This is an interesting and entertaining collection of stories and cases involving cricket as it interacts with the law. Some are of general interest and raise topical ethical questions – for example the death of Peter Roebuck, a cricketer who became a journalist. Roebuck committed suicide when he was about to be arrested over allegations of sexual offences against young men he was coaching. His death meant questions arising over these allegations were never resolved.
The writer also explores alleged match-fixing, issues in the laws of cricket itself, and the debate about whether actions are within the spirit of the laws of the game even if they are legal.
There is a chapter on nationality which ought to interest immigration lawyers – what qualifications you should have to play for England, when several England cricketers were born in other countries (mostly South Africa). There was Kolpak, which said that anyone who was a member of a country which had a trade agreement with the EU could play for English counties without a work permit or without being counted as an overseas player. This encompassed South Africa and some West Indian islands.
Author: James Wilson
Publisher: Wildy, Simmonds and Hill (£19.99)
The author includes a discussion of probably the most famous cases involving cricket – Bolton v Stone and Miller v Jackson. These concerned neighbours complaining of being injured by cricket balls or having property damaged by cricket balls.
Wilson ends on two primary threats to cricket. What if the law becomes too intrusive? For example, a judge finds someone liable in negligence for something which happens in the ordinary course of a match, or guilty of a criminal act for what has hitherto been considered an acceptable risk of the game. There is a danger that players would be forced to take too many precautions against future litigation.
The second threat is that the law might fail to be intrusive enough, by not preventing illegal bookmakers and players being involved in match- fixing.
David R Pickup and Kevin Scott are partners at Aylesbury-based Pickup & Scott