This article (on why Golfers have it so easy) brought back a heated debate I had a year+ ago with a mate about why, in my opinion, cricketers as sportsmen and athletes that they deserve.
The strain put on bowlers has, in the last few years, been quite well documented in the media and rightly so. Given the incessant schedules these days of international cricket, frequency has meant “body breakdown” for fast bowlers. “Even” spinners like Warne and Murali have had quite serious surgical procedures to cure ailing wrists and shoulders. And, my trump card in these arguments: would a footballer play in 35c heat for 7 hours? I think not.
Only the other day, England A coach Rod Marsh was excusing his player’s performances against Sri Lanka blaming a lack of fitness and training. Which is of course down to the heat that cricketers have to endure. England’s “footballers” played Portugal some months ago, and a TV commentator remarked how tough it would be for them, playing in 23c heat. Well, try 35c heat for a whole day mate! It’s about time they were respected more in the media – the sense of “oh, it’s a jolly fine game is Cricket – a lovely pleasant game” is, I think, still quite prominent in the administration of English cricket, and this rubs off in the media.
Look at someone like Brett Lee, Simon Jones, The Bastard (McGrath), Ponting and Andrew Flintoff. The work they put it to reach a level of fitness is extreme, and I often wonder whether the media give them due credit.