Cricket is not a Gladiatorial Contest

December 09, 2014 | 05:32 PM | 305 Views

WG Grace glared when a bouncer went past his head. The bowler apologised: �Sir, she slipped,� he said humbly, but the great man was not mollified for some time. The gentlemen of Hambledon in Hampshire are credited with popularising the pleasant village sport of cricket in the 18th century. Long before the modern Olympic games were organised as a way of teaching sportsmanship among the athletes of different nations, cricket had become the gentlemen�s game, renowned as much for its courteous conduct as for the skills displayed. �It is not cricket� has come to mean in common parlance that some act is not sportsmanlike. AGVithal Rajan Photo Gardiner, one of the great writers on the game, called Ranji �the prince of a little state but the king of a great game,� lauding his invention of the effortless leg glance. But Ranjit singh was not dodging bouncers. When Jardine brought in bodyline bowling during England�s tour of Australia in 1933, to curb Bradman�s genius, the world of cricket condemned it unanimously. Bradman and Ponsford came to the crease wearing towels round their middle. The Nawab of Pataudi, Tiger Pataudi�s father, refused to join the loaded leg slips and returned to India before the English tour of Australia was completed. Even Jardine did not ask Larwood to aim at the head.

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