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Bacher warns 2007 organisers

Johannesburg: World Cup executive director Ali Bacher has warned organisers of the 2007 tournament in West Indies that they face enormous challenges in staging a successful tournament.

Bacher told a news conference on Thursday that West Indian grounds and airports would require significant upgrading.

He added: “It’s so different from organising a bilateral (cricket) series. It requires a different mindset. You have enormous challenges ahead of you. It’s a wonderful part of the world but you will have challenges.

“You have an unbelievable opportunity by improving your infrastructure of your grounds and particularly your airports.”

He praised West Indies for having produced so many of cricket’s great players considering the region’s limited facilities.

WI negate TV fears

Johannesburg: Organisers of the next World Cup in the West Indies in 2007 have brushed aside fears the tournament could be shifted elsewhere since it did not suit television timings in India.

The time difference between the Caribbean and cricket’s main financial backer India means games will start late in the evening in India which could affect television ratings.

But Christopher Dehring, chief executive officer insisted there were no problems on that front because all factors had been taken into account when the rights were sold two years ago.

“There are no threats to the World Cup 2007 regardless of what other people’s concerns on television viewership may be,” Dehring said. “The television rights were sold and a guaranteed amount reached after considering all factors.”

Zia resists pressure to quit

Islamabad: Resisting pressure that he step down as chief of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) following the national squad’s disastrous show in the World Cup, Gen. Tauqir Zia Friday said he would not quit and instead will take steps to make the team more competitive.

Zia told state television that those calling for his resignation had vested interests and he saw the team’s poor performance as a challenge.

He had put in his papers last year after the team performed poorly against Australia but Musharraf said that was not necessary.

“I cannot continue to resign everyday particularly when it has become a challenge ... I would like to take it as a challenge,” Zia said.

n Zimbabwe vs New Zealand live from 1.30pm on MAX n Sri Lanka vs West Indies highlights from 8.30am on Max n 11.30am Extra Innings


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