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Edward Craig: English cricket's men steal Sports Personality award from women

December 14th, 2009 by Edward Craig in Miscellaneous


I never thought I’d feel so anti-England’s men’s team as I did watching Andrew Strauss pick up the team award at the BBC Sports Personality awards last night. Like the Ashes, it was an utter steal.

England suffered unedifying internal meltdown losing captain and coach at the start of the year. They went to the West Indies, were all out for 51 in Jamaica and lost a series they should have waltzed. They also got thumped 6-1 in a brutal Australian one-day series.

Okay, to pick themselves up and win the Ashes after the West Indies was an achievement – but that Ashes victory felt a fluke. England basically took a pummelling, had a couple of good sessions and walked away with the series. My abiding memory of the Ashes, for some reason, is Marcus North leaving the ball outside off stump as he ground England out of the game.

Yes there were some great English performances – and some over-rated ones – and Australia made their share of mistakes but it just didn’t feel like a satisfying win: it was a 1985 Ashes victory to 2005′s 1981.

Contrast this to the dominance of the England Women: World Cup and World Twenty20 victories, compelling Wisden to pick a female player of the year, retaining the Ashes, the undisputed best team in the world (how often can English teams claim that?).

What more can one team do to get national recognition? Maybe this says a lot about our attitude towards women’s sport in the UK.

The good news for cricket is there were few other sports in the running for this award – Brawn GP in Formula One perhaps – so the game is at the centre of this debate, which means something must be going right.

And on a final note, how painful is Sports Personality these days? When you find X Factor less toe-curling, do we really want cricket back on the BBC?

Edward Craig is deputy editor of The Wisden Cricketer

Posted in Miscellaneous | 7 Comments »

7 Responses to “Edward Craig: English cricket's men steal Sports Personality award from women”

  1.   Weeman Riley says:

    I’d been telling everyone that the Women deserved to win. Overall they had a much better year than the men.

    Not only did they win more, but by wining they’d have done far more for sport in general.

    And don’t get me started on Ryan Giggs winning.

  2.   Paddy Briggs says:

    What an excellent programme and what a deserved win for Strauss and the boys. Winning The Ashes is the ultimate challenge for England’s cricketers and for Strauss to lead his team to victory despite the ineffable ECB was a real achievement. And how splendid to see them not in their usual gear blazoned with Sponsors’ logos but in clean white shirts. Makes you proud to be English! Hooray!

  3.   Winsome says:

    Does anyone in England care about anything in cricket apart from the Ashes?

    It makes awards like this meaningless.

  4.   Johnboy says:

    Paddy were you watching Sports Personality? The whole thing was an unimaginative, cringe-inducing mess, saved by the talent of the video editors, and then ruined by their inability to choose original music

  5.   Daniel Brigham says:


    England lost a Test series in West Indies this year. No team that loses a Test series in West Indies against such a weak side is deserving of any award, regardless of winning the Ashes!

  6.   Johnboy says:

    And what on earth does “the ineffable ECB’ have to do with us winning the Ashes or not winning it? We won it because Australia’s bowlers couldn’t bowl straight

  7.   Dave says:

    Andrew Strauss looks like he’s just won a golf tournament.

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