A private email via Schools Cricket Online from a parent rather than an online comment:
I wanted to email and say that I very much concur with Douglas Henderson’s article in the Times today. I had 2 boys at (distinguished school) who played more than 15 days of cricket each during their A level term and outperformed their brighter sister at (distinguished school) who dropped all sport in favour of revision. Thankfully they were not given a choice whereas she was.
And my response on the online version (much the same as my private reply to my correspondent):
Just to clarify, I claim no special benefit for cricket as opposed to any other activity. You may have got that impression from one particular sentence which actually I didn’t originally write. The Times were keen that I put in something along those lines. The problem is partly that the comment editor changed “did” (ie anything at all apart from revision) to “played” as if cricket is some kind of intelligence tonic. Maybe it is!
The main problem is I had only 450 words and that kind of claim needs some justification. In fact, I started the term with a pep talk to our top 25 cricketers, along the lines that cricket takes up a lot of time (if it doesn’t rain, which it usually does) and I don’t want to hear a peep from my colleagues about your being late with essays etc (it was a teaching term in those days). I never had one single complaint or suggestion that we should reduce our cricket programme. I also looked carefully at their results and almost without exception they were better than expected.
The benefit is to be found in my opening section.