Sports letter: Give sportsmen a break

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The Independent Online
Sir: I see and hear the media, especially on television and radio, giving English cricket a hard time. Why do they do this, I wonder? I saw an interview between Jonathan Agnew and David Lloyd on Sportsnight and wondered who Jonathan Agnew thought he was. If the simple truth is that England failed to get the tail-enders out, why bombard these people, whoever they are, with these ridiculous questions? David Lloyd or anyone else could not change the outcome, he answered the question reasonably well, for the same question was asked by Agnew in several different ways. I felt sorry for David Lloyd.

Why do the media expect so much? "It was a wonderful game of cricket, if you were a neutral," Lloyd said to Agnew. I'm not a neutral but I thought it was a wonderful game of cricket, but then I can see all sportsmen as human beings. I don't expect anything from them. I do want to see England win things but to be going on endlessly at them for not achieving what you want is a waste of time.

I think the England cricket team all deserve medals for putting up with media and national expectations, because I'm afraid it's not about cricket or football or tennis or athletics any more. So we are not the best in the world, what's the problem? There is no problem, just one simple fact: there is no longer a British empire. Long live being a sportsman, enjoying your sport without expectations from anyone else except yourself.

KEVIN PETER NOLAN

Exeter

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