Hello all. This is a personal blog post, so please forgive me.
It has been a week of huge change for me. This time last week I was preparing to represent my employers in Hong Kong for a major event, and yes, it was an exciting but also daunting prospect. I appreciate the opportunities, and welcome the challenges it proposed. You’ll forgive me if blogging took a decided second place! I met people I hadn’t seen in a decade, I met a great mate who emigrated and is a massive success (and I’m proud of what she has become) and I travelled with a top bloke too. I even ticked one off the bucket list with a flight on an A380! I came back on Thursday, had a wonderful night out with my longest work friends last night, which got quite emotional (and I do emotions) because 2016 looks a year of immense change.
So it was a time for reflection and decision. I will be honest with you, I’ve had thoughts of phasing the blog out. I find I lack the sheer energy I had a few months ago. You’ve heard this refrain a bit, I know. But what keeps me going is the energy in the comments, the sheer love of the game from you lot, the sheer despair in your voices as you see the game waning inexorably in front fo your eyes. TLG’s brilliant last piece should be read by the cognoscenti. It captures a school of thought that may not be universal, but is the preserve of a lot of us. We’re sick and tired of being told that cricket is in rude health when in England it patently isn’t. We’re sick of the international game being vandalised before our eyes. And we notice what is going wrong beneath the surface, beneath the England cricket team. It’s more, much more than a KP Fanboy rant-a-thon, but a cry for help. A wail of hopeless despair. While the ECB release their fan figures and congratulate themselves on record numbers, the game disappears further from the public eye. It’s going to turn what was our second or third largest sport to a minority one in a decade.
But this isn’t to replicate TLG’s piece. It’s to get to the heart of what I feel this week.
I’ve not been a happy person for a while now. It’s not in my nature to be particularly happy at the best of times. The blog isn’t a place to cheer me up. But on landing in Hong Kong, and after meeting a great old friend who has done so well for herself since she left the organisation I’m with, I thought that it must be more important to do what you want, as much as you want. Great friendships are precious, and through this blog I’ve already met some top people. So in the hope I’ll meet some more, I’m going to continue to do what I can. But also, I am going to write what I want, not what might play to some mythical gallery.
TLG and I went for a beer a couple of weeks ago. What came out of that discussion is that we remain committed to this project, that we would do our best to be at our best, and yes, we’ve some long-term projects that we’re not sure how to play at this time. I will also not be meeting any journalists, not that they give a shit anyway.
In an interview I read a few months ago, a prominent player said that he knew that a large percentage of people hated him, and that a lot of people liked him. He’d spend his time on the latter and not give a shit about the former. This blog seeks to be a forum for the disaffected. A place where international cricket is debated and pulled apart. It is a place to put our views on those that run the game, or report the game. Want to be a fanboy, an apologist, then good luck. Bring your A game.
This is not a post to invoke “please carry on” because you lot wouldn’t do that. It’s for some understanding if gaps between posts are a bit longer than they used to be.
Dmitri Award #2 will be with you shortly. And I lied……