Sir — Fish is the staple food of Bengalis. But the price of fish is increasing every day. The unavailability of some varieties, coupled with inflation, have put fish beyond the reach of the middle class. These days, small fish like chuna, punti, tyangra, magur and singi have become rare. This is because of the pollution in water bodies. In Burdwan, for instance, rice mills have contributed to the rising pollution levels in canals where small fish used to be found in large numbers. Unfortunately, the livelihood of poor fishermen depends on these varieties.
Niamul Hossain Mallick, Burdwan
Sir — India’s poor performance in the Test series against England is ample proof of the fact that all is not well with Indian cricket. India lost all the eight Test matches in their last two overseas series against England and Australia. Now, even though the team is playing on home turf, it is struggling to regain its form, which is required to win against a balanced English side.
Some pertinent questions need to be raised in this context. Most important among these is whether Indian players have lost their motivation to play the longer version of the game. This is certainly plausible, given the fact that the shorter versions of the game are less gruelling and more lucrative.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India has not done much to improve the standard of Test cricket. Instead, it has encouraged the Indian Premiere League in the hope of raising its earnings as well as those of the players and the sponsors. But all this, unfortunately, has led to a further dilution in the Indian team’s performance so far as Test cricket is concerned.
Debasish Chatterjee, Calcutta
Sir — India’s capitulation at the Eden Gardens against England exposed, once again, the ordinariness of the present team. It is evident that most of the cricketers in this team have not been able to make the transition from the shorter formats of the game to Test cricket.
The demands of Test cricket are fairly rigorous. It requires more application on the part of the player. Sometime back, a young South African, Faf Du Plessis, batted for an entire day to save a Test for his country. This was the kind of application that was expected of India’s much- vaunted batting line-up in Calcutta. Yet, we found that most of the players — accustomed to a batting style that is more suited to one-day cricket — departed after gifting their wickets away. Also, it is becoming fairly apparent with every passing day that Sachin Tendulkar’s time is up. He should retire gracefully, and make way for a deserving youngster. Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s captaincy also leaves a lot to be desired. Unless the Indian team gets its act together in the ongoing final Test at Nagpur, the selectors would be compelled to make some drastic changes to the team. They should weed out those players who have been holding on to their places on the basis of reputation alone. If the selectors do not act now, the road ahead for Indian cricket would be very rough indeed.
Ambar Mallick, Calcutta
Sir — The roads of Jalpaiguri are unsafe because of reckless bike drivers. The culprits, who are mostly youngsters, race their two-wheelers, causing accidents and posing a danger to senior citizens. Reckless driving should be curbed to ensure the safety of the people.
Somipriyo Mukherjee, Jalpaiguri