Sat, Mar 10, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Gavaskar launches verbal broadside at Aussie squad

AFP , NEW DELHIAFP KINGSTOWN, ST VINCENTSEAN WILLIAMS' INNINGS OF 72 NOT OUT SAW ZIMBABWE TO A VICTORY AGAINST BERMUDA IN THEIR WORL

Kenya's Nehemiah Odhiambo delivers the ball during the Cricket World Cup warm up match against the Netherlands in Trelawny, Jamaica, on Thursday.

PHOTO: AP

Indian cricket great Sunil Gavaskar has launched an astonishing attack on Ricky Ponting's Australians ahead of the World Cup, saying they were never popular winners.

Gavaskar said Australia's recent setbacks on the field should gladden the hearts of rivals and fans alike.

"Australia's come-uppance at the hands of England and New Zealand has gladdened the hearts of not just the other aspirants for the World Cup but also the followers of the game," Gavaskar wrote in the latest issue of India Today magazine.

"There is not the slightest doubt that in the last decade or so the Aussies have been awesome in batting, bowling and fielding which has taken them to the top of the cricketing ladder in both Test and limited overs cricket," Gavaskar wrote.

"But they have also been awful in the way they have sometimes behaved on the field much to the chagrin of the traditional fans of the game," he wrote.

Zimbabwe slumped to five for two inside two overs as they chased a modest target of 137.

But Williams ensured the Africans won with 21 overs to spare as they finished on 137 for four.

Bangladesh sent Scotland spinning to a seven-wicket defeat in a World Cup warm-up on Thursday.

Scotland made 152-9 off their 50 overs before Bangladesh stormed to victory with the best part of 16 overs left.

Ireland thrashed Canada in a World Cup warm-up match on Thursday.

The World Cup debutants dismissed Canada for a paltry 115 with paceman Dave Langford-Smith (4-41) doing most of the damage before replying with 116-3 to win.

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