Doldrums on the field

Questions and Answers
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Q. Has any other sporting event been abandoned on grounds of boredom, as on England's current cricket tour of South Africa?

A. I cannot think of any sporting event being cancelled because of boredom. However, there are some quaint examples of boredom being shown. In cricket, Warwick Armstrong, the Australian captain, read a newspaper in the outfield when the fifth Test v England (1921) was heading for a draw at The Oval. Phil Edmonds also read a newspaper on the field during the third Test between India and England (1984-85) while India were still batting during the first innings of the match (after some interruptions) on the fourth day.

After the first days of of thesecond Test between West Indies and England (1989-90) were washed out, it was agreed that the fifth day be scrapped and a one-day match be held. Presumably the authorities thought they were more likely to obtain more money from a one-day international than the last day of a rain-interrupted Test match.

When I was at school, rugby union house matches were called off before full-time, if one team was more than 40 points ahead, the contest being held to be a hopeless mismatch. This happened on the odd occasion and was certainly not an interesting or enjoyable experience for the vanquished team - David Rimmer, Middlesbrough

Q. West Bromwich Albion must be sick of Stoke City after the recent 1-0 defeat by the Potters. Since beating Stoke 6-0 on 18 December 1988 at the Hawthorns, West Bromwich have failed to beat Stoke in any of the next 13 meetings. Can any other club justify the title of "The mother of all bogey teams"?

A. On 18 January 1948, Portsmouth began a run of 13 consecutive wins over Everton, which was remarkable for the high scores. By the time Everton finally won, in March 1958, 15 of the previous 16 games had gone to Portsmouth, the goal difference an amazing 55-14, including 21-0 in a run of five games. - Tom McCanna, Sheffield

A. From 1920-61 Darlington visited Peel Park, the home of Accrington Stanley, in 29 League games. They lost 24, drew four and won once, 3-1 on Boxing Day - the day after a 5-4 defeat by Stanley at Darlington. In 1958-59 Darlington visited Peel Park in the FA Cup. Their 3-0 defeat can have come as no surprise. - John Winn, Bexhill-on-Sea


Q. Dynamo Moscow, Kiev, Bucharest, Berlin etc were all originally secret service teams. But why did they choose the word "Dynamo?" - Paul Daly, Leyland, Lancashire

Q. The suggestion of a rugby challenge match between Bath and Wigan reminded a friend of mine that two games between the British rugby union and rugby league took place during the last war. Under which codes were these games played, and what were the scores? - Fiona Simm, Northampton

Q. I have searched through all my American football reference books for a player called Ickey Woods. He started his career as at Cincinnati, rushing for 1,066 yards in 1988 in his rookie year, an outstanding performance. So far I have not found him. What happened to this running back? - Richard Wilding, Wotton-under-Edge

Q. Why did early cricketers decide to send their strongest batsmen in before the weakest? What would be the effect on cricket if the process was reversed? - Miss K Brown, London W10

If you know the answers to any of these questions or have a question of your own, write to: Q & A, Sports Desk, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL. Fax: 0171-293 2894