Wisden fears outbreak of on-field violence

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The Independent Online

The April snow was the first indication of it, but the new Wisden Cricketers' Almanack is confirmation that a new cricket season is here. There has been a change of editor, Matthew Engel stepping aside for a two-year break and cricket writer Scyld Berry standing in. And the new man is fearful.

"I fear the day is approaching when a high-profile, televised cricket match will see an outbreak of physical violence on the field," Berry writes. He cites the anger and antipathy generated between England and India over the infamous jelly baby incident last year; the trouble that flared between Australia and India in the new year, and, among other incidents, England's James Anderson being fined for "inappropriate and deliberate physical contact" with Runako Morton of the West Indies almost a year ago. He has suggested solutions to avoid confrontation, but also calls for vision and leadership from the game's governing bodies over the issue.

Wisden's traditional five Cricketers of the Year are England's batsman Ian Bell and bowler Ryan Sidebottom, Shivnarine Chanderpaul of the West Indies, Ottis Gibson, formerly of Durham and now England's bowling coach, and the India seam bowler Zaheer Khan. Jacques Kallis, the South Africa all-rounder, was named the Leading Cricketer in the World.

The county season gets underway today at Lord's where county champions Sussex take on an MCC side in a four-day match.

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