21 June, 2021

'It Was Natural To Hold The Cup In Zimbabwe, Kenya'

Outlook spoke with Dr Ali Bacher, executive director of the Cricket World Cup, 2003, on February 13, the day the England-Zimbabwe match had been scheduled to be held. Excerpts:

'It Was Natural To Hold The Cup In Zimbabwe, Kenya'
At the end of a dramatic week, are you happy or are you a bit worried?
Let’s look at it this way. The entire world knows there is a Cup going on. Everybody knows it’s happening. Since there are strong political issues here, countries that normally do not care about cricket are getting introduced to the game. This has not happened before in any World Cup. This time, there is a truly international exposure. So maybe it’s not so bad after all.

Do you regret the fact that the World Cup is also being held in Zimbabwe and Kenya?
Not at all, honestly. The idea was to spread the message of cricket in Africa and it was but natural to hold the World Cup in Zimbabwe and Kenya too.

Did you anticipate the security-related problems that have surfaced?
The world has changed post-September 11. I think all of us admit there is no such place where there is complete safety. We look carefully at the teams’ security concerns. For instance, New Zealand has told us of its concerns in playing in Kenya. We’re looking at what solutions can be...

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