Sports Letters: Captain in waiting

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Sir: Jim White's suggestion (24 May) that Graham Gooch should be removed from the England captaincy fails to recognise the clever strategy of Mr Dexter and his selectors. As England plummet to defeat in the first two Tests and the Australians appear invincible, Gooch will resign with grace. Stewart will be too closely associated with failure to take over immediately, and the selectors will turn to an ageing former captain. With 1981 in mind, the Australians will deflate dramatically and England's stop-gap captain will be able to retire with legendary status intact. Anyone care to wager against Botham's return?

Yours faithfully,


London SE1

25 May