Federer, Warne take the spotlight

Congratulations to Roger Federer for his fantastic performance this year. Shane Warne too should be warmly applauded, for no bowler has caught the attention of the cricket fraternity as he has done in his career.

A. R. Nanjundeswaran, Madurai Focus on the present

This is with reference to Ted Corbett's piece on Australia's series clinching victory in the third Ashes Test (Sportstar, Dec. 23, 2006). While admitting Corbett's view that Australia would not be the same team after the retirement of its top players, I feel the article over-stressed this point. Here is the Australian side, criticised by the English media after the narrow Ashes defeat last year, reinforcing its claim as one of the greatest sides cricket has seen.

Corbett should have focussed on the magnificent performance by the Australians, rather than trying to predict the future of the team. After all Corbett had predicted after the Ashes series last year that the English team was heading for world domination.

Vivin J Gheevarghese, Kottayam Good number

The year-end edition is excellent. You have taken care of all the major sports during 2006.

Definitely the continued reign of Roger Federer in tennis and the Aussies' domination in cricket are the memorable happenings in sports in 2006.

Though India's performance in ODIs was dismal in 2006, there is a marked improvement in the Test matches. The series win in the West Indies after 35 years and the Test win at Johannesburg are laudable.

Our shooters, billiards stars and chess players did India proud in the Asian Games in Doha. It was a miserable failure for the Indian hockey team. Another sad episode was the Mahesh Bhupathi-Leander Paes off-court incident. This could have been avoided.

N. Mahadevan, Chennai Good show, Sreesanth

This is with reference to your article `A bowler with heart and skill.' (Sportstar, Dec. 23, 2006).

Sreesanth is going great guns, no doubt. His performance has improved a lot. At the same time he should control his emotions. I hope he will be a more mature player in the future.

Varijakshan Edakkazhiyoor, Thenhipalam, Kerala

Fleming could have intervened

This is with reference to the article "Stretching its spirit to the limit" by Tony Cozier (Sportstar, Dec. 23, 2006, about Muttiah Muralitharan's run out incident in the Christchurch Test).

The captain plays a key role in these kinds of appeals. Though it was right according to the laws of the game, it was definitely against its spirit.

Fleming might have thought that if the last wicket partnership held on, it would have denied New Zealand victory.

Just imagine what would have happened if Gundappa Viswanath had thought like that during the Golden Jubilee Test in Bombay, before calling back Bob Taylor to resume his innings.

England then was 143 for five, Taylor having joined Ian Botham at 58 for five.

Premkumar Kani, Chennai