. In reality, I was probably rubbish and the people I played with were just being nice to me, or equally poor.

Watching the cricket this weekend did make me wonder though. Maybe I was good at it. What would have happened if I had carried on with the sport, instead of retiring at the ripe old age of 9? I could have been Joe Root.

There is always a way I can resurrect my cricket career. I may not be as good now as I was during my school days, but if I can find a distant relative who is an Aussie convict, I think I could get myself into the Australian cricket team in time for the third Ashes test next month.

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