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It's passionate, it's desperate, it's do or die trying but is it cricket?

By: The Leader
Published: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - 08:53 GMT Jump to Comments

English cricket fans would rather England lost heroically in a good game to talented opposition than triumphed without grace against a below par team.. discuss!

Talking, as we were, about England and cricket our esteemed publisher seems to think that the quality of the game is more important than winning. Commenting in The Australian (a newspaper) on the desperate goings on in the Australian dressing room on the eve of the first Test in the 2013 Ashes series Mr Tibbetts said something along the lines of  English cricket fans would rather England lost heroically in a good game to talented opposition than won badly and without grace against a below par opposition.

Really? Which fans are those? It's true there was a time, long ago, in a galaxy far far away, when an audience of retired civil servants and defrocked rural vicars would assemble in St John's Wood with the sole purpose of watching England loose with good grace and a certain insouciance.

We were English fans so we didn't mind losing so long as Gower scored an elegant 48 before inexplicably spooning the last ball before lunch into the hands of mid-off or hanging his bat so far out to dry that the thickest of edges took most of the sting off the ball before it was pouched by the middle of three slips.

And the Australians, busy with their own personality problems, would hardly notice that they weren't winning, it was England losing that delivered them their victories.

Now everything has changed. The Aussies not only play like Englishmen but their players seem to think that you can run a cricket team along democratic lines. And most of our players (and many of our fans) are so rammed with (natural) testosterone it's proving almost impossible to find a brand of protective boxes capacious enough to accomodate them.

We don't just want to win, we want to destroy the Aussie opposition in a whitewash of such epic proportions that it takes a generation to recover. In fact we don't care if they never recover. We don't care about the game, we just want to win and we don't care how we do it. We will not be satisfied with a victory, only demolition and humiliation will do.

How did this sea change come about? Ironically we learned our lesson at the hands of the predecessors of the very people we are now laughing at. We learned it first by being humiliated by the likes of Merv Hughes, sullen, aggressive, foul mouthed and often very funny. Then we brought in managers and trainers and the odd homeless player from the southern hemisphere. And finally we invited the same players who had humiliated us in the test series to spend their winters playing in the English county game where we could study their habitual truculence at close quarters. 

So when the Test Match Special commentators question whether England has enough of the killer instinct to smash the Aussies again, or if the English fans will be satisfied with anything but blood and brain-matter on the pitch give them the middle finger. That's the Aussie way and we're all Aussies now!

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