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March 23, 2003 14:08 IST
Ricky Ponting and his men are considering dedicating their participation in the World Cup final to the Australian troops involved in the Iraq conflict.
Coach John Buchanan said his squad would consider such a gesture as a token of their appreciation for the serving Australian army.
"We need to learn a little more about what's going on and we will make a decision. The war is something everybody has talked quite a bit about," Buchanan said.
Australian cricket sides have been strongly linked to wars during the past century. Players such as Keith Miller and Lindsay Hassett placed their playing careers on hold to join the armed services.
And in an emotional visit before Australia's 2001 Ashes tour, Steve Waugh's squad toured Turkey's Gallipoli peninsula.
"It puts things into perspective for us because people call us heroes but we just play sport and we are good at it," Waugh said at the time. "But realistically, those who fight (wars) are far more deserving of the accolade of heroes than any of us."
The Maharashtra State Electricity Board will not resort to load shedding on Sunday in the wake of the India-Australia World Cup final in South Africa, the legislative assembly was assured.
Minister of State for energy Manikrao Thakre said no load shedding would be carried out tomorrow so that cricket fans enjoy the final match uninterrupted.
It was demanded by Sudhir Mungantiwar (BJP) that the government should refrain from carrying out load shedding during the World Cup final match.
Earlier, Thakre had wished the Indian team luck for the big match. Deputy Speaker Pramod Shende said the entire house extends its best wishes to the Indian team.
Former Pakistan skipper Imran Khan is having a strong "hunch" that India would beat Australia in the World Cup final in Johannesburg as the dice had started rolling in their favour.
The key for India, he feels, will be to preserve wickets against the fearsome Australian opening bowlers and then go all out for a big total.
"My hunch is that India will win because they have peaked at the right time and because all their key players are in prime form. Moreover their morale and confidence are sky high. They have the momentum going for them," Imran wrote in the 'Daily Telegraph'.
"Those who have lived cricket life at the top know somehow when the dice starts rolling in a team's favour."
"This time, too, the match could well be decided on the result of the duel between Tendulkar and Australia's opening attack. Even if Tendulkar does not dominate McGrath and Lee and just sees them off, India can pile up a big enough total to test Australia's batting," he observed.
If the Indians can keep wickets in hand, they would have 20 overs of spin to score off. "Bear in mind that, of all the teams in world cricket, (Australian leg-spinner Shane) Warne has his worst record against India, such is their ability to play spin."
Sri Lankan cricket captain Sanath Jayasuriya has quit as skipper of the national side, he announced over state television on Saturday.
"I have tendered my resignation to the minister of sports (Johnston Fernando). With my decision I have given the selectors to opt for a new captain with the 2007 world cup in mind," Jayasuriya said.
Sanath Jayasuriya and the Sri Lankan team returned home yesterday after an unsuccesful run in the World Cup in South Africa. The team was knocked out in the semi-final on Tuesday by Cup favorites Australia.
Jayasuriya took over the helm of the Sri Lankan team after its disastrous show in the 1999 World Cup, held in England.
The sports minister was quoted in the state-owned Daily News as having asked Jayasuriya to continue as captain despite Sri Lanka's failure in the World Cup.
The International Cricket Council's anti-corruption chief believes the 2003 World Cup had been corruption free, the sport's governing body said.
A meeting of the ICC executive board in Johannesburg received reports from Lord Condon, the former Scotland Yard chief who heads its corruption unit, and also reviewed reports into allegations involving West Indies batsman Brian Lara and organizers of tournaments in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
ICC president Malcolm Gray said the board had decided to accept the reports and draw a line.
"We cannot take matters any further," Gray said Saturday, on the eve of the World Cup final between India and Australia.
"It may be disappointing for some of us, but we're being realistic and looking forward."
Regarding corruption, he said: "The general scene has changed. I can say the game is now corruption free. Two-and-a-half years ago, it was on it's knees."