For more than eighty years the Telegraph’s Letters page has offered an august forum for the discussion of all manners of subjects, but none has been as durable as cricket. Be it the Bodyline controversy, the d’Oliviera and Packer affairs, or the sticky question of players chewing gum out in the middle, Telegraph readers have never been short of an opinion or several, wryly or even cholerically expressed. Before stumps are drawn, they will have dropped into their mailbox for possible publication their trenchant thoughts on such matters of national importance.
Over the years The Daily Telegraph’s Letters page has attracted many contributions from the great and the good, including legendary Test cricketers like Percy G.H Fender and C. B Fry, the finest cricket correspondents like E.W Swanton and Neville Cardus, presidents past and present of MCC, and aggrieved county captains seeking a right of reply, as well as the likes of Lords Longford and Tebbit, Field Marshal Lord Bramall and Tim Rice and Graeme Hick. But most of all it is the home of the cricket-watching public, letting off steam with great wit and good humour at the way their favourite sport is being run.
Now Martin Smith has put together a collection of the very best cricket letters to The Daily Telegraph. By turns acerbic, witty, opinionated and hilarious, they are always to the point, silly or otherwise.
SIR- Following the triumphant open-topped bus tour through London in 2005, should the England cricket team be made to fly home from Australia in an open-topped plane?
Dr S. McMenemin, Coylton
SIR – When I got married in 1955 my husband told me he was going to give me the greatest thrill a girl could have on her honeymoon: he took me to Lord’s.
Joyce Mantell, Tamworth
SIR – If the Pope’s presence at Westminster Abbey was seen as sufficient reason to interrupt BBC Radio 4’s cricket commentary, could we invite him to stay here indefinitely?
David Gray, Richmond, North Yorkshire
Martin Smith was formally Assistant Sports Editor and a sports writer at The Daily Telegraph where he worked for more than twenty years. He has been a member of Essex County Cricket Club for forty years and still bemoans a first-ball lbw decision in a schools match.
Not in My Day, Sir is published by
Aurum Press on
24th May 2011 at £14.99