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To each his own

Sir ' Three bandhs have been called by three political formations in the space of about a fortnight. The SUCI had called one on November 17, the CPI (M-L) has one on November 22 and the Trinamool Congress will hold its bandh on December 3. All the three parties have ostensibly the same reason for calling a bandh' the oil price hike. So why did they not call a bandh on a single day' This would have saved many man hours, the loss of which means a loss of revenues for the Central and state governments. The government will either collect this deficit in extra taxes on us or some development work will be curtailed or stopped. In a democratic country, citizens should have the right to express grievances but not in the manner political parties do it.

Yours faithfully,
R. Chrestien, Calcutta


Harsh cut

Sir ' As the captain of the Indian cricket team, Sourav Ganguly has been penalized for the poor over rate in the Platinum Jubilee Cup face-off with Pakistan on November13. The match was prolonged because of the dew, which is very natural in a day-and-night match played around this time of the year. Besides, Salman Butt's cramps and Rahul Dravid's injury too halted play on a few occasions. Under the circumstances, I think the decision taken by the match referee, Clive Lloyd, to penalize Ganguly was very harsh. Of course, Lloyd has every right to penalize the captain if his side flouts International Cricket Council regulations. But laws always cannot be the last word. A poor over rate cannot be condoned, but the circumstances should also be taken into account.

Yours faithfully,
Sujit Kumar Sen Gupta, Manirampur


Sir ' The main point in Sourav Ganguly's defence is the 23 wides conceded by India ' partly the result of dew and partly the bowlers' mistake. The ICC provides for a contingency of two overs, and Ganguly was punished because five overs were bowled short by India. Thus, in effect, it is only 3 (5-2) overs that are a problem. But the 23 wides (4 overs) conceded more or less cover these 3 overs. Also, there cannot be two punishments for the same mistake. By giving away 23 wides, the Indians handed over 23 runs to Pakistan ' which made a big difference. Thus, the time taken for these 23 deliveries must be considered while calculating the time lost.

India-Pakistan matches are always tense and both teams need a little extra time to formulate strategy on the field. They also provide the excitement that fetches the ICC a lot of revenues. Hence, the ICC must also show some flexibility over rules.

Yours faithfully,
Govind Das Dujari, Calcutta


Sir ' The two-match ban on Sourav Ganguly is extremely unjust. It seems that if it is not West Indian umpires then it is West Indian match referees who deliberately get under the skin of Indians. Clive Lloyd's decision reeks of prejudice against the sub-continent. The Indian board should take up this issue just as the Sri Lankan board took up the controversy over M. Muralidharan's 'doosra'.

Yours faithfully,
Subho Chakraborty, Bhuvaneshwar


Sir ' The Indian cricket establishment took a few hours too long to file the claim against Sourav Ganguly's two-match ban. The claim should have been made within 24 hours of Clive Lloyd's decision being announced.

Yours faithfully,
T.R. Anand, Calcutta


Sir ' Clive Lloyd has said that he penalized Sourav Ganguly because he had to go strictly by the rule book where, he feels, there is no scope for leniency. Is it so' Many aspects of cricket are judged purely on the basis of the knowledge and opinion of the times. For example, lbws and wides. Also, has Lloyd accounted for the ground conditions and the weather' When India batted, the conditions for the fielders were much better. Fielding, running between wickets, bowling were easier. During the Pakistan innings, the ground conditions for the fielding side were more difficult. Of course, one may argue that India won the toss and chose to bat, and hence cannot complain about the conditions. In this context, it will be interesting to know how long the Pakistan innings lasted and if extra time for up to 3 overs was taken. In that case, those overs should be deducted from India's three overs short and the remainder would be within permissible limits.

Yours faithfully,
K.B. Goswami, Calcutta


Sir ' Sourav Ganguly is not the only captain to be guilty of showing dissent over an umpire's decision, excessive appealing or a slow over rate. But while others get away scotfree or are served a token fine or are warned, Ganguly repeatedly finds himself being brutally punished by the ICC. The Indian captain may be proud of being the biggest victim of atrocious umpiring, but is there some kind of an international conspiracy against him'

Yours faithfully,
Kajal Chatterjee, Sodepur


Errata

The prime minister is to go to Manipur on Saturday, November 20, and not on Monday as mentioned in the article, 'More than a gesture' (Nov 18). The error is regretted.

' The editor

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