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Great Asian failures cause World Cup jitters

MOHALI, India, Oct 30, 2006 (AFP) - The failure of the four Asian teams to make the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy indicated trouble lay in store at the World Cup, experts said Monday.

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India joined Pakistan and Sri Lanka on the sidelines after being thrashed by world champions Australia by six wickets here Sunday night, while Bangladesh failed to progress beyond the qualifying rounds.

This was the first time since the inaugural World Cup in 1975 that an Asian team had failed to enter the semi-finals of a major multi-nation tournament -- that, too, in their own backyard.

The first semi-final here Wednesday pits Australia against their trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand. On Thursday, South Africa clash with defending champions the West Indies in Jaipur.

"I still can't believe it," said legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev, who captained India to their lone World Cup triumph in 1983.

"We are supposed to be masters in our conditions, the same applies to Sri Lanka and Pakistan. It's like going for a wedding minus the bride and the bridegroom.

"I don't even want to contemplate what will happen at the World Cup. It's going to be tough, very tough."

Sri Lanka breezed through t

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