Letter: It isn't cricket

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The Independent Culture
Sir: In 1960 I took a "catch" at first slip like the one that dismissed Ramprakash at Headingley on Thursday. I was a capped player representing my West Riding school against bitter local rivals.

I appealed instinctively and instantly. The umpire signalled out. But I knew, in spite of my appeal, I had not caught the ball before it had grounded. I told the umpire. He recalled the batsman.

To this day, I am proud of that decision to play fair. To my grave, I will recall the excitement of fairly catching out the same batsman three overs later with, what was for me, a remarkable athleticism.

In those days we kept the game alive because we played the game in the spirit of the game.

What is the point of today's competitions when the players don't care if the rules are observed and are party to the flouting of cricket's unique ethics? Don't professional "sportsmen" of all codes realise that they are responsible for the contempt in which most people hold professional "sport". Let's be honest and bring back the gladiatorial "games" of the imperial Rome.


South Hykeham, Lincolnshire