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Cricket

Cricket
An epic day! England's Andrew Flintoff in action against Australia at The Oval, September 12, 2005 ©TopFoto.co.uk/ProSport

The traditional view of cricket is of a leisurely, gentleman-like sport played in pristine, creased whites and with plenty of long breaks for tea. The sound of willow on leather, the sun shining on the village green. Even the word “cricket” has come to symbolise fair play and good sportsmanship.

In the long history of this most English of pastimes there have, however, been some moments that have been distinctly “not cricket”. The much frowned-upon English tactic of bowling hard and fast directly at the Australian batsmen (in the Bodyline series of 1932/33) resulted in hospitalisation for some of the unfortunate victims, with one even suffering a fractured skull.

These days, the rivalry is distinctly friendlier, although Australian fans may not quite have felt so after England's Ashes victory of 2005.