• 'My phones were rather quiet'


    Colombo: Harbhajan Singh’s over 13-month wait is set to end on Sunday, in the World Twenty20 match against England. The senior pro’s last India appearance (in a full-fledged game) was in the Trent Bridge Test on the 2011 tour of England.

    The 32-year-old Harbhajan, who is the second-most successful off-spinner in Test cricket, after Muttiah Muralidharan, featured in the XI which won the inaugural World Twenty20, in 2007, and the 2011 World Cup.

    Recently, Harbhajan spoke to The Telegraph at some length. There were times when he became emotional during the one-on-one.

    The following are excerpts

    Q Emotionally, you must have gone through a lot since August 2011...


    A A tough 12 months or so... It’s hard to describe how I felt, but I experienced the toughest year of my career... Mentally, I wasn’t in the right frame of mind and, if you’re not in a happy state, then you can’t do what’s expected of you.

    Was your mind cluttered?

    All the time, I was just thinking... Sochta tha when I’d be back playing Read More »from 'My phones were rather quiet'
  • Sachin has been an inspiration: Mangal

    Afghanistan captain Nawroz Mangal's dream is to qualify for the 50-over World Cup in 2015.

    Mangal said Team India has a massive fan following in Afghanistan.


    Colombo: Afghanistan’s captain, Nawroz Mangal, spoke to The Telegraph at the Taj Samudra (in a mix of languages) on Tuesday afternoon. The 28-year-old was excited about the World Twenty20, which began later in the day.

    Mangal, incidentally, had been Afghanistan’s captain in the last edition (2010), too.

    The following are excerpts

    Background...

    We’re from Khost... After the Soviet invasion (in 1979), we’d fled to Peshawar as refugees... We returned to Afghanistan in 2005... Apne watan to wapas jana hi tha.

    If he’s a full-time cricketer...

    Yes.

    His inspiration...

    Sachin Tendulkar... When I was younger, I couldn’t pronounce his family name... Tendulkar bolna mushkil hota tha... Now, of course, it’s not an issue. He’ll always remain an inspiration.

    Being crazy about Sachin...

    Absolutely... There was a time I’d write Sachin’s name on my right palm before going out to bat! I’ve been that crazy... When we were in Peshawar, those around me would urge me to support Pakistan, for I’d get very upset if

    Read More »from Sachin has been an inspiration: Mangal
  • My Yuvi, the fighter

    Yuvraj's mom on ‘the only thing’ she has in the world



    Visakhapatnam:
    No individual matters more to Yuvraj Singh than his mother, Shabnam. Around 9.15pm, she spoke to The Telegraph at her hotel, despite having spent quite a bit of the day travelling to this port city.

    The following are excerpts:

    As a mother, what did you go through when Dr Peter Harper confirmed Yuvraj had cancer and that chemotherapy couldn’t be avoided?

    (Pauses) The last thing you want is your child to have cancer. I confess it was scary.… One began asking so many questions. Thankfully, it was a curable form of cancer. But while that was a relief, the situation had to be met head-on. We couldn’t just let it be.

    The second cycle of chemotherapy left Yuvraj absolutely weak, yet your presence gave him strength.…

    There was one drug, Bleomycin, which had to be injected six-seven times during the course of the treatment and the very thought of another shot would make Yuvi tremble. It took 10 minutes to inject and he’d react rather badly. The doctors said that they were giving a

    Read More »from My Yuvi, the fighter

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