Saturday, 16 March 2013

Why Sarah Taylor Playing Men's Cricket MIGHT Not Be QUITE Such A Good Thing After All

In his recent interview with Sarah Taylor, Jonathan Agnew again brought up the "hype" (Sarah's word) about her playing men's cricket; with Agnew concluding that it could 'only be a good thing'.

I'm not so sure!

It is not necessarily a bad thing... but I think there are two potential problems with it: one philosophical and one practical.

The philosophical problem is that it reenforces the 'second class' status of women's cricket, with the implication that only by playing "proper" (i.e. men's) cricket is Sarah really testing herself.

Obviously this is something we could argue about all day - that's the definition of a "philosophical problem"... right?

So let's move on to the practical dilemma!

Sarah obviously believes that by playing men's cricket she is improving her game... which, to be fair, she probably is.

But if this comes at the expense of time spent playing women's cricket, then she is potentially damaging both the England team and the game as a whole, by depriving other top female players of the opportunity to test themselves by competing against the best player in the world.

It is worth acknowledging that such a scenario is currently not on the cards, and probably never was. (For all the headlines on the front pages, all that was actually said was that she might be in talks to play occasional county seconds cricket - not even "First Class" cricket.)

And to repeat myself all-over-again, I am not arguing that it is a bad thing either!

But nevertheless it is important to recognize that there would be downsides too.

[And with that... I will now shut-up about SJT and men's cricket for the moment!!]

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