Win matches, but also win hearts. This was the message Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee gave India skipper Sourav Ganguly who met him in his residence in Delhi on Wednesday.
"Khel hi nahi, dil bhi jitye. Meri shubkamana apke saath (Besides the game, also win hearts. My best wishes are with you)," read Vajpayee's good wishes.
School children lined up at Vajpayee's residence with placards to wish the Indian team good luck. After meeting Vajpayee the team left 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)'.
'Sabse Aage Honge Hindustani' and 'Shanti, Gyan, Bhaichara, Yehi Uddeshya Hai Hamara'were the other messages on display.
The Indian players, who came in a tourist bus named 'Gaurav', had a 40-minutemeeting with Vajpayee.
SportsMinister 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 15years.
Vajpayee also wished a happy birthday to Parthiv Patel who turned 19on Tuesday.
Military band played the tunes of Sare Jahan Se Aachha Hindustan Hamara and Hum Honge Kamyab Ek Dinwhile the members of the team stepped up one by one to meet Vajpayee. The Indian team also presented an autographed bat to prime minister as a memento.