It’s taken me a good 12 hours to work out what’s been bugging me about Allen Stanford apologising to the England players.
For those of you who don’t follow cricket, Mr Stanford is a very rich man who is currently funding a Twenty20 tournament in Antigua, in which England are participating. He was pictured on Sunday sitting with the England players’ wives and girlfriends, and at one stage had Emily Prior, wife of wicketkeeper Matt, perched on his knee.
Echoes of Rio Ferdinand attributing part of the England football team’s failure to the media interest in the players’ wives and girlfriends, perhaps, but since then, there’s been a bit of a furore about it, with bowler Stuart Broad speaking for his team-mates: “There were a few gobsmacked faces when it popped up on the big screen. Matt was in state of total shock, especially as his wife is pregnant.” Stanford rang Matt Prior to apologise, and also called captain Kevin Pietersen to pass on his regret for causing offence.
And it’s only just occurred to me – maybe I’ve been too caught up in watching the cricket – where are the women in this story? Why is Stanford held totally culpable? Why does he have to apologise? Why is it worse for Matt Prior because his wife is pregnant? Maybe everyone’s conduct was a teensy bit inappropriate, but it’s not like there was an orgy going on in the stands, nor that anyone was harassed.
Presumably behind closed doors the couples have fought it out, but I can’t help feeling sorry for Stanford – or at least as sorry as you can feel for a billionaire with his own cricket ground.