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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

India happy to play in Zimbabwe: Ganguly

January 29, 2003 16:29 IST

The Indian cricket team has no reservations about playing a World Cup match in Zimbabwe, captain Sourav Ganguly said as the squad arrived in South Africa for the tournament on Wednesday.

India are due to play a group game against Zimbabwe in Harare on February 19, one of six matches to be staged in the country.

"We toured Zimbabwe two years ago and it was okay for us then," Ganguly told a news conference shortly after the Indian squad arrived at Johannesburg International Airport.

"We were looked after very well then, so we have no reservations about going there now."

Earlier this week England's players asked the International Cricket Council to conduct an urgent review into their match in Zimbabwe, citing growing concerns over the political climate in the country.

The fears of the England players have been echoed by World Cup champions Australia, who are also due to play a match in Zimbabwe.

Ganguly was confident that his team would improve on their poor performance on the recent tour of New Zealand, where they were beaten 5-2 in a one-day series.

"New Zealand was a good wake-up call and we are here to bounce back. In professional sport these days phases come and go. Teams come into form and get out of form.

"We need to come out of our poor run of form and I'm pretty sure we'll do that here in South Africa.

"We just didn't play well (in New Zealand). The batters didn't score enough runs to put pressure on the opposition.

"We have to play as a unit. Everyone has to perform," Ganguly said.

One of the most eagerly awaited games of the tournament will be India's clash with Pakistan at Centurion on March 1, the first time the two neighbouring countries will be meeting since a one-day triangular tournament in Australia in 1999-2000.

"We're looking forward to meeting them (Pakistan) again," said Ganguly.

"It will be especially good for people back in India to watch the two teams meet. The game comes pretty late so the Super Six places will probably already have been decided. It's unlikely to be a crunch game."

The World Cup, which is being hosted by South Africa, begins on February 9.

© 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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