Wednesday, 20 May 2009

All around the world

Sometimes, for no apparent reason other than the random nature of things, events coalesce around a vaguely connected group of people. Mark down the date of 20.5.2009 as the day of the all-rounder.

It was a long day. In its southern hemisphere hours, before it had reached us here in the distant north, it was the day that the Australian selectors went for one Andrew over another, McDonald over Symonds. That was an English selection if ever there was one. No cricketer in this half of the world would rather play against Symonds than McDonald.

As the dateline was crossed, another all-rounder, Chris Lewis, left one life and joined another. He was sentenced to thirteen years for smuggling cocaine. And Andrew Symonds probably thought he was having a bad day.

Tomorrow's papers will be full of pop-psychoanalysts picking Lewis apart. He was a flake, they'll write, an oddball, a lost talent whose fate was written in his decision to shave his head and get sunstroke in the West Indies or miss a Test match because his car had a flat tyre. 

I don't buy that. The human condition is not as easy to dissect. But if connections must be made, then today was a day when two all-rounders took falls of contrasting consequences. Today was the day of the all-rounder. 

3 comments:

Ottayan said...

A bad day for the all-rounders. :)

Brit said...

What are the three things we know about Chris Lewis? He is widely believed to have underacheived, he got sunstroke that time, he smuggled drugs.

Draw a psychological straight line between those three things in 400 words, hand it to the sub-ed.. and that's how journalism works, hooray!

The Old Batsman said...

On your point Brit, the times goes down the 'other retired cricketers who can't adjust route..

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/cricket/article6329739.ece

They reckon Lewis's 'solitariness' (is that a word?) is unusual in a 'clubable' (is that a word?) sport. Eh? Do they actually know anything about cricketers?

Anyway 400 words, bish bash bosh - as predicted!