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March 31, 2009
Several veteran players from the Associate nations have targeted adding another World Cup to their resume ahead of the ICC World Cup Qualifiers in South Africa.
One of those is Steve Tikolo, the Kenyan allrounder, who has already taken part in four World Cups and has collected more World Cup runs than former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq. "This qualifier is one of those big tournaments you play cricket for. The stakes are high and the prize is a big one," he said. "The feeling of running out in front of a big crowd at the World Cup is something you can never grow tired of."
Thirty-four year-old fast bowler Trent Johnston had led Ireland to memorable victories over Pakistan and Bangladesh in the 2007 World Cup, and said that experience would spur his side during the WCQ. "We have been given a taste of that [playing in the World Cup] and now we want more," he said. "… we know it's not going to be easy but the memories of 2007 will be all the motivation we need to make sure we give it everything so we get another chance to compete at that level."
It was a view shared by Canada's John Davison, who in 2003 bludgeoned what was then the fastest World Cup century against West Indies. "Those of us who have been lucky to play in the World Cup know what it's like and the other guys in the squad want that feeling too," he said. "The result is that this tournament is going to be intense and very closely fought."
The sides finishing in the top four of the WCQ will gain entry to the 2011 World Cup, and the top six qualify for ODI status and increased funding. David Morgan, the ICC President, called the tournament "probably the most important 19 days in any four-year cycle".
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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