Sports Letters: Substance left in the bottle

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The Independent Online
Sir: Martin Johnson's coruscating cricket columns are a constant delight to your readers. Sadly, his tribute to David Gower (15 November) was too much wit and too little substance. The vinous metaphor in which Mr Johnson cast his appreciation left little space for an account of Gower's unique contribution on the field of play.

The statistics which you rightly printed tell their own story and it is hardly Gower's fault that Gooch was able to overtake his aggregate of Test runs for England. But what the figures by themselves can never convey to future readers of Wisden is that inimitable elegance, dexterity and fluency which gave Gower's batting a stamp of genius otherwise unseen in English cricket in two decades.

We should all join your correspondent in as much bubbly as is required to celebrate so matchless a contribution to the game.

Yours faithfully,



15 November