India victory cools tempers; peps up betting industry
Published: Thursday, February 20, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Passions high: Indians turnaround for emphatic victory
Today's win was only 80 per cent of our ability: Ganguly
New Delhi: Protests against the India's poor show at the Cricket World Cup cooled on Thursday after an 83-run win against Zimbabwe on Wednesday offered the men in blue a fighting chance to make it to the Super Six. Police, however, was not taking any chances in Kolkata, skipper Saurav Ganguly's hometown, where anti-riot troops and security cars continue to ring his home as a precaution, officials said from the Eastern city. "We knew he would make it," said Prasanta Dev of Ganguly's Barisha Sports Club after India's emphatic win against Zimbabwe in Harare on Wednesday. India's win also revived the sagging betting industry, and a police spokesman on Thursday reported the arrests of four illegal punters in New Delhi, who were caught accepting bets on the Harare clash. In Harare, a pensive Sachin Tendulkar repeated, after being declared man-of-the- match, his appeal to the tens of millions of emotionally-charged fans back home to root for the under-fire squad at the World Cup tournament. "They should support the team and the team will do its best and fight till the last," the master-blaster said in Harare, the second such appeal in as many days to cool tempers back home. The win helped restore calm in India after fans mounted angry protests at the dismal performance in the first two matches when the batsmen failed to last 50 overs against Holland and were shot out for 125 by reigning champions Australia. Police in the Southern Indian city of Bangalore decided against lifting the rings of security placed around the homes of vice-captain Rahul Dravid as well as bowlers Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble. The India-Pakistan match on March 1 is being billed as the clash of titans. Some 200 $ million in illegal wagers are expected to change hands.