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February 12, 2003 14:28 IST

Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove is standing firmly behind Shane Warne, declaring "He's not a drug abuser".

Warne is due to return to captain Hampshire for the 2003 season and Bransgrove admitted that any ban for Warne would be "potentially devastating".

The county boss said: "Our plans circle around as a pivot, those plans are live plan as far as I'm concerned but as things emerge we may be forced to think again."

Bransgrove admitted he has not been able to contact Warne and that his knowledge was very much second hand.

He said: "At this stage there is no allegation of the use of any performance-enhancing drugs.

"The Australian Cricket Board have gone to some lengths to thank Shane for his co-operation. The inference in the use of this diuretic is that it might be used to disguise performance-enhancing drugs."


Australia captain Ricky Ponting said Andrew Symonds finally showed what he is capable of with his match-winning display against Pakistan.

Symonds smashed an unbeaten 143 to lead the world champions to an 82-run victory in their World Cup opener in Johannesburg.

It was the 27-year-old all-rounder's first one-day international century and rescued Australia from a precarious situation.

"Everyone's seen today what sort of a talent he's got and it's about time it started coming out," said Ponting afterwards.

"We were in a spot of bother and it was tough work early on but we got through that and then had a couple of good partnerships," said the skipper, who has been a strong supporter of Symonds for some time.


Shane Warne's mother is "devastated" after realising she gave him the pill which could end his career.

The circumstances under which Warne took the diuretic which led to his exit from the World Cup team are still unclear.

A source close to the family said Warne's mother had not yet been approached to try to explain the situation.

"The question hasn't been asked yet, it is a bit of a tender topic," the source said.

"She is pretty devastated herself and they don't want to go there."

Warne is today on his way back to Australia with his international career in doubt. He flew home from Johannesburg yesterday after learning he had failed a drug test in Melbourne last month.

Warne denied taking performance enhancing drugs and said he had unknowingly taken a banned diuretic.

Warne had taken a pill given to him by his mother in circumstances that were "totally innocent", a source close to his family said.


Pakistan wicket-keeper Rashid Latif has been reported to the International Cricket Council for a racial slur on his Australian counterpart Adam Gilchrist.

The incident occurred during Pakistan's innings in Tuesday's World Cup match at the Wanderers when Latif turned around to Gilchrist and reportedly shouted an obscene racial remark.

Gilchrist informed his team management about the remark, which in turned reported the matter to the ICC's match referee Clive Lloyd.

After the match, Lloyd summoned the two players and the respective managers, Steve Bernard of Australia and Shahraryar Khan of Pakistan, for a hearing.

A subsequent hearing will also take place again later on Wednesday, officials said.

Latif's abuse of Gilchrist came a few hours after Pakistani captain Waqar Younis was ordered out of the attack for sending down a vicious beamer at Australia's century-maker Andrew Symonds.

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Sub: Ganguly vs Waugh

BCCI should have learnt a lesson from the ACB when they dropped Waugh from the World Cup squad. What is the role of a leader ...

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Sub: Latif's Comment

The excitement in the game of power fades when there is nothing like a mind game at the back stage. Only the mentally tough guys ...

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Sub: Laatif's comment

Pakistani cricket team ends up in a mess. Though I support it as it boosts the team spirit and perhaps the attitude of never really ...

Posted by Shubham Basu


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