Cricket: Complete Guide To The World Cup

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UMPIRE WATCH

BORN IN County Durham, Peter Willey made his one-day international debut as an official in 1996 at The Oval (England versus India). He most recently presided over Sunday's Australian defeat of Scotland. The former England player scored two centuries in 26 Tests. He is especially remembered for his part (no pun intended) in Brian Johnston's remark, "the bowler's Holding, the batsman's Willey." The umpire, who lists dog walking amongst his main hobbies, officiates at Leicester today for India's match against Zimbabwe.

MISSING IDENTITY

Who is the World Cup player described below? The answer will appear tomorrow.

BORN IN December 1969, this right-handed player has become an automatic choice for his country at both Test and one-day international levels, and could feature prominently in the tournament. He made his one-day international debut in the 1993-94 season against Sri Lanka and is renowned for his enthusiastic and excessive appealing. A gritty middle- order batsman, he is also pretty handy as a pinch-hitter, and has scored over a 1,000 runs in one- day internationals. He has a best score of 152 at Test level, which is no mean feat for someone not known primarily for their batting ability.

Yesterday's missing identity: Thomas Odoyo of Kenya.

WEB SITE

http://come.to/cricket

ALL YOU want to know about Indian cricket. The defining characteristic of the site is an interesting trivia section. It includes the remarkable fact that India have won just one Test outside India in 47 attempts in the last 12 years.

CRICKET TALK

A guide to the language of a cricket carnival. No 2: Swahili.

Mwezi wa Tano Ulaya? Huwezi kupata mvua nyingi kama hii Africa.

May in England? You wouldn't get all this bloody rain in Africa at this time of year.

MATCH BETTING

TWO OF the tournament favourites are in action today. There is no chance of getting rich by backing either of them in singles to win, but there might be a touch of value in a double on South Africa to beat Sri Lanka, and India to beat Zimbabwe (with Stanley, at accumulative odds of a shade less than evens).

The South Africans showed against India on Saturday that they have true strength in depth and should not slip up against the Sri Lankan side that lost to England. India gave the South Africans a run for their money, and although Zimbabwe (best price 5-2 with William Hill) might be some people's idea of dark horses, today is unlikely to be their day.

Better value can be had in backing individuals to high-score for their sides today. South Africa's Jacques Kallis (7-2 with Ladbrokes), Sri Lanka's Arjuna Ranatunga (6-1, William Hill), India's Saurav Ganguly (9-2, Stanley) and Zimbabwe's Neil Johnson (7-2, Ladbrokes) are recommended.

TODAY'S MATCHES

C H L S T

India 1-3 2-7 1-3 4-11 1-3

Zimbabwe 9-4 5-2 9-4 2-1 9-4

South Africa 2-7 1-3 1-3 2-5 1-3

Sri Lanka 5-2 9-4 9-4 7-4 9-4

C Coral H William Hill L Ladbrokes S Stanley T Tote

MEDIA MONITOR

BANGLADESH'S FIRST foray into this competition gave the team an indication of what life in the big bad world is likely to be. It is best to be philosophical about it, part stoic, part Hegelian. Life in the middle promises to be nasty, brutish and short. Come to terms with it, or leave it. The Daily Star of Bangladesh does not mince its words about defeat to New Zeland.

WORLD CUP officials' refusal to position a speed gun machine at each ground is robbing the tournament of the answer to one of its biggest early questions: Just how fast is Shoaib Akhtar? Pakistan's Dawn newspaper is not afraid to tackle the difficult issues.

SHANE WARNE refused to sign a stuffed duck. The Tartan Army broke out into a song, "Warne refused to autograph the duck." The Sri Lanka Daily News does not miss its chance of Aussie bashing.

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