Sports Letters: Not bowled over

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The Independent Online
Sir: The world's first Legends' Academy, which features the greatest cricketers of all-time as coaches, this year concentrates on fast bowling, an area in which our national sport has had problems, and takes place during the summer over 30 days.

The coaches this year are: Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson, Wes Hall, Charlie Griffith, John Snow, Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, Joel Garner, Wayne Daniel, Sir Gary Sobers and Malcolm Marshall, and they are to coach club and schools players of all ages and standards.

I am disgusted at not being able to find financial sponsorship from any British company, despite offering good corporate benefits with this high profile event.

We have worked very hard, without finance, for more than six months on this project which is aimed at giving English cricket the shot in the arm it badly needs at all levels. We have had no support from the Sports Council, The National Cricket Association or the Test and County Cricket Board despite the fact that these coaches will help spread interest in our beloved game.

As a former county fast bowler, I know that good work is done by many people right through the existing coaching network and indeed sponsors support these enterprises very well. However those tend to be elitist, rather than targeted directly at the bread-and-butter cricketers, which is the aim of our Academy.

Yours in sport,

IAN PONT

Managing Director, Master Class

Communications, Brentwood, Essex

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