LETTER : When patience is a bowler's virtue

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From Mr Ted Dexter

Sir: Contrary to Martin Johnson's opinion on Tuesday, the bowler who can bowl economically is much appreciated in any team the world over.

In his article "England fervour fuelled by failure'', he suggests that the Test and County Cricket Board have compromised the basics of the game by allowing the Whyte & Mackay rankings to award points for bowlers who take no wickets. Anyone who watches Fraser operating with Malcolm will appreciate the value of bowling economically - frustrating the batsman while your team-mate takes the wickets. On a plumb wicket, a bowler has to be patient and maintain line and length. All too often his perseverance gains no reward, the wickets going to other bowlers, but everyone will acknowledge his contribution.

These rankings reflect the realities of the game, the majority of points going to those who take wickets but a few to those who bowl well without reward.



London W4