Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Ben on...Boock's gone soft

Richard Boock is quite a combative cricket writer. He often rubs me the wrong way with his whinges about the crapness of the Black Caps and how they should be winning more. Recently, he has caused a storm at the Sunday Star Times. Two weeks ago he wrote an article in response to Brian Lochore's denunciation of political correctness. The article attracted such vehement response (no surprise perhaps when even the title of the article makes reference to "Brian the Bully") that he devoted last week's article to the responses he received.

They are a couple of very good articles. Well written and with their points well presented. And clearly heartfelt and very brave.

But anyway. It seems that he got enough feedback on his article to continue the topic for a third week. In the latest Sunday Star Times, Boock writes about a cricket team that included J.M. Barrie, Arthur Conan Doyle, A.A. Milne, P.G. Wodehouse, E.W. Hornung and Rudyard Kipling, a team that you might expect did not enjoy a lot of victories. He uses this team as an example to rebut the idea that sport is just about winning and losing, and to make the point that it is really about participation. I found this to be a pretty temperate attitude coming from Boock.

It's a fine sentiment and one that extends to following sport as well as participating. You get knocked back a lot being a Black Caps' supporter. On one hand, those many defeats make the victories all the sweeter, but on the other hand, setting aside the disappointment of the defeats and the joy of the victories and cricket remains an exciting, beautiful, compelling game. Roll on summer.

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