THE Imran Khan-Ian Botham libel case has finally exposed the worst kept secret in cricket—England and Pakistan just cannot stand each other. Nobody who was at Lord's that Monday tea time, just as George Carman was summing up for Imran in the libel case a few miles away in the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand, could have missed the deep distrust with which these two countries view each other. Minutes after Pakistan had comprehensively beaten England, a small Pakistani contingent gathered in front of the pavilion shouting: 'Botham is a liar'.
Lord's, meanwhile, bolted all the doors and windows of the pavilion and even barricaded the approaches to it. It turned out Lord's was reacting to a water-leak caused by Pakistani cricketers leaving on the water taps in their dressing room, which threatened to bring the pavilion crashing down on all and sundry. But to the unwary, it seemed as if the self-appointed guardians of cricket were just that bit apprehensive of the Pakistani supporters.