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February 24, 2011 | by  | in Online Only |
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7th Inning Stretch – A Blog Post on Cricket

Although the years tick over and new seasons come and go, there are always a few things you can count on in the sporting world. These seemingly endless truths are something you can always rely on, no matter how much the world has been kicking you in the balls.

The number one thing you can rely on in sport is that the Black Caps will still be shit and will disappoint you with nearly every action they make on a cricket field. Recently we: lost 11 ODIs in a row and lost a test and ODI series against perennial underachievers Pakistan (who were missing their best players due to a pending corruption verdict). And if by chance they do perform well with a finely crafted batting performance or a disciplined bowling spell, it seems as if this was merely to raise the hopes of their supporters in order to serve them with an even more crushing defeat and embarrassment.

Much drunken philosophising has ventured into the subject of why our national cricket team is so appallingly dreadful. Most recently, it was proposed to me that just like any employee, the players should be paid based on their performance. If they had to “win to pay for their dinner” then they might be more inclined to do so. This is a logical argument which relies on the natural human instincts inside all of us. But it fails once scrutinised by evidence.

If we think about Australia, who is the most successful cricket team of the recent past, their top players earn up to $1.5M annually. Compare this to New Zealand Cricket’s contracts, which have a top retainer of approximately $170,000 and whose best player, Daniel Vettori, will earn no more than $400,000. By comparing the top earners, Australian cricketers earn 350% more than their New Zealand rivals. And this clearly correlates to success, as Australia has been both Test and ODI number one and has won the past three World Cups. So perhaps we should be paying our players more to obtain satisfactory results. After all, our players seem to perform reasonably well for their Indian Premier League (IPL) teams who just gave Ross Taylor a USD $1M contract for three weeks of cricket.

But is this kind of money enhancing or ruining the essence of sport? The IPL and T20 have elevated a mercenary ethos into the game of cricket, which in the past we aligned more with European football and American Baseball. Another thing you can always rely on is football clubs over paying for players in the January transfer window. Last week, Liverpool footballer Fernando Torres was sold to rivals Chelsea for a staggering £50M where he will get paid upwards of £150,000 per week. But does this kind of money make a better player? In fact, players on these outrageous amounts of money often feel so much pressure that they don’t fulfil their potential, or in the case of baseball, turn to performance-enhancing drugs. So we probably cannot blame money for our cricketing woes.

So I s’pose a New Year’s challenge to all those reading this: become a cricket player. Be our next Black Cap. A new generation of cricketers may be our only hope. Because God (and his wide range of titles) knows that you couldn’t do worse than the ones we’ve got. And although our players get paid comparatively less than others, it’s still a shit load more than we will ever earn working in a government department on the back of our BAs.

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  1. Irfan Gani says:

    To
    The director/Controller or anyone concerned,
    IPL/ Ranji cricket,
    India.
    Sub: Application for providing a chance to apply for domestic cricket.

    Sir,
    With better wishes. I am Irfan Gani from jammu and Kashmir.I am seeking a chance to play In cricket of high lewel, though I am currently playing with the towns team but I wish to make a carrier in cricket. I am a good cricketer with bat and ball. I could not find the way to the entry in high lewel cricket and I am always seeking for that. I have been playing a cricket since my childhood. Please help me how to enter in for high lewel cricket. I am sure that I will clear all the tests you want me to. I have done MBA FINANCE and currently staying in Delhi for that purpose.
    I hope for much help in this regard. I will never forget this valuable help .
    Thank you sir, please help me .

    Irfan Gani Taili
    Ph no.9716528468, 9555626354
    Email: irfantaili@gmail.com

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