I got into cricket because I loved nothing better than the sound of bat hitting ball, the challenge of a catch considered uncatchable, the deception of the spinner and his joy when he got the last laugh. I loved the smell of a bat and the little blister on the inside of the front finger. I played as much as I could and when the opportunity to make a career out of writing and talking about cricket appeared on the horizon I worked as hard as was possible for me to make it happen.
But in the last few weeks, the only talk around my beloved game is about administration, power, control, profits, enquiry commissions, deception, betting. On social media people have made wild and ridiculous conclusions armed only with ignorance and venom. News anchors, like a pack of hyenas, smack their lips at another controversy. Cricket loses its fragrance, its aroma and acquires a stench.
Suddenly we are expected to have an expert opinion on all this; on the law, on commerce, on dark dealings, on betting odds, on diet and fitness regimes, on anything. But that is not the reason we got into sport, into cricket.
Cricket is one of life’s great joys, a carrier of happiness and good cheer. Even if your team loses the disappointment is always coated with admiration for your adversary. In cricket you always shake hands with your opposition because the contest is over when the last ball is bowled. It is a great way to live; try your best to win, shake hands afterwards and go home.
That is the cricket I seek, that is why I got into this profession. This anger unnerves and saddens me.