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'Cricket's billionaire run-machine'
March 02, 2003 19:03 IST
India's memorable win over their arch-rivals Pakistan delighted not only their countrymen but also World Cup hosts, South Africa, where all newspapers devoted much attention to the high-voltage encounter at the Supersport Park in Centurion.
"Cricket's billionaire run-machine" was how little master Sachin Tendulkar was described in the country's largest newspaper, the Johannesburg-based Sunday Times. The report went on to describe Tendulkar's achievements since he started playing top-level cricket more than a decade ago and the fortune he has amassed through cricket and endorsements.
The frontpage was splashed with photographs of Tendulkar, which was topped with an apt two-word headline "India's Delight".
The daily was all praise for Tendulkar, who despite struggling in pain, scored a magnificent 98. It said "No gain, without pain: Sachin Tendulkar".
The Sunday Times cricket correspondent Colin Bryden began his report with these words "On one of cricket's great occasions, Tendulkar played an innings worthy of the best batsman in the world as India beat Pakistan in the first meeting of the two countries in almost three years".
"Asia came to Africa on a day to overwhelm the senses. Fans chanted, waved flags, whistled and cheered. The noise was constant and close to deafening. Hardly anyone in the 20,000 crowd, it seemed, sat still", the report said.
"In this emotional setting, Tendulkar destroyed the world-class Pakistan new ball attack in a blazing early assault and went on score a magnificent 98 off 75 balls. In the end it was cramp, as much as a sharp lifter from Shoaib Akhtar, that prevented him from scoring his 35th one-day international century," the report said.
The Durban-based Sunday Tribune also gave wide coverage to India's achievement. In its sports pages, the Tribune published a story and a photograph of Tendulkar sweeping under the headline: "Little genius turns it on".
The Tribune also carried large photographs of bare-chested Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh frolicking on Durban's main beach. On the same
page the newspaper also published pictures of Ashish Nehra showing a funny face at a cameraman and Tendulkar driving on a video machine in Pietermaritzburg.
India's victory has not only been vociferously celebrated by the large contingent of Indian nationals accompanying the team, but also by Indian-origin locals.
In addition to thousands flooding to Supersport Saturday, Indian-origin locals were glued to their TV screens all over South Africa, especially in KwaZulu-Natal, Pretoria, Johannesburg, Pietermaritzburg, East London, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town.
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