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World Cup lacked soul, momentum

Former NZ captain Jeremy Coney criticises the way World Cup 2007 has been conducted, reports Atul Sondhi.

cricket Updated: May 05, 2007 18:51 IST

Former New Zealand Captain Jeremy Coney has said that ICC is losing its grip on world cricket reality and it was seen in the way it organised the World Cup.

''Certainly they organised the World Cup as if they were FIFA, not a group which comprises (only) eight-10 countries that play seriously,'' he wrote in New Zealand's Dominion Post, adding it became a tournament ''lacking soul, spirit and momentum.''

In lighter vein he wrote,'' Some time ago the ICC moved house to Dubai. There's a ski resort in the desert and an island constructed in the shape of a palm tree. And no one pays taxes. It doesn't sound real. Maybe it has loosened a grip on reality''.

While respecting the achievements of Bangladesh and Ireland, Coney wrote, ''The Super Eights, like super subs, was not-so-super. Is it sensible that Australia won the World Cup by not playing two of merely eight major sides?''

Coney says while the West Indies have given much to the game and no other crowd brings such culture and passion through the gate, ''The ICC quite splendidly stripped this event of spectators, joie de vivre and individuality.''

''It was Johannesburg 03, Lord's 99. The restrictive regulations, pandering to sponsors, branding and extortionate ticket prices which alienated locals. Ergo, spontaneous fun eliminated,'' he charged.

He also criticized the ICC for being ''unnaturally absent'' in the aftermath of Bob Woolmer's tragic death.

''No official statement,'' he exclaims, adding, a murder had taken place during the tournament, an ex- international player and coach of one of the main teams, in a hotel the ICC had sanctioned. How could it not say publicly: "Our thoughts go out to Bob's family. We're appalled this has happened"?

Coney said the ICC claims it wants to broaden the interest in cricket, but if tournaments proceed in this fashion (including the anticlimax), what nation in their right mind would want to take it up?