WC 2003 - ~~I~~ve no intention of giving up captaincy at any stage~~

Published: Sunday, February 9, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Durban: Saurav Ganguly denied on Wednesday reports saying he was going to give up the India captaincy after the World Cup.Ganguly, speaking ahead of Thursday's day-night semi-final against Kenya here, told reporters, "I'm not going to. I've not even thought about it."It's wrong to read between the lines," Ganguly said in the wake of previous comments the job was giving him grey hair."I've no intention of giving up the captaincy at any stage."Ganguly expressed sympathy for former Pakistan captain Waqar Younis, sacked on Wednesday in the wake of the team's first round exit at the World Cup, which included a defeat against archrivals India."Once you are in Pakistan cricket you get used to being sacked. I feel sorry for him. He's done well with the side."Kenya is the first non-Test nation ever to reach the last four of a World Cup and India, looking for its first World Cup final since winning the title in 1983, is firm favourite to meet defending champion Australia in Sunday's final at the Wanderers.But Ganguly said, "Kenyans have surprised a few teams in this tournament. They have played well. You don't just wake up and get to a World Cup semi-final."He added that despite the expectations on India's shoulders, the East Africans would be nervous too."They want to go to the final. They don't want to go home."Ganguly confirmed that India would stand by the team that had got them to the last four, meaning leg spinner Anil Kumble would once again be sidelined.Australia's semi-final win over Sri Lanka was ultimately decided by the Duckworth-Lewis method after rain cut short Tuesday's match in Port Elizabeth.Durban has also had rain during the past two days and Ganguly admitted the weather could still have a vital role to play."We need to keep an eye on the weather," said Ganguly whose team beat England by 82 runs under the Kingsmead lights in a group match last month.Ganguly added it would be the coaching staff's job to monitor the Duckworth-Lewis situation.India's newly-formed pace trio of Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra have taken 43 wickets between them at the World Cup, with Nehra claiming six for 23 under the Kingsmead lights against England.But Ganguly said the pitch would assist India's quicks whatever the result of the toss. "It's a hard wicket, with pace and bounce and that will be good for our seamers."Australia, which beat India by nine wickets in a group match, has yet to lose a match at this World Cup.However, Ganguly said Ricky Ponting's men would still be tense on Sunday. "Australia (Australians) are a good side. Whoever gets there will have to play good cricket to beat them. "But there will be pressure on both sides. They are the reigning champions and want to defend their title. The World Cup final has to be a pressure game."Copyright AFP 2001

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