Michael Clarke does it. Andrew Symonds utters it far too regularly. Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting have been known to do it too. I’m talking about a new phenomenon creeping into Australia’s cricket: appending “mate” to the end of every “yes,” “no” or “wait” call from the batsmen. Symonds’s laissez faire “nah, mate” was a particular lowlight this evening. Are these pampered prancers playing an international sport or having a Sunday knock around in the park? Granted, with James Anderson and Sajid Mahmood sending down wide after no-ball, it’s hard to tell the difference. But standards are standards; respect is respect and, with my English cap firmly on, I do not like it.
On a similar topic, I always enjoyed the calm, crisp calls from Mike Atherton – my hero as a youngster. There was no mateyness back then – oh no. Just a firm yes, no, or wait. When he really hit his straps, nudging one behind square for a gluttonous two, he’d call “running” to the non-striker which conveyed a batsman in control of proceedings. But still – there was no “yeah mate, two there”.
Outlaw such verbal sloppiness immediately, else ban Australians from playing any form of sport internationally.
NB: potential solution. We stupidly let the whole world speak English – we should’ve rented the language to countries on an annual contract. This is clearly a brilliant idea. Misuse would incur financial penalties and we, as Britons, could charge people for improper use. I need to stop writing this now.