Pretty as a picture?

I’m delighted to see the coverage in the papers this morning of the England Women’s T20 cricket victory over New Zealand. Both the Times and the Independent carry serious reports and two good-size photos, and it’s very good to see the women’s team in their England gear. (Just to clarify, I haven’t seen all the other papers, but I’m hoping at least some of them will also have stepped up to the crease.)

However, it threw into focus an issue which I’ve often complained about, in some cases directly to the organ concerned. In the Times, one of the pictures was of two players hugging each other in celebration of their win. In the Indy, BOTH pictures were of two players hugging each other, etc.

Part of me suspects that the picture editor thought it was just another great opportunity to show pretty ladies hugging – rather like the morning when A level results come out, when we get lots of shots of handsome young female students screaming and kissing each other – you would think that no male student had ever achieved exam success.

But in fact it’s also a problem with men’s sports coverage. During one Ashes Test series, the BBC’s online slide-show of images from the matches showed bowlers appealing for a wicket, batsmen slouching from the crease with their sticks all over the floor, groups of men hugging each other to celebrate a wicket, two chaps hugging each other because one of them had got a century, a chap waving a bat because he’d got a fifty and a chap thrusting his crotch at the camera and howling because he’d just made a great catch. Then it usually gets rounded off by a picture of the whole team showering each other with champagne.

This may all be very picturesque, but frankly, I’d rather see the delivery that got the wicket, the great catch, a great shot or the always deeply amusing sight of player and bat stretched at full length on the ground as he or she tries to make his or her ground. It’s particularly important for those of us who have to rely on the radio for cricket coverage, because we haven’t got Sky TV.

A different kind of action shot in future, please, sports editors!

Published in: on October 5, 2012 at 10:24  Comments (1)  

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  1. Hmm… yes… a simple, sporting, totally non-sexual shot of a muscley young male cricketer stretched out on the ground… I could go with that… *strokes chin musingly*.

    However you’re right about the women cricketers – they’re supposed to be very good spinners but we never see a bowling photo.

    Action shots can be pretty darn sexy – I’m fine with that, sport is a celebration of the body – and to be honest, those open-mouth-punching-the-air pix do the men no favours. But non-action shots are just uninformative. And – am I reaching here? – surely a good action shot is a greater photographic achievement too?

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