M A I N   N E W S

Musharraf to have tea with Indian team

Islamabad, March 14
The Indian cricket team, which has been showered with great deal of affection ever since it arrived in Pakistan, will enjoy the stately hospitality of the President, Gen Pervez Musharraf, when they attend a get-together over tea with him on Wednesday.

General Musharraf, an avid cricket fan and patron of the Pakistan Cricket Board, will be hosting the team on March 17 here, team manager Ratnakar Shetty said today.

“The team has been told that there will be a meeting with the President on March 17. We believe it is a get-together over tea. The timing is yet to be confirmed,” he said.

Indian High Commissioner Shivshankar Menon will be hosting a dinner for the team on the same day.

Yesterday, General Musharraf had congratulated the Indian team during his satellite address to the India Today Conclave in New Delhi after the visitors won the first one-day international by five runs in Karachi.

As soon as the team returned to the pavilion, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee spoke to captain Saurav Ganguly. The players were later mobbed by Union Minister Arun Jaitley, Priyanka Vadra, her husband Robert Vadra and brother Rahul Gandhi, who had flown to Karachi to watch the match.

“It was a great occasion. The atmosphere was unbelievable,” Mr Shetty said.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar and several other political leaders spoke to the team members and the players appeared pumped up after the reception they got, he added.

The Pakistan team too was gracious in its defeat and captain Inzamam-ul Haq and coach Javed Miandad warmly congratulated the Indian team.

There was also great deal of camaraderie being developed between Indian and Pakistan players who were enjoying each other’s company, according to Mr Shetty.

“The two teams travelled together from Karachi to Islamabad in the same flight and several of the Pakistan players, especially the seniors, came up and chatted with the Indian players en route,” he said. — PTI

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