Cricket Lets In The Rabble – Anglophilia or a Tinge of Racism? – Our opinion of a Wall Street Journal article

In our May 2 article Wall Street Journal vs. Financial Times, we wrote about the Limousine Liberals of the 1980s.  “In those days, it was fashionable to praise England for being a “cultured” society. We felt then and we know now, that “cultured” was a code-word for absence of colored people and colored influences. In those days, racial relations in New York were not what they are today. So, the Limousine Liberal sub-culture fashioned its own code-word for praising England for its racial segregation and deriding America.”

To our surprise, we found one such class-obsessed limousine liberal at the Wall Street Journal. His name is Thomas Dyja and he has written an article bemoaning the loss of “Cricket’s spiritual core”. We find this to be really a low quality article, an article we expect to find in the Financial Times of London rather than in the Wall Street Journal. We tell you why below.

Mr. Dyja begins his article the way a proper American Anglophile would.  “Lord’s, the “home of cricket,” in St. John’s Wood in northwest London, is Cooperstown, Augusta National and old Yankee Stadium all wrapped into one. ..Around here, “old money” can date back to the Tudors. Lord’s is the official keeper of cricket’s relics and its history, the game’s spiritual core.”

Then Dyja laments that “in the traditional bastions of the game, there’s fear that T20 is forcing England to lose control of a sport considered fundamental to its identity.”

Finally Dyja sighs for a world lost forever, “Losing control over their pastoral, class-obsessed ideal of the game means in some profound way losing their place in the world.” Heck, even Scarlett O’Hara did not pine for Tara the way Dyja does for the proper English game. But then, Scarlett was a brave, forward-looking, optimistic American girl, not an Anglophile like Thomas Dyja.

So what is England’s problem? Dyja explains that his cherished Lord’s is “no longer where the money is, or the power — India has those now. A global mutiny has swept the cricketing world, pitting the realities of the marketplace against the purity of the game, and it all centers on a faster, louder, harder-hitting version called Twenty20, whose World Cup is being played here at the leafy, proper Lord’s.”

To make sure every reader sees how leafy, proper Lord’s is being defiled by rowdy crowds, he inserts a photo of Indians celebrating at Lord’s.

(Dyja’s caption – The crowd gets rowdy as England plays India at Lord’s last week.)

Dyja then describes how Indians are further damaging the spiritual core of cricket – “To satisfy 1.2 billion people who suddenly couldn’t get enough of T20, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) launched a three-week tournament called the Indian Premier League (IPL). A Rotisserie-style player auction was held where the eight franchise owners, ranging from India’s Reliance Industries Ltd. to Bollywood stars, threw hundreds of thousands of dollars (and in some cases millions) at the game’s biggest names for three weeks of work.”

Why should this impact England? Dyja explains that
“Considering that the very best cricketers in England don’t get that for a whole year, the IPL upset the economic balance of global cricket.”

Now we understand why Perry Mason spoke so disparagingly of Americans who spoke with a British accent, of Americans who wore cultivated British airs in the 1950s to proclaim their “cultured status” over what they considered to be Ordinary Americans. Thomas Dyja seems to belong to that type.

Those pretentious Americans did not understand that America was a land of the future and it was galloping towards to a great global role while class-obsessed England was going down a path to mediocrity.

Like these spiritual ancestors of his, Thomas Dyja does not understand that India and Twenty20 rescued Cricket and positioned it on a path to unprecedented success. India combined the magic of Cricket with the panache and unbridled joy of Bollywood creating one of the greatest sports franchises in the world. The result? Today, we see that Brazil and China are building Cricket teams and investing in the game. 

Perhaps it is we who do not understand Dyja’s sadness. But, then we are after all rabble. Of course, unlike Dyja, we are proud of it. 

Dyja ends his article with a quote from an author named O”Neill that reads “This is (as Mr. O’Neill puts it), “the moment when the colonized element finally has its vengeance on the main.”

Dyja does not seem to recognize that his publisher, the Wall Street Journal is an American institution and therefore, like us, a part of the colonized element. Now you understand why we would have expected such an article from the London Financial Times but not the Wall Street Journal.

We do not wish to be unfair to Mr. Dyja. So, in the tradition of this Blog, we invite Thomas Dyja to send us his response. We will print it verbatim.

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