Sunday, July 14, 2013

Even the ghastly jingoism of the England and Wales Cricket Board couldn't spoil this fabulous Test Match

Great privilege to be at Trent Bridge for every day of this Test Match. Our sensationalist over-trivialised culture looked for scandal and headline-grabbing events and issues. What they should have done was concentrate on the superb cricket, the ebb and flow and in the main the sportsmanship. 

Zero marks to the ghastly England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for their hideous attempts at faux-patriotism. The foolish "#RISE" slogan and it's childish and insulting video was bad enough. We've come to expect the ludicrous "Jerusalem" at the start of every day (has anyone actually read the preposterous words of this awful hymn?). 

But the depths were plumbed after lunch on the final day. The crowd was hushed - the atmosphere could have been cut with a knife. Australia needed 20, England one wicket as the teams emerged. What did the woeful ECB do? They played three (yes three) patriotic songs complete with operatic tenor. "Land of  Hope and Glory", "Rule Britannia" and some demented song related to their #RISE promotion. 

Patriotism is the last resort of the scoundrel - and there are plenty of scoundrels in the ECB. The #RISE nonsense is not just partial but actually insulting to our opponents. It takes two to make a contest and one-sided chauvinism  of this type is vulgar and demeaning. But nothing could excuse the grotesque decision, at the key moment in the match, to drown the crowd with jingoistic display. Whether the Aussies were bothered I've no idea - perhaps they rose above it. But I was deeply ashamed. 

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