Kumbaya, my friends

Quick post tonight:

I would like to thank the proprietor of Deepbackwardpoint.com for passing on this article from the Guardian’s Barney Ronay over to me this morning.

The whole thing is worth your time, but here is the money quote:

Strip away the fear and the spin and this is a golden age to be a cricket lover, a golden age for watching the game. By now the conjoined worlds of Gayle and Godleman should be feeding off one another, a mutually beneficial pincer movement, the be-bop fecundity of the new world and enduring trad of the old. As it happens, the summer after that crowning Beaulieu jazz riot the Rolling Stones started appearing on festival bills. Pop was coming, and within three years the whole self‑contained furore had been pretty much washed away. Who knows, cricket too may not get this chance again. Align the schedules. Dismount from that high horse. Give in to the commercial inevitability. Let’s stop the jazz wars now.

That’s it. That’s all of it.

I have opined on several occasions that we are in a golden age of cricket. But reading Ronay’s column made me realize I was only half right. We are on the cusp of a golden age, but it will happen only if we choose to let it happen.

I truly believe that all three formats can coexist peacefully, and that if we can find a way to make that happen, cricket will be around for generations.

And so I, along with Ronay, implore my fellow cricket fans the world over: stop the infighting, we are all friends here, we all love this silly old bat and ball sport in our own unique way, no one format is better than any other format, and for the sake of the game, let’s all try to get a long, shall we?

That is not to say that the debate should stop completely, but the vitriol and the accusations need to be removed from it. That is not to say that we should allow T20 to run ramshod over first class domestic tournaments, but the Big Bash League needs to have its place, too. And that is not to say that there are not serious problems in the game that need debate and solution, there are, and we need to work on fixing them. All I am saying is: we are not enemies, we are friends, so let’s start acting like.

There is room for both Chris Gayle and Billy Godleman. Room for both the County Championship and the IPL. Room for both the Champions Trophy and the Ashes.

Plenty of room even.

So let’s allow the golden age of cricket to happen. For if we don’t, not only will the golden age never transpire, but the sport might very well do what everyone claims it will do: die.

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