There are many concerns about the impacts of this inaction – and the risk of non-cricketers entering the country at unmanned border posts has been highlighted in the media.
|Baseball Strike 1994|
So by comparison cricket is a tranquil scene. Nevertheless there have been incidents. The most celebrated was the rebellion in 1896 before the final Ashes test of the summer. The English team was led by WG Grace and included 5 professionals Tom Richardson, George Lohmann, Bobby Abel, Tom Hayward and Billy Gunn, The pros felt under paid and unloved. The Test series had been a rousing commercial success yet their winter wage offer had been reduced. Meanwhile in another part of the class system WG Grace, had had his amateur status confirmed with a testimonial worth £9703 – equivalent to £1m in today’s money – that is a lot of amateurness. It was also rumoured that Grace’s expenses were higher than the pros’ fees for the matches. The pros asked for more and were soundly dismissed by the management reflecting all the most attractive features of the English class system. Only Lohman was unable to withdraw his non-cooperation in time and he did not play in this match – or ever again for England. The committee's decision meant that Lohmann's bowling average was frozen at 10.75, the best in the history of cricket. Even without his contribution, England won the match by 66 runs, bowling out Australia in their second innings for 44.
There have been a number of other labour disputes in the history of cricket. W Indies players struck in 2009 over a range of grievances in pay and treatment. Senior players including Gayle, Sarwan and Chanderpaul boycotted the series with Bangladesh which led to a second string team giving Bangladesh their first overseas series victory. A mediator brought a resolution although the situation is still combustible, as this year’s dispute with Chris Gayle suggests.