World Cup 2007 April 30, 2007

'The biggest con job'

Here is a collection of the best quotes that came out of a World Cup that will be remembered for most of the wrong reasons, and the occasional good piece of cricket

Winning



'We didn't have a close game all competition' © Getty Images
There were few highlights of the tournament - and even though Australia played exceptionally well that was often the problem, as they crushed all in their wake.

"We played unbelievable cricket in this World Cup. We didn't have a close game at all in the competition and that's all credit to the guys."
Ricky Ponting, Australia's captain, sums things up.

"The chicken dance came out of when I am out on the dancefloor, the guys say I look like a chicken so that's just a celebratory dance I've given to the guys."
Ireland brought some much-needed fun to the tournament - as their captain Trent Johnston showed - as well as some respectability for the Associates.

"Definitely no one will be going for autographs any more."
Bangladesh began to shrug off the minnows tag, as their captain Habibul Bashar revealed. When they first toured Australia in 2003, they were starstruck; no longer - their scalps included India, South Africa and New Zealand.

Losing

The World Cup was definitely more about losing - be it the squads, hosts, fans... Here we concentrate on the teams:

"If you were writing a fairytale, you wouldn't write it this way."
Rahul Dravid gives advice to would-be authors after India's early exit went against the script.



Hi-jinks from Andrew Flintoff but England's drinking fiasco was no laughing matter © Getty Images

"The team that had bored and bungled their way around the Caribbean, baldly letting down their thousands of travelling fans, slipped in unheralded and largely unnoticed."
The Mirror newspaper welcomes back England's side under the headline "Prats of the Caribbean". England won just one match against a Test team, and made the Fredlines with their drinking 48 hours before a game.

"There has been a lot of talk about the so-called minnows devaluing the tournament. It is a charge that could now be justifiably made against the West Indies, once the kings of the game and champions of the first two tournaments."
Tony Cozier reflects on the crisis engulfing West Indies, both on and off the pitch.

"Before the game we said 'Let's make history today.' Well, we made history."
Dutch captain Luuk van Troost on Herschelle Gibbs's six sixes against them. Netherlands underperformed, as did Canada whose captain John Davison made the observation - refreshing in this age of media platitudes that - their displays were at time "village and embarrassing".

"I definitely don't think we choked. We just weren't good enough."
South Africa had a mixed bag of a tournament and in the end they were crushed by Australia - but Graeme Smith was keen to stress one thing.

"I always read in the international press where they say I am under pressure ... but my contract doesn't say that I have to win matches, it says as long as I am competitive, then my employers are happy."
Eight teams will now have new coaches but Zimbabwe's Kevin Curran knows his position is secure, despite his side winning only one of their last 19 ODIs and failing to win any of their World Cup matches.

Bob Woolmer

The murder of Pakistan's coach Bob Woolmer overshadowed everything else



'A good coach and a good person' - Inzamam-ul-Haq pays tribute to Bob Woolmer © Getty Images

"I am shocked and badly hurt. We have lost a good coach and a good person."
Pakistan's captain Inzamam-ul-Haq on the loss of Bob Woolmer

"The interminable World Cup continues and the words 'police' and 'investigation' seem to be poles apart. Meanwhile, the game's governing body have all become Trappist monks. Don't mention the war and we might get away with it."
The broadcaster John Inverdale on the low-key nature of progress in the investigation.

Retirements

It was time to say goodbye to many luminaries

"At the very end, a man who throughout his career had done so much to mask the deficiencies of his team had been undone by the foible of a team-mate. It was sad, but it was apt."
The Observer's Will Buckley on Brian Lara's final innings in Barbados, when he was run out for 18.

"It's a personal decision and in no way did I want it to interfere with our preparations. I was very clear on what I wanted to do."
New Zealand's captain Stephen Fleming on his resignation from one-dayers after leading the side to the semi-finals.

"It's been a long career and I have loved every minute of it."
Glenn McGrath bowed out on a high, with the winner's medal and the Man of the Tournament

"Thanks for the dry humour at the pressers; the calm; the slip catches; the running and, of course, the batting."
Cricinfo's Osman Samiuddin says goodbye and thank you to Inzamam-ul-Haq

Organisation ...or lack of

The quotes speak for themselves

"Malcolm has been living in Dubai for too long. As I've said before, they've got a hotel under the sea there and a ski resort in the desert. It's too far away from reality."
Ian Chappell lashes out at Malcolm Speed for turning a blind eye on some obvious issues about hosting the World Cup in the West Indies

"We had to rely on the advice of the local organising committee to establish the prices of the tickets. It is, in retrospect, a little too rich for the local palate."
Malcolm Speed washes the ICC's hands of responsibility for empty stands throughout the World Cup. Others weren't so convinced.

"This has been a World Cup for the organisers, the visitors and the players but certainly not for the people. That's why the stadiums are empty and that in itself is a con job. It's the biggest con job ever passed off in this region."
Jack Warner, the head of the Caribbean's footballing fraternity, takes a swipe at the World Cup

"I thought Aleem was having a bit of a joke with us when he said it looks like we'd have to come back tomorrow and play three overs. I said: 'Mate, we've played the 20 overs, we've actually finished the game.'"
Ricky Ponting on the final's farcical finish that just about summed up the tournament.

Jenny Thompson is assistant editor of Cricinfo