Time for FIFA to clamp down on the World Cup cheats
From: Dave Croucher, Pinfold Gardens, Doncaster
WHAT is happening to the wonderful game of football?
There has been so many deliberate fouls that the game is being ruined.
Since when has it been allowed for players to pull players back by the shoulder or the shirt or even just wrestle them to the ground when the ball is nowhere near them?
These fouls should be an automatic yellow card and the same for diving which is also widespread. The present style of cheating needs stamping out and fast, the off the field ref should be flagging these things up on his monitor.
The present World Cup is being ruined, because any real ball players are not being allowed to show their skills because of the constant fouling.
FIFA should tell their referees to stamp out all the fouling and let us see real football being played.
From: Allan Davies, Heathfield Court, Grimsby
YOUR correspondence on three and four-day cricket overlooks a simple matter.
In the three-day game, we regularly saw 20 overs per hour bowled – 360 overs in three days. Now, we see only 16 overs per hour – 384 overs in four days.
Three-day games frequently saw more than 360 overs and one game sticks in my mind. In a Yorkshire v Worcester game in 1960, there were 375 overs bowled (75 by Johnny Wardle) and 1,175 runs scored. Kenyon and Johnson both made double centuries.
At Test level, in the first two post-war visits by South Africa with several off-spinners like Rowan, Mann and Tayfield, the overs per hour was far surpassed, and, in 1950, in the first visit by the West Indies, Ramadhin and Valentine bowled into 140 overs per day.
I’d be grateful if some read reader would confirm (or correct) this.
From: Nick Webb, Leeds
THE recent Tests between England and Pakistan were both lost before a ball was bowled, due to the strange decisions by the team winning the toss.
Why England opted to bat in the first Test with such a fragile batting line up, in conditions more suitable for bowling, and why Pakistan opted to bat in the second, in perfect bowling conditions, against a team whose batsmen’s confidence was in tatters, after their display in the first Test is beyond me.
The name of the game is exploit the weaknesses of your opponents, which neither of the teams winning the toss did.
PS: A lot is said about the watersplash final between Leeds and Wakefield Trinity and the changes in rugby league in the time since.
One change I have never seen mentioned, though, is the introduction of kicking tees, something that could have made all the difference.
It’s a shame Don Fox is often remembered for one missed kick, when he was a great rugby league player and deserved better.
JOHNNY WARDLE: Bowled 75 overs for Yorkshire in a match against Worcestershire in 1960.