One in three World Cups there not good for the game May 2, 2006

Gray warns against Asian domination

Cricinfo staff

Malcolm Gray, the former president of the ICC, has said that Asia's ambition to hold one in three World Cups is not in the best interests of the game.

Gray was speaking after a joint Australia-New Zealand bid to host the 2011 tournament was beaten off by a joint Asian bid, and he said that he feared any bids, however worthy, would always struggle against such weighty opposition.

"Particularly when it's a joint bid from four Asian countries, politically it's going to be hard to toss," Gray said yesterday. The Asian bid won the ICC vote 10-3, with only England supporting the Australasian proposal.

After Australasia lobbied to host the 1992 event, it was decided the staging rights would be rotated between the five cricketing regions. "This unfortunately has broken that and for the sake of the game I think it would be better if it did go around in order," Gray admitted. Sharad Pawar, the BCCI chief, has said that he believes every third tournament should be held on the subcontinent.

"If for the last couple of years the Brisbane Lions held that view then every match would be played in Brisbane, then that would be a bit dumb for the game, wouldn't it?" Gray countered. "In the past India has used the power of programming to get the votes of the lesser countries. I'm well away from it now, so whether that's still the case I don't know, but you have to suspect that."