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Lee bracing for a ‘tall’ Sachin

Johannesburg: Fast bowler Brett Lee says he’s keen to test himself against Indian opener Sachin Tendulkar in the World Cup final after Australian coach John Buchanan dubbed him the new Jeff Thomson of cricket.

The Lee versus Tendulkar duel looms as the most anticipated head-to-head in the World Cup and the outcome will be determined by who comes out on top.

Tendulkar, the most successful batsman in one-day cricket, leads the runmakers here with a record 586 runs before the semi-final against Kenya. Lee has been at his devastating best lately, increasing his haul to 20 wickets as he’s tormented opposition batsmen with his blistering pace.

“It would be great to bowl against the world’s best batsman,” said Lee.

“He’s a great character. He’s tall in stature but he’s not really tall in height. If you bowl a bad line and length then you just get dispatched.

“It’s pretty hard to bowl to Sachin because no matter where you put the ball, he always seems to find a spot to hit it in.”

Olonga mulls a life in exile

London: Zimbabwean bowler Henry Olonga fears that he may have to spend the rest of his life in exile but does not regret his decision to join Andy Flower in an armband protest against the ‘death of democracy’ in his country.

Olonga said he had received “direct and clear” threats over e-mail about what fate awaits him if he returned to Zimbabwe, but he still believes he did the right thing.

“We had no illusions about the kind of consequences and reactions we could get. The people we have dealt with in the past have been ruthless,” Olonga was quoted as saying in The Guardian.

“We knew, or at least I knew, that the worst-case scenario was that I might have to go into exile.”

Olonga, however, did not confirm whether Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe’s secret police came after him. “What I have said about the security issue is that I received three e-mails which are very direct and very clear as what these people would like to do,” he said.

“If I had the opportunity to go back to a Zimbabwe that respected human rights and upheld freedom, I would probably love to go back and play.”

Latif the wrong choice: Pybus

London: Former Pakistan coach Richard Pybus on Thursday said he believed veteran Rashid Latif would prove only to be a temporary captain and batsman Younis Khan would have been a better choice.

Pybus also paid tribute to former captain Waqar Younis, who was sacked and replaced by Latif following their failure to make the Super Six stage of the World Cup.

“In the circumstances, Waqar did an incredible job keeping the team together,” Pybus told the BBC sport website.

About Khan, Pybus said: “He is a thoughtful, highly professional cricketer who expects others to maintain the standards that he sets himself. He is a strong, principled man and I know that if he gets the job at a future date he will have laid down the ground rules first.

“He certainly will not tolerate prima donnas.”

Charity play

Melbourne: The ACB is reluctant to let Shane Warne play for an English social side during his doping suspension. The board stressed on Thursday it was yet to see details of the proposal for Warne to sign with the Lashings Club. It is understood Warne will argue he would play for charity, not a paid contract. Lashings confirmed Thursday it was trying to sign Warne and Henry Olonga.

“Regardless of what cricket is proposed, whether it’s official or unofficial, we need to see it before it can be approved under the terms of Warne’s playing contract,” ACB public affairs manager Peter Young said. “On the face of it, a privately-owned club does not seem appropriate, but we haven’t seen the details.

n India vs Kenya, semi-final highlights from 8 am on Max n Best of Super Six from 9.30 am on Max n Australia vs Sri Lanka, semi-final highlights at 7 pm on Max


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