Batting bonanza is just not cricket

I read in last week s Comet the article on the sports pages entitled Dave batters opposition for 318 not out! and wondered whether I was the only person feeling uneasy about what I was reading. Firstly, let me say I am as interested in sport as many peo

I read in last week's Comet the article on the sports pages entitled "Dave batters opposition for 318 not out!" and wondered whether I was the only person feeling uneasy about what I was reading.

Firstly, let me say I am as interested in sport as many people and am a former club cricketer myself.

I believe passionately that sport can be and is a positive force for good provided it is played within a spirit of fair play, fairness and respect for the opposition.

However, what I was reading about the game between Letchworth and Chesham seemed to me to be a far cry from these positive attributes, not to mention the celebratory way in which it was reported by The Comet.

As a reminder, and for the benefit of those who did not read the article, let me explain some of the background:

* Letchworth scored 490-0 in 40 overs.

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* One player scored 318, the other 100.

* The opposition team (Chesham), made up primarily of under-14 youth team players, conceded 72 extras (presumably mostly wides) during the Letchworth innings.

* Chesham were then bowled out for 157 by a nine-man Letchworth team.

As I read the article I found myself asking a number of questions:

1 - Was this fair play? More like men against boys I thought!

2 - How did the youth team players from Chesham feel during and after the game?

Inspired, motivated to carry playing cricket? No........more like embarrassed, humiliated, dejected I concluded.

3 - Surely, even though it was a league game, the two captains could have come to some arrangement to make the game more of a 'level playing field', more enjoyable for both teams without losing the essential ingredient of any sporting contest, namely competition?

4 - Why has The Comet chosen to report this game in such a celebratory manner suggesting that it was some kind of achievement when in reality the home team were obviously playing against vastly inferior (and younger) opposition?

So......what do others think?

Am I alone in feeling somewhat disturbed and annoyed about this?

Or do other Comet readers share my views?

And how about all you cricket fans, including members and supporters of Letchworth Cricket Club - what do you think?

Chris Cutforth, Hitchin

SPORTS Editor's note: Regardless of the standard of the opposition, I believe the fact that a cricketer has scored 318 (not out) is newsworthy and readers will be interested.

To score a triple century is still an achievement and should be reported upon although I too question the merits of Chesham fielding a 'youth' team in a league game.

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