Leading article: Not cricket

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The Independent Online

Do you march with the Barmy Army? If so, you will probably be outraged by the decision of officials at Headingley to ban "Billy the Trumpet" and Vic Flowers from today's fourth Ashes Test. Alternatively, if you share the view of our columnist Dominic Lawson you will regard this as no more outrageous than a ruling from the Royal Opera House forbidding audiences from bringing cricket balls to a production of the Ring Cycle.

CP Snow once lamented the existence of two cultures in academic life, a yawning gulf between science and the humanities. Now there are two cultures in cricket: the traditionalists on one side, and the Barmy Army on the other.

Is it naïve to suggest that each group might be prevailed upon to compromise and respect each others' right to enjoy the cricket in their own way? We hope not. But we can't help thinking that slapping bans on people isn't the most sensible way to proceed towards such a goal. In fact, it strikes us as rather barmy.