From the publishers of THE HINDU

On the Mark

Sir, - The Australian cricketer Mark Waugh, one of the most gifted stroke-makers in the world, announced his retirement from International cricket after he was ignored for Australia's Test series against England. Mark Waugh quit at the right time when he had no chances of coming back. That he made 107 consecutive Test appearances speaks of his fitness. When he was informed about his omission, he was bit emotional but quickly recovered and thought he had a wonderful Test career. Well done Mark, for declaring at the right time. Of course, it is difficult but one has to accept reality and that is expected from a high level sportsman like you.

SHIRISH J. BUCH, RAJKOT A crucial tour

Sir, - The West Indians showed that India needs to do lot of work in its bowling department to be a serious contender for the World Cup. So the New Zealand tour becomes that much more important. With Srinath being rested and Nehra looking totally out of sorts one feels that Zaheer Khan might be exhausted by the end of the tour.

Another shocker is that Jaffer despite his good performance in domestic cricket loses out to S. S. Das. One fails to understand the logic of having two 'keepers in the squad of 16 when we are playing only two Tests and some practice matches. The burden of 'keeping will go to Dravid in the one-dayers. One hopes our performance in New Zealand does not provide any shockers to our hardcore cricket fans.

SUNIL NAMBIAR, MUMBAI Inspiring

Sir, - Reading Zaheer Khan's interview was something really inspiring (The Sportstar, Nov. 2). Here is a small town boy, who, unlike Tendulkar and Ganguly, started late in life, due to lack of professional guidance and exposure. Yet, through his head work, determination and self confidence, has today become a national hero! I was pleasantly surprised on discovering that he had not played with a cricket ball till 17 years of age! Hats off to him and also to his family who have always been so supportive to him. Zaheer Khan is truly a source of inspiration and motivation for millions of his admirers like me.

MUKESH MOHAN SINHA, NAVI MUMBAI Sachin as opener

Sir, - It will be a great joy for the Indian cricket fans to see Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag opening the innings for India, especially in the World Cup. I hope that they will open the innings for India.

SINCLAIR ROBERT, CHENNAI Heartening

Sir, - The Viswanathan Anand interview (The Sportstar, November 9 issue) is pretty invigorating and exhilarating. It is surely heartening to hear of Anand's immediate goal of breaking 2800 plus ELO rating in smart tune of "hunger for more success" in the near future. As "perfection" in any game or art is an elusive concept, one should be always on the toes - agile and kicking - as our Anand wisely dwells and contemplates on philosophical charm and grace!

RANJI PHILIP STEPHEN, KOZHIKODE Promote other sports

Sir, - I am a sports fan. I like The Sportstar very much. I always read it but I have some regrets. You are devoting more to cricket. Half the magazine is filled with cricket coverage and very less is given to other games. I appeal that our National game (hockey) be promoted by you so also other sports.

S. S. BEHERA, BHUBANESWAR, ORISSA