The lie of “it isn’t cricket.”



Our Grandsons at earlier times. Now teenagers!


A few days ago the ABC featured an article whereby fathers were trying to come to grips with the upbringing of boys. It was a father and sons article. It featured a photo of young smiling boys with cricket bats in their hands. The perfect roll model for creating future generations of wholesome men. It was presumed that young boys could not fail but to grow up as honourable and steadfastly focussed in pursuing a life on being good and caring adults. Learning cricket with fathers is sure-fire antidote for young boys to the dreadful Trump and Weinstein culture now so pervasive all around them.

And then the biggest scandal in cricket exploded. Australia has always been a country of cricket. I remember during the first year of having arrived in Australia I became curious about the steady serious drone of male commentators on radios filtering through the venetian blinds of the suburban street walking on my way home from work. . When I inquired, I was told ‘it is cricket’, ‘don’t you know?’

We now know that the expression; “it isn’t cricket” has to undergo some serious revision. ‘Cheating’ is now embedded in cricket. The fall of this sport from grace is spectacularly shown on every front page and on every TV channel. The cricket ball was tampered with. Every few minutes we are shown the video in slow motion of a world famous cricketer trying to hide a small piece of yellow tape in his underpants. This piece of tape was supposed to alter the cricket ball’s curvature and spin when hurled through the sky on its way to the wooden bat and so presumably give an unfair advantage to one side of the playing teams. The plot to cheat was apparently hatched when during a spell they all were drinking cups of tea. The cricket Captain was involved during the tea break and it met the approval of those ready to win at all cost.

Anyway. For those with long memories, I have always maintained that as long as any sport is run maniacally to win at all cost, it will sooner or later come to a sad end. I even suggested and fostered the idea to have losers declared to be the winners at times. In other words, enjoy the playing of the game no matter what the outcome. Winning is all so overrated.

There are all sorts of sport worms now coming to the fore. In Rugby, rorting with salaries is now being exposed. In cycling a champion had to give up his medals because of taking cycling enhancing drugs. Russian sports people are banned for doping and heaven know what else.  One burly Australian footballer went on a rampage in New York City assaulting a family with children and is welcomed back into his rugby team. Can you believe it?  He hasn’t even apologised and paid the amount of compensation as demanded in a Court of Law.

Well, young fathers; I would give visiting sports venues with young sons ( why not daughters as well?) a miss for a while. What’s wrong with a nice outing to a library or art gallery, let the kids run wild amongst friendly non combatting books or soak up a good nicely coloured Chagall painting?

It might do some good. Sport is just not ‘cricket’ anymore. That is a great pity!


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26 Responses to “The lie of “it isn’t cricket.””

  1. Curt Mekemson Says:

    I look with sadness on the intensity of sports programs for young people, Gerard. Not that kids play sports, but that it becomes so life and death at such a young age. Where’s the fun? Where’s the sportsmanship? What’s the message with parents yelling and coaches and referees. And when it all becomes so life and death, when millions are to be won and loss, what surprise that there is cheating. Many colleges in America now pay their coaches more than they play their presidents. It’s not only sad; it’s wrong. And it is often criminal. Good post. –Curt

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, it is a sad affair, Curt.

      Sport is a communal enjoyment with fun and joy and it brings people closer together. That’s how it started out to be and is what I remember when playing sport in my youth. Winning was fun but it was never the main aim of sport.It’s now so overdone.

      I can not understand that when you enter high schools and you go to the assembly halls, there are all those huge boards with gold-leaf lettering of all the sporting achievements the school has obtained.

      Yet, how the school is doing (or not doing) in getting the students to be curious about the world and how to be proficient in language and math is not mentioned or shown in the gold-leaf lettering.

      Liked by 2 people

      • berlioz1935 Says:

        When I went to the end of year speech night at our daughter’s high school I was surprised to see the achievements in a sport was rewarded with a huge trophy. The achievements in academic subjects were rewarded and acknowledged with a puny piece of paper. I was disgusted.

        Liked by 2 people

      • jennypellett Says:

        It’s always the same. And why do we all have to suffer “sports day” – a whole day of the whole school sitting outside in full sun watching a few kids run round a track. Why not “create something in the art room day” or “read a book in a day” day.

        Liked by 3 people

      • berlioz1935 Says:

        On swimming carnival days the teachers were sitting under the shade and the children had to stay in the sun all day.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes, the sports day was to be avoided and I think my kids used to sneak off.
        It is overrated and who thought up this sport with a funny oblong ball?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Curt Mekemson Says:

        Misplaced priorities for sure, Gerard. More balance with the primary emphasis being on learning and the joy of learning would make much more sense, given that is what will serve the kids best in the long run.


  2. pethan35 Says:

    Cricket went commercial, didn’t it. Cricketers became mercenaries. Ever since the underarm delivery, it went downhill. The Australian cricket team are the Nazis of the sports world. They are hated around the world for their behaviour on and off the field. On top, they are arrogant. The West is always quick to call for a boycott when Russia is perceived to have done something wrong. It is time to ban Australia from international cricket.

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      There is now talk of banning Australian sportspeople playing in Russia. Australia is standing ( shoulder to shoulder) with the UK and US in expelling Russian diplomats because of the chemical attack in Salisbury.
      We live near a large and most famous cricket mausoleum in Bowral, ‘Bradman’s museum’, Pethan. We noticed people crossing the road and avoiding each others eyes while passing the museum. Old people who remember the good times were wiping tears and dogs have drooping tails.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Carrie Rubin Says:

    I hadn’t heard about the cricket debacle. Too much Trump noise over in my neck of the woods. Blech. But I’m with you–how about trips to the library? Just think how much knowledge fathers could impart upon their sons (and daughters) there.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. gerard oosterman Says:

    Knowledge and endless curiosity is what I hope children will get from parents, Carrie. Sport can play an important role and at least it gets the kids tired and hopefully go to bed early with a good book.
    When I was young which is almost forgotten, I wired up a little light connected to a battery enabling me to read under the blankets.
    It was so exciting.


  5. jennypellett Says:

    Well said. I can’t believe the Aussie team still have the temerity to carry on playing in South Africa. They should have been sent home in disgrace with their bat between their legs.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Julia Lund Says:

    I’m with you on the apparently corrupting influence of high financial stakes in sport. I think Jesus was really on to something when he said ‘the love of money is the root of all evil ‘.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    Excellent post, Gerard! 🙂

    I had not heard about the cricket scandal yet.
    UGHS 😦

    While I admire talented sports-persons, and even more admire good sports sports-persons, I’ve never felt like famous sports-persons should be the role models for the children of the world. And now it seems there are so few important-people in the public eye who are being good role models. 😦 Sad. 😦

    I hope children can find great role models in their parents, grandparents, some teachers, etc. When my kids were little (they are all in their 30’s now), I had them read biographies on GOOD important-people…people who could be great role models to them. We talked about how no one is perfect, but that there are good people in the world who have tried to make the world a better place.

    HUGS!!! 🙂 to you and Helvi! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Role models are important but am not sure that sports people are always the best. Their fame usually fades and sporting achievements are limited to the physical while the achievement in other areas of human endeavour might be much more admirable and on a higher level.
      Biographies are a terrific example, especially of writers, artists, scientists, humanitarians etc.
      You are right though, Caroline. No one is perfect.
      Hugs from Gerard and Helvi.

      Helvi is starting radiation for five weeks and on a daily basis.

      Liked by 3 people

      • doesitevenmatter3 Says:

        Thank you for the hugs!
        I will continue to keep Helvi in my thoughts as she champions through the next 4 weeks.
        You, too. As I know you are a source of encouragement, strength, comfort, love, etc., to her! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  8. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Great article Gerard. I agreed with many commenters. More hugs to you and to Helvi on her radiation procedure.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I believe the US is spared the game of cricket, Kayti. It was tried in California and after many days of cricket playing, Americans were wondering when the action would actually start!
      Thank you, Kayti. Hugs to you too. Give Charley a treat from us.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. shoreacres Says:

    Oddly, I had heard of the cricket scandal, although I didn’t read the reports closely enough to know precisely what had happened. On the other hand, I seem to have surmised the “why” of its happening fairly well. The amount of money involved in pro sports (and now in college and high school) leads to some unfortunate behavior here, too, and the rampant cheating is just beyond me.

    There’s a saying here: “The best play, and the rest watch.” That’s one of the biggest differences between sports today and when I was in school. We had physically active recesses every day, and plenty of opportunity to play softball, run track, and so on. But the competitions between schools were rather good-natured affairs, and we were more excited to travel across town to compete than to win.
    I’d actually like to see more sports — but for all the kids. Maybe it could help with our obesity problems, too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Cricket has now lost millions in sponsorships. The head coach has resigned and Australia is wringing its hands in total despair. The News keeps on showing in slow motion, over and over again, a bit of yellow tape or sandpaper being tucked in a famous cricketers underpants. It’s going viral.
      It doesn’t take much for Australia to be stimulated and entertained. I don’t know how much more the media can squeeze out of this story but it just keeps coming. It’s merciless!

      You are spot on, Linda. We had sport as a way to stay fit and it was great fun during our school days. There was laughter and we made friends.

      Cricket on an international level is played for an urn of dead ashes as its main goal. A strange trophy.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Big M Says:

    Most of the news is about cricketers’ balls, yet there were some glimmers of hope, North Korea may be ‘ denuclearising’ and Trump mentioned banning bump stocks. Of course these stories were only up for minutes before another tampered ball came along. Best wishes to you both.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      It is still not letting up, Big M.

      The news now speculating over the next bit of cricket tampering. I forgotten the name of one commentator. He was so enthused about this yellow tape in underpants, it felt as if we were given a lecture by an expert Professor Emeritus on Michelangelo’s painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Forestwood Says:

    It is cheating, not sportsmanship. And I am so sick of hearing about it already. Get over it and play sport for the love of it. Too much money has corrupted many codes of sport. I say they were all in on it. Too much money was stake for them not to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. tejasvi anand Says:

    Everybody makes mistakes, it’s allowed. Did it repulse me? Yes. Do I believe it’s the first time Steve Smith cheated? No. But that doesn’t reflect on cricket. It shows that some individuals of one team went down the wrong path. How can a few individuals represent a whole sport? I can personally say that I’ve learnt more from playing cricket than from any book I’ve ever read. We play to win. I don’t believe in rewarding the losing team. It just doesn’t make sense to me. Rewarding the team that better upheld the spirit of the game? Maybe. But that’s just my two cents.


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