'Don't read too much into the declaration'

Published: Saturday, April 17, 2004, 21:38 [IST]
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Islamabad : Dismissing reports of bad blood between him and Rahul Dravid over the declaration decision in Multan, batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar has said not much should be read into the disappointment that he expressed after missing his double century.

Stand-in skipper Rahul Dravid's declaration of the innings when Tendulkar was just six short of a double hundred had triggered off a debate in both countries on whether the decision was right but Tendulkar said there was no controversy.

"As far as I'm concerned it is not at all a controversy. I came to the press conference and the first question asked was 'Are you disappointed?' and I said 'yes, I am disappointed because I was unbeaten on 194'. I think I am allowed to express my emotions but that doesn't mean that the interest of the team is kept aside and individuals come first and then the team," Tendulkar told ESPN-Star Sports on Friday night.

He said, "it was just an emotional expression and not at all a big issue". Denying that the declaration had led to problems between him and Dravid, he said "there was something mentioned that between me and Rahul Dravid there was a heated atmosphere. But that wasn't the case. We just sat together and we sorted the issue and there was a clear-cut understanding and everything was very transparent."

Tendulkar also said he was delighted at the outcome of the tour, which saw India come up trumps in both the One-dayers as well as the three-match Test series, and praised the crowd for its exemplary behaviour.

"Earlier they only supported Pakistan. This time we were all surprised to see the crowd looking for nothing but good cricket. Seeing spectators from India and Pakistan sitting with each other was unbelievable. Earlier there were a few incidents but this time we moved around completely freely."

The 'Little Genius' said the performance of the team should "silence the critics".

"A lot of people have been saying a lot of things, but the way we performed should silence the critics. John Wright has done a very good job."

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