Cricket is the finest of all sports, provided both teams want to win or at least wish to prevent the other side from winning. The tragedy of the recent Pakistan/England test is that allegations suggest players were more interested in money than tactics, shame on them.
Even if you have never watched any cricket in your life before, watch the following clip from the infamous England/W. Indies test in 1976. The West Indian bowler is Michael Holding and what he is doing is barely legal. It is intimidatory, it is nasty, it is dangerous and it is blinking fast. The batsman is Brian Close. He is playing in his last test, he is in his mid forties and is to my mind the best player to ever come from Yorkshire. Watch how he takes the strikes to his body. He will not give Holding the satisfaction of seeing him in pain or in fear. Look how little protection he is wearing. Notice how he doesn't go wingeing to the umpire claiming he is not being treated fairly.
I see a parallel with the onslaught of cr*p in recent months from from the press towards the Church and the Holy Father. I see Brain Close's response as the only one we can take. We have to take the bruises and take them with style, but perhaps it is worth remembering there is no body in the Catholic-bashing media who has the flair, style or brutal talent of Michael Holding.