Q & A: Leader of the lefts

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The Independent Online
Q. A Test match earlier this year between South Africa and Australia featured two left-arm spinners in Paul Adams and Michael Bevan. Has this ever been seen before?

A. The comprehensive answer given to this question by Mr Moriarty in the Independent on Sunday in the edition of 25 May contained one minor error in that the first left-arm wrist spinner to play Test cricket was not E E Achong, but C B Llewellyn, a South African who played 15 Tests before World War I. Llewelyn is mentioned in H S Altham and E W Swanton's "History Of Cricket" as the only left-arm bowler known to bowl the googly before the appearance of Fleetwood-Smith. However, it was after Achong that the off-break bowled by a left-arm bowler was named the "Chinaman" for as his name suggests, Achong was of Chinese extraction. - H Faulkner, London N20

Q. Yorkshire CCC have played first-class cricket at the following grounds: Headingley, Holbeck, Horsforth, Hunslet, Hull, Huddersfield and Harrogate. Has any other county played at grounds beginning with the same letter?

A. Yorkshire have indeed played first-class cricket at the places beginning with "H" listed above but have played at another, too: Halifax (Thrum Hall ground) in 1888 v Gloucestershire, 1889 v Middlesex, 1894 v Essex and 1897 v Kent. Thrum Hall is better known nowadays as the home of Halifax Rugby League Football Club. Incidentally, Yorkshire's best home record has been achieved at Harrogate where they won 50 and lost only eight of the 91 first-class matches held there between 1882 and 1996. Strangely, they have abandoned this successful venue and are now playing most home matches at Headingley - F D Bottomley, Helperby, North Yorkshire


Q. The film Withnail and I contains a scene in which an incredulous Withnail is reading about an international shot-putter named Geoff Wood who has been banned for steroid abuse. Is, or was, Geoff Wood a real sportsperson? - Maynard Chitty, Liverpool

Q. Why is there a meeting called Ascot Heath held on the Saturday of Royal Ascot week and why is it not part of the Royal meeting. Also, has this Saturday meeting been running as long as the other Royal days and do any of the Royal family ever attend on the Saturday? - G Gould, Cardiff

Q. Why do the Lions never play Tests in Britain? - F Rawlings, Bristol

If you know the answers to any of these questions or have a sporting question of your own, write to Q&A, Sports Desk, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL. Fax: 0171-293 2894