If it's working, don't try and fix it. There was nothing terribly wrong with the way international cricket was being played before the ICC got pro-active and decided to bring in fair play through the introduction of a code of conduct for the players and match referees to enforce it. In effect, to legislate the spirit of the game.

I have been covering cricket for more years than I care to admit and though there were controversies, mainly accusations of biased umpiring, I do not remember anything particularly untoward that warranted a code of conduct. There was dissent as there is now but I do not recall any brawls.

The latest player to fall victim to the ire of the match referee is Steve Waugh. He stood his ground momentarily when he was given out by Darrell Hair who chose not to refer the run out to the third umpire and was fined. He is upset and has called for a revamp of the code of conduct procedures. Of course, he is right because there is no right of appeal against the judgement of the match referee.

It is ironic that Steve Waugh should have seen the light when it has affected him personally. Earlier in the season, he had given a high minded statement that his side would lead the way in world cricket in accepting the umpire's decision.

"If you are given out when it's not out, then bad luck. If you're given not out when it's out, then it is your good luck", he said with moral uprightness.

He had imagined that he was above reproach or possibly no match-referee would dare to take action against him. He, after all, was Steve Waugh, the captain of the mighty Australians. Good for Rajan Madugalle, the match referee.

After what happened in South Africa with the Mike Denness fiasco and the very clumsy handling of it by all concerned, the ICC, the BCCI and the UCB of South Africa, one hopes that the idea of a code of conduct will be re-examined and I would recommend that it should be done away with entirely and the umpires should be entrusted with determining what is fair or unfair play.

The moment something as subjective as this codified, the problems arise about its interpretation. You cannot legislate social behaviour. If you were to go to a building or an office and there is huge sign that says NO SPITTING, the chances are than the most spat on the building or office is that board that says no spitting! Cricket does not need more legislation. It needs less. The ICC which gives the impression of being overstaffed, is bringing in bureaucracy in the game. The best way, as always, is to keep it simple, as it once was.

Bangladesh is finding Test cricket pretty tough sledding and was routed in New Zealand and now is due to play Pakistan at home. The going will be even tougher. Pakistan should have been at full strength but will miss Saeed Anwar who has been ruled out of cricket for several weeks because of injury.

This will not affect the overall strength of the Pakistan team against modest opposition but one sincerely hopes that he gets fit as soon as possible against tougher opponents with whom Pakistan would be playing and I don't include the West Indies among them. The West Indies are making an awful lot of fuss about security concerns for their team's tour of Pakistan. I am surprised that they are doing so.

Given their present standard which is very much at the bottom of the ladder, one would have thought that they would be grateful that a quality team like Pakistan is prepared to play against them. It isn't even sure that Brian Lara will be in the team and without Lara, the present West Indian team is a club side and will certainly not attract crowds as they once used to.

Besides, if the PCB feels that there is the slightest danger to the series, it will call it off themselves. The safety of visiting players is the responsibility of the host country.

The much touted Australia-South Africa series is turning out to be hopelessly one-sided. South Africa is being trounced not by a team that is invincible, New Zealand drew the series against the same Australians and almost won, but South Africa is not as hot as it is cracked up to be.

With Allan Donald, either not fully fit or getting over the hill, South Africa does not have the bowling to get Australia out twice. Shaun Pollock himself seems off the boil and there is absolutely no menace in the other bowlers.

The batting is not clicking primarily. Gary Kirsten and Herschelle Gibbs are not giving them the sort of starts they need. But what must be alarming from the South African point of view, is their fielding which has become scrappy.

The South Africans are fielding as if they have something else on their mind. They are certainly missing Jonty Rhodes, not just his own brilliance but the fact that he is like a dynamo in the field and lifted the others. South Africa looks to be a team in transition but no new players are emerging. Things are not helped by the Ministry of Sports who seem to be putting pressure to play black players and appeared not to be amused that Makhaya Ntini was dropped. I don't think being black is qualification enough to be picked in the Test team.

I don't think Ntini is a good enough cricketer and his type of medium-fast bowling is food and drink for the Australian batsmen. One thing is certain: South Africa is not the second best team in cricket after Australia. There are other contenders but I do feel that they are very good one-day team particularly because Rhodes will be a part of it.