Apathetic West Indies contribute to one-sided series

West Indies bold attempt to chase a world record 455 to win against England in the third test at Old Trafford gave the cricket viewing public a glimpse of what might have been.

The chase fell a valiant 60 runs short and it was the first time in the series that the tourists showed some intestinal fortitude. Had they been this gutsy at the beginning maybe the test series would have been less one sided.

The West Indies were outplayed in the first test at Lords and were destroyed in the second test at Headingly losing by an innings and 283 runs.

The absence of retired ex-captain Brian Lara has been a massive blow and there batting order is obviously much weaker without him. However, his retirement says much more about the state of West Indian cricket than it does about him.

Without him in the time the West Indies have rarely looked like they can bat for a full 90 over day. Without him in the side it is hard to see where there next victory will come from.

The loss of big players was compounded when Ramnaresh Sarwan was ruled out of the remainder the series after injuring his shoulder on the first day of play. However, the tourists suffered a bigger loss…a loss of desire.

Never before have I witnessed a test series where one side has looked like they didn’t care less about the result. The resistance offered by Shivnarine Chanderpaul on the final day was refreshing in a contest where his team-mates, Darren Sammy aside, seemed so indifferent.

Chief among them is Chris Gayle, I have heard Gayle called relaxed, laid-back and cool but I think the best way to describe him is apathetic. He looks like he doesn’t care. He fields lazily, runs a single like he is strolling in the park and bowls no balls from a three step run-up.

The third test was simply a case of to little to late. It was the first time in the series that the visitors went down fighting and they have fully deserved to lose.

It is a tragedy that a side like the West Indies that dominating the cricketing world for two decades cannot produce a side that is capable of challenging the best of them but it is a travesty that the current crop do not seem to understand what it means to represent a team steeped in history and to follow in the footsteps of true legends.

Fatal wounding of policeman indicative of town’s problems

Today a policeman was stabbed to death and two other people were injured in a serious incident in Luton.

PC Jonathon Charles Henry was attacked and fatally wounded as he tried to attend to a window cleaner who has been stabbed several times in what seems to be an unprovoked attack.

Such incidents greatly sadden me, the police are heavily criticised but their job is to protect the public. How can someone launch an unprovoked attack on a person whose job it is to keep us safe from harm?

This incident also struck a chord with me as it happened in Luton. Being born and bred in the town I champion it against its critics but recently I have had to remain quiet.

I cant remember the last time I heard news from Luton that was positive to the community. There is a history of racial problems, the crime and murder rates are high and i was once voted the worst town in the country.

An event like this cannot be blamed on the town and the individual responsible must be dealt with appropriately.

However, as a proud Lutonian it hurts me that such incidents and others, occur in our town perpetrated by our residents.

We really to tackle our negative elements in Luton before things in the town get worse.

Much ado about nothing

This week Channel 4 broadcast their controversial documentary detailing the final moment’s of Diana’s life and I was mildly disappointed to discover that it was much ado about nothing.

The documentary, Diana: The Witness in the Tunnel, provoked outrage and even prompted the princes to speak out against it.

It seems that dissenters should have waited until they say the programme before they gave such spirited protests.

Not only did the program deal with the death of the Princess sensitively but the photographs it used were not gratuitous and were appropriately censored.

It turned out to be a documentary not about Diana herself but the plight of the paparazzi who were inappropriately used as a scapegoat for the incident.

Channel 4 were able to attract 3.8 million viewers for their show helped largely by the over the top and premature reaction of those who see any treatment of Diana’s death as disrespectful.

The McCanns and the media circus

At the risk of sounding very unpopular I think that is about time that the McCanns took a break from courting the media limelight and began to reflect on the actual whereabouts of their missing daughter Madeleine.

They have suffered a tragedy that must be every parents worst nightmare and my heart, and indeed the hearts of the nation, are with them but it is inappropriate for them to be touring Europe.

I understand that the purpose of these trips are to raise awareness of the missing girl but I think it is grossly unfair to devote such time and attention to one case where others are just left with the odd page in the national press. It also unnecessary for the McCanns to have an audience with the Pope where there surely must be others more in need.

I find it dismaying that some stories are subject to great media bias where others are afforded little coverage. Madeleine is not the first child to go missing and nor is she the last but I cannot recall any other occassion when a child has gone missing and their has been a continental tour of appeal for their return.

The media has heralded the strength and courage of the McCanns but has refused to criticise there inexplicable decision to leave three children under the age of four alone and unattended in a foreign country without even locking a door.

The McCanns appear to be becoming minor celebrities due to their irresponsible behaviour and this is must not be allowed to happen.

I am with everyone who wishes for a safe return of Madeleine but the time has come for them to stop playing ringmaster to the media circus and actually start working with the Portuguese police to find their missing child.

Emily meant no offence but had to go

Another Big Brother race row exploded this week as Emily Parr directed a racial slur at fellow housemate Charley Uchea.

Anyone who follows the television show will be aware of the controversy that followed last year when Shilpa Shetty was subject to racial bullying.

With that in mind it seemed obvious that any racial disharmony this time round would be dealt with in the most serious manner and when Emily was removed from the house there could be no complaints.

However, I think that I may be alone in expresssing sympathy for this naive young woman. Emily seemed to be making a misjudged attempt, as a middle class white woman, to speak to a young black female, on what she thought was her own level. It backfired… badly.

It is obvious that she used the word so comfortably that it must have been part of her vocubalry but labelling someone as a racist is a serious allegation.

The word in question has become so fashionable, mainly due to the popularity of rap music, that it may be part of the language of many young people. both black and white. While what Emily said was wrong it was not intended to cause harm.

As much as Emily would like to think that she is an intelligent and street wise young woman she has a lot to learn and her comment was plainly stupid.

But calling her racist is a step too far.