Morgan declares World Cup a success
ICC President David Morgan today hailed the ICC World Twenty20 2009 that has just concluded in England as “an overwhelming success” and has praised the efforts of the large number of people who made it possible.
Speaking on the day after England’s women had defeated New Zealand and Pakistan had beaten Sri Lanka in front of a packed crowd at Lord’s, Mr Morgan said he felt proud that the world of cricket had come together to stage such a closely fought and top-quality event.
“For any event such as this to be successful it relies on the hard work of literally thousands of people but ultimately it will be judged by the quality of cricket that is presented to us by the players,” said Mr Morgan.
“And I think it’s fair to say that in that regard, we have been royally treated over the past 17 days or so in England. The players brought this tournament alive with their innovation, passion, talent and commitment. They entertained us, thrilled us and occasionally even challenged our view of the game itself as they introduced new and wonderful feats of skill and athleticism that I for one had previously scarcely thought possible.
“In that light I would like congratulate the men’s and women’s players of the tournament Tillakaratne Dilshan of Sri Lanka and Claire Taylor of England for the major contribution they, in particular, have made to the tournament, which I consider to be an overwhelming success. Congratulations are also due to Pakistan and England as the two winners – it was a great performance by Younus Khan, Charlotte Edwards and their respective teams.
“The spirit in which the games were played was magnificent with no instances of players overstepping the mark of what is deemed acceptable behaviour in our great game.
“Ticket sales were very encouraging, reflecting the enduring popularity of cricket despite the global economic situation. There was a 96 per cent take-up of tickets for this event and certainly the atmosphere created by those large crowds formed part of why it was so successful.
“One of the most encouraging things about this tournament was the link between the men’s and women’s games. The increase in profile the women’s game received from television exposure and the fact the men’s and women’s semi-finals and finals were played as double-headers was a great boost for the women’s game and I believe will do wonders for growth in that area. I am glad to say the next ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies will continue that exciting policy.
“The England and Wales Cricket Board has been a great partner for the ICC in putting on this event. From the very start of this process it was clear that we were dealing with a committed group of people – led by our excellent tournament director Steve Elworthy – who were determined to put on the best possible event and they were clearly successful.
“I also want to thank the dedicated staff and management at the ICC who have been working hard on this event for a long time.
“On finals day at Lord’s, it was pleasing to see the parade of many of the thousands of volunteers who took part in the event. Some of these volunteers traveled great distances – even from as far away as Canada and India – to offer their services free of charge to the game. Their contribution was vital to the tournament’s success and it was fitting that their lap of honour was met with a standing ovation around that famous cricketing arena.
“Speaking of Lord’s, I want to congratulate the MCC and the other three venues at Taunton, Trent Bridge and the Oval for preparing what were excellent cricket pitches and pristine outfields which allowed the players to perform to their best out in the middle. Even when the rains came – and thankfully it was not too often – the grounds were able to cope with that and the players and spectators never had to wait very long after the clouds lifted before the action resumed.
Mr Morgan said the ICC World Twenty20 2009 had whetted the appetite for the next big ICC event on the horizon, namely the ICC Champions Trophy, which will take place in South Africa during September/October.
“We know from experience that South Africa is a great place to hold cricket events and I’m really looking forward to this elite event. Like the ICC World Twenty20, the Champions Trophy will be a short, sharp event that should capture the imagination of the cricketing public around the world.”