Smoke and mirrors: England’s contrived outrage can’t help them avoid the facts
At The Oval, on August 29, 1882, after taking a single and believing the ball to be dead, young Australian batter Sammy Jones wandered out of his crease to do some gardening.
Sensing an opportunity, English cricketing legend W.G Grace, no stranger to controversy, whipped off the bails and appealed.
Jones was left with no choice but to walk off, but the Grace’s move incensed the Australians, especially the incoming batter, Fred “The Demon” Spofforth, who made his views on the sportsmanship of the act clear.
Grace’s only comment on the matter was that he had “taught the young lad a valuable lesson.” Lesson or not, The Demon was incensed and turning to his captain Billy Murdoch said, “I swear to you, England will not win this.”
Fast forward to July 2 2023 and Alex Carey’s dismissal of Jonny Bairstow, like that of Sammy Jones, hinges on whether or not the ball was dead.
The laws of the game, which do exist and, in these cases, somehow become secondary to the Spirit of the Game, which does not exist, state that “The ball shall