Monday, 12 March 2007

Latest World Cup News

Darvid Wary of World Cup Warm Ups

Rahul Dravid is wary that two easy wins in the World Cupwarm-up matches may backfire when they face tougher competition. India beat the Netherlands by 182 runs and West Indies by nine wickets.

"With a performance like this, it meant that some of our batsmen did not get a chance to bat, and our spin bowlers did not get a chance to bowl," he told reporters in Montego Bay. "I think the advantages some times outweigh the disadvantages when you beat a top team like West Indies so convincingly. I think what it does to the spirit of the team can be very important as well.

"No one should discount the plus points you gain from momentum, the plus points you gain from the confidence that it gives in winning over a team like West Indies who had the upper hand over us a lot over the last year."

Grounds for concern prior to Opening Ceremoy

With the World Cup set to kick-off in two day's time the organisers have expressed concern over the last-minute scramble in getting all the venues in top shape. While the construction inside the stadiums is complete, Don Lockerbie, the venue development director, noted that the finishing touches in the areas surrounding the venues are still pending completion.

"I think a lot of the venues have waited to the very last [moment] to get some of the final bits of construction in," Lockerbie told AFP, "and, as a perfectionist, I'm a little disappointed that I don't see all the landscaping full out and the roads all paved and things around the stadiums finished."

Afghanistan and Norway aim for 2011 World Cup

The lower-ranked Associates haven't received the warmest of welcomes ahead of the World Cup, but that isn't stopping Afghanistan and Norway planning for the 2011 World Cup.

"I can see a very bright future for cricket in Afghanistan and maybe in the next ten years we will be able to have at least five good grounds," Shahzada Masoud, president of the Afghanistan Cricket Federation (ACF), said. "The ultimate goal would be to play against Test-playing nations and maybe even qualify for the 2011 World Cup."

Both teams are in the lowly Division Five of the World Cricket League and would need to be promoted to Division One before even thinking about qualifying for the World Cup. Cricket is undoubtedly on the rise in Afghanistan, but sheer enthusiasm alone is an insufficient base on which to improve the sport's standard in the country.

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