Aussies are living in a fool~~s paradise: ICC chief
Published: Saturday, May 31, 2003, 21:50 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
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Sydney: Australia's total domination of world cricket is endangering the sport both at home and abroad, the retiring head of the International Cricket Council (ICC) said. "On many occasions I have put it to the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) that they are living in a fool's paradise," said Malcolm Gray, the former board chairman and outgoing ICC chief. "Their team is the best team in the world undoubtedly, they're financially secure, their administration is at least equal to the best in the world. It is very easy in Australia to have a rosy view of cricket and not realise the problems internationally. It's a very serious problem," he told 'The Australian' newspaper. Gray said the one-sided nature of many cricket matches was undermining public interest in the game. Australia won the cricket World Cup in South Africa earlier this year and has dominated one-time powerhouses England and the West Indies in its last two Test series. When they return from their current West Indies tour, the Australians' remaining Tests for the year will be against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, the sport's minnows. "Previously the Australian public has loved the Australian team playing so well and winning everything," Gray said. "However, I maintain that eventually the Australian public will tire of that and we may be on the cusp," he said. Gray notably pointed to the strong public criticism at home of perceived poor sportsmanship by Australian players during the West Indies tour - particularly an invective-filled outburst by pace bowler Glen McGrath against Windies batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan. The 63-year-old cricket executive said the biggest challenge facing the sport was to help promote the game in struggling Test nations "to ensure that there is a greater evenness within the competition."