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CRICKET WORLD CUP 2003 / ENGLAND
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Tuesday, 4 March, 2003, 12:56 GMT

England out of World Cup

Trescothick watches as England's fate is sealed

England were eliminated from the World Cup after the washed-out game in Bulwayo between Zimbabwe and Pakistan denied them the chance of a backdoor entry into the Super Six.

Nasser Hussain's men were dependent on Pakistan beating Zimbabwe and hoping their net run-rate was superior to both to stay alive in the tournament.

But it was Zimbabwe - who gained four points from England's February 13 Harare boycott - who progressed after the game with Pakistan was abandoned.

The no result saw Zimbabwe finish third in Group A, two points ahead of England.

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After deciding not to travel to Zimbabwe following strenuous efforts by the England and Wales Cricket Board to have the game switched to South Africa, Nasser Hussain's side started the World Cup impressively.

Wins over Holland and Namibia, followed by a rousing victory over Pakistan, put them in the frame for the next phase.

But England were left to rue their narrow defeat against Australia last Sunday after controlling most of the match.


"The bottom line is we had the opportunity to beat Australia and if we had we would have qualified," chairman of selectors David Graveney commented.

"We had the opportunity. When you get a side eight down for 135, chasing 205, you'd put that down as a golden opportunity."

Graveney insisted, however, that there were positives to take away from the team's overall performance.

" It's obviously got to be a disappointment not to qualify but I wouldn't say it is a failure "
David Graveney

"I think we played some good cricket, gave Australia a good run for their money, beat Pakistan, had the up side and down side of playing day-nighters, but that doesn't take away from the disappointment of not getting through."

Injured fast bowler Darren Gough said, however, that England had no-one to blame but themselves.

"We had to beat two out of Pakistan, India and Australia. We were capable of doing so and should have beaten Australia but made a lot of mistakes.

"We don't deserve to be in the Super Sixes to be honest, but we put in some good performances.

"We have some good young players who will now get the opportunity to take England forward to the next World Cup."



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