Sunday, April 29, 2007

End of the road

The only shining light facing Malcolm Speed at his press conference today was the glitter still remaining on the outfield from the closing ceremony last night.
It was always going to be a testing examination for Speed and the three-over debate from the World Cup Final farce only added to the questions fielded to the ICC's chief executive and Dave Richardson, the governing body's general manager.
And with the media set to dig into the ICC's handling of the tournament, Speed nearly faced the ultimate irony from his own logo. The ICC background banner lost its balance and only thanks to its media manager was Speed saved from being completely engulfed.
As to the Final, there really was no explanation as to why five experienced officials let the game descend into darkness when the required overs for a result had already been completed. Richardson looked understandably miffed.
To be fair to Speed he did answer all the questions on the Final and the tournament as a whole in a detailed manner. What is in doubt, however, is whether the ICC will fully understand the missing link between fan and money-obsessed governing body.
When questioned on the longevity, Speed cleverly pointed to the 2011 tournament in Asia (spread across four countries) and how there is a need to keep logistics in hand. He went on to say that the tournament could be cut to 38 days at a minimum which is still too long for a tournament in my view. And with Speed also knocking back suggestions of cutting the number of teams, the next World Cup already looks a sure-fire sponsored bore.