x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Cricket World Cup notebook: Bopara learns his lesson

Meanwhile, Jason Krejza fails to turn it for Australia, the ICC get an apology and the final will still be in Mumbai.

England

Ravi Bopara does not want to repeat the mistake he made when he was bowled off the last delivery in a World Cup match against Sri Lanka four years ago.

Needing three runs to win off the last ball, Bopara was bowled by Dilhara Fernando in Antigua as England lost the Super Six game by two runs.

Bopara said he was quite young and did not know how to hit a six, but "if I was to face that ball now, I would try and hit that ball straight over mid-on's head".

Australia

The defending champions' reliance on their pace attack was made evident by the performance of the spinner Jason Krejza, their third choice after Nathan Hauritz and Xavier Doherty, were ruled out with injuries.

While spinners such as Pakistan's Shahid Afridi (21 wickets) and the South African duo of Robin Peterson (15) and Imran Tahir (14) have thrived on the subcontinent's placid tracks, Krejza must have felt like he was trapped in his own personal torture chamber.

After sending down 317 deliveries over seven matches, Krejza picked up just five wickets and failed to make it into the World Cup's top 40 list of wicket-takers.

World Cup final

Ratnakar Shetty, the tournament director, said there is no chance that the April 2 final will be moved from Mumbai.

A right-wing political party with roots in Mumbai was reported in the domestic media yesterday as saying it would wait to see who wins the India v Pakistan semi-final at Mohali on Wednesday before deciding whether or not to disrupt the marquee match. Shetty is not concerned.

He said: "Everybody knows the final will be in Mumbai. There's no chance for shifting the venue, no matter whoever comes to play." Shiv Sena has a history of trying to disrupt visits to India by Pakistan's cricket team. Pakistan have not visited India since 2007, the last tour being cancelled after a November 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai.

Sri Lanka

The batsman Mahela Jayawardene said he has some sympathy for Michael Yardy, the England all-rounder who flew home from the World Cup after admitting he is suffering from depression.

"I'm not a medical expert but we do feel for Michael," Jayawardene said. "Obviously those are individual things and you know you have to respect that. If you are not involved in the games, you do different things.

We try to encourage a lot of the guys to bring their families along on tour and those kind of things help, and team-bonding activities. It's hard for me to explain the situation that Michael went through that these kinds of situations are really tough … and we do feel for them."

ICC

The game's governing body yesterday welcomed the front-page apology from the Times of India newspaper after its fictional and damaging report which stated that the Australia v Zimbabwe World Cup game had been fixed.

In its apology, published from New Delhi, the newspaper said: "The Times of India carried a story on its website on March 22 alleging that the match between Australia and Zimbabwe had been spot-fixed.

We apologise to Australia, Cricket Australia and the ICC for any embarrassment caused by this. We also accept that at no stage has the ICC ever confirmed or suggested the match was fixed.

The story has since been taken off the website." Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, said: "The story was not only fictional but was also damaging to the image of cricket. I am pleased that the Times of India took a responsible step and corrected the facts at its earliest opportunity."