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Last Updated:  Thursday, 13 March, 2003, 10:32 GMT
Streak blames politics
Heath Streak
Streak has blamed politics for his side's poor display
Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak has blamed politics for his side's lacklustre display in the World Cup.

The tournament co-hosts were surprisingly beaten by seven wickets by Kenya on Wednesday to end their hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals.

Streak said: "It's been tough. There have been a lot of political insinuations.

"It's been difficult for the players to keep focused on cricket. The guys have tried to handle it to the best of their ability but we can't use it as an excuse."

First, the start of the tournament was overshadowed by England's refusal to play their match against Zimbabwe in Harare citing safety fears.

Zimbabwe's World Cup results
6 Feb: Namibia - won by 86 runs
13 Feb: England - four points after England forfeited
19 Feb: India - lost by 83 runs
24 Feb: Australia - lost by seven
28 Feb: Holland - won by 99 runs
4 Mar: Pakistan - match abandoned (rain)
7 Mar: New Zealand - lost by six wickets
12 Mar: Kenya - lost by seven wickets

Prior to that, in Zimbabwe's tournament opener, Andy Flower and Henry Olonga showed their opposition to President Robert Mugabe's regime by wearing black armbands.

Despite the political background to the tournament, Streak also blamed in-fighting among selectors for the team's poor display.

He revealed he had not even been consulted about selection for the game against New Zealand on Saturday.

"You don't always get the teams you want," said Streak. "But I'm not permitted to discuss what went on in selection."

Zimbabwe selector Andy Pycroft reinforced those sentiments.

Pycroft said the team he, Streak and other members of the Zimbabwe management had chosen to face Kenya was rejected by the majority of the selection panel.

Pycroft later resigned in disgust.

In the game itself, Zimbabwe struggled after electing to bat and were skittled out for 133 runs before the Kenyans raced to victory with 24 overs to spare.

It's hard to say if it's the lowest point but it's got to go down as one of them
Heath Streak on the defeat to Kenya

Streak added: "We expect to win every game we play. But we didn't underestimate Kenya.

"We weren't proactive enough and there were too many soft dismissals."

Streak refused to speculate on whether he would remain as international captain but rated the Kenyan defeat as one of the worst of his career.

"It's hard to say if it's the lowest point, but it's got to go down as one of them," he added.

"However, we've got one game to go [against Sri Lanka at East London on Saturday] and we've still pride to play for."





Links to more Zimbabwe stories


 

SEE ALSO
Streak blames 'soft' dismissals
12 Mar 03 |  World Cup
Buoyant Kenya reach semis
12 Mar 03 |  World Cup
Have Your Say on Zimbabwe
04 Jan 03 |  Have Your Say


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