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Thatscricket - News - SA should include more black players

Published: Tuesday, August 7, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Johannesburg: Ali Bacher, World Cup Cricket 2003 logistics chief, said on Tuesday the South African cricket team should include more black team members by the 2003 event.[an error occurred while processing this directive]Bacher, addressing the press on the World Cup Cricket developments, said it was important for cricket to be accessible to all communities and he hoped that the national cricket side would be more racially representative."We need to give young black cricketers a chance now so that when it comes to the World Cup selection, they will be ready," he said. He expressed his desire to use the prestigious event to market South Africa as a tourism destination.Attending the Olympic Games in Sydney was an inspiration, he said, adding that the World Cricket Cup gave South Africa six weeks to deliver a favourable impression to the international market."We have 52 matches being played across the country, each event will be televised across the globe, and it is an unprecedented opportunity to counteract negative publicity and to show detractors that we can put on a damn fine show."Bacher said that he was immensely impressed by the way the entire Australian nation had been behind the efforts of the Sydney Olympic Committee in Australia to give visitors a feeling of welcome."Two weeks before the event ordinary people volunteered their services to be goodwill ambassadors to visitors entering the country. They didn't get paid but they showed a patriotic commitment to giving foreign visitors a good impression of their country.Bacher said visitors entering South Africa for the cricket event should be treated like friends from the airport to the cricket pitch and in between. Local sports stars would be asked to spread goodwill and add atmosphere to the occasion.He hoped that additional funding from the government would be forthcoming to make sure that the opening ceremony was a spectacular event that would be remembered."The Australians spent Australian Dollars 15 million on its opening ceremony which was amazing. We hope to do the same by devising an African theme that will showcase local talent and creativity."Bacher said that organisers would create a traffic-free zone around the cricket stadiums to allow local musicians and food vendors a chance to create a festive carnival atmosphere.Tickets would not be too costly and 50,000 complimentary tickets would be issued to cricketers from disadvantaged communities. Bacher said the Cricket World Cup logo and mascot would be revealed in November. It will be a joint effort by a leading Australian designer and a South African.

AFP
Copyright AFP 2001

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