A trend-setter

Sir, — By winning the WTA title in Hyderabad our own Sania Mirza has made history. The first Indian woman to clinch the coveted title proved that she has ample talent and burning passion to play in the big league. This title winning performance will certainly open up new vistas for her. Hope she maintains her fitness and performs well in the forthcoming French Open.

JYOTIRANJAN BISWAL, DURGAPUR P.O. Great success

Sir, — The PHL championship was a grand success. Indian Hockey Federation deserves congratulations on this score. Unlike the other national leagues this became a success in its very first year. The Hyderabad Sultans deservingly emerged champions. Congrats to Dilip Tirkey and his team-mates. The team played every match like a champion. Of course Sohail Abbas did the star turn for his team. He deserves a pat for scoring two hat-tricks. The next step should be for India to play hockey tests regularly against Pakistan, Malaysia and South Korea to keep the Asian spirit alive.

SAILEN BASU, NEW DELHI Re-emergence of Brett Lee

Sir, — The recent VB series saw the re-emergence of Aussie speedster Brett Lee who gave a sustained exhibition of fast bowling. With a good haul, mostly getting rid of the top order batsmen, he earned the Man of the Series award. It was truly an amazing display of pace bowling by Lee when he ripped through the West Indies at Adelaide and then Pakistan in the first final. His flawless and rhythmic bowling at such speed confirms that he is the only genuine pace bowler around who can bowl long spells with minimum effort. No wonder he enjoys the best strike rate in the one-day version of the game with a wicket for every 28 balls against 34 balls for a wicket by Glenn McGrath. World cricket is fortunate to witness one of the greatest genuine fast bowlers of all time, and that too when there is a dearth for quickies. His never say die attitude has paid him rich dividends.

ASMIT SHARMA, PATNA Illegal action rule

Sir, — The ICC's new ruling to deal with bowlers with illegal actions will bring radical changes to the game. The ICC Chief Executives' Committee (CEC) approved proposals by a panel of former international cricketers, chaired by Sunil Gavaskar to overhaul the current system. The following are the key elements of the regulations: An acceptance that the focus of the law concerning illegal actions is that it seeks to deal with the extension of the arm that is visible to the naked eye. Strengthening of the initiatives to deal with the issue at the international and regional under-19 level. All bowlers will be permitted to straighten their bowling arm up to 15 degrees which has been established as the point at which any straightening will become visible to the naked eye. The introduction of a shorter, independent review process under the central control of the ICC with immediate suspensions for bowlers found to have illegal actions.

V. BALAMURUGAN, CHENNAI Seek more opinions

Sir, — Former cricket stalwarts rendered their opinions on the ICC rule in your issue dated Feb. 19. But to draw more meaningful conclusions, it would be prudent to call for opinions from eminent Test players, who are still active as also from the fraternity of umpires, especially the likes of S. Venkataraghavan. It would appear the intrusion of technology and its continuous upgradation is bound to reduce the charm of the game and in due course of time, there would be no need for human umpires to control the game on the field.

T. V. GIRISH, BANGALORE