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Sidhu too busy to write memoirs

Cricketer-turned-commentator Navjot Singh Sidhu says he has a wealth of cricket tales to tell but can't find time now to write a book.
PTI | By Qaiser Mohammad Ali (IANS), Lahore
PUBLISHED ON APR 06, 2004 12:39 PM IST

Cricketer-turned-commentator Navjot Singh Sidhu says he has a wealth of cricket tales to tell but can't find time now to write a book.

"I have so much to write that it will make a very interesting book written in just 20 days flat," says the man known for his rib-tickling one-liners, or "Sidhuisms" as they are called. "I can write a book on India's 1996 tour of England alone."

"I am not keen on it right now, also because I'm too occupied with others things," Sidhu, who is here as a television commentator for the ongoing India-Pakistan cricket series, told IANS.

"Do you think one should write an autobiography once his playing days are over?" asked the former opening batsman. "I think a player should write when he is playing because there is no point in writing a book after retirement."

But Sidhu, who played 51 Tests and 136 one-day Internationals, clarified he was not saying that because he was short of material.

The 1996 tour became famous when Sidhu opted to return midway through the tour after a tiff with captain Mohammad Azharuddin. Even coach Sandip Patil failed to dissuade him from returning home. He, however, later returned to the Indian team.

Commentary and crosswords

India-born former England pace bowler Robin Jackman is passionate about crosswords. For Jackman, who is here as a television commentator, poring over a crossword is a familiar sight.

The English bowler, who played four Tests and 15 one-day internationals in 1970s and 80s, is not satisfied with just one crossword a day and has a bunch of photocopies of crosswords, which appear in different newspapers and magazines.

And when he is not on television one can find him in a corner of the room wracking his brains over a crossword.

Jackman, who was born in Shimla, is so passionate about this pastime that his wife faxes his favourite crosswords to him wherever he travels.

Jackman did not play much Test cricket as some countries like the West Indies objected to his South Africa connection. On England's 1980 tour of the West Indies, one Test match had to be scrapped because the Antigua government did not allow him to enter the island but the England team insisted on playing him.

South Africa was readmitted into the International Cricket Council in 1991, but by then Jackman had long retired.

PCB vs Indian journalists

With a lively pitch prepared for the ongoing second Test between India and Pakistan, the match is predicted to get over in four days instead of five.

And plans are afoot on what to do on Friday, the fifth day of the Test.

Some Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials are so confident of the match getting over in four days that they are talking of a friendly match against an Indian journalists' XI at Gaddafi Stadium.

"The Test will surely be over in four days, so we can easily play a 20-over per side match Friday," said a PCB functionary.

Indian journalists, here to cover the series, have been sounded out about the match. Even coloured kits for the two teams have been ordered and so are the souvenirs, informed the PCB official.

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