Five Green Fields

Congratulations to Ireland for beating England in the Cricket World Cup being held in India, largely due to Kevin O’Brien hitting the fastest century in World Cup history. Yes, I’ll repeat that: Ireland have just beaten England at cricket.

How are Wales doing, you ask? Alas! gentle reader, I fear there is no Welsh team flying the flag for us over there. You see, we are ‘represented’ by the England and Wales Cricket Board . . . in other words, England is our team.  Though apart from a mention in the body’s official name no one would ever know that Wales exists. Even the Board’s website address – http://www.ecb.co.uk/ – says it all.Kevin O'Brien

Which means that, in a sense, Ireland has just beaten Wales, too; so we Taffs should be dejected, unhappy . . . but somehow I don’t see it like that. I’m over the moon, me – the Paddies have just stuck it up the Sais! At cricket!

The blame for this, yet another, ‘For “Wales”, see “England”‘ situation, can be laid firmly at the door of the shoneens down in Cardiff who turned Glamorgan County Cricket Club into Cardiff City Cricket Club, and then demanded Welsh public money to turn Sophia Gardens into the Swalec Stadium, a ground fit for Test matches. (England Test matches, of course.) All done to ‘promote Wales on a world stage’. Though hosting the two England v Pakistan Twenty/20 matches resulted in Cardiff City Cricket Club posting a financial loss last year. (No doubt they’ll be back with the begging bowl very soon; if not directly to the Assembly then to Cardiff City Council, which will claim it back from the Assembly.)

Astute readers will by now have noticed the flaw in the shoneens’ ‘promote Wales on a world stage’ argument. Because apart from a few Wisden saddoes who the hell knows that the England team also represents Wales? What’s more, staging England Test matches in Cardiff doesn’t register overseas because it’s the England team playing, and so viewers around the world assume that Cardiff is somewhere north of Birmingham.

Obviously Wales would be better promoted if – like Ireland, the Netherlands and Canada – we had our own national team at the World Cup. Especially as this World Cup is being played in India, a cricket-mad country and one of the biggest and fastest-growing economies on earth. But the shoneens and those who think like them don’t really give a shit about Wales. In fact, they’re rather anti-Welsh; this is all about further integrating Wales into England.

Yet given the media exposure Ireland is now enjoying in India, and the many cricket-loving Indian investors, entrepreneurs and industrialists who are viewing Ireland in a very positive light, Ireland could do very well financially from this World Cup. By comparison, what will Wales get out of it? Exactly! Because Welsh cricket is run by a bunch of blazered buffoons who put England’s interests before ours, and because our politicians and our media can’t see how we lose out by being stuck with the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Perhaps more importantly, what does it say about us, as a nation, that we allow such organisations to ‘represent’ us? Even if you’re not a cricket fan, you can surely see the insulting absurdity inherent in the England and Wales Cricket Board? If you do nothing else, make a note of this body for future reference.

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