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Speaking as it is

One of the joys of working and writing for the Rust is you can speak your mind without being hauled into the editor’s office or being mauled on social media. Thus I make no apology for saying that I have not watched one moment of the Women’s Football World Cup. I will not do so until certain key questions are posed and answered namely:

1) what are the audience figures?
2) given the BBC’s wider remit as public service broadcaster is there any discussion as to whether the wholesale promotion of women’s sport is justified?
3) How much the BBC paid for the rights?

At the moment no male commentator dares ask these questions and actually contorts at the altar of its justification.

Even the normally informed Tim Vickery on Doten Adenbayo’s World football phone in – devoted to the Women’s World Cup – commented that there were less egos in the female dressing room.

How does he know?

And why were the various female pundits not asked to give views on the strengths and weaknesses of the female game contrasted to the man’s?

I once asked a cricketing coach this question who replied that the woman England’s test team trials with a county under 17 side .

Is the rationale that we should all get behind women’s sport is to inspire its participation and not comment on its entertainment value or sporting calibre?

Why is that sport in which men and women compete together – like equestrian events – does not get similar promotion?

And what of the argument that the best women like wicket keeper Sarah Taylor of Sussex should have the right to compete in a mixed-sex test side?

We live in a world of sporting multiple choice.

So when I have to choose between England v Scotland in the Women’s World Cup, or Australia in a run-race against India with Glen Maxwell and Steve Smith at the crease, that is my preference … and Rafa Nadal v Domin Thiem in the final of the French Open as second option.

There was a controversial Canada Grand Prix won by Lewis Hamilton and – still in that country – Rory McIlroy won their Open by 7 strokes, setting himself up nicely for the US one at Pebble Beach this week.

But guess what?

When I listened to Rachel Burdon ‘s bouncy tones at 6 am on radio 5 the lead news story was England’s 2-1 victory at which point I switched off.

About Tom Hollingworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a former deputy sports editor of the Daily Express. For many years he worked in a sports agency, representing mainly football players and motor racing drivers. Tom holds a private pilot’s licence and flying is his principal recreation. More Posts