Athletics v Cricket
Now I know sod all about cricket. Its probably the only ‘sport’ that I can’t be bothered to watch either live or on TV……But I have to say its very very popular in my town, and surrounding area. Most of my friends and neighbours are either keen participates or followers of cricket. Even some of their daughters are now playing. Sadly , when down the pub ,Its one subject I feel ‘side-lined’ in their enthusiastic discussions. Occasionally ,I’ve tried to divert the chat to “Athletics” but rarely can I hold or develop the topic. Drugs is often raised , and quite honestly its an embarrassment. Had I been in the Stadium when the 2 time banned drug cheat Gatlin was lining up, winning, and then collecting his tainted gold on the podium…I too would have booed each time as loud as possible.
To quote Lynsey Sharp : “doping in athletics is a huge problem.There’s a lot of people being caught but it’s nothing compared to the amount of people getting away with it.”
My pals ask when was the last time a cricketer was caught and banned from playing cricket for drug abuse ? …..It would simply not be Cricket old son.
whiter than white is cricket! ooh hang on, Sir Ian Botham and Shane Warne have both served “drugs bans”, but don’t let those cricketers you talk to allow that to get in the way of their rose tinted view………..
It happens in all sports. one of the biggest issues in the UK is that if a sports person returns a positive test it is reported everywhere that an “athlete” has failed a test. People then associate the word athlete with the sport of athletics which is often incorrect. Have a look on the currently sanctioned list on UKAD’s website, athletics is not a prominent sport at all.
All sports have a drug problem but athletics gets singled out. More than half the current banned sports people in the UK are Rugby players with hardly any being athletes.
Russia have been banned from other sports as well.
Using Cricket as an example is not a good idea. As a sport it is withering on the vine. At professional level they have resorted to inventing a pantomime – 20/20 Blast to get interest. The county game is played in front of very small crowds. At grass roots level age group teams at a lot of clubs are supplemented with younger siblings to make up full teams for matches. I am from a heartland of the game – Yorkshire League, Lancashire League, Bradford League, clubs are struggling.
The press and the BBC ‘self publicity’ seeking pundits have a lot to answer for. Why show Field events when you can drone on about drugs or bully a medical rep from the IAAF?
Good point MarkE……I’m only guessing but in UK I assume only England can be considered playing at a high level …and Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland are so way down the International rankings they can be dismissed (LBW) ? …….
It is all about public perception and news reporting. And I agree with LordNowshy that the word ‘athlete’ and ‘drugs’ means that Joe Public hears and subconsciously registers ‘athlete’ …means ‘athletics’.
Cricket and Athletes is at its peak and public exposure on TV during the summer months….Hence my post , a reflection ,and a few comments made from my mix of friendships and socialising in a leafy suburb ……it may or may not be a common view in your part of the country.
Do you know if u13,u15,u17, youths have to pay the Cricket NGB an ‘affiliation’ fee before they can play team cricket ? And if so ‘how much’ and is it comparable to the England Athletics athlete fee ?
I have no idea what testing goes on in cricket and no idea of doping bans, but as a sport it’s had plenty of incidences of cheating, whether that is fixing bets, ball tampering, false appeals, hiding grounded catches and failing to walk when batsmen know they are out – all different levels, but all potential game/career changers and all instances of cheating.
People don’t crucify Owen for blatantly diving against Argentina either.
Whilst the longer lasting effects of doping need to be recognised, ultimately it is all cheating and sports need to ask themselves why some forms are considered ok and others not.
largely accept your points MStew… Yes, attempted ‘cheating’ sadly goes on in most sports (not snooker) but that’s why most of the sport has a Referee or an Umpire to decide and take the appropriate decision eg. Red/Yellow card for diving. However, Drug taking to gain an illegal boost to natural performance is a different kettle of fish.
MmrkE (man with more knowledge of Cricket than me)…….Is it true that players (seniors or youths ).. do not have to pay any individual player Affiliation Fees to either the NGB or their local County Association .eg Yorkshire ?