The great entertainer


Sir, — Shahid Afridi, with his colourful strokeplay and huge sixes, is a classy entertainer (Cover Story, June 11). He destroys the bowlers without mercy and when he sizzles, the opposition challenge fizzles out. Afridi is a great team man whether smashing the ball out of the arena or bowling his variety of leg spin. He is an intelligent bowler and his batting strike rate of 108.04 is far ahead than that of other explosive batsmen such as Virender Sehwag and Adam Gilchrist. Every captain would love to have a cricketer like Afridi in his team.

D. Giridhar, Chennai Lara, Chappell and the selectors

Sir, — It is unfortunate that Brian Lara of the West Indies was dropped from the One-day matches against Pakistan. Had he been included, Pakistan would not have won the series. Lara, who recently scored his 30th Test hundred against Pakistan, is in devastating form. He has notched four hundreds in his last five matches. He is just four hundreds away to level the highest number of Test hundreds (34) scored by India's Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar, who because of his fitness problems may struggle to overtake Gavaskar and become the single owner of the record. Lara, though, is still young, and has no fitness problem whatsoever. If he continues in the present form, he can soon surpass Tendulkar's Test record for the most number of centuries. Then, nobody would dispute his title as the world's greatest batsman — he is also the holder of the record of most runs in a Test innings (400 not out) and has scored 500 runs in an innings in a county match.

Meanwhile, one hopes that new Indian coach Greg Chappell, known for his plain speaking, does not face his predecessor John Wright's fate of sitting in the selection committee meetings without a vote in the company of some incompetent selectors and being made to sign on a piece of paper. There is no denying that a coach is the best person to assess the requirements of the team and the players who fit into it. It is therefore obvious that denial of the vote is an affront to the coach. It is high time that the BCCI gave voting rights to the coach in selection meetings and reconstituted the selection committee with former cricketers who have played in at least 30 Tests.

K. P. Ramesh Bhose, Kannur, Kerala