World Cup news: The Pakistan-born leg spinner is awarded a one-year national contract by South Africa.
Tahir gets rewarded already after promising debut
The new spin star Imran Tahir has been handed a year-long national contract. The Pakistan-born leg-spinner, 31, who was granted citizenship in January, made his debut for South Africa this week and took four for 41 as they won their opening match against West Indies by seven wickets. The batsman Colin Ingram, who made a debut century against Zimbabwe earlier this season and went on to play 11 one-day internationals, has also been given a contract.
Stuart Broad missed practice yesterday morning with more stomach problems, but he is expected to be fit to face India today. Broad began having problems almost as soon as England arrived on the subcontinent two weeks ago. But captain Andrew Strauss seemed confident that the new-ball bowler will recover in time for today's key Group B match. Broad went down with stomach trouble within hours of England's flight to Dhaka for their two warm-up matches, but he took a five-wicket haul in each of those two fixtures and played in the opening win over Holland.
Despite opening their campaign with a heavy defeat, the captain Ashish Bagai believes the World Cup will provide his younger players with a chance to gain experience. The Canadians lost by 210 runs to Sri Lanka in their first World Cup fixture, but have a chance for a win - or at least a competitive game - tomorrow against Zimbabwe. "All these youngsters are highly talented but they don't have the experience at this level," said Bagai, 28, a native of Delhi in India. "There are things you can coach, but it's all about having the experience and getting that belief that they can also compete against the top players. This experience they will definitely take to improve in the future."
The ICC chief Haroon Lorgat said he does not want to see a repeat of the scenes in Bangalore, where police used bamboo sticks against irate fans queuing for tickets for today's match between India and England. The trouble broke out when fans were informed that the 7,000 tickets on sale for the general public had sold out. Lorgat said the ICC and local cricket associations had their own allocations, which led to a limited availability of tickets for the general public. "All tickets, one way or another, find their way to the public whether through clubs, boards, the ICC. It is unfortunate that there are only a few tickets for the public," he said.
Eldine Baptiste, the coach, has fallen out with some of his senior players at the World Cup, the country's leading cricket official suggested yesterday. Kenya were well beaten in their opening match against New Zealand and play Pakistan on Wednesday. "The coach has his own way of doing things which did not go down well with some senior players," Samir Inamdar, the Cricket Kenya chairman, told Reuters in a telephone interview from Mombasa. "But ultimately, the coach has a duty to do and the players as well have a duty. I hope they will overcome those differences and play well."