Loss of ‘sa­cred squares’ and Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal TV shame

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State school cricket’s demise

Scyld Berry’s ar­ti­cle (Aug 19) makes a very good point about pri­vately ed­u­cated crick­eters. When I first en­tered cricket as a player in 1962, I had made my way through a state school called Tech­ni­cal High Schools (now prob­a­bly com­pre­hen­sives) and then league cricket. We had a cricket square as good as any in league cricket and from April to July each form, of which there were 10, played cricket dur­ing games pe­ri­ods. Schools played each other and teach­ers vol­un­tar­ily um­pired in af­ter-school matches.

These were the schools that pro­vided the bulk of pro­fes­sional crick­eters in later years. That started chang­ing in the late Six­ties and Sev­en­ties when, grad­u­ally, state schools stopped play­ing cricket. I pass my old school oc­ca­sion­ally now, and there is no cricket square, which at one time was a sa­cred piece of grass. By the time I moved to Sur­rey in 1968 it was al­ready clear more and more coun­ties were re­ly­ing on play­ers com­ing via public schools, which had bet­ter fa­cil­i­ties and spe­cial cricket mas­ters. Jim Cumbes, Bow­don, Cheshire

Fans de­nied dou­ble treat

Not only did James An­der­son take his 600th Test wicket this week but, on Wed­nes­day, West In­dian Dwayne Bravo be­came the first bowler in his­tory to take 500 T20 wick­ets. He achieved this in the Caribbean Pre­mier League in Trinidad. Such a pity that there were no spec­ta­tors at ei­ther venue to savour the mo­ments. Dave Al­sop, Church­down, Glouces­ter­shire

Sky lingo hard to stom­ach

It would ap­pear the lat­est buzz­word among Sky Sports cricket com­men­ta­tors is “proac­tive”. Does this mean Sky now has a spon­sor­ship deal with the man­u­fac­tur­ers of a new yo­gurt-based drink? Michael Cross, Wal­sall

Uefa for­gets Foot­ball Fam­ily

Are we the only coun­try in Europe that does not show the fi­nal of the big­gest club game in world foot­ball on ter­res­trial tele­vi­sion, let alone ex­tended high­lights?

Uefa should hang its head in shame that the Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal is de­nied to mil­lions of peo­ple with­out deep pock­ets. It seems the “Foot­ball Fam­ily” only ex­ists if you can af­ford to join it. John Up­ton, Billing­shurst, West Sus­sex

One leg bet­ter than two

Be­cause of the virus the (later rounds) of Cham­pi­ons League matches were played on a knock­out ba­sis as op­posed to the usual two-legged af­fair. As a con­se­quence, the games have been far more ex­cit­ing, with at­tack­ing play re­plac­ing the bor­ing cat-and-mouse rou­tine as­so­ci­ated with home and away legs. I am sure the au­thor­i­ties will re­vert to the old sys­tem be­cause it pro­duces more rev­enue, but if they want the game played how it ought to be played they should copy the FA Cup for­mat and make it a knock­out tournament with ex­tra time and penal­ties.

The games might be worth watch­ing then. Mick Fer­rie, Maw­nan Smith, Corn­wall

Maguire should say sorry

What­ever his feel­ings of in­jus­tice, it is hard to un­der­stand why Harry Maguire will not sim­ply say sorry and thereby clear the way to­wards putting this un­for­tu­nate Greek in­ci­dent be­hind him. It might thus quickly have been for­got­ten, but now he is likely to have this hang­ing over him for a long pe­riod. It is time for him to swal­low his pride. Jon Ber­ry­man, Ken­dal, Cum­bria

Land­mark: Dwayne Bravo made cricket his­tory in the T20 for­mat

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