Identity Crisis

It's been quiet here, hasn't it? It's not that there haven't been things going on in the world of cricket but there have just been too many things going on in my little world to enable me to find the time to comment about them.

But then things changed. Earlier this week I received an e-mail from the Bangalore Royal Challengers informing me that 'if you aren't already a Royal Challengers fan, we think it's high time you started cheering them on'.

Er, right. Thanks for the advice, but there's one problem: I've never seen the Bangalore Royal Challengers play. In fact, as I don't have the right TV channels, I've never seen a match played by any of the IPL sides.

But wait, it gets better: 'As a cricket blogger yourself, we thought you'd be interested in this challenge. Fanatic Fans Challenge 2 is a war to become the Royal Challenger’s [sic] official Chief Blogger, Chief Photographer, Chief Videographer and Chief Podcaster. The 4 Chief fans will join the team everywhere they go during IPL. They’ll be at 5am practices with the team, they’ll be pumping iron with them during practice. They’ll be part of the team strategy meets, and they’ll be at the TEAM PARTIES. Club Royal Challengers organized this last year at CLT20 – and they’re doing it this year, BIGGER AND BETTER'.

I still try and play the odd bit of cricket myself when my creaking body's up to it, but a '5 am practice' with a team of professional cricketers? Even if I'm not required to take part, the idea of watching cricket practice at 5 o'clock in the morning isn't all that appealing, and as for 'pumping iron with them', well, there are easier ways of ending up in hospital.

What's more, the e-mail was headed 'Dear Brian Carpenters'. What? Is there more than one of me? Such a suggestion could be enough to give a sensitive middle-aged man an identity crisis.

No, despite its attractions I don't think it's for me. While I like a bit of Twenty20 as much as anyone else, I'm a traditionalist. I like good old English Twenty20, as seen every summer at Leicester, Chelmsford or Bristol. Not the bastardised Indian variant that's threatening to take over the world.

Or is it? Personally I think there's a lot to be said for Michael Vaughan's view, expressed in the Daily Telegraph last week, although I don't think the situation is quite as simple as he portrays.

We live and learn.

PS Sorry 'RCB' for any offence caused. I've got nothing against you and I was only trying to be mildly ironic. Don't send the boys (KP? Kallis? God forbid, Ray Jennings?) round.

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