England’s claim Bairstow’s downfall was not in the ‘spirit of the game’ is the losers’ refuge

Welcome back to Your. This week, online commentators and letter writers were in complete agreement: while the England cricket team claims their Australian counterparts may not be playing in the spirit of the game, readers had no doubt that Australians know how to play a Test match within the rules wins.

Illustration: John ShakespeareCredit:

Is the ashes a modern bread and circus?

English-born, Australian-based journalist Nick Bryant wrote that nothing better illustrates why he hasn’t lived in Britain for almost a quarter of a century than the insolence of the Long Room’s egg and bacon army.

peter butler, wyongah Poor old England. Feeling like complaining when others follow the rules. Of course it had to happen at Lords, the only place where they couldn’t even pick up their racquet and ball and go home.

George “Brexit Ball”? I like “Bregretball” better.

Terryroger The Brits were once considered masters of the art of subtle lying down. No longer.


Chris Wall, Cooma The behavior of the members at Lord’s makes it clear. There are yobs with a tie and yobs without a tie, but they’re still yobs.

Four sight So the ash is just a modern bread and circuses? That’s a very sad thought.

Richard Brennan, Killara The spirit of the game in the Long Room was on display in abundance in the second Ashes Test. It’s called gin.

Elliverg Egavas Does the Egg and Bacon Tie Brigade at Lord’s still think the sun never sets on the Empire?

Gavin Gatenby Who would have thought that a match of cricket would result in Australia becoming a republic? And also in the presence of John Howard. The irony is delicious.

Patrick McGrath, Potts Point Ouch! Have you ever felt that we are no longer welcome? Forget the Republic – quick, Albo, declare war on the Old Dart before they declare war on us.

Mythical Moments.

Mythical Moments.Credit: Matt Golding

“It’s just not cricket” – or is it?

Author Kathy Lette admitted to readers that she had never been a huge cricket fan (she had had marriages shorter than a Test match). But that was before the Aussies started beating up the Poms at this year’s Ashes.

Bruce Johnson, Lakewood Britannia rules the waves. Britannia waives the rules.

David While we Colonials (I’m tugging at my forelock here) have been informed by the wealthy English (elected) High Toff that we don’t seem to be playing cricket in the ‘right spirit’, we certainly know how to win a Test match within the MCC prescribed rules of the game.

Thiam Ang, Beecroft I’ve always found the phrase “It’s just not cricket” a bit presumptuous. The whole debate about whether Australia should play by the rules or the spirit of the game when Bairstow went bust confirms my belief and does the MCC no credit.

Adrian Connelly, Springwood I’m not really sure why this is such a big deal. I’m always at a loss when sports questions are asked on quiz nights.

Andrew Murray, Ryde To quote the philosopher John Owens: “Cricket is like time, uncomplicated as long as you don’t think about it!”

Henri Same old cricket, always boring – unless there’s an artificial controversy.

A fine line.

A fine line.Credit: Matt Golding

What is the first rule of MCC fight club?

Senior sportswriter Andrew Webster said he was convinced that being a member of the world’s most famous cricket club meant understanding the rules of the game. Recent events have shown that this was not the case.

Neville Turbit, Russell Leah I’m having a hard time grappling with the MCC’s claims of unsportsmanlike conduct. I don’t know where to start. We are unsportsmanlike because we follow the rules of cricket set by the MCC. do you see my problem

Tanya Playing spirit = advantage in case of doubt goes to the Englishman.


BK I started playing cricket when I was 10 years old. From that age it was instilled in me that unless you’re sure the ball is dead, you should never run out of shot when you’re batting. It’s not a difficult thing. Cricket is a simple game, but whether you’re batting, bowling, or playing the field, you need to know what’s going on.

Dave Watts Avalon I say folks: Bat. Ball. Now home to Mater. hack, hack.

Reapers by Redfern Logically, one cannot defend the practice of a sport according to the rules without also defending the Trevor Chappell armpit, as this article attempts.

Anthony Bowra Certainly the first two points to include in any definition of “spirit of the game” are (a) obeying the rules and (b) accepting the referee’s decision.

Chris Mangan, Bracken Ridge I think it’s the best thing we’ve done under the armpits in 42 years.

crescendo Hasn’t the England captain and manager done a good job of diverting attention away from the way their revealing approach squandered a huge advantage in both friendlies? To paraphrase a famous observation, the mind of cricket is often the loser’s last resort.

  • You can join the discussion on smh.com.au in the comments of each article and in letters to the editor in print and online. I’ll see you next Friday. Your. sincerely, Pat Stringa, Letter Editor

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