From course to crease


Q. University cricket seems to be in good shape this season with several centuries scored. In the modern era, which Oxford and Cambridge cricketers have gone straight into the England side?

A. Since the Second World War, the following played for England while still registered as students at either Oxford or Cambridge: 1948 John Dewes (Cambridge) v Australia, 1950 Hubert Gogart (Cambridge) v West Indies, 1950 David Sheppard (Cambridge) v West Indies, 1950-51 John Warr (Cambridge) v Australia, 1951 Peter May (Cambridge) v South Africa, 1954-55 Colin Cowdrey (Oxford) v Australia, 1958 Ted Dexter (Cambridge) v New Zealand, 1982 Derek Pringle (Cambridge) v India.

Colin Cowdrey decided to leave Oxford only on his return from the 1954- 55 tour of Australia. In 1989, Mike Atherton played against Australia in August, having graduated from Cambridge in June. The first four Cambridge batsmen (and one of the opening bowlers) in 1950 had all played for England by the end of the following year. - Adam Samuel, London NW3

Q. A crowd of 31,626 turned out for Paul Merson's testimonial between Arsenal and Tottenham recently. What is the record for an attendance at such matches?

A. Unfortunately, Mr Brodkin is incorrect in believing that the 47,901 crowd for Bert Trautmann's testimonial is a record attendance. The 60,538 crowd present at Bobby Charlton's testimonial game supersedes it. The match was played on Monday 18 September 1972 against Celtic and, incredibly for a testimonial, it ended 0-0. I was present that night, not only to pay tribute to a great player, but also to witness an unbelievably competitive and entertaining contest. Morgan, Law and Buchan were in the United side, while Celtic had the likes of Johnstone, Dalglish and Macari in their line-up. - Graham Curry, Retford


Q. In the Endsleigh League/Premiership, what is the best sequence of away victories recorded by any team against specific opponents? - Peter Kay, Daventry

Q. Last season, only three of Manchester City's 34 goals were scored by Englishmen, Nigel Clough two and Nicky Summerbee one. Have there been any other cases of such a return provided by indigenous players? - Kevin Whelan, London W14

Q. In a match at Leverkusen to mark his retirement, Rudi Voller played for an international team against Germany in the first half. He then changed sides, playing 19 minutes for Germany and scored in the 63rd minute to help the national side to a 3-1 victory. Is this unusual in retirement games? - Peter Welch, Formby

Q. At this year's Monaco Grand Prix, only three cars were left running at the chequered flag, but points were awarded to sixth place. What is the rule that allows this to happen? - Tony Cole, Selby

Q. When overseas cricket professionals are contracted to counties for the season, are they awarded county caps? - Kevin Maguire, Batley

Q. Why is there a tendency to play pool rather than snooker in the United States? - Tim Mickleburgh, Grimsby

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

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