Umpire Hair's dispute on US front pages

August 23rd, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Umpire Hair's dispute on US front pages

Darrell Hair may not score a goodwill ambassador job in Pakistan anytime soon, but the Australian umpire has achieved something rare for cricket - front page news in the US.
Cricket seldom rates a mention in the US media.
Americans can't get over the fact a game can last five days, with breaks for "tea", and end in a draw.
Shane Warne may have made saucy headlines in Australia and England when he was caught in his Playboy underpants with two bimbos earlier this year, but thankfully for Americans, the story did not get a run in the US.
Shane who?
When the Ashes gets underway in Australia in November, Aussie and English expats in the US will be lucky to find a mention in American newspapers' sports pages.
But this week's ball tampering incident in London involving Hair and the Pakistan and English teams struck a chord with American editors.
The Los Angeles Times ran the story on its front page, relegating a killer bomb blast in Moscow, Saddam Hussein's genocide trial, the deaths of four US troops in Iraq and the Lebanon-Israeli conflict to its latter pages.
The New York Times also ran the cricket story.
"When a match becomes a scandal, that's just not cricket," the LA Times' headline read on the front page.
The US media was fascinated how the "genteel" game of cricket could get so ugly.
"An outsider - someone from the moon, say, or the United States - might imagine that this was merely a folly of the silly season in a game followed only by erudite aficionados of leg-byes, googlies and silly-mid-ons, to mention but a few of crickets more esoteric terms," the NY Times wrote.
"But that is not what this conflict turned out to be."

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