22nd August 2003 at 01:00
David Elstone, deputy headteacher of Hutchesons' Grammar in Glasgow, has expressed his concern for the future of cricket in independent schools. In an open letter to the sport's governing body Scottish Cricket, Mr Elstone says the game has become diluted in schools to a worrying level.

Due to the length of the summer term, he reckoned only six Saturdays were available in 2003 for fixtures. In 2002, on account of bad weather, his school's first XI only managed two matches.

He also believes that the dates of SQA exams and, to a lesser extent, A-levels, have made it difficult to play regular midweek matches, with pupils choosing to revise instead of play cricket.

Mr Elstone believes independent schools are also suffering from a shortage of players.

"I don't know what the answer is," he confesses. "If insufficient thought is given, then I fear the game of cricket will disappear from many of the country's independent schools."

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