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Published: Tuesday, December 18, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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Jaipur: Bugged by the controversy involving punishments to six Indian players by English match referee Mike Denness, England captain Nasser Hussain on Monday said too many off-field comments have caused harm to cricket and his team would now just like to stick by the ICC diktat andconcentrate on playing the game.[an error occurred while processing this directive]Reacting to queries on the possibilities of having another unofficial match if the issue further boils up, Hussain said it was up to the authorities to sort out the matter. "We are just like employees of the ICC, if the match is official, we go and play, irrespective of the venue being Kathmandu or some other place."It is as simple as that," Hussain said. The skipper, who is here with the English side to play the last practice match against India 'A' ahead of the first Test starting next Monday, said there have been far too many comments off the field which have caused harm to cricket so now he wished they could get to playing cricket. Hussain said he was upset by the way this episode was being handled. "They could have handled it in a better way. In the past few days it is cricket which has suffered the most."On the upcoming Mohali Test, he said, "We have seen different type wickets in practice matches. Mumbai was different, Hyderabad was different and here too it looks green top... I am sure that Mohali will be different too." Later, after a vigorous practice session, the skipper told reporters that most of the boys of the team were new to Indian conditions but were ready to take on the challenge. "We know India is a great side but we are here to learnsome lessons and we have some tricks up our sleeves." On the ankle injury to Ashley Giles, Hussain said, the left-arm spinner was recovering and he should play this match to prove his fitness. "It is high time that he should prove he is fit but still I can't assure that he will be in the team for Mohali Test. We are in a process of sorting out our problems and then the final selection will be made". When asked whether they had any plans to call those players who had opted out due to the security reasons, he said, "We have 17 players including Flintoff. We don't need more. Also, Flintoff may have been summoned but that is no guarantee that he will be included in the team. We will have to know about his form".He said the playing 11 for the three-dayer will be announced only on Tuesday morning. PTI


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