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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > News > Report

England pull-out 'dangerous'

Faisal Shariff in Johannesburg | February 13, 2003 13:20 IST

A top official of the World Cup organising committee has described England's pull-out from their scheduled match in Zimbabwe as a "dangerous precedent" that could send the entire World Cup into a "tailspin".

The International Cricket Council announced that England would not play its match against Zimbabwe, less than 48 hours before it was to begin on Thursday. It now wants the points shared or the match shifted.

But the World Cup organising committee official was emphatic that acceding to either of England's requests would set a whole series of unforeseen and uncontrollable consequences into motion.

"If we accommodate England's demands, the other teams which are scheduled to play there (including India which plays there on February 19) can all stand up and ask if we are playing favourites," he told rediff.com on condition of anonymity.

The ICC's technical committee, which includes Sunil Gavaskar, is to meet on Friday to decide on England's special appeal, but the former India captain told South African television he is unaware of such a meeting.

"The ICC's liaison officers have my hotel numbers and my mobile phone number. So far nobody has intimated me about the meeting," Gavaskar told the television channel, SuperSport.

Already, some of the other teams in Pool A which are scheduled to play in Zimbabwe [Pakistan, Australia, Holland] are griping about the manner in which England dithered about a final decision.

"They made the announcement only when they were sure that Australia had beaten Pakistan, so that their points would be safe," one team official said, but the organising committee official said it was pure speculation.

"England had probably made up days earlier," he said.

Rodney Hartman, one of the two communication directors of the World Cup declined comment on the affair, but said the decision has left everybody -- the organisers, the sponsors, the media and the hosts -- unhappy.

"If England had announced their intention 12-13 hours earlier we would have saved a lot of money. The ground was being readied. Flights had been booked by the time England announced they wouldn't be coming," Hartman said.

Hartman estimated the loss resulting from England's pullout at "tens of millions of rands". The England-Zimbabwe match had been sold out completely. Tickets will now have to be refunded.

The biggest loss, however, will be suffered by the caterers. The last time England played in the Harare Sports Club, 80,000 beers had been consumed by the 10,000 crowd.

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Number of User Comments: 21

Sub: England

England's request should not be acceded to by ICC and the match should be awraded to Zimbabwe. Acceding to their request will have a cascading ...

Posted by vvp

Sub: Disadvantage to India

Now that England has already pulled out, a formulae should be worked out so that other playing teams in the pool do not suffer on ...

Posted by Manoj

Sub: Who's Mistake it is.......?

It is really shameful thing to listen that England dropped back themself at the final moments, its really unfair for all the fans who are ...

Posted by Ram

Sub: Englands Pull out from Zimbabwe

The Eglish teams refusal to pull out of the game at Zimbabwe is their decision and as a result they MUST face the consequences of ...

Posted by Anoop Saran

Sub: England pull-out

It is the time for ICC to ban england from cricket like south africa a decade what then ICC has done. Then only These kind ...

Posted by Narasimham


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