Cricket: Stewart's dampener

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The Independent Online
ALEC STEWART, the England captain, spelt out his frustration as the weather again wrecked his World Cup preparation plans. Stewart saw rain wash out Surrey's County Championship match with Worcestershire at New Road for the second day running.

Stewart said he may have to play in Surrey's four-day game at Northampton next week rather than resting before England's World Cup campaign starts. A couple of big scores would be a boost for Stewart, who has played in 17 one-day internationals since his last half-century against Sri Lanka in August. But Stewart said he was ready to cope with the unrelenting demands of the year-long schedule.

He said: "This weather is frustrating for everyone. When the England players came back from Sharjah the idea was that we all played for our counties to get used to the English conditions again. The idea was not to play next week so you could have a short breather before the World Cup. We will now review that situation after this Sunday's League game."

Stewart added: "You don't get a break. In an ideal world everyone would like a holiday but you accept the situation. An international cricketer's schedule is now virtually 12 months a year. You get the occasional window in the fixtures where you can have a few days off but that's it. However, that is not going to change. You get on with doing the business and physically I am all right."