WC: Speed hopes underdogs will put up fine show

Published: Monday, December 9, 2002, 3:15 [IST]
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Islamabad: The International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Malcolm Speed on December 8 hoped the underdogs of world cricket, Kenya, Namibia, Holland and Canada would put up a strong showing in next year's World Cup in South Africa. "We do hope strongly that these teams would be competitive and play strongly in South Africa," Speed told reporters in Lahore after the end of the two-day ICC development committee meeting. "Kenya and Namibia (from Africa) are playing in the World Cup. We don't expect these teams to beat the full member countries but we do expect them to play some competitive cricket," Speed said. Bangladesh on the other hand has defeated Pakistan in the last World Cup in 1999 and Kenya beat West Indies in the 1996 tournament he said adding, "The associate member countries can make an upset as it happened in the past." Bangladesh had a bumpy journey since it was awarded Test status in June 2000 and is yet to register a win - losing 14 Tests and drawing one rain-marred home Test against Zimbabwe. "We need to be patient (with Bangladesh). We need to give them a chance to grow into new level of cricket," Speed said. Speed said among the new Asian countries, Nepal, Malaysia and Singapore were making significant progress while the sport is also expanding in Americas - in countries like Argentina and Canada.

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