A good article by Tanya Aldred. How much should a person consume is not just limited to daily life but extending to other aspects as well like sports matches.
The whole idea behind anything in modern economy is buy, buy, buy and consume, consume, consume. If you get tired doing these two, start all over again. Cricket hasn’t escapes this curse.
The author looks at how cricket matches have changed with simple things available to everything available.
Today’s game is slobberingly greedy. It has riches beyond its wildest dreams, yet exists in a closed world of vast inequality. It is on a constant merry-go-round of self-justification and selling, selling, selling. It needs sponsors to survive, and to justify the sponsors, gives its name to clothing, cars, bats, drinks, insurance, supermarkets, banks, beer… until little by little, hashtag by hashtag, fragments of soul leach away.
We are part of that insatiable beast. We demand, we buy, we throw away. When did we start to need so much from a game? When did we start having to consume in order to enjoy?
Way back in 1986, at the very heart of the Thatcherite revolution, when greed was good and individualism ruled, a parent – let’s say my dad – would take his children along to a Test match. He would bring a picnic – cheese sandwiches (no pickle), apples, doughnuts, cartons of “Mr Juicy”, perhaps a thermos of coffee. He might buy us a scorecard or an ice cream; if we had any spare pocket money we could go to the Lord’s shop and fork out for an autograph book. But we had to find the shop, and queue. We wore our normal gear – replica cricket clothing wasn’t a twinkle in anyone’s eye.
Fast-forward 30 years and the minute you pass through the turnstile to an international, especially a T20, there is a frantic, almost obsessive, flurry of giving – and taking – of stuff. Those inflatable plastic frankfurters that bang together to make a din, worthy rubber wristbands for the local cricket foundation, four and six signs, giveaway stash bags, sponsored hats. And that’s before you come up against the food concessions with their takeaway tea, chips, burgers, artisan steak sandwiches and high-res filter coffees: something (they hope) for everyone.
Often T-shirts plastered with the sponsor’s name are fired into the crowd. We clamour for these elephantine garments, destined within hours to become dusters at the back of the wardrobe. It’s free! There’s a game going on here, a game within the game: instant gratification versus sensible thinking, and there is only one winner.
We need to be more responsible:
Seymour, the only cricket sustainability manager in the UK – it takes a club formed in 1787 to show the way – has in the past spoken fervently about the responsibility sport has in raising awareness. He talks about teams being energy efficient, sorting out waste, sourcing green energy and using that to influence behaviour as a far more powerful example to fans than leaflets from government.
Most powerfully perhaps, he urges cricket to take urgent environmental action out of self-interest. Warmer and wetter winters will mean clubs will have to cut the grass every month and pests will not be killed off by the cold. And in the summer, hotter, drier weather with higher night-time temperatures and reduced cloud cover will lead to changing growth conditions, shifting germination patterns and less moisture in the soil. If climate change follows the patterns scientists predict, this will fundamentally change the conditions in which this lovely game has always been played in England. Farewell, then, damp green seamer; rest now, master of the dibbly dobbly.
The One Planet Living Principles, the basis of the 2012 London Olympics’ environmental approach, highlight ten key areas for action, including zero carbon footprints, and local and sustainable transport. In the light of a torrent of terrifying scientific data, even in the last month, these principles should be influencing world cricket’s every decision.
Day-night Tests may be the future, but how will the energy needed to light them be produced? Do teams need to take such large retinues on tour? Could squads try to green their transport options – bring back train travel, the team coach? Clearly, recycling and lower consumption is only one small part of such an environmental plan, but it is one of the most visible.
Surrey, to their credit, have introduced a reusable pint cup at The Oval – but when even the London Olympics only managed to recycle 62% of the waste created during the Games, there is also a responsibility not to create rubbish in the first place, a tricky balancing act for authorities between sustainability and money-making.
Can cricket create an environment that encourages less consumption? Can it ask its sponsors not to give away so much? Will they comply? Can it regularly audit and broadcast its recycling efforts? Do the players need so many items of kit? Do the coaching staff? Is constantly upgrading kit/gear/shirts sensible? Does cricket infantilise us with stuff? Do we let it?
We as spectators can’t escape responsibility – ultimately the game is designed to attract us.
This is not even part of anybody’s agenda.
I have always wondered the need to play day night matches in countries like India where electricity is such a luxury. Some are ok but now having day matches in short formats is a rare thing. It has all become a vicious cycle of greed and over consumption.