Letter: Not cricket

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Sir: Your leading article of 11 August celebrating our all too rare international cricketing success made only brief reference to the feeling that monitoring technology might be incompatible with cricket.

Much fun is now made of the approach to sport - and, indeed, life - encapsulated in the phrase "it's not cricket". This means playing by the spirit rather than the letter of the rules, at the same time finding truth in that other cliche that "it's not the winning but the taking part".

The spirit of real sport is that players are on their honour (nicely defined as "one's gift to oneself") to compete fairly so that the outcome is a fair reflection of ability displayed. In cricket, bowlers and fielders would call for a wicket only if they were certain it had been legitimately taken; and a batsman would walk if he knew he was out.

Such gentlemanly conduct is sadly incompatible with today's prevailing general morality. In personal life and business, as well as sport, the widespread acceptance that the only real test is "what can I get away with?" impoverishes us all.

So, let cricket be brought up to date, but not without sadness at the wider loss of character this will further acknowledge.