|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
ICC chief Speed issues warning to World Cup players
Jon Bramley | March 12, 2007 11:56 IST
International Cricket Council chief executive Malcolm Speed has called on all players in the World Cup to remember they are role models following Sunday's opening ceremony in Jamaica.
Reflecting on the action to come in the Caribbean, Speed wrote in a statement issued by the game's governing body on Sunday that his only wish for the ninth World Cup was that the "spirit of cricket" shone through.
"That will help to create a real feel-good factor around the event that can serve as a springboard for its continued growth and development on a long-term basis, both throughout the West Indies and worldwide, one way we can ensure our strong sport gets even stronger," he said.
"The spirit is enshrined in the preamble to the laws of the game which states the need for respect for opponents, team mates, the role of the umpires and the game's long-held values of honesty, fair play and sportsmanship.
"...The players, whether they like it or not, are role models for the people who watch the game and whatever they do is likely to be copied many times over on the playing fields and school yards by youngsters who regard them as their heroes."
Speed reminded the players that the World Cup was the game's biggest shop window with a global television audience of more than a billion.
"It is the game's biggest opportunity to showcase itself to the world in a wonderfully positive way."
Cricket has been rocked over the past year by scandals involving the Pakistan team who refused to take to the field against England during a test at the Oval in London after an umpire accused them of tampering with the ball.
Then two of their leading players, fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif, tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone before being exonerated by the Pakistan cricket board.
Both were later ruled out of the World Cup through injury.
The opening ceremony of the ICC Cricket World Cup took place at Trelawny in the north of Jamaica on Sunday.
Two days later the opening match of the tournament will be held at Sabina Park, Kingston when West Indies face Pakistan.
The Cup: The Complete Coverage
Would you like to join the Cricket and Cricket Lovers Discussion Group and discuss your cricket views with other cricket freaks? Click here. Have fun!