<
>

India want no sledging during England tour

With the Indian women's team set to tour England, their coach Shantha Rangaswamy has said she wants no sledging during the series. Mithali Raj, India's captain, had alleged on the previous visit in 2006 that the England team "were foul-mouthed and spoke rot".

"We won't indulge in sledging. We will neither start it nor return it," Rangaswamy said in Bangalore. "There is no place for it in women's cricket, or in any other sport. We are optimistic they will also reciprocate. We will have a meeting with the England team before the series asking them to refrain from sledging."

The 16-day tour of England involves five one-dayers and a Twenty20. Niranjana Nagarajan is the only newcomer in the 15-member squad, which does not feature veteran Anjum Chopra and chinaman bowler Preeti Dimri.

Raj said the team was well-prepared and had undergone a one-week training camp in Mysore. She said the England tour and the visit to Australia in October will provide good preparation for next year's World Cup in Australia. She acknowledged that England, who blanked South Africa in both the ODIs and Twenty20s earlier this month, would be tough opponents but was confident India would put up a good show, particularly after their triumphant Asia Cup campaign.

With the women's Twenty20 World Cup to be held along with the men's version next year, Raj felt the game's shortest format was an ideal vehicle to popularise women's cricket. "People say women's cricket is slow and boring but Twenty20 would be ideal to showcase our cricket," she said. "Its faster pace and shorter duration is what we need to draw spectators. We had played a curtain-raiser game during Afro-Asia Cup which was well received."