Saturday, March 26, 2011

PM‘s cricket diplomacy

UPDATED  25/3/2011 4:50:55 PM

 Vivek Shukla

New Delhi: In a cricket diplomacy, Prime  Minister DrManmohan Singh  has invited Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari and prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani to watch nail biting India-Pakistan semi-final match at Mohali.  It is expected that either President or Prime minister of Pakistan will accept his invitation.

Meanwhile, The Pakistan team has today arrived here on their way to battle ground (read Mohali).They are equally excited to play the semi-final match against Pakistan. Pakistan coach Waqar Younis relishes the prospect of playing the last two matches in India to win the World Cup as his team continued its ruthless march in the tournament.

After India’s great show, life has crippled as almost everybody is talking about India’s chances in their next match. " I think Cricket lovers would not mind even if India beat pakistan in Semi-final and then loose in the final match," feels Cricket writer Ravi Chaturvedi.

“I would love to play India in India,” the fast bowling great said. “There is no bigger rivalry in the game than that. We have not played each other in our own country in recent years. “So it should be very exciting. The two are cricket-loving countries. "

Waqar said it did not matter whether they play the semi-final against India, or Australia whom they beat by four wickets in the league to end the defending champions’ unbeaten 34-match streak in the World Cup.

“I have no preference whom we play,” he said. “We have to concentrate on what we have to do. 
“All I know is that we are going to be playing in India. There will be a lot of pressure. Not only on us, but probably on the other side as well. Whoever holds their nerves better will come out on top.” 
Waqar was delighted at the emphatic win over the West Indies, and hoped more such games were to follow.

Meanwhile,star batsman Yuvraj Singh is now focussing on the semifinal clash against arch-rivals Pakistan, saying the much-anticipated game would be a battle of equals.

Yuvraj struck an unbeaten half century after claiming two wickets last night to collect his fourth man of the match trophy in the ongoing World Cup.
Looking ahead to the semifinal clash against Pakistan at Mohali on March 30, Yuvraj said it would be another dream game.

"The India-Pakistan game is going to be another dream game after India-Australia. It`s a great victory for India today. We would be playing our best cricket against Pakistan.

They know our game we know theirs both teams are equal. They have had a very good tournament and have beaten West Indies and Australia," Yuvraj told reporters here after India`s five-wicket win over the defending champions.

"We don`t want to think about the Pakistan game now. It has been a high-pressure game for us (against Australia) and lot of our system has been drained. We would like to relax for a couple of days and then make plans about Pakistan game," he added.

Yuvraj it was very difficult to keep his emotions in check in the high-octane quarterfinal match here.
"Over the last one year I have been dreaming of staying till the end and taking the team to victory against Australia in the World Cup and the moment has come. This is the moment I have lived for as a cricketer," he said.

He admitted that it was a tough situation with enormous pressure on him and any small mistake on his part could have thrown India out of the World Cup.

"It was very hard to control emotions. It was difficult to control oneself in such a situation as one mistake and you will be out of the World Cup. I tried to just watch the ball, play down the ground and not lift the ball in the air," said the left-handed batsman.

Yuvraj said he was playing in the tournament with the thought of someone special in his life, though he did not specify the person.
"I am playing for a very special person that comes in my mind and whenever things are not going well I think of that person and things work out," he remarked.

 There is no doubt that when India and Pakistan would play at Mohali,the capacity crowd at the stadium would be flying Indian tri-colour. And in the riot of Indian national flag, we would also see Pakistan flag as large number of Pakistani fans would be cheering for their side. It would be great atmosphere.


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