“Well, it’s just not cricket.” Is my meek offering, when asked why sconing the short leg whilst the umpire looks elsewhere is wrong.
There’s something about cricket that evokes the more romantic sides. Like the idea of battering to death your sister’s Care Bears, cricket washes over us with warm, nostalgic feelings.
Cricket is a game apart. Unchanging in its intrinsic goodness and we should not risk losing its unmoving fairness for pyjamas and hissy fits. It is what it was, and always shall be.
Here’s what Jack Hobbs had to say on the matter in his 1922 book Cricket for beginners:
“Perhaps the surest evidence that we have regarding the unwritten law, which doubtful is, ‘above all things play in the right spirit and be hanged the book of laws,’ is the oft-repeated action of a captain who allows a side to complete a match after the allotted time has expired, when his opponents would be absolutely certain to win if only another ten minutes were left to play.”
So, ‘playing for a draw’ isn’t within the spirit of cricket?
Right. So bugger the spirit of cricket, let’s pull out the seams and murder the bastards. We all know you can only reverse swing by cheating anyway.
I bet Jack Hobbs would have been rubbish against reverse swing.