The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Another ACB inspection of Zimbabwe

Sydney: A senior Australian Cricket Board (ACB) official will visit Zimbabwe to have a first hand inspection of the security conditions ahead of Australia’s match against Zimbabwe Monday.

ACB cricket operations manager Michael Brown will travel to review the security set-up in Bulawayo — the venue for their Sunday game.

“It’s just part of the ongoing process,” Brown said.

“I’m just going to be meeting the people who are in charge over there and see what happens in and around the ground. I’m sure the players will have plenty of questions when I get back,” he said.

The men from Down Under have already reduced their stay in Zimbabwe from five days to two.

The team will now be in Bulawayo a day prior to the match and plans to leave immediately after the match, it said.

Shoaib at 159 kmph

Kimberley: Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar recorded the fastest delivery in World Cup history Sunday against Namibia.

Shoaib was timed at 98.5 miles an hour (158.58 km/hr) when he bowled to Namibian tail-ender Rudie van Vuuren.

“I am delighted to have bowled the fastest ball in the World Cup but I am here to take wickets and put my team on the right track to win the title,” he said.

“For me, the delivery I bowled in Lahore was the fastest. It’s okay to hit the speedometer as long as I keep taking wickets. The four wickets I took were very satisfying even if it was only against Namibia.”

Gray disappointed

Sydney: ICC president Malcom Gray is “disappointed” by England skipper Naseer Hussain’s charge that the game’s apex body had “fudged” the Zimbabwe issue.

Hussain, who has threatened to quit as England captain in wake of the fracas over England’s refusal to play their World Cup match in Zimbabwe, said the ICC top bosses had “fudged” the issue. “Disappointed, end of story,” was all that Gray said.

Vaas plants tree

Pietermaritzburg: Sri Lankan fast bowler Chaminda Vaas planted a liquid-amber tree here to commemorate his record-breaking bowling performance against Bangladesh.

Vaas became the first bowler to take wickets with the first three deliveries of the match — hat-trick — and finished it with another wicket two balls later — four in all.

It has become customary for bowlers to plant a tree for a five-wicket effort after the first known tree was planted by English batting legend Denis Compton in 1957.

Other international players to have planted trees are West Indians Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Malcolm Marshall, and South Africa’s Jacques Kallis.

Gunaratne standby

Paarl: Sri Lanka will decide in a couple of days time whether to call for a standby as cover up for injured fast bowler Pulasthi Gunaratne.

Gunaratne broke his right index finger while fielding during the side’s victory in the opening match against New Zealand in Bloemfontein.

The team management is hopeful Gunaratne will recover in time for Lanka’s important match against the West Indies at Newlands on February 28.

Nasser jibes

East London: England captain Nasser Hussain has chided the British media for harping on the team’s lack of match practice being a cause for concern.

“You boys panic about match practice,” Hussain told a British journalists Sunday after England’s win against The Netherlands.

Before that match, England had played only one warm-up game against a local South African side since a tri-nation series in Australia in December.

“It is about rest, it is about getting things right on the day. Just because you play every day of the week doesn’t mean on a given day you will be better,” Hussain said.

England’s old friend

East London: England will come up against an old friend when they take on Namibia in their second World Cup match in Port Elizabeth Wednesday but are not in a position to show any mercy in their pursuit of glory at cricket’s biggest stage. The tournament debutants, outclassed in their first two games in group A, are coached by Scotland-born Dougie Brown, who played nine one-day Internationals for England in 1997 and 1998.

Brown, Namibia’s coach since last October as part of an arrangement with the ICC, famously removed West Indies batsmen Philo Wallace and Brian Lara in the first over of a Champions Trophy match in Sharjah in 1997.

“We’re not going to be daunted or fazed by any of the (big-name) players in the England side,” said Brown, who plays for Warwickshire. “We thoroughly respect them but we’re going to try and score and play to the best of our ability.

“We’re not out there to be everyone’s whipping boys or just to make up the numbers.”

n West Indies vs Bangladesh live from 1:30 pm on Max n Taking Guard from 12:30 pm Star Sports n Follow Through on Star Sports after the match

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