Search This Blog


Thursday, January 08, 2009

Sport. It's great, isn't it?

Yesterday evening I was reminded why sport is such a rich source of entertainment. It's because it's the only area the PR people don't control with an iron hand. In any other branch of "the entertainment industry" (which is where former England cricketer Dominic Cork was placing it on Five Live last night) the Kevin Pietersen-Peter Moores squabble would have been solved behind closed doors. The extremes of embarrassment would have been spared with a large cheque and an emollient press release.

But this is sport in the age of 24-hour rolling news. It's an area where you blurt first, think later and your every word, gesture and thought is transmitted to the rest of the world within seconds. It seems that Pietersen's eventual flounce was the result of less than fulsome support in media coverage during the afternoon of the position he'd outlined in the morning.

You knew he was going to get into trouble in that job because he talked too quickly. In interviews - and he was always giving interviews - he babbled like an X-Factor contestant. This was an instructive contrast with Vaughan and Atherton. These are both cleverer men who nonetheless did their interviews in a drone designed to bring passing birdlife crashing, stunned with boredom, from above.

Last night I heard David Lloyd, Angus Fraser, Jonathan Agnew and Dominic Cork discussing his departure with that quickening excitement that steals over cricket folk when they can talk about something more than reverse swing and buses on the Camberwell New Road. They were all very good. Stripping away the thin covering of code from their remarks they seemed to be saying that KP's problem was that, when push came to shove, he's a bit of a dick.