India, Aussie tours face threat in SA

Published: Monday, May 7, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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Durban: A lobby group in the mainly Indian township of Chatsworth, south of here, has threatened to disrupt the Indian and Australian cricket tours to South Africa later this year because the 2003 cricket World Cup bosses have allegedly reneged on a promise to host one of the World Cup games at the Chatsworth Oval. The World Cricket Action Committee (WCAC) has accused the 2003 World Cup Committee Executive Director, Ali Bacher, of going back on a promise he had made to the community in 1998 that one of the games would be hosted by Chatsworth. A spokesman for the WCAC, Kishore Morar, said Bacher had made the promise while attending a One-day International at the Chatsworth Oval between South Africa and Sri Lanka. But when the venues for he 2003 World Cup were released recently, Chatsworth did not feature in the list. Morar said Bacher had informed him telephonically that there were concerns about the security at the Chatsworth Ground, but that he was refusing to provide these reasons in writing. He said adequate arrangements could be made to alleviate the concerns about security at the grounds. If Bacher persisted in this approach, Morar said, they would mobilize the Chatsworth community and those in other areas of Durban to boycott the Indian and Australian games to be played at the Kingsmead Cricket Ground in the city. "We will use flyers and posters prior to the matches to tell residents to boycott the games and on the days of the games we will be urging the spectators at the gates to turn back and go home," Morar told the 'Sunday Times Extra'. He also threatened to invade the grounds to get spectators to leave. Bacher refused to comment on the issue through the media, saying that he had already set up a meeting with the WCAC for May 16. He said this would follow meetings between him and the executive mayors of Durban and the neighbouring city of Pietermaritzburg, which will also host World Cup games. Bacher said five of the seven World Cup games planned for KwaZulu-Natal province would be played in these two cities.

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