From the publishers of THE HINDU

Published : Sep 08, 2001 00:00 IST

A surprise

Sir, - India's withdrawal from the Asian Test Championship (ATC) at the last minute came as a surprise and shock to cricket lovers. To withdraw at the 11th hour after having given one's consent is not proper. Of course, it is the decision of the Government not to play in the ATC, but then this decision will not help the Government to settle the dispute at the political level with Pakistan.

The best way is to settle the dispute at the political level only. The ongoing conflict with Pakistan should not come in the way of holding/participating in sporting events. Cricketers are the ambassadors of their country. If they play together with a sporting zeal it will help reduce tension and bring both the countries closer. By not playing, we will only add to the problem.

I personally believe that India should have participated in the ATC. Otherwise we should have intimated earlier. The last minute withdrawal does not seem proper.

SHIRISH J. BUCH, RAJKOTHe was fearsome

Sir, - Thank you for the tribute on Roy Gilchrist in the issue dated August 18. Gilchrist, who died on July 18, was quite a character. He partnered Hall for the West Indies in the few Tests that he played for his country. He bowled at top speed and enjoyed head-hunting. But if the batsmen gave him the charge he couldn't control his temper, and it was his short fuse which shortened his career.

I also liked the article on Tour de France and the accompanying factfile which was refreshing.


Sir, - The top class operator Glenn McGrath joined the 350 club. He equalled the tally of 355 wickets by Dennis Lillee in Test cricket in the final Test of the Ashes series. The irrepressible McGrath had a magnificent series. And the two great bowlers, Warne and McGrath, took the majority of wickets. Not only on helpful pitches, but on good batting wickets as well. They were accurate and incisive.

McGrath truly produced some memorable spells, particularly on the last day of the final Test when he bowled two stunning deliveries in one over. The ball that got Trescothick was a vicious one. If McGrath continues in the same vein many more records will tumble and this superb campaigner is likely to tower over other cricketing giants.


Sir, - The feature on those two versatile off-spinners, Muttiah Muralitharan and Harbhajan Singh, was worth reading (issue dated August 25). I was particularly impressed by the write-up on Harbhajan Singh. It was excellent and highly informative.

The wonder boy from Punjab is certainly the best thing that has happened to Indian cricket in a long time. Though recently India fared badly, the performance of Harbhajan was heart-warming.

He has also filled the void created by Anil Kumble's absence. Above all, the tremendous success achieved by him at a young age is indeed amazing and speaks of his talent. Here's wishing Harbhajan Singh the best of luck in the years to come. The Sportstar also deserves hearty congratulations for such a nice feature.


Sir, - What Don Bradman is to Australia, Sunny is to India. Bradman's views, in selecting a dream team, were biased and based on his own personal parameters. If a best World XI is to be selected, I am sure that other readers will endorse my views that it cannot be without the two greatest batsmen of all time - Sunil Gavaskar and West Indian Vivian Richards.

A few of the dozen from Bradman's Dream Team have played very little at the international level for one to judge their consistency and supremacy. Thirty four Test centuries and 10,000-plus runs in 121 Test matches will surely rank Sunil Gavaskar as the best opener the world has seen. Some of his greatest innings were both aggressive and classic. The legend that Sunil is, the Little Master certainly deserves his place in any World XI or Dream Team.

SUBAS SAPRE, BARODAThey are equals

Sir, - 'A Tale of two Legends' by Nirmal Shekar (issue dated August 25) was fascinating. Career factfiles of Agassi and Sampras show that Pete had won more titles than Andre. Yes, of course, Sampras is the greatest champion in terms of number of Grand Slam titles, but Agassi has won all the four Grand Slams. Agassi and Sampras are equal in terms of quality.


Sir, - This letter is with reference to Ted Corbett's article 'The Cowdrey Night' (issue dated August 4) where the author claims that Hansie Cronje's return to the game with a coaching status will only help youngsters throw more matches. I completely differ with Corbett, for Hansie was an extremely talented cricketer with a good captaincy acumen. He will certainly help South African cricketers move in the right direction with his experience which has seen both the good and evils of cricket.

After all, cricket is a gentleman's game and a true gentleman does forgive a person for admitting his sins.


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