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March 06, 2003 18:54 IST
South Indian film star Nagma has confessed that indeed there was something between India cricket captain Sourav Ganguly and her. She told women's magazine Savvy: "Whatever one says, nobody has denied anything. As long as there is no denial of each other's existence in each other's life, any person can say anything they want.''
In the latest issue of the magazine, Nagma explains why she kept silent all this while. "There was a career at stake, besides other things, so one had to part. One had to weigh a lot of things, rather than be on an ego trip and insist on being together," she says.
She said was forced to end the relationship in the interest of the nation. "A smaller interest had to be sacrificed for bigger interests... When a game is being played, people should understand it is a sport. It's very weird that people started getting carried away. Whenever India played, people said that a person was not doing well because he was emotionally attached. This is so juvenile.
"When it becomes too much, it starts affecting the interest of one another. Then slowly, though you're supposed to bring happiness to a person's life, you bring misery. Then it's in the best interests to move on."
She added: "Love and respect for each other will remain."
Three minor incidents of crowd violence were reported during the match between India and Pakistan last Saturday but they were swiftly brought under control, the World Cup organising committee said.
"Three minor scuffles, each lasting about 30 seconds, were reported during the India-Pakistan match at Supersport Park, Centurion. They were quickly stifled and six people ejected from the ground," World Cup executive director Ali Bacher said.
Both Indians and Pakistanis had turned up in large numbers for the high-voltage match between the traditional rivals. India had won by six wickets.
Bacher said these were the "worst crowd incidents" in the World Cup till now. The CEO commended the South African police for not allowing matters to go out of hand in any match.
"No one has been injured at any game, there has been no pitch invasions and no attacks on the players," he said.
Former England all-rounder Ian Botham says Nasser Hussain must also resign as England Test captain.
The 34-year-old Essex right-hander resigned his limited-overs captaincy after England were knocked out of the World Cup in South Africa.
"Nasser's done a great job, but England now have an opportunity to rebuild," Botham said. "When he took over with Duncan Fletcher they brought England up to the right level. It doesn't mean Nasser can't play in the side, we just need a different attitude."
Hussain's decision to employ the inexperienced James Anderson instead of the veteran Andrew Caddick in the penultimate over of Sunday's clash with Australia was identified by Botham as the moment England's World Cup challenge faltered.
"We should have won that game and you only have to look at the expressions on the Australian faces and the English faces," he said. "They couldn't believe it."
Former England captain and popular commentator Geoff Boycott has secretly married his long-time partner Rachael Swinglehurst, a leading tabloid said on Tuesday.
The 62-year-old Boycott wed the 50-year-old Rachael at a register office ceremony where their 14-year-old daughter Emma was the bridesmaid, the Daily Mirror said. A lawyer friend was best man but Boycott's brother and most of his friends were absent from the ceremony.
The couple, who share Boycott's farmhouse at Woolley near Barnsley, married at Wakefied last Wednesday. Their relationship goes back 29 years and Rachael has stood by the cricketer through stormy times including when Boycott was detected with throat cancer last year.
Boycott's brother Peter, 54, said: "It is totally news to me. He must have wanted to keep it private. It will be a boost for Geoff to get married. Rachael has been a tower of strength to him."
Local councillor and a close friend of Boycott, Norman Hazell said, "I'm surprised to hear this. But Rachael and he make a lovely couple".
Defending champion Australia will face the 1996 titlist Sri Lanka in the first of the Supe Six World Cup matches Friday, and Sri Lanka's coach Dav Whatmore is relishing the showdown.
The Super-Six league encounter is the first World Cup encounter between the two since the 1996 final, when Sri Lanka defeated Australia to clinch the title.
"We love playing Australia, we've had several good matches against them," said Whatmore, a former Australian Test player, under whose charge Sri Lanka won the 1996 title. The Sri Lankans failed to make the second round in England in 1999, when Australia won its second world championship.
"Australia will start as the favourite and we'll be the underdogs, but don't forget we've got some success in our previous contests," said Whatmore, adding that there'd been an intense rivalry between the two in recent years.
Australia won all its six league matches to top Group A here, while Sri Lanka emerged as the leader in Group B after a series of shock results saw fancied South Africa and two-time champion West Indies fall by the wayside.
Sri Lanka outplayed Australia in the semifinal of the 12-nation Champions Trophy in Colombo six months ago, but it had the advantage of playing at home on a spin-assisting low-bounce track.
Pakistani wicketkeeper-batsman Rashid Latif has admitted that his team's inability to perform in crunch matches led to its early exit from the World Cup, but said the format applied in the league stage had a lot to do with the ouster.
"Pakistan and England did not play well in the crunch matches. But still the format did not help us at all," Latif said.
He said that due to absence of reserve days for rains, many teams had got the "short end of the stick".
"Tell me, does Kenya deserve to be in the Super Sixes at the cost of South Africa," Latif asked. Pakistan's slender hope of making it to the Super Sixes was washed out on Tuesday when rains forced abandonment of their last Group 'A' league match against Zimbabwe.
"The match was so crucial but because of bad weather, we did not get a chance to redeem ourselves and come back in the tournament. I think the format applied in the 1992 World Cup was best. You got a chance to play against all other teams.
"And the best team always had the chance to come back even if its form was not good in the early stages," Latif said.
"In this format, what has happened is that due to points being forfeited and due to no reserve days for the rain, teams were faced with plenty of bad luck and were not able to make amends for poor performances."
Pakistan's cricketers have said sorry to their fans for their disappointing World Cup display.
The Pakistan Cricket Board appointed a three-man commission on Wednesday to examine the reasons behind the side's early exit.
And the players issued a statement on the eve of their return home in an attempt to appease fans.
"We are ashamed, disappointed, sad and heartbroken after letting the nation down," the statement said.
"We knew that we were carrying the hopes of millions of our fans and have failed to live up to expectations. We tried our level best, we trained extremely hard and did everything within our reach. But things didnt work the way we would have liked to and we have no excuses to offer."
Coach Duncan Fletcher has refused to rule out the possibility of England's next one-day captain coming from outside the current team. Nasser Hussain announced the end of his four-year stint as England's limited-overs skipper after they exited the World Cup at the first stage.
Fletcher, who will have a major influence on who follows in Hussain's footsteps, has always been thought to favour either Marcus Trescothick or Michael Vaughan for the role.
He has also expressed his admiration for all-rounder Paul Collingwood.
Fletcher said: "There are a lot of strong candidates in the side and we'll look at those candidates. But sometimes there may not be a strong enough candidate within that side and you may have to pick from outside.
"We have to sit down and decide what's best for English cricket."
Hampshire are hoping to sign the world's fastest bowler, Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar, on a one-year deal.
They have offered Shoaib a contract as cover for Shane Warne, who has been forced to miss the first part of his two-year deal with the county because of his cricket ban for failing a drugs test.
Shoaib, nicknamed the Rawalpindi Express, is currently mulling over the offer. And if he agrees to the terms, he will undergo a medical before signing the contract.
A spokesman for Hampshire said: "It is true we have offered Shoaib Akhtar a one-year contract. We are now waiting for him to make his decision.
"He is still in South Africa so it could be later this week before we hear anything."
Scoreboards will display Duckworth/Lewis targets during World Cup Super Six matches if organisers can find a fool proof way of doing it, a leading cricket official said on Wednesday.
Hosts South Africa were knocked out of the tournament on Monday after falling foul of the rule in a rain-shortened Group B match against Sri Lanka, amid confusion over how many runs they needed to win.
Dave Richardson, the International Cricket Council's general manager for cricket, said he hoped to display the targets calculated according to a complicated formula depending on run rate and wickets fallen for the remaining games in the tournament.
"We are investigating from a technical point of view whether it is possible," Richardson told after a news conference.
"If we can get a system which is all but fool proof, then I'd like to get that up for the Super Sixes matches."
But Richardson said the system would have to be entirely computerised to be used in the remaining World Cup matches to eliminate any possibility of human error.
"Certainly with the scoreboards that we have in South Africa there's no reason why we can't display it on the scoreboard, "Richardson said.
South Africa's David Orchard and Zimbabwe's Russell Tiffin, two of the International Cricket Council's elite panel of umpires, have been dropped from further World Cup matches after failing to impress in the group stages.
But England's Peter Willey, who refused to officiate in Zimbabwe on safety grounds, has been retained for the Super Six stage of the competition which will feature three Australians -- Daryl Harper, Darrell Hair and Simon Taufel.
ICC general manager David Richardson admitted mistakes have been made.
"What we've taken into account is the form of the umpires. There might be one or two who have missed out for the rest of this tournament not because they are necessarily bad umpires but simply because they might not be in the best of form," he said.
"Mistakes have been made, they will always contine to be made I'm sure. And in this respect I'd like to compliment the players for their behaviour which we think has been excellent throughout the tournament thus far."