December 30, 1997
|Sri Sathya Sai blessing the players of the Sri Lankan and Pakistani cricket teams|
In the morning, the ‘Sri Sathya Sai Unity Cup’ cricket match was played in the Sri Sathya Sai Hill View stadium at Prasanthi Nilayam. Swami came to the ground in an open white Saab convertible car. There was a march past of national flags of many countries. Later, the Prime Minister Shri Inder Kumar Gujaral hoisted the international flag, which was followed by Swami lighting the torch. Many other dignitaries including the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka were also present for the occasion. The match was between India XI and World XI (the World XI team consisted of players from Sri Lanka, Pakistan and West Indies led by Arjuna Ranatunga from Sri Lanka). The Indian team led by Sachin Tendulkar won the match. Doordarshan, the national television channel had covered the event ‘live’. After the match, in the Mandir…
Swami : (To the Warden) Finally India won the match.
Warden : It was by Your Grace, Swami.
Swami : (To a teacher) How was the programme?
Teacher : Very good, Swami. Bahut Anand Aaya. (We really enjoyed it)
Swami : How was the flag hoisting and flag march?
Teacher : Very good, Swami. Everything went on perfectly, by Your Grace.
Swami : Played very well. But Indian players got 3 catches.
Swami : Ranatunga and Jayasurya (Sri Lankan cricket players) are good boys... Played well, but they gave catch and were out. Others also gave catches and wickets fell down!
Swami : (To another teacher) Finally India won the match.
Teacher : Yes, Swami. It was all by Your Grace. Swami, TV commentators were telling that they had never seen such a beautiful stadium.
Swami : Yes, very nice stadium. The Prime Minister also told that he had never seen a stadium like this. He told that he had not seen a game like this anywhere in the world. It was nice to see so many people in the stadium.