Sachin Tendulkar in favour of resumption of India-Pakistan cricket ties?

Mumbai: Advocating the need for improvement in relations between India and Pakistan, batting legend Sachin Tendulkar said if the governments of the two countries feel a bilateral cricket series is the “ideal way” to move forward then it should be held.Tendulkar said the ball is entirely on the respective government’s court to take a call on the resumption of bilateral cricket ties.

Sachin Tendulkar

“These are issues which the two countries’ government needs to decide,” Tendulkar told reporters here yesterday when asked about the hardships that has come up in the proposed bilateral series between India and Pakistan in UAE in December.

“Also I think that the relations (between India and Pakistan) need to improve. If the governments feel that this (cricket) is the ideal way to move forward and the (cricket) boards (feel so), I do not see any reason why we should not play.

“(But) if they (governments) feel it is inappropriate then we have to abide by them,” he added.Tendulkar is here along with Australian spin legend Shane Warne for the inaugural ‘Cricket All Stars 2015’, a three-city Twenty20 rubber involving retired stars of the game.

‘Cricket All Stars 2015’ series, the brainchild of Tendulkar and Warne, will bring together 28 of the biggest names of the game, including former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan, former West Indian captain Brian Lara and former Pakistan pacers Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar.

The first match of the series between Sachin’s Blasters and Warne’s Warriors will be played in the famed 45,000 seater Citi Field, the home of Major League Baseball’s New York Mets.Talking about the series, Tendulkar said it aims to globalise cricket, which is the second most popular sport in the world.

He said through the series, they aim to introduce more people to the game and encourage youngsters in the US aspiring to play the game in future. PTI YAS SSC

Tendulkar said that the US women’s cricket team will join the 28 players and practice with them. In addition, about thousand young aspiring cricketers will be in the stands to watch the cricket legends play and get inspired by them.”It is all about having dreams and if these aspiring youngsters tomorrow play cricket for America I will be very happy,” he said.

“When we come here the next time I hope to see kids carrying cricket bats along with their baseball kits as well,” Tendulkar stressed that the series is not aimed to compete with other popular sports played in America.”America is a sports loving nation. We want to introduce one more sport to them,” he said.

Tendulkar, who retired from cricket in 2013, said going forward the players want to play more matches, but they also want to be well prepared and not have too much on the plate.”We want youngsters to come and join us while we are practising, encourage them to spend more time with the great players of the last 20 years and understand about cricket.It’s all about sharing knowledge and we are more than happy to do that,” he said.

Tendulkar said the Twenty20 cricket is exciting and the “perfect format” to be introduced in America.

He cited the example of several of his friends who had come to the US in the 1990s and had no idea about American games like baseball.

He said they learnt the games from their American friends who took them to stadiums and taught them about baseball and other American sports.”Now I’m asking my Indian friends to reciprocate that.

Take Americans to baseball stadiums where cricket is going to be played and teach them about cricket,” he said.

When asked through the series whether the players are looking to bring in the IPL format to the US, Warne said their only focus is to make the series a success.

“The feedback has been unbelievable. If this goes well it can be an annual thing and we will come to America all the time,” Warne said.

“We have 28 big stars, and we are giving ourselves a chance and are trying to give back to people who love the game of cricket. If that develops into something else and there is a huge demand for it that will be fantastic for all of us who love the game of cricket,” the former leg-spinner said.

Warne said he along with Tendulkar know that the Americans are is passionate about sports.

“We always wanted to bring cricket to people who never had the chance to see their players live,” he said.

The two players, who visited Facebook headquarters in the city and took questions from fans, said experts have been preparing the pitch for the game for six months in Indianapolis and advanced technology has been used for the drop-in pitch.

Warne said the two teams — Sachin’s Blasters and Warne’s Warriors — will play competitive cricket and neither team will take it easy.”It is not going to be a friendly match. We will play to win. By no means,I’m suggesting that we are going to take it easy. We are here to play competitive cricket and also get youngsters excited about the game,” he said.
with PTI