Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Oval Test forfeit

Draft of letter published in The Wisden Cricketer October 2006

The umpires job is difficult, but should not be made impossible. He must apply laws specifically, and not be influenced by the potential interacting ramifications of each decision.

Even when laws are applied consistently, there will conflicts between short- and long-term benefit: this is intrinsic to all laws. But when laws are applied rigorously then people can predict the consequences of their actions. We now know that when a team refuses to play they will forfeit the match; and this will ensure it never happens again.

Darryl Hair stuck-to the law in the face of massive personal pressure, which makes him the hero of this affair.

Bruce Charlton, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK