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Only victims were the bookmakers

I think we are in danger of not separating out the two issues involved in the current "no-ball" furore – alleged criminal offences and artificially altering the course of cricket matches.

If all that happened at Lord's was that three deliberate no-balls were delivered with the purpose of defrauding bookmakers, this is clearly a criminal matter and needs to be dealt with as such, but in purely cricketing terms it is trivial, and calls for any players found guilty to be banned for life are way over the top.

Throwing a match, to defraud bookmakers, is a different matter. In addition spectators and TV viewers are made to watch a charade rather than a cricket match, and no punishment in terms of banning can be too harsh for any players involved.

Ian Chapman, London SE16

Belfast Telegraph


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