Indefatigable Leander

LEANDER PAES... who after him?-VIVEK BENDRE ?

The cover story by Vijay Parthasarathy on Leander Paes was quite a balanced effort. Even as he has rejoiced along with countless Indian tennis buffs like me over the Davis Cup hero making yet another statement of his never-say-die spirit, he has also painted a pragmatic picture of Indian men's tennis after Leander and Mahesh Bhupathi.

`Somebody would come along' were the reassuring words of Ramanathan Krishnan to the anxious query of Nirmal Shekar (my favourite writer) when the Vijay Amritraj saga in the Davis Cup arena was drawing to a close. That somebody happened to be our indefatigable Leander.

So who after him? That is a million dollar question confronting Indian men's tennis! (Has the rate gone up? That was the old rate anyway)

Suresh Manoharan, Hyderabad Sourav is the man

After watching the Mumbai Test and the ODIs against England, it is clear that our middle-order can be fortified by experience alone. And only one person is eligible for that spot and he is Sourav Ganguly.

The former Indian skipper has been successful in bringing aggressiveness to the team, but now it seems as if the BCCI has conveniently forgotten all that. Barring Sachin, most of the current players such as Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Mohammad Kaif and Irfan Pathan owe their place in the team to Sourav.

Perhaps even Dravid owes a lot to Sourav. Labelled as a Test batsman because of his slow scoring early in his career, it was Sourav who made Dravid keep wickets, thereby cementing his place in the Indian ODI team.

One hopes that lady luck will smile on Sourav and he will get back to the Indian team soon.

Anand Gopinath Nair, Tiruvananthapuram Good teamwork

I have been reading Sportstar since I was a kid. The April 15 issue of the magazine stands out for its excellent coverage of events. Yuvraj Singh is doing a wonderful job, which has reflected in the recent good performances of the Indian ODI team. India has been having a great run. It defeated Pakistan comprehensively. It also outplayed Sri Lanka and England.

Full marks to India for its excellent teamwork. With a good combination of youth and experience, I hope India will keep its flag fluttering in the years to come.

Kausik Majumdar, Kolkata Hussey the great

Mike Hussey is the find of the season indeed. The Australian has shown that age has nothing to do with class and form. His long years in the domestic circuit have provided him with valuable experience and have propelled him to success on the world stage. By playing on the bouncy surfaces of the WACA he has developed a sound technique. However, the real test for him would be playing on the subcontinent pitches where the ball keeps low and turns.

Santhosh George, Kottayam A glimpse of reality

Amrit Mathur's column `Big bucks, bad effects' was mind-boggling. The writer has hit the deck straight by bringing out the economics and history of Indian cricket, thereby taking all the readers to the realms of reality. He is right in saying that the giants of Indian cricket of the recent past have now become mere history. True, economics is obviously the prime concern of the BCCI.

P. Pradeep, Chennai All set for the big show Dear Reader,

The passion that World Cup football generates is quite unmatched. And as the quadrennial razzmatazz is scheduled to kick off in Germany on June 9, the excitement is almost palpable.

As in the past, Sportstar will join in the excitement, offering you an extensive coverage of the month-long mega event.

More importantly, we will bring you an assortment of lead-up features, spread over five Special Sections, beginning issue dated May 6, that will be as entertaining as the World Cup itself. A throwback to the past; a historical package of some interesting aspects of the World Cups such as the 10 great matches, 10 great goals etc., profiles of legends and weekly updates pertaining to the coming event are some of the salient features of the Special Sections. All these leading up to the Bumper Issue dated June 10, which would be a sumptuous treat for you.

So, brace up for the Special Sections commencing next week.