Allahabad: Former test cricketer and Congress' Lok Sabha candidate from Phulpur Mohd Kaif today said he has "received the blessings" of legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Virendar 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 today, 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 Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Virendar Sehwag whom he expected to help him in his campaign trail. "I have spoken to and received the good wishes of many of my seniors like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav
Ganguly, Harbhajan Singh and Virendar 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 (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