"I am listening to the test match cricket commentary, and I can tell you that cricket is about to become extremely big news, of the front page variety," wrote Brian Micklethwait in his 'live' blog post, Darrell Hair versus the Pakistanis.
From the Today Programme to the rolling news of Sky and BBC News24 through to our very own News at Noon, Brian Micklethwait's words have proved prophetic. Cricket's ball tampering crisis, is dominating today's news bulletins.
Brian watched the story unfold from the original accusation of ball tampering and the deduction of five penalty runs through to Pakistan's refusal to return to the field after tea and, finally, the abandonment of the match.
"If it weren't for the Muslims versus the Rest vibe, this would now be really rather funny," Micklethwait noted later in his post.
The Burnt Bail, a cricket blog by an Irish Pom in New Zealand, leaves nobody in doubt with his Aussie Umpire-bashing title, Darrell Hair’s petulance exceeds his trouser size.
The most comprehensive coverage so far comes, perhaps unsurprisingly, from It's Only Cricket. Darrell Hair wins Oval test for England..!! catalogues Sunday's events before asking what it considers three unanswered questions:
"1. All TV replays could show was Pakistani fielders polishing the ball vigorously but that's it..!! Is Darrell Hair sharper than the Camera's these days..??
2. Why didn't Inzamam get angry instantly when this happened? Why did he played on for 16 more overs and then started the drama??
3. Why it is always Darrell Hair when it comes to umpiring faults?"
Developing the last point, It's Only Cricket asks: "Do you remember Sachin Tendulkar being given out LBW when the ball from Glenn McGrath had hit his shoulders. Yes, it was Australian Umpire Darrell Hair to give him out. And what about Muthiah Muralitharan who has been cleared by ICC a million of times but still Darrell Hair wants to call him a chucker and never umpire in a cricket match when Murali is playing. Or either Murali doesn't play when he is umpiring..!!"
Australian blogging network, Larvatus Prodeo, covered the story in a post titled, Fourth test forfeit farce: "Or as every subeditor the wide world over has been tempted to headline it, It’s Just Not Cricket." (See The Independent as evidence that this temptation is sometimes hard to resist).
Commenting on the Larvatus Prodeo post, Paul Norton says: "Things would be so much simpler if the players did the playing, the umpires did the umpiring, and the administrators upheld the umpires’ authority to call things as they see them."
Yobbo accepts that the umpires were right not to re-start the game, but adds: "When you accuse Pakistan of ball tampering you had better be pretty sure, because the mud is going to stick ... I think they were unfairly dealt with and had every right to protest."
Fender Bender asks what's in it for the Pakistan team to risk such a winnable Test Match. "The way I see it is that no team would wait to lose the series and then tamper with the ball in a game that they were headed to win comfortably. At this point of time and from the way the match has progressed, I just refuse to accept that Pakistan tampered with the ball. No bloody way!"
Finally, a number of online commentators draw parallels with the 2005 Indianapolis Formula One Grand Prix when a row over the safety of tyres saw only three of the ten teams compete. Random blog of random blogginess writes: "This is a diplomatic incident on the scale of last year's American Grand Prix. That ruined the American market of F1, and this will cast a dark cloud over the game of cricket."