DOWN: The Marriott Hotel in Islamabad after the Sept. 21 bombing. The hotel was used by international cricket teams.
Top Indian cricket players, including captain M S Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar, are unwilling to tour Pakistan in January because they fear for their security.
Sources tell that senior players have expressed their concern to the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI). The team is scheduled to play three Tests and five ODIs from January 4 to February 19 tour in Pakistan.
Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh too have expressed their unwillingness to tour Pakistan. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has assured foolproof security but the Indians believe the threat during the tour would be severe.
PCB chief Ejaz Butt is scheduled to visit India soon to try and convince the BCCI but that plea is now likely to fall on deaf ears.
It is known that the Ministry of External Affairs is unlikely to permit the Indian team to tour Pakistan.
Early November, the government refused to permit the Indian junior hockey team to tour Pakistan due to security concerns.
The Associated Press reports the International Cricket Council deferred the Champions Trophy in September after five of the eight participating teams refused to compete at the biennial tournament that is considered the second most prestigious one-day event after the World Cup.
The PCB has said it would consider playing India at a neutral venue or possibly switch series as alternatives. Pakistan is due to tour India in 2010.
Sachin Tendulkar said he would miss Bengali chatter with close pal Sourav Ganguly, who retired from international cricket.
Tendulkar recalled his long association with the elegant left-hander and said he owes the little Bengali he knows to his former opening partner in one-dayers.
“But the question I ask myself is who will I now speak to in Bengali? Well I have enjoyed conversing with him in that language and whatever Bengali I have picked up is thanks to him,” Tendulkar said in a newspaper column.
“Whenever we had a long partnership, I used to walk mid-pitch and speak a few Bangla words to ease the pressure of the situation,” he said.
Tendulkar went on to recount some pranks he had played on Ganguly during their days together in the Indian dressing room.
“Cricket lovers have heard about how I disturbed the watchman of the Nehru Stadium with my constant bat-hitting leather activities at night and the fact that he brought it to the attention of our coach Vasu Paranjape,” he wrote in ‘Mid-Day’.
“But not many have heard this — One day when Sourav was enjoying his rest and dozed off, I had his room flooded with water. Sourav woke up to the mini deluge surprised, shocked, staggered — in that order.
“His only solace was I made sure that his cricketing kit was not among the ruins. Imagine what a sight it would have been — his bats, pads floating in water.”
Arguably the most successful Indian skipper ever, Sourav Ganguly says he sees a lot of himself in Dhoni
Arguably the most successful Indian skipper ever, Sourav Ganguly says he sees a lot of himself in
Mahendra Singh Dhoni and reckons that the charismatic new captain will go on to better his record and further enhance India’s stature in international cricket.
“He has done fantastically well. Captaincy is a task, it’s not just about being a good player. He will be tested when India plays abroad and if the boys do well under him then it will be great. I am sure he will take Indian cricket forward,” said Ganguly, whose last Test saw India clinching the Border-Gavaskar Trophy by winning the fourth and final match.
“I did what I felt was right. I’m a captain who did not believe in the drawing board but react to what happens on the field of play. I see a lot of myself in Dhoni. He also doesn’t like meetings. In fact he sees things better than me. He has also had a bit of luck that a captain needs,” he added.
Ganguly said a captain is only as good as his team but he did have a huge role to play in enhancing India’s reputation. “Most important thing is that a captain is as good as a player. Raising India’s image in world cricket especially as a touring side is my legacy in Indian cricket. We, at present, are a formidable side both home and away,” he said.
Ganguly said he would not be missing the Indian dressing room as he was leaving with happy memories of being part of a team that beat the world’s best side 2-0 in the series. “I don’t think I would miss the dressing room. I have had a good innings and it’s time to leave. I am leaving with happy memories that it ended with a win for India. A 2-0 win over the world’s best team was the best that could have happened after all the doubts arising after the Sri Lanka series (where India lost)”, Ganguly said.
“I have played well and the team has played outstandingly well. To win the series 2-0 was very satisfying. We had dominated (the proceedings) after the first Test (at Bangalore),” said the former captain. Ganguly, who was asked to lead the team on the field for a brief while when India was close to winning the fourth and final Test against Australia before being chaired off the ground after India’s 172-run win, said he would forever cherish the moments that he lived today.
“In terms of team performance the way this Test has finished was one of the best ever. I want to cherish it for long. Everyone has chipped in throughout the series. Somehow we manage to pick up when we play against Australia,” said the veteran of 113 Tests. “I enjoyed my last few days and the last few hours. I was
asked to lead for five overs, did it for three overs and then told Dhoni that it was not my job,” he said.
The stylish left-hander side-stepped queries on past controversies like his public spat with former coach Greg Chappell. “Let’s keep the controversies aside. It’s a happy day for Indian cricket. The past is past, let’s not talk about it,” he said.
Ganguly said the first-ball duck in the second innings didn’t disappoint him as much as missing a hundred by 15 runs in the first innings. “I am not disappointed with the first-ball duck, getting out on 85 in the first innings was more disappointing as I was so close to a hundred. I don’t think the last duck has made it (my career) any more dramatic, it’s been dramatic anyway,” he put it succinctly.
Ganguly said he rated the 100 on debut at Lord’s against England in 1996 as his most cherished innings. He said the blazing century he made against Australia as captain in the 2004 series at Brisbane was also close to his heart. “The first Test hundred at Lord’s is always special to me. The 2001 series against Australia here and the 2004 series against them in Australia are my best series. We have won in Pakistan and England but to win against Australia is always special,” he said.
TWO LEGENDS: Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly smile after India defeated Australia in the second Test in Mohali.
Sourav Ganguly, one of India’s most charismatic cricketers, will be seen for the last time as an international player on Monday. Ganguly is retiring from international cricket after nearly 16 years.
Sachin Tendulkar says the entire country will miss the elegant left-hand batsman, who has often been described as the ‘God of off-side’.
“Everyone will miss Sourav. He is not only my teammate but is a very special player and has contributed a lot to the team and country. He has had a fantastic career and when a player like him retires not only the team but the entire country will miss him,” Tendulkar said.
Ironically, Ganguly’s last Test innings, just like Sir Don Bradman, ended in a duck on Sunday. He was caught and bowled by Jason Krejza in the second innings of the Nagpur Test against Australia off the first ball that he faced.
A bit disappointing for Ganguly, but his fans will look back on his international career with great pride. He started with a century on debut and made a sublime 85 in the first innings of the Nagpur Test against Australia; although he had to end with a golden duck.
So was Ganguly pleased with how his career turned out?
A few days a go in an exclusive interview to CNN-IBN’s Sanjeeb Mukherjee, Ganguly had said he would have liked a few more Test runs under against his name.
Sanjeeb Mukherjea: Talking about Sourav Ganguly — the batsman, do you think you neglected your batting?
Sourav Ganguly: No, I didn’t. In terms of my One-Day performance, I think it’s been outstanding. In terms of my Test cricket, I would have loved to have a few more runs but I also batted at No. 5 and No. 6 and although it is not an excuse but I thought that although I have more that 7,000 runs in test cricket, a few more would have been happy to go with.
Sanjeeb Mukherjea: What were the reactions of Sachin, Dravid, Anil and Sehwag, when you broke the news to them?
Sourav Ganguly: I’m sure they knew that at some stage it had to come. It’s going to come for them as well. They were not surprised, they expected it. Everybody has to go in sports. It’s my turn today and it will be their turn sometime.
Sanjeeb Mukherjea: It must have been an emotional moment for you also?
Sourav Ganguly: It wasn’t that emotional buy obviously we would miss it. Initially, you will miss the competitiveness because the pleasure you got by scoring a Test hundred or an One-Day hundred, it cannot be valued by anything else. Every time you get a hundred, you feel ‘this is what I wanted to do and I am still good at it’. That satisfaction will not come from anything else. Financially, when you play for 13-14 years in modern cricket, you are far past well-off. That’s not an issue.
Ganguly made his One-Day debut against the West Indies during the 1991/92 Benson and Hedges World Series Cup at Brisbane Cricket Ground, Woolloongabba, Brisbane, in Australia while his first Test match was against England at Lord’s in 1996.
Naresh Goyal and Vijay Mallya, owners of Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines, met on Monday leading to speculation that the country’s two top private airlines are heading for a tie-up.
Goyal and Mallya held a closed-door meeting held at the headquarters of Jet Airways in Mumbai. Sources tell the two airlines are working on a major agreement to cut down losses by forming tie-ups on domestic and international routes.
The deal could even eventually lead to a merger, the sources say. The sales and marketing teams of Jet Airways and Kingfisher will work together. Kingfisher plans for the US market stand suspended.
The Indian airline industry, battered by mounting losses, has been asking the Central Government for a bailout worth Rs 5,000 crore. Jet and Kinfisher are losing an estimated amount of up to Rs 20 crore a day.
Goyal and Mallya, both leading representatives of the Federation of Indian Airlinies, could also discuss the bailout demands.
“Yes, Dr Mallya and Mr Goyal have met today (Monday),” said a Kingfisher Airlines spokesperson. “I would not like to comment on anything at this juncture,” the spokesperson told PTI.
A Correspondent says a merger between the two airlines is unlikely and they are looking at close cooperation. The cooperation would be in the form of two airlines sharing their teams for sales marketing and ground handling.
Kingfisher is not working well on the London route, so Jet could give it seats on this route. Cooperation on domestic routes as well. It may not be good news for consumers, as the partnership between the two airlines could create a monopoly of sort.
- Top IT skills that can get you a better job
- Madurai’s traffic cops to get booths with ACs
- Facebook opens office in Hyderabad, India
- Kill IE6 says Industry, No says Microsoft!!!
- Infosys looking at overseas acquisitions
- Satyam Computers is now Mahindra Satyam
- Microsoft To Launch Free Anti-virus Named ‘Morro’ Soon
- Sourav Ganguly promises Rs 60 lakh for Cyclone Aila victims
- How Does Google Store All of its Data?
- Infosys Layoff – The IT giant Infosys Technologies fires 2100 employees
- Happy Rahman thanks mother, God at Oscars gala
- AR Rahman gets 2 Oscars for Slumdog’s music