Minnows not ideal for World Cup: Ponting - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Minnows not ideal for World Cup: Ponting

By Greg Buckle 05/03/2007 11:24:11 PM Comments (0)

Australian captain Ricky Ponting said he doubted if having second-tier teams in the World Cup "does the game any good".

Ponting's comments have fuelled the argument that the March 13 to April 28 tournament, hosted by the West Indies, is too long.

Ponting said he could remember playing against the USA during the 2004 Champions Trophy in England, when Australia bowled the Americans out for 65 and reached 1-66 in 7.5 overs.

"I've always felt there are probably places and times for minnow nations to be playing. I'm not sure if the World Cup and the Champions Trophy is one of those times," the World Cup-winning skipper said.

"That's the way it is, you've just got to accept it.

"It's not ideal. I've never been a great fan for having those countries in. But if it does actually benefit their cricket and I'm not sure if it does...

"But if it does help them out and help their cricket become stronger in those nations then it should be a part of what they do.

"But there are some games, I know in the Champions Trophy, we played USA in the first game and I think we got the runs in six overs.

"So I'm not sure if they learned too much about that and I don't think it does the game any good.

"But as a team you just have to cope with it the best you can and get out there and play the best cricket you can and work hard between games."

Australia will play Group A matches against Scotland (March 14) and the Netherlands (March 18) before clashing with the No.1-ranked South Africa on March 24.

The third game will be crucial for both sides with the points carried over into the Super Eights Series.

Each of the four pools in the World Cup draw contains two "minnow" nations, with all eight expected to drop out after the group stage. They include Bangladesh, Bermuda, Kenya, Canada, Zimbabwe and Ireland.

Kenya were semi-finalists in 2003 in southern Africa, beating Sri Lanka along the way.

But forfeits for security reasons are not going to gift them any points this time around.

"I think one good thing about it in the World Cup, after you play a game, you've actually got a lot of time to get ready and prepared for the next game," Ponting said of the 47-day tournament.

Scotland coach Peter Drinnen has been talking up his side's chances.

"In the one-day game anything can happen, and if we get it together we are going to be very dangerous, even against Australia," said Drinnen, who is a Queenslander.

Scotland team spokesman Euan McIntyre told AAP from Babardos: "If it's just the top nations playing ... (don't forget) it's a global game.

"If you don't give something for the young kids of the lesser countries to aim for, a goal, then there's no incentive for them towards the World Cup as a pathway," he added.

"The odd games are a bit lopsided but it's a small price to play to allow the kids to come through and have something to aim for."

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