The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Marsh echoes Streak thoughts

Sydney: Zimbabwe’s Australian coach Geoff Marsh has joined skipper Heath Streak in saying the players found it tough to focus on the game amidst the political turmoil in their country. But Marsh, whose contract expires in September, did not regret being at the helm of a team which has had an indifferent World Cup campaign and has been bogged down by ‘other stuff’.

“It has been difficult for the players to keep focus on cricket,” Marsh was quoted as saying in The Age.

“You do not always get the team you want but I am not permitted to discuss what went on in selection. As coach you always want to have more control on the players you have on the field.... But that decision lies in someone else’s hands. It is a very delicate situation and it is hard for me to comment. All I can say is that it has been a big challenge. If I had my time again, I still would have taken the job and when my contract is up (in September), I’ll look at what options are presented.”

Adam’s pitch concerns

Durban: Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist has become the latest member of the reigning champions’ World Cup squad to express concerns over the state of the Port Elizabeth pitch where Ricky Ponting’s men are due to play their World Cup semi-final on Tuesday.

Australia have had two narrow escapes on the St George’s Park strip edging England by two wickets and surviving a six-wicket burst from New Zealand’s Shane Bond before recording a 96-run Super Six win.

The pitch is being reviewed by the tournament organisers and Gilchrist has said using another part of the square may be the way to get more pace and bounce into the surface. “I think the wicket we played South Africa on last year was on a different side of the square,” said Gilchrist. “It might be that that side of the wicket is more conducive to a the one-day game and better suited to a showpiece occasion such as the World Cup semi-final.”

Family call for Kenyans

Durban: The young Kenyan cricketers are having a tough time convincing their kids that they will be back home soon.

Collins Obuya, Peter Ongondo and David Obuya, the youngest players in the Kenyan line-up, never dreamt of reaching so far in the World Cup and had told the kids that they would come home soon, considering the team was nothing more than rank outsider in an event tipped to be dominated by the big boys.

But that was not to be.

The Kenyans surprised everyone including themselves by reaching the semi-finals and now besides many other things to think of, they are also left coping with restless toddlers and missing home due to the prolonged trip.

Not that anyone is complaining.

The players, especially the young trio, cannot help reaching for their mobiles every now and then to speak to their people.

Ongondo regularly calls up his wife, Sharon, and speaks to his three-year-old daughter, who often asks him when he will return home.

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