From the publishers of THE HINDU
Vol. 25 :: No. 07 :: Feb. 16 - 22, 2002
Sir, - With all my heart, I salute the off-spin magician Muttiah Muralitharan on his taking 400 wickets (the quickest to do so in just 72 Test matches). It has been a marvellous performance by the off-spinner who has always proved more than a handful for all the other nine Test playing countries. The magnificent Cover Story, "A mind-boggling strike-rate" (January 26) by S. Dinakar, illustrating Muralitharan's 10 glittering qualities, gave a superb insight into the off-spinner's cricket-life.
It's really amazing that Muralitharan in 72 Tests has captured 10 wickets or more in a Test 10 times and 5 wickets in an innings on 33 occasions. It is expected that he will easily cross 600 wickets if he maintains his current form. His fielding is also world class.
BIDYUT KUMAR CHATTERJEE,
Sri Lanka, ethnic conflict & Muralitharan
Sir, - One of your articles reproduced in the Sri Lanka Daily News of February 2, 2001 under the title, "Perspective - A unique performer" had this part... "In an island where ethnic conflict, involving Sinhala majority and Tamil minority, is endemic, Muralitharan part of the latter segment, has emerged as the icon of Sri Lankan nationalism..."
In Sri Lanka, there is no ETHNIC CONFLICT. What we have is TERRORISM.
The reception Muralitharan received in Galle, the capital of the Southern Province of Sri Lanka, which is predominantly a Sinhala Buddhist area, 175 miles away from his hometown, Kandy - another Sinhala Buddhist area - before and after he reached that milestone of 400 wickets, is ample testimony to that. When Murali faced that infamous controversy in Australia, his captain Arjuna Ranatunga (of the Sinhala majority) courageously defended him, risking his own future and rightly or wrongly violating rules of conduct in the game.
Those who talk about "Sri Lanka's Ethnic Conflict" should come and travel through the country and judge for themselves what we undergo without loosely using words which are coined by politicians, terrorists and internationally sponsored organisations.
I know this is not SPORTS but it is high time everybody knows the basics.
India's glaring weaknesses
Sir - The recent LG Cup One-Day series between England and India has shown up our weaknesses once more. We cannot satisfy ourselves that the result was 3-3 because in the series opener India was lucky to see the back of Marcus Trescothick owing to a dubious umpiring decision. Otherwise, England would have started with a tremendous psychological advantage.
England was the better team as can be realised by the fact that an established player like Andy Caddick was kept out in the first two or three matches. They chose the in-form bowlers from the Test series and they performed well.
On the other hand, India chose the likes of Sarandeep Singh, Zaheer Khan and Sanjay Bangar based on their performances in the Challenger Trophy, but hardly gave them a deserving chance.
To make matters worse, our batsmen, even after getting a good start, did not stay and finish the match on many occasions. As usual our bowlers do not bowl to the field and it is difficult to set a field for bad bowling.
If we do not build up "bench-strength" we cannot imagine getting past the league level in the World Cup next year.
V. S. GOPALARATHNAM,
A superb piece on left-handers
Sir, - The piece "David Gower's perspective on lefthanders" (The Sportstar, Jan. 19) was indeed a superb article. I thank you for this lovely item on left-handed batsmen, who were analysed by Gower. In my opinion, Clive Lloyd was the best among this lot. I would like to see special stories in The Sportstar of the great left-handers of the golden past.
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