Ponting has no qualms about Australia~~s trip to Zim

Published: Monday, February 10, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Johannesburg: As England continued to agonise on Sunday about whether to go ahead with its World Cup opener in Zimbabwe on February 13, Australia captain Ricky Ponting insisted his team was all set for its fixture in the famine-threatened country. Ponting, speaking at the Wanderers on Sunday ahead of the world champions' first match against Pakistan at the ground on Tuesday, told they were looking forward to their February 24 clash against the co-hosts in Zimbabwe's second city of Bulawayo. "Our stance is the same. We decided two months ago that we are going to Zimbabwe and nothing has changed. "We are pretty sure that we are going there to play some good cricket on February 24." There have been suggestions that if Australia was to lose its opening two matches, against Pakistan and India, it would travel to Zimbabwe regardless of any safety concerns in a bid to qualify for the second phase of the tournament rather than risk being docked four points for refusing to play. But Ponting dismissed such talk, saying, "That won't have anything to do with our decision, even if we lose both games. "Only if the safety and security situation gets worse over the next week would we then review our position. "The ACB (Australian Cricket Board) and ICC (International Cricket Council) are keeping a close eye on the situation and reporting back to us. "There are no reasons not to believe their reports." And the top-order batsman was equally adamant that whatever England decided would have no bearing on Australia's attitude towards its Zimbabwe match. "I'm not sure what England has decided, but whatever it decides, it won't have any effect on us."

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