India’s physically challenged cricketers’ trip to Pak cancelled

February 15th, 2009 - 4:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Sachin TendulkarKolkata, Feb 15 (IANS) The Mumbai terror attacks have not only soured Indo-Pak ties, but they have also affected sporting exchanges between the physically challenged cricketers from the two neighbouring nations.

The national team selected by the All India Cricket Association for the Disabled (AICAD) was scheduled to tour Pakistan in February, but the tour got cancelled after the freezing of relations between the two countries as a fall-out of the Mumbai mayhem.

“A Pakistan team was also supposed to come to India on a reciprocal tour thereafter. But in this situation, that will also have to wait,” AICAD president and former Indian cricket captain Ajit Wadekar told IANS.

Instead, the AICAD - which has 24 state associations as affiliates - has now decided to send its national team to England.

Asked for his comment on the stalemate in Indo-Pak sporting relations following the terror attacks, Wadekar said: “It’s a sad thing, but let’s hope the situation changes quickly.”

Wadekar did not approve of the clamour in the country some time back for the scalp of seniors in the Indian national team after a few below-par performances. “The seniors have enough experience. They know their fitness levels. The know exactly where they stand”.

To buttress his point, Wadekar cited batting genius Sachin Tendulkar’s announcement that he would not turn up again for India in Twenty20 cricket.

Wadekar, who led India to their first ever series victory abroad in 1971 against West Indies, complimented the Indian team for their recent successes. “It’s a balanced team. They have a good bench strength. And the captain (M.S. Dhoni) is doing a really good job,” said the former Indian team manager.

Wadekar said India’s performance in the upcoming new Zealand tour would indicate whether the side can become world’s top team in one to two years’ time.

“I don’t foresee any problems for the Indians in New Zealand. I know their conditions are different, the ball is more responsive to seamers. But everything depends on how we adjust to the conditions,” he said.

Wadekar predicted that Dhoni would last as captain. “He is quite confident. His approach is also very assuring,” he said.

Wadekar was here to attend the release of a short film on cricket.

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