England to play practice one-dayer before an empty stadium

Staff Reporter

January 16, 2002

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Nasser Hussain's men will take the field for their first practice one-dayer in an almost empty stadium, for the Calcutta Cricket and Football Club (CCFC), the venue of the match, has no galleries. This has meant that security personnel, who have massed in unprecented numbers around the English team, will allow only club officials and those involved in conducting the match to witness the proceedings.

Ironically, it was the lack of facilities at the CCFC that the Englishmen complained so bitterly about to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The practice match will be a 45-over-a-side affair, and the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has conceded to English demands by allowing them to play all their players in the match.

The CAB XI, who will take on the visitors, will be led by Bengal captain Rohan Gavaskar. It is a young side and will be without some top stars, notably Utpal Chatterjee, Deep Dasgupta, Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Nikhil Haldipur. The CAB XI will have the services of former India opener Devang Gandhi.

Meanwhile England opener Nick Knight was confident that England could win the six-match one-day series against India. "We are confident. We had a good series against Zimbabwe. If we can outplay the Indians here, that will be a real lift for the team," Knight told the Press Trust of India (PTI).

He was also fully aware of his responsibilities as one of the key members of the one-day squad. "Things went well for me in Zimbabwe, but that is in the past. It is a new test for me now. I have to meet the mark as quick as I can," Knight said.

Before signing off, he was ready to admit that "India are a strong side on home soil. The conditions are different, and the pitches are difficult for us. It's going to be tricky."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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