Wednesday 16 December 1998
Bring Test team home now
Sir: Another humiliating, embarrassing, degrading and mortifying Test match defeat by England. As predicted, England have lost a sixth consecutive Ashes series.
To avoid further annihilation, Alec Stewart and his men should pack their bags and return home immediately. With the series safely in Australia's hands again, there is no point taking part any further. It will be a waste of time and money, especially for the paying spectator to watch one-sided matches over and over again. The Australians yet again have shown how superior their players are in ability and technique.
The England and Wales Cricket Board should start introducing the basics of the game to schools and start them young. The current players lack the basic ability to compete at Test level.
Also, disposing of the present management structure is absolutely necessary. The records show very clearly England have suffered an array of Test defeats over a decade and nothing has been done to improve the situation. All we have had are excuses as to why the performances are so poor. I wonder what excuse David Lloyd will have up his sleeve after this latest defeat?
A new positive-thinking management system is needed to implement the right attitudes. Until the basics are sorted out ,England will continue to suffer defeats. It is a very unfortunate situation for an England supporter.
Captaincy flaws are the problem
Sir: The Australian cricket team has the benefit of a very fine captain. Mark Taylor is an excellent leader and has created a highly disciplined and motivated squad of cricketers with a wonderful team spirit.
In contrast, in recent years the England team has been very badly led. Under Michael Atherton, they were a scruffy, unshaven, indisciplined rabble led by a sadly inept captain, as his record shows.
It begins to look as if very little has changed, and that Alec Stewart's appointment has something to do with it being "Buggins' turn". Sloppy batting and fielding has much to do with slack captaincy and Tim Lamb and the rest of the England and Wales Cricket Board should bear this in mind if they really intend to bring about any serious improvement in English cricket.
There may be something to be said for the creation of two divisions, but the key to it all is good and effective captaincy both on and off the field. If this aspect is neglected, there is very little hope for the future of the game in this country.
E H Smith
The height of hypocrisy
Sir: I note with interest the recent comments attributed to Steve Stone regarding his future at Nottingham Forest Football Club.
Stone, with perfect timing, has decided to reveal he will quit the club if they are relegated this season. Hardly a morale booster for Forest's players and fans. Can this be the same Steve Stone who has been one of Pierre van Hoojdonk's most vociferous critics up to this point?
Although their methods differ, their agenda is the same: Self before team. Far from changing in separate dressing-rooms, the two players should share the same peg.
Shenley Brook End, Bucks
Latest in Sport
Sami Khedira to Arsenal: Midfield omitted from Real Madrid squad for Spanish Super Cup
Paul Scholes: Manchester United need five experienced players who can turn round a desperate situation
Angel Di Maria latest: Manchester United target is Real Madrid's 'best player', says Diego Simeone
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal tried and failed to sign German stars Thomas Muller and Marco Reus this summer
Tracey Emin: My Life In A Column
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 James Foley beheading: Fox news presenter Megyn Kelly annoyed by Ferguson update during broadcast about murdered journalist
- 4 Kajieme Powell: Missouri police release video footage of second man killed by officers
- 5 Paul Scholes: Manchester United need five experienced players who can turn round a desperate situation
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Scottish Independence Referendum: Salmond described as 'arrogant, ambitious and dishonest' by Scottish women
Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Commercial IT Solicitor - London We h...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: One of the mos...
£525 - £585 per day: Orgtel: Lead Business Analyst - Investment Banking - Lond...
£20000 - £27000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...