April 28, 2007

World Cup 2007

A bloated shambles of a competition

Martin Williamson

As the World Cup finally ends - yes, honestly – the flak continues to fly in the direction of the ICC. In The Daily Telegraph, Jim White is in no doubt about the target:

“Malcolm Speed, the chief executive of the International Cricket Council, despite presiding over the most over-stretched, bloated shambles of a competition, despite his organising committee redefining the term criminally short-sighted, is to carry on, refusing so much as to contemplate handing over to someone else.”

The Mirror is equally unimpressed, despite Speed’s admission that the tournament was too long:

“He might have added that it has also been wholly uninspiring and suffered from poor attendances, a lack of decent atmosphere, too many one-sided games, and hosted by a team which dragged the tournament down even further.

How is it possible that a football World Cup involving twice as many teams can be held in far fewer than the 47 days this has taken? The answer is greed.”

Patrick Kidd in The Times notes that “wars have been declared and ended in less time than it has taken to stage the 50 matches before today’s final”. He adds some stats about what has happened since the first match back on March 13:

The average price of a house in England has risen by £4,415
A strand of human hair will have grown 1.6cm
The Earth will have travelled about 75,576,000 miles in its orbit around the Sun

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Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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