The Tedium Of Irrelevant Controversy

A shortish post, but hopefully getting to the point.

I didn’t see Stokes’s dimissal live. I was flitting backwards and forwards between the England cricket match, and that international fixture against San Marino. I did switch back to see Smith conversing with his team as we waited for the third umpire to make his decision. I have to say, my first reaction was “out”. I have some sympathy with those who think “not out” based on the full speed version, but I still tend to weigh the balance of probabilities as “out”.

But that’s not what this post is all about. There’s a greyish area and everyone will pile into it. I might come at it from an “anti-England” perspective as far as others are concerned, but there are those who come at it from an England fan standpoint. Hell, I know how that feels. I’m still mad at Sol Campbell’s goal being disallowed in St. Etienne, even though Alan Shearer impedes the Argentinian keeper! That’s 17 years ago now. Don’t even mention Keith Hackett to me either, and that’s 24 years ago.

But I’m jaded, and knew this would bring out a tedious debate where everyone thinks their line is right, and if you don’t, well you are an idiot. There is a grey area. It can be debated all you like. In the context of the match why is it different from a dodgy LBW or a nick that is missed? Because, and you knew when it happened the media outlets are seriously punching the air, this stuff is clickbait. Pure and simple. Twitter got full on it, look at how many comments the Guardian BTL has today on this (over 1200 combined for both pieces), and all arguing the toss. I like debates over sports, but this sort of stuff does my head in, invoking spirit of the game, recalling players, and the search for precedents as if, in the heat of the moment, players remember them. At the end of the day, only Stokes knows what he was doing.

Now, you’ll recall not so long ago, that Dmitri has been called vitriolic. A number of times. Bilious too. A little unhinged. A person who lacks understanding. Well. That’s nice. But then you read something like this, and you think, am I really the one not grounded here?

See, this is why being nice to them is never right.

When they get the slightest chance, they screw us over.

And we give them guard of honours. The difference in class.

If it was up to me, I’d have asked Finny and Broad to aim at his back and give him “a broken fucken back”

Looks like Starc got influenced by the ol’ Warnie’s criticism and decided he needs to be a w@nker for him to “play the Australian way”. And Steven Smith is a chav who will regret moments like this when the drives stop flowing and he becomes a pale shadow of himself whom people ridicule when he walks out to bat.
PS: Before I get accused of racism, this is by no means a generalization of all Australians. It is just aimed at the snakes like Steven Smith, Michael Clarke, David Warner, Mitchell Starc and co.

I’ve re-printed this because I want to be reminded of it every time that cretin picks on people putting arguments against the England team and the authorities. Steve Smith is a “chav” on the back of one incident. He’s also a snake, as are three other players. And while he’s climbing up the moral mountain, he’s wanting people to have broken backs (and please, spare me the ManInABarrel stuff – this is very different and you know it if you cared to read what surrounded that). Hey, there’s no misinterpreting that is there? “When they get the slightest chance, they screw us over” as if England play like some Corinthian outfit who never stretch the lines.

Of all the people to blame here, Steve Smith is somewhere near the bottom. As a captain I would have seen an opposition player stick out a hand to block the ball hitting the stumps to stop a run-out. I’d have appealed. Then, as players and pundits are wont to say, it’s up to the umpire to make a decision and then you accept it and carry on. Only everyone who debates this at length has the training to reach the level of an international umpire, a few hours to look up rules and precedents, and then becomes the expert.

24 hours on, I don’t know if it was the correct call. What I do know is that my vitriol is against such irrelevant controversies that seem to give vent to people’s base instincts of what it is to be a fan. To give this particular fan a reference, he believes the answer to England’s struggles in chasing down totals of 300 is to not have excluded Alastair Cook. Well, there you go.

The double standards with Hales and Cook are hilarious, but I don’t want Cook back in the side – it damages his test game. The anti-Cook mob are learning that it’s so much easier to attack someone who’s playing than one who isn’t.

Ha, because we are acting like “the mob” with comments like his first one. He’s a live one all right.

An update or two. I’ve not been up to writing much this last week or two. Writing the blog full time is a pretty draining experience and sometimes it’s worth taking a break (although it kills the hit rate, as we are finding out).

I can’t say I give two shits about this ODI series, because it has little context to me. The Ashes are done, and even a 5-0 thumping is going to be glossed over because winning that series is the be-all-and-end-all. If we win the series, which looks hilariously unlikely now, then the ridiculous nonsense that followed the Ashes win is going to be augmented. This is a team that needs time to grow, time to fit together, yet we’ll need to rest some elements of it because of an over-burdened schedule that will turn our players to dust if we don’t stop it. Root is having a break, and Buttler should probably have joined him as playing isn’t exactly having a postive effect on him.

I’m also still lacking a lot of the fire in my belly to really get angry, and that’s where the blog (or my pieces) works best. I’m downhearted, and almost in a place of acceptance that the game doesn’t need to be criticised if most of the people are happy as it is. Reading the Comic you’ll see why I’m downhearted. I’m surprised the ECB haven’t taken it in-house. Alec Swann is doing a magnificent job of living down to his brother.

Finally, an interesting link I came across today….

ECB TV, writ large.

I am putting together the final Ashes Panel, I have a piece by Sean B on county cricket that might get some discussion going, and the Bogfather is preparing a review of Sundial In The Shade, the biography of Barry Richards. So some stuff to look forward to this week, I hope.