ICL: Indian Cricket League

George Bush interested in Cricket

Written by Kashif Aziz on March 5th, 2006   (388 views)

US President Geroge W Bush showed is keen interest in the game of Cricket during his recent visit of Pakistan. According to The News, Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq hopes that the interest taken by US President George W Bush in cricket would help promote the sport in North America.

“He showed keen interest in knowing the difference between cricket and baseball. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shaharyar Khan briefed him on different aspects of the game,” Inzamam said after attending the cricket session with the American President in Islamabad at the US embassy.

“He is basically a baseball fan but is fascinated by cricket also. One can only hope that after the interest he has shown in cricket it would give cricket a big boost in the States where it is still finding ground.”

Inzamam said he and Pakistan opener Salman Butt had also helped the President on how to grip the bat and other cricket things.

“Shaharyar later presented him a cricket ball signed by the players and an official tie of the board,” he added.

Salman Butt said Bush had taken a lot of interest in the cricket session and was eager to learn about its finer points.

Reuters adds: US President George W Bush, an avid baseball fan, on Saturday tried his hand at a sport hugely popular in parts of the old British empire, cricket, and was pronounced ‘not bad’ for a first-timer.

Bush bowled and batted several times on a practice cricket pitch set up on the grounds of the US embassy in the capital of cricket-mad Pakistan, as students from the Islamabad College for Boys and the private school Schola Nova, which included girls, looked on and encouraged him.

He got a quick lesson on how to hold the bat from Shaharyar Khan, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). “He told me the difference between baseball and cricket,” said Bush, a former owner of a Texas baseball team.

Then Salman Butt, a member of Pakistan’s cricket team, with Inzamam-ul-Haq, the team captain, coached the President to also lend his expertise. Bush, in a blue shirt with sleeves rolled up, played with tennis balls, which are much softer than stone-hard cricket balls.

One student, Asif Raza, said that he hoped Bush’s foray onto a cricket pitch would promote the sport in America. The president’s first couple of hits went off to the side, but the Pakistani players were charitable. “Not bad for a first time,” one boy said. But his last hit was better and the ball flew off into some trees. One ball hit him on the back. He then tried his hand at bowling. “Very nice, very nice,” were the remarks of one girl.

Bush, in Pakistan on the last leg of a tour of South Asia, was modest about his first-time performance. “Haven’t quite got the skills yet,” he said.

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