Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Drunk on the spirit of the game

The world of cricket is embroiled in controversy about 'Mankading' - the practice of the bowler attempting to run out the non-striking batsman before completing his run-up, if he spots that the non-striker is already drifting out of his crease.

The latest bowler to pull this off - Sri Lanka's off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake - has come in for criticism for his conduct, despite this being legal under the Laws of Cricket.

BBC commentator and former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott has described it as "not in the spirit of the sport", while England Captain Alastair Cook has branded it "a pretty poor act".

But the problem with an appeal to 'the spirit of the game' is that it is meaningless; it is inherently unquantifiable, and at the highest level of competitive sport there is no room for such things to be open to interpretation.

Sorry, but Jos Buttler was run out fair-and-square, according to the laws of the game.  Anything else is just sour grapes.

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