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Forfeited matches could prove costly
January 31, 2003 18:59 IST
New Zealand's decision not to play Kenya in their World Cup cricket match in Nairobi on February 21 could cost them the opportunity of making the semi-finals of the tournament.
New Zealand said on Friday they would not play Kenya in Nairobi because of security concerns and World Cup tournament director Ali Bacher confirmed they would forfeit their points if they did not play the game.
However, under a new points scheme, New Zealand would not only miss out on the four points available for winning the match but also an extra point they would have carried through to the Super Six phase of the tournament if they qualified.
The new points system allows for a team that qualifies for the Super Six to take through a quarter of the points gained against teams that do not qualify.
Points achieved against other Super Six teams are also carried through into the second phase.
Assuming Kenya do not make the second round and New Zealand do, they could have taken an extra point through to the Super Sixes under the new system.
If that is the case New Zealand will advance with one less point, which could mean the difference between a semi-final place or not.
Bonus points have also been scrapped for the 54-game tournament that begins on February 9, ensuring teams make matches competitive until the end of a game, an official said.
"It is different to the last World Cup because there are now four points for a win (as opposed to two), two for a tie or no result and no bonus points," said World Cup technical committee member Brian Basson.
"The reason we have done that is to ensure that all matches are competitive. We don't want a situation similar to the one between South Africa and Australia last season."
South Africa denied Australia the chance of making the finals of a triangular series last year when they sought to only stop the hosts from achieving a bonus point rather than win the game.
Australia scored 283 and needed to restrict South Africa to under 226 to earn a bonus point and go through to the final at the expense of New Zealand.
But South Africa never pursued the victory target and instead aimed at 226 to eliminate Australia from the competition.
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