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January 16, 2003 13:40 IST
The International Cricket Council said the contract committee would meet next week to decide whether to accept the "altered" player terms contracts received from the Indian Board.
"The ICC cricket World Cup Contracts Committee will meet later this week to discuss whether the altered contracts will be accepted. A further statement will follow that meeting," General Manager, Corporate Affairs of ICC Brendan McClements said in a statement here tonight.
All the 15 members of the Indian World Cup squad had signed the ICC Players' Terms contract last week but made it clear that certain contentious clauses in it were not acceptable to them.
Although the cricketers made themselves available for the mega event by honouring the January 14 deadline set by the ICC, they had objected to certain "restrictions" in the contract.
India's stars will definitely be at the forthcoming World Cup in South Africa, an unnamed Indian cricket official is reported to have claimed.
He said that because India had appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sports, the International Cricket Council (ICC) would not be able to prevent them from attending.
The ICC is currently involved in a row with the Indian cricket authorities because of a disagreement over contracts.
The Indian squad have sent their signed contracts to the ICC, but only after blanking out two clauses they do not agree with.
The row has led to the possibility that the World Cup may take place without the likes of Sachin Tendulkar.
But news agency AFP quoted the unnamed Indian official as saying: "The likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly will be there at the World Cup."
The two clauses the Indians are unhappy with ban them from private sponsorship deals during the World Cup period.
The ICC has announced that it will make a decision on whether or not to accept the revised Indian contracts later this week.
Legendary all rounder Kapil Dev on Wednesday came out strongly in defence of the beleagured Indian cricket team after its disastrous New Zealand tour and said notwithstanding its poor performance, India stood 'a good chance' of winning the World Cup in South Africa.
"It's only a matter of time that star players like Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly and others strike form to win the World Cup for the country," Kapil, under whose stewardship India had won Cup in 1983 despite being underdogs, told reporters here.
The Wisden cricketer of the century said, "India losing the Test and one-day series in New Zealand was certainly a disappointment but I have full confidence in the current team's potential. They would regain confidence to repeat the 1983 Prudential Cup win."
The Indian team has depth in batting and bowling also has improved tremendously, he said. "I don't see any reason why the team should not win the World Cup," he said after giving away prizes to winners of the 18th All India Sukhdeo Narayan memorial inter-school tournament here.
Earlier, Kapil told reporters in Cuttack last night that "in fact, this is perhaps the only team India has ever produced which has the potential to win the World Cup".
Nobody in his wildest dream had thought that the 1983 team would win the Cup in England, he said.
Former England cricket stars have given their backing to the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) decision to go ahead with the match in Zimbabwe during the World Cup.
The ECB had come under pressure from the British government to withdraw England from the game, which is due to take place in Harare on 13 February.
But the ECB announced on Tuesday that there would be no boycott.
Former England opener Chris Broad thought the Board took the only course of action open to it.
"I don't think the ECB had a choice," said Broad. "They were put in a position where they were guided by the ICC (International Cricket Council).
"The Government wanted them to make another decision but I don't think that was ever an option.
"I listened to the statement that Tim Lamb (ECB chief executive) read out and it was clearly a well-thought out statement covering all points and I don't disagree with any of it."
England's cricketers have backed their bosses' decision to fulfil the team's World Cup fixture in Zimbabwe next month.
Captain Nasser Hussain and coach Duncan Fletcher canvassed the players' views in Adelaide on Wednesday after the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced its decision to play.
ECB chairman David Morgan said of the 15-man squad: "They were unanimous in their support and reaction.
"The players have made it very clear, as have the management, that they are prepared to follow ECB instructions in this case.
"Providing there is no further deterioration in the safety and security issue then we can fully expect to be playing in Zimbabwe."
The ECB had been under government pressure to boycott Zimbabwe in protest at the regime of President Robert Mugabe.
But the governing body's management board voted unanimously on Tuesday for the 13 February match to go ahead.
English cricket chief Tim Lamb has called for a new inspection tour of Zimbabwe before England's controversial World Cup game takes place in Harare next month.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Tuesday announced that the 13 February game will take place.
ECB chief executive Lamb was part of an International Cricket Council (ICC) delegation in November that pronounced the country safe to play in.
But, following reports of civil unrest, Lamb is now urging the ICC to send another delegation to the famine-affected African country.
"I have written to the ICC saying we do think it's important in the light of recent events in Zimbabwe that there is a revisitation of the security situation," he said.
"The ECB will not expect its players to go to Harare if there's any perceived risk or specific advice from the appropriate sources that their physical safety could be at risk."
The ICC has already formed a standing committee to keep an eye on safety worries for the six matches scheduled in Bulawayo and Harare.
The South Africans are trying out novel methods of preparing for cricket's big eventthe World Cup. The squad is currently undergoing a soft skills camp involving river rafting, cycling and boxing in a bid to build team unity at a sports resort in the Drakensberg mountains.
The 15-member squad, accompanied by coach Eric Simmons are undergoing strenous fitness tests, and taking part in cycling, river rafting and even boxing matches, all of which are aimed at building unity and cohesion in the team.
The Drakensberg will be what we call a soft skills camp, the hard skills are when we play cricket. It will be foolish, but it will be fun. It's things that will make the guys come together, Simmons said in a radio interview here today.
We're going to do some fitness work and lots of brain storming on how we're going to go about this tournament. We leave for Cape Town on January 27 and will then have two weeks of intensive practice, he said.
The Australian government said today it has all but given up its effort to prevent next month's World Cup matches from being played in Zimbabwe.
Defense Minister Robert Hill, speaking for vacationing Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, said Australia is unlikely to act unilaterally in boycotting Zimbabwe venues after English cricket authorities decided on Tuesday to go ahead with their scheduled match in Harare.
Both the Australian and British governments sought to convince national cricket authorities to boycott Zimbabwe venues during the World Cup in protest at the actions of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.
The Australian Cricket Board has said it will play its February 24 match against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo unless evidence emerges that the security of its players cannot be ensured.
Pakistan cricket captain Waqar Younis on Tuesday admitted his team's poor form ahead of next month's World Cup was a serious problem.
"The recent performance of the Pakistan cricket team has been a cause of grave concern," Waqar said in a statement, a day after he returned home from a disastrous tour of South Africa where his team lost the one-day series 4-1 and both Tests by big margins.
"I attribute playing on the trot under hostile conditions as one of the factors that exhausted the players' minds and added to the stress level.
"However, I feel that whatever the reason, it is not an excuse to cover up the bad performance."
Under Waqar, Pakistan was routed by Australia 3-0 in their neutral venue series in October last year. The team is due to leave for South Africa on January 24 where the World Cup starts from February 8.
| VB Series (Aus, SL and Eng)|
Darren Lehmann has apologised to the Sri Lankan team over an alleged racist outburst during Australia's VB Series victory over Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lankan team members heard the outburst clearly in their dressing-room after Lehmann was dismissed for 38 in Wednesday's game.
But match referee Clive Lloyd decided not to take further action over the incident after Lehmann gave a verbal and written apology to the Sri Lankans.
Sri Lanka team manager Ajit Jayasekera refused to reveal what Lehmann said.
"I wouldn't like to mention that because he apologised and he was also man enough to send a written apology, so we accept it and there's no problem beyond that," he said.
The left-hander had taken part in a match-winning 72-run stand with Michael Bevan before he was run out by Russel Arnold attempting a second run.
The Sri Lankan team immediately lodged an official complaint with Lloyd.
Lloyd reportedly reprimanded Lehmann and warned the Australian team and management that he considered the offence to be extremely serious.
Australian one-day international captain Ricky Ponting, opening batsman Matthew Hayden and fast-bowler Brett Lee will not play in this Sunday's VB Series match against England at the Adelaide Oval (19 January), the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) announced today.
Chairman of the National Selection Panel Trevor Hohns said the trio will be given the opportunity to refresh ahead of the VB Series finals after a busy five-month period.
"All three players have had very little time off since September when the side travelled to Kenya," Hohns said.
"That's a lot of cricket, so this is an opportunity for them to "freshen up" both physically and mentally ahead of the VB Series finals and World Cup.
"As selectors we are conscious of the players' heavy workload, particularly those that were part of the Test squad, so this in an opportunity for Ricky, Matthew and Brett to have some "time out".
"We undertook a similar strategy with Adam Gilchrist in yesterday's match against Sri Lanka in Brisbane," he said.
Ponting's absence means Gilchrist is expected to captain the side in Sunday's match.
Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan says he may never return to play in Australia because of persistent abuse from crowds.
Muralitharan said today he was fed up with taunts about his controversial bowling action and claimed sections of the 'Gabba crowd laughed at him when he was injured during Sri Lanka's four-wicket loss to Australia last night.
Muralitharan hurt a quadricep muscle and the champion off-spinner is not certain to play again in the triangular one-day series.
The injury continued Muralitharan's difficult career in Australia, where he was called for throwing in 1995-96 and 1998-99, but the International Cricket Council has cleared his action.
The 30-year-old said he could no longer field on the boundary in Australian matches because of abuse from crowds. Captain Sanath Jayasuriya moved him away from his position near the rope last night.
"They should keep their mouths shut," Muralitharan said.
Derbyshire have signed Pakistan's Shahid Afridi for the first two months of the county season, and the explosive all-rounder could stay on for the rest of the year.
Batsman Nathan Astle is due to become the club's second overseas player, but the New Zealander will be on international duty in April and May.
And a recent knee injury has cast doubt on his participation for the rest of the English summer.
"Derbyshire await a report from New Zealand Cricket before taking any further action on a potential replacement for Astle, or an extension of Afridi's contract," said a statement.
The final curtain has come down on Daryll Cullinan's glorious cricket career for South Africa.
The flamboyant and often controversial player who made his first class debut for Border in the 1983/84 season announced on Tuesday that he was done with international cricket.
His retirement caught the national selectors and their convenor Omar Henry somewhat off-guard since it appears that he would have been part of the South African 'A' team that will play three matches against the Zimbabwean World Cup squad in Harare next week.
The 35-year old Cullinan is the joint holder of the highest ever Test score (275*) for South Africa as well as the highest first class score in South Africa. He scored an unbeaten 337 runs for the then Transvaal against Northern Transvaal.
"I did not ask him about the reasons for his decision, but we respect his wishes," Henry said.