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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

Waqar calls for Cup semi-final switch

February 27, 2003 20:42 IST

Pakistan captain Waqar Younis has warned organisers that one of the World Cup finalists could be decided by the toss of a coin if they stick to their plans of staging the second semi-final as a day-night match.

Waqar said on Thursday: "It has become obvious that, in the matches played under lights in this World Cup, teams winning the toss are getting an unfair advantage.

"I would say any team which wins the toss has won the match 75 per cent (of the time) and that is grossly unfair.

Waqar, whose side lost a day-night match to England in Cape Town on Saturday after losing the toss, added: "I think there is still time for the ICC and the World Cup organisers to hold both semi-finals as day affairs.

"I would support any move from other teams to have the ICC reconsider having the second semi-final in Durban as a day affair."

Pakistan suffered a shock 112-run defeat in Group A when England won the toss at Newlands. After making 246, Nasser Hussain's team skittled Pakistan for 134 as the ball began to swing under the evening lights.

It was England's first win in six games against Pakistan.


England then suffered a similar fate in Durban on Wednesday against India.

Losing the toss, they restricted India to 250 for nine before being routed for 168, left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra taking six for 23, at the time the third-best bowling figures in World Cup history.

England captain Hussain complimented India on bowling well for their victory, but added: "It (the ball) just seemed to zip off the wicket.

"Obviously it was our turn to be on the other side of the equation."

The second World Cup semi-final, to be played on March 20, is due to be staged in Durban as a day-nighter.

Several other significant Group B games -- Sri Lanka against West Indies in Cape Town on Friday and South Africa against Sri Lanka in Durban on Monday -- are also day-night matches.

Those games could decide if the hosts South Africa reach the second round.


Commentators believe evening conditions and dew can offer bowlers more seam and swing movement.

At some grounds, however, too much dew can make it harder for bowlers to grip the ball later in the game, thus favouring sides batting second. Changing winds can also affect conditions significantly.

Waqar added: "The World Cup is held only once every four years and there should be no match where the toss decides the result. Teams should have an equal chance of winning.

"I think the organisers and the ICC should have thought about this issue before finalising the itinerary.

"Batting second under lights is very difficult in South Africa. We were on the receiving end against England, who themselves were on the other side of the fence against India.

"The team bowling second under lights, for whatever reason, has got the advantage of the ball seaming and skidding around a lot.

"For the batsmen also, it gets difficult to spot the ball as it loses its colour, which are big factors in deciding the outcome of the game.

© 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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Number of User Comments: 33

Sub: Night matches!!!

hey here's a new idea. all this talk of disadvatage for the chasing team can be eliminated if there are only night matches just like ...

Posted by Ajay gang

Sub: i think he's got a point there..

i think there is a point in that statement.but then think of it this way.the world cup is the "ëxam" of cricket..so..go ahead bowlers...test the ...

Posted by Biney Joseph Kalarikal

Sub: Its a stupid idea

I think Waqar is saying like that because he is trying to make up an excuse for his teams batting disarray.Even in Day match if ...

Posted by Harry

Sub: Excuse for poor performance

I think Waqar has lost it.......how can he dream of coming into super 6 with the current form of the paki players....i feel its just ...

Posted by Tim

Sub: Under lights :(

Statistics don't lie. Outcome of Day/Night matches are decided by the toss.

Posted by SSalian


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