Home > News >

Mohammad Kaif: Received blessings from Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly for election campaign

Mohammad Kaif rued about the lack of development in Uttar Pradesh, especially in the Allahabad region © PTI
Mohammad Kaif rued about the lack of development in Uttar Pradesh, especially in the Allahabad region © PTI

Allahabad: Mar 15, 2014

Former India Test cricketer and Congress’ Lok Sabha candidate from Phulpur, Mohammad Kaif on Saturday said he has “received the blessings” of legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Virender Sehwag whom he expected to help him in his campaign trail.

The cricketer-turned-politician also rued about the lack of development in Uttar Pradesh, especially in the Allahabad region while addressing a press conference on Saturday, a week after getting the Congress ticket from the Phulpur constituency.

“Cricket gave me the opportunity to travel to various parts of the country. Whenever I toured Maharashtra or the southern states, I felt the contrast with UP in terms of development in general including lack of adequate sporting infrastructure here,” he said.

“I used to feel impelled to do something for my home state, particularly for my home town of Allahabad, which has a huge treasure trove of raw sporting talent which remains untapped for want of good coaching and training facilities.

“But, I used to be clueless as to how to do that. Now I feel I have a platform from which I can serve my people,” he added.

Kaif expressed confidence that he would work his way up in politics in keeping with his batting style which kept the scoreboard ticking with ones and twos despite lack of flamboyant boundaries and sixes.

He claimed that he has “received the blessings” of legends like Tendulkar, Ganguly and Sehwag.

“I have spoken to and received the good wishes of many of my seniors like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Harbhajan Singh and Virender Sehwag.

“They have assured me that they would be here to support me during the campaign whenever it is possible for them. I am still in the process of contacting other cricketers I have played with and they may help me in electioneering too”.

Kaif said he felt “very strongly” that “in the past 25 years, when the Congress has been out of power in the state of UP and during the period the party has also suffered defeat after defeat from Phulpur, the state in general and the Parliamentary constituency in particular have suffered stagnation”.

He said that politics is a full time job. “I have entered politics knowing fully well that it is a full-time job,” Kaif said. When asked whether he implied that he planned to retire from the Ranji-level cricket as well as the Indian Premier League (IPL), he said, “A decision will be taken depending upon how circumstances unfold.”

To a query about his rather short international cricketing career, the 33-year-old said, “I feel whatever I have got was by the grace of God and by virtue of the love of my fellow Allahabadis besides, of course, the support of the entire country. I feel satisfied and there is no gila-shikva (complains).”

Fondly recalling his first meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi, “who had come to Karachi to watch a match against Pakistan in which I also played,” Kaif said. “I was nevertheless surprised when I got the offer for contesting elections.”

Asked how confident he felt about his prospects given the fact that the Congress has faced defeat at Allahabad in the last seven Lok Sabha elections and also the generally perceived anti-incumbency which is likely to adversely affect the party, Kaif said, “People might recall that as a cricketer I was workman-like and not flamboyant.

“I did not hit many boundaries or sixes but used to keep the scoreboard ticking with quick singles and twos. I hope to work my way up in politics as well”.

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

AB de Villiers praises team after win in 1st ODI

Saeed Ajmal’s action to be assessed after two more weeks of remedial work under Saqlain Mushtaq

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 highlights: Younis Khan’s ton, Mitchell Johnson’s riveting spell

Steve O’Keefe and other Test cricketers with apostrophes in their surnames

Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Geoff Marsh and other Father-Son trios to have played Test cricket

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Why did Mohammad Hafeez go for a shocking review?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Tillakaratne Dilshan’s luxury hotel inaugurated by Mahinda Rajapaksa

Misbah-ul-Haq, Asad Shafiq half-centuries ensure Pakistan advantage against Australia at Lunch on Day 2 of 1st Test

West Indies cancel tour to India: Ian Bishop calls tour collapse a ‘wake-up-call’

Brad Haddin turns 37

Virat Kohli and other cricketers wish Happy Diwali on Twitter

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

Joginder Sharma: When an over eclipses a career

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Younis Khan: First Pakistani and 12th overall to score a century against all 9 Test nations

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 highlights: Younis Khan’s ton, Mitchell Johnson’s riveting spell

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

Diwali special: Check out what gifts Deepika Padukone, Sonakshi Sinha, Hrithik Roshan should exchange this Diwali!

Lenovo RocStar music-focused Android KitKat smartphone with Dolby Digital Plus audio launched in India, priced at Rs 6,499

Narendra Modi to celebrate Diwali with soldiers at Siachen Glacier

Google’s new Inbox app is the Google Now of Gmail

इबोला : अंतर्राष्ट्रीय लड़ाई में क्यूबा का साथ देगा अमेरिका

इबोला से संक्रमित अमेरिकी फोटोग्राफर विषाणु मुक्त घोषित

How are Deepika Padukone, Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra and Alia Bhatt celebrating Diwali?

Diwali 2014 Special: Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Sunny Leone – Top 7 Bollywood patakas we love!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here