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I READ the comment by BJJ (GDN, November 26), "However it seems Mr Nelson stopped viewing cricket later as he did not mention some of the other greats in the new generation. The likes of Sir Viv Richards, Brian Lara, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Ricky Pointing, Jacques Kallis, Younus Khan to name a few."

What would he say if I were to tell him that I have signed photos and even letters from six of those cricketers he has mentioned. And, over the years, I have been in correspondence with quite a number of international cricketers, including Sir Don Bradman, Sir Colin Cowdrey, Sir Richie Benaud, Brian Lara, Sir Richard Hadlee, Kapil Dev and others.

In fact, when one ex-cricketer visited Bahrain, a representative of an institution asked me to draft a welcome speech, which I did willingly. I have an Australian aerogramme written many years ago by Dennis Lillee, who along with Jeff Thomson, was a fiery fast bowling combination that troubled many accomplished batsmen. In that aerogramme, he wrote Vivian Richards was the most destructive batsman he had encountered and John Edrich the most difficult to dislodge.

DJJ speaks about Jacques Kallis, who is a genuine all-rounder, the next best after Sir Garfield Sobers. Is he aware that Kallis has a better Test batting average than Tendulkar, who is considered to be a specialist batsman?

I have seen many people who have not taken any pains to study the history of the game, the past and present legends. They just jump on the bandwagon to portray some contemporary cricketer as the world's greatest, because they have maximum centuries, runs, etc., without realising that today a cricketer has opportunities, money, travel by air, etc.

Moreover, cricket is a much better regulated game today. No bowler is allowed to bowl more than one bouncer in an over, plays on perfect pitches and has full body protection. However, that was not the case with earlier cricketers, but still they had better averages. One cannot just discount these facts.

Moreover, cricket was not played with the frequency it is played today and cricketers of the yore travelled by ship and practiced on deck.

Nelson Lewis

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Nov 29, 2013
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