WI rebuffs report suggesting inability to host cricket World Cup

BARBADOS: The next edition of the World Cup is four years away but the sparks are already starting to fly. West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Teddy Griffith has reacted angrily to suggestions in the Australian press that Australia is on standby to host the 2007 World Cup.

A report in the Sydney Morning Herald a couple of days ago had expressed concerns about the Caribbean's ability to handle the event. ICC officials were said to have feared the fact that the cricketing infrastructure in the Caribbean, including small grounds and poor practice wickets, may not measure up to required standards.

In addition the officials were also worried about the difficulties faced in travelling from one island to another. Another Australian paper The Age confirmed that fears about West Indies' ability to host the World Cup had reached a significant level within the ICC. The ICC is currently meeting in Barbados to discuss the issue.

Not one to take things lying down Griffith issued a response saying, "The CWC 2007 is an agenda item for discussion at the ICC meetings. It would be disappointing if any fellow director were to seek to prejudice sentiment outside of the meetings. To the best of my knowledge, neither the ICC board nor IDI board has met since the June meetings in London and Monaco respectively, to discuss the matter."

"WICB is fully aware of the significant challenges that it faces in hosting the 2007 World Cup. We are confident that as a nation we have the capacity to deliver on our obligations. We expect the fullest support and cooperation from all our fellow members of the ICC as we undertake our tasks," he added.

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