Cricketing Inequality Amid the Glory!

Posted on August 10, 2015

This is a quick post as I am going on holiday for a week with my girlfriend to Santorini, a Greek Island, and if I write a blog post from there, my days will be numbered.

“What, you are going on holiday again?” I hear you wail.

Yes, that’s right I am, I can’t really afford it, but I will be moving house when I get back, which will drain my resources and at some time in the future I will be dead, so I am going on holiday and and that’s that.

Anyway, and for those of you who I know who went to private school, before you jump all over me, this is just an observation not a dig at you individually, so calm down. The majority of the cricketer information at least, has come from my Anglo-Australian friend from Canberra, who for the sake of anonymity, I will call Trevor Hickman.

In the UK 6.5% of children attend fee paying schools, whilst the rest (93.5% if my maths serves me well) attend state schools, or some bullshit name like a Science College, or even more hilariously, a Sports College.

I will state now that sport funding at state schools is useless and if you want the evidence here it is in the form of the victorious Ashes Cricket team (Private Schools in Bold).

Alistair Cook – Bedford School-15k Per Annum

Adam Lythe -Caedmon Secondary School (Whitby)

Ian Bell – Princethorpe College – £9.8k Per annum

Joe Root – Worksop College – £17k Per Annum

Ben Stokes – Cockermouth Secondary School

Jos Butler – Kings College (Taunton) £20.5k Per annum

Mooen Ali – Mosely Secondary School

Stuart Broad – Oakham School – £19k Per annum

Mark Wood Ashington High School – £9k Per annum

James Anderson – St Theodores Catholic School

Gary Ballance – Harrow School – £36k Per Annum 

Steve Finn – Parmiters Comprehensive (Over-subscribed)

Jonny Bairstow – St Peters School (York) 16.5k Per annum


Ashes Heroes: England celebrate regaining the famous urn

That means that whilst 6.7% of kids go to state schools, just over 61.5% ( I think that is correct) of the England cricket team were privately educated at schools with pristine facilities (I have seen Harrow, it’s cricket pitches are sublime).

I have no beef about any of the English players, state or privately educated, they seem like a decent bunch, but those figures prove, without doubt, that cricketers are still more likely to achieve if they wear a tie and a crest.

The same rule doesn’t apply with Australia, where the percentages are more the opposite and what this does mean is that state educated kids are are not getting anywhere near the level of of coaching and facilities required for some sort of sporting equilibrium in the UK.

People will point to football being predominately a working class game emanating from the comprehensives but lets be honest, football is learnt on the streets and within community clubs, not in schools.

If I could leave this earth seeing something in my life span that has changed, it would be a system of equality in sports, with facilities for all, not just those with money. Then we would have amazing sports teams, even better than the one that just won the Ashes, and we would also have a nation of healthier people rather than a generation of kids who are pitifully, less fit than their parents.

My question is this, and it is a genuine one.

Do the ruling classes prefer it the way it is, or would they like to see a better and fitter country where people push them and compete with them all the way?

In 2014 it was listed that 59% of the cabinet went to Oxford or Cambridge as opposed to 1% of the nation as a whole, so if there is no appetite in government to improve opportunity for all, it is a pitiful state of affairs. We have two guys at our club (Oakley) who were privately educated and offer up time to teach kids but at Government level, I see little appetite to invest in state school sports, no matter what party is in power.

If, as I believe is often the case, we have governments who are protecting the best facilities for their own (just 6.7% of the nation don’t forget) we will go creating an unhealthy nation that will be a huge burden on the NHS. Surely, if a Prime Minister/Education Minister/Sports Minister/Health Minister was genuinely a man/woman representing the nation and not just a few, the proudest of all legacies would be to leave behind a stronger and healthy nation.

I’m sorry, but whether it is Tony Blair or David Cameron or any of their type, I just don’t think they care, as long as they are doing just dandy themselves.

*This post is no reflection on individuals and I, as always, enjoyed the thumping of the Aussies, more so as it was entirely unexpected!

1 Reply to "Cricketing Inequality Amid the Glory!"

  • James
    August 10, 2015 (9:06 pm)

    Agree with you Bob but that’s just the way it is (I went to Aldworth – a sporting utopia as you know). I am one of the few in my family who didn’t attend private school which is why I spent my late teens launching golf balls into Basing View with you! (Rugby the school of choice for my family in the Midlands) and every time I attend a wedding of theirs I feel like Del Trotter, not because they aren’t nice people but I will never be “one” of them – the connections such a schooling gives are unbelievable – wrong? Most probably but if I could do it for my kids I wouldn’t hesitate and I’m not ashamed to admit it (only because I’ll never be able to!) it’s similar with rugby but I believe in both sports you can get there – you just have to work harder than bufty-boy. enjoy your hols mate

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