'Contract issue has not affected players' performance'

Published: Saturday, February 15, 2003, 3:53 [IST]
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Kochi: BCCI secretary S Karunakaran Nair on Friday reiterated that the 'contract issue' had not affected the performance of the Indian players in the ongoing World Cup at South Africa. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a book releasing function here, he said, "The players are not bothered about the contract issue. It is between the ICC and the BCCI. We will carry the fight." "There were some loose ends in our batting and that has to be strengthened for our progress into the super six stage.

The team is keen and are focussed," he said, adding that the match against Australia on Saturday was crucial. If India wins, it would boost team morale and whatever extra pressure it faced about its earlier performances would be 'blown away.' To a query on the team selection, he said it was up to the management to decide, but pointed out the need for grooming a fifth bowler and an all-rounder.

Earlier, Nair released a book on 'Cricket in Malayalam', written by P Balachandran, a former Kerala Ranji trophy player and a renowned cricket coach. The book, the first of its kind, covering all aspects of the game, has a history of cricket, playing techniques with photographs, umpiring and the laws of the game.

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