Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar is the most popular cricketer from the visiting team among spectators at the Ferozshah Kotla Stadium. This was quite evident form the huge cheers that greeted him every time he went to field near boundary line.
But his popularity dipped at the ground the very moment Union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav's presence was flashed on the two giant screens at the ground. The Bihar politician received as much attention as any cricketer when he took the "ground way" to go to the pavilion from the Old Club House stand.
However, neither the world's fastest bowler nor one of the most talked about Indian politicians could challenge the popularity of Sachin Tendulkar.
Deafening cheers across the ground welcomed the master blaster the moment he emerged from the pavilion at the fall of Wasim Jaffer's wicket. The cheers that continued till Sachin reached the centre of the ground, once again proved that the Little Master is God to fans in India where cricket is no less than a religion.
However, the joy did not last for long as he was run out for just one. The crowd was left with no option, but to go back to Shoaib Akhtar.
The warmth displayed for the Pakistani bowler, whom many see as cricket's current enfant terrible, clearly showed how much he enjoyed the attention. He also greeted the crowd near the fine leg boundary by putting his hands together in a "Namaste" pose. (ANI)
© 2007 ANI