Bacher re-affirms Kenya's hosting of WC matches

Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2002, 23:57 [IST]
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Nairobi: Kenya is to host two matches of the 2003 World Cup, tournament's director Ali Bacher re-affirmed on Wednesday after completing his three-day inspection tour of the facilities. "The 2000 ICC Knock-out tournament was well organised and the pitch was outstanding," Bacher told a news conference at the Nairobi Gymkhana Club, where the two World Cup matches involving hosts Kenya and Sri Lanka and New Zealand will be played in February 2003.

He, however, said the Gymkhana Ground needed to be improved to withstand the intensity of the two big matches. Bacher emphasized the importance of the World Cup being staged for the first ever time in Africa and said various activities are being organised to make the event a truly African affair. He said tentative plans have been set for a road show through the four competing countries - Kenya, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa - and would involve retired sportsmen and women from these nations.

Bacher said the road show would start from the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, two months before the World Cup and would enter Cape Town just hours before the opening ceremony in Newlands on February 8, 2003. Bacher, a former boss of the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCSBA), also announced the appointment of six former cricket players to promote the staging of the 2003 World Cup on the continent.

Former New Zealand all-rounder Sir Richard Hadlee is among the six cricket legends, who would travel to Africa during the championships, said Bacher. The 2003 World Cup organisers expects an estimated 1.2 billion people to watch the tournament on television, attracting about 800,000 spectators during the games.

AFP Copyright AFP 2001

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