This is great - and one of the reasons why the World of Blog can be so fantastic.
The Atheist is probably no more qualified to write about cricket than I am - it's probably statistically unlikely that he could be quite as bad at the game as me, but just like me he is cursed with an obsession of the game since whenever and likes to write about it in his free time. He writes well, it's funny, and always worth a look, which is why he's on my list of followed blogs. But that's pretty much it - I wouldn't have particularly thought that he could give me any insight into the game that I couldn't have figured out on my own - until today, on account of what he does for a living. The Atheist is a Financial/Banking Type Guy, and so he has a completely unique perspective on the Stanford Debacle that we haven't seen anywhere else - all the reporting so far has been from the usual sport journos, who almost without exception are ex-players. And not one of them have been able to tell me anything that I didn't already know, on account of being qualified to talk about one subject and one subject alone - sport. All the Angus Frasers and Peter Roebucks and Jonathan Agnews can speculate endlessly about what a prawn Giles Clarke is and how stupid the ECB were in having anything to do with Stanford from the start, but the opinion I really want to hear is from someone involved in the world of finance. And there aren't too many of them writing cricket stories for the Times or the Telegraph, now are there? Now I really know just how stupid and/or corrupt the whole thing was.
Only a blog could provide me with this sort of unique standpoint. And this is why blogs, despite not being edited or vetted, or written by experts in their fields, are definitely a legitimate voice and a worthwhile source of journalistic opinion. So there!
I know I'm preaching to the choir here - you're reading a blog after all! This might as well all be aimed at my mother, who is an academic and writer, and was appalled when I told her that I was writing one. Blogs are apparently the realm of the feeble-minded, are mostly compiled by people without a valid opinion that can't get a real gig in the writing world, and yet no matter how flawed and/or bigoted their thoughts are are able to broadcast them to an audience of millions and by consequence take money out of actual writers' pockets. The world would be a better place if we all went out and got some fresh air instead. All valid opinions, really - but having read this today I'm pleased to have an argument next time the topic comes up. And besides - NO-ONE goes out for fresh air in a Dutch February.
It almost makes me think that even I could be of use to the cricketing world at some point, beyond batting at number 11 and scoring for the Barnes Sunday XI. SURELY there must be a lucrative journalism contract out there for a lyric tenor with a cricket fetish??
I can dream.