LETTERS

Waugh left on a high note

Sir, — This letter is dedicated to one of the all time greats — Stephen Rodger Waugh. November 26th turned out to be a sad day for many of his fans. Though the announcement of his retirement came at the right time, many of us still feel that there is plenty of cricket left in him. But the great Aussie left the game on a high note.

Cricket has now lost a `Kohinoor.' His absence will be really felt by the Australian Test team. He was solid in the middle order and made many memorable match-winning knocks. Australia should now use him as a coach. He took his country to great heights, unimaginable for many skippers. It is not an easy task to win 16 Test matches in a row.

His records speak for him. He may not be as elegant as his twin brother, Mark Waugh, but he had his own style of making runs in plenty.

He was a wonderful team-man and supported his players to the hilt. Apart from cricket, he is well known for his charity. His contribution to Udayan foundation, in Kolkata speaks for his philanthropic nature.

Steve, Indian fans will miss you a lot when Australia tours our country next time.

Gurukripa Dhinakaran, Madurai Salute a true warrior!

Sir, — Here's a tribute to Steve Waugh who displayed remarkable resilience and unflappable temperament during his 18-year journey in international cricket:

The Kangaroo displayed exemplary grit and DETERMINATION

Every time his team was in a desperate SITUATION

His innings against South Africa in the 1999 World Cup was truly a SENSATION

Which proved that genius was 5% INSPIRATION and 95% PERSPIRATION

His main strength was his ability to play well within his LIMITATION(S)

And concentrate only on guiding his team to its DESTINATION

Together with brother Mark he forged a rare twin COMBINATION

That dethroned the Caribbeans and ended their long DOMINATION

As a captain he led his team-mates with maturity and IMAGINATION

And transformed them into a group of winners worthy of EMULATION

In cricket-crazy Australia where winning the Ashes is the biggest AMBITION

He was next only to The Don in terms of ADULATION

Thanks Steve, for making the impossible possible, ALWAYS!

R. Narayanan, Chennai
A great moment in cricket history

Sir, — It was a great moment in cricket history. Enter Steve Waugh for the last time in his Test career. Spectators and admirers, around 40000 in the SCG, stood up and gave him an ovation that not even his great predecessor Don Bradman would have received.

He walked through the thrilling crowds on the fringes of the ground and on to the pitch, but the picture on the TV quickly disappeared and a series of advertisements came on the small screen. Just one minute of Steve Waugh only. They had the Ads and in plenty. They could have held the Advts. for some time and showed Waugh walking to the crease and taking stance. The crowd's roar was electrifying.

On that day, who else deserved more coverage? We were told that the channel that brought the Test series live is Australian owned. But it is more Indianised and `Doordarshanised' these days. Ads. come up during an over! Don't forget entertainment is pure and simple. Are we perpetually fated to all these absurdities?

V. M. Balachandran, Calicut Youth and wicket-keeping

Sir, — When Sourav Ganguly, the India captain was asked about the shabby wicket-keeping of Parthiv Patel, the answer was, "He is only eighteen." What does our captain mean by that? If he is only 18, he should have been in the under-19 team, not in the national team tormenting our spin bowlers more than the opposing team's batsmen.

Our spinners have suffered a lot at the hands of mediocre wicket-keepers during the last three years. Kumble, Harbhajan and Kartik will vouch for that. This is after Nayan Mongia was dropped for unknown reasons. All these young `keepers put together will not make a Nayan Mongia. If age is the criterion, then Moin Khan and Rashid Latif should not have been playing for Pakistan.

Instead of pointing out the mistakes and being slightly critical, our team captain and some of the commentators shield our wicket-keeper, talking about his age. Team's success is secondary to them.

When our selectors are capable of dropping V. V. S. Laxman from our World Cup squad, they are capable of coming out with all kinds of surprises. Sending back batsman S. Ramesh and opting for players like Rohan Gavaskar are some of the glaring instances. Ramesh is a good fielder too.

It is always `form' that is more important than being young. Alec Stewart was not 18 when he played his last Test for his country.

Ravindran Cengalath, Shoranur