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Last Updated: Friday, 31 August 2007, 11:41 GMT 12:41 UK
ICC World Twenty20 Q&A

By Andrew McKenzie

Former South African Test bowler Steve Elworthy
Former Test bowler Elworthy is the tournament director
The inaugural ICC World Twenty20 tournament gets under way in South Africa on 11 September.

The event comes just over six months after a World Cup in the West Indies which was widely criticised for its poor organisation.

Former fast bowler Steve Elworthy was put in charge of organising the Twenty20 tournament.

With under two weeks to go, Elworthy gave BBC Sport his thoughts.

DO YOU FEEL ADDED PRESSURE AFTER THE WORLD CUP?

Hosting a world event is always going to be a big challenge and you want it to be a success, so it is added pressure.

You are certainly cognizant of the fact that the World Cup did get a bit of bad press in terms of attendances and what have you.

We are realistic but we need to ensure it is successful

It's a short tournament so they have addressed that issue from the World Cup.

The ticket sales issue has always been at the back of my mind and I get a daily update.

The awareness is very high, ticket sales are going extremely well and we are very happy with where we are now.

However, we have to be realistic. You look at the Wanderers Stadium and it holds more than 30,000 and there are nine matches there in 13 days.

So it will be very difficult to fill that every game - especially when two of the games start in the morning.

We are realistic but we need to ensure it is successful - it is the inaugural tournament and the first event in the new eight-year cycle of the ICC.

That's very important for us and also from their perspective.

HOW ARE YOU DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY?

We have learnt from issues about the lack of attendances and local flavour in the West Indies.

At the end of the World Cup they allowed the steel bands into the ground and started getting the Caribbean feel back into the matches.

From a ticket pricing perspective we have priced them really competitively and it's reflected in our sales.

We have tried to make sure it's affordable. The top end tickets are not too high and the bottom end are seriously accessible.

We have learned and the ICC also understood it was a barrier to buy a ticket because up to 300 US dollars (149) for a ticket is pretty expensive.

It was discussed at length and eventually we came up with this formula which has a very big South African flavour.

HOW ARE TICKET SALES GOING?

There has been a lot of home support in terms of snapping up the tickets.

Some of the high-profile games are sold out - the opening game, the final and both the semi-finals.

One or two of the double-headers are close to being sold-out.

We know where the poorer attended games are and now we can do something about it.

Whether it is from a school perspective or club cricket sides, we can drive attendances through there and through competitions.

Some of the games are in the morning and we have to work closely with the board of education and the schools themselves.

We would like to do some competitions - we don't want to give the tickets away but we want to make some sort of incentive to win those tickets.

IS THERE ROOM FOR ANOTHER INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT?

The way the tournament is positioned and the way the format is set-up I think it has its place in the cricketing calendar.

It adds to cricketers' repertoire - if they want to cut across the three forms of the game (Test, one-day and Twenty20) they need to have a game that is suitable to all three formats.

Rain-affected matches could cause a bit of a problem across all three stadiums

Some players can crossover to all three but in other instances it will give other players a chance to play at international level - it might give some the chance to step up to 50-over cricket and maybe even Test cricket.

There are opportunities for young people or other players to adapt to another format.

So long as the World Cup, the ICC Champions Trophy and this tournament are positioned correctly they all have a place.

If the boundaries are clearly defined around each product and they don't mix into each other I think there is room for all three.

WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES AND FEARS AHEAD OF THE EVENT?

My biggest hope is simply that the tournament is a success, everything runs correctly and is really well supported.

It is winter so we haven't played much cricket in September so it will be interesting to see how the wickets react from a weather perspective.

My biggest fear would be the weather concern.

It is such a short tournament and there is not much room for manoeuvrability in terms of reserve games or teams having to fly off to play their next game.

So rain-affected matches could cause a bit of a problem across all three stadiums.

I don't have too many fears because that would mean we are not prepared very well - and I'm pretty confident we have prepared well.



SEE ALSO
ICC World Twenty20 2007
29 Mar 07 |  Cricket
Twenty20 avoids World Cup errors
31 Aug 07 |  International Teams
ICC chief defends ticket pricing
08 Apr 07 |  Cricket
Crowd rules relaxed at World Cup
07 Apr 07 |  Cricket
Cup bosses blamed for poor crowds
31 Mar 07 |  West Indies
Ticket sales slow for World Cup
21 Jan 07 |  Cricket


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