Quite disappointing

Sir, — I visited the Karnail Singh Stadium in New Delhi to watch the first day's play in the Irani Trophy match between Ranji champion Railways and Rest of India. It is supposed to be the premier match in India's domestic circuit in terms of quality and entertainment. I hoped to enjoy some all-round cricket and have a nice time there. I was, instead, bored by the utter lack of excitement that pervaded the ground.

Furthermore, the figures on the small scoreboard on the other side of the ground were hardly legible. There were no announcements and the few spectators present were left guessing as to who the new batsman or the new bowler was.

There were no food kiosks and no music. Worse, despite the Indian players not being occupied with any international matches, none of them bothered to participate in this supposedly important game.

Compare this to the facilities in England where each ground has an electronic scoreboard with a large screen for replays, announcements to keep the spectators fully aware of the proceedings, coloured clothing, music, entertainment and food kiosks to enhance the picnic atmosphere.

It's no surprise that domestic cricket is dying a slow death in India.

The interest for the game is taken for granted and there is no professionalism in any of the Board's activities. Forget domestic cricket, even telecast rights for international matches are not finalised on a long-term basis. It is all fine to say that cricket is a religion in India, but if this state of affairs continues, surely, that could change. Very soon.

Rajeev Mark Singh, New Delhi Boxing has no place

Sir, — Rohit Brijnath's fantastic balancing act, on the pros & cons of continuing boxing as a sport notwithstanding, it has to be said that it has no place in modern sport. Whatever be the benefits, the cost (a boxer's life) is too high to be staked. If we advocate its continuation, despite the increasing number of ring deaths, in what way are we better than the people of the Roman era who would flock the coliseums to see the mortal, gory combat of the gladiators?

Suresh Manoharan, Hyderabad Seeking cheap publicity

Sir, — Apropos your Perspective "Indian Football and its ways," (Sept. 29), I am of the opinion that Indian footballers, like Indian cricketers, are after cheap publicity. Even after years of the National Football League (NFL) neither have they learnt to successfully defend against foreign forwards nor have the forwards improved much by way of scoring ability. They don't seem to be taking the game seriously to come anywhere close to cultivating the winning habit. Moreover, Sukhi being an Indian is not a hard taskmaster like Greg Chappell. (At least, from Chappell's approach the BCCI and the cricketers will understand why the Australian cricket team wins so often).

If Sukhi is to rid Indian football of its chalta hai attitude, he'll have to purge the players and the AIFF of a lot of maladies. And that is a very tall order.

A. G. Kanetkar, Mumbai