WC 2003 - Vajpayee wishes Good Luck to Ganguly

Published: Sunday, February 9, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi: Two days ahead of the World Cup final, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Friday sent a 'Good Luck Message' on a cricket bat for the Indian team in South Africa.The message printed on a cricket bat and addressed to captain Saurav Ganguly and the team, was handed over here to Sports Minister Vikram Verma who would be present at the World Cup final on Sunday.While wishing good luck, the Prime Minister hoped that India emerges a winner in the World Cup and wins laurels. "Priya Saurav vah (and) Bharatiya team, World Cup mein Bharat vishwa vijayee ho, yashaswi hoaisi meri kaamna vah ishwar sey prarthna hai (Dear Saurav andIndian Team, I wish and pray to God that India emerges victorious in the World Cup and win laurels)."Verma later told reporters that the Prime Minister also handed over to him a letter wishing the team good luck. Replying to questions, the Sports Minister exuded confidence that India would win the World Cup after 20 yearsbut parried questions whether the ace batsman Sachin Tendulkar would be honoured with Bharat Ratna. It was for the Prime Minister and the Home Ministry to decide, he said. "When the team returns home, they will be given a rousing reception in Delhi in the presence of the Prime Minister." While the Sports Ministry will definitely give all encouragement to the team, the Finance Minister has already stated that the entire prize money would be tax free, Verma added. PTI

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