In defence of cricket clubs – do they exist to excel at cricket or to run social experiments?

Any opinions that go against current orthodoxy are unwanted and liable to be met with abuse. Nevertheless it is important to consider whether the push for cricket clubs to find players that are not just ‘the best’ but represent certain demographics will have side-effects. We must also consider whether these side-effects are actually what is being sought by those pushing these ideas.

It has been a basic assumption since Gloucestershire played Yorkshire in 1890 that county cricket clubs exist to win cricket matches. It seems the most basic of factual statements that sports teams try above all else to win matches and competitions. It has indeed been the case until recently that selectors in any sport chose their teams based on their players’ ability.

This approach is being rejected at the moment in cricket. Clubs are starting to take diversity into account when choosing teams. The chairman of Middlesex has recently been quoted as saying,

I speak on behalf of the entire Club in saying that our desire is to see a first eleven walking out to play for the Club which is truly reflective of the broadly diverse county that Middlesex is today and that we will do all within our power to make that happen.

This approach means that the focus is no longer just excellence but also diversity. It seems clear that if you have two targets rather than one, it is harder to hit both. People may say that the aim of a cricket club should be to reflect the local demographics, that a focus on diversity is a good and proper aim. If so it must be accepted that seeking excellence is being laid aside, particularly when clubs are called to quickly find new players in demographics that don’t play cricket.

The push for kids who don’t play cricket ignores the fact that most kids prefer football. In an ideal world the names of cricket players would be on everyone’s lips and kids would shout ‘jumpers for wickets’ before having a quick game of cricket between lessons. But in the real world football is what they follow. Everywhere you look, football players are revered and featured in the papers. Kids with no family history of footballing pick it up in the playground. In comparison, even among cricket lovers, there is no doubt that cricket is a niche sport. There is not a weekly Match of the Day showing highlights. Cricket is time-consuming, has complex laws and needs expensive kit that’s heavy to lug around. Players aren’t revered and aren’t all millionaires. All the action takes place in the middle of a field with a small ball that’s frankly hard to see. Kids and adults alike often have to say ‘What happened?’ Umpiring is difficult, too much can depend on a finger raised in mistake. In football a bad decision might put you one-nil down, but there is time to regroup and come back. In cricket if the umpire gives you out erroneously there is no comeback. The afternoon is ruined.

All of which suggests that there are many reasons why a kid who likes football is not going to be seduced by cricket. To succeed you really need a parent who’s obsessed and listens to TMS.

This push to find cricket players amongst non-cricketing demographics ignores the fact that – hard though it is to admit – cricket isn’t more fun than other sports. Of course many of us think that with its five day matches and five match series it is a richer game, but most children who play football aren’t going to suddenly pick up a bat and think ‘at last I have found the sport I was born to play’.

The occasional one may, and clubs should put on coaching and training for all-comers. Cricket can be expensive to play and that can rule out many kids who could be encouraged to play by schemes to help poorer kids of all backgrounds. But though some will like the madness of cricket, many will think it is over-complicated, leads not to riches, adulation and evening games against Barcelona, and prefer one of the many other sports available to them.

Having set up a pathway open to all, clubs should not obsess over the demographics of the kids on their courses or the players in their teams. Teach anyone who comes and take the best onto the next level, regardless of background. To focus on representing the local demographics is to not focus on producing a winning team.

Some may say that the push for diversity is worth it and is a better aim than purely winning. Clubs will come to their own decisions, but it must be recognised that it fundamentally changes the raison d’être of the club.

Clubs have to decide, are they in the business of winning cricket matches or are they running social enterprises. Is getting their hands on the trophy the most important thing, or are the colour of the hands on the trophy most important. Because contrary to the diversity above all else narrative, they cannot focus on both. The reallocation of resources and loss of focus will reduce the level of cricket achieved. A worse team will attract less fans, worse players, will be less successful and will make less money. This push for diversity ASAP, which is couched as the only true desirable outcome could be the catalyst for cricket’s demise.

What do you think? Please leave a comment below?

Wokery has lost England the #Ashes: the Hundred experiment must end and county #cricket must be prioritised

The England Cricket Board cannot complain about the recent enormous loss of the Ashes when its own policies have led to this situation.

The England cricket team relies on good quality players emerging from the county game. The ECB has deliberately made this less likely by pushing the four day game to the periphery. Games are played early and late in the season when the weather is likely to intervene. Players don’t develop because the games are cancelled.

The prime part of the season, when county cricketers should be enjoying good wickets and developing their skills is given over to the Hundred, a format of the game that was never needed and should not exist. It allows no Test match skills to develop but rewards a whack-and-run technique. It appears to be pushed not as a means to develop high class cricketing skills, but to widen the cricketing audience. This would be achieved naturally, if the England team was an exciting team to watch, a team that gave Australia a good game and brought the Ashes home.

Once an organisation takes its eye off its main aim it declines. This is happening at the ECB. They have decided to prioritise getting a wider audience and not improving the test team. It was a conscious decision. Losing the Ashes is a direct result.

The impression is that the ECB do not care about the Ashes anymore. The way the four day county cricket game has been treated compared with the Hundred suggests they are not prioritising test cricket.

For our test team to improve, county cricket must be taken seriously. It must be prioritised above the Hundred.

Destroy, dismantle, deconstruct: How woke attacks using accusations of racism aim to dismantle society and rebuild it in the woke image

The woke want to destroy Western civilisation and replace it with an ‘anti-racist’ utopia. (Spoiler: utopias of any sort don’t exist). Their battlegrounds are our institutions, companies, sports teams and traditions. They have been winning, with institution after institution falling to woke ideologues.

Infiltrating our institutions, mainly through HR departments was their stroke of genius. They could place their people in position and then, once there were enough of them, wait for – or create – a precipitating event.

Often this is an accusation of racism. They have found racism to be a very good weapon. An accusation of racism, amplified by the media is often the starting point of a woke attack. Notice an accusation is enough. For years innocent until proven guilty was a natural assumption, but now just an accusation is enough to unleash the frenzy.

For the woke the actual facts of any matter do not matter. They are out to destroy. They don’t want to know the truth about what was said by x to y or what happened to z. No, once they have infiltrated an organisation they are on the look out for a precipitating event to use as grist for their destructive mill.

This is why the woke must be kept out of organisations, because once they are inside they will deliberately look for ways to dismantle them from within. You will have seen the effect of their ‘work’ in the change in emphasis of institutions like the police and National Trust. With the woke aboard, the original aims of the institution are less important than making sure that the new ideology is spread everywhere. And this ideology hates the West and England.

Once the precipitating event has been found the woke can start working towards their revolution. They have no regard for any institution or its traditions, they see them as emblems of that which they hate. By shouting about racism the woke are able to get people sacked, ruin careers and destroy their host organisations.

Knowing that if something is found ‘racist’ a green light is given for wholesale change, they love to extrapolate from a few alleged occurances that entire organisations, or even entire countries are racist. An example is the attack after the 2020 football European Cup final. A huge number of tweets were sent, a very small number were racist. That was enough for the woke to accuse England of being a racist country.

There can be no placating these woke attackers, because they are after only destruction and putting their own people in charge of what remains. Nothing you give them is enough. They will keep going with their revolution, demanding an organisation’s attention moves from what it it was set up to do, to their agenda – leading to bloated organisations that focus on ideology rather than their original areas of expertise.

The power grab has worked when the organisation has got rid of the old guard, the people who knew how to do what the organisation was supposed to be doing. These people must be cancelled, often achieved with a social media show trial, so that the woke can tighten control. Then they can spend the institution’s money on their pet projects.

Of course the money dries up because the fundamental point of the business has been ignored. The institution is destroyed and the woke move on.

They are not trying to build anything, they are just tearing down what exists. They are not anti-racist, they are using race in the way that old Marxists used class, to divide society. Look at the way that the woke themselves can say things with no comeback that if uttered by one of their ideological enemies would be the start of a cancellation.

The whole woke methodology is wrapped up in words that make it sound wonderful. How can anything anti-racist be bad? Oh that it was honestly anti-racist. What it is though, behind the fine words, is an unforgiving power grab, using accusations of racism to shut down debate and frighten people into giving them their own way.

Once the institutions are destroyed they believe that there will be no more of what they call ‘oppression’, and no more discrimination. They’ll be proved right, not because there was oppression and discrimination, but because once the institution is destroyed there is nothing left. It’s like destroying a house to get rid of a mouse that you think is in it. Once the house is gone, there is indeed no mouse, but that’s because there’s now no house. And maybe there wasn’t a mouse in the first place. We’ll never know that though, because the woke assume the mouse to be there, and anyone who questions it is ‘part of the problem’.

Eventually the institution is gone and the woke can celebrate the destruction of an oppressive enemy. Everyone is now equal. But, of course that’s because there’s nothing left. Everyone has nothing. Except of course the woke who have benefited greatly from the destruction.

Opinion: Fast-tracking people anywhere owing to their skin colour is unwarranted governmental interference

When someone is fast-tracked, someone else is held back. That shouldn’t be decided by skin colour

It has been reported today that ‘black police officers are to be fast tracked into senior roles’. This is being done to counter the slow recruitment of officers from minority backgrounds. The Home Secretary has said, ‘Progress on the recruitment of black officers has been stubbornly slow and we know we have so much more to do’.

This is a fundamental misunderstanding of what the government’s job is. Once the way has been made clear for everyone to have the same opportunity to join the police, then the government’s job is complete. In the UK there is equal access to the police force, so whatever the ethnicity is of people applying to be police officers it should be accepted as the result of people’s personal decisions. The government has to stop pushing for woke-inspired targets. People have to be trusted to make their own decisions without government interference.

‘Fast-tracking’ means giving a position to someone that they would not otherwise be deemed experienced enough to hold. They might be suitable later in their career, but the very definition of fast-tracking is that they are getting promoted quicker than someone else. And when the fast-tracking is deliberately happening by skin colour then people who should have had those positions and do have the requisite experience are being ignored, because of their skin colour.

Woke calls for this sort of thing are predicated on the idea that there was discrimination against minorities in the past. But there isn’t discrimination against minorities now. Anyone can apply to be a police officer.  

For every black police officer who is fast-tracked into a position, a non-black officer is denied promotion. 

This policy needs to be reconsidered. People will be held back in their career because of their skin colour…there’s a name for that isn’t there?

Don’t give in to Woke Communists shouting ‘cultural appropriation’! In defence of Exeter Chiefs Rugby and their headdresses

The Long March through the Institutions has reached rugby stadia

Who foresaw this one? Rugby is the latest target for the woke, who revel in pulling down and excluding in the name of building up and including. In a sign that the woke really have infiltrated everywhere, activists are calling for a ban on the headdresses worn by fans of Exeter Chiefs on the grounds of cultural appropriation. (They want to get rid of the name Chiefs as well, but these people work in stages and that annihilation waits for us later if we capitulate now).

Exeter Chiefs are a rugby team in England. Their fans sometimes wear headdresses of the kind that a ‘Chief’ might wear. It’s fun. It beats the usual bobble hat. But it’s now deemed inappropriate because… well usually cultural appropriation! is shouted to stop people making money, but here it is just to stop them having fun. It’s claimed to be offensive and mocking. But this headdress wasn’t chosen to mock, it’s an acknowledgement of strength and virtue.

The woke behind the attack of course don’t care about facts. They are the latest incarnation of the society-and soul-destroying neo- and cultural- Marxists. For them this sort of accusation is a bread and butter way to sow division and enmity. It helps with the demoralisation they think is necessary before they can make their final push for communist utopia where everyone feasts on unicorns and rainbows and no one ever again has to work, suffer or die.

We must not give in to this confected grievance. Cultural appropriation as a problem is absurd. Like all wokery it puts the very worst spin on everything and allows of no positive reasons for what they see happening. Taken to its extreme cultural appropriation wouldn’t allow anyone to wear anything that they hadn’t invented themselves, but like most of racially-charged wokery, it of course only applies to white people. It seems crazy to be writing about race in the twenty-first century, but these woke people push their rules to corral whites, who they see as oppressors. While they want to ban whites from wearing anything with its roots in another culture, minorities will usually escape their censure. There’s a word for that sort of thinking and it’s exactly what the woke claim to be fighting.

If we give in to this call then we are accepting the deranged view that white people can only wear, eat and enjoy what their own group has invented. At the same time, to point out the woke madness, under their rules, minorities could walk around in bowties and bowler hats sipping Champagne from Yorkshire puddings and complaining about the lack of cucumber sandwiches.

If we’re really going to worry about cultural appropriation, isn’t the rugby team complaining most loudly about Exeter’s headdresses called Wasps? Soon someone will be protesting that they are appropriating their yellow and black kit from wasps. Outrageous! Cancel them today! It sounds ludicrous now, but let’s revisit in a decade when the woke have sown all the division they can manage with people and have moved on. Or, let’s not get offended on behalf of people thousands of miles away. Let’s stop confusing I wouldn’t wear that with no one should wear that.

Let’s allow people to wear what they want.

Mainstream media must stop giving column inches to all the latest woke insanities

Another day, another woke madness hits the headlines. Today’s concerned the plant wisteria, which, of course, they deem to be racist. 

We have to have another approach. The mainstream media has to stop giving these lunatics the oxygen of publicity. If they want to deem a never-ending list of things racist, then they are of course allowed so to do. But there is no need for the rest of us to report it or read about it. 

The woke way depends on getting in the newspapers and causing outrage. That can easily be stopped if no one actually takes an interest in their announcements. 

After all, we know that they will not be happy until everything has been demonised and destroyed. So let’s just assume that every day there will be a new woke announcement and something else, probably much loved, will be deemed unacceptable. 

There is no need for us to take any interest. The majority of us don’t think that wisteria is racist, and we can go on with our lives, happily planting and tending wisteria without knowing that the neo-Marxists have targeted it. The woke can make all the this is racist pronouncements that they want, but the rest of us won’t have to hear it and if they’re not actually upsetting anyone they’ll soon have to find another way to frame their destructive anti-western ideas.

Of course, that new and improved leftism might be even worse, although it’s hard to see where they could go. But let’s stop encouraging their current method of trying to destroy something beloved of many by making spurious accusations. 

Breaking News: Lion that identifies as Spaniel wins dog show

‘His roaring was wonderful. Much more impressive than the other spaniels’

A lion named Hannibal has won the Bardonshire dog show. ‘We have never seen such a wonderful mane on a Spaniel, Hannibal was the clear winner,’ one of the judges said.

But he’s not a Spaniel

Kerry Howe, owner of Fred, a spaniel that was competing in the same competition later said, ‘I am sure than Hannibal is great, but he is a lion. Lions should not be competing as spaniels. The whole world has gone mad if they accept this.’

Banned

Kerry has now been banned from entering the show again. Already seven other lions have applied to enter the next show in the spaniel class

‘Fine Art is no place for diversity of opinion’ : Support @JessDeWahls re @royalacademy

‘Artists should be arrested if they do not bow to the current orthodoxy’

‘The art world has for too long let artists make work that doesn’t fit with the views of woke activists on Twitter,’ Sharia Elbert said today. ‘As head curator at Rawlson Galleries I have put in place a system to make sure this never happens again.

‘We used to choose artists to show based on merit. Now we will not even look at their work until it has been vetted by a committee of activists with their own axes to grind.’

Mx Elbert continued to give examples of work that was acceptable to be shown in a modern gallery. ‘Yes,’ she added, ‘This does mean that works by artists such as Renoir, Warhol, Pollock, Caravaggio, Michelangelo and so on must be destroyed, but that is no great loss. We have plenty of intersectional artists to replace them with. Ticket sales may be a little down, but that is a small price to pay for progressive freedom.’

‘If we do ever show work that you feel does not embrace all current woke standards, please get in touch and we will do our best to rectify the situation.’

fineart diversity of opinion

Should Footballers take the knee?

Animated chat show that this week asks the question Should footballers take the knee?

Football teams started taking the knee before games after the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020. Some fans boo this because BLM stands for dismantling capitalism and is anti the nuclear family. But fans who boo are called racists. What is the truth of the matter? Jane Dow is interviewed to make sense of the kneeling/booing situation.

English cricket team to be chosen by twitter history rather than ability: ‘Ideological purity more important than centuries or wickets’

Karry d’Imple, head of the newly formed England and Wales Association for Wokery, Language conformity, Right-think and Cricket has announced today that the English team to tour Australia will be chosen according to their twitter history rather than ability with bat and ball.

‘Other countries are still choosing cricketers by the old method of seeing who is best at bowling and batting and choosing them. This is a racist and white supremacist method of choosing participants and we refuse to be a part of that evil paradigm. Instead we have a team of researchers reading the old tweets of every cricketer in England. Those that reflect the most pure thoughts will be taken to Australia.’

In answer to a question she continued, ‘it is true that if Australia continues to chose the best cricketers then we may not win quite as often as the public were expecting. But that is not an issue as we are going to conduct social media archeology on all Australian cricketers and refuse to play any of them that have ever said anything deplorable. We are expecting that no Australian will be found pure enough to play us.’ The Ashes will probably stay in England forever.