Posted by: nestaquin | March 17, 2008

The Summer of Discontent

After a summer of forced cricketing exile, most of it enjoyable and beyond recall, it may be opportune to wrap up the Australian season in a series of daily articles before the grinding task of reporting on every match during the inaugural Indian Premier League.

Broadly speaking, the theme of the 2007/08 southern season can be summed up succinctly by quoting the canny words of the late, loquacious and legendary Chesterfield skipper and left-arm seaming legend, Phillip Dormer Stanhope.

“Wrongs are often forgiven, but contempt never is. Our pride remembers it forever.”

Leaving morality aside, the cavernous rift between Australian and Indian cricket can only be auspicious for players, administrators, sponsors and fans of the grand old game.

A fierce and bitter rivalry has emerged between cricket’s wealthiest and most populous participants and the sport’s most successful and obsessively competitive nation. It is a contest that will likely define 21st century cricket and it should, if marketed and managed wisely, cement cricket’s growth and future for another century.

Many think that such a vicious and nasty feud only denigrates the beauty, the tradition and the grace of the ancient pastoral game. In their naivety they are correct but it needs to be remembered that people hate as they love, passionately and extravagantly.

For example, prior to the Bodyline series in 1932/33 The Ashes was not as warmly embraced by the fans or players as it was after Jardine’s arrogance, tyranny and ruthlessness invigorated the contest.

The legacy of the battle for the Urn continues across hemispheres just as this season, The Summer of Discontent, will also reverberate within the hearts and minds of Indians and Australians for generations to come.

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Responses

  1. Yes. What kills sport and what kills life is complacency, the acceptance of the status quo as the only position.

    I am indebted to Sky Sports here in England for its superb coverage of a magnificent Aus season with Sangakkara’s batting, VVS’s last hurrah and the sheer will of Aus to close out the win in the Second Test vs India my highlights.

    There was enough Good, so little Bad and so much Ugly that I could write for hours here. What it wasn’t was dull. And I suggest you’re dead right about setting up the 21st century’s battlelines – Ind vs Aus as the centre-piece with plenty more good cricket surrounding it.


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