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With love, to the Indian team

By Lata Khubchandani in Mumbai with Syed Firdaus Ashraf
February 14, 2003 13:51 IST
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It is Valentine's Day. The 'Boys in Blue' are one continent away from their dearest ones. No one knows---or should know---what messages the nation's most visible, if not eligible, men have sent to their valentines back home.

But we asked a few celebrities to send a message to a player of their choice to make sure that the boys didn't feel ignored by Cupid on the eve of a crucial match. Here's what some of them said:

Malaika Arora, model-turned-actress:  My message is for wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel. He new, he's very young and this is his first World Cup. So there must be a lot of anxiety. 'Pathiv, even though you're away from home, everybody is watching and sends their love---especially me.'

Diya Mirza, actress: Yuvraj Singh. 'You're really good and I hope that you do a fantastic job in the tournament. We are all praying for your success and we are all praying for the whole team of course.'

Mini Mathur, veejay: I don't like any cricketer in particular because I don't watch too much of cricket. So this message is for the entire team. We all love you and the whole nation is with you. Go for it, guys.

Amrita Arora, veejay-turned-actress: 'Yuvraj, if you must flirt, flirt with only your bat and not with the girls. But bring back the Cup.'

Parizaad Zorabian, model: 'I'm not greatly into cricket but I'm greatly into dancing and seeing Anil Kumble do that tap dance thing for an ad made me feel "Come let's do this together!!" That's my message for Kumble.'

Nethra Raghuraman, actress: Valentine's Day messages are very personal and no one should know about it. So, whatever the Indian cricketers want to do this day, they should keep it to themselves. But let me add that I want them to win the cup and come back.

Ruby Bhatia, veejay turned cricket anchor

Yuvraj Singh. 'He's the handsomest of the lot. Tell this prince to lead India to its coronation!! And Harbhajan Singh. I love his jokes---tell him to bowl India to victory!!'

Raageshwari, singer turned veejay:  Anil Kumble. He really speaks so well. He has great respect for other players and gives a great deal of thought to what he says and does. It was incredible when he played with a broken jaw. The entire country loves him. And even though our batting line up is so strong we still depend on his talent.

Have a Valentine's Day message for Sourav Ganguly and his boys? Send it to us, and we will make sure they get them.

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Lata Khubchandani in Mumbai with Syed Firdaus Ashraf