One of the most common criticisms we get from our readers is that we are too close to the England team to be objective and we sometimes hold back from criticising players we know personally.
It is a challenge that all journalists have to deal with, and for a “global media circus”, cricket (all cricket, not just the women’s game) is actually quite a small community, so it is a particular challenge in our sport; but the truth is that we are not that close to the players on a personal level.
Unlike the men’s journalists, we don’t stay in the same hotels 200 days a year, and while we have met most of the parents, and the odd boyfriend/ girlfriend, we wouldn’t presume to call ourselves “friends” with any current international player.
We know that some of them follow us on Twitter and read CRICKETher, which is nice; but others (at least two of the currently England team) take a different and equally valid approach – they block us!
Yes – ironically, while some readers think we are too soft on the team, the players themselves often feel like we are harsh, negative and unfair to them.
So which side are we on?
We want to celebrate the achievements of the England team, but we aren’t cheerleaders – what we really want to do is to share with our readers a bit of the insight and perspective that comes from having followed this sport for a long time, at both the domestic and international levels; and hopefully inform a bit of discussion and debate.
So we hope the answer is that we are on everybody’s side – the players, the fans, the women’s game, the wider game… even the ECB’s, believe it or not! It is a bit of a balancing act sometimes, but we’ll keep doing what we do – walking the wire, from point to point, hopefully getting somewhere, but maybe actually more importantly, enjoying the view along the way.
If some think you’re too hard, and others too soft, that would suggest you get it about right…
And I’d agree with that. Keep up the good work.
Perhaps thankfully, women’s cricket (and women’s sport in general) is not yet in a place where it can pick and choose those it wants to promote it.
As a regular HYS contributor I do think you get it just right and hopefully our comments/discussions are balanced and pragmatic too.
The media still pick and choose their times to turn a spotlight on the women’s game, mainly at international level rather than develop a narrative the lay person can follow.
Even in a time of top down professionalism the game still needs closer relationships between Club, County and Country and we should always support and respect that.
There’s been the odd post where you’ve appeared to stray from complete neutrality, but that’s to be expected, you’re generally doing a very good job!
No matter how objective one tries to be, it’s hard not to favour one player over another sometimes as we all have our in-built biases.
I might seem to be a cheerleader for the England team sometimes, but this is just a reflection of how much I admire the players. When they don’t do so well I will say so, too, as you have done.