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February 13, 2003 16:13 IST
Pakistan wicketkeeper Rashid Latif could sue the entire Australian team after being accused of making a racist comment towards Adam Gilchrist.
Latif was cleared, at an International Cricket Council hearing, of abusing Gilchrist during Pakistan's defeat against Australia on Tuesday.
But Latif has now asked his team bosses for permission to initiate legal action against either Gilchrist or the Australian team as a whole in an attempt to protect his reputation.
"It is no consolation that my name has been cleared," said Latif.
"I can't understand what made the Australians do this, I have no answer to that.
"Can you imagine living the rest of my life branded a racist? I am not that kind of a person and will never be," he said.
England all-rounder Craig White will have a key fitness test on Thursday to determine whether he will play a part in the World Cup.
White tore a side muscle during the fourth Test against Australia in December, but made his comeback in two warm-up games before the start of the tournament.
It looked as though he had done enough to confirm his place in the squad, only to suffer fresh discomfort following a practice session in Cape Town on Tuesday.
And he was sent for treatment with team physio Dean Conway after bowling for 20 minutes in the nets at Bellville on Wednesday.
"He's going to continue having treatment and a decision will be taken after light practice tomorrow," said England and Wales Cricket Board spokesman Andrew Walpole.
England captain Nasser Hussain added: "Craig has a history of side problems and we are at the 11th hour, so we have to make a decision.
"He was fine when he bowled 10 overs last week but he felt it on Tuesday and has not improved much since."
After his team had collected an unconvincing win against Holland, Indian captain Sourav Ganguly said he was perplexed by the pitches in South Africa this season.
Ganguly admitted there were no excuses, and that the batting had to improve.
He said: "We're happy to have a win under our belts but the batting needs to be sorted out. We bowled okay but we have to get more out of our batting.
"[The Dutch] bowled wicket to wicket and there wasn't much pace for our batsmen to use but we still have to put our heads down and do better.
"All the wickets we have played on here have been a bit low and it was a bit damp this morning.
"Last time we came here this wicket had bounce and pace but this morning the ball didn't come onto the bat."
Bangladesh captain Khaled Mashud was bitterly disappointed after his side slumped to a humiliating 60-run defeat against Canada.
The Tigers fell well short of their target of 181 as they were dismissed inside 28 overs.
It was their 27th one-day defeat in a row and continued a winless run stretching back to the World Cup four years ago.
"We batted and bowled badly," said Mashud.
"Any team can beat any other team at the World Cup. It is now going to be difficult to bounce back."
Players' chief Richard Bevan is hopeful England may still play their World Cup match against Zimbabwe at a neutral venue.
England confirmed on Tuesday that they would not travel to Harare to face the co-hosts on 13 February because of security concerns.
The International Cricket Council has yet to decide whether England will forfeit the points from the game, be fined or possibly both.
The ICC's technical committee is also set to consider whether the match should and could be rescheduled for a neutral venue.
Bevan, the managing director of the Professional Cricketers' Association, said "What is pleasing is that we have got past this hurdle now and it has been confirmed the fixture is being reassessed.
"Hopefully, the technical committee will listen to the England and Wales Cricket Board's new evidence and have the game relocated sometime before the end of the first stage."
Warwickshire have not given up hope of persuading Australian all-rounder Brad Hogg to become their second overseas player for the 2003 English season.
The club have already recruited New Zealand paceman Shane Bond and want Hogg to increase their spin bowling options.
The 32-year-old, who bowls left-arm chinamen and is also a useful lower order bat, recently regained his place in the Australian one-day side after a six-year gap.
He performed well enough in the triangular VB series on home soil against England and Sri Lanka to earn selection for the World Cup in South Africa.
Stephen Fleming says Shane Warne's positive drugs test is a warning to all players about the dangers of non-prescribed medication.
Australia leg spinner Warne pulled out of the World Cup on Tuesdayafter testing positive for diuretics.
Kiwi skipper Fleming said his case highlights the risks faced by players who take medication without checking whether they contained banned substances.
He said: "I'm extremely shocked and surprised at the situation and I hope, knowing Shane that I do, that it works out for him.
"There are risks and the players have to understand, probably more so when they're out of competition, about exactly what needs to be done."
The Zimbabwe Cricket Union warned on Wednesday its cricketers would not play their World Cup match against England if it is switched to South Africa on grounds other than safety and security.
The Group A game, initially scheduled to be played in Harare on Thursday, was called off following a lengthy battle of wills between the International Cricket Council and the England and Wales Cricket Board.
"If it's (the reason to switch the game) out side the issues of safety and security, I don't think it will be agreeable tous," ZCU chairman Peter Chingoka said on Wednesday.
"The Namibians had a good three days here. They were safe and secure and the match was played in very good spirits."
The axe which has hovered all season has swung on batsman Craig McMillan as New Zealand eye a virtual sudden death World Cup cricket match with West Indies on Thursday.
McMillan, who managed just three in New Zealand's 47-run loss to Sri Lanka on Monday, was today supplanted by Brendon McCullum, who will take over the wicketkeeping gloves and force Lou Vincent up the order.
Another casualty from the listless effort in Bloemfontein could be Daryl Tuffey, who went for 36 runs off five overs. He was named in the 12 but could well carry the drinks on an expected slow pitch, with Andre Adams' wicket-taking ability more in favour. Spinner Daniel Vettori returns for his 100th one-day international while Kyle Mills was again overlooked.
The changes signify the desperation in the New Zealand camp for a turn in fortune.
New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming said "It is pretty much sudden death. It was a luxury to probably have one up our sleeve to lose, we've lost that and it's clear cut now. We're very determined, nervous, and on edge which is what I want."