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March 31st

Obviously, there will be no schools cricket in the near future and therefore this column and results will resume only when the cricket season (if any in 2020) begins.

However, as nobody writes or broadcasts anything nowadays unless it is a doomsday scenario, I shall put in my six pen’orth.

Those of us who are over 70 have been here before, suffering a previous epidemic which has been almost completely ignored. In the Asian ‘flu epidemic of 1957/8 a vast number of people were infected and worldwide a huge number died (see below). In my own (mainly boarding) school, all but six of us 400+ pupils were in bed at the final stage. We were then sent home and told to return only when we were well. School resumed as normal 10 days later and we thought no more about it.

It was very similar in all sorts of ways, but there is a key difference between then and now. In 1957 it seemed the epidemic was allowed to take its course and the whole thing lasted about 6- 8 weeks in any particular area. This time there has been mass hysteria worldwide and so governments everywhere (except Sweden)  have been forced to go for lockdowns even if on a small island (eg where my son lives) there are only three cases .

However, I make a prediction: schools will re-open sometime in June and a special new term will continue to late August, thus creating havoc with planned holidays. There are no imminent exams so we shall have a glorious real teaching term for all year-groups as we used to have until really quite recently – say, 30 years ago – and cricket aplenty. In the longer term, the main exams will finally move to a new more sensible time like December (maybe after a 7th term for A level candidates) and University entrance will be done after results are known.

We shall see!

May 2nd

It seems to me that nobody in the media (except the excellent Radio 4 programme “More or Less”) ever puts the published figures into perspective. Clearly the disease is very nasty for many people and fatal for a large number and I am not denying that. However, here are some figures which bear reflection before we conclude with the BBC and all the media that we are all doomed – the general thrust of every hysterical news bulletin.

Figures in perspective; as at May 2nd 2020

Total population of UK:  66,650,000
Total deaths so far (official figures) 27,5100.04%
Total positive cases tested (official figures)(cumulative – not removing those recovered, I think) 177,454 = 0.27%
Total numbers reporting daily with Covidsymptom tracker app May 2nd, whether with symptoms or not 2,266,235 = 3.40%
*Total symptomatic cases in whole UK & peak (April 1st) estimated by Covidsymptom tracker 2,127,000 = 3.19%
*Total symptomatic cases in whole UK & N.I. now (May 2nd) estimated by Covidsymptom tracker 305,773 -= 0.46%
*aged 20-69 only so a considerable underestimate of total cases

Asian ‘flu pandemic 1957/8
Total population of UK 1957/8: 52,200,000
Number of those in U.K. & N.I. who contracted Asian ‘flu 1957/8 9,000,000 = 17.24%
Number of those in UK & N.I. who died of Asian ‘flu 1957/8 14,000 = 0.03%
* a vaccine was produced within a couple of months of the peak in the UK

World population 20207,800,000,000
Total infected as at May 2nd 2020: 3,400,0000.044%
Total deaths as at May 2nd 2020: 239,029 = 0.003%

World population 1960: 3,032,000,000 100%
Total infected worldwide 1957 (figure calculated back from the known %) 20,300,000 = 0.67%
Number of those worldwide who died of Asian ‘flu 1957/8 (most reliable estimate; some go to 4 million) 1,100,000  = 0.036%


To see columns and results for the 2019 season, please go to Results Archive on the left.


Here are two important pieces of recent research investigating the link between exam performance and maintaining a sensible balance between revision and other activites, especially sport.

Cambridge University sport and academic performance study summary

At much the same time, the HMC sports committee commissioned Peter Clough, Professor of Psychology at Huddersfield University to investigate the links between exam performance and sporting activiy. You can read here the introduction by the committee’s chairman and then the research paper itself.

Introduction to the HMC commissioned research

Research into links between exam results and sporting activity

I have put together a series of articles with various links on the problems (and maybe solutions) of schools cricket. I called the paper Killing schools cricket

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