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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Waqar Younis downplays ICC World Cup trophy issue

Pakistan cricket coach Waqar Younis has played down the controversy over the ICC World Cup trophy after Indian media reported that a replica was given to India.
“I don’t think it really matters whether it was a replica trophy or the original one since the main thing is the feeling of becoming world champions once you win the final,” the Daily Times quoted Waqar, as telling media persons.
“This is not an issue to me because the Indian team must now be feeling at the top of the world having won the final. They are the champions, and for Indian cricket, it is a big achievement,” he added.
The trophy issue raised such a storm that the International Cricket Council (ICC) had to issue a clarification that the trophy given to the Indian team was the original one, which was “always intended to be presented to the winner of the event.”
“The trophy seized by Mumbai customs is the promotional, perpetual trophy which remains in the keeping of ICC at its headquarters in Dubai. It carries the generic ICC corporate logo rather than the logo specific to the 2011 event,” said the ICC media release, adding that the confiscated trophy would be reclaimed and would “travel back to Dubai with ICC staff as was always intended.”
Meanwhile, Waqar made it clear that he would complete his coaching contract with Pakistan despite their semi-final loss against archrivals India in the World Cup.
The former Test captain said he had one year remaining as Pakistan coach and would continue to do the job, as he was satisfied with the performance of the team in the World Cup.
“Losing the semi-final to India was disappointing, but the team did well to reach the last four stage even though we were considered underdogs when the competition started. India played better than us and went on to win the World Cup,” he added.
Waqar also pointed out that 260 runs put up by India in the semi-final clash was an attainable score, but the catches dropped by Pakistan made a real difference to the match result.
“Those catches cost us heavily because you can’t allow so much levy to a strong batting line up that India have,” he rued. 
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