Recently, Australia has been through a series of sporting dramas: the cricket ball-tampering debacle; our highest paid rugby player embroiled in a row after declaring that gay people are going to hell; and the Commonwealth Games, held on the Gold Coast, Queensland, last month. The first two generated an absurdly disproportionate response; the third had some extraordinarily inspiring moments.
I should confess I am not a cricket tragic. I have at best a passing interest in the game. While I realise that cheating at anything is a serious matter, the response to the Australian cricketers struck me as crazy. How can we be shocked that some professional sportspeople cheat? Did we learn nothing from the Lance Armstrong affair? Today, in sport, winning is everything, closely followed by money and celebrity – a desolate, potent mixture.