ICC: Cricket World Cup too long | World Cup too long: Lorgat
ICC: Cricket World Cup too long: The next Cricket World Cup in 2015 should be shorter, ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat acknowledged Monday, although he insisted that 50-over international cricket is prospering.
Lorgat, Chief Executive of the International Cricket Council, said market research had shown massive support for 50-over international cricket and he insisted One-Day Internationals are not under threat from the immensely and increasingly popular Twenty20 cricket.
Lorgat told a conference at the Sri Lankan Press Club that he rejected arguments that ODIs could not co-exist with test matches and T20 cricket, but he admitted the ICC is looking to further reduce the length of the World Cup. This year’s tournament, which is just reaching its climax, started Feb. 19 and ends on April 2.
The six-week long tournament in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is six days shorter than the last edition in 2007 in the Caribbean and Lorgat said a similar reduction could be possible in 2015.
“Hopefully we can work towards 2015 being further condensed,” Lorgat said.
Organisers have already said the number of competing teams will be cut from 14 to 10.
Lorgat said the popularity of this year’s World Cup had exceeded all expectations. “The television audience has been the biggest in the tournament’s history,” he said.
The qualifying group encounter between India and England, which ended in a high-scoring tie, was the most watched ODI in television history, he said. “And that record could well be smashed on Wednesday when India play Pakistan.”
Lorgat said he was delighted that cricketing diplomacy had encouraged the prime ministers of India and Pakistan to sit down together to watch the semifinal at Mohali.
Next week’s full meeting of the ICC in Mumbai would hopefully agree the establishment of an ODI league to run in a three-year format, he said.
He rejected arguments that too much international cricket was affecting its popularity and leading to player burnout. Test cricket, ODIs and T20s could co-exist happily, he insisted.
But Lorgat said domestic boards, which organise bilateral tours, need to look at how they balance tours and consider if they are playing too many types of one form of the game. Tours have become increasingly weighed in favour of ODIs and T20 games in different cities, increasing travel and the rise of player fatigue.