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GCC irked at ICC action

New Delhi: The ICC’s problems ahead of its showpiece event only seem to be compounding with its commercial partners Global Cricket Corporation (GCC) Wednesday airing its discontent over the handling of World Cup rights.

Treading a cautious line, the GCC came close to saying in a statement that the ICC had reneged on its promises.

“The ICC consistently assured GCC the player restrictions would be delivered and we sold sponsorships as a result — GCC did not suddenly demand the sponsor protection,” it said.

“The fact that all of these rights have not been delivered as promised has obviously caused problems for our sponsors and our broadcasters,” the GCC release said.

The GCC admitted some of its concerns had been allayed after the path was cleared for India’s participation with their best team.

“As host broadcaster, GCC has the responsibility to protect the rights of our exclusive pay TV broadcasters as well as terrestrial broadcasters and we are relieved to see the way cleared for India’s participation in the World Cup with its best team.”

The release said that as sole marketer, GCC had the responsibility to ensure its sponsors got an adequate return on their investment. We are working closely with the ICC to ensure that the World Cup will be as successful as everyone wants it to be.”

Bookies tip Hayden

Australian stars Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist have been tipped by bookmakers to be top-scorers in the World Cup, while the odds to be top bowler are wide open. Bookmakers Williams Hill rate Hayden 10/1 to score maximum runs with Ponting at 11/1 and Gilchrist at 14/1.

South Africans Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Kallis and Gary Kirsten are level with India’s Sachin Tendulkar on 16/1.

Brian Lara, who has recently returned to action after illness, is a 20/1 shot along with India’s Virender Sehwag. Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne, paceman Glenn McGrath and South Africa skipper Shaun Pollock are joint-favourites at 2/1 to take the most wickets.

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