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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

Fleming has no regrets about Kenya boycott

February 22, 2003 12:31 IST

New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming has no regrets about his team's boycott of Friday's World Cup match in Kenya, despite it jeopardising their chances of progressing in the tournament.

Instead of taking on the Kenyans in Nairobi, Fleming and his team mates spent their day off working out in a Johannesburg gymnasium after travelling from Durban in the morning.

Their failure to convince the International Cricket Council to switch the match to South Africa cost them four points that may ultimately decide whether they make the Super Sixes, but Fleming said the players stood by the decision.

"As a sportsman, part of me wanted to play because of the points and what it means but it was never our decision to make," Fleming told Reuters on Friday.

"We left that up to New Zealand Cricket and we're satisfied they made the best decision with the players' interests at heart.

"That doesn't always happen in sport so we're pleased about the process that took place."

Fleming said while the players supported the stance taken by their national board, they still did not agree with the ICC's decision to award the points to Kenya instead of relocating the match.

"We're not disappointed that we didn't play today because we've had time to accept that, but we are still disappointed at the decision not to relocate the game," he said.

"But we've already been through those emotions so today was just like any other day. We're disappointed but the Cup goes on and we just have to put it behind us."

The Kiwis, who have emerged as one of the tournament favourites following their back-to-back wins over West Indies and South Africa, applied to the ICC Technical Committee to play a practice match when they were supposed to be in Nairobi, but that request was also turned down.

They opted instead to travel to Durban to train in the humidity of KwaZulu Natal before returning to Johannesburg to prepare for Wednesday's match against Bangladesh in Kimberley.

"The break has been good for us because the game against South Africa is a bit of a distant memory now and we've been able to refocus on what we need to do," Fleming said.

"Beating South Africa has given us a more distinct belief that we can go on and win the Cup.

"It's one thing to think it and even talk about it but it's another thing to feel it and we can definitely feel it and taste it now.

"There's a real conviction in the team now and we're feeling confident."

© Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.


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