What must it have been like to have been in the dressing- room when Douglas Jardine suggested the Bodyline tactics, or Hansie Cronje a little manipulation of the game?
Was there silence and uncertainty, a search for clues to a suitable reaction from the faces of team-mates, or instant uproar, indignation and outrage?
I guess confusion would have reigned for a while, with differing opinions whittled down to a single voice.
It is at times like these, when there is no precedent, that individuals must return to primary principles and evaluate the issues based on these basic moral codes.
Moral courage is the determination to do what is right even if that decision elicits ill- feeling among one's peers.
It is a rare commodity in everyday life but is readily found in exceptional leaders. It is difficult to define but clearly apparent when it occurs.
The school child who refuses to pick on the weakest in class risks being bullied himself but, by standing up for what is right, is demonstrating moral courage. It is a very easy course to justify actions on the basis that others are doing the same but it belies a weak morality.
I'm not trying to simplify what are complex decisions. Motivations and actions are sometimes not deducible by others; it is easy to make a mistake. But nothing impresses me more than moral courage. That may be because it so uncommon.
Its paucity is the downside of team spirit, at least some types of team spirit. To go against the majority can be construed as individualistic and, sometimes, that is true.
But it is cowardly to stay silent, to shy away from condemnation when you believe you are right, and it is insufficient to justify action solely on the basis of other peoples' actions.
Strong leaders need to have moral courage. They must set the agenda and create a climate in which team members stand up for what they believe without the threat of alienation.
It may not lead to short-term adulation but starts a slow-burning fuse, building respect and admiration. Often there is a degree of reluctance to laud the morally courageous but it is difficult not to respect someone who does the right thing despite being shouted down, especially when the shouters know they are wrong.
It is not my job to preach and I'm not suggesting that I am a morally courageous person. But it is a virtue that seems to receive little coverage or attention. The morality of sportsmen is usually accompanied by adjectives such as "lurid" and graces the centre pages of the tabloids.
As sportsmen, we have a unique position which carries a responsibility to behave as role models in many ways. The manner in which we conduct our social affairs, whether within the team or outside, may not attract glamorous headlines but it defines us as people and should be applauded. Examples of moral courage should inspire fans young and old.