It was a simple discussion about England’s victory in one 50 over match against the West Indies. The focus was on the superiority of the current English team over this West Indies team in the art of running between wickets in one-day cricket, when Bairstow added, “It’s the genetics. It’s me being me. It’s something I`ve grown up with. If there’s two to be had I’ll try to come back … It’s an asset to be quick between the wickets … It’s the intensity we want to play at as a side.”
The Shorter Oxford Dictionary defines ‘genetics’ as “the branch of science that deals with heredity and the variation of inherited characteristics in living organisms.” Do we really need and want to go there? I know Bairstow was excited about getting his first ODI hundred, but I believe the game would be much better off without that kind of stuff.
What is more, England may well have one of the worst records in one-day cricket. The West Indies won the first two World Cups. England just lost the champion’s trophy at home to a team (Pakistan) that is better known for the skill of its bowlers. It seems that some people just can’t help introducing irrelevancies like genetics when talking about a team with perhaps the most storied history in sport, that has been in a fairly long slump.
Before West Indies won their last world title, another Englishman described the team as having no brains. This is not healthy. Unfortunately West Indian cricket administrators never seem to feel the need ‒ perhaps because the team has not been performing well ‒ to protect its players. Not long ago, indeed after the West Indies had won a world championship in 2016, an Australian broadcaster saw fit to libel Marlon Samuels with the gangster tag. I cannot speak for other fans, but I am sure getting tired of this stuff.