By The Spotter
A bit more naughty, a little less nice. A bit more Rottweiler, a little less St. Bernard. A bit more John Bracewell, a little less Dougie Bracewell.
The Black Caps need a booster jab of a bit more ‘mongrel’ before facing the dastardly Aussies again in the cricket; here in February.
There was recently a very good, and slightly tongue-in-cheek article by Sonia Gray on another site explaining about us trying to unsettle the enemy with an almost overbearing sort of kindness. However, I just can’t buy into the notion of anyone in a baggy green cap being particularly bothered with emulating or fearing politeness.
Pressure from the immediate cricketing fraternity to ease up on the brashness and be a bit more gentlemanly (like those rather pleasant and chivalrous Kiwis) might just throw the Australians out of kilter a little, but that would seem a longshot.
So long as it were done without any genuine threat of maliciousness, would it really make us arse****s or would we castigate our guys for bringing more edge or bolshiness to their game in giving a bit of a ‘hurry up’ to the opposition in the heat of the moment now and again? I would like to think not.
For a competitive sportsperson, there’s nothing like a bit of outward aggression to get the adrenalin going for a fiery performance when it is required. To get the tail up, so to speak.
I wholly accept I may not be writing this if we hadn’t just lost the series 0-2, but we would do well to take in Dion Nash’s recent excellent point on social media that many of those championing the chivalry aspect have never played sport at a high level. Nash more or less makes the point that elite sportspeople have a need to fire themselves up to succeed; that sometimes this may involve a verbal stoush from time to time.
I agree. Being too chivalrous all the time is likely to take the fire out of the belly; the danger is permanently. Having the odd thing to say in the midst of battle shouldn’t automatically cast one as a disreputable so and so. And you can’t tell me that fair-minded players of the past like our own Sir ‘Paddles’ didn’t ever exchange a word or three with an adversary on occasion.
Nope. It’s time to stoke up the fires a smidge more lads, before you go all too matey and gooey on those nice polite Sri Lankans from next week.
*Drop me a line on sport should you feel inclined: firstname.lastname@example.org (Paul).