Chappell blasts Speed for ~~PR disaster~~ in WC

Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Former Australian captain Ian Chappell has held ICC chief executive Malcom Speed directly responsible for a ''public relation disaster'' at the World Cup.

While writing a column in a famous cricket portal, the former Australian skipper has criticised Speed, who he fears may not fully appreciate the impact of a poor World Cup on the game's future.

''Speed is always at great pains to spread the gospel that cricket is in good shape,'' Chappell wrote.

''As if the litany of PR disasters at the World Cup including bickering ticket prices, draconian measures to exclude musical instruments from the grounds, isn't evidence enough of a game in need of a re-think, there have been numerous other warning signals in the lead-up to the tournament,'' he said.

The 63-year-old Aussie said the tournament had stumbled from one debacle to the next with India and Pakistan's ouster from the first round, the mysterious murder of late coach Bob Woolmer, the sudden retirement of Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and the probable failure of the hosts West Indies to make it to the semis.

''Despite numerous serious controversies to divert attention, these calamities haven't camouflaged the PR disaster of the 2007 World Cup,'' he said.

Chappell also came hard on the ICC for the recent crisis in Zimbabwe cricket and for conducting two prestigious one-day tournaments within six months of each other.

Batting for a strong administrator of the game, he said, '' Cricket is like a tree, if you keep the trunk and the roots healthy the branches will take care of themselves.'' The former Ausssie all-rounder also termed India cricket's ''biggest money market'' saying money in cricket grows only on Indian trees.


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