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Referee plans to curb Kiwi, SA skippers

Rival New Zealand and South African skippers will be warned to end their sledging battle, match referee Gundappa Viswanath said.

india Updated: Mar 01, 2004 13:21 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

Rival New Zealand and South African cricket skippers will be warned to end their sledging battle, match referee Gundappa Viswanath said on Monday.

The two sides meet here Tuesday in the sixth and last one day cricket match in a series New Zealand has already won 4-1.

New Zealand's Stephen Fleming and South Africa's Graeme Smith Sunday indulged in a prolonged verbal exchange and Brendon McCullum and Jacques Kallis had to be separated after clashing mid-pitch.

Viswanath took no action after umpires Russell Tiffin and Doug Cowie assured him no one took it too far.

However Viswanath said he would speak to both captains before the toss.

"I will remind them what we discussed at the pre-series meeting. Yesterday there were a couple of incidents and I don't want it to get out of hand," Viswanath told reporters.

"I'll just mention it, there's still a lot of cricket left in the series."

New Zealand coach John Bracewell defended Fleming, suggesting he was sticking up for McCullum and Kyle Mills, who has clashed with Smith throughout the series.

"I quite like the way they're not allowing themselves to be bullied, and I like the way their team mates went in there and helped them out," Bracewell said.

"The South Africans learned the trick from the Australians but I don't think they're as good at it.

"We're very aware of it, under pressure with their backs to the wall, people will try those things. The Australians do it by nature, they do it before they've started losing."

South Africa coach Eric Simons said he was disappointed with the Fleming-Smith clash.

"There's needle out there but it wasn't necessary perhaps," Simons said, adding there was no lingering animosity between the sides.

New Zealand released Craig McMillan from the squad to be with his wife for the impending birth of their first child at the weekend.

It means Sunday's man of the match Chris Harris gets another chance, with paceman Daryl Tuffey the most likely 12th man after suffering what Bracewell termed a corked thigh after sliding on the boundary rope Sunday.

Fleming said he was looking forward to the game.

"We're enjoying our cricket, playing winning cricket and it's another chance to right the ledger against them."

Simons said he would consider resting some key players ahead of the test series, including pace spearhead Shaun Pollock who was nursing various niggles.

New Zealand (from): Stephen Fleming (captain), Michael Papps, Hamish Marshall, Scott Styris, Chris Cairns, Jacob Oram, Chris Harris, Brendon McCullum, Daniel Vettori, Kyle Mills, Daryl Tuffey, Michael Mason.

South Africa (from): Graeme Smith (captain), Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Kallis, Boeta Dippenaar, Jacques Rudolph, Mark Boucher, Shaun Pollock, Lance Klusener, Nicky Boje, Makhaya Ntini, Andre Nel, Albie Morkel, Robin Peterson, Ashwell Prince.

Umpires: Russell Tiffin (ZIM), Tony Hill (NZL).

First Published: Mar 01, 2004 13:21 IST