Monday, March 23, 2009

From across the pond

Two stories completely unrelated except for the fact that they are both about British athletes. And I have no reason to combine them into one post but I read them on the same day and so there it is.

First, did you know that the national cricket team made it to the finals of the World Cup? Me neither. But I don't live in England so I feel I have an excuse. Unfortunately it appears not that many people in England knew either. And that's because it's the women's World Cup. Apparently sport is "the last bastion of sexism" in England where token coverage has been provided during the current event and past World Cups which the national team has won. This is in contrast to the men's team, which has not been doing so well on the international stage. There's an interesting comparison of the male and female captains of both the national cricket and football teams. (HINT: it's about salaries.)

Second, Andy Murray, who beat Roger Federer this past week at Indian Wells (yes, I know that's not what the tournament is called any longer--but that is how I know it), is being called by some manager type guy a role model for the women's game. Eeks!
Well, I guess it's not too too bad given that the rationale behind the statement is that Murray's game looks different than the other guys'; that he's a little more creative, has some touch to his shots, etc. And said manager-like guy feels that everyone on the women's side now (with the retirement and/or decline of more nuanced players) just hits hard. It's interesting to consider. I think the women's game has been far more interesting the past few years and I wonder now if the pendulum is swinging back to the men's side. I do continue to believe that there are more women who are contending for the top spots in the game--that there is more movement into and out of the top ten whereas it seems the top men are pretty consistently there.


Diane said...

The tournament used to be called the Pacific Life Open, and now it is the BNP Paribas Open. It is held in Indian Wells, so people tend to call it Indian Wells, regardless.

There has been a lot written lately about the lack of artistry in women's tennis. The two last women to display real artistry were Henin and Mauresmo, and now we're down to Mauresmo. There are a few players, however, who bring a certain amount of real strategy to the game--Jankovic, Chakvetadze are examples. And Hantuchova's game has a kind of elegance to it. But generally speaking, I agree that WTA players have substituted hitting hard for shot variety and strategy.

Anonymous said...

Re Cricket I am suprised that female cricketers are even paid anything, since they used to have to pay to play. Male 'County' players, the equivalent of MLB guys, are really more like WNBA players in that they usually have to take playing or coaching jobs overseas in the off season. This is not a game with the salaries you find in the US.

ken said...

Thanks for the info, anon. I don't know how the figures were calculated or what they are counting as a salary. In the US some Olympians get living allowances while training. Not sure how it works elsewhere.

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