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'ICC should keep World XI concept'

By Greg Stutchbury
October 08, 2005 13:39 IST
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A World XI playing the world's number one ranked team every few years was a concept that should be continued despite Australia's comfortable one-day series victory, World XI coach John Wright said on Saturday.

Adam Gilchrist smashed an Australian record-breaking century to help the hosts wrap up the one-day series with a 55-run victory on Friday at Melbourne's Docklands Stadium after winning the first match by 93 runs on Wednesday.

The final one-dayer takes place on Sunday at the same venue before the two sides meet in a six-day Test match next week in Sdyney.

"The concept is very good," Wright told reporters at the team's hotel in Melbourne. "It gives the players a wonderful opportunity to play together.

"I have seen that this week. I have seen how much enjoyment they have in coming together, meeting each other and discussing things.

"I think the only thing is that the losses are hard to take because they have a lot of pride."

Wright dismissed suggestions that the World XI were not playing with the same sort of intensity or desire to win as the Australians, who had been under pressure by local media and fans after losing the Ashes to England last month.

"The passion is certainly there," the New Zealander said. "We came here to win cricket matches. We don't like to lose. You don't enjoy it, particularly when it's a big event.

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"There are a few memories here (from) some of these players playing against Australia and losing and they haven't enjoyed it.

"They would like to beat Australia in Australia."

Wright said one of the reasons for the defeat may have been that some of his players had been under-prepared.

"In the first game we were a little bit rusty. Some of the players haven't had a lot of cricket coming into the series.

"(But) you have to give a bit of credit to Australia, they bowled very well in the first game ... (and) then Gilchrist's innings last night was one of the special efforts."
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Greg Stutchbury
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