This may seem like a topic of strange discussion. However, if one were study the situation in the context of both, sports and sociology, it makes a significant transcending moments as the online sale of baseball bats were stupendously high following the UK riots.
Even as the two cricket teams – India and England – are involved in the third Test in one of the cities suffering the effects of the riots, more precisely at Edgbaston in Birmingham, another topic has ensued where market analysts are stunned by the rate of demand for baseball bats in the aftermath of the riots across U.K. No explanation has been given about whether the bats are being sold to potential rioters or U.K. residents undertaking some vigilante business of their own.
Why this is particularly interesting, and also disturbing, is the aluminium bats used in American baseball are the more popular choice of weapon than the cricket bat that should have had some precedence in the matter, being that it is the UK but also, that it is an easily accessible tool being such a popular sport.
In the past hockey sticks have also been a desired weapon of choice for rambunctious street gangs and the portrayal of their use even on Indian television and movie screen have helped further the image that the hockey stick may not necessarily represent a sport that has a decent following in a country like India. Cricket bats, one would imagine, would have still be popular but have not witnessed the kind of portrayal which is perhaps only wise given that cricket is a passionate pastime, not a weapon for destruction off the cricket field anyway.
It sets off a whole other debate because the perception that sport should help ease tensions – which is one of the reasons why the Test match was not cancelled even though England’s football friendly match against the Netherlands was called off at Wembley on Wednesday – the perception that sports equipment is also a weapon for destruction or self defence is not particularly a comforting thought given that the riots and the nature, degree and underlying assumptions are rather disturbing in themselves. That this would even be a matter of discussion may seem appalling except for the fact that there are reports that the sale of bats has reached the high of 6000 per cent, if that is even possible.
Be it cricket bats, hockey sticks or baseball bats, perhaps there is something to be said for the majority of people preferring them to used as a means of sport and entertainment and not for the purposes that have brought much shame, disgrace and even tragedy to the people involved. As the British government plans to crack down on the rioters with more extreme police action, perhaps the youth have to be reoriented about how their weapons of choice can actually be used as means of channeling the emotions through more productive activities.
Remember, cricket bat can get you IPL contracts! Just an afterthought.