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Sachin-Sehwag bat, eat together

On Friday night, the two batsmen sat next to each other on the lawns of Holiday Inn as they chatted and enjoyed the good food.

india Updated: Mar 27, 2004 14:50 IST

Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag are turning out to have a wonderful chemistry. The duo not only opens the innings in one-day internationals but also shares the table when it comes to eating food.

On Friday night, the two right-handed batsmen - Sachin writes with his left hand though - sat next to each other on the lawns of Holiday Inn as they chatted and enjoyed the good food.

Pacer Ajit Agarkar, who has just joined the team for the Test series after missing the one-dayers due to injury, and a few others from the team, joined them during an evening when the Indian cricketers mingled freely with Indian and Pakistani journalists.

Laxman likes kulfi - but without faluda

VVS Laxman, who almost became a doctor before he succeeded in cricket, may be savage on bowlers but he is a strict vegetarian when it comes to food.

"No, I don't eat meat," he said, as he shared the table after the Indian team's first media access session for travelling Indian journalists at Holiday Inn Friday night when the players and journalists lowered their guards.

Laxman, who comes from Hyderabad, preferred to eat vegetarian dishes with tandoori roti, and followed it up with kulfi.

But when the waiter - Laxman called him "bhai saheb" - brought kulfi with falooda, he asked if he could have it without the additional offerings. The waiter was only too happy to oblige his revered guest.

Laxman, who scored a classic 107 in the series-deciding one-day international against Pakistan to help India win the Samsung Cup 3-2, was forthcoming throughout and talked on a host of topics - from his school days at Little Flowers to the disappointment of missing the 2003 World Cup.

Much of it was, however, not for print.

No solution to Parthiv-Pathan examination query

Teenaged cricketer Parthiv Patel - who would be keeping wickets in the Test series beginning Sunday after Rahul Dravid did the job in the one-dayers - and left-arm pacer Irfan Pathan seem to be close friends.

Both have several things in common: both come from Gujarat - Parthiv from Ahmedabad and Irfan from Vadodara, both missed their annual school examinations that clashed with the 39-day Pakistan tour, and both gave each other company at the official team dinner Friday night.

Asked why doesn't the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) request the Gujarat education board to allow them to take their papers at a later date as they were on national duty, an Indian team official smiled and came up with a new point of view: "If they are allowed to take examinations separately, no politician's son would take the papers with others and will try to sit separately like Parthiv and Pathan."

He had a point there.

Indian tunes soothe guests

It was an Indian evening in every sense of the term. As players, journalists, Indian and Pakistani cricket officials mixed freely with each other, in a corner of the lawn a local singer, accompanied by his troupe, dished out the tunes of some famous Indian songs.

In fact, Indian tunes emerge from virtually every mobile phone here in Pakistan and Indian songs are played at full volume in road-side restaurants every night - even in this city of saints - and video films are watched in cyber cafes round the cock.