HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014
Before the leather talks
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Kolkata, March 29, 2011
First Published: 00:35 IST(29/3/2011)
Last Updated: 00:38 IST(29/3/2011)

Pakistan must be dreaming if they think they can beat India in Wednesday's semifinal in Mohali. India be warned though, for in dreams lie the seeds of real achievements.

This was a suggestion thrown up by the banter between two World Cup-winning captains at a promotional event here on Monday.

"As Clive (Lloyd) said, we don't want a one-sided match. I don't want Pakistan to win easily," said Imran Khan, referring to the wish of the former West Indies captain that the semifinal should see a close contest.

"Let him dream. Everyone can dream. There are all sorts of dreams, day dreams and night dreams," Kapil Dev replied to applause. But Imran had the last word though. "I must warn you, dreamers can be the real achievers."

Imran was not finished. "Look, I know all of you are afraid, lest the unthinkable happens on Wednesday. My advice to you is, instead of being afraid, enjoy the match."

The mother of all battles - India-Pakistan is bigger than the Ashes in terms of pressure and interest. Reacting to Imran's suggestion that India players should take sleeping pills to cope with the pressure, Kapil said, "Inzamam (ul-Haq) told me he had an upset stomach after taking sleeping pills given by Imran (before the 1992 semis)."

"I can tell you, it was not the sleeping pill that caused Inzamam's stomach upset, it was the pressure of playing a Cup semifinal," Imran said of the then boy wonder, who scored a half-century to take his team to the final. "And I bet there will be a few more upset stomachs before Wednesday."

Despite the banter, it was clear Kapil and Imran have immense respect for each other. "He (Imran) can say whatever he wants, he's a politician now," Kapil said at one point, also speaking of how tough Imran's job must have been, leading a side with players like Javed Miandad.

Imran's pick for the World Cup? "A Pakistan-Sri Lanka final."

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