A Battle for Pride

A Battle for Pride

Post by Vishwa Prasad Gaddamanug » Tue, 02 Apr 1996 04:00:00


Singapore. India, pakistan and Sri lanka are  expected  to  field
their  best  available  teams  for the Singapore tournament, from
April 1  to  April  7,  when  the  pressure  will  be  on  Arjuna
Ranatunga`s   side  to  prove  their  World  Cup  final  win over
Australia was no fluke.

Their rivals are certainly out to restore some pride.

"This will  not  be  a  fun   competition,``   Pakistan   bowling
spearhead Waqar Younis warned as he prepared for the event.

"The whole of Pakistan was disappointed with  our  performance in
the World Cup. As the holder, we wanted badly to  win  the trophy
again and play the final in front of our own crowd in Lahore.

"Now we have the chance with this tournament  here   of   gaining
some  revenge,  ``  said  Waqar,  who  will  be here without  his
injured pace partner, Wasim Akram.

Defending champions Pakistan were knocked  out   by   arch-rivals
India in the World Cup quarterfinal.

India`s were then beaten in the semi-final by  Sri   Lanka,   who
later trounced Australia.

"There are scores to settle  after  the   World   Cup,``   Indian
skipper Mohammed Azharuddin told The Straits Times. "We know that
this tournament in Singapore is the real thing  and  we  want  to
win it.``

Before their famous Lahore victory, Sri Lanka were  seen  to   be
making  up the numbers in the triangular competition here to pave
the way for a tense final between India and Pakistan.

Now Ranatunga and his  free-scoring  batsmen   --   Aravinda   de
Silva,  Sanath  Jayasuriya   and   Asanka   Gurusinha  --  are  a
premier drawcard for the tournament, which organisers are billing
as "the clash  of the titans.``

"There were doubts whether the  full  sides   would   be   coming
immediately  after the World Cup,`` said  Anil  Kalaver, chairman
of  the organising committee. "That worry is gone.``

"Fan response has  been  tremendous,``   said   the   Indian-born
Kalaver,  who  hopes  the tournament will one day be a  permanent
fixture  on the international cricket calendar on  the  lines  of
the Sharjah Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

The  tournament,  to  be  played  on  the   Padang   grounds   in
Singapore  where  cricket  was  first  played in  1837,  will  be
beamed  live  by satellite to an estimated television audience of
500 million people.

But many fans have flown in for the new event --   one   of   two
this years intended to extend cricket`s popularity.

India and Pakistan are also to play an annual  series   of   one-
day internationals in Canada starting this year.

The inaugural Friendship Cup tournament between  the  two  rivals
will   comprise  of  five  one-day  matches  and  take  place  in
September, at a venue still to be announced.

The  tournament  is  expected  to   be    recognised    by    the
International  Cricket Council and is being  held  in conjunction
with  the Board of Control for Cricket in India  (BCCI)  and  the
Pakistan  Cricket Board.  (AFP)

Source:: Daily News (http://www.lanka.net)