Cricket~~s loss is other sports~~ gain

Published: Thursday, April 5, 2007, 7:42 [IST]
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Mumbai:Twenty-eight villages in the state of Haryana, which produced the country's greatest fast bowler Kapil Dev, have banned cricket barely two weeks after the national team's World Cup first-round exit.

"We all have taken this decision and those who go against it will have to face social boycott. We've enshrined this in the Panchayat records of 28 villages," said Tewa Singh, head of Dadan Panchayat.

"We will stop playing it (cricket). We will play kabaddi, hockey, football, volleyball and wrestling instead," Pankaj, a resident of the village, said.

India's World Cup-frenzy had been fuelled by television channels and media outlets touting the team as favourites.

Irate fans and several former players have called for large-scale changes to the team, finalists in the last edition, after defeats to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the Caribbean.

Kapil Dev, India's 1983 World Cup-winning captain, was born in Chandigarh but played for Haryana in the Ranji Trophy tournament.


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