WC 2003 - A World Cup of biblical proportions: Hawke
Published: Saturday, March 22, 2003, 20:34 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
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Johannesburg: World Cup supremo Ali Bacher admitted on Saturday the 44-day tournament was "too long" even though he supported adding more non-Test playing nations to the fold. "I think there is a scope to add two more teams although I personally feel the tournament was too long," Bacher told Sky Sports ahead of Sunday's final between Australia and India at the Wanderers."Kenya making the semi-finals has signalled the game is growing in Africa with more black people taking up the sport." When I met former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke during the Sydney Olympics, he asked me how long the World Cup would be. When I told him 44 days, he said 'Ali, that's going to an event of biblical proportions. He was right."Kenya, Canada, the Netherlands and Namibia were the four minnow teams which took part in the 54-match tournament along with the 10 Test-playing nations.But Bacher was pleased the tournament, which began on February 8 with the opening ceremony in Cape Town, will end with what he believed was going to be a "dream final." "The two best teams in the tournament have qualified for the final. The Australians have appeared invincible while the Indians have some wonderful players like Sachin Tendulkar who is a genius.""There will be a full house of 30,000 at the Wanderers and a billion people watching on television. Its going to be an awesome final."