Letter: National games

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The Independent Online
National games

I AM surprised that Lord Gordon of Strathblane (letter, 25 March) cannot see the difference between Premier League football - essentially played between local teams even if some have wider support - and Test cricket which, as an international contest, still carries a significant weight of national pride and interest from a great many who are not regular followers of cricket.

There will be many like myself who do not wish to be blackmailed into subscribing to cable or satellite channels, or who cannot afford to do so. But the real issue here is the place in our national life of a unique and remarkable game. Public service broadcasting has a symbolic significance as well as the practical one of providing access to the widest possible audience. By placing events which rarely involve national players above events involving our national team, Lord Gordon's Advisory Group is saying something about cricket which will do nothing to further its cause or raise standards of play.

No doubt many, including the England and Wales Cricket Board, will point to the large sums of money that will be drawn into the game from satellite broadcasting, but there are problems with cricket in this country which cannot be solved merely by money.

JOHN BURCHELL

Old Coulsdon, Surrey

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