Tendulkar drive could have killed me: Pak umpire Dar

Published: Tuesday, February 25, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Johannesburg: Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar offered a prayer on Monday after he narrowly avoided being smashed on the face by a full-blooded drive from Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar. Dar ducked on time but fell to the ground as Tendulkar straight drove Namibia's Bjorn Kotze during Sunday's World Cup match at Pietermaritzburg. The ball whizzed past the umpire's head and raced towards the boundary, one of the many shots Tendulkar hit during his knock of 152. "I could have been killed," a relieved Dar said on Monday. "I got saved because of my good eye sight. I still play cricket, you know. I have not seen a more powerful drive in my four years of umpiring at the international level," the 34-year-old Dar said. Dar dismissed any suggestion of holding a grudge against Tendulkar for the narrow escape. "I actually quite enjoyed the incident," he said. "Sachin was very apologetic about it and kept saying sorry for the next two overs." Tendulkar said he may have been denied a boundary if the ball had hit the umpire. "I was looking to hit the ball as hard as possible," he said. "I connected that particular ball and was glad I got four runs for it." India and Pakistan clash at Centurion on Saturday, the first match between the arch- rivals since June, 2000. Copyright AFP 2001

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