Focus World Cup, not Sachin: Kirmani

Posted By: Pti

Mumbai, Feb 10: While appreciating the sentiments expressed by a few Indian cricketers, including skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, of the team wanting to win the World Cup for Sachin Tendulkar, former players were of the view that this should not take away the team''s focus.

"It is a great gesture by the Indian team if they are dedicating the World Cup to Sachin. But they cannot afford to lose focus," former stumper Syed Kirmani, who was part of India''s World Cup triumph in 1983, told PTI.

"The focus has to be on the World Cup, not Sachin. They all should be aiming to play for the country. It is not Sachin...not Dhoni your captain you play for. It is the country you play for," he added.

Indian skipper Dhoni, and Delhi batsmen Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli are among the players who have said that they want to win the quadrennial event, the only glory missing from the champion cricketer''s illustrious career.

Former India cricketer Lalchand Rajput, who was the coach of the Indian team that won the World T20 Championship in 2007, said announcing such intentions even before winning the Cup was not the right thing to do.

"These things should have never come up. Once they win the World Cup, then they can dedicate it. But right now the focus should be on winning the World Cup," he added.

However, presenting a different take on the issue, former Test captain Ajit Wadekar, who led India to its first series triumph in West Indies and England in 1971, said that such things can motivate the team to enhance its performance.

"I don''t think its a distraction. It tells how confident our team is. Sachin is a legend and they have tried to building their confidence around him. It is like the Australians used to do. They are going into the tournament with a good, confident and positive attitude," he added.

Former skipper Kapil Dev had earlier said that the World Cup was not about Sachin alone.

"Sachin is not the only one playing cricket. It is India that is playing. ''Jeetna important jitna unke liye hai, utna hi important doosron ke liye bhi hain'' (Winning the World Cup is as important to others as it is to him).

"Yes, he is a great player and he has served the country the most. But by placing him above the team, you are insulting the other 14 members in the squad," he had said.


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Story first published: Thursday, February 10, 2011, 19:30 [IST]
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