English cricketers do something right
Following England’s cricketers on Twitter is becoming almost as entertaining as watching them on the field.
Swann, in particular, went the extra mile by providing details of a stomach bug he picked up.
They have now been joined by Tim Bresnan, whose eating habits have provided plenty of fodder for Swann and Anderson.
“Went to the gym as a team this morning,” Swann tweeted the other day.
“Onions starred on the treadmill, Bopara in the pool, Bres in the coffee shop.”
Bresnan has returned fire by branding the pair “the dipshit brothers”.
This is all good, harmless fun for the boys while they are away from home.
And from a fan’s point of view, it’s absolute gold.
We’re in on the jokes, sharing the banter and learning more about the day to day life of a top flight cricketer.
We’re essentially receiving text messages from our heroes.
But aside from being good fun, it’s a welcome change from the public pronouncements we’re used to hearing from cricketers.
Players have become media-trained robots, trotting out platitudes and offering very little insight when put in front of the press.
Simon Wilde, in The Times, may have been a bit harsh when he said the “guff” Michael Clarke churned out at press conferences was “an insult to the whole press-player relationship”.
But he was right to highlight the banality of many of these affairs.
Bowlers will always talk about “hitting the right areas” while batsmen will witter on about focus, “getting the feet moving” and building an innings.
I never thought I’d miss Glenn McGrath’s 5-0 predictions, until I watched a Monty Panesar press conference.
Good bowler, nice bloke, shocking interviewee.
Get on Twitter, Monty, and tell us what you really think about people who say you should get an arm ball.
In fairness, Swann always appears happy to say whatever is on his mind.
When asked about the recommendation to India’s players that they have sex before every game, he said it was “exactly the sort of positive thinking cricket needs”.
But I’m not sure the same can be said of Anderson, who, by all accounts, is a naturally shy bloke.
Through Twitter, he’s been able to show a sense of humour he may not have felt confident enough to express in interviews.
That helps our understanding of him both as a person and as a player.
There are limits, of course: Aussie young gun Phillip Hughes got in a world of trouble for accidentally announcing his axing on Twitter.
And Bresnan has also just been forced to apologise for an expletive-laden spray of a fellow Tweeter who had doctored a photo to mock his weight.
But let’s hope these are mere hiccups and that more players share their behind the scenes action with us.
Shane Warne’s tweets would certainly have made for interesting reading.
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