Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Tebbit Test in all it's glory

Being an English cricket fan is a tricky business right at the moment. As I write this a few thousand miles away the English cricket team has lost their grip on the Ashes they won merely 15 months earlier. The triumphs of 2005, along with the associated hysteria, has been totally thrown away after 5 Test matches of utter mediocrity from our boys down under.

But in this sea of total failure there is one ray of light giving English fans considerable heart. This player didn't make the first two Tests, despite being our leading wicket taker from the summer series in England. He is a special player and very proud to represent his country. In fact, in a magazine interview before flying off for Australia he claimed that it was the greatest honour he could be bestowed with competing for his home nation. It isn't Giles or Bell or any other English sounding 'stars'.

The outstanding finger spinner Monty Panasar has totally revolutionised the old assumptions surrounding cricketers. Before it was generally assumed they were ex public schoolboys who, more than likely, spent their junior years in all-boys schools fiddling with each other in the showers. Asian cricketers in the Bradford leagues were all Tendulkar fans, or spent their money on the green Pakistan shirts. They were British by immigration, yet asian through cricketing patronage. Many of them used the British NHS, earned a living by being employed in British firms and were educated in British schools. Yet when it came to supporting the country in sport they threw their weight behind our opponents, many actually celebrating English defeat more passionately than their own chosen team's success.

Norman Tebbit came up with one of the better known patrotism tests. He surmised that if you couldn't bring yourself to support the country which has supported you then your right to be considered British should be revoked. I have always supported this and it warms the heart to see players like Panesar and Nasser Hussain aquit themselves so spectacularly well in their cricketing endeavours. Their names may not sound English, but next to losers like Anderson or Read they are giants. If only those who owe as much to this country as Monty Panesar had his patriotic verve for this country we may not have quite so much trouble with radical Islam.

We'd still be shit at cricket though.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

we were totally shite at cricket because we had a dumb lancastrian as captain it was nothing to do with panasar.

with vaughan back now we have a chance in the one dayers