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March 27, 2003 15:04 IST

Parthiv patelIndia's reserve wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel says he will answer his 12th standard exams next year as time is too short for him to appear this time.

The Gujarat Education Board had two days ago announced that there is no provision to consider Patel as a "special case" and promote him or conduct all his exams later.

Board chairman P V Trivedi had said that the most they could do for him was provide give a day's grace where Patel would be able to appear for one missed exam in July this year.

"My education is important to me but my commitment to cricket demands a lot of time and even now I have to play some benefit matches so there is no chance of appearing for  the remaining exams this year," Patel told reporters in Ahmedabad after returning from South Africa.

Gujarat cricket chief and former education minister Narhari Amin said Parthiv's parents had repeatedly approached the education minister and other officials to consider Parthiv as a "special case" but in vain.

Despite the ongoing war in Iraq throwing the Sharjah triangular series into jeopardy, Pakistan's newly-appointed captain Rashid Latif said he is keen to play in the tournament mainly to gauge the potential of his new-look team.

"Given this would be our first outing after the World Cup, I think the Sharjah tournament is the best opportunity for the Pakistan Cricket Board, selectors and team management to see in competitive conditions what the new look side is capable of," said Latif, who replaced Waqar Younis as captain after Pakistan's disastrous World Cup campaign.

Though the Sharjah tournament was to begin on April 1, South Africa's decision to pull out of the series has put a question mark on staging it on schedule.

"I can understand the organisers are facing difficult times because of the withdrawal of South Africa. But I think at the moment the main consideration for Pakistan should be to get some cricket for their players," Latif was quoted as saying by local daily The News.

The cricket selection committee, under the chairmanship of former Test player Brijesh Patel, will meet in Mumbai next week to pick the Indian team for the triangular one-day series in Bangladesh next month.

Board of Control for Cricket in India secretary S K Nair said the selectors would meet either on April 1 or 2.

"All the matches to be played at the Bangabandhu National stadium in Dhaka would be day-night ties. South Africa is the third team in the fray along with India and host Bangladesh," Nair added.

Following is the itinerary, released by the BCCI:

April 10: Departure from Kolkata to Dhaka.

April 11: Bangladesh vs India.

April 13: South Africa vs India.

April 14: South Africa vs Bangladesh.

April 16: India vs Bangladesh.

April 17: South Africa vs Bangladesh.

April 18: South Africa vs India.

April 20: Final.

April 21: Reserve day.

Hoping for a long tenure for himself, Pakistan's newly-appointed coach Javed Miandad sent out a strong message to the new-look team asking it to perform or perish.

Addressing his first press conference after taking over from Richard Pybus, Miandad, who had been twice sacked as coach earlier, said his own credentials should not be judged by the performance of the team.

"The coach should be judged by his commitment and input. But the onus of delivering lies on the boys," Miandad toldJaved Miandad reporters in Lahore.

He was happy that the Pakistan Cricket Board had made the players accountable for their performance and dropped several top stars after the team's debacle at the World Cup.

"The players are not bigger than the game. In the past, when the team used to lose, the Boards were changed. But this time, the Board has stayed and the senior boys have been dropped.

"I think it is a good message to all the players that if they perform, they will stay, otherwise they will have to make way for others," he said.

In an apparent dig at some of the players who have been left out of the Pakistan squad for the tri-nation tournament in Sharjah, Miandad said Pakistan cricket needed to get out of the concept of senior and junior cricketers.

"There is no senior or junior inside the rope," he said. "All play for one cause and that is for the country. Respect has to come from inside and it should not be made an ego problem."

One-and-a-half months after he was shamefully ejected from the Australian World Cup squad, champion leg-spinner Shane Warne returned to South Africa to fulfil some prior commitments.

Shane WarneWarne, who was banned from cricket for one year by the Anti-doping agency of the Australian Cricket Board for testing positive for a diuretic, does not want to face the media and has requested the organisers to keep newspersons at bay.

Manager of Corporate Sport, Ross Fraser, who has invited Warne to address a breakfast function and participate in other programmes to encourage youth, said Warne had specifically requested that the media should be kept out.

"He has felt that he had been given a rough ride by the media and wished to keep a low profile," Fraser said.

In addition to addressing the breakfast function, Warne is also expected to visit some of the townships to encourage the youth to take up spin bowling.

In the wake of his "drug-tainted" background", objections have been raised against inviting Australian spinner Shane Warne as an honourable guest for school children in Phoenix, Durban.

"I have a question over whether Warne is a suitable role  model for our young people," said Deputy Mayor Logie Naidoo, who thinks India's Sachin Tendulkar or Sourav Ganguly would have been far better role models for the young children.

"I suppose from a purely cricket development point of view he (Shane) might be inspiring to children but given the recent drugs debacle, I think there are many people who would have a problem with his visit," said Naidoo.

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