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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 25 March, 2003, 13:18 GMT
Q&A: Ali Bacher
Dr Ali Bacher

Cricket World Cup chief Dr Ali Bacher joined us to answer your Cricket World Cup questions.

With the tournament now over, Bacher has gone on record as saying the event could involve another two teams despite feeling it went on "too long".

He has also defended the decision to allow Zimbabwe to controversially host matches despite the country's political problems.

You sent in hundreds of your questions for Dr Dr Ali Bacher; a selection of the best appears below.

Lois McConnell, UK

What were your best and worst moments of the World Cup?

I think the best moments were the opening ceremony and the final. I think the worst moment was probably the indecision from the England party as to whether they would go to Harare or not.

Dave, UK

Could it be considered hypocritical that after criticising England so much South Africa has pulled out of the Sharjah tournament?

No, not really, they are two completely different reasons. Here you have a very serious war raging in the Gulf. England decided not to go to Harare, in my opinion based, on very flimsy evidence.

Lester, UK

As a South African I was proud to see that our country could host a "major" event such as the Cricket World Cup without any obvious organizational hiccups. However, do you think that we could bid for a Football World Cup given that the infrastructure for football in South Africa is not as well funded?

Definitely, what this World Cup showed conclusively was that this country has the resources of people to successfully manage a global sporting event. I have no doubt that, given the opportunity to host the 2010 soccer World Cup, this country can organise it with a great deal of success.

Tony Casey, Ireland

With so much criticism of the format of the World Cup this year, especially of too many matches, will the ICC be looking to ideally introduce more associate nations to the 2007 event?

The minnows that participated in South Africa, I think did reasonably well - they brought a degree of freshness to the competition. I don't believe their presence or their participation denigrated or undermined the integrity of the value of this tournament.

World Cups are about growing the game - growing it globally. I would like to see another two teams coming into the West Indies World Cup in 2007. Another benefit of that would be that you would end with four teams in four sections with the top two going into a super eight. This would then lead to a shorter tournament.

It could be said that this tournament was too long - when I met up with Bob Hawke (the former Australian prime minister) and I told him it was going to be a 44-day duration and he said: "Ali, that is going to be an event of biblical proportions!"

Tom Hooper, England

Do you believe the Super Six is the best way of deciding the semi-finalists for the World Cup or do you think some sort of qualifying tournament for the World Cup is in order?

I am quite happy with the Super Six. There is a good debate to be had about whether points should be carried over or you start again fresh. An idea that I proposed which wasn't supported by the ICC was that you get two points for a win in the pool, you take it forward only if you have defeated a team that goes forward with you.

For Super Six matches, if you win a match there, you shouldn't get two points you should get three, because to me it's a more important match. With reserve dates it's tricky because the theory is every match should have a reserve day. But when organising an event in three countries with 15 towns and cities involved, logistically it would have been a nightmare.

Edward Hardy, England

Do you agree that the 2003 World Cup will be remembered as the one that was ruined by rain and the Duckworth Lewis method? What can be done to try and make the next World Cup be remembered for exciting cricket instead?

At this point in time some people say the Duckworth Lewis method is the fairest way and some people don't think it is - I don't want to get involved in that discussion! I am not sure about this one, no comment!

Sisira Perera, Sri Lanka

Will Canada, Namibia and Holland have to qualify for the next World Cup and if they do not qualify wouldn't it have been a waste of money just preparing them for one World Cup?

It's a good thought that those three nations should qualify automatically and I think it's one that the ICC would give serious consideration.

Glen Thomson, USA

Did South Africa field its strongest team for the tournament or did the quota system result in an inferior team being chosen for the tournament?

I think you need to differentiate between the team and the squad - the team on the fields was no question, in the eyes of the selectors, the best possible team in South Africa - irrespective of colour.

A lot of people thought the team was unlucky against Sri Lanka and I am sure that is correct. Overall for whatever reason that team did not play to their true ability, this was reflected in their opening warm-up game against Western Province when they were decisively beaten. What the reasons for this were I do not know.

Arun Reddy, India

Mr Bacher, there are rumours that the next World Cup will be held in West Indies and United States. How true it it, and if so, how about including Canada in it.

In theory the idea of playing cricket in the USA is a good one. But we would have to explore the practical avenues - the ground facilities the pitch facilities and so on. What is clear is that there are a massive number of ex-pats from the Caribbean, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka living in the USA that would support World Cup cricket.

But you can't only go to the US for the Cricket World Cup; it has to be a strategy. It would have to be a cricketing entrée for the USA market, you can't stop there it would not make sense to have World Cup cricket in the USA and then for the sport to just disappear.

It needs to be carefully worked out, and it has to be a long term strategy. If it worked it would obviously be good for cricket, as the USA is the most lucrative sponsorship and television market in the world.

World Cup chief Dr Ali Bacher
Answers your emails

Bacher: World Cup too long
22 Mar 03 |  World Cup
Bacher defends Zimbabwe stance
09 Mar 03 |  World Cup
Straight bat from Bacher
05 Mar 03 |  World Cup

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