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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > News > Report

'I hope Kenya wins'

Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Mumbai | March 19, 2003 21:22 IST

Kenya meets India inthe second semi-final of the 2003 World Cupon Thursday, and thegeneral view isthe Kenyans will easily bedefeatedand India will take onAustralia in the final on Sunday.

Yusuf Ahmed KarimHowever, Yusuf Ahmed Karim, father ofexperienced Kenyan spinnerAsif Karim, feelsKenyashould not underestimated. He saysIndians should remember that cricketis full of uncertainties and anything can happen.

"India were 23 for 3 against Kenya, and had Sourav Ganguly not made the century in the Super Six match, India would have lost. Ganguly is a good player and he played very well that day; itresulted in victory for India," says Yusuf Karim.

He adds: "I think if Kenya make 250 tomorrow, then it will be difficult for India.If India bats first and makes 270 then it will be difficult for Kenya. There are many good players in Kenya.India should watch out for Maurice Odumbe andSteve Tikolo. Both are good as isKennedy Otieno. Then there is also my son."

Yusuf is in Mumbai forknee replacement surgeryand will miss watching the match in South Africa.He, however, is content that he will be able to watch the match live ontelevisionin his Bombay Hospital room wherehe is recuperating.

Asked about the chances of his son doing well onThursday,as he had against Australia in Kenya's last Super Six match,Yusuf predicted a "great performance". He said, "He should do well as he is playing great. I really hopeKenyawins;it willbe a good match.Even if India wins it won't beby a big margin."

Interestingly, Yusuf was born in Mumbai in 1935.His father moved to Kenya in 1937 for business. Since then,Yusuf nevervisited Mumbai till15 years ago, when hedecided to visit the city"to see my birthplace".

"I like my birthplace.In 2001, I came here for an operation as the doctors here are very good.Therefore, when I had to do a knee operation, I came here," said Yusuf.

Asked whether his son would beable to bowl well against Sachin Tendulkar, the world's greatest batsman, Yusuf replied: "I want my son to do his best tomorrow. If you recall, in the Gwalior match against India my son took Tendulkar's wicket.I think he can take his wicket this time too."

Yusuf has three sons; Asif is the second.One son is in Uganda doing business and the another is settled in Florida, US.

"All my children liked cricket and played at different levels in Kenya. But it was only Asif who could make it big. Interestingly, he was more interested in tennis earlier. And I am happy that he made it big in cricket," says Yusuf Karim.

"Though I too played for Kenya when I was young, Asif has performed far better than me.He never had a coach in his career. Whatever he is today is only because of his hard work and dedication," headds.

Asked if whetherfame has come to his sonat a late age, Yusuf said, "No, I don't think so. He has been playing for Kenya for the last 22 years. I encouraged him a lot, though I was not his godfather in cricket."

When told that a lot of people feel that Kenya did no deserve to be in the semi-finals, Yusuf shot back: "No, it was not a fluke. It is wrong to say that. They have worked hard to come to this position. They beat Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe and that was brilliant. I feel bad that Kenya has not been given Test status whereas Bangladesh has...they did not qualify for theSuper Six."

He saidhe is "very close" to his son.

"He calls me every second day. In fact, when he got the man of the match award, he got a gold watch and saidit was meant for me; but I told him that he should keep it because he worked hard to achieve it.".

So what do the father and son discuss when they meet?

"Tennis and, of course, cricket."


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Number of User Comments: 10

Sub: Interview with Yusuf

I appreciate rediff.Any father will be proud of his son. It is nothing wrong about Yusuf saying about his son.He feels pride about it.

Posted by LakkshmiNarayanan

Sub: Wrong stats

Hi Karim senior! Just for ur info!! Sachin was not playing in that gwalior match in which kenyans won(He was rested).And where on earth could ...

Posted by Murali kathirvel

Sub: no matter INDIA wins - because...

A winning attitude determines the success: All winners have positive attitude. - A winner sees another chance from failure. There is nothing like "if", "if" ...

Posted by venky

Sub: what sort of a language is this?

I would like to place a small piece of advice to Rediff. Your columns and interviews are read by many. It is really painstaking to ...

Posted by Dr. K.Sashindran Nair

Sub: Does Yusuf Karim know anything about Cricket?

"I think if Kenya make 250 tomorrow, then it will be difficult for India. If India bats first and makes 270 then it will be ...

Posted by Falgun Patel


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