Unfair play

I have no interest in sport of any kind. At school we had to play rugby in the winter and cricket in the summer, but no-one ever explained what you had to do, so it was difficult. Maybe you were just supposed to know, but mine was not a sporting family. My dad watched football (soccer) a bit, but that was that.

I do, once in a blue moon, watch cricket. Maybe once a year. The shorter games can be entertaining.

Cricket has been in the headlines recently, when Australian players were shown to be using some yellow thing to alter/damage the ball to gain an unfair advantage over the South Africans they were playing. When challenged, they lied about it, bigly. Having been caught out, we were treated to the three players who admitted being involved, plus their coach, hosting press conferences and crying for the world. Thinking of all the millions of dollars they would be losing I suppose, and the fact they had been caught lying. But who cares that they have wrecked their careers, if indeed they have.

Now, other players in the past have been caught ball tampering, so it’s nothing new. And I am guessing that very many more have got away with it, so it’s not that unusual.

So what? It’s just a game, a sport, throwing a ball and running about a bit. For lots of money, of course.

The words ‘sporting’ and ‘sportsmanship’ are common in life, and indicate some level of fairness. But sport isn’t fair. Some people are better than others, and some people win without letting others have a chance. It’s competitive, not fair.

But I don’t mind that. I truly believe that athletes should be allowed to take drugs, tamper with balls, cheat in whatever manner they like, just so long as we know. Knowing that athlete X ran such-and-such a distance in record time but had taken drugs A and B is fine. You can accept it or reject it, as you choose. Either way it’s meaningless. We would have two tier races, people who were ‘enhanced’ and those who are ‘normal’.

Several sports are said to be sports for ‘gentlemen’. Cricket is one, so is snooker. But cricketers lie often. They claim catches when the ball has clearly hit the ground. They say that a ball has not hit the boundary rope when it has. They claim for lbw even though the batsman hit it. That’s how sporting they are.

 

 

 

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