Australian Cup fears allayed

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Australian squad members yesterday accepted assurances about their safety and agreed to play in the World Cup in Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka, starting next month. Shane Warne threatened on Saturday to withdraw from the cup after receiving threatening letters over the Salim Malik bribery allegations.

Warne, Tim May and Mark Waugh claimed that the former Pakistan captain had tried to bribe them during a tour in October 1994. Malik was cleared by an internal judicial inquiry.

Michael Slater, the dashing opener, was preferred to Dean Jones, the veteran middle-order batsman, when selectors finalised Australia's 14- man squad.

AUSTRALIA SQUAD (for World Cup, India, Pakitan and Sri Lanka, 14 Feb- 17 Mar): M Taylor (capt), I Healy (vice-capt, wkt), M Bevan, D Fleming, S Law, S Lee, C McDermott, G McGrath, R Ponting, P Reiffel, M Slater, S Warne, M Waugh, S Waugh.