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NZ, WI seek early end to super-sub rule

The controversial rule could find itself jettisoned for the ODI between NZ and WI on Saturday after the ICC ruled it wasn't working.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2006 12:56 IST

Cricket's controversial super-sub rule could find itself jettisoned for the first one-day international between New Zealand and West Indieson Saturday after the International Cricket Council ruled it wasn't working.

New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming has approached his counterpart Shivnarine Chanderpaul about scrapping the rule in a "gentlemen's agreement" for the first match in the five-game series.

The International Cricket Council decided on Wednesday that it would seek to overturn the rule from March 21, ending a year-long experiment.

But Fleming said Friday it was common sense to bin the super-sub now.

"I'm not sure how it would wash (with the match officials), but we have to look at the options," he said.

"It's very much common sense. If it did take place it seems strange, especially from the West Indies' point of view of learning how to play it and then having to scrap it doesn't make a lot of sense."

The original intention of the super-sub was to encourage greater use of allrounders, but instead the rule's been skewed with specialists being used, giving teams who win the toss a greater advantage.

"It seems like a pretty unanimous view that it's flawed," Fleming said.

The New Zealand captain describes himself as a traditionalist who preferred to see "11 play 11" instead of using the extra man, but he was unsure whether they would be allowed to do it.

What New Zealand are certain of, however, is having a full squad to choose from for the day-nighter after winning the series opening Twenty20 match in Auckland.

After the scores were tied on 126, they prevailed in a bowl-off to kickstart the tour with a win, but the West Indies were left sweating on the fitness of key allrounder Dwayne Bravo who suffered a side strain at Eden Park.

Chanderpaul said a decision on Bravo would be left as late as possible.

The West Indies enter the series following a miserable run of form with 13 losses from their last 15 fixtures to sit eighth on the ICC one-day championship ladder, above only Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, while New Zealand are fourth.

They've also had a restricted diet of one-day cricket with their last outing back to August 2005, while the New Zealand have beaten Sri Lanka 4-1 and lost to Australia 1-2 already this summer.

While the form book is heavily in New Zealand's favour, Fleming applied a note of caution.

"We're not necessarily comfortable frontrunners and we've been pretty poor in the past, but at home we have a pretty good record," he said.

"They've brought a young squad, in some areas inexperienced, and we have to try and expose that."

Despite the Twenty20 loss, Chanderpaul took heart from the West Indies performance.

"It gave the guys some confidence. The bowlers came back and performed well for us to tie the game," he said.

"The way they played last night, the guys will probably come into this game more confident than at Eden Park.

"I think everybody looks at us as the underdogs, but we know what cricket we can play and hopefully we can play some really good cricket on this tour."

First Published: Feb 17, 2006 12:56 IST