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Narendra Modi ignores Team India stars

Last updated on: September 26, 2007 13:11 IST

Governments at the state level are queuing up to shower riches on members of the Indian cricket team that brought the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup trophy home after beating Pakistan in the final.

In Maharashtra, Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh announced Rs 10 lakh each to Mumbai boys Rohit Sharma and Ajit Agarkar.

In Karnataka, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh to Robin Uthappa, for his consistent batting in the number three slot and his electric fielding, including a key run-out in the final.

The Kerala government announced a cash award of Rs 5 lakh for local boy Shantakumaran Sreesanth, who "caught the World Cup" when he ran back from short fine leg to snare an attempted paddle by Misbah-ul Haq off Joginder Sharma in the final over.

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda announced Rs 21 lakh to Joginder Sharma, for bowling the key final overs in the semi-final against Australia and the final against Pakistan; in the latter game, with Pakistan needing five to win, Sharma took out the wicket of the dangerous Misbah-ul Haq to seal the game.

In Jharkhand, Chief Minister Sudhir Mahto announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh for captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, besides conferring on him the first ever Jharkhand Ratna award and a memento.

UP Chief Minister Mayawati announced Rs 10 lakh to R P Singh, whose inspirational bowling spearheaded the team's performances in the field; the bowler is also being honored with the Kanshiram International Sports Award.

The BCCI has announced an award of Rs 2 million to be shared by the team members; in addition, Yuvraj Singh gets Rs 1 crore for his six sixes off as many deliveries against England in a must win game.

No player from Himachal Pradesh figures in the Indian team, but state chief minister Virbhadra Singh was still enthused enough to announce free stays for all players at the HP Tourism Development Corporation hotels.

In this orgy of felicitation, there is one exception: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has announced no reward, put out no congratulatory statements, nothing.

Two players from his state figured in the final - the Pathan brothers Yusuf and Irfan. The latter, who so not long ago had been dumped from the national side, is the comeback story of the tournament, bowling with purpose in all games, doing his bit with the bat, and fielding with verve.

Ironically Irfan, who appears not to have caught Modi's fancy, was Man of the Match in the final against Pakistan with an inspirational spell in the middle overs, in which he took out wickets regularly and drove the asking rate up.

It is tempting to speculate why Modi hasn't taken a cue from chief ministers across the country - but why bother, when the reason is as plain as the nose on the chief minister's face?

Prasanna Zore