Grounds another concern for opening batsman April 11, 2007

Hayden complains World Cup is too long

Cricinfo staff

Matthew Hayden wants the Super Eights phase to be shorter © Getty Images

Matthew Hayden has joined the growing list of World Cup critics by saying the seven-week tournament is too long. While the duration of the event is a major concern, Hayden has also complained about the ground in Antigua, calling it "marginal" as an international venue.

Hayden said the Super Eights stage should be condensed by playing more than one match on a day. Twenty-four games are being played over three and a half weeks.

"It's definitely too long - too long for everyone," Hayden said in The Australian. "The way the tournament is structured, one game on a day, that obviously could be reduced by having other games on.

"You could get into all sorts of arguments about whether the minnow sides should be in but, at the moment, the minnow sides seem to be putting up an outstanding performance. They should be rewarded by that."

Hayden's claims were supported on Wednesday morning (AEST) by a poll that had 57.2% of people voting the World Cup was too long. His concerns come despite being the second-leading run-scorer of the tournament with 436 at 87.20, which includes two centuries.

The conditions at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua also annoyed Hayden, who was unable to use a bowling machine because there was no electricity. "The reality is, when you look at it, this is a global competition," he said. "I know I am pretty pedantic about these things, but this is the third-largest sporting event in history and if you can't get electricity at the ground, you have to question whether that ground is suitable for this sort of tournament."

He was also worried by the sand-based outfield. "The ground we just saw these last games was a marginal ground, there was no question of it," he said. "Brad Hodge looked like he was running on the beach at one stage when he pulled up with sand flying over his head." Australia are now in Barbados preparing for Friday's match against Ireland.