As I sit here watching Alastair Cook march remorselessly on towards a mammoth innings and what should be a massive victory for England, I look forward with apprehension to England being the number one test side in the world. Considering tomorrow is the start of the Premier League season, this will be reacted to in one of two ways. Either, as I suspect, it will be overlooked by most of the press to be overshadowed by the usual minutii of a footballer's life that is the bread and butter of tabloid sports editors, or we shall see what I like to call the Chris Hoy effect. This is the hideous glorification, bordering on prostitution of a sporting star after what the British Public perceive to be tangible success.
I would never try and play down the sporting success of one of our great olympians, and he fully deserves the recognition he gained from the Queen as a result of his gold medals. However, as is the norm with sports outside the mainstream, his standing with the public rose at a rate that was much to fast to be healthy. This ugly exploitation of our sporting icons was best exemplified when I was talking to a friend about the olympics in 2008 and he said we didn't have a chance of a gold medal. I proceeded him to enlighten him about our stunning success at the world track cycling championships that year. I was met, however with indifference on his part. We broached the subject once more a year later, and once again we mentioned Chris Hoy, who was identified by my friend as the Scottish man from the Bran Flakes advert. Now my friend is a very astute man, but this was unforgivable in my eyes and shows the British attitude to sucess. We flit from one icon to another, hand them an MBE and then move on for them to be forgotten the next time our football team scrapes even further the barrels of mediocrity.
Back to the world of cricket and I hope that our status of (hopefully) world's best does go relatively unnoticed so I can enjoy the fact that this is a side we have watched grow in the last 2 years. A side so completely balanced, they seem untouchable at the minute. That way we can let the majority of people concentrate on what Wayne Rooney had for lunch and leave the real success stories, ( our cricket side, Mark Cavendish and our rapidly improving rugby team, to name but a few) to those who really appreciate them. Oh and we have the world's number one golfer and the last two major champions to boot!