It's (just) not cricket

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It's (just) not cricket

Cricket is a game of aristocrats. This thesis is known to all cricket fans, but here’s where it came from, and it is really so. We will try to explain it by contradiction: by explaining the phrase’s meaning, It’s (just) not cricket. Read everything about what it means if you hear “It’s not cricket” or “It’s just not cricket”, and about when these expressions are appropriate to use, read our article.

It’s (just) not cricket – what does the phrase mean?

This is an Australian idiom by which the speaker condemns actions that they find dishonest or contrary to the spirit of the game of cricket.

The phrase “It’s not cricket” can be heard both on the cricket field or at the screen where the match is broadcast and in situations that are not related to the game, but in the case when something unfair happens.

For example, you might hear dialogue like:

– Hey, it seems to me, or this guy attacked the other from the back?

– Yes, it’s just not cricket.

If you hear a conversation like this, know that the phrase is used correctly and appropriately, even though it did not refer to a cricket match.

Is cricket a fair game? Where did this belief come from?

Cricket is considered a gentlemen’s game, where honor comes first. Even though not only noble people played cricket, the main thing in this game is that it is played not only following the rules but also by the spirit of the game (spirit of cricket). Any action that violates the spirit of the game is considered detrimental to cricket.

For example, MCC Laws of Cricket offers the following explanations for the spirit of cricket:

  • It is the responsibility of the team captains to ensure that the rules are followed. Suppose a player does not obey the referee’s decision or allows himself verbal or non-verbal criticism of these decisions, behaves in a way that could damage the game’s reputation. In that case, the referee may inform the other referee or the team captain to take action.
  • The spirit of cricket involves respect for the opponent, teammates and the captain, for the officials and, of course, for the game itself and its values. So if you see that some of the athletes do not adhere to these simple principles, you can safely conclude – it’s just not cricket.
  • The spirit of cricket is contrary to the use of violence, obscene language, cheating, aggressiveness. It is primarily the responsibility of the referees and captains to ensure that the match is played following the spirit of cricket. It is the responsibility of each player to contribute.

It’s not cricket – are there any violations?

Of course, people play cricket, not ideal robots (at least for the moment), so violations are inevitable, sports excitement or indiscretion sometimes play a cruel joke with cricket players.

For example, an unpleasant incident occurred during a match between Australia and the West Indies, with the famous Australian bowler Glenn McGrath and batsman from the West Indies Ramnaresh Sarwan. Australians in cricket have always had the reputation of being bullies who love to hurt their opponents with words, but this time the joke became too serious.

The conversation went something like this:

Glenn McGrath: What is Captain Brian Lara like when you get to know him better?

Ramnaresh Sarwan: I don’t know, ask your wife about it.

Glenn McGrath: Look, if you mention my wife again, I’ll rip your throat out!

At the time, Glenn’s wife was gravely ill with cancer, so the crowd immediately stopped having fun and started booing Ramnaresh.

Of course, there are also match-fixing and the use of doping in this sport, which also does not correspond to the spirit of the game – it’s not cricket!

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Nisha Bhavani
Author: Nisha Bhavani Position: Cricket Expert

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