Facilities and experience boost Australasian bid

Published: Saturday, April 29, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Singapore:Top notch facilities and experience at hosting big events should count in Australia and New Zealand's favour when the ICC make an "in principle" decision on who hosts the 2011 cricket World Cup.

The International Cricket Council's Executive Board meet at their base in Dubai on Sunday to mull the Australasian proposal against the only other bid, a joint consortium of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

An "in principle" decision will be made on who will hold the mega event, which will then be ratified at the ICC's annual conference at Lord's in July.

Australia and New Zealand jointly organised the 1992 World Cup and say they have the right by rotation to host the tournament in February and March 2011.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said the chief aspects in their favour were quality facilities and experience at hosting major events, including Olympic and Commonwealth Games

"In very recent history Australia has hosted the Olympics, hosted the Rugby World Cup and with the Commonwealth Games there's a proven track record of performance that stands us in good stead," he said.

"The facilities, the track record of putting on these large sporting events, and also the resources that we have, the human resources we have in our country and New Zealand, are really strong factors in our favour."

Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket have agreed that if their bid is successful, matches will be shared equally between the two countries.

No decision has yet been made on the location or venue of the final, although the Melbourne Cricket Ground would be the obvious choice.

However, the MCG was the venue for the final in 1992 which could give the Kiwis a strong case to stage it in 2011.

"We are confident that we have a world class bid," said New Zealand Cricket chief executive Martin Snedden when the 258-page bid document was delivered to the ICC in February.

"We have fantastic venues, solid infrastructure and professional staff who are experienced in event management at the highest level.

"The World Cup would provide significant cricketing, promotional and financial benefits to the game in both New Zealand and Australia."

Also working in their favour was Asia's inability to get their bid in on time. They were granted an extension but ICC president Ehsan Mani was quoted as saying last week that the late submission had weakened their hand.

Mani has, however, denied the claims.

Whoever loses has the consolation of knowing that they will almost certainly hold the event in 2015.

England, which had initially bid for the 2015 event, is expected to withdraw its offer and be awarded the right to host the 2019 tournament at the ICC's conference in July.

Voting is conducted from 13 countries and seven votes are required to win. Asia already has four, courtesy of the joint bid, giving it a huge headstart.

There is also a possibility support could flow towards the subcontinent on the basis that their lucrative television rights are crucial to the sport's finances.

The decision will be made by the ICC's full members -- Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Indies and Zimbabwe -- and its three associate members in Israel, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.

Of the eight World Cups so far, England hosted the first three in 1975, 1979 and 1983, and again in 1999. The other tournaments were organised by the Indian sub-continent (1987 and 1996), Australia and New Zealand (1992) and South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya (2003).

The next World Cup will be held in the Caribbean in March-April in 2007.

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