Last summer at about this time, us cricket fans were enjoying the most spectacular and tense test series in my lifetime, between two sides who just didn't know when to quit. Australia were immense, both in their commitment to winning and their grace in defeat. And now for the contrast- could there have been a more pathetic end to a pretty dull series of cricket matches than the cheating that brought the yesterdays match at the Oval to a premature end?
I firmly believe that sport reveals the character of individuals and of teams, indeed of nations. England showed spirit, verve, tenacity and being 'up' for the game- Pakistan showed pride, spinelessness, disorganisation and at the final moment, dishonesty. I for one would be perfectly happy not to have to watch a test series involving them ever again. After the disgusting tanking of the world cup final, and numerous other undignified and corrupt episodes of the last few years, Pakistan ought to be stripped of test status. Given that murderous Pakistanis made the last English tour of that country extremely tense and unpleasant, it could well be very good timing.