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Hayden hits out at ICC for ~~long~~ WC schedule

Published: Wednesday, April 11, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Sydney:Expressing his displeasure over the fixture of the Caribbean World Cup, Australia's opening batsman Mathew Hayden held the ICC directly responsible for ''a too long'' mega event and questioned the ground standards and training facilities in the West Indies.

''It's definitely too long, too long for everyone. The way the tournament is structured out, one game on a day, that obviously could be reduced by having other games on,'' Hayden was quoted as saying in The Daily Telegraph.

The Caribbean showpiece event has been under siege in recent weeks because of a ''yawn factor'', where teams are averaging barely one game every six days since it officially began on March 13.

Hayden, who has so far played a key role in Australia's unbeaten run with 436 runs at an average of 87.20, also criticised the quality of practice facilities in the Caribbean.

He was particularly annoyed with the facilities in Sir Vivian Richards stadium in Antigua, when on last Saturday during a practice session there was no power to operate a bowling machine.

''The reality is when you look at it, this is a global competition and if you can't get electricity at the ground, you have got to question whether the ground is suitable for this sort of tournament,'' the broad-shouldered Hayden said.

The quality of the outfield at the 50 million dollar newly built stadium is also poor because the sand base has yet to jell with the fresh grass.

''We have seen a number of injuries through the tournament, a lot of calf strains because of the ground conditions,'' the leading run-scorer of the tournament said.

''We all just try and get by and survive and work with the conditions, but the reality is that the conditions certainly haven't been of a world-class standard,'' he added.

Hayden has also urged the ICC to shorten other ICC events, such as the Champions Trophy, which is held in every two years.

''I think all the ICC events are too long, no question and the need to be shortened,'' he said.

UNI

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