Ban boot camps

Shane Warne has a complete hatred of them, the ECB seem to think they’re a brilliant idea, and I suspect I’m not the only one who can’t see the bloody point of them.

I’m talking about the boot camps the England team are now customarily sent on prior to the Ashes. In 2009 it was strategy and tactics meetings preceded by a trip to Flanders Field.

This year, it was rock-climbing, sleeping in tents, abseiling off cliffs, and a visit to Dachau concentration camp.

It’s like company paintball, but with added genocide.

The most immediate, and potentially most damaging consequence, as far as England’s Ashes hopes go, is that during this “bonding exercise”, Jimmy Anderson suffered a cracked rib in a boxing session with Chris Tremlett. Quite what the leader of England’s bowling attack was doing in the ring with 6ft 7 in, potential Ashes-lineup hopeful Tremlett, is anyone’s guess. I’d love to know who thought this was a good idea.

The ECB have assured us Jimmy should be fit in time for Brisbane. But let’s be honest, if he’d broken a bone while boxing in his own time, the wrath of the ECB would have fallen with considerable weight upon him and the poor bastard would never have heard the end of it. It’s for the same reason that it’s not uncommon for people who drive a Formula 1 car or ride a MotoGP bike to have a clause in their contract that forbids them from skiing off mountains and the like.

As far as the visit to Dachau goes: I can appreciate the intent behind it, to open up the eyes of cricketers to a wider world and wider issues beyond their own immediate, cocooned existence.

But there’s something about a bunch of sportsmen visiting the site where thousands of people died as a “team bonding” exercise that makes me feel a little uncomfortable. While the combat element of sport is normal, healthy, and exhilarating – it is what makes victory all the sweeter – there’s a far cry between that and facing a World War One sniper or death in an extermination camp. It is not literally a war our boys are going into, and it is extremely unlikely that anyone will die.

True, this is not the first time cricket teams have visited war sites – Gallipoli has been a popular destination for Australian teams en route to England, but the fact it is now tied in with the cod-science arse-whackery of sports psychology with all its attendant bullshit terms of “insight” “leadership” and “making difficult decisions under pressure” is what makes it a bit fucking much.

So the next time England’s security guru Reg Dickason is burning up his keyboard googling “human disaster areas” in preparation for the next Ashes “boot camp” he’d be better off following Warne’s advice of locking everyone up in the boozer and letting them get on with it.

At the very least, Jimmy Anderson’s ribs will thank him.

2 Responses to “Ban boot camps”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jamie Dowling, legsidefilth. legsidefilth said: BlogSideFilth: Ban Boot Camps #cricket #ashes #stupidity […]

  2. porush jain says:

    nice article do submit some of them at Sportskeeda to gain some followers

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