Spirit of cricket

JULY 07, 2014

Vinoo beyond the Mankad

Stuart Wark: One of India's greatest allrounders is today unfortunately mostly remembered for a mode of dismissal that, though legitimate, is seen by many to be unfair
Vinoo Mankad: opened the innings for India and bowled marathon spells of left-arm spin too © PA Photos
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JULY 01, 2014

Catching practice with South Africa

Firdose Moonda in Colombo: South Africa train Sri Lankan schoolchildren to raise money for the country's blind team
JUNE 10, 2014

An emotional jigsaw puzzle on an unlicensed roller-coaster

Andy Zaltzman: It's all up in the air for England selection-wise, goody
JUNE 08, 2014

Sri Lanka in England 2014

The morals of mankading

A blog post on the Economist website explores how the recent mankading controversy in the ODI between England and Sri Lanka has brought to the fore the issue of guarding ethical norms in sport. The writer suggests that abiding by the rules - which allow mankading - may not necessarily be the same as behaving in a correct manner.

There might be an argument for moral relativism; that given the pressures they face, professionals should play to different standards than the rest. But this, it seems, is just a way of saying that professionals' conduct can be less ethical than others'. And there is a difference between what has become accepted and what is right.

JUNE 06, 2014

West Indies cricket

Serving the community with Chris Gayle's Big Six Club

Chris Gayle is looking to give something back to Jamaican society, through cricket. He has opened an academy in Kingston, at the Lucas Cricket Club, for "underprivileged youngsters". The academy, which also has a branch in England, will have two programmes: the Chris Gayle Academy team, and the Chris Gayle Big Six Club.

The academy team will cater to 16 young players on an annual basis, aged between 16 and 21, and - the plan is - give them the opportunity to play other Jamaican teams and touring youth squads. The Big Six Club is a 12-week programme targeted at kids from troubled communities (think low school-attendance rates, high crime levels, and rising drugs abuse).

An emotional Gayle, at the academy's launch, remembered how he was attracted to the game when he was a kid. "Being here brings back memories of me as a youngster, who used to jump the walls of Lucas from my house across the street, just wanting the opportunity to learn the sport of cricket and become a better person," Gayle said, according to the Jamaica Gleaner. "To have come from that far, and being here now, is quite moving, and the hope is that this academy will similarly open doors and opportunities for youngsters."

JUNE 04, 2014

Sri Lanka in England 2014

England should apologise for mankading, not SL

An editorial in the Guardian says Sri Lanka's mankading of Jos Buttler was well within the rule books, and so it should be England who apologise for the incident, not the visitors.

In the words of Sir Donald Bradman: "If not, why is the provision there which enables the bowler to run him out? By backing up too far or too early, the non-striker is very obviously gaining an unfair advantage." If it's good enough for the Don, it should be good enough for Alastair Cook. It's England who should apologise.

JUNE 02, 2014

England cricket

Broad's Brisbane trial

Stuart Broad has a endured winter riddled with disappointment, in Australia and then in the World T20. He was likely to receive a sour welcome on the return Ashes series after choosing not to walk when he nicked to first slip. He had sought psychiatric help, but in an interview with Donald McRae for Guardian, Broad recounts how the events of the first day of the Brisbane Test were beyond what he expected.

Broad looks almost shocked again. How did he feel amid such raw animosity? "I just went 'Wow - that's 50,000 people properly booing me'. It ruffled me and I bowled a no-ball with my first delivery. I also slung one down leg side in that over. So I must admit I was shaken by it.

"But I got a wicket with my first ball next over and I felt fine. I went down to deep square and the whole crowd stood up and shouted and I had a singalong with them and just relaxed. There was a moment when I found myself whistling along to 'Broady is a wanker' and I thought: 'What am I doing here?' It was a hell of an experience for a 27-year-old to go through. I'll never face anything that tough again."

MAY 23, 2014

Spot-fixing

BCCI should do better to restore fans' faith - Bhogle

Harsha Bhogle, in his column for Indian Express, a long tournament like the IPL can fall prey to spot-fixing. Unfavourable sources could take advantage of an event where one match is forgot in the wake of the next. This heightens the need to be more vigilant, if the fan's support is to be safeguarded.

With power comes this responsibility and at the first whiff of impropriety, they need to come down hard. The BCCI can argue they did precisely that by banning Sreesanth and the others almost immediately but by their opposition to the Mudgal Commission they have got the public concerned. Like all organisations they must feel the pulse of the consumers, the fans, and while the public enjoy watching the IPL, as indeed I do, there is a growing feeling that the BCCI isn't trying hard enough to convince them that they are watching a fair contest everytime. And as more revelations, like those from Vincent and others that gave testimony, tumble out, the need to reach out to the public must grow even stronger.

MAY 10, 2014

Time to embrace the puppy treatment

Andrew Hughes: It's not too long before we see the first mass fight on a cricket field. Smacks need to be delivered to bottoms before that day comes
APRIL 27, 2014

An alternative definition for the spirit of cricket

Ahmer Naqvi: It's the game's ability to provide struggling societies with a sense of national identity and belief
MARCH 27, 2014

The white-line crime

Michael Jeh: Officials spend precious time scrutinising bowlers' foot faults but ignore it when non-strikers gain unfair head starts
MARCH 22, 2014

Bangladesh cricket

Bangladesh and needless bravado

Bangladesh's preference for glory has irked Quazi Zulquarnain Islam, who in Dhaka Tribune, voices his displeasure at Shakib Al Hasan refusing an obvious single to trounce Nepal with a resounding six in their World T20 encounter.

For metaphor's sake, Shakib refusing the single to win the match when the opportunity presented itself is the footballing equivalent of a team intentionally spurning a goal-scoring opportunity because the opponent is already well-beaten. It showcases neither flair, nor cheek, but a lack of professional ethics when playing the game. As professionals you are required to take every single opportunity that comes your way and do so to the best of your ability; imagine if Cristiano Ronaldo passed up the chance to score tap-ins against Granada because he wanted to score belters instead. An act as brazen as this shows a distinct lack of respect towards your opponents.

MARCH 13, 2014

Time to draw a line in the sand?

Michael Jeh: It's hard for everyone to agree on what constitutes acceptable boundaries when it comes to on-field behaviour. It's best if the ICC spells it out
DECEMBER 15, 2013

Cricket's finest bloke?

Michael Jeh: Quiet, unassuming, polite and humble, Hashim Amla remains a terrific role model
NOVEMBER 28, 2013

Of sledging and suchlike

Dave Hawksworth: The Trott incident shows that there are plenty of matters of consequence worth discussing in cricket, but we insist on flying into a frenzy over the trivial
NOVEMBER 28, 2013

How did sledging become a sign of manliness?

Michael Jeh: Michael Clarke has gained praise in some quarters for showing mongrel by sledging. What sort of message does that send?
SEPTEMBER 18, 2013

Can liability be enforced in sport, like in business?

Michael Jeh: Umpires and referees make mistakes, but challenging them legally in the name of professionalism would be taking things a step too far
SEPTEMBER 07, 2013

Australia news

Fawad Ahmed's brave stance maintains team harmony

Australia legspinner, Fawad Ahmed's decision not to wear a beer-company sponsor's logo on his country shirt has sparked off a debate which has quickly moved beyond cricket and to touch upon larger issues of immigration and integration within the Australian society. A few have criticised Ahmed for his decision but as Malcolm Knox points out in the Sydney Morning Herald, the issue is not just about one player but about sport being open to changes within societies and cultures.

Whenever sports try to insulate themselves from change, they self-destruct. So let's imagine that a national symbol, such as the gold shirt Ahmed wears as an Australian one-day cricketer, does not impose a national character. Let's imagine that it's the wearer who changes the character of the shirt. In Ahmed's personal history, is there not the courage and durability we associate with a Hewitt (or a Dawn Fraser, a Herb Elliott, a Dennis Lillee, take your pick)? In his refusal to wear a VB logo, is there not something of that wilfulness that we like to call ''Australian''? In choosing to be here, rather than being born here, has he not already proved something?

Ahmed also finds support from Guardian writer, Joe Gorman who says his decision not wear the logo should be praised if Australia truly values moral conviction.

AUGUST 26, 2013

Pondering Camus

Jonathan Wilson: The complex relationship between sport and morality
AUGUST 22, 2013

Cheating: it's in our blood

Nicholas Hogg: Cricket changes because we are inventive and have the capacity for underhand behaviour and self-deception. As we evolve, the rules must too
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