Lorgat salutes India, England for first Test

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/i/icclogo.jpg' class='caption'> International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat praised both India and England following the first Test in Chennai.

Updated: December 16, 2008 19:01 IST
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The Chief Executive of the International Cricket Council, Haroon Lorgat, on Tuesday lauded both India and England for the Chennai Test and said the match proved that sport can make a difference to a world fraught with conflicts.

India achieved the fourth highest successful run chase in Tests, Sachin Tendulkar making his 41st Test century to help the hosts reach a target of 387 in the final session on Monday.

ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat has sent a message of congratulation and gratitude to the India and England teams after a hard-fought and exciting Test match in Chennai, played in trying circumstances.

"I have been in touch with both the BCCI and ECB since the end of the match to thank them for what was a great advertisement for cricket," said Lorgat in an ICC release.

"There was a lot of debate before this game as to whether it would even go ahead because of the terrible events in Mumbai recently. Last week, I was convinced that the right thing to do was for the match to take place and now I'm glad that we have witnessed a great game of cricket.

"Although India takes the plaudits for winning the match, thanks and congratulations are also due to Kevin Pietersen and his team who played so well while under enormous pressure from forces over which they could exert no control. I was very impressed with their attitude and today I can say I am especially proud to be involved in this great game.

"Sport has the ability to make a difference in our society and over the past few days these two cricket teams have fought back and demonstrated great unity in a world rocked by conflict and division.

"I have no doubt the England players will be very disappointed after this match but they have a huge amount of which to be proud. They clearly have plenty of character and courage so I hope they can pick themselves up and go to Mohali for the second Test with lots to play for," said the South African regarding the first Test between India and England which was played in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks.

Immediately following the attacks in Mumbai, the England squad went home but following intensive security assessments they bravely returned to fulfil the Test fixtures.

"This may be a lesson for the future, too, said Mr Lorgat. "We must always try to look at the bigger picture when external events intervene as in this case. Provided it is safe to do so, the show must always go on. We must stand together and rise above these forces that threaten our game and our way of life."

Pakistan have not played a Test in 2008 with teams refusing to visit the country because of security concerns.

ICC president David Morgan is planning to travel to the second Test starting in Mohali on Friday to show solidarity with the teams.

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