Leading article: The spirit of cricket

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The Independent Online

A report by Loughborough University researchers that teaching cricket in state schools improves children's behaviour, spreading chivalrous and "gentlemanly" behaviour over one and all, raises possibilities. Deprived state schools, after all, are not the only arenas in which problematic behaviour – the type the researchers link to football – rears its ugly head. Many of us encounter barging, loud, testosterone-loaded, winner-takes-all behaviour – what we will refer to as "football" values – on buses, at Tube and railway stations and checkouts. Can we realistically import some cricketing spirit into these virtual war zones?

Then, there are our bank bosses. Their aggressive culture hasn't got them far, so clearly they could do with learning the patient virtues of fielding. The researchers say cricket gives people "a sense of worth that they are good at something, which raises their self-esteem". Yes, forget cricket in state schools; start with banks.

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