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Since 1st March, 1999
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Marsh hits out at England pitches

Southampton: Zimbabwe’s Australian coach Geoff Marsh hit out at the state of English pitches on Wednesday claiming that they are a poor breeding ground for genuine top class bowlers.

“A lot of the wickets we’ve played on here this summer have given too much assistance to the faster bowlers,” said Marsh after a tour in which his side lost both Tests against England and failed to reach the final of the one-day tri- series. “I’m not saying this as an excuse for our batting performances — with our inexperience we would probably have struggled on better wickets. But playing on pitches offering generous seam and bounce can give a false impression of a bowler’s abilities,” said Marsh.

“Don’t get me wrong, England have a good pace attack with Gough, Anderson, Johnson, Harmison and Hoggard,” he added. “The danger is that they don’t develop into complete bowlers who are capable of winning Test matches on flat Asian, Australian, South African and West Indian wickets.

“Gough is an exception to that because he’s proved himself overseas, but he may not play much Test cricket in future. It’s young bowlers like Anderson, Harmison and Hoggard who will need to learn subtle variations and master different deliveries to take wickets when the ball doesn’t swing and seam.”

Marsh pointed to the wickets at Lord’s for the first Test and Headingley, Cardiff and Bristol in the triangular series, as examples of bowler friendly conditions. “It’s not just international matches that are affected. We played at Worcester at the start of the tour where the ball moved off the seam throughout the match.”

Fica miffed with ICC

Meanwhile, frustrated with the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) refusal to allow players’ representatives in its management committee, Federation of International Cricketers’ Association (Fica) chairman Tim May on Wednesday warned the world body that the players’ patience was “wearing thin”.

“Fica will continue to work constructively with the ICC administration to ensure appropriate recognition of player representatives, but, our patience is wearing thin,” May said on the website of the Australian Cricketers’ Association.

May was reacting to the ICC’s recent refusal of the Fica request for player representation, which came despite the ICC administration’s recommendation that the players have a representative on the committee.

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