Sunday, March 13, 2011

The joys of colonisation

I met a friend of my sister's today and we discussed this article that I had written for Mid-Day a couple of weeks ago. He had a very interesting to point to make. England's best batsmen are South African, as is their captain. Though Strauss may hold a British passport, he is South African by birth. So here's the argument that this guy put forth: the England team's batsmen are not English, while the bowlers are from England or are South Asian.
When you go back to the evolution of cricket, the Lords and the rich were the batsmen, while the poor and the servants were the bowlers and fielders. When Douglas Jardine captained England during the Bodyline series, he was a lord, while Harold Larwood was a coal miner's son. (Larwood also spent some of his time as a night watchman somewhere after his career). The last blue blooded Briton to lead England was David Gower. Before that, you had Mike Brearly a genius captain, but crap batsman leading an Ian Botham and making his career. Also when you think back to England and its captains, barring Ray Illingworth and Bob Willis, everyone has been a batsman (Botham and Flintoff were all-rounders).
Today, it's been a reversal of sorts for England. The batsmen are not from the country, while the bowlers are Britons. Morgan is Irish, while Trott, Prior, Pietersen and Strauss are South Africans. So going by England's hierarchical system, which is still seen today, has South Africa become England's ruler?
Earlier, it was South Asia ruling England when Nasser Hussain was captain. There were players like Mark Ramprakash, Monty Pannesar, Uzman Afzal and more recently, Ravi Bopara.
So with the colonised coming and colonising England, where do the Britons stand? In their defense, we can say that if England lose now we can say they choked because most of them are South Africans and they can also add that they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, which India and Pakistan have specialised in.

No comments:

Post a Comment