Can Cricket influence Peace?
From left to right
Dan Royle, Daily Show Manager, Michael Vaughan, Cricket Legend & Alexander Beecham, UK Country Manager.
What a week! Easter may have passed but the renewed energy of Spring is most certainly with us. Speaking of Spring and the fairer weather, today we join Dan, UK and Ireland Daily Show Manager for his insight into Cricket for our second interview in our Sports series this April.
Dan will go through his personal developments on and off the cricket pitch as well as touching upon how cricket, along with sport generally, is able to help shape our changing world.
Could you introduce yourself and your role within Mr Green?
I am Dan Royle, I am the UK and Ireland Daily Show Manager.
*For those not in the know, a Daily Show Manager is responsible for the coordination of all content on the Mr Green site. They also help to plan localized promotion for their market and align with our Global Campaigns team to bring our players the best and most relevant information for a great player experience.*
Is it fair to say you are a sports fan?
Definitely, yes, ever since I was little, I have played every sport going and even now I will watch and play any sport I am physically able to. It is part of my life. Even when growing up my Dad played rugby at a high level and my mum played a decent standard hockey, yeah, love it.
How far would you say that sport goes towards developing someone personally and within business, is it something you have personally experienced?
Sport has loads of positive effects, especially on kids growing up, team sports particularly. It gives kids a platform to bring out their confidence and to encourage them to socialise. Developing a competitive streak is really healthy as well and carries through into adulthood. There is always some common ground, when you meet new people, you have something to talk about – though it is harder to find people to talk to about cricket, unless they are English!
England V Australia, Test 5, Day 3, The Ashes 2015 – The Indian Express
What is it about cricket? When did your love affair with this sport start?
When I started playing, I was a youngster, about 9 or 10, I joined a local cricket club with a group of friends. It helped me that my friend and his dad were very involved and he actually went on to play at a county level for Warwickshire, I have always been around it. Once I joined the club, I made more friends and it was just such a good crack. I was better at other sports but cricket is just a good laugh, especially as there is quite a lot of downtime making it super social.
People who don’t watch cricket will say that it is boring straight off the bat – excuse the pun, it is difficult to get across that the game is a lot more than meets the untrained eye.
Who are your cricket idols?
Michael Vaughan is obviously up there, he just so happens to be Mr Green’s Sports Gent too! He is a genuine legend of the game and I think he does a great job of representing Mr Green Sport and fits our gentlemanly brand perfectly. Outside of that, when we won The Ashes for the first time in a long time, Vaughan was the captain but Andrew Flintoff was the biggest character of the time, he used to make things happen on the cricket pitch and seems like the type of guy everyone wants to be best mates with off the pitch. So yes, those two I would say.
How often do you play cricket?
I have to be honest, I haven’t played properly in a long time, as the season is so short, I play football the rest of the year and when summer starts I kind of just want a rest. I travel a lot for work and to see friends so can’t really commit myself to a team, so I haven’t played properly in a team for a few years.
However, whenever we are together as a group, especially on holiday at the beach, the first thing that gets bought is a bat and ball. It is just not quite as accessible as certain sports due to equipment needed.
Cricket was taken around the world by the Brits, but it is still very popular in those countries and communities where it was originally established, why do you think that is?
I don’t know, that’s an interesting question, it is not popular in a lot of countries but the countries that it is popular in, it is really popular, especially the sub continent, Down Under and New Zealand.
There are top test countries in the word and then a big drop off, it seems that cricket is screaming out for more countries to get involved. For the countries where it is so popular, my guess is that it could be very much to do with the social aspect we discussed. India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, their weather also allows for it to be played more during the year. Though we said it is difficult to play at a certain level due to equipment, in its raw form you only need a bat and a ball and the kids can play.
It has its challenges, especially test cricket – the one performed over 5 days, that is seen from the outside as the most boring part of cricket but most purists would see that as the best.
Cricket as a sport does face challenges to increase its popularity, but we can see steps being taken. For example, they are moving to shorter forms and they have just brought out a new system for a kind of world championship of Test cricket, which was never the case before.
As you may know, the 6th of April was International Day of Sport for Peace and Development, to what extent do you believe cricket may be able to influence peace in the world?
That is a big question, above my paygrade! Cricket is popular in a lot of countries that are certainly less affluent than England and it remains popular so it must be doing something right. You can bring so many people into a game, usually it is 11 a side but you could have the whole village playing!
I mean when you look through history, especially the WW2 Christmas football match being the most poignant, people come together in sport. You don’t have to be the most naturally talented to join in, there’s always a spot in the field, even at ‘cow corner’ the ball will come your way now and then, so you are still involved.
Is there anywhere in the world in particular you would like to play? Or learn more about their cricket culture?
India is always a powerhouse in the sport and it is the national sport, it is an obsession, it is not that in England at all. To go over to India and see how passionate all the kids are and where it is the number one sport would be something completely new and exciting for me.
Finally, do you have any words of wisdom to budding cricketers wanting to start developing themselves in cricket or on a personal level?
I think it is common knowledge in the cricket world, that private schools have a very high standard of cricket, I never went to those schools so I didn’t get that intense coaching some people receive. But I would say do not give up, you can still participate and join a club, but this is certainly something public schools could work on.
I would say just because it doesn’t look like you are going to make it to a level you may want to play competitively, it doesn’t mean, learning to a certain extent, how to play, won’t stand you in good stead later in life. I could pick up a bat and join a team next week and enjoy it from a social and sporting stand point.
Thank you Dan.
Join us next time for our third interview in our April series “Chess: Game or Sport?” where we will meet another member of the Mr Green dream team and learn about how sport has influenced their lives and the potential sport holds to develop the world further. If you missed our first blog post of the series, then you can read about our CEO and his love of golf in our post ‘Is Sport the Answer?‘
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