M A I N   N E W S

Musharraf praises Sachin, Balaji

Islamabad, March 17
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf today complimented Sachin Tendulkar for his superb batting in the second one-dayer and praised L Balaji for his valiant efforts towards the end of the match, which India lost by 12 runs.

Gen Musharraf singled out these players for special praise at the reception he hosted for the Indian and Pakistani cricket teams at the President house.

He hailed Sachin for scoring his 37th century and becoming the first batsman to cross 13,000 runs in One-Day Internationals.

President Musharraf, who is also the chief patron of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), had a word of encouragement for young L. Balaji for showing tremendous fighting spirit till the end.

He also was of the view that Mohd Kaif’s wonderful catch in Karachi won the game for India.

The President was profuse in his praise of the quality of cricket in the first two one-day internationals in the series and said the teams had raised the standard of the game as seemingly impossible targets had been challenged by the sides batting second.

He said he enjoyed the two close contests so far and hoped that cricket would continue to be as exciting.

After the reception skipper Sourav Ganguly said the President was very well informed about cricket. “He followed the two games very closely.

He was very warm and friendly as he mingled with the players. The President also complimented us for our splendid display in Australia.”

Team manager Ratnakar Shetty presented Gen Musharraf a bat autographed by the members of the team and other mementoes. He thanked the President for hosting the team and conveyed to him the good wishes of the people of India.

Gen Musharraf also complimented Pakistani players and said they have done country proud by giving such dazzling display both on and off the field.

“I hope you will continue to play such high level of entertaining game for rest of the series also,” he told the players. — UNI

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