Nick Lezard: Why not turn cricket into football?

A succession of debacles is just a clever ruse to re-invent the sport

Share
Related Topics

The news that Allen Stanford, the Texan millionaire who has been asked by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to pay for cricket for the foreseeable future, is under investigation for massive fraud looks like nothing more than the latest in a series of farcical events that have succeeded in robbing the game of almost all of its accrued dignity.

Other supposed debacles include playing on a football pitch with a stripe running across it just short of a length; abandoning a match after 10 balls because no-one was able to construct a viable, safe pitch, even though they’d had a year’s notice that it was going to be played there; games where you can earn a million dollars only by biffing everything out of sight; re-locating the international governing body’s offices to Dubai, in a non-cricket-playing nation, on the grounds that it’s “more convenient”; the invention of a super-league of cricketers who are prepared to put financial consider- ations over country; making Kevin Pietersen captain of England... well, the list could go on.

What people don’t know is that these developments are not in fact the result of exceptionally clueless management, but part of a deliberate, well thought out attempt to make cricket shed its stuffy old image and re-invent itself for the 21st century. Here are some more of the innovations you can expect to see in the next few months:



Cruelty Cricket: Cricketers with a known track record of emotional vulnerability (Graham Thorpe, Marcus Trescothick, etc.) are pitted against those with a known track record of emotional cruelty. This actually already happens every three or four years or so and is known as “The Ashes”.

Body Art Cricket: In which teams do not score only via the conventional method of amassing runs, but by comparing the extravagance, extent, and stupidity of their tattoos. At the moment Freddie Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen are way ahead of everyone else.

“Footie” Cricket: Cricket will be made more appealing to the football-watching nations by enlarging the ball, making it softer and lighter, replacing dangerous, unwieldy and old-fashioned items such as “bats” and “stumps” with netted frames called, perhaps, “goals”, and encouraging both teams to wear shorts and all play at the same time, using their feet rather than their hands.

Twenty20 Cricket: This form of the game, considered insufficiently demeaning, will from now on be called “Sloggo”.

“Sloggo”: Previously known as Twenty20 Cricket, this will all too soon be seen as an arcane and far too stately version of the game, and so future versions will be reduced to 10 overs per innings, then five, and then, eventually, one over each. Audiences will be so entertained by the over-priced lager and amplified power-ballads played on the public address system every time anyone on the pitch does anything that they will forget that they came to see an actual game at all.

“Casho”: In which, in a final attempt to rid the world of this effete and elitist spectacle, those wishing to attend the game will simply give all their money to its administrators, who will then decide to spend it as they see fit, and no questions asked. This will come to be seen, in centuries to come, as the purest form of the game, and future generations will wonder why we took so long to get round to it.

n.lezard@independent.co.uk

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Daily catch-up: union bosses mobilise to try to prevent a Labour government

John Rentoul
Yvette Cooper campaigning in London at the launch of Labour’s women’s manifesto  

I want the Labour Party to lead a revolution in family support

Yvette Cooper
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine