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Praise for Tendulkar is unpatriotic, says Taliban

Militants slam Pakistani tributes to cricketer

Praise for Tendulkar is unpatriotic, says Taliban

Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar retired in November (Indranil Mukhergee / AFP) reporter, Peshawar

November 29, 2013

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In an unusual video message, the Pakistani Taliban has criticized the country’s media and people for lavishing praise on India’s recently retired sporting icon Sachin Tendulkar.

Tendulkar, 40, called it a day on November 16 after becoming the world's leading run-getter in both Test and one-day cricket, a sport that is hugely popular in Pakistan and India.

But the tributes from Pakistan have been slammed by the Taliban. In a recorded video message spokesman Shahidullah Shahid, flanked by two armed masked men, urged the media to back Pakistani cricket captain Misbah ul Haq instead.

“There is an Indian player. His name is Tendulkar. Pakistani media have accorded too much praise to him, in fact several Pakistanis have praised him. Similarly, they have condemned Misbah ul Haq,” he said.

“People like those in media should tell media persons, although Sachin is a great player, his greatness should not be talked about as it is against Pakistan’s nationalism and patriotism. And Misbah, even though he is a pathetic player, you should praise him because he is a Pakistani."

The Pakistan media gave extensive coverage to Tendulkar’s cricketing feats and his farewell speech was aired live by most of the country’s cable news channels.

Rated by critics and contemporaries as arguably the greatest postwar batsman, Tendulkar continued to rewrite the record books with his batting skills since making his debut against Pakistan in Karachi in 1989.

Misbah on the other hand is heavily criticized in Pakistan for his old fashioned slow batting approach.

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