India-Oz cricket rivalry unrivalled: Oz Minister

New Delhi: India and Australia share an unmatched rivalry in the cricket pitch, Australian Sports Minister Mark Arbib said today adding that his favourite Indian cricketer is Sachin Tendulkar.

The Minister, who is the country for the ongoing 19th Commonwealth Games, said there is an emotional element attached to the sport and hence there are the occasional spats between two rival players.

“The rivalry between Australia and India in the cricket pitch is unrivalled...There is always an emotional element. So you can expect from time to time that those (spats) things will happen,” Arbib told reporters.

Asked who his favourite Indian cricketer was, the Minister named Sachin Tendulkar.

“He is a wonderful player. I love watching him bat. I remember watching Gavaskar play. He is probably the best batsman that I have ever seen. I have seen Viv Richards playing and I have seen some of Australia’s best playing like Steve Waugh and Sachin is up there as well,” he said.

Arbib however said, “At the same time, personally, I believe that all sports people are role models and they are role models for young people in particular. So I think that restrain as a behaviour obviously should be followed and all the teams have strict code of conduct, we all like to see it that they are followed.”

Arbib was responding to a query on the spat between Indian pacer Zaheer Khan and Australian skipper Ricky Ponting during the Mohali Test match which India won today by one wicket.

He said it is “understandable” that such things happen on the pitch “but we like to think that at the end of the game, they can sit down together and have a drink and move on.”


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