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1983 heroes to cheer India in SA

Mumbai: The Indian cricket team will have unexpected cheerleaders in former cricketers and members of the 1983 World Cup-winning squad as it starts its campaign in South Africa on Wednesday. As part of a promotional campaign, a private company is sponsoring the visit of five former cricketers to South Africa to cheer and motivate the Indian team.

The five include Syed Kirmani, Dilip Vengsarkar, Madanlal, Balwinder Singh Sandhu and Kirti Azad.

Kirmani would particularly cheer for batsman-cum- wicketkeeper Rahul Dravid, he told reporters during the “Heroes for Heroes” campaign that was launched here.

“We will be in South Africa to give the Indian team useful tips which we learnt during our World Cup campaign. It is also a fine feeling that our efforts of winning the Cup are still recognised by people and I am truly excited at the prospect of going to the World Cup.”

Trademark problem

Johannesburg: The Australian team shed its trademark yellow uniform during practise to don navy blue T-shirts and baseball caps sponsored by a travel company. But the natty blue outfits raised a red flag when captain Ricky Ponting arrived at The Wanderers indoor nets to give a news conference — the team’s media manager Jonathan Rose signalled at Ponting to remove the cap.

Apparently, the cap — with the travel company’s name embroidered on it — would have violated the ICC’s contract with official sponsors if it were to be filmed and broadcast by news television channels.

Ponting was taken aback at Rose’s request and asked him a couple of times if he really wanted the cap off. Rose nodded firmly. Ponting took off the cap, smoothed his ruffled blond hair and muttered: “Do I need a brush'”

WI odds

London: Following their victory over South Africa in the opening game, the West Indies’ odds to win the Cup for a record third time have been halved from 12/1 to 6/1. Bookmakers William Hill made them third favourites behind Australia at 5/4, and South Africa at 100/30.

n India vs Holland, live from 1.10 pm on DD-1 and 1.30 pm on SET Max n South Africa vs Kenya, live from 1.30 pm on Sony


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