Cricket Is Great Way Of Analysing A Character

Posted on July 10, 2010

As many of you know, I coach or attempt to coach an Under 15 cricket side. As a youngster I loved cricket, but could never play it, as no one taught me, either at home or at school, and I often wonder if I had been any good had I been taught the basics at a young age.

To be able to offer to my son and others the chance to learn the game gives me great pleasure, but one thing I have learnt is that cricket is still in many cases a game for the haves rather than the have nots, and our team is still often the underdog battling against kids who come from privilleged backgrounds and going to expensive fee paying schools, the fact that they often hold their own and win is testimony to the team spirit which these lads have built over the last four years.

Yesterday we had the misfortune of playing Yateley, a club that hand picks all the local talent and keeps it to themselves, many of the players being from the public schools of that area. Any of you who know and understand the the Jam song Eton Rifles will understand what we were up against and despite a good fight we were well beaten as expected.

What it did teach me however, is how obnoxious, rude and arrogant some of these public school kids are. They have obviously been taught in a regime where they are told they are better, stronger, and of a higher class than anyone else, and the derogatory comments they made about our ‘lesser’ lads is proof that you can buy an education, but you can’t buy respect or manners. Inequality is alive and thriving in our system, and having a government led by people of the the same ilk means nothing will change soon.

I have a group of lads who I have worked with for four years, and I have to say that they are all developing in to fine characters. They have wit, and charm, and flexibility about them that they take every person as they come, regardless of ability, race or creed. They have grown up in schools with all sorts of characters, so they have learnt to adapt to different people and different situations, to use a much used term, the are street wise. They poke fun at each other, they sometimes argue, but it is never spiteful, like what I witnessed yesterday, and they are starting to look out for each other, both in and out of sport. Some of them I suspect, will be mates for life.

The children I saw yesterday (two in particular) have had no childhood, they have been told from early age to behave like adults, they are being groomed in to people who will only mix with their own, and to look down on anyone who challenges them, be it on an intellectual level or on the cricket/rugby pitch. Even if they fail at school Daddy will get them a job. If I can drill anything in to the kids at my club over the next two years, it will be to not be overawed or bullied by these unsavoury characters, because, and I am being honest here, the youths I work with are ten times the character of the one dimensional kids I saw yesterday.

Cricket is a wonderful sport that helps boys develop character and team spirit, it has done wonders for my oldest son, who was once an acutely shy child, what we must now to start teaching them is that they shouldn’t be afraid to raise the bar and challenge the so called elite, because I can guarantee that in the face of pressure these kids who have had it all their own way will crumble when challenged. I hate to use the Aussies as a reference, but look how they bullied and took the piss out of our English side for twenty years, when the upper class twits were challenged by some rufty tufties, they collapsed in to a whimpering heap of uselessness.

Having said that, it doesn’t help when you have Brighton Hill School cancelling a sports day for safety reasons because of light drizzle. That place calls itself a sports college which is a total joke. We have a long long way to go, but here’s a thought to end with…………………………. would an upper class twit in power who had everything strive to make facilities at state schools better so they could challenge the elite on an educational or sporting level? Would they hell.

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