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Murder most foul will not destroy cricket

The game which contributed the phrase "not cricket" – not fair, not just, not aboveboard, just not done – has been attacked in the despicable murder of Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer. It is suggested that Bob was writing a book about fixed matches and that the murder was a preemptive assault.

Crooked betting and thrown games have plagued other sports. They survived because those who loved them relentlessly cleaned them up.

In A Sporting Chance we describe the many games developed by Brits. Cricket is one of the most popular. It is played and followed by hundreds of millions around the world. It is a beautiful thing.

One of the reasons that sports like rugby and football (soccer) and cricket and tennis and golf have seized the human imagination is because they show men and women achieving brilliantly. A second is that Brits followed an excellent intuition: It is only by observing the rules of sports fairly that each player and every team can become equals and the game can become a joy. It is only by following the rules that the transcendent, life-giving moments in sport can occur.

Our sympathy goes to Bob Woolmer's family. Cricket's clean-up, should that prove the issue, will be the tribute he would most appreciate.