Isabella studies at St Anne’s elementary school, just around the corner from The Oval, where the England team arrived with enthusiastic eyes for public celebrations in the morning after the night of their lives. The oval was opened to the general public and around 3500 showed up to process what had happened on Sunday. Isabella, 5, looks out of the grilled grate of her school, eager to run to the stadium to see Jos Buttler. “I want to see it, I’m waiting for my teacher to take me there.”
Sam, 10, is inside the stadium with his parents. Most people are children, accompanied by their parents, a moving spectacle in a land where cricket is a late occurrence in football. He is not dying, but he is sick and needs attention. So what does this victory mean for a 10-year-old boy? Sam says: “Everything, it means everything”. Even as his father laughs, Sam continues: “You know what, some of my friends who think that cricket is boring and just want to play football now can shut up?” The father, Simon, a cricket lover and a Sunday player amateur, is starting to laugh now. Sam shows his bat autographed – there’s Moeen Ali’s scribbles, and a couple more. The father is not sure of the names, the child does.
Andrew, probably in his 60s, is looking for a pub near the stadium. He knocks on the door of The Beehive, traditionally the place where fans come after a game at The Oval, but that’s closed. He walks around the block, around the streets and we meet again. “There’s a pub there, but only six boring people who do little things and watch horse races! England has won the World Cup, I have to celebrate, why can not the pubs be open? Why does not this country care about cricket? Do you think the pubs would be closed if we had won the Soccer World Cup? No way! “Andrew is limping, with a slight limp in the legs, but with the spirit up. I hope you have found a pub of your liking.
Within the stadium, shortly before, Eoin Morgan descended the stairs of the dressing room, followed by his teammates, and The Oval exploded. A band of yellow jacket security personnel was trying to hold a rope to prevent the winning World Cup captain from being harassed. Morgan opened the way and the players collided with the children, shook hands with the people and the security cord gave way. The delirium was in the air, and even the primordial and appropriate English was losing it a little. Not really, but they were a little relaxed. Keep calm and encourage from time to time. However, the children were losing their heads.
Post World Cup win
Dr. Thomas Fletcher is a full professor at the School of Events, Tourism and Hospitality Management at the University of Leeds Beckett. He has also edited Cricket, Migration and Diasporic Communities, and has been a board consultant for England Cricket and Yorkshire Cricket. On Sunday, he finally saw a complete ODI game for the first time in 15 years. He is probably the best man to ask if this epic victory can arouse some passion for cricket on this earth.
The answer is “maybe, maybe not”. Everything can depend on whether the ECB can take advantage of this delirium once in a lifetime. But it would also be reduced to what the schools administered by the government do, he feels.
“Football is the benchmark sport in public schools. It has a monopoly on children, particularly white English children. The perception of cricket is slow and boring. The T20 have helped and, hopefully, this great game does a lot for that emotion. Most government schools do not have competitive cricket teams. Thats the reality. There was an increase in interest after the Ashes of England won the children in 2005, and the ECB, in their opinion, is doing what it can, from running programs to children from 5 to 8 years old. Trying to catch them young. But I would be lying if I told you that this victory of the World Cup, as big and dramatic as it was, would alter the sports scene. I hope he does, but he needs structural type reforms, from schools, from terrestrial television broadcasts (how will children love a game that they can not even see?) And an ECB effort to make it attractive to children. children. ”
Fletcher’s work has revolved around the diversity and participation of British Asians in sports. “According to an ECB investigation, 30% of children who play cricket in the country are British Asians. But almost no progress through the professional system. “Yorkshire Cricket consulted with Fletcher to find out exactly why this was happening.
“The key finding was that you can not treat everyone equally.” In Yorkshire, the work of British Asian parents remains largely stereotyped: taxi drivers and in the restaurant business or low activity work. It means that weekends where white English can take their children to sports is not possible for Asians.That is the time when they earn the most.Not all can be captured in the same way.We advocate Yorkshire for They have to change their policies, approaches and adapt them to children and parents, creating spaces and cricket opportunities that suit the British Asians, “says Fletcher.
He worked with the ECB on how to get more Asian elders to take cricket training to address that problem. If the coaches are Asian, then maybe more children would come and also, at the time of their convenience. Fletcher went to work and found a cultural problem. “What the Asian coaches told us, who could possibly train the children, is that their way of being is different from that of the English. They did not fit into the English model of “proper cricket” training. That it was not about hitting in a straight line or passing the arm in the right way and running in size. They just wanted their children to hit the ball as hard as possible and run and play as fast as they could. Flair was his priority. They felt that the English system was against. Controlling your natural impulses They do not want to train that way. In addition, training and certification of coaching was too expensive and time consuming. The language was difficult, “says Fletcher.
Fletcher also talks about how cricket is different from football in its popularity, but also in its loyalties. “Look, it’s easy for a British Briton to support England in football or rugby, England does not play against Pakistan, India or Bangladesh in those sports, they do it in cricket, friction comes in. Obviously nobody should tell what team should support people, but that friction creates interesting obstacles when it comes to grassroots cricket.The administration and culture of cricket in the country should intensify and be more inclusive.They are trying, but they can do much more “.
Meanwhile, England cricketers headed to 10 Downing Street to meet Prime Minister Theresa May at 7 pm. May is on the way out as a result of the Brexit mess. Sport is almost the only source of joy in the country that goes through chaotic times. In the end, ironically, it is not soccer, the opium of the masses, what has provided the high sport, but the neglected sport of cricket.