Monday, August 21, 2006
I can't agree with The Times' view that yesterday was one of "the saddest and most shameful in the history of a great game." It was, in fact, a great day for cricket, the game to which all other sports aspire. The Pakistan players were so offended at the suggestion that they had cheated that they started a chain of events that led to them forfeiting the match. I can't imagine this happening in any other sport. In football players routinely "dive" and get away with it. In cycling the riders all have erythropoietin squirting out of their ears and one hears all sorts of things about tennis players. I wouldn't dare speculate about what goes on in baseball or American "football" because the excitable Donald Rumsfeld is still - incomprehensibly - in control of their alarming arsenal. No, cricket is the one game in which an accusation of cheating is received not with pride, but with a deeply shocked expression that may just be a prelude to pistols at dawn. Also yesterday, I saw Jose Mourinho, Chelsea's Rumsfeld, gesturing at one of his players who had just received a yellow card. The gesture was a finger tap on the side of the head meant to indicate "Think". What it did not indicate was, "Bad boy, we at Chelsea do not indulge in such dishonourable behaviour."
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 6:43 am