James Sutherland is a game developer from the United Kingdom, having worked on Actua Soccer, Sega Superstars Tennis and Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing.
Unfortunately, he also has the same name as another fellow who’s rather prominent right now.
The other James Sutherland happens to be the chief executive of Cricket Australia (CA), which is currently in the position known as “shit creek” thanks to the cheating scandal that has embroiled the recent test series against South Africa.
For those not following, the Australian captain and vice captain basically encouraged one of their most junior members to illegally rough up the ball to gain an advantage. It’s not on the same level as peptides or swapping out blood bags mid-race, but cricket has a bit of a thing about honesty and integrity.
So fans have been up in arms, calling for the sacking of the captain, vice captain, and any other player involved. Along with that, they’ve been freely throwing their opinions at the players and administrators, James Sutherland included.
Small problem: as is often the case whenever the pitchforks come out on Twitter, people have been hitting up the wrong James Sutherland.
My statement on the ball tampering scandal: "I'm not James Sutherland the Australian cricket administrator. Stop @'ing me about it."
— James Sutherland (@jamessutherland) March 25, 2018
Have a guess how well that warning has worked out for the poor developer.
— PiyushKaul (@piyushkaul) March 27, 2018
@JamesSutherland #ACB the public require a full & frank investigation of this incident. The game is bigger than the #DickHeads involved. Both the player and Captain MUST be stood down immediately, AND SENT HOME! The manner in the way this has happened shows systemic contempt.
— Michael Wright (@mikew9900) March 24, 2018
— Vman (@veletts71) March 25, 2018
The Australian male cricket team, comprising mostly precious, lowbrow White racists, is challenging Russian athletes for the title of world champion sporting cheats #assholes @stevesmith49 @davidwarner31 @jamessutherland @darren_lehmann @CricketAus https://t.co/5N277ImUbs
— blastnost (@blastnost) March 25, 2018
@jamessutherland : "only Smith, Warner & Bankroft had prior knowledge"
1. Smith admitted leadership GROUP – group is commonly accepted as more than 2
2. Bankroft, a 7 test rookie is part of the leadership group
— Danie ™ (@danie840319) March 27, 2018
— Seaming Dukes (@SeamingDukes) March 27, 2018
Exactly what he WOULD say. Sort it out.
— Steve Richards (@rico1304) March 27, 2018
— Dilip Soman (@dilipsoman) March 27, 2018
Good, maybe banned for life too.
So angry at @CricketAus team and the leadership. @jamessutherland step up and be the leader that @stevesmith49 isn't, and show us that cheating isn't OK. They have shat over the baggy green. #balltampering #CricketAustralia https://t.co/XrWITqr2At
— Kath_Clarke01 (@KClarke01) March 25, 2018
The UK developer isn’t the only one to be accidentally caught up in the drama. Steve Smith is an Aussie writer for ESPN who has it a little rougher, sharing the same name as the Australian captain responsible for all of this mess.
His Twitter handle has some obvious differences – @stevesmithffx compared to the Aussie captain’s account, @stevesmith49 – while the game maker has the unfortunate luck to just have @jamessutherland as his handle. But that hasn’t stopped fans from giving the wrong Smith an absolute hiding:
Settle down Alison. pic.twitter.com/7aDYp3CPC1
— Steve Smith (@stevesmithffx) March 27, 2018
— Steve Smith (@stevesmithffx) March 24, 2018
After a little while, Sutherland – the developer, not the administrator – realised that maybe he should take advantage of the free advertising. But while he didn’t have a game of his own to promote, he did at least point towards his partner’s work:
Okay, so clearly, I didn't think this through. It's night time in the UK and my phone is now going crazy. Sadly, I don't have a SoundCloud to promote, but here's a fun little Android game my wife made: https://t.co/SiG3ZYmCDH
— James Sutherland (@jamessutherland) March 27, 2018
The scandal still has a little while to play out, so Sutherland’s mentions will be on fire for a little while yet.