Tendulkar Prevents Possible Controversy

SYDNEY, Mar 2: Another potential flashpoint between India and Australia was defused on Sunday by Sachin Tendulkar's sportsmanship when Brett Lee hit him on the shoulder with a beamer when the masterbatsman was batting on 98 in the first match of the best-of-three final in the one-day cricket tri-series here.

Desperate Australian captain Ricky Ponting brought in his strike bowler Lee in a last ditch effort to deny India a victory and the fast bowler bowled a beamer that hit Tendulkar on his left shoulder.

Lee immediately apologised to Tendulkar. The Australian extended his hand and Tendulkar responded by shaking it and thereby defusing a potentially explosive situation.

Ponting appeared to tell the umpire that the ball had slipped out of Lee's hand because of the dew. He, in fact, indicated that he wanted the ball to be changed.

In the television commentary box later, Sunil Gavaskar said he did believe that the beamer was an accident.

Tendulkar himself dismissed the incident, saying that "I know him (Lee) too well, he didn't do it deliberately".


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