From the publishers of THE HINDU

Shane Warne's feat

Sir, - In the recent Durban Test, Shane Warne of Australia reached a personal landmark which, strangely, seems to have escaped the notice of many.

The wicket of Neil McKenzie in South Africa's second innings was Warne's 100th Test wicket against South Africa.

He thus became only the fourth bowler in the history of Test cricket to take 100 plus wickets against two countries (having already taken over hundred wickets against England). He now joins Lance Gibbs, Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh (all of West Indies) who have taken 100 or more wickets against two countries (England and Australia).


Sir, - Nayan Mongia is still the best 'keeper in the country. Why then did the selectors ignore him. I'm not arguing against the selection of Ratra for the West Indies tour, for he is showing a lot of promise behind the wickets. But it is the selection of Deep Dasgupta that is baffling.

The selectors should not forget that wicket-keeping is a specialist's job. If they can show foresight in selecting a couple of specialised openers in Jaffer and S. S. Das, then why don't they apply the same policy when it comes to the selection of a 'keeper?

Deep Dasgupta is projected as 'someone improving', but at what cost? A dropped catch or a missed stumping can cost us a match, and already India's overseas record is dismal.

If he is 'someone who is improving' then he should have been the keeper of the 'A' team; now that the 'A' tours have been revived. At the senior level you have to be perfect in selection.

We may or may not find an Adam Gilchrist or Andy Flower, so we must make the best of the available talent.

Batting should be complementary to the 'keeping skills and not vice-versa. And if it is the attitude of Mongia which denies him a place in the team, then the public should know what indifference the selectors have seen in Mongia.

Everyone knows how the talented Robin Singh was wasted. Let's hope that the selectors do not ruin the career of the best 'keeper we have.


Sir, - India's success in the recent one-day series against Zimbabwe should be used as a foundation to build upon for the coming World Cup in South Africa.

Although, a victory against a weak team like Zimbabwe should not excite us much, the fact that it was achieved in the absence of some star players like Tendulkar, Sehwag and Srinath really makes this triumph special and inspiring.

Further, the way in which India fought back to clinch the five match series after trailing 1-2 was certainly creditable.

However, the highlight of the Indian conquest was the performance of its young brigade, which grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

The contributions of Yuveraj Singh, Dinesh Mongia and Mohd. Kaif in batting and that of Harbhajan Singh, Agarkar and Zaheer Khan in bowling were significant. Besides, all the youngsters are good fielders and quick runners between the wickets.


Sir, - I am surprised and disappointed with the review of the Royal Challenge Indian Open Golf Tournament (The Sportstar, April 6). The writer has unfairly focussed on certain issues regarding the tournament organisation and on "those co-ordinating media matters." I would like to clarify.

1. The entry lists supplied in the media guide were printed and distributed at the Player Press Conference, three days before the start of the tournament, as is the normal practice. The withdrawals of Mukesh Kumar and Prayad Marksaeng were not finalised until the evening of the tournament. Last minute withdrawals are a part of the professional sport. As soon as the final entry list was officially available, on March 13 evening, the official draw sheets (with full player list) were available in the media centre, as well as in other parts of the Delhi Golf Club. Daily draw sheets were updated everyday after that.

2. Though the scoreboard had some initial problems (beyond our control) on the first two days, these were rectified. On the final two days, the scoreboard was perfect. Arguably, the Dynamic Leader board, which operated on the final two days, was certainly the most high-quality and accurate scoreboard ever seen at an Indian golf tournament.

3. IMG had specially employed one golf scoring professional, who was responsible for the scoring. The scores were updated by him on a real-time basis (co-ordinated with APGA), and the official final hole-by-hole scores were distributed in the media centre within 20 minutes after the last group finished each round.

Your writer further goes to imply that IMG did not facilitate player chats or provide player profiles, and that a Mr. Joy Chakravarty from Tiger Sports Maketing lent a helping hand. I would like to inform you that every player chat that was requested through the media manager was facilitated and every player profile requested (that was not already included in the media guide) was immediately supplied in the media centre.