Posts Tagged ‘ Indian Cricket ’

Pakistan Salute Record-Setting Tendulkar’s Achievement

As Reported by The AFP

Former cricketing greats and fans in Pakistan paid tribute to Indian batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar after he became the first player ever to score 100 international centuries.

“It is a great achievement which other players of his era and those who come after him will not even think of achieving,” said former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad.

“When he played against us in 1989 he showed glimpses of what was in store for world cricket and the kind of sincerity he has shown with the game has only made him immortal and prolonged his career to 23 years and he can still go on.”

Miandad hailed the father of two, known variously as the “Little Master” or “Bombay Blaster“, as a role model for the cricketing world.

Another former Pakistan captain Moin Khan, who played against Tendulkar from 1992-2004, also joined the chorus of praise.

“He has achieved something which will be tough to match. He has been a trend–setter and if players emulate him we will get more great players.

“Tendulkar’s speciality is that he is very professional, loves the game and lusts for runs. With no controversy in his career he has been a role model for future cricketers,” said Moin.

“Great players are not those who do great achievements but those who, with their great character on and off the field, become role models.”

Fans in the street also acknowledged Tendulkar’s feat.

“Tendulkar is adored in Pakistan and we are happy at his achievement. We are happy that he has not hit his 100th hundred against Pakistan,” said Babar Khan, a local resident

India vs Pakistan – much more than just a game

By Anand Philar for Sify

With one stroke, India banished the ghosts of the 2003 final and the fantastic win at Motera virtually ended an era of Aussie dominance. Earlier this year, Ponting’s men lost the Ashes and now the World Cup, but like all great players, Punter left an indelible mark on the tournament with a century in what probably was his last CWC game.

While we rejoice the Indian win, let us show some grace and salute the Aussies for their achievements on the field that, sadly, has been sullied by the behaviour of some of the players. The sheer outpouring of emotions by Yuvraj and Raina after the winning boundary hit was indicative of the value the Indian team attaches to any win against the Aussies. Yes, it is always special to beat a top side even if it is on its way down.

India vs Australia: Turning point and Top performers

If anybody thought Australia are the favourites to win the Cup, then such presumption was based on the team’s track record of three consecutive triumphs, two of them under Ponting’s captaincy. As it turned out, pace, hitherto Australia’s biggest weapon, was unable to deliver and the absence of a quality spinner, much less a pair of them, eventually hurt them far more than their opponents.

On a Motera pitch that was on the slower side and assisting spin, the Aussies went at the Indians with a bevy of fast bowlers hoping to exploit the well-known weakness against the rising delivery. It was a ploy that boomeranged on the Aussies whose lone specialist spinner Krejza was just about club standard.

The fact that the three Aussie slow bowlers Krejza, Clarke and Hussey, sent down only 17 overs as against 33 by their Indian counterparts accurately reflects the difference in approach of the two teams. I feel that proved to be the decisive factor.

I am sure, Ponting would have given his arm to have a Shane Warne bowling during the Yuvraj-Raina partnership that eventually turned the game around for India or for that matter a Hayden or Gilchrist to light up their fragile batting.

India end Australia`s 12-year reign to reach semis

So, having lost to the two top sub-continental sides, Pakistan (in the league phase) and India, the Aussies return home well and truly beaten, leaving the two neighbours in a face-off at Mohali next week.

Although the Pakistanis also have beaten the Aussies, the Indian win came under far greater pressure and in a knock-out situation that offered no safety net. As such, I would rate the Motera win much higher than the one in Colombo where the Aussies fell for 176 to Pakistani spinners.

Of course, all that is history now that India and Pakistan clash at Mohali in a game that can be equated to a Brazil vs Argentina football game in terms of interest, rivalry and of course, the immense pressure on the teams to deliver.

For all that, I will still back India who I feel are better equipped than Pakistan, be it in batting or bowling with the teams being on par at fielding. The spin quotient virtually gets negated since it is a staple diet for the rival batsmen while it is not as if the two teams have a Lee or a Tait or a Johnson in their ranks to trouble anyone with searing pace. It is India’s superior batting line-up that could well tilt the scales.

Further, it will also boil down to the collective character and resilience to withstand the pressure of expectations. I have covered more than my share of Indo-Pak sporting encounters in some of the major sports to say that the levels of passion and emotions among the rival players defy words. You have to be in it to know it.

Since the rivalry between the two neighbours transcends sports and given the historical political enmity (never mind the diplomatic mumbo-jumbo to the contrary), even a sporting victory or defeat that is a mere pinhead in the big picture of life, triggers mass euphoria as if it were a Kargil.

The players themselves might not admit it in public, but the irrefutable fact is the adrenaline rush is greater and the emotions are on the boil among the contestants. It will never be ”just another game” regardless of at what stage the two teams meet and it being a World Cup semi-final, one can imagine the pressure on the players.

World Cup 2011

Under the circumstances, the saying that cricket is played more in the mind than on the field cannot be any truer in an Indo-Pak contest. We have said this before, but needs to be reiterated that ultimately, the team that blinks first will lose. The cricketing aspects such as team combination, technique, strategy and what have you, are secondary.

In effect, the stakes, like it or not, admit it or not, are much more than cricketing gains or losses. So, tighten your seatbelts and on to Mohali!

The Snub of Pakistani Cricketers by the Indian Premier League Should Come As No Surprise

By Manzer Munir

New Delhi, India- Events at an auction held earlier this month by India’s wildly popular Indian Premier League (IPL), consisting of professional cricket teams and franchises, has caused outrage amongst the cricket crazed Pakistani population. Up to seventeen top Pakistani cricketers were anticipated to be selected as top picks in the auction between the teams that saw none of the Pakistani players being selected.

Indian Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Monday said that the “decision of the franchisees not to select any of the 17 Pakistani cricketers, who had been given Indian visas for participation in the third edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), was a disservice to the game of cricket.” Speaking in an interview to a television channel, Chidambaram said that the “IPL issue could have been handled in a better way” and expressed disappointment over the non-selection of the Pakistani cricketers as individuals.

He said these players were 20-20 World Champions and did not deserve to be treated this way. He said that any suggestion that the Indian Government had “nudged” the IPL not to select Pakistani players was not true and had no foundation.

The Pakistani press also had a field day with this turn of events calling for a boycott by the hockey team that is scheduled to visit India next month for Hockey’s World Cup being held in India where Pakistan is scheduled to participate.

Pakistan’s sports minister has demanded the Indian government carry out an inquiry into the snubbing of Pakistan cricketers in the Indian Premier League player auction. “We want the government of India to intervene in this issue and let us know who were responsible in keeping Pakistan cricketers away from the IPL,” Ijaz Jhakrani said Tuesday. “From day one our stance is that the IPL decision was an influenced one.”

The sports ministry has also put on hold its granting its permission for the Pakistan golf team to tour India next month. In addition, Speaker of Pakistan parliament’s lower house, Dr. Fehmida Mirza, stopped a parliamentary delegation’s proposed tour of India in protest. “We have asked both our foreign and interior ministries to let us know about the golf team’s tour to India,” sports ministry spokesman Faik Ali told the Associated Press. “We will decide on golf team’s tour to India after receiving inputs from both ministries”, she said.

Even Bollywood superstar actor Shah Rukh Khan, an owner of one of the IPL teams, the Kolkata Knight Riders, weighed on the issue saying it was “humiliating” to see none of the Pakistani players being picked and that the issue could have been handled better.

The tensions between India and Pakistan are seen as the main reason why the teams stayed away from picking the top Pakistani cricketers. There is a fear amongst the owners of the teams that should the animosities between India and Pakistan escalate, then the teams would suffer as their Pakistani players would be unable to travel or participate in games due to conflict between the two long time enemies. So in a sense it is a business reason that may have precipitated the action by the IPL. There is also a belief by many in Pakistan that perhaps the Indian government influenced the IPL into not accepting Pakistani cricketers as a way to reprimand Pakistan and punish it and its citizens for the Mumbai attacks of 2008, which is still fresh in everyone’s minds. India feels Pakistan has not done enough to rein the terrorist groups blamed for the attacks.

Nonetheless, the upset Pakistani cricket fans should also realize that there is a persistent uneasiness and suspicion on the part of India as Pakistan continues to be seen as the major threat to India’s sovereignty and security. To many in India, allowing Pakistani cricketers to play in India’s IPL would be seen as a way of rewarding a country and its citizens whom you detest and view with deep suspicion and enmity. So in a region of the world where so much tension and conflict already exists between the two neighbors and has simmered for over 60 years, one must not assume everything is peachy and just play ball!

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