Cricket / World Cup: England draw Pakistan: 1996 World Cup pairs last year's finalists

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ENGLAND will begin the next World Cup on the Indian subcontinent much as they ended the last one, taking on South Africa and Pakistan in short order. Pakistan, who beat England in the final in Melbourne on 25 March 1992, and South Africa, England's semi-final opponents, have both been drawn in England's qualifying group for the 1996 tournament, together with 1992's other beaten semi-finalists, New Zealand.

However, with four countries to qualify for the quarter-finals from each of two sections of six, England's immediate task should not be too demanding.

Venues and dates for a total of 37 matches have yet to be decided - but it is expected that most of England's qualifying games will be in Pakistan.

1996 WORLD CUP DRAW Group A: Pakistan, England, New Zealand, South Africa, Associate winners, Associate third. Group B: India, Sri Lanka, Australia, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Associate second.

Yorkshire's hopes of reaching their first NatWest or Gillette final in 24 years rose after yesterday's quarter-final draw matched them with Warwickshire at Headingley on 27 July - the day after the final day of the fourth Test.

Warwickshire are to ask South Africa for special clearance to play their fast bowler Allan Donald, who was scheduled to fly home that day to prepare for his country's tour of Sri Lanka.

NATWEST TROPHY Quarter-final draw: Yorkshire v Warwickshire; Glamorgan v Worcestershire; Northamptonshire v Sussex; Somerset v Surrey. Ties on Tuesday, 27 July.

LANCASHIRE (v Derbyshire, Benson & Hedges Cup final, Lord's, tomorrow): Atherton, Titchard, Speak, *Fairbrother, Lloyd, Akram, Watkinson, Hegg, DeFreitas, Austin, Barnett.