Show me a cricket reporter and I’ll show you a cricket fan. Being a journalist presupposes a kind of objectivity and neutrality that isn’t merely impossible in sports writing, but not even desirable. The tendency to throw a ball, or hit one that comes at you, run as fast as you can or jump far or high comes to all of us long before we know what any of those things mean.
Look at any 18 month old, and you’ll know what I mean. It’s got nothing to do with sport at that stage, rather it’s an irrepressible urge that prompts toddlers to take, literally and figuratively, the baby steps that will one day end up being codified into games and sport. In that sense, sport is in all of us, and any sports writer or journalist who claims total objectivity is only making the point that he or she is a liar.
What’s more useful than denying a love for sport, an admiration for those who practice it so unbelievably well at the highest level, if you’re in my business, is understanding where your biases lie, accepting them, and doing your best to compensate. So, just as business journalists of reputed publications are required to disclose their positions in a certain stock before writing about them, here’s my disclaimer.