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 Monday, 30 December, 2002, 11:46 GMT
Laxman to miss World Cup
VVS Laxman
Laxman is dropped despite recent good form
India have dropped batsman VVS Laxman from their final squad for next year's World Cup.

Laxman makes way in the 15-man squad for Dinesh Mongia, who is not part of the current touring party in New Zealand.

However, none of the group have yet signed contracts to participate in the tournament, and discussions are still going on over conflicts with personal sponsors.

Laxman, famous for his Test record 281 against Australia 18 months ago, has struggled in the past to adapt to the one-day game, despite his 50 caps.

But he scored three half-centuries during India's recent home series against West Indies, which they lost 4-3.

Mongia, 25, has played in 29 limited-overs internationals with a batting average of 30.42, including an unbeaten 159 against Zimbabwe earlier this year.

I feel for them because I know how it feels to be left out of a side

Sourav Ganguly

Wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel is included in the squad, although batsman Rahul Dravid has taken the gloves for much of this year.

Indian captain insisted leaving out both Laxman and Patel had been a tough choice.

He said: "It is sad that Laxman and Rakesh Patel have missed out because they have been part of us.

"They are both young guys, but I feel for them because I know how it feels to be left out of a side, but we had to pick the best possible 15."

India, who have still to play five matches in New Zealand, open their World Cup campaign on 12 February, against the Netherlands in Paarl.

They must finish in the top three of Pool A - a group that also includes Australia, Pakistan, England and Zimbabwe - in order to progress to the second round.

India are the sixth major nation to name their squad, with England, Australia, Pakistan and New Zealand among those still to meet the 31 December deadline.


India: Sourav Ganguly (captain), Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Dinesh Mongia, Sanjay Bangar, Parthiv Patel, Ajit Agarkar, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Javagal Srinath, Anil Kumble, Ashish Nehra.

Cricket World Cup 2003 begins on 8 February in South Africa

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