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Besides game, win hearts as well: Vajpayee to Team India

PM gifted a bat to Ganguly along with best wishes when the team met him before leaving for Pakistan.

india Updated: Mar 10, 2004 19:32 IST

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Wednesday presented a bat to the Indian cricket team captain Sourav Ganguly along with best wishes for the Pakistan series beginning on Saturday.

Vajpayee's good wishes read: Khel hi nahi, dil bhi jitye. Meri shubkamana apke saath (Besides the game, also win hearts. My best wishes are with you).

School children lined up at the Prime Minister's official residence in New Delhi with placards to wish the Indian team good luck, before the team called on Vajpayee hours before leaving for Lahore for the historic series.

The placards had messages like 'Best of Luck' and Atal ne diya cricket ka uphaar, India-Pakistan sadbhavana ka prachar (Atal's cricket gift spreads harmony in India and Pakistan).

Others read: Sabse Aage Honge Hindustani and Shanti, Gyan, Bhaichara, Yehi Uddeshya Hai Hamara.

The Indian players, who came in a tourist bus named 'Gaurav', had a 40-minute meeting with the Prime Minister.

Sports Minister Vikram Verma and Minister of State for Sports Vijay Goel were also present on the occasion.

India will play five one-day matches and three Tests on their first full-fledged tour of Pakistan in 15 years.

First Published: Mar 10, 2004 12:45 IST