When Miandad turned a gracious host

Published on Apr 08, 2004 01:23 PM IST

Once a formidable opponent, legendary Pak batsman Javed Miandad turned a gracious host as he feted his former rivals at a dinner.

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PTI | ByQaiser Mohammad Ali (IANS), Lahore

Once a formidable opponent, legendary Pakistani batsman Javed Miandad turned a gracious host as he feted his former rivals at a dinner.

Former Indian captain Gundappa Viswanath, accompanied by Dilip Vengsarkar, Syed Kirmani and Kiran More, all former India Test players who have played against Miandad, found their Pakistani host to be a simple human being.

Miandad is now the coach of the Pakistan team.

"He (Miandad) has always been close to us," Viswanath told IANS.

What did they talk about over dinner? "Well, we talked about a lot of things, generally. We of course talked plenty of cricket, but we also discussed movies."

Viswanath is also close to former Pakistan batsman Wasim Raja, the elder brother of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief executive Rameez.

"We had a lot of things common between us," Viswanath said.

"Whenever we met as International Cricket Council (ICC) match referees, we would recall the tours we made to each other's country."

Wasim, who is no longer an ICC referee, is based in England, while Viswanath lives in Bangalore.

End of the road for Waqar?

It increasingly looks like former Pakistan captain and tearaway Waqar Younis' career is all but over.

The fast bowler, who formed a formidable pair with Wasim Akram and swung the world's best batsmen out, was very keen on staging a come back ever since he was dropped after the 2003 World Cup.

But the selectors have continuously ignored him, though there was a talk that he would be called back during the ongoing series against India.

Now the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is seriously planning to give him a formal farewell.

Although Waqar had turned down a PCB request of a farewell one-day international against South Africa last year, it seems the "burewalla bombshell", as the bowler is often referred to, has reconciled to the fact that it is indeed the end of the road for him.

PCB chief executive Rameez Raja said he would discuss a farewell match with Waqar after he returned from his present trip to India. His retirement would then be formally announced.

"He called me up from India the other day. Let him come back and we will call a press conference and announce it," Rameez told IANS.

Saif and Sushmita for Pakistan

After singers Daler Mehndi, Jagjit Singh and Sonu Nigam, it is now the turn of Saif Ali Khan, Sushmita Sen and Malaika Arora to tour Pakistan.

They are slated to perform in the coastal city of Karachi "very, very soon", an advertisement in Dawn announced Thursday.

Production and events group IndusTree is organising the event about which they are not disclosing anything more at present.

Free education for the girl child

In order to achieve 100 percent literacy at the primary level, the Punjab government here is taking measures to ensure free education for every girl child in the province.

It has decided to give a monthly stipend of Rs.200 each to girl students from Class 6 to Class 8 in all government schools.

Free education up to matriculation will be provided to girls in select districts.

Initially, the stipend scheme is being introduced in selected low-literacy districts for girls who attain 80 percent attendance in schools.

The two schemes have been launched under the Punjab education sector reforms programme.

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