Newspaper review: India's cricket gesture weighed up

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There's almost universal admiration for the decision by India's cricket captain to reprieve England batsman Ian Bell during the second Test at Trent Bridge on Sunday.

Bell had been given run out after he started leaving the field for the tea interval unaware that the ball was still in play. The Mail says India's captain performed a "great act of sportsmanship", and the Express declares it "an act of Corinthian generosity".

For the Telegraph the decision "shone out like a good deed in a wicked world", but its correspondent, Derek Pringle, declares the Indian decision "generous but illogical".

"Test cricket," he says, "is meant to be tough... the spirit of cricket has its place but it was not being abused here... Bell should have remained dismissed."

Liberal revolt

The main story for the Financial Times is the US debt crisis. Anticipating the agreement between party leaders announced by President Obama in the early hours of this morning, the paper says there remain significant legislative hurdles ahead.

They include a liberal revolt in the Democratic ranks which is still growing, and Tea Party Republicans still staunchly opposing any increase in borrowing authority.

Several papers carry accounts of the report by Lord McFall calling for private sector pension reform.

In an editorial the Daily Express declares that, despite the turmoil over public sector pensions, the real crisis is in the private sector where far too few workers are saving for their retirement.

The paper argues that there need to be incentives to create a culture of saving otherwise the vast majority of employees will face a bleak retirement.

The Telegraph quotes Lord McFall as saying "a golden sunset" enjoyed by today's pensioners is giving way to a "bleak dawn" for tomorrow's.

Illustrating this contrast, a Daily Mail feature says many of today's pensioners have earned themselves a new sobriquet SKI - Spending the Kids' Inheritance.

Apparently, instead of staying close to home and preserving their hard-earned life savings for their offspring, SKIERS are more likely to be sipping cocktails on the beach in Thailand or driving a camper van around Australia without a care in the world while their children are struggling to make ends meet back in Britain.

On their front pages the Mail and the Sun highlight the plight of young children who have become victims of anorexia. The papers say Freedom of Information requests revealed that 98 youngsters aged between five and seven have been admitted to hospital during the past three years in a severe condition.

The Mail says the statistics underline the worry that youngsters - particularly girls - are increasingly obsessed with being thin.

The Guardian leads with the Syrian army's attack on anti-government demonstrators in the city of Hama. The paper says the uprising faced one of its defining moments when President Assad followed in his fathers footsteps and sent in the tanks, reportedly killing more than 100 people.

People in the city contacted by the paper said that the protesters refused to abandon checkpoints they had set up. One recounted that "people grabbed whatever they could and went into the streets with bare chests, walking towards the tanks with wooden bats, steel bars or stones".

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