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Last Updated: Monday, 17 October 2005, 07:16 GMT 08:16 UK
Super Series future is in doubt
Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison
Flintoff and Harmison look on as Australia celebrate
Cricket chief Malcolm Speed has admitted the Super Series might not return after the World XI were easily beaten by Australia.

Australia recorded a 210-run victory in the Test match in Sydney and won three one-day internationals in Melbourne.

ICC chief executive Speed said: "We need to go away and assess the concept, see what we can improve and whether we want to do it again.

"We've never actually said how often the series will be held."

He denied the ICC had scrapped plans for a Super Series in another four years' time.

I haven't had a sense that the players were taking this no more seriously than a holiday
Malcolm Speed

"I've read and heard that it will be every four years, this game, but we've never actually said that.

"There's certainly no commitment to play this every four years. It's not something we need to put on on a regular basis.

"This was just an opportunity to fill the gap and have an ICC event this year."

Speed said if there was going to be a next time then maybe the top two ranked teams in the world play a one-off Test match.

World XI coach John Wright says that would offer a genuine contest.

"Finals are attractive, where a winner takes all - number one versus.number two over four years," the former New Zealand captain and ex-India coach said.

"There are various concepts out there. The Super Series is an attractive package, but it's got to produce the quality of cricket to match it."

Speed defended the World players' commitment to the Super Series cause after accusations they were not taking it seriously.

"I haven't had a sense that the players were taking this no more seriously than a holiday.

"It's true that they all had families out here, and for the first time some mums were here too, but it's common to tour with families these days."

There was something missing - it was hard to find that extra 20% you're pushing for
Graeme Smith

But World XI captain Graeme Smith admitted it had been difficult to recreate the atmosphere of a national team.

"You grow up dreaming of playing for your country. When you come here, you don't really know the guys you're playing with," the South Africa skipper explained.

"There was something missing, if we're all honest. It was hard to find that extra 20% you're pushing for."

Attendances were also poor with the stadiums in Melbourne and Sydney less than a third full, and only 5,000 turning up for the result on Monday, but the ICC said it had achieved its aim of maximising cricket exposure around the world.

"Interest in cricket all round the world has gone through the roof, especially in places like England since the Ashes, and this was our opportunity to build on that popularity.

"We always knew we would be following the Ashes and I don't think that's had a particular impact on the concept of the game," Speed added.

News conference: ICC chairman Malcolm Speed


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