Haine stops play - Why cricket needs Max Clifford
02 Jun 2010 - 09:42:50
With each passing month there seems to be a new scandal engulfing the world of cricket. Pakistan players have been suspended, Lalit Modi may be corrupt, players in county cricket are regularly being approached by bookmakers, Giles Clarke's hair actually belongs to a 13-year-old Ukrainian peasant etc.
But, as juicy as some of those may sound, when it comes to salacious stories cricket is, quite frankly, a bit rubbish gaining any real interest from outside the sport's fraternity. It's time to raise the profile.
Take the match-fixing stories that have gathered pace since the start of the domestic season. Last week the Daily Telegraph broke an exclusive story about the level of spot-fixing in county cricket; carrying an interview with an anonymous player who claimed to have been approached by a shady bookmaker. Now, if said player had been more shrewd, he could milked the story for all its worth and made a handsome profit in legitimate fashion.
The first mistake that player made was to spill the beans to a well respected (cough) broadsheet in the Daily Telegraph.
No, what they should have done is pick up the phone to Max Clifford and let him take care of touting around this slice of gossip. Any football player worth his self-promotional salt would have done just that and quickly reaped the benefits. Had the self-styled PR guru worked his magic then Mr Anonymous could have had a front-page tabloid splash and been falling out of China White with a former Big Brother winner on his arm within the space of 24 hours.
As the column inches began to increase, a deliberately orchestrated drug problem and subsequent visit to The Priory would see his profile continue to rise in the public consciousness and guarantee a double page spread in Heat upon becoming "clean". Kerry Katona has made a living out of it; so why can't a no-mark county cricketer?
Six months further down the line and after a botched wedding to Peaches Geldof - as well as the death of a fake loved one to a fake illness - Mr Anonymous is a household name; even enjoying a stint presenting The One Show after the departure of Adrian Chiles.
But I get the feeling that most people don't want to follow a career map like the one just detailed. That really is a grave shame.
Anyway, where was I? Ah yes: spot fixing. This blog can exclusively reveal an instance of dodgy dealing currently happening within the England team.
If you had previously doubted that such incidents exist in the modern game, then look no further than Kevin Pietersen's goatee beard. Now, riddle me this, why on earth would any man sport such ridiculous facial hair without taking some sort of bung? Huh? Exactly.
I hope he has Max Clifford's phone number.
READ WILL HAINE AS AND WHEN HE DECIDES TO FILE FOR CRICKET.CO.UK