A recent survey of 86 NZ cricketers has brought out some interesting stats. 45% consider securing a contract in the Indian Premier T20 league as the highest achievement in the sport, above playing for their nation. 61% said that if they had their time again, they would have developed their careers in the direction of T20 for the purpose of making the big bucks in the lucrative tournaments. The result surprised Heath Mills, who organised the survey. Playing for NZ was still important to many (77%). But most of them see playing for NZ as important so as to win a contract to the big bucks.
I am not sure why Heath Mills is surprised. I thought there might be even more who felt this way about T20. For me test cricket is the ultimate test of the game, but T20 is very attractive. It is a great game. It is fast, challenging and in your face. If you make it to the Indian league, you are a star, as close to a rock star as you can be as a cricketer. Test cricket is gruelling, tough on the body. It lacks the flair and attraction. And then there is the money!
There is so much money available in this league. Aside from those who place loyalty to country above money, and have old fashioned values of loyalty and patriotism, anyone would want the bucks. It is a money driven world. The dogma of the dollar looms. There is esteem and no doubt many young women who want the pleasure of your company if you get into this world. If you are not prone to taking up these offers, there is the security for family that comes from the money.
It all speaks of a fallen world and society. We are driven by greed and the pursuit of happiness and pleasure as number one priorities. As we as a nation abandon Judeo-Christian values, we are naturally resorting more and more in each successive generation to the values of our Greco-Roman past. Money, status, rank, power, sex; this is provided through this T20 league.
Cricket will never be the same. It is now fully professionalised and T20 is in control. Worse, our western civilisation is moving further and further towards its own demise and its eclipse by other nations. Nations like India and China are becoming increasingly powerful. We live in a changing world, and in NZ a changing nation. It is a huge challenge.
For us, let's not be seduced from the values of the Christian faith that we know are truth in a deceitful world. It is not about esteem, money, sexual licentiousness, personal glory, selfish ambition. It is about love, service, sacrifice, loyalty and humility. It is not about taking the biggest cheque on offer, but about honouring the call of Christ to take up our crosses and walk his journey of sacrifice, suffering and even death for the King and the Kingdom. It is about communities of faith not based on glamour, status, perfection, performance and a great show, but of deep love, service and community. Let's not do T20 church, but test church that shows the world that there is another way.