29 November 2021

Cricket in the news

 I don't normally care about cricket. I don't normally care about professional sport, full stop. But when sport touches the rest of society my interest is piqued. The same holds for other professional sport; I am very interested in how both rugby and football are going to deal with the problem of impacts to the head, and the associated increased chance of dementia. I suppose football can just stop allowing headers. It would still be football in recognisable form! And I don't know anything about football, so maybe I am overlooking something important here, but I personally can imagine football match without headers. And that would be a football match that is not likely to increase the chance of dementia in the competing footballers. How rugby is going to tackle this is a bit harder to imagine. What is rugby without tackling? And are scrums a problem? And rucks? What are these even?

But back to cricket. I was quite touched by Azeem Rafiq's campaign against the racism he had experienced. He was clearly part of a minority; otherwise the whole racism would not have occurred. This sort of hatred (although a hatred that doesn't recognise itself) is always aimed at an other who collectively is so small, there will be no repercussions worth mentioning. And he spoke out! And kept speaking out. And by now, the world was listening. And there seemed to really be change as a result of his campaign. The new chairman of the Yorkshire County Cricket club, Lord Patel, had been on the radio and he sounded like a decent bloke who was really going to not let this sort of behaviour continue on his watch. I think that with him at the helm, racist cricketers will be a lot more likely to mind what they say. So far it was clear they would have got away with impunity, but these days might be over now!

I love seeing how stubborn perseverance when you know you are fighting for a righteous cause can pay off. I hope there really is going to be a mentality change in the cricket world! And I'll hold on to this example, as I don't think my fight against misogyny in the underground community is over yet. Will I be as successful as Azeem Rafiq? Probably not! But only time will tell…

No comments: