Allen Stanford, mention this name around puritan english cricket fans and you would probably get the equivilant of a mental wedgie these days. Such is the horror his presence conjures up in their minds that they have tried hook line and sinker to avoid talk of the dreaded 20 20 debacle the ECB engaged in as a backup plan to not being part of the global festival of moolah they walked out off.
Yes England missed the bus, for sure. Since they are the ones who invented the 20 20 version of cricket in the first place. I guess they did not see what potential it could have had as India took it, pumped it full of steroids and deniro and released it on the world of cricket in the form of the IPL to such an effect that cricket has not been the same ever since. Not just that its full on entertainment, but the formation of these super leagues have now resulted in players like Shane Bond and Moyo to literally walk out on their national teams and into the folds of the greenback with smileys where their faces were before. Still English players and fans stood on the sidelines looking on as their press tried to pooh pooh 20 20 cricket for the last 6 months as they had never heard of it. “My word, what is that? is that a cricket match”?
What a laugh of hypocrisy it seems now as the England team returns home from playing and losing I might add the single most gratifying match in the history of 20 20 cricket. The prize money of which could have bought an entire team in the IPL to the tune of 20 million USD. Too bad they could not win it or should I say wrest it away from the hands of Chris Gayle who gave the world a proper display of what pinch hitting is all about again. What I want to know though is the reason why England chose now to engage in this “abomination” as they normally refer to 20 20 cricket as?
Was it just the money? By any means the ECB is not a poor board even by Stanfords high standards so it could not have been that. Or is it the realization that Test Cricket is a dead donkey now. Hell I would be surprised if it is even played by anyone except for Australia and England in about 5 years time. Lets face it, those are the only two nations which still enjoy the purified form of the game today. For the rest of us Test cricket means trying to buy tickets for the 5th day “if” the match is a contest. Other than that we are pretty happy singing and dancing as stumps go up in flames and it rains sixes all around thank you!!
Not that the English Wags seems to be at a loss for smiles as they chummy around with Stanford either in the dressing room. Ahhh I guess the fantasy of 40 carat rings is slightly more entertaining then trying not to sleep with a glass of bubbly in hand as hubbies toil well into the tea session eh?
For the puritans who will scoff at me still, all i can say is I hope you like the taste of the sand your head is buried in, for the rest of us out here I say we get rid of ODI cricket as well, let the orgy begin!!!!
Stanfordâ€™s excuse was – I am guilty as charged and I would have kept away if I would have known although I am sure the â€œbirdsâ€ would have got the much deserved â€œbitch-slapâ€ from there respected boy-friends and husbands.
I agree the whole Caribbean series was a pathetic attempt to please English cricketers but at times you have to share the resources after all thereâ€™s a new wave of â€œsocialismâ€ in the air after the American Bail Out Plan and Obama.
Owais Shah happens to my first cousin and through him I had came to know couple of English players â€“ let me assure you most are â€œcash-starvedâ€ and nitpick about the wages and at times curse the gaffer for not doing enough!
T20 Rocks Big Time !
As an English cricket fan – and writer – my only gripe with the Stanford tournament was the poor quality of cricket on show. Substandard lights, slow pitch and an underprepared England side (again!) all meant it wasn’t the showcase for the sport it should have been.
Contrast with this year’s English T20 final when the cricket was excellent and the entertainment around it just good fun. It’s just a shame Middlesex didn’t travel well because they were awesome!
If you want to get a flavour of it, read this review from a local cricket reporter on the host county’s website: http://www.rosebowlplc.com/news/rose-bowl-razzmatazz/
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