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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > News > Report

Bacher delighted over signing of contracts

Faisal Shariff | January 10, 2003 17:12 IST

Dr Ali Bacher, executive director of the 2003 World Cup organising committee, has welcomed the Indian cricketers' decision to sign the ICC Players' Terms contract for the forthcoming World Cup in South Africa next month.

Speaking to rediff.com  from Johannesburg, the former United Cricket Board of South Africa president said he is delighted at the news and relived that the best Indian team would come to South Africa for the World Cup.

"India's participation in the World Cup was imperative for its success. We want to collectively make this the biggest and greatest World Cup ever,” he added.

Dr Bacher had earlier said on rediff chat that in the event of the contracts issue not being resolved he would probably  ask former South Africa President Nelson Mandela to intervene.

"The history of the game of cricket is riddled with confrontations between the players and administrators. What was happening with the player contracts is nothing new. I was confident that the issue would be resolved to the satisfaction of the players, sponsors and the administrators."

Picking Australia as the favourites to win the World Cup, Bacher said this would be the most open tournament ever.

"Any of the Test-playing teams has a chance of winning the World Cup. We have outstanding teams in the fray -- some strong in batting, and some with superior bowling attacks. It will make for a fascinating six-week duel."

Speaking about security concerns in Zimbabwe and Kenya, Bacher said, "It would be unreasonable and unfair to expect a cricket body to make political decisions of this magnitude."

English cricket is facing its biggest crisis in 30 years, with the England government and England and Wales Cricket Board failing to resolve the impasse over playing a World Cup match in Zimbabwe. The Australian government has also expressed its displeasure about playing in Zimbabwe because of human rights abuses by Robert Mugabe's regime.

Bacher lifted the veil on the final run-up to the eighth World Cup by announcing that all the teams would arrive in South Africa between January 28 and 30.

An international media conference will be held with each arrival and then the teams will be taken to the various towns and cities that will host them before the six-week tournament kicks-off.

The Contract row - the complete coverage

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