Kevin Fine

One of cricket's nicest guys

2005-01-11 13:09

The night that England lost to South Africa at Newlands I found myself at a great Cape Town hangout.

I was convinced that I'd spotted an old mate of mine, he was extremely familiar - and after a few questions, it turned out to be someone whose face I did know. Mark Butcher.

It was odd to see him without helmet, thigh pad, arm pad, ball box and the rest - but as it turns out Butch is a nice guy.

I know I'm supposed to tell you what a complete pratt he is - but he comes across the quintessential nice guy, enjoys a vodka lime (small one), and loves spending time in this country.

The most striking element though of Butch is that he does not take himself as seriously as some other cricketers. Maybe it's his age, but his humility is inspiring.

He's a professional sportsman, lucky enough and working hard enough to travel the world, be paid plenty and play the game that he loves.

If anything he made it quite clear that not only are the barmy army over here for a good time, the English Cricket team are too - but boy would they like to beat us on home soil...

The principal of fairplay

I hate to say I told you so... but.

Not two weeks after I wrote about Wayne Rooney's foulplay on Tal Ben Haim, and the fact that the ref should have been able to apply judgement at the time of the punch with a TV ref, came another incident concerning the same club that has shaken up the football world.

When Roy Caroll dropped the ball over the line to give Spurs what should have been a 1-0 victory we all saw it... every person watching the Premiership on television was dumbfounded.

To some shouts of joy and others of disgust though, the goal went disallowed.

What did one expect the United keeper to do... stop the game and tell the ref he just cost Sir Alex the Premiership?

The incident does again bring into question the principal of fairplay, but hey, nowadays it seems to be more of what players can get away with, than playing the noblest form of the game.

Bring on the third umpire, or use the technology to end the cheating!

Send Kevin your thoughts on this column.

  • Kevin presents "Kevin's Rise N Fine" - the weekend breakfast show on 5fm on Saturdays and Sundays from 07:00 to 10:00.

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