LETTERS

Superb coverage

Sir, — After an excellent reporting of the Euro 2004 football championship, the Olympics Bumper issue once again proved that The Sportstar is the leading sports magazine in India. The issue was well-timed for the readers to know about the past history of the game, the present stars and about the Indian chances. It shows how hard The Sportstar team is working for sportslovers like us. I take this opportunity to congratulate The Sportstar team for bringing out an excellent issue.

Rajarshi Ghosh Kolkata Quizzing time

Sir, — I am a reader of your magazine and it is nice to see the coverage of different sports and good features. The Quiz Corner section by V. V. Ramanan is very interesting and I hope it is published regularly.

Dipankar Koushik, Guwahati Lively and interesting

Sir, — Your write up on tennis stars (Fire and Ice, in the July 24 issue) of the past and the present was lively and interesting. Failing to find a place in the article was `the unsmiling professor of Tennis' Ivan Lendl who symbolised concentration and consistency during his peak time and won all other titles except Wimbledon. In the same vein our Krishnans also do not find even a mention.

K.V. Narayanan, Chennai An icon

Sir, — Lance Armstrong's sixth straight win in the Tour de France, arguably the most toughest and physically demanding event in any sports, puts him right up in the league of icons such as Sir Don Bradman, Pele and Muhammad Ali. The fact that just a couple of years before winning the first of these six titles he was diagnosed with life-threatening cancer makes his achievement even bigger. His fighting abilities should be an inspiration to one and all.

Ravi Ranjan Patna Lost opportunity

Sir, — For India, the story at this year's Asia Cup in Sri Lanka has been one of lost opportunities. After tasting some success in Australia and then in Pakistan, this was a golden opportunity to beat the Lankans on their home soil. This would have also erased the tag of chokers against their name.

It also highlighted the fact that the Australian team is miles ahead of the Indian team in every aspect of the game. India has a lot of catching up to do if it has to be the best cricketing nation in the world. The Aussies can adapt quickly to any condition and have the ability to win matches whether they bat or field first. Indians are poor chasers, something, which cost them their matches against Pakistan and Sri Lanka in this Asia Cup. Further, the Australians also have a consistent winning-record in `Cup finals'.

So, it is high time for the Indian think-tank to rework their strategies. The selectors should also re-assess the inclusion of players such as V. V. S. Laxman, Zaheer Khan, Parthiv Patel and Mohammed Kaif in the one-day squad.

Laxman and Zaheer are always injury-prone, while Parthiv Patel is nothing but an excess baggage as he hardly ever gets to play any matches. He is also not suited to the shorter version of the game. Kaif's contribution in the last 15 matches with the bat has been negligible to say the least. Further, he cannot bowl and fielding skills alone should not guarantee a place for him in the team.

Soyuz Chandra Sivasagar, Assam Publish more photographs

Sir, — The July 31 issue of The Sportstar was good. It could have been better, if you carried the match-by-match review of the Asia Cup's first phase. It was a bit disappointing to see an overall summary of the first six matches. In the last few issues, the cover personality pages and posters were excellent. It's nice to see Sachin Tendulkar's poster after a long time but it could have been more attractive, had it been his batting action. After the India-Pak. series there is no photo feature on cricket, and also in the last few months, there were not enough action photos in match reviews. Please publish more photographs.

Chandini Sreekumar Kozhikode Is the BCCI listening?

Sir, — It is true that one-day cricket has increased the popularity and mass appeal of the game. But lovers of this great game shall consider the Test matches as the real thing!

England and Australia find a nice balance between the Test matches and one-day internationals played every year. But the Indian Board, ever interested in boosting its finances, prefers to stage more and more one-day matches!

Statistics show that since January 2003 England has played 21 Tests and Australia 19. But India has played just nine Tests in this period, which is among the lowest. One feels India should play more Tests.

K. A. S. Namboodiripad Thrissur