Letter: The Stewart saga

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The Independent Online
Sir: Henry Blofeld is right to lament the 'mockery of England's wicketkeeping policy' (22 February) but is wrong to say that Alec Stewart was 'unexpectedly made captain' in Madras. Any selection committee with a modicum of foresight would have considered the possibility that the man they chose as vice-captain may end up up captaining the side. Hence the farce in Madras, which ended up with Mike Atherton being left out for Richard Blakey, was wholly predictable.

The continued presence of Stewart as an opener does not make up for splitting the successful opening partnership of Gooch and Atherton. Had Atherton been able to open the innings, and had Jack Russell been behind the timbers, they would have added some of the assurance and stability England patently need.

Yours faithfully,



London SW17

22 February