A bold step

Sir, — Kudos for making Indian chess and its King (V. Anand) the Cover Story of the August 13th issue of your magazine. It sure requires courage of conviction to make a sport other than cricket the Cover Story especially when the tri-nation series featuring India was going on in Sri Lanka.

Valuing the significance of a mind-sport like chess, even a great coloured sportsman like Arthur Ashe, often at the receiving end of racist slurs, had wanted his men to do well in chess so as to prove that they were second to none in this competitive world. Viewed in this context, what Anand's international success in this ethereal sport has done to the self-esteem of the Indians and their image in the world, can well be imagined! So besides his contribution to Indian chess (akin to what Bjorn Borg did to Swedish tennis) his contribution to our nation at large, goes beyond the realm of tangibles!

Suresh Manoharan, Hyderabad Historic indeed

Sir, — It was a historic achievement for legendary Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne, who has claimed 600 Test wickets. The positive aspect of Warne is his ability to overcome any obstacle. It was also a great moment for Sanath Jayasuriya to reach 10,000 runs in one-day internationals, which he did in the recent tri-series.

It was a terrible decision by the selectors to bring back Sourav Ganguly as the captain of the Indian cricket team for the tour of Zimbabwe. This has put paid to Rahul Dravid's chances of captaining the side in the near future. All Ganguly did in Sri Lanka was to score a half-century to reach a personal milestone of 10,000 runs.

D. Giridhar, Chennai Strange priorities

Sir, — While the media, especially the electronic one, devoted so much time for mourning our cricket defeat in Sri Lanka, and on the return of Sourav Ganguly as Indian captain, not a single one thought it fit to cheer our Indian women pugilists, who came back with 7 golds, 2 silvers and 2 bronzes from the Asian championships. This is the spirit of a nation, which is to host the Commonwealth Games next!

A. G. Kanetkar, Mumbai The hockey mess

Sir, — After watching India's performance in the recent hockey tournament at Amstelveen, one notices that the usual weaknesses like mispasses, lack of trapping skills and above all lack of team work are still prevalent. The situation has not improved at all in the last three decades in spite of changing various coaches.

K. P. S. Gill has been at the helm for a long time. He has not been able to improve things, nor is his stubbornness helping matters. Our patriotism lies only in opposing the induction of foreign coaches! The game has changed completely from the halcyon days of Dhyanchand. The traditional methods followed fanatically by our coaches have not given any success. The appointment of a foreign coach, somebody like Charlesworth, is the only answer. The sooner Gill & Co. realise this the better!

K. A. S. Namboodiripad, Trichur Strange selection

Sir, — I can't understand how a player like Anil Kumble can be omitted from the ICC World XI Test team, while Daniel Vettori has been chosen. Did a quota system work there, too?

Solaiman Palash, Bangladesh