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Sharjah final on BBC TV

By Charles Randall

18 December 1997

ENGLAND'S impressive attempt to win the Champions Trophy in Sharjah will be seen on British television after all.

Television negotiations seemed to have fallen through, and England's players, mostly one-day specialists, feared that a possible international triumph would pass unnoticed, almost insultingly so, in television terms.

BBC announced yesterday that their Grandstand programme would be carrying about 50 minutes of highlights from tomorrow's final, after they agreed a deal with WorldTel, the television company covering the tournament in the United Arab Emirates.

The match has particular interest because England, captained by Adam Hollioake, play the West Indies, their opponents in next month's Caribbean tour.

Mark Mascarenhas, the WorldTel president, rejected Sky's figure for live coverage, though he said yesterday he still hoped to reach agreement.

Whatever the result of the final Courtney Walsh looks likely to be relieved of the West Indies captaincy in favour of Brian Lara, owing to the 3-0 Test whitewash in Pakistan.

Malcolm Marshall, the West Indies coach, said that high expectations and the debate about the captaincy issue had affected Lara's batting form.

Lara has been keeping a deliberately low profile in Sharjah, spending most of his leisure time on the golf course.

Marshall said: ``I don't think Brian's batting problems during the last few weeks have been technical. The whole captaincy issue is affecting him, and he has spoken to me about it. When you know you're close to becoming captain I think it would affect anybody.''

Source: The Electronic Telegraph
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Date-stamped : 25 Feb1998 - 14:50