Team that has never won World Cup may win: Shastri

Published: Thursday, January 30, 2003, 22:40 [IST]
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Kochi: Renowned cricket commentator and former India captain Ravi Shastri, on Thursday said that the team that has never won the World Cup might win the forthcoming World Cup to be played at South Africa. Replying to a query at a press conference, Shastri said, "South Africa would be the favourites of the outside countries, but India and Pakistan are crack teams and if they start off well and reach the super sixes, on a given day, they could beat any team in the world."

On the chances of Australia, Shastri, who was here in connection with a ESPN school quiz programme said, "The reason why people do not talk much about Australia as the favourites because they miss Steve Waugh." To another query on the possibility of the contract issue coming up again after the World Cup, he said, "I think it is not going to be swept under the carpet. It is not going to die a natural death." Asked whether the 'contract issue' should have been sorted out before the World Cup itself, he said it did not concern the players.

Players are not bothered, he said. He said if he was a player, he would not have bothered. "My job will be to concentrate on the World Cup. These issues are for the establishment to handle," he said. Replying to a query on what should be the strategy of Indian players, Shastri asked the players to concentrate on the World Cup. "You have 10 days in Durban. Just stay focussed and the important thing is to have self belief and dream of winning the Cup."

There should not be any negative thought and it should be positive, he said. Shastri said since the International Cricket Council (ICC) committee had gone to Zimbabwe and had cleared everything, why should not the matches be played there, Shastri asked responding to a query. On the demands of Australia and England that their matches in Zimbabwe be shifted to another venue, he said, "They will not be shifted and if they shift the venue, they will lose points." Replying to a query on Ajay Jadeja's issue, he said, "That is not my subject.

That is the judgement given by the court. I speak on what I see and my job is to comment on cricket and write on the game." Shastri said Players Association was formed because it was felt that there was some communication gap between the BCCI and the players. Through proper communications controversial matters like the 'contract issues' could be averted in future, he said. Players Association was still at the formation stage he said adding it wanted to work with the BCCI.

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