Minister Abdullah visits Indian team in SA
Published: Tuesday, November 27, 2001, 1:09 [IST]
Centurion Park: Indian cricket team, which was subjected to harsh decisions by International Cricket Council referee Mike Denness, had an unusual visitor on Monday to boost its morale.Minister of State for External Affairs Omar Abdullah took time off his schedule and visited the stadium to cheer the team besides meeting the players personally to wish them best of luck. Though not a die-hard fan of cricket, Abdullah said he was here to boost the morale of Indian cricket team and hoped that it would keep the "sporting spirit" of the country at its peak. "I paid a brief visit to wish cricket captain Saurav Ganguly (not playing) and his boys well, who unfortunately were in the midst of controversy," Abdullah told PTI. Stating that the government would not be interfering in the matter, the minister said, "we have a full fledged Indian cricket Board, which is capable enough to settle the issue in the larger interests of the game." The minister also made a special mention about the co-operation extended by the South African cricket Board and said, "the decision of the host cricket Board was completely in tune with the best relations enjoyed by the two nations." Abdullah is here to chair a meeting of Heads of various missions in Sub-Saharan Africa where he would review the relations, particularly the progress in the business areas with African countries. The minister would later fly to Ukraine.