81 not out, Corbett declares he is retiring, not hurt

Veteran journalist Ted Corbett has been told by a  new sports editor that his fortnightly column is no longer required and so, the octogenarian cricket writer is reaching for his slippers.

Ted Corbett: victim of the exchange rate
Ted Corbett: victim of the exchange rate

Since winding down on his full-time cricket reporting career on British nationals, Corbett, 80, has carved out for himself a useful career writing for leading titles in India, and he has worked for The Hindu and Sportstar for 25 years. “I’ve been made to feel like a member of the staff,” Corbett said.

Under Nirmal Shekar, the previous editor of Sportstar – who has retired – he was told that the paper could no longer afford so much foreign exchange and that he would have to go. The email dismissing him claims his columns were “no longer of interest to Indian readers”.

“It was only because Nirmal Shekar insisted on keeping me that my Sportstar column was continued,” Corbett said. “To tell the truth I am not distressed by this dismissal. I am a few days short of my 81st birthday, I tried to quit papers seven years ago but Nirmal used his annual visit to Wimbledon to persuade me to go back. When Peter Roebuck died, I took on his column as well.

“Now it is time to make my retirement permanent. Since I was 16 I have had a magnificent career, including the editorship of the soldiers’ paper during the Korea War and the cricket correspondent’s job at the Daily Star and the People.

“No regrets, although I might have pressed harder to be sports editor at the Star and I was once head-hunted by both the Daily Mail and the News of the World – on the same day – while I was working in Manchester for the Mirror.

“Now it is time to slip on the fireside slippers and watch the cricket on the telly. I followed England for 300 Tests and 500 one-day internationals and, like Fred Trueman, I am bloody tired after all the effort.

“I might write my autobiography but I suppose that if there is a sports editor desperate to employ a man heading for his century I could open up the laptop again.”