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Roger Alton rss

Roger Alton is an executive editor at The Times. He writes the Spectator Sport column.

Kevin Pietersen Book Signing

Pietersen’s unlikely Passage to India

18 October 2014

A typical Merchant-Ivory film, their biography informs me, features ‘genteel characters’ whose lives are blighted by ‘disillusionment and tragic entanglements’. No surprise then that Kevin Pietersen is proudly revealed as… Read more

Captain Paul McGinley lifts the trophy after Team Europe retained the Ryder Cup Photo: Getty

Please don't let the Ryder Cup go the way of football

4 October 2014

Well, that was a lot of fuss wasn’t it? The Ryder Cup is a strange old creation, only fractionally less momentous than D-Day, judging by some of the hoo-hah, but… Read more

Sport

Roy of the autobiographers

20 September 2014

It has become a weary cliché to say that a book’s publication is eagerly awaited, but when an event is this momentous — the October arrival, thanks to the good… Read more

Tim Howard confronts Diego Costa Photo: Getty

Just what Diego Costa needed: a guide to the traditions of the Premier League

6 September 2014

That excitable but likeable hombre, Everton manager Roberto Martinez, took it upon himself to give a stern lecture to the Brazilian-born Spaniard Diego Costa after Chelsea’s sensational 6-3 victory at… Read more

India head coach, Duncan Fletcher Photo: Getty

What does Duncan Fletcher actually do?

23 August 2014

Some years ago, when the last Conservative government was limping towards defeat, someone published a book called 101 Uses for a John Major. It was cruel and fairly funny, the… Read more

Adrian Grant and Nick Matthew of England and David Palmer and Cameron Pilley of Australia compete for the gold medal Photo: Getty

Why squash deserves a place in the Olympics

9 August 2014

Thank god for the Commonwealth Games: at least they gave us a brief respite from football transfer stories. Instead of having to read about an 18-year-old defender being bought by… Read more

England captain Alastair Cook Photo: AFP/Getty

The crazy rush to run down Alastair Cook

12 July 2014

A jaw-dropping moment on the front page of Her Majesty’s Daily Telegraph the other day: ‘How to fix England’, read the  blurb, ‘by Kevin Pietersen’. Rather like ‘How To Stamp… Read more

Reza Ghoochannejhad of Iran scores his team's first goal past goalkeeper Asmir Begovic of Bosnia

Now England are out of the World Cup, we might just have to cheer for Iran

28 June 2014

Iran, eh: who knew? Last time I checked it was the great Satan, locking up its own people, stamping out dissidents, and a centrifuge or two away from bringing nuclear… Read more

England scrum half Danny Care Photo: Getty

The real England team is playing for Stuart Lancaster

14 June 2014

A revealing handwritten letter emerged at the weekend from the England scrum half Danny Care, who wasn’t playing in the first Test against New Zealand, to his Harlequins and England… Read more

Lewis Hamilton with Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg Photo: Getty

From Lewis Hamilton to Kevin Pietersen – who’s the worst team player?

31 May 2014

Ah teamwork! There’s no me in team, as David Brent used to observe sagely, but there are often plenty of cocks, as he didn’t. And really, you get to thinking,… Read more

After four-and-a-half years and 77 matches, Clermont Auvergne, were finally beaten at home, punctured in the Stade Michelin by Castres, from the Pyrenees Photo: AFP/Getty

Sport's greatest winning streaks

17 May 2014

Sport is all about streaks, winning and losing, though whether one of the gloomiest runs in world sport — England’s footballing failure to reach the final of a major tournament… Read more

Saracens Argentinian centre, Marcelo Bosch Photo: Getty

What’s right with Saracens — and José Mourinho’s Chelsea

3 May 2014

It’s hard to love Saracens rugby club — their centre is called Bosch, a word that also describes their bulldozing style of play — but you have to admire the… Read more

crcik

A sporting chance from the brotherhood of cricket

19 April 2014

The brotherhood of cricket, as we know, transcends race, creed, class and nationality. It can also be a big help when it comes to dealing with the law, as this… Read more

(Photo: Tom Dulat/Getty)

In defence of the Boat Race

5 April 2014

It’s Boat Race time again and as soon as the BBC starts its broadcast on Sunday there will be those who invade Twitter and such places, having a moan faster… Read more

Italy v England - RBS Six Nations

Whisper it, but could England win the next Rugby World Cup?

22 March 2014

There are many eternal questions. Why do all aircraft, no matter how much your ticket cost, where you’ve come from, and what time you land, always dock at a gate… Read more

Victor

Victor Dubuisson and the true spirit of sport

8 March 2014

Just do it. The people who make trainers have been telling us to ‘Just do it’ for 25 years now. As a slogan it is simple and effective. (It was… Read more

Snowboard - Winter Olympics Day 12

In defence of the BBC’s Sochi commentators

22 February 2014

You can trust the BBC to behave like a leaf blown by any breeze, but even that spineless leviathan (if such a beast could exist) might have tried to grow… Read more

Australia v England - Game 3

It’s not just Kevin Pietersen. England needs a whole team of new heroes

8 February 2014

Englishmen used to be deported to Australia as a punishment. Now they get sent back to England as an act of mercy. There was not much of a campaign to… Read more

Australia v England - Women's ODI: Game 1

Five reasons to be cheerful about British sport (yes, even the cricket)

25 January 2014

James Cook’s third voyage as an English captain ended in disaster, stabbed to death and disembowelled by a pack of angry Hawaiians in 1779. The latest Captain Cook’s third tour… Read more

Viv Richards in Antigua, 1986 (Photo: Adrian Murrell/Getty)

Roger Alton: The day Viv Richards came to watch me play cricket

11 January 2014

Sir Vivian Richards came to watch me play cricket the other day. That’s the sort of sentence you wait a lifetime to write. What’s more it’s true. Sort of. I… Read more

Sport

Roger Alton: 2013 was even better for sport than 2012

14 December 2013

British sport used to be dead. You only have to look down the list of past winners of the Sports Personality of the Year award to see that. In 1994… Read more

Mitchell Johnson Photo: Getty

As England's cricketers wobble, the rugby team are finally getting it together

30 November 2013

My friend Miles was bowling in a festival of wandering cricket clubs in Oxford the other day. First wicket down and in walked an immaculately turned out Japanese gentleman. As… Read more

Michael Carberry (Photo: Getty)

If Carberry doesn't open for England, the world should split asunder

16 November 2013

In sport, as in life, you just don’t know where you stand any more. Look at the Premier League: no club knows where they stand except for Crystal Palace, who… Read more

roger federer

Sport: Serena is shining like never before

2 November 2013

The comic book Asterix in Switzerland is full of joys, not least the many jokes about Swiss obsessions with tidiness and bureaucracy. Watching the Basel Open last week, the audience… Read more

England star Jack Wilshere Photo: Getty

Adnan Januzaj should not pull on the Three Lions

19 October 2013

The more you see of Jack Wilshere, the more admirable he becomes. He seems to have taken wholeheartedly to fatherhood, a path he embarked on when he was barely out… Read more