Most Recent Updates

Sunday, 2 March 2014

South Africa make tough plans for ICC World Cup 2015

South Africa, who are in the same group as holders India in the 2015 ICC World Cup, are set to prepare for the mega event by playing eight ODI games in Australia as well as New Zealand, the joint Cup hosts, in October-November.

South Africa, who would clash in the World Cup with India in Pool B on February 22 under lights at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, are to play three ODIs against New Zealand in October before crossing the Tasman Sea and play Australia in a best-of-five ODI series in November, Cricket South Africa announced on Monday.

South Africa and Australia would also play a best-of-three T20 International series before the Proteas return home to continue their preparations against the the West Indies in a full series comprising three Tests, five ODI's and two T20 Internationals, CSA stated.

The World Cup is scheduled from February 14-March 29, 2015. In all, the Proteas have planned to play 23 ODIs against five different opposition as the build-up for the mega event which they have never won before.

There could be a 24th match if the Proteas ODI squad qualifies for the final of the triangular tournament against Zimbabwe and Australia in Harare in August-September, CSA said.

SA would also play six Test matches in the six-month period between July and January, 2015 which includes two-match series against Sri Lanka which was postponed last year.

The revised schedule sees a further 13 ODI matches added to the programme in the current FTP schedule, CSA said.

"Once we have completed our challenge for the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh next month, we will turn much of our attention to next year's World Cup," said CSA Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat.

"Building quality experience is a vital part of preparing our ODI squad for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. The series of ODI matches we will be playing in these two countries will provide valuable experience for the players as they prepare for the conditions expected during the World Cup," he added. for the conditions expected during the World Cup," he added.

Vaughan irked by 2015 World Cup uncertainty

New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan speaks at the launch of the 2010 ICC Under-19 World Cup, Christchurch, January 10, 2010
Justin Vaughan, the New Zealand Cricket chief executive, has defended the 2015 World Cup's likely ten-team format while urging the ICC to reach a swift decision on the terms by which sides will qualify.

Global outcry over the initial exclusion of Associate nations, particularly Ireland, in favour of the game's ten Full Member countries prompted a re-think by the ICC executive board. The ICC president, Sharad Pawar, announced a renewed discussion of the qualification process at the governing body's annual meeting, in Hong Kong in June.
While sympathetic about Ireland's difficulties, Vaughan was unhappy to have to place tournament planning on hold. "Look, I am sympathetic to Ireland, in particular, and the way they have performed at world events," Vaughan told the Sunday Star-Times. "I think the ideal ten-team competition would be one determined solely on merit but I understand there are challenges around that as well."
Jack Clarke, the Cricket Australia chairman, has previously outlined the fact that a ten-team round robin format offered far greater certainty to the public about where and how much their teams will be playing for the majority of the tournament, a sentiment Vaughan agreed with.
"A ten-team competition works far better from a host perspective than a 12-team competition does," Vaughan said. "A 12-team competition would necessitate the introduction of a Super Sixes stage in between two pools of six and an elimination round. The problem with the Super Six portion of a competition is that there's no certainty around who is playing whom and where.
"To sell tickets and organise international tour groups or international visitors becomes hugely problematic when you've got a section of the tournament where you don't know who is playing where."
Vaughan also highlighted the fact that the 2015 World Cup is yet to appoint a tournament chief executive.
"From an event host perspective, it's very unhelpful to have uncertainty in regards to what the format of the competition is going to look like," he said. "We are in the process of looking for a CEO but how do you set up an organisation if you don't even know how many teams are going to participate in it?
"Obviously it was a sensitive issue and I wasn't involved in the discussions because that was part of the executive board, which only involves the chairmen, but I know there was some prolonged discussion and an eventual, I believe, unanimous agreement to move to a ten-team competition.
"As the hosts of that competition, it is unhelpful to have renewed uncertainty over the format."

Strong named 2015 World Cup chairman

Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket have appointed businessman James Strong as the chairman of the organising committee of the 2015 World Cup which will be held in Australia and New Zealand. Strong is the chairman of the retail chain Woolworths Limited, a non-executive director of Qantas Airways Limited, chairman of Kathmandu Holdings and the chairman of the Australian Council for the Arts. Another businessman, New Zealand's Ralph Waters, has been named deputy chairman.
"I am absolutely delighted to be involved in the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup to be jointly hosted by New Zealand and Australia. Both countries have a great track record of organising major sporting events, and share a passion for cricket," Strong said. "The recent ICC 2011 Cricket World Cup showcased one-day cricket as a fast paced and highly competitive form of a great game. We are working to develop an exciting tournament with matches in both countries, which will capture public imagination here and throughout the cricketing world."
Strong is also a member of the board of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation that stages the F1 Grand Prix in Australia and the Australian Motor Cycle Grand Prix. He will lead the committee overseeing the organisation and execution of the World Cup in 2015 and also appoint a chief executive officer.
The organising committee will reportedly comprise two representatives from CA and NZC and could potentially also include up to two additional independent appointees apart from an independent chairman. Australia and New Zealand co-hosted the 1992 World Cup as well.

John Harnden named 2015 World Cup chief executive

John Harnden, the chief executive of the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA), has been appointed the chief executive of the 2015 World Cup, which will be held in Australia and New Zealand.
Harnden was formerly chief executive of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, chief executive of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation and chief executive of Village Roadshow International Theme Parks.
"John is known and admired around the world for his strategic thinking, the personal commitment he brings to every task, his ability to build and lead outstanding teams and his willingness to work collaboratively with everyone involved in a project," James Strong, the chairman of the 2015 World Cup, said.
Harnden said he was looking forward to starting work on the tournament. "Cricket is a passion for me from a personal and a professional perspective. I am delighted to be a part of the 2015 World Cup and look forward to working with James Strong and the rest of the board as well as everyone at New Zealand Cricket and Cricket Australia. We will make this a real partnership across the Tasman."

Kallis targetting 2015 World Cup

Jacques Kallis sprints during practice, Johannesburg, November 15, 2011
In 16 years of international cricket, Jacques Kallis has scored centuries against all nine other Test playing nations, has been part of series wins in Australia and England and has seen numerous ODI series victories. One thing he does not have, though, is a World Cup medal and it is that missing piece that is driving him to try to continue playing international cricket until at least 2015.

The one thing I want to try and achieve is to be part of a team that can win a World Cup. That's a goal of mine," Kallis said after South Africa's victory in the third Test against Sri Lanka, in Cape Town. Kallis has played 317 ODIs, including five World Cups. He will turn 37 this year and will be 39 by the time the next World Cup takes place, in Australia and New Zealand, in 2015.

At the start of the summer local media expressed concern about what they called Kallis' dwindling reflexes, after he was worked over by Australia's 18-year-old fast bowler Pat Cummins, who trouble Kallis with his bouncer. Kallis said he did not read the reports and was only told about it by friends. His response on the field, though, was fierce.

He scored 224, his highest Test score, against Sri Lanka at Newlands, an aggressive pull shot the hallmark of his innings. He also extinguished doubts about his reflexes by taking six catches, five of which were at second slip. To cap it off, he took three wickets in Sri Lanka's second innings. It was an emphatic way to celebrate his 150th Test match and a screaming declaration of what he still has to offer South African cricket. "I couldn't have asked for it to have worked out better," Kallis said. "You dream of performances like that."

While he appeared closer to a teenager than someone entering his late 30s in Cape Town, Kallis has acknowledged that his workload needs to be managed. He did not bowl in the first innings at Newlands, after his marathon effort with the bat, because his captain Graeme Smith felt he "would not get much out of him."

Managing Kallis' bowling load could be key to prolonging his career. That could prove tricky due to the make-up of South Africa's bowling attack. With three aggressive fast bowlers and a legspinner in the side, Kallis is required to play a containing role with the ball, and if needed, to, in his words, "carry," the attack. In the shorter form of the game, he is unlikely to be used in the same capacity and less work with the ball could be vital as he targets 2015.

"I will take it year by year, month by month and game by game," he said. "No-one has the right to play in this side [without earning his place]. You've got to put in the performances for that. As long as I am enjoying it and putting in the performances, and the body holds, there's no reason for me to stop yet."

Kallis has been named in South Africa's squad for the first two ODIs against Sri Lanka, after which the selectors will decide on the group for the remaining three matches. Kallis said he hopes to play in all five fixtures although he recognises that he may be forced to pick which matches to play in the future.

"It looks like I will play all five matches. I said to Gary [Kirsten, the South Africa coach], we will have a look at it after the first two and we'll make a call from there. That will be the standard going forward. I have to be clever if I want to make it to the next World Cup."

New Zealand World Cup chief appointed

Therese Walsh, head of New Zealand for the 2015 World Cup, May 29, 2012Therese Walsh, who was chief operating officer for last year's Rugby World Cup, has been appointed to lead the New Zealand operations for the 2015 World Cup. Walsh, who has been a director of New Zealand Cricket since 2011, will be head of New Zealand for the tournament to be hosted jointly by Australia and New Zealand.
"Therese will play a leading role across the whole tournament but pay special attention to delivery in New Zealand," John Harnden, the World Cup CEO, said. "Our aim is to put on a fan-friendly event which reaches as many communities as possible across both countries. Therese brings great experience in sport and major events to the role and has invaluable insights from what has been recognised as the best Rugby World Cup ever."
Walsh served as the chief financial officer and general manager corporate services for the New Zealand Rugby Union before she took on the Rugby World Cup role. Walsh said she was looking forward to working across both Australia and New Zealand in the lead-up to the tournament, which will be held in February-March 2015.
"This was a perfect chance to be a part of another global sporting event that is going to have a direct and positive impact not only on cricket in New Zealand but on communities, businesses and individuals," Walsh said. "While my title is Head of New Zealand, my focus will be on creating a memorable event across both countries that will leave a legacy for years to come."

World Cup 2015 chairman James Strong dies

James Strong, chairman of the local organising committee for the 2015 World Cup, has died aged 68 after complications from surgery.
He died on Sunday evening in a Sydney hospital, having held the tournament chairman's position since August 2011. The tournament chief executive John Harnden said Strong had made a major contribution to the event.
"James has been a friend and a mentor to me over a long period and I will miss his company and his advice," Harnden said. "He has made a massive contribution to corporate and sporting life in Australia and New Zealand.
"We extend our sincere condolences to his family and many friends. We will continue the work he began on the World Cup and deliver a tournament in 2015 that would make him proud."
Before working on the organisation of the World Cup, Strong had been the chief executive and managing director of Qantas from 1993 until 2001. He had also served as chairman of the Australia Council for the Arts, alongside senior roles with Woolworths, Rip Curl, IAG and Kathmandu.