Football: Question and Answer: Platform for your sporting queries

Q. What is the smallest crowd ever recorded in the NFL?

A. The following information may be of interest, although it does not quite answer the original question. Kent Invicta, who were in the Rugby League for a while, played their home games at Southend. During the late 1980s they played Huddersfield on one occasion there in front of a paying crowd of just 80. I would imagine that figure would not even match a playing staff of an American Football club in the NFL.

Kevin Maguire, Batley

Q. Why do wicketkeepers in modern cricket tend, like England's captain Alec Stewart, to stand facing towards mid-off or even to extra-cover rather than straight back down the pitch towards the bowler?

A. There are two schools of thought on this. One is that when the keeper has to dive to take a catch it is generally to his right, in front of first slip, and being aligned in that direction makes it easier to dive further and more quickly. The other theory is that is makes it easier for the wicketkeeper to take the ball in his dominant hand, which is generally the right.

Connie Wilkes, Cirencester

ANSWERS PLEASE

Q. How is it that managers of sports teams can fine players for misdemeanours when this practice would not be tolerated in any commercial company?

Patrick Laurance, London NW 11

Q. I believe that once in the history of Formula One a driver won the world championship without winning a single grand prix in that year. Is that true, and if so, who was he?

Joe Delahunty, Shepherton

Q. I note that England are planning to go on the Ashes tour to Australia without a spinner who turns the ball away from the bat. Have they ever picked a squad for an overseas tour before without either a left-arm spinner or a leg- spinner, and if they did, who went and what was the result?

Richard Davies

Stevenage

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