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John Howard slams ICC

Melbourne: Cricket’s governing body should have avoided World Cup safety concerns by players by shifting matches away from strife-torn Zimbabwe, Australia Prime Minister John Howard said on Friday.

Defending champions Australia are scheduled to play Zimbabwe in a Group A game in Bulawayo on Monday, but several team members have expressed concerns over their security. “I’ve never argued that the Australian team should unilaterally pull out if it didn’t want to,” Howard told a Melbourne radio station. “I haven’t put that kind of moral pressure on the Australian team.

“My argument has been that the ICC should have listened to the views of the British and New Zealand governments and shifted the games.

Howard said Australia’s players were uneasy about playing in politically-troubled Zimbabwe. “I think many of them have misgivings about the situation but they also have a contract with the Australian Cricket Board,” he said.

Woolmer pep-talk for Pollock

Cape Town: Amidst increasing criticism, beleagured South African skipper Shaun Pollock has something to cheer about — words of advice from his former coach Bob Woolmer. “My advice to the team would be to throw away all the newspapers for the next two weeks, switch off the TV sets and the radios and play the game they have so effectively done in the past two years,” Woolmer said.

He said he had read the comments attributed to Herschelle Gibbs about so-called criticism against Pollock’s captaincy, but felt it was taken out of context.

n South Africa vs Bangladesh, live on Sony from 1.30 pm n England vs Pakistan live on MAX from 6 pm and live on DDI from 5.30 pm


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