Everyday another test player decides he can’t keep quiet anymore, the appalling injustices of playing professional cricket must be brought to light.
Now, article after article has been written about what whingeing little girlie boys they are, and the papers are choked with people queuing up to offer different portions of their anatomy in exchange for a test career.
I have no intention of labouring the point. Yes, what girlie boys, yes I would give my (insert appendage here) for a test cap. But what is really at the bottom of this is, in my highly informed opinion, twofold:
First, professional cricketers have absolutely no basis for comparison. Test players are almost all career professionals who have played all their post-schooling lives. They are not, as some of us are, sweating it out in a shoebox in Moorgate nodding along to another David Brent-esque monologue so they can meet the latest gouging gas bill.
It is true that the county journeymen who make my life that little bit more bearable down at the Oval are paid a pittance compared to other sports but, firstly, that is compared to the
rapists, druggies and thugs seasoned professionals of the footballing world, not to ordinary people. I am given understand that the average county wage is now something more than £30k. That’s a damn sight more than I take home, and they have second jobs for the winter and AND they are paid to stand in sunny fields and play cricket!
The second reason burnout is now synonymous with test cricket is, again from my loftey perch, they train far too much. Along with the aforementioned footballers, the more training they do, the more physio’s they seem to employ, in short the more ‘professional’ they become, they more they seem incapable of sneezing without injuring themselves.
Dr. Grace et al would smoke, drink and eat to their hearts’ content before, during and after a match and I never heard of WG pulling up in the outfield with a ruptured ligament.
Six months a year in an office working for a woman who looks like Esther Rantzen and talks like kindergarten teacher would make 3 weeks in India look like the holiday it is, and maybe if they stopped blowing all their cartilage in training they might have some left for the cricket.