Cricket – sport and law

Two days of extraordinary test cricket – in which England looked completely out of it, turned things around with a record-breaking partnership, then crushed Pakistan yesterday – overshadowed by an illegal betting scam. No one is alleging that the progress or likely result of the game has been affected, but rather very small details. The no-balls bowled by Pakistan have been unusual – over-stepping by some distance, instead of the usual fractional infringement – so in a sense it’s unsurprising that questions are being asked. Pakistan’s new ball pairing of Asif and Amir were the best thing about their team, and it will be devastating for Pakistani cricket if this does turn out to be proven. After the ball-tampering incident in 2006, the World Cup death of coach Bob Woolmer, and the inability to stage home games given security concerns, this is a bleak time. The floods in Pakistan have received a lot of attention in the context of the cricket, with the team donating match fees to the aid effort, and their performance in the third test seemed to show they were able to deliver on the field, despite all this. Where this leaves the cricket team now is anyone’s guess. In ninety minutes time they are supposed to come onto the field to try to rescue the game.

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