February 20th, 2009

Honey Badger

schadenfreude corner (sports pages)

Thog probably knows this already, but it would take a large stretch of imagination to describe me as a cricket fan. But even I have been rapt by the Stanford Affair.
For those of you not in the know, Sir Allen Stanford, a Texan billionaire who received his knighthood by virtue of becoming a citizen of the Commonwealth territories of Antigua and Barbuda, arrived in England a while ago with a shedload of money and the intention of altering the face of cricket.
The English Cricket Board fell at his feet, but many of the crusty media commentators predicted disaster and heaped ridicule on the test series he set up.
At the time, I thought it was interesting as a predictable clash of cultures - loud, brash Texan millionaire buys his way into conservative English cricketing culture, and while I didn't really have a view on it I thought it was fun to watch the way everyone lined up.
It's not really quite so funny now as `Sir' Allen has been named in connection with a multibillion-pound fraud and possibly in connection with money laundering for Mexican drugs cartels.
In the wake of Stanford's fall, it increasingly seems that he was a massive wide boy and that the ECB were just utterly dazzled by him and his money and the crusty commentators were right all along.
Now, the man is of course innocent until proven guilty, but I find stuff like this fascinating, the way I find Chelsea's revolving door policy for managers fascinating. For instance, I notice the media starting to distance us from `Sir' Allen's knighthood, informing us it was `only' a Commonwealth knighthood, while calling for the head of the ECB to be stripped naked and beaten with stumps while he runs around the outfield at Lord's.
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