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Saturday, 22 March, 2003, 14:12 GMT

Bacher: World Cup too long

Ali Bacher World Cup chief organiser Ali Bacher said this year's tournament has gone on too long.

The tournament started on 8 February and will end 44 days later on Sunday, with the final between India and Australia.

"I think there is a scope to add two more teams although I personally feel the tournament was too long," said Bacher on Saturday.

"Kenya making the semi-finals has signalled the game is growing in Africa, with more black people taking up the sport.

" Bob Hawke told me 'Ali, that's going to an event of biblical proportions.' He was right "
Ali Bacher on what former Australia PM said about the World Cup

"When I met former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke during the Sydney Olympics, he asked me how long the World Cup would be.

"When I told him 44 days, he said 'Ali, that's going to an event of biblical proportions.'

"He was right."

Kenya, Canada, the Netherlands and Namibia were the four minnow teams which took part in the 54-match tournament along with the 10 Test-playing nations.

Bacher added: "The two best teams in the tournament have qualified for the final.

"The Australians have appeared invincible while the Indians have some wonderful players like Sachin Tendulkar who is a genius.

"There will be a full house of 30,000 at the Wanderers and a billion people watching on television.

"It's going to be an awesome final."


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