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WC 2003 - Windies WC organisers brush aside venue shift fears

Published: Friday, March 7, 2003, 22:20 [IST]
 
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Johannesburg: Organisers of the next World Cup in the West Indies in 2007 have brushed aside fears the tournament could be shifted elsewhere since it did not suit television timings in Asia.The time difference between the Caribbean and cricket's main financial backer India means games will start late in the evening in India which could affect television ratings.

But Christopher Dehring, chief executive officer of the Windies World Cup 2007, insisted there were no problems on that front because all factors had been taken into account when the rights were sold two years ago."There are no threats to the World Cup 2007 regardless of what other people's concerns on television viewership may be," Dehring told a news conference."The television rights were sold and a guaranteed amount reached after considering all factors."

The International Cricket Council (ICC) sold the marketing and sponsorship rights of two World Cups in 2003 and 2007 and three Champions Trophy events for $ 550 million to the Global Cricket Corporation (GCC).Dehring is here as the head of a 17-member delegation from the West Indies to observe the organisation of the current tournament. "The 2003 World Cup is the best organised ever but only till the next one comes along," said Dehring, who is also the chief marketing officer of the West Indian Cricket Board (WICB).

"South Africa has raised the bar and we aim to surpass their efforts." Dehring, however, conceded that logistics presented the major obstacles for the 2007 organisers."We have never had a global event. All of these challenges create an opportunity," he said, adding there was strong competition between the 14 countries in the Caribbean to organise the event. He said the ICC will inspect the work done so far in April or May.

Ali Bacher, chief executive of the current tournament, warned West Indian organisers they would face enormous challenges in staging a successful World Cup, like upgrading the grounds and airports."You have enormous challenges ahead of you," Bacher told Dehring."It's a wonderful part of the world but you will have challenges. It's an unbelievable opportunity to improve the infrastructure of the grounds and the airports."Copyright AFP 2001

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