I have been a follower and supporter of Australian cricket for 60 years, from radio listening over the years to the more vivid and dramatic representation of the game through modern media.

With the passing of time, respectful behaviour has declined – and to the point of standards going down the gurgler. Spectator reaction is increasingly abominable. One wonders just how low cricketing audiences attending games can sink in terms of their scarifying remarks, many of which racially crucify competitors.

The matter goes beyond those in the stands. The onfield actions of players, particularly those playing at top level, is ever more disgusting. Sledging is epidemic. Fist pumping, aggressive gesturing of dismissed players toward the sheds and the silent but vigorous mouthing of jubilant expletives when a batsman is out, are all actions that go well beyond respectability. Sadly, these actions are seen and copied by those who regard these cricketers as their heroes. What a sad example they are being set.

For the sake of what was once described as a gentleman’s game, this issue is one that needs attention if further deterioration in standards is to be avoided

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