Crimes of passion

Sir, — This is regarding the behaviour of the Kolkata crowd during the recently concluded India-South Africa series. By booing the Indian team and especially, Rahul Dravid, the crowd has shown a misplaced passion for its heroes and for the game.

The anti-social elements in the crowd have denigrated the game of cricket The people who support cricket should realise that Ganguly or any other player is not bigger than the game. Besides, the form Ganguly has shown over the last two years leaves some valid grounds for dropping him. Furthermore, the behaviour becomes even harder to condone when you compare it with the good behaviour shown by the Chennai crowd after Pakistan won a Test match there in 1999.

The crowds at Eden have to learn from that and understand that passion is all very fine so long as it doesn't give rise to the kind of untoward incidents that were witnessed recently. It is my humble opinion that firm steps should be taken to ensure that a few bad apples are not allowed to sully the name of this great venue and game.

T. R. Radhakrishnan, Hyderabad Heights of achievement

Sir, — It was phenomenal achievement by The Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar to surpass Sunil Gavaskar's record of 34 Test hundreds and become the top century maker in world. So relieved did Sachin seem on completing the monumental century that he punched his fists in the air even before completing the 100th run and looked towards the sky thanking his late father who was his inspiration.

It was a long time coming. This century came after a year's wait and against the great Murali's magic. Sachin has now reached a stage in his career where he should settle down and enjoy the game. Hopefully, his cup of joy will runneth over if he performs his best and leads India to victory in the 2007 World Cup.

D. Giridhar, Chennai Bitter about hockey

Sir, — Indian hockey buffs have endured several `false dawns' in the past two decades hoping the sport would regain its `past glory'. The recent Champions Trophy was yet another `bitter pill' that hockey fans at home had to swallow. Even in this capricious world of sport, there seem to be a few constants — albeit the negative kind. Hungarian football will never recapture the `magic' of the peerless `Magyars of the 1950s'.

The glory days of West Indian cricket may well have gone away forever. And the same seems to be the case with Indian hockey. From the looks of it, we might as well be waiting for the Godot! (That will never come.) Fact is, unless Indian hockey adopts the Australian method of synthesising the Asian artistry with the European systemisation, which the South Koreans have done successfully to some extent, it would be a case of `a night without end' for the die-hard, countless Indian hockey buffs like me.

Suresh Manoharan, Hyderabad Sahara's support

Sir, — The Sahara group has been the sponsor of Team India over the years and it is encouraging to know that they have kept their faith in the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) even after its widely publicised internal problems regarding election, distribution of television rights, team selection and the `Coach-Captain' controversy. There have even been problems regarding the display of its brand name on the Team India jersey and on other cricketing gear at various International Cricket Council tournaments.

Their faith in Indian cricket epitomises the passionate love for the game the Indians have. Sahara has also been the sponsor of the Indian hockey team. Their patronage of Indian sports is truly praiseworthy.

Arjun Chaudhuri, Kolkatta