Dear Mr Thompson,
I’m writing to you in response to your article “Test of time: In defence of a game that lasts 5 days.” I appreciate the time and effort that you have put in to watching and writing about cricket in the past year. However something comes across in your writing and that is a lack of understanding of the game as it is played. Cricket really is a simple game at heart, if one of intricacies and subtleties. Take the issue of the fielding side in a test being the “defence”, have you stood at the end of your run-up, with a ball in hand ready to bowl at a batsman? If you had you might understand that the act of bowling is an attacking one, as a bowler you challenge the batsman by asking them the question “can you keep this delivery out, can you survive or even score runs off me” it’s one that you ask ball after ball, over after over, session after session, match after match. In one-day cricket the question is often reversed and bowlers have to respond to the batsmen’s question of “can you stop me scoring runs.”
I enjoyed your article, although I won’t admit to agreeing with a lot of your points about the viability of test cricket in the long-term (if only because BSkyB & ESPN between them have valued the exclusive rights to English cricket matches at £350m over four years, and England are the team that play the most test matches of all teams in world cricket) a fresh perspective and view is always to be welcomed.
PS If you ever want to come and have a practice session or play a game, feel free to come down to Hutton Cricket Club in Essex (only 30 minutes train journey from the centre of London) and give it a go?