The things parents do

I am not at all surprised at the contents of the article written by Makarand Waingankar under the heading, `Parents Syndrome,' about the role the parents are playing in the selection of junior State teams. I would like to add here that the parents are not only `playing' on the selectors, they also do the same with the officials of the associations.

In the Hyderabad teams that take part in the junior tournaments, five players and the manager are changed after every two games. This is irrespective of the tournament being played at home or away. The five players who are sent back are not necessarily those who have performed badly in the two games. Most of them are from the reserves.

Now, is it fair to send back players without giving them an opportunity to prove themselves? The five replacements are again kept in the reserves, maybe one or two will figure in the playing XI. The managers are invariably those persons who are the secretaries of the affiliated clubs and have votes in their hands. To keep these secretaries happy, they are sent as managers. It is a sort of a paid holiday for them.

The parents take care of the officials to ensure that their wards make the trip and they also take care of the coaches to see that they figure in the playing XI. The coaches are also pressurised by the officials to include certain players in the playing XI, irrespective of merit. The poor coaches succumb to these pressures. Otherwise, they would be thrown out the following year or even midway.

This is what is happening at the grassroots. Despite these goings-on, we expect genuine talent to come up and the Indian team to perform well.

P. R. Man Singh, Hyderabad Resurgent England

The Cover Story, `Of England and its renewed belief,' (Sportstar, Feb. 17) has nicely illustrated the resurgence of England after the Ashes whitewash. Paul Collingwood's remarkable onslaught led England to victory against Australia in the finals of the tri-series. The absence of the genuine all-rounder Andrew Symonds really hurt Australia.

The Kiwis have also overwhelmed the Aussies and lifted the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy. This leads to the belief that the World Cup is wide open. The players to watch in the World Cup will be Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara, Collingwood, Sourav Ganguly and Kumar Sangakarra.

After the loss in the second one-dayer, India's series victory over Sri Lanka is a morale booster for its World Cup campaign.

Mumbai's title triumph in the Ranji Trophy augurs well for Indian cricket as the team has provided world-class players to the Indian side.

B. Kapoor, Jalandhar The Rajkot story

I refer to Vijay Parthasarathy's article, "Lanka wins a cliff-hanger"(Sportstar, Feb. 17). There is absolutely no doubt that Sri Lanka's five-run victory at Rajkot was very thrilling. Firstly, having bowled out four of their top batsmen for 58, our shoddy fielding and wayward bowling enabled them to reach a total of 257.

However, our batsmen made heavy weather of this achievable total. In fact, we were coasting along at 129 for two and then 235 for six . But, as usual, we threw away our chances.

N. Viswanathan, Chennai