We~~ve got guys to replace void created by Warne: Ponting

Published: Tuesday, February 11, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Johannesburg: Australia's World Cup captain Ricky Ponting said on Tuesday his team will overcome the loss of star spinner Shane Warne and make a successful bid to retain the title. Warne withdrew from the tournament an hour before Australia's opening match against Pakistan at the Wanderers here after being told of a failed drugs test back home before the squad left for South Africa. "Yeah, the team was quite shocked to hear it this morning," Ponting said at the toss.

But we have got the guys to put the situation out of our mind and concentrate on the game." Former team-mate Tom Moody jumped to Warne's defence. "It came as quite a shock because Shane Warne is such a wonderful cricketer," said Moody. "I am sure the second sample will prove his innocence." Asked if cricketers took performance-enhancing drugs, Moody said, "I don't even know what these drugs are. I hear Shane's tablet was for fluid loss or weight loss.

"I know he is a changed man these days and has lost a lot of weight in recent months. He goes through a rigorous fitness regimen. My gut feeling is that he will be cleared soon." Warne flies home later on Tuesday and will undergo a second test in Melbourne, possibly later this week. If the 'B' sample is negative, Warne could return to the tournament although the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) has asked the World Cup technical committee to sanction a replacement.

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