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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > News > Report

Gray defends minnows' participation in Cup

Faisal Shariff | February 23, 2003 21:44 IST

International Cricket Council president Malcolm Gray questioned the manner in which Bangladesh were accorded Test status three years ago.

Leaving for Australia for a two-week break, Gray told rediff.com at Cape Town airport that though there is no threat to Bangladesh's Test status, the move to accommodate them in the fold was 'political'.

"The process is much more streamlined now. We have a structure in place which ensures that the new teams have the right direction towards attaining Test status. We have coaches like Bob Woolmer, who helps out the so-called minnows and guides their progress," he said.

Reacting to criticism about the no-show of the minnows in the ongoing World Cup in South Africa, Gray pointed to the fastest hundred by Canadian John Davison against the West Indies.

"Would you have witnessed something like this if the newer nations hadn't been given a chance? What is wrong with their participation?" he asked.

"We can't have a situation where all the matches are close and exciting games. See what has happened to basketball in the US; 97-97 all with two minutes to go. It is so predictably boring. Cricket does not need to go that way."

He said cricket has been a good mix of close games and one-sided affairs and both contribute equally to the progress of the sport.

Gray went on to add that spectators' attendance for the games involving the minnows too has been very encouraging, according to figures given by Dr Ali Bacher.

He fumed when asked about the way the ICC soft-pedaled on the issue of England's match in Zimbabwe.

"These allegations infuriate me. And the worst part is that they only come out of India. I can say that before my tenure as ICC president some teams were treated in a special manner but during my tenure all the teams have been treated with equality."

He informed that England were not set a deadline for the Zimbabwe game because safety and security were two issues that are each team's right. He said a bomb could go off five minutes before a game starts and therefore it has to be the team's decision.

"England has not been treated in a special manner. In fact, they will have to face the financial penalties for not playing in Zimbabwe. After the World Cup is over we will need to figure out the losses incurred and penalise the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) accordingly. So will the New Zealand Cricket board," he said.

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Number of User Comments: 2

Sub: Spreading Cricket to the World

Dear Sir, Mr M. Gray makes a good case for the ICC's inclusion of Bangladesh's as aTest Cricket playing country.I support that and I hope ...

Posted by Ramaeh Laxman

Sub: I agree with Gray

Mr. Gray, I agree on your deefence on letting the minnows play the world cup. After all, this is the world cup and it should ...

Posted by Naveen Palle


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