2012 Diary

A Ramble on Women's Cricket
 - with diversions -

This diary will be updated erratically throughout the year.

2012 Page 3 Previous Page 2
And now the Olympics rears its ugly head. Why such a negative attitude you may ask? Well quite simply I find I am paying (yes -me - and all the citizens of the UK) a huge sum of money to enjoy closed roads, the sight of my national flag flown upside down far too frequently (yes - not only our own citizens but the Greeks managed it too) and TV which has become fixated on the event and considers the world will stop in a few weeks time when the sport begins.
The Flagpole is on this side!
For those who haven't spotted it, the flag is not symmetrical! In the example above the flagpole would be at the left with the wider white stripe at the top (or 'hoist'). What you're less likely to have noticed is that the diagonal red cross lines (representing the Irish part of the UK - St. Patrick's cross) do not line up. This is apparently known as counterchanging and was done to allow the Irish cross to predominant in one quarter and the cross of St. Andrew - the Scottish part - to predominant in another.
The question remains, of course, how it will look if the Scots decide on independence. Since the Scottish white cross on blue was added prior to the Irish component there is no historical flag to fall back on. Perhaps we shall have...
...or maybe the Irish section can be lined up again. Why doesn't Wales figure you may ask. It is apparently since it is not a Kingdom but a Principality which seems a pretty poor reason to me.
When we finally finish this Olympic extravaganza we'll be left with so many white elephants in the room they'll be hard to ignore. I know there is a 'legacy project' but it is only necessary to look back on those countries who have hosted the games in recent decades to see it has never gone well and I'm not arrogant enough to believe my country will do any better.
I heard a story recently which intrigued me no end. Is it true? It is just far fetched enough to be. It is said that when the VIPs visited London to consider whether it might be a suitable venue, the cars they were provided with were fitted with transponders (is that the right word?) which enabled their position to be accurately deduced at any moment. It was then arranged that wherever they decided to drive, traffic lights were immediately changed to ensure they had as smooth a passage as possible. Now can this really be done and if so, where do I get one?
It also seems that we have given up the right to ban from our country people we consider could pose a threat because they are dignities from participating countries. So much for the 'War on Terror'. To fight that we have installed surface to air missiles on the roofs of building near the main games site. Heaven help the citizens of London should they decide to use them in anger. I would not wish to be under the falling debris.
There have also been noises about which drinks you'll be allowed to consume and which you won't, which credit/debit cards you can use and which you can't, and it has just become one big advertising exhibition. Sport needs sponsorship but when it transcends the usual advertising e.g. in the banning of other manufacturer's products - well, it's sad sport ends up like this.
As someone once sagely remarked "common sense isn't common!" and I'll lay a bank note down that some company which doesn't pay a penny will gain a huge amount of publicity over one of its products being banned. Remember that football tournament where the Dutch spectators left their trousers at the gate? That small brewery could not have imagined such a wealth of good advertising and certainly would not have been able to pay for it. I'm back to 'shooting yourself  in the foot' etc. as mentioned on the previous page. I am gleefully looking forward to see which major sponsor has done it this time.
Will I watch any? Possibly one or two of the sports that one never sees otherwise, but my collection of DVDs has grown significantly lately. Good luck to those who will enjoy the show - just remember when you sit comfortably on your sofa at home that you can drink what you like, eat what you like and probably get the best view. It's also much, much cheaper. You can toast my health as a thank you for my contribution to the costs of your enjoyment. This is one occasion when you should be happy to forgo the 'atmosphere' if only because of the restrictions that won't apply at home!
Oh, and if you're a UK taxpayer and thought that this might result in some of your money being spent in the UK - well probably quite a tidy sum has, but you might like to know that even simple things like the Olympics tickets were printed overseas, and not even within the EU it is rumoured. As a director of a printing company I find this is particularly shameful. I cannot believe a British company could not have been found to do the job. Many will be waving their Union flags (metaphorically if not necessarily literally) during the games. It's a shame the organisers couldn't do the same.
Back to cricket
And now the BCCI shows an ugly face. I hate quotas, and the idea of 'positive' discrimination is total anathema to me. I consider any discrimination (in the sense the word is commonly used today) to be simply abhorrent and it can never, in any sense be acceptable or positive. The idea for instance that all women lists should be prepared for candidates for elections would simply ensure I would not vote for the party that proposed such things, any more than I would for an all male list. Now I hope you don't, after all the effort that goes into preparing this site, consider I am against women doing absolutely any job or holding any post whatever. I simply feel that in such matters the world should be gender blind - and for that matter colour blind. The best person should get the job, post or whatever and if that means we get all female or all male committees, cabinets, parliaments or any other body, then so be it.
Now the quota suggestion by the Indian government minister is therefore totally unacceptable to my way of thinking. He may want a percentage representation on sports bodies, but who's to say, if selected on merit, that representation isn't too low? If gender blind it could be 5%, 50% or 95% in any individual case. Better to campaign for fair selection rather than the quota suggested by the government or the misogynistic method the BCCI appears to prefer from the statements of its spokesman. 
His comment "the BCCI says itís not possible to have women sitting in judgment of the menís team" shows how little he understands both women and the game of cricket. I played for many years, much of the time as captain of the team, watched county cricket and everything on the TV I could find. I thought, 30 years later, I knew a fair amount about the sport, but one day spent in the stands with a former member of the England women's team, taught me as much as the previous three decades. Unlike the BCCI spokesman I am not embarrassed to admit learning so much about this sport from a woman! I lost touch with her some years ago. I am sure there is much more I could still learn from her.

The ramble continues here