Monday, 1 August 2011

Perhaps politicians should drink more tea!

As a big cricket fan, I found that yesterday’s events at the England/India test match provided a fascinating insight to human behaviour and the concept of ‘play nice’

Briefly – due to some confusion as to whether a ball had gone for four runs (i.e. hit the boundary ate the edge of the field), the England batsman Ian Bell was technically run out when an Indian fielder removed the stumps as the batsman was leaving the ground for the tea break at the end of the afternoon session. It was a simple misunderstanding – England thought the ball was out of play and India took advantage of the situation to claim a sneaky, but entirely legal wicket. The umpire confirmed the out decision which was within the rules, if not the spirit of the game.

‘Just not cricket’ a phrase used in the UK, and maybe overseas, describes ungentlemanly behaviour in any context and this incident was ‘just not cricket’. But in the true spirit of the game, after a cup of tea, India withdrew their appeal, Bell was reprieved, and resumed batting in the next session. The very sporting decision of the Indian team was praised universally and Phil Tufnell, a BBC commentator said ‘I think after a cup of tea the right decision was made’. Laugh out loud – what a wonderfully British comment!

But joking apart – maybe we shouldn’t underestimate the value of a cup of tea. I remember when my daughter was five years old there was a news item about the troubles in Northern Ireland and she asked me to explain why people were fighting. I did my best and then she said – ‘perhaps they should just have a nice cup of tea and sort it out’. If only. Bless.

With brinkmanship threatening the deal between the Democrats and Republicans to raise the US debt ceiling and the bickering amongst the UK coalition regarding NHS reforms, how good would it be if all these people just ‘played nice’?

How great if every time one politician slated another or one stakeholder belittled another – there was a shout of ‘hey that’s just not cricket’

And how wonderful if all these discordant groups really could just sit down and have a nice cup of tea and sort things out.

Apart from the ‘time out’ effect that having a cup of tea can have, the benefits of this age old beverage are manifold and well documented. The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that tea does not dehydrate but it actually rehydrates just as well as water and also protects against heart disease and cancers. The anti-oxidants have been shown to prevent cell damage, protect against tooth decay and strengthens bones.

Other suggested benefits are to boost immune system, increase alertness and lower stress hormone levels.

So there you have it. Sport so often reflects society in general and in the silly season for news I make a plea to all those involved in heated debate regarding health and finance especially – play nice and drink more tea!


Drmike said...

As an MCC member purist, Bell was extremely careless and silly not to remain in his crease especially as his co- batsman Morgan told him to do so. I therefore deprecate the pressure put on India by the England Captain and Coach to " think again". In my view that was not the spirit of cricket and, whilst commending the Indians for their good manners, on this occasion drinking tea led to cheeky and unfair intervention, not solution!!! Now I've got that off my chest I think a Green tea and Jasmine will do nicely.

Finchers Consulting said...

Nicely put Mike! I actually think it was bad manners of the English batsmen to walk off without waiting for the rest of the field to follow. It was a shame that the crowd booed too. Enjoy your cup of tea!

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