It’s one of the daftest phrases in the sporting world; the crusty old buffers who describe something as being “not cricket” when it seems unfair.
In reality, as anybody who has ever played the game will know, cricket is a tough pursuit, packed with bad language, psychological warfare, and, occasionally, much, much worse.
Yet, on Saturday, in the match between Mannofield and Gordonians, things definitely moved up a notch. One of the Gordonians players, Arbar Ahmed, was given a red card after allegedly headbutting a rival.
Red cards? Cricket? Some people might wonder what on earth has happened to the summer game, as if it used to be a sphere of plummy platitudes and clotted cream teas.
Well, the reality is a whole lot different and it has been for a very long time. Even at a low level, there are flashpoints, controversies and, sometimes, close to brawls erupting.
I was at Mannofield earlier this season when the hosts were playing Kinloch, a club who, rightly or wrongly, have gained a pretty poor reputation in north east circles.
During that match, one of the Kinloch team ‘Mankaded’ an opponent. In simple terms, he ran the non-striking batsman out without giving him a warning.
Officially, it’s not against the rules, but for most weekend cricketers, it stinks to high heaven.
In the same contest, another of the Kinloch bowlers delivered no less than three ‘beamers’ – dangerous balls aimed at a batsman’s throat and face – which should have seen him drummed out of the action.
Of course, passions run high in these local derbies. There’s a strong will to win which occasionally veers into acrimony and thuggishness. It’s not acceptable, especially given cricket’s efforts to attract a younger audience.
But it needs to be addressed – and the quicker the better.
Perhaps understandably, neither club wished to comment on the issue at the weekend.
Disciplinary action will be taken in due course and one suspects that stringent punishment will be doled out.
But, is this really where Scottish cricket wants to be in 2019? With unsavoury tales and officials being forced to send players from the field because of alleged violent acts?
I’ve played in several different leagues across Scotland and let’s not pretend the language is always fit for the Little House on the Prairie.
But a line has definitely been crossed once cards start being issued and it has to be nipped in the bud.
And it would also help if clubs stopped hiding behind red tape and began to accept their responsibilities!