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Cricket: India slip to another loss.

India coach John Wright denied his side have been distracted by the controversy over World Cup contracts after they lost a second one-dayer to New Zealand.

After losing both Test matches and the first limited-overs game the tourists lost again, by 35 runs. And, with the Indian cricket board under threat of legal action from the International Cricket Council if they fail to name their best possible team for the World Cup tomorrow, the noises off are reaching a crescendo.

A row over contracts introduced by the ICC which prevent players from promoting any products which rival those of the sponsors has lead to speculation that India may pull out.

But Wright insisted the poor performances were nothing to do with the World Cup. 'Every match is important. There should be no distractions,' he said. 'Several players are out of form.' Mathew Sinclair hit 78 and Nathan Astle 76 as the Kiwis reached 254 for nine off their 50 overs. Daryl Tuffey then took three for 35 as India were dismissed for 219 despite Virender Sehwag's 108 off 119 balls to earn the man-of-the-match award. The Kiwis are two up in the series with five games to play.Scoreboard, Page 26
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Dec 30, 2002
Words:201
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