WC 2003 - Boycotts golden thoughts to his Prince

Published: Saturday, February 22, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Johannesburg: England great Geoff Boycott has lent his support to India's bid to win the World Cup, advising captain Saurav Ganguly in a three-page fax to "be patient and cool.""You can win the World Cup. Be patient and be cool. Just dream that you are winning it," Boycott wrote to Ganguly ahead of Thursday's semi-final against Kenya at Durban.Boycott, the former England opening batsman, is a household name in cricket-crazy India where he became hugely popular for his outspoken comments on television.He was forced to miss a commentary assignment at the World Cup after undergoing surgery for throat cancer, but has followed the tournament closely from his home in Yorkshire.Boycott's advice focusses primarily on fielding and batting."Catches and run outs win matches," Boycott wrote in the fax."It is an old saying but we often forget it. Place the right fielders in right places."Everyone in your team cannot be as agile as each other. It is your duty whom to place where and whom to hide. It is important."Try to be at your best while on the field. A captain's body language is important, so try to be positive all the time."Let everybody understand that this is the last opportunity and please do not lose your cool or argue with the umpire."There might be some decisions going against you but that should not force you to argue with the umpires. You will get scope to say those words to the umpire once the match ends."Boycott, preaching what he practiced in his playing days, added, "You have to be selfish. Do not throw away your wicket."Focus on the World Cup only - everything else can wait."Tell the bowlers to rush and fielders should be ready whenever an over is finished."They can support the bowlers in doing it quickly. Catch up the speed. You have lost overs as penalties when you were bowling first in a couple of matches. That cannot happen here."There is absolutely no need to talk to the bowler after each delivery. It breaks his concentration. Allow him to bowl freely even if he is hit for some runs in a particular over."If your bowler is going through a bad phase, try the Aussie way of encouraging him."Ganguly said he would pay close attention to Boycott's words of advice and hoped he would "remember everything" when he takes the field on Thursday.If India beats Kenya, it clashes with defending champion Australia in the final at the Wanderers here on Sunday.Copyright AFP 2001

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