Monday, July 07, 2014


It was quite a weekend for sport - the stunning exuberance of the Tour de France winding its way through Yorkshire; the cricket season now at last in full swing; the conclusion of the Wimbledon tennis championship which, I admit, passed me by in a flurry of indifference; the environmentally hostile Formula 1 British Grand Prix; and the seemingly endless football World Cup in Brazil.

But the one thing that really caught my eye this weekend was the report of former England cricket captain and all round good egg, Andrew Strauss, being picked up making a less than complimentary comment about former England batsman, Kevin Petersen.   Now Strauss assumed he was `off-mike` when he proffered his description of KP but, in fact, it was clearly heard in Australia where, being the enlightened country it is, they don`t have advert breaks when the cricket is on.

Now it`s true that Strauss was quick to apologise to Petersen and anyone else offended by his remark but it was noticeable just how equally quickly friends of KP - the likes of Piers Morgan in particular - were demanding Strauss`s sacking from Sky Sports and quite possibly a judge-led Inquiry, questions in the House and an appearance before the Parliamentary Select Committee on Sporting Etiquette.   

It has been equally noticeable, however, that Sky have taken no action against Strauss, his commentating job seems secure and remarkably little criticism has gone his way.   Now I wonder why that should be.   Could it just be that what Strauss had to say  about Petersen fell into the category of fair comment, the definition of which includes the assertion that "the statement in question was based on the speaker`s or writer`s honest and impartial observation or opinion"?   If so, then it sounds about right to me.

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