England win the first Ashes test, but was it fair play?

We all like to be treated fairly. Go to any school playground, sports pitch or indeed many homes and before long you’ll hear ‘it’s not fair!” shouted loudly and with much passion. We all have a natural sense of justice , and we automatically know when we are on the receiving end of a referee’s wrong call, a parent’s decision going against us or a teacher/boss telling us off when we were innocent.

But how often do we admit to doing something wrong when no-one else notices, even if someone else is blamed? When the victims of our unfair play are shouting ‘it’s not fair’, how ready are we to admit to being in the wrong?

Perhaps Stuart Broad would be a good person to ask. In England’s second innings of the first test of the Ashes, most people think he hit the ball (it was clear on the replay) and he should have been out, but the umpire didn’t give him out and he stayed in, despite the shouts of the opposition Australians. Some people thought he should have done the right thing and ‘walked’, admitting he was out. However, others say, “Always play according to the umpire’s decision” and that’s the right thing to do, usually…

Broad staying in went a long way to helping England win. Did Broad himself think he had hit? His team mate, Jonathan Trott was given out by the umpire even though the replays showed he wasn’t out, ‘so that’s justice’ they say. Australians have a reputation for not admitting to being out, not walking. Agar was run out when he had 6 runs, he wasn’t given out and went on to get 98 in Australia’s first innings.

We all like to be treated fairly and perhaps the lesson from this cricket match is that if we don’t like being on the receiving end of injustice or unfair play, we should always do the right thing in an honest manner and treat others in a way we ourselves want to be treated. Wouldn’t that make for a better world?