The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Holding flays qualifying norms

Johannesburg: West Indian great Michael Holding Sunday questioned the qualification process for the Super Sixes, saying blood and sweat counted for little.

Holding, a member of the World Cup technical committee, believes giving Zimbabwe and Kenya the points forfeited by England and New Zealand for refusing to play in those countries had undermined the competition.

“The Super Six were meant for those teams that had played the best cricket in the 42 preliminary matches and had finished in the top three positions in their respective groups,” Holding wrote in his column.

“But unfortunately, off the field activities have ensured that may not be the case.

“Should teams be allocated points as freely as this in such a prestigious and financially rewarding tournament' Should teams who have played their guts out, giving of their best and heaven forbid, suffered injuries in the process, be allowed to be sent home because another team pocketed unearned points and leapfrogged ahead of them' The simple answer is no.”

Holding believes the answer lies in taking a leaf out of what happens in other sports.

“Take Fifa for example. You miss a game for a reason that they don’t find acceptable and you are out of the tournament and the points for those games gone and those coming are null and void,” Holding wrote.

“The ICC certainly may not see reason to be as draconian as Fifa but they have got to find ways of stopping these forfeiting of points for reasons they obviously don’t find legitimate. It happened in the World Cup in Asia eight years ago when both the West Indies and Australia refused to tour Sri Lanka, while other teams did without the slightest hint of a problem. There seemed to be no plan put in place to prevent a repetition after that tournament and it has happened here again.”

Indians in China cheer victory

Beijing: Indians in China celebrated as Sachin Tendulkar mercilessly smashed Pakistani bowlers to lead India to an exciting World Cup victory over their arch-rivals in Centurion on Saturday.

The Indian community cheered in unison as the men in blue brutally tore apart the famed Pakistani pace attack as they watched the high-voltage encounter on television at the Indian embassy.

The embassy receives the national channels — Doordarshan National and DD Metro — and every bit of India’s victory was savoured. However, Pakistanis living in the Chinese capital could not watch the high powered duel as the Pakistan embassy did not have access to PTV’s main channel which telecast the match. “We had to be satisfied with just the scores, which appeared on PTV International,” a Pakistani diplomat said.

Tikolo calls for reform

Johannesburg: Captain Steve Tikolo called for a reform of cricket’s governing body in Kenya on Sunday, a day after his team had joined Australia and India as the first three sides to qualify for the World Cup second phase.

“Right now, you can pick your team of 15 from Nairobi, and that poses problems of depth,” he said. “The game has to spread across the whole country for us to start seeing a proper transformation, and that will partly require transforming the KCA.

n South Africa vs Sri Lanka, live from 6 pm on Max n New Zealand vs Canada, live from 1.30 pm on Sony n Australia vs England, highlights from 8.30 pm on Max

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