Tuffey to replace Bennett
The ICC on Sunday approved the inclusion of fast bowler Daryl Tuffey as replacement for the injured Hamish Bennett in New Zealand's squad for the ongoing cricket World Cup.
New Zealand had nominated Tuffey to replace Bennett, who suffered an injury to his left ankle and Achilles tendon while bowling during their 112-run loss to Sri Lanka in Mumbai on March 18.
The confirmation was conveyed to New Zealand Cricket.
"As per rule, any injury-based replacement requires a written submission to the event technical committee along with a diagnosis from a medical practitioner as to the extent of the injury. Once replaced, a player may not return to the squad save as an approved subsequent replacement for another injured player," the ICC said in a statement.
Bennett is the first player to be replaced due to injury in New Zealand's squad for the event. The 32-year-old right-arm fast bowler Tuffey has represented New Zealand in 94 ODIs, claiming 110 wickets to date.
As with all players in the tournament, the eligibility of a replacement player is subject to approval by the ICC before the player can be officially added to the squad.
The Event Technical Committee of the cricket World Cup 2011 comprises David Richardson (ICC, chairman), Prof Ratnakar Shetty (Tournament Director), Campbell Jamieson (IDI representative), Anil Kumble (host nominee), David Lloyd (independent nomination) and Sanjay Manjrekar (independent nomination).
Image: Daryl Tuffey
Photographs: Getty Images
Vettori confident of returning for SA clash
New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori is confident he will be fully fit for their World Cup quarter-final against South Africa.
The left-arm spinner hurt his knee while trying to take a catch against Pakistan on March 8 and missed New Zealand's group matches against Canada and Sri Lanka.
The Kiwis finished fourth in their group and will play Group B winners South Africa in their last-eight match, the venue of which will be decided after Sunday's match between India and West Indies in Chennai.
"Skill-wise I should be all right to get through the batting and bowling; it is just the running around that is hampering me a little bit," Vettori said, after a training session on Sunday.
"But I still have a few days left and I am confident of being available for that (match)."
Vettori said he might have to deal with a little bit of pain but the signs are positive.
"I have to be a bit brave on it and realise I am not going to do any more damage. I just have to deal with a little bit of the pain. The more I can do on it the more comfortable I will feel," he said.
"The main thing is being able to try and work around everything else. I am very confident I will be able to bowl during the quarter-final.
"It feels all right bowling but I haven't done it in under pressure conditions and there haven't been any short, sharp, unpredictable movements. That will be the next step over the next few days."
New Zealand have been hit by several injuries during their campaign, with pacer Kyle Mills and Hamish Bennett being sidelined.
The Kiwis have called up experienced seamer Daryl Tuffey to join the squad as replacement for Bennett.
Image: Daniel Vettori
Smith will not renege retirement decision
Graeme Smith will not go back on his decision to retire from one-day international after the World Cup, even if the Proteas return home from the sub-continent with the elusive trophy.
"I have made peace with myself about this decision long ago and I believe it's the right time to retire," he told the Afrikaans from Mirpur, but conceded that he is coming into his own as captain only now.
"It was an exciting period with various highs and lows and I had to grow up very quickly," he said.
At 22, Smith became the youngest captain in South African cricket history when he took over from Shaun Pollock in 2003.
Pollock had refused a call from Cricket South Africa (CSA) to step down, after which the body dismissed him from the post.
"At such a young age it would certainly always be a roller-coaster ride. I only started really being in control in the past four years," Smith said.
"Now, for the first time, I feel that I know what it is about and that I can truly call the team 'mine'.
Although leading the team was a 'tremendous challenge' owing to political interventions in team selections and "buckets full" of criticism of his leadership style, there were also many highlights, Smith added.
"The success that we achieved in 2008 in England and Australia was unforgettable. And seeing how the players that (former coach) Mickey (Arthur) identified earlier are now staking their claims is particularly gratifying," he said.
Smith, who has already handed over the captaincy of the T20 side to Johan Botha, will, however, continue to lead the Test squad for the time being.
"This (World Cup) is a very important tournament for me for more than one reason," Smith said, after the Proteas beat Bangladesh at the venue where he made his debut as captain.
Since then, he has led the team in 146 internationals, the most by a South African.
"It's disappointing that I have not made a big batting contribution yet, but, hopefully, I can get it right when the team needs it the most, and I can say goodbye to them in a fitting way."
Image: Graeme Smith
I can't keep going forever, says Tikolo
Steve Tikolo showed no trace of emotion after bidding goodbye to international cricket at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday.
The veteran Kenyan batsman had on Saturday, the eve of their last World Cup match against Zimbabwe, announced his retirement from cricket.
"I am not at all emotional. I can't keep going forever. You got to move on and let the youngsters take the mantle. I don't think there is emotions involved," said Tikolo, who will turn 40 on June 25.
Tikolo, who led Kenya to a historic World Cup semi-finals berth in 2003, hoped that the talented youngsters would take the game forward.
"For me it's the end of the road. I am hoping the young guys who played in this tournament learn some lessons, take the positives and work on the negatives. I believe we have a talented young side. Obviously, playing more games will help the cause," he said.
Tikolo had a forgettable outing in his final appearance as he was adjudged leg before wicket for just 10 off left-arm spinner Ray Price.
The dismissal was followed by handshakes with Zimbabwe players even as the sparse Eden crowd gave him a standing ovation.
"It was emotional as one would expect. Those gestures go to show that people respect what you have done over a period. I would love to give back to Kenyan cricket. Cricket is a game that has looked after me through and through. I need to give back to the game," Tikolo, who plans to take up coaching, said.
"We need to work on our domestic league and start playing three and four days cricket so that the youngsters learn. That is something that needs to be done."
Tikolo represented Kenya in five World Cups, featuring for his country in 134 one day Internationals, and amassing 3421 runs at an average of 28.99.
Image: Steve Tikolo
McCullum needs surgery for knee cartilage tear
New Zealand wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum is reportedly suffering from a small cartilage tear in his right knee that will require surgery.
According to the Sunday Star Times, McCullum has been battling with the injury for a fortnight after hurting his knee during his side's World Cup win over Zimbabwe in Ahmedabad.
A Black Caps spokesman, however, said that the injured knee would hold up in the short term, if managed correctly.
"He has a little bit of a problem with his knee. It's about managing it with him. With keeping and batting and all that stuff, the more he does on it the more he annoys it," the team spokesman said.
"For him, it's just about managing his activity; he does what he has to do to get it right for the game, but without doing the extra stuff like playing games [at training] and that sort of thing," he added.
McCullum has been given a support brace to wear during matches and the training sessions.
Image: Brendon McCullum