Sports Letters: Malcolm needs no protection

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The Independent Online
Sir: It seems to me that Martin Johnson has always had a bee in his bonnet about West Indian fast bowlers. However, his latest tract on the issue ('ICC must get tough on intimidation', 25 February) is so emotionally manipulative that it could almost be submitted as a Hollywood script. While he justifiably takes the ICC, and for that matter Courtney Walsh, to task, these points are no more than crumbs in the maw of his hyperbole.

Reading his description of Devon Malcolm's ordeal on Wednesday, one could be forgiven for thinking he was talking about Colonel Blimp rather then one of the world's quickest bowlers. He evokes a partially sighted salt-of-the-earth type who has mistakenly wandered out into the middle, there to find himself being used as a dartboard and a coconut shy. Even three dramatic visits from the physio cannot prevent our hapless hero from having his ribs pebbledashed. Finally - oh sweet release - he is dismissed.

However, anyone looking at Malcolm's score might well have remarked 'Dazzle mine eyes, I see three fours]' Anyone capable of dispatching 'this lot', as Mr Johnson calls them, thrice to the ropes can hardly be accused of confusing one end of the bat with the other.

Mr Johnson talks of Walsh going round the wicket as if it were a crime and speaks longingly of 'legal intervention'. As if this weren't enough, he has the gall to accuse the Gleaner of understating the issue. He may rest assured that his report has more than balanced things out.

Yours sincerely,

JONATHAN LALLJEE

London N8

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