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Complaint to MCC Magazine

Complaint by Edward Dexter re Article Headed : “PLAYING FOR STAKES” Neil Robinson. MCC magazine.

1: …… during an “idle” tour free winter spent in the offices of a city insurance broker who had evidently employed the famous cricketer more for the glamour of the association than with any idea of giving him anything to do…

The word “idle” is pejorative.

The “insurance broker” was not an individual. C E Heath was a major player in the insurance world and did not engage staff on a whim. My father was an insurance man of standing, also my brother John and I wished to emulate them.

“famous cricketer” – I was by no means famous in the spring of 1959 after an unsuccessful tour of Australia.

“more for the glamour of the association than with any idea of giving him something to do” – I worked on an equal basis with a small intake of “apprentices”. I took and passed Part 1 of the Insurance Examinations.
So little did my “glamour” impress that I was called to the Chairman's office in the Autumn of 1962 and given an ultimatum. No more cricket or you must leave. I had just been appointed Captain for the 62/63 Tour of Australia. I left.

The remainder of the paragraph about betting seems to have been lifted straight from The biography “Dexter the Enigma” – Alan Lee. It was unauthorized and I had not a single conversation with Alan Lee in the writing of the book. Alan Lee was a sports writer for “The Sun” at the time.

2: … “ Dexter took to travelling the country with a portable (TV) set”.
In the early 60's, I doubt there was such a piece of technology. I have no recollection of this. I did travel with a tiny portable screen in later years when I was broadcasting. On one occasion, the commentary monitors went blank and my mini picture had its finest hour.

3: … “Botham, Compton Dexter – for them the game was not a technical challenge or a test of concentration”. Anyone who knows my character, let alone seen me practise for hours on end will know this to be rubbish. How did I come to wager that Alan Davidson would not get me out more than once in the 62/63 series, if I was anything but confident of my technique. Also see Ossie Wheatley's comments on my undergraduate cricket development at Cambridge. “Dexter, the enigma”

I was also dismayed to read a supposed connection between Denis Compton's modest educational opportunities and his liking for a bet. What presumption and what hubris. Recently there was an obituary of the late Michael Melluish which stated that his National Service home posting arose mainly from his skill as a wicket-keeper. A similar off the cuff put down. I wrote in protest to the Editor without effect.

This kind of feckless, irresponsible writing belongs in the tabloid world and reflects badly on journalism as a whole. To find an MCC publication blithely repeating a series of half truths and ill-researched assumptions is simply shocking.

Reference 1,2 and 3 above, I seek a an apology in the next MCC magazine alongside my written statement above. A token contribution to the MCC Foundation would also be acceptable.