July 23, 2009


U-19 World Cup did not cost Kenya millions

Martin Williamson

In the aftermath of the ICC’s controversial decision to strip Kenya of the rights to host the 2010 Under-19 World Cup, one of Kenya’s main newspapers has wasted no time to stick the knife into a board it has been willing to attack at every opportunity.

In the Standard on Monday, it was claimed that the ICC’s decision had cost Kenya “between US$7 and US$8 million”. Even a basic knowledge of the event would have shown that no board makes cash from hosting such a tournament. The TV rights are already onsold by the ICC, and while the direct costs of hosting (accommodation/transport etc) are picked up by the ICC, any surplus is also kept by them. The country staging the event only gets a hosting fee of around US$250,000.

A day later and a report claimed Cricket Kenya “went to sleep” after securing hosting rights to this tournament in 2006 and that was incapable of working to a “set timetable”. Again, had it bothered to ask the executive, it would have established how much was actually done.

At best this is sloppy reporting. But given what has happened before, there is a suspicion that it was the latest salvo in a long-running campaign to discredit the board.


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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Posted by Nick Deverell on (July 24, 2009, 14:25 GMT)

Sloppy reporting perhaps, but Cricket Kenya bring criticism on themselves. Had they pulled their thumbs out and informed the public themselves - which they were repeatedly asked to do, such articles would hold no sway. Until they learn to respect the public and their few remaining fans, what else but criticism can they honestly expect?

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Martin Williamson
Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.

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