Lure of lucre

RAGUL DRAVID... a great batsman and a team man.-

Full marks to S. Ram Mahesh for a rare Cover Story (Sportstar, Oct. 14) dwelling for once not on any event in the world of sports but on the current monetary `climate' prevalent therein, with its potential to make or mar the pristine image of sport. As long as the lure of lucre does not in any way diminish the pursuit of sporting excellence of the `superstar' athlete concerned, there is nothing to fear. For instance, endorsement contracts have not come in the way of a clear-eyed Tiger or a Sachin sweating `buckets' in their constant endeavour to improve.

However, alarm bells ought to ring when callous authorities stretch the athletes beyond the limits with their insensitive scheduling of events, keeping an eye only on TV revenue. That would be the case of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs!.

With several governing bodies of prominent sports raking in the `moolah' without any measure or limit, thanks to the burgeoning influence of TV, let us not begrudge the athletes with limited shelf life getting their `pound of flesh'.

Suresh Manoharan, Hyderabad Money-spinners

This is with reference to the list of the rich and the famous sportspersons in the Cover Story (Sportstar, Oct. 14), who earn millions of dollars in endorsements. While all the sportspersons listed therein rightly deserve the fame and money, most of our Indian players are flooded with endorsements just for winning one or two games. Once that is done, their performance on the field nosedives.

In the Indian cricket team, barring Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, none of the others deserve the kind endorsement offered to them by the MNCs.

N. Viswanathan, Chennai We need foreign coaches

I have been noticing for sometime that our great cricketers, Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev, have been against the concept of foreign coaches. Imran Khan also was not too keen on Bob Woolmer coaching Pakistan and did not give him much credit. One wonders why. Perhaps they feel that foreign coaches may not be able to get down to the "ground level" as far as the sub-continent is concerned.

Frankly, I feel that having a foreign coach can be an advantage. In the sub-continent there is far too much politics in sport for its own good. So, with a foreign coach there would be no bias whatsoever. As long as the coach is knowledgeable (Chappell and Wright have all the credentials) it helps. I feel there must be some experienced overseas imports to help improve sports in India.

P. Nair, Hyderabad Dravid will hit back

Rahul Dravid is undoubtedly one of the most technically sound batsmen in the world today. He has always been a team man. When Sourav Ganguly wanted an extra batsman in the team, Dravid was ready to don the 'keepers gloves. Later, after the Ganguly issue, when Dravid was made captain, he responded wonderfully. However, any team or cricketer is bound to have a bad run and the Indian team is currently going through such a phase. But, as Rohit Brijnath rightly points out, Dravid is his own man. He can be aggressive in his own way. He will certainly push Chappell back, get back to the middle order, help players such as Virender Sehwag and Irfan Pathan regain form and put India on the victory path.

Siddhartha Nambiar, Karaikal Scrap it

This is with reference to the article `The dry run before the World Cup' (Sportstar, Oct. 7). The Champions Trophy is into its fifth edition and considering the fact that all the teams are taking part in the tournament, it is nothing less than a mini World Cup. But the tournament has failed to generate the kind of interest that the World Cup has mainly due to the fact that none of the big guns of the game like Australia has ever won the tournament. The ICC too is not very interested in the tournament and it is seen as a failed brainchild of Jagmohan Dalmiya. Therefore, it would be appropriate to scrap the tournament altogether and focus on the real World Cup.

Ajay Sethia, Coonoor