On boos at Lord’s, bore draws and a sin-bin for elite football
Stumped by lost Test play
I lost interest in Test cricket after the Lord’s Centenary Test of 1980 between England and Australia, when the players and umpires failed to appreciate it was supposed to be a celebration of the game and did their utmost to prevent play due to perceived unsuitable conditions.
During the match Ian Botham, the England captain, was booed by MCC members when he returned to the pavilion.
In 40 years nothing has changed for the good and, indeed, this summer’s play has been stopped by the umpires even when both sides were happy to carry on playing.
It is shameful and the paying public deserve better.
Dr Martin Henry, Good Easter, Essex
Give teams an extra incentive
Cricket should adopt a winning/ losing draw method so that even the most rain-affected match would still have something to play for, rather than the meaningless finish to the last Test that was no more than a net session.
Under the system, drawn matches would be decided by taking the overall runs scored and dividing by the number of balls faced and divided further by the number of wickets lost. Teams in drawn matches would then have an incentive to score runs or take wickets, making it more interesting for spectators and TV viewers.
Eric Gibbons, Dunfermline
Visionary Willis on the ball
The late lamented Bob Willis would, I am sure, have been chuffed to have a county cricket trophy named after him. However, he would probably have been better pleased if his vision of a properly formulated county cricket league of three, four or five divisions, involving all the cricketing counties, had been implemented when he suggested such a thing 30 or more years ago.
I hope if the current format is adopted in the post-Covid-19 future it keeps the name of this freethinking cricket great.
Colin Senneck, Hartley, Kent
Rugby league plays its cards right
Having watched a few football matches on TV recently, I continually get frustrated by players committing cynical fouls and being prepared, as a result, “to take one for the team” as the commentators point out when the yellow card is brandished afterwards.
I was interested to read, in the article about the referee at grass-roots level who got attacked, that it was as a result of issuing a yellow card which meant 10 minutes in the sin-bin.
Leaving aside the wider issues of that assault, I think it is time that the sin-bin was introduced at professional level.
It would not stop, but it might control cynical fouls, shirt pulling, dissent etc, all of which serve to break up the game.
By contrast, rugby league has had the sin-bin for years and as a result, is a cleaner and faster sport.
Bernard White, Ripon
Off colour: A sin-bin in football might control cynical fouls, shirt-pulling and dissent