Friday, 8 March 2013

Its Just Not Cricket

A young man develops a serious drug habit, being described as a habitual cocaine user .... he then drives his car at night, after at least a heavy drinking session, and possibly after taking cocaine as well. The inevitable happens and the police spot him. He drives off and after a chase he then abandons the car. Finally he then runs down some railway lines in his efforts to evade the police, where he apparently steps on the electrified middle line and is either killed outright, or blacks out, in any event he is then run over by a train and dies.

This is not an terribly uncommon tale around the public housing ghettoes of our inner cities, and in the normal run of these things most of us would not spare more than a moments thoughts for some druggies death - especially if the man was black. Certainly you wouldn't expect anything more than a very brief local press coverage ... maybe local TV, radio and newspapers .... not the national coverage on TV, Radio, the Press and the Web, it actually got. So what brings this on?

Well the young man was White, Middle-class, and a vaguely promising Surrey county cricketer. A sport which is possibly the most 'upper middle-class' of UK 'national' sports, and the only sport I can think of, which with virtually no crowds at club level, and little public interest outside the international level, manages to somehow maintain a vast press coverage. County cricket is almost a relic of empire, when the middle-classes had the time to support public schoolboys and their sports ... the 'press' who cover it are invariably ex-players or ex-public schoolboys who played the sport, and their 'social interests' are almost entirely limited to that closed world ... hence the sudden national coverage when one of their own dies, no matter how sordid the circumstances.

Cricket and Drugs

How hypocritical the world can be ....... the death of this man, which should maybe only have prompted sympathy only to his family and friends, has somehow elicited waves of public regret in the media community, and yet virtually no comment in the general public, certainly nothing on the level the self absorbed media have accorded it. You could actually believe that this man was a national hero.

To most of us, he was a drunk drug addict who died in slightly peculiar circumstances, but to the the middle-class cricket press, its an excuse for acres of national press coverage and 'where did we go wrong' cries.

The terrible truth is that if he had been a different skin colour, and or from a different class background, the story would likely never have made it past the local press.


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