Long wait to cap it all

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

A. The system of awarding county caps is left to the clubs, with Durham unique in awarding them to all their playing staff. Overseas players are usually capped the same season they make their debut - as happened with Yorkshire's Michael Bevan and Leicestershire's Hansie Cronje in 1995. Allan Donald, however, made his first appearance for Warwickshire in 1987 and was not capped until 1989, Wasim Akram played for Lancashire in 1988 before being capped the following year and Mark Waugh made his debut for Essex in 1988, but had to wait until 1989. - Tim Mickleburgh, Grimsby

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. The following are players who have made their Test debuts since 1 January 1980: C J Tavare, of Oxford, who started in 1980 and was a Blue from 1975 to 1977; P W G Parker (Cambridge, 1981, 1976-78); V J Marks (Oxford, 1982, 1975-78); D R Pringle (Cambridge, 1982, 1979-81); I A Greig (Cambridge, 1982, 1977-79); T S Curtis (Cambridge, 1988, 1983); M A Atherton (Cambridge, 1989, 1987-89); J P Crawley (Cambridge, 1994, 1991-93); J E R Gallian (Oxford, 1995, 1992-93). Derek Pringle would have had a further Blue in 1982, but decided to play for England in his second Test v India. - David Rimmer, Hertford Heath

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

A. Undoubtedly, clubs will have enjoyed longer sequences of away victories, but few will be able to beat the margin of victory enjoyed recently by York City at Blackpool. In 1994, York won 5-0 at Bloomfield Road, a score repeated exactly the following year when York also won the home game 4- 0. This past season York could only manage to win 3-1 at Blackpool. So it was, perhaps, not entirely surprising when, needing one point from their penultimate game to guarantee Second Division status, York lost the return 2-0. In the end they scraped through in their final match. Incidentally, have two competing teams ever had such banal sponsors as York's Portakabin and Blackpool's Rebecca's? - Neil Griffin, Otley


Q. Edgar Davids, the Dutch midfielder, has been sent home by his team from Euro 96 for sulking after being dropped. Has this ever happened at any other championship? - Ian Smart, Luton

Q. Since the Football League was founded, which team has had the highest percentage of draws? - Mike Fox, Edgbaston

Q. Has any other individual put any particular sport "on the map" as Olga Korbut did for women's gymnastics? - Angus Wolstenholme, Leeds

Q. When Len Hutton scored his 364 at The Oval in 1938, he did not hit one six during the innings. Has any other high- scoring batsman achieved this unusual feat? - Kevin Maguire, Batley

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.

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