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March 05, 2003 14:45 IST

Michael Bevan has revealed the part played by an American in helping him master the hook shot.

Although an integral part of the Australian one-day team, Bevan has not played Test cricket since January 1998 because of a perceived weakness against short-pitched bowling.

But he showed in Sunday's win against England that he now has an effective counter to anything pitched short of a length and directed at his body.

"I know it sounds funny getting an American to help me play the hook shot but Ken is a biomechanist and a vision specialist," said Bevan.

"I got to learn some of the mechanics of the shot, when to use it and when not to use it and getting to learn how to play the shot.

"It is a shot I would like to be able to play and I have been working hard and doing a lot of work on it.

"I guess it could come in handy in the one-day game and hopefully show a few people in the longer version too."


Alec Stewart has called for future World Cups to schedule final group matches simultaneously.

The England wicketkeeper believes Pakistan can only benefit from knowing what they need to do to qualify for the next round against Zimbabwe on Tuesday.

And Stewart hopes to avoid a repeat of England's agonising two-day wait to discover whether they will reach the Super Sixes, despite Sunday's narrow defeat to Australia.

"In a way the defeat to Australia hasn't affected us too much and Pakistan do know what they have to win by, but I believe the last round of matches should all be played on the same day at the same time," he said.

"That's what they do in soccer and that's what they did in the last World Cup four years ago."


The heated argument between Pakistan cricketers Inzamam-ul Haq and Younis Khan over a football game yesterday highlighted just how frustrated the Pakistani players are at the moment, given that they are just 24 hours from a likely elimination from the World Cup. They need to beat Zimbabwe by a huge margin today to qualify for the Super Sixes.

A source close to the team insisted the matter had been settled on the intervention of wicketkeeper Rashid Latif, who is very close to both Inzi and Younis. "Rashid spoke to both of them and told them to forget and forgive and they shook hands and embraced. The matter is now closed," the source said.

Younis has a lot of regard for Rashid as he played a pivotal role three years ago in convincing Pakistan's selectors to take a look at Younis.

The incident did little to improve the mood of skipper-under-fire Waqar Younis. He said, "We all know the situation we are facing. We now just have to give it our best shot. No use lamenting the past."


South Africa woke up to one dominant sporting image on Tuesday, the incredulous, crushed face of cricket World Cup skipper Shaun Pollock.

Pollock appeared on the front of all of the country's newspapers after his team's cruel first-round exit from the tournament after their rain-affected Group A match against Sri Lanka ended in a tie.

The Star displayed three pictures of Pollock under the banner headline "Heartbreaking". In the first, he stared out blankly at the Durban rain which was to kill off both the day-night game and his side's hopes.

The next photograph had him with his head in his hands and the third looking away to the side, as if for help.

"Shock. Horror. Despair," said the three captions.

"Polly devastated by another tied exit," ran The Citizen's banner headline after the hosts were knocked out of their second World Cup in a row after tying their final match.


Angry fans and an official investigation will greet Bangladeshi cricketers when they return home Tuesday after their poor performance at the World Cup, a cricket official said.

"The cricketers have disappointed the entire nation. We have decided to hold an investigation into the team's dismal performance," said Mahbub Anam, an adviser at Bangladesh Cricket Board. "We want to complete this investigation as soon as possible."

Bangladesh, the newest Test playing nation, began the World Cup tour with a shock 60-run defeat to Canada. It wrapped up the tour by conceding a 32-run loss to Kenya. Bangladesh would have lost all the six Group B matches but for a rain-forced sharing of points with the West Indies.

The loss to Kenya was Bangladesh's 29th consecutive defeat in limited over internationals. Bangladesh has also lost 15 of their 16 tests since it gained the test status in 2000.


Dozens of people arrested for protesting against the government during Zimbabwe's World Cup cricket match against the Netherlands are expected to spend a fourth night in jail before facing court on Tuesday.

Police said the demonstrators were charged with behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace at last Friday's match in the western city of Bulawayo.  The demonstrators waved banners critical of President
Robert Mugabe and calling for a return to law and order and
justice in Zimbabwe.

Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena on Monday said 26 demonstrators were being held in custody while investigations continued. Relatives of those in custody disputed that number, saying 41 people were being held in three Bulawayo police stations.

The protesters were arrested at the Queens Sports Club, where Zimbabwe is scheduled to play Pakistan today. Among six whites arrested was the vice chairman of the sports club, who denies involvement in the protest.

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