Fortune favours the brave

Opinon from Colin Mohammed

1 June 2004

The policy of being too cautious is the greatest risk of all.

Jawaharlal Nehru (1889 - 1964)

There is a prevailing attitude that questioning the status quo is a militant stance. To question the actions of the reigning authority is not only a right given in our democracy, but a duty. One of the phrases I've heard thus far is that "cricket will not suffer a black eye because of the actions of" I shall leave you to fill in the blank. I do not see my writing as being so called "militant," but I have made it quite clear that I am not happy with the way things were run under the Edwardian rule. I have also made it quite clear that the Toronto & District Cricket Association is a little too moribund and lethargic to allow for the proper evolution of the game.

As I see it, some people have become so conditioned and afraid of questioning the status quo that the phrase "colonial mentality" springs to mind. Are we so content to play cricket in an industrial area, a hidden conservation area or some other roughshod ground that we cannot ask for better? To me, it's not a question of "Will cricket survive?" It is an issue where we have a firmly entrenched system of clubs that should be organized enough to demand first class facilities, or be in a position where our own grounds can be built. However, it seems that the administration is working on some kind of extended test match tactical system, since in the 15 years I've observed Ontario and National administration, nothing has changed. (Except, really for the remarkable coloured clothing experiment in the Toronto & District Premier league) Good job boys, in 20 years let's try 20-20!

Let's now skip forward to Ben Sennik's Town Hall meeting. It was poorly attended, and on a weekend with no cricket too boot. This simply tells me that few to none actually care about the National Development programme or even want to find out. The first mistake in the Edwardian years was lethargy. Are we to sit by in the comfort of the shade of Ross Lord park, the idyllic English countryside Sunnybrook and then go home and complain that the grass was not cut, the umpiring was bad or the pitch was not playing "true" It seems that this sort of contentment will suffice for another generation of players.

The same innovation and creativity that led to the invention of Kanhai's Falling Hook seems to have been soundly put to rest by the relative security and satisfaction of playing weekend cricket. In this country we have a chance to re-create the game with the unique opportunity to invent something Canadian, yet this may never be accomplished if we are to be satisfied with playing in the various leagues, not participating fully in League elections or by being part of some cultural expo.

"Cricket will not suffer a black eye." After years of neglect, abuse and a spreading waistline I am surprised that Cricket has any eyes left to open. Imagine a game that produced the cavalier and eclectic batsmen of the West Indies, the Invincible Aussies and the Tenacious Pakistanis have been soundly thrashed by a few proud weekenders. One of the foundations of democracy is discussion and debate, what it comes down to is that we are too content in our situations to have a go at any lethargic league administration.

Will the game ever evolve to beyond the curious immigrant spectacle it now is? Is it to be relegated to various culture shows and the questions of some inquisitive bystander? At this pace the answer is probably yes. Then again, a tame, meaningless boring draw is still cricket, is it not?