Chandigarh, India,


March 10, 2005

Sehwag shines on rain-hit day
Chandigarh, March 9
There are very few superlatives which one can use to describe Virender Sehwag’s batting when he is in full flow. Very few bowlers can contain the Indian opener when he is determined to make his bat do the talking. A player of his nature makes little distinction whether he is playing Test cricket or an one-dayer.

India invites Pervez to watch match
New Delhi/Islamabad, March 9
India has invited Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf to watch one of the matches in the current Indo-Pak cricket series and Pakistan said the General was “positively thinking” of visiting India.

Sehwag wants India to post 500-plus total
Mohali, March 9
Virender Sehwag is known for his carefree ways while on the batting crease. He was as cavalier while handling queries from the media after his superb knock here today. The swashbuckling batsman played a scintillating innings and remained unbeaten on 95 as India finished the second day of the first Test here at 184.

Turning Point
Pakistan will rue dropped catches
THE two dropped catches of India’s opening batsman Virender Sehwag could well be the turning point of the second day of play of the first Test between India and Pakistan at the PCA Stadium at Mohali on Wednesday. And as the game unfolds over the next three days, the visitors could well rue what would have happened if they had held their chances.

Saqlain was not handled properly: lntikhab
Mohali, March 9
“Unfortunately, Saqlain Mushtaq was not handled properly. He was a world-class spinner and a match-winner,” Intikhab Alam, Punjab Ranji team coach, said today. Alam is known for his forthright views and was speaking at the PCA Stadium today.

Dungarpur favours CEO for BCCI
Chandigarh, March 9
Indian cricket must become totally professional if it has to improve the way it has over the years, specially over the past decade. This was the view of Mr Raj Singh Dungarpur, a former president of the BCCI, who was at the PCA Stadium in Mohali today to watch the proceedings of the first Test between India and Pakistan.

Weather to remain unsparing
Chandigarh, March 9
You must be mistaken if you thought the rain gods would change track to oblige Punjab Cricket Association which is in charge of cricket affairs at Mohali. The only way to keep them in good humour now is to keep the fingers crossed.

Sehwag cloudburst puts rain gods to shame
Mohali, March 9
As if the euphoria generated by Indians welcoming Pakistani visitors was not enough, the rain gods too seem inclined to help the Pakistanis. Weather played an instrumental role in washing away the pre-lunch session of second day of the test match being played at Mohali.

Fans line roads for a glimpse of heroes
Mohali, March 9
Cricket mania has taken the entire city in its grip. Those who could not cheer the home team at the Punjab Cricket Stadium stadium in Mohali, managed to get a glimpse of the Indian cricket gods while they were leaving the stadium after the day’s game.

Punjabi hospitality floors guests from Pakistan
Chandigarh, March 9
Our guests from Pakistan were on Cloud 9 tonight. Smitten by the lavish dinner arrangements made at Chandigarh Club, they literally floundered for words when accosted for reactions.

Love counts!
Chandigarh March 9
Overwhelmed by the care and affection showered on him and his compatriots by the Indians, Nasir Mehmood, a real estate developer from Lahore, donated Rs 7,000 to the Chandi Kusht Ashram in Sector 47 in Chandigarh yesterday.

Hunting for forbidden pleasure
Chandigarh, March 9
Most Pakistanis used cricket as an opportunity to come to India, but contrary to their public claims about love for the game, most Pakistani visitors admit in private that cricket has provided them the much needed excuse to visit India.

Visa extension, a dream come true
Mohali, March 9
More than 500 Pakistani visitors got their visa extension to travel to various places in Punjab today. The SSP, Ropar, who is authorised to extend visas all over Punjab today stated that majority of the visa extension were given for Amritsar.

Sector 17 market buzzing with guests
Chandigarh, March 9
The Sector 17 market is buzzing with activity these days. The latest craze among youths and older people is to identify guest from Pakistan strolling around in the market. On a visit to the main market this correspondent saw local boys and even children asking their parents curiously, ‘Mama is that a Pakistani or a Hindustani?

2 Pak patients discharged
Mohali, March 9
Two Pakistani citizens, Mohammad Sohail Afzal Butt of Lahore and Mohammad Arshad Khan who were admitted to a hospital here were discharged today.

City is beautiful: Salman Butt
Chandigarh, March 9
It was total chaos at a leading Sector 17 footwear showroom this evening. People thronged the shop to have a glimpse of Pakistan cricketers who had come to visit the showroom at the invitation of the company.

Governor advocates fresh ideas for security environment
Chandigarh, March 9
In the backdrop of emergence of new, multi-dimensional threats to security and the changing nature of warfare, the Governor of Punjab, Gen S F Rodrigues (retd) called for fresh ideas, new methods and concepts which were suited to the local political, economic social and security environment.

A “Lahori” poet with anti-war poems
Chandigarh, March 9
Among the thousands who have arrived from across the border to be part of the Indo-Pak cricket Test at Mohali is Raja Sadiqullah, a well-known poet of Punjabi from Lahore.

March 9, 2005

Seamers send Pak packing
Chandigarh, March 8
Indian medium-pacer Laxmipathy Balaji signalled his return to Test cricket with a career-best figure of five for 76 as Pakistan, after losing three quick wickets before lunch with only 89 runs on the board, did well to recover to end day one of the first Test against India at the PCA Stadium at Mohali today at 312 all out.

Doing well against Pak a challenge: Balaji
Mohali, March 8
“It is always a challenge to do well against Pakistan,” Laxmipathy Balaji, who emerged hero for India taking his maiden five-wicket haul and playing a key role in India restricting Pakistan to a modest total in the first Test here.

Turning Point
The toss held the key

THE toss was crucial at the PCA Stadium at Mohali on Tuesday. And it also turned out to be the turning point of day one of the first Test between India and Pakistan.

It’s more than cricket as peaceniks join the game
Chandigarh, March 8
The title of a book on the match-fixing scandal was called ‘It’s Not Quite Cricket’ but going by the emotional high on both sides of the border as the Indo-Pak Test series started today in Mohali shows that it is much more than cricket.
In video: Pakistani visitors bowled over by Indian hospitability. (28k, 56k)

United colours of a passion — cricket
‘Them’ become ‘us’ at Mohali
Chandigarh, March 8
Emotions of Friendship, love, and brotherhood between traditional rivals ruled the first day of the test series between India and Pakistan, both inside and outside the stadium. Professing a lasting relationship strengthened with emotional bonding, Indians and Pakistanis took the bilateral ties between the two nations a step ahead, using cricket as an anchor.

Sharmila lost, and found
Mohali, March 8
In the Punjab Cricket Association stadium here a few friends were discussing cricket when suddenly bollywood actress of yesteryears Sharmila Tagore appeared and asked “Where was I sitting?”

Cricket match: who will pay for security?
Mohali, March 8
The Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) and the Punjab police seem to be heading for conflict on who will pay for the security by the Punjab police inside and outside the stadium.

Poor occupancy in hotels
Guests go for budget accommodation
Chandigarh, March 8
Several city hotels which had cancelled corporate bookings to host Pakistani visitors have been incurring heavy losses as most of them have gone elusive.

Razzaq repays debt
Chandigarh, March 8
The ace Pakistani all-rounder Abdul Razzaq had been waiting for seven years to repay his debt to a local doctor who had operated upon him in 1997 when the player injured his leg in a match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at Mohali.

Counters set up for guests from Pak
Chandigarh, March 8
The Sector 17 market is wearing a festive look these days. Different counters have been set up by the Municipal Corporation and the Traders Association, Sector 17, in order to help the guests from Pakistan.

Police extends visas of 12 Pak guests
Mohali, March 8
Pakistani visitors to Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula now can travel up to Delhi and Ajmer.

Cops at PCA stadium go without water
Mohali, March 8
The 2000 police personnel on guard duty outside the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium here today went without water for over 7 hours. The men were called for duty at 6 am in the morning and till lunch time at 1 pm, no arrangements were in place for water for these policemen.

Sight-seeing, not match, interests visitors
Chandigarh, March 8
Even as the Pakistan cricketers had a tough time against the Indians at the PCA Stadium in Mohali today, a large number of young visitors had a gala time outside the stadium.

Celebrity status giving Pakistanis tough time
Chandigarh, March 8
Their crossover from Wagah gave them a high. A welcome exuding Indian warmth, red carpets rolled out wherever they went, the Pakistani nationals couldn’t have asked for more and thus began their Indian dream. After all, camarderie was all the Indo-Pak cricket series was about. That, of course, is history.

‘Pak guests’ pockets picked’
Mohali, March 8
Though the first day of the Indo-Pak Test match remained peaceful, complaints of pick pocketing were received.

March 8, 2005

India likely to play 3 seamers
Chandigarh, March 7
The start of a Test series is always a very testing time for any captain. It will be more so for Sourav Ganguly when his squad take on Pakistan in the first Test beginning at the PCA Stadium in Mohali tomorrow.

Yuvraj, Nehra left out of squad
Mohali, March 7
In what could be termed as a jolt to local fans, swashbuckling batsman Yuvraj Singh and pace bowler Ashish Nehra have been left out of the Indian squad for the first Test beginning at the PCA Stadium here tomorrow.

‘Musharraf won’t watch Kolkata Test’
New Delhi, March 7
There is no truth in reports that Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf would be watching the Indo-Pak cricket match in Kolkata, sources told The Tribune today.

India have edge in Tests: Rameez Raja
Wagah, March 7
Former Pakistani batsman Rameez Raza today said India had an edge over Pakistan in the Test series. He reached India along with 578 Pakistani cricket enthusiasts today to watch the first Test.

Bonhomie won’t distract us from cricket
Baisakhi has come a month earlier to Chandigarh. The weather, which was bitingly cold just 10 days ago, has become extremely pleasant, and the entire city is getting ready for the meeting not only of the two teams but also of the Indian and Pakistani supporters.

Peace warriors’ Test begins
Chandigarh, March 7
The ‘warriors’ are here again after a gap of six years. The last encounter at Mohali, a one-dayer, was tense and tough, and even before the teams had landed, battelines had been drawn. It was the first thaw and the colours of bonhomie were muted.

Only Hindu in Pak team visits Mansa Devi temple
Chandigarh, March 7
Pakistani player Danish Prabhashankar Kaneria visited to Mata Mansa Devi temple here, today. He is the only Hindu player of the visiting Pakistani cricket team. He had ‘darshan’ of goddess seek blessings. He was taken to the temple in a Tribune car.

Pak cricket fans turn businessmen
Sell dry fruits, cloth
Chandigarh, March 7
Pak guests who have come to the City Beautiful to watch the high profile Indo-Pak Test match were seen in a different orole taoday. Some of them have brought ‘saugaats’ for their brethren here, but at a price. 

Pak team to miss Shoaib Akhtar
Chandigarh, March 7
The Pakistan XI will certainly miss their star bowler Shoaib Akhtar since he gives a scare to Indian batsmen. This was stated by maestro spinner Harbhajan Singh. He came to the DAV College cricket coaching centre, Sector 10, at the invitation of DAV College Principal Subhash Marriya and former Test player Yograj Singh. He was accompanied by local Indian team manager Ranjit Bajaj.

In hearts and homes of people
Mohali, March 7
It is in the hearts and homes of the people of this township that Pakistan and India came to being the one nation that we were before the Partition. For those Mohali residents who had offered to accommodate Pakistani visitors, the morning dawned with their wishes coming true. And for the “brothers” across the border, the greetings and welcome they received in these houses was beyond their imagination.

Examinations play spoilsport, say students
Chandigarh, March 7
The Indo-Pak match is being held at the wrong time in the city and school students couldn’t agree more. While cricket is weighing on their minds, they have the arduous task of keeping their heads buried in their books since it is examination time as well. The excitement in the city is almost infectious and the students are having a tough time keeping the cricket frenzy at bay.

Do away with trade barriers, say Pakistani guests
Chandigarh, March 7
Impressed by quality products available at less rates in India, a section of young Pakistani traders stressed the need for doing away with trade barriers to allow an integrated India, Pakistan and Bangladesh market to take on the European Union.

Shakeel dreams of a role in Indian films
Mohali, March 7
Here is a fan from Pakistan, the likes of whom Sanjay Dutt will not even find in India. Shakeel, a budding journalist from Pindi, Pakistan, has a collection of over a thousand photos of the actor. “The craze started in 1992 when I saw his film “Khalnayak.” Since then I have collected each and every picture of Sanjay Dutt. I have at least 30 albums of these pictures now,” he said.

CM to host dinner for Pak guests
Chandigarh, March 7
The Chandigarh Club will host qawaalli night to entertain guests from Pakistan on March 11. It has been also chosen as the venue for hosting dinner for 2500 persons from Pakistan by Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on March 9.

Police counters to assist Pak guests
Chandigarh, March 7
The police has set up special counters at Cricket Stadium in Sector 16 and at the police Headquarters in Sector 9 to provide information and assistance to Pakistani guests.

Panchkula impresses visitors from Pak
Panchkula, March 7
The 300 Pak visitors to the township, impressed by the lush green gardens, compare it to Islamabad — the most beautiful city in Pakistan. In town as part of the team visiting India for the Indo-Pak test match at Mohali, the visitors from across the borders say that they were impressed with the gardens here.

One held for selling tickets on black market
Mohali, March 7
A resident of Phase X here was today arrested on a charge of selling tickets on the black market of the cricket Test match between India and Pakistan starting tomorrow.

Bureaucrat couple’s son has brush with cops
Mohali, March 7
Ranjit Bajaj, local manager of the Indian Cricket team and son of a Punjab bureaucrat couple, had a scuffle with a policeman here outside the PCA main gate this afternoon.