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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.
The Pollard-Starc spat was a disgrace to the sport, but also a "by-product of the studied indifference to abuse on a cricket field," writes Harsha Bhogle, in his column for the Times of India. Urging administrators to take stricter action, Bhogle suggests one way to clamp down on boorish behaviour: red cards.
Players and teams have to be hit where it hurts most and I am afraid the Pollard-Starc affair now makes it mandatory to have red cards on a field. If the Mumbai Indians were to lose the services of Pollard and the Royal Challengers were to see Starc sent off at that point in the game, you would never see what you did. And what about the terrible antics of the Chahals and the Bumrahs, the next gen cricketers who are learning bad behaviour as quickly as they are learning cricket.
I am not asking for a genteel tea party, I am asking for a ban on boorish behaviour. The Dravids, the Tendulkars and the Laras became world class, feared cricketers without disrespecting the game; Malinga and Dhoni don't feel the need to put on boxing gloves either.
Andy Flower likes to tap into the knowledge of other sports, and their coaches, as he decides on the best way to go about his job. That job has now become very tough in the wake of the Ashes whitewash and there are suggestions he will walk if he doesn't get his way over Kevin Pietersen. Sir Clive Woodward, who guided England to the 2003 Rugby World Cup, writing in the Daily Mail, provides an view from outside the cricket world about how the ECB need to go about rebuilding.
No matter the sport, the head coach must be the only man who is unequivocally in charge, yet even Flower's job title of 'team director' muddies everything. In our national set-ups both in cricket and rugby, too many key decisions are being made by committee. That in turn leads to popularity contests and allows compromise to come into play. When things go wrong reports are commissioned -- the 2006-07 Ashes whitewash sparked the Schofield report -- but nobody fronts up to take the blame.