Lord’s is named after Thomas Lord’s, an ok cricketer from way back when. At one stage in his life, Thomas Lord’s wasn’t getting the cash he wanted from cricket matches. So he thought about building some houses on the land to really cash in on his investment. Instead he sold the ground to someone else. Truly cricket’s first great administrator.
I should state my thoughts.
I think the spirit of cricket is bullshit.
I think the MCC claiming it as their mantra is odd considering their history.
I think Colin Cowdrey was a great cricketer.
And I think Tony Greig is a joke.
So this MCC spirit of cricket Cowdrey speech was ignored by me. I assumed it would be by most people.
But, it won’t go away, as I’ve always said, two things will survive a nuclear holocaust, cockroaches and Tony Greig.
We’ve all spent decades listening to Tony Greig. He is a man who once suggested West Indians would grovel, commented that a white man marrying an Asian woman was a mail order bride, sells over priced ceramic baggy greens and regularly refers to Sri Lankans as little Lankans.
Greig’s had 32 years of my time to say something intelligent about the way the game is run, why give him another speech? When Tony Greig spoke to us for Death of a Gentleman, it was because we knew exactly what he’d say, how he’d say it, and how easy it would be to cut it into the film. It was cheaper and easier than getting an animated character to say the same thing.
During the rest of the film we’ve heard from far more intelligent and less heard people. My favourite was Deryck Murray. The man is a cricket legend, cricket administrator, gentleman and former UN delegate for Trinidad and Tobago. The perfect person to talk about cricket, administration and politics. Even Haroon Lorgat, who could have been encouraged to speak candidly for the first time once he had stepped down from his position.
The basic premise of the speech about the self-interest of boards and not putting cricket first is exactly what a speech like this should be about right now. What it needed was someone who had been involved in cricket administration who could point out what all cricket boards, and the ICC, were doing wrong.
Ofcourse, Tony Greig was an executive board member of the ICL, which is why he was picked for this speech.
There are so many men in cricket who would have liked to be let off the chains and talk about the issues in our corrupt, selfish and flatulent cricket administration. Perhaps some of those people aren’t the brother in law of the MCC President, but still, they could speak. Instead it was a wasted opportunity.
Even if Greig made correct statements, his own past and obvious problem with the BCCI was never going to make this the sort of speech that it should have been.
Singling out India and barely mentioning any other country was lazy, easy and fucken idiotic.
Other than Australia, Greig’s main exposure is to cricket in Sri Lanka. So where is the large portion of his speech attacking the SLC and the Sri Lankan government for the way they have mugged cricket and cricketers in Sri Lanka? Because you can’t attack the BCCI for self-interest and then not attacking Sri Lanka because of your own interests.
The BCCI is a self-interested organization. But you know, so is CA, ECB, CSA, NZC, PCB, WICB and even the little SLC.
A speech about self-interest in every form of cricket would be better than an attack on the BCCI from someone with the sort of past that makes people either mock him or ignore him seems like a complete waste of time.
Hilariously, the MCC and BCCI are very similar to each other, just in reverse. The MCC ran the game like an arrogant dictator for years, have now lost that power and are desperate to look like the good guys. Whereas the BCCI were the lovely people no one gave a shit about for years and are now quite enjoying being the big boys in town and looking after their own.
The MCC have been desperate to shake their image as a dinosaur and stay relevant in world cricket. Sometimes this means that champion cricketers like Charlotte Edwards and Claire Taylor are given honorary life members, day night Tests are pushed and minnow players like Hamid Hasan are given state of the art training facilities. At other moments they go looking to solve cricket’s problems with hocus pocus solutions like lie detector tests or even worse they go back to their bad old days of incestuous cricket bullshit.
If the MCC really wants to be a relevant organization in the future, they’d do their best to distance themselves from comical troglodytes with personal vendettas. Otherwise, they might as well build houses on Lord’s and just keep the museum.