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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 5 March, 2003, 10:28 GMT
Has the World Cup been spoiled?
Off-the-field issues have dominated the 2003 Cricket World Cup.

Do you think the cricket has been eclipsed by other events?

The World Cup was steeped in controversy before it even began, with safety concerns in Zimbabwe and Kenya causing two matches to be boycotted.

With both countries qualifying for the Super Sixes as a result, many feel that the quality of the tournament has been undermined.

Meanwhile drug scandal, questionable points systems and the absence of reserve days for rain-affected matches have frustrated fans and players alike.

The cricket has at times been scintilating, but it is arguable that this World Cup will be remembered for its off-the-field problems.

Has cricket's showpiece been overshadowed by other issues?

Have Your Say using the form on the right-hand side of the page.

I'm baffled to read numerous postings here which simply blame ICC and the weather. If only England and New Zealand had played their matches and won, the super six would have looked logical, despite the weather. It is difficult to provide 'alternate' dates for 42 matches!

The ICC never compelled either team to boycott, so they can't be blamed. Let's also remember Kenya defeated Sri Lanka defeated New Zealand. Only Zimbabwe owes it's place to the English boycott.
KRS, India

It still leaves the disappointment of wondering what it could have been
Ian McCormick, England
I'm all for giving the 'little guys' a chance in big tournaments but surely the format of World Cup 2003 is flawed in respect that the rain washouts have cost us the likes of Pakistan, England, West Indies and home nation South Africa.

With all due respect to Kenya and Zimbabwe, the game would not really be getting the exposure it deserves if the bigger, more exciting teams are eliminated at such an early stage. I hope that this matter is all cleared up for West Indies 2007.
Khurram, Birmingham UK

Here we go again! England have failed to progress beyond the initial stages of an international competition and its 'all hands to the pumps' to find an excuse for it. If that had not been the case, and they had qualified for the finals there would not have been a word of sympathy for any other nation.

Had they not refused to play against Zimbabwe, and I do applaud their decision, there is no certainty they would have won the game.

For once, I'm with the Aussies on this one - another example of the 'whinging Pom' mentality which permeates all English sport. If they lose at anything, there must be a reason over and above their lack of ability.
Merrill Morrow, Ireland

This World Cup has had its ups and downs so far. The downs including the rained off West Indies match and Pakistan/Zimbabwe match. I agree that the ICC have let the tournament down by not organising 'rain' days.

The only team we need to have sympathy for is the West Indies who managed to gain some good form for the tournament but lost out due to the rained out match.
Sunjeewa, UK

The ICC should be organising the World Cup for the benefit of the sport, not appeasing the various cricket boards around the globe or the sponsors. Teams like the West Indies and South Africa should not be out of the competition because of rain affected results.

There was the row last year with players because of personal sponsorship deals causing problems with tournament sponsors. They should have had the foresight not to arrange fixtures in a place of country of civil unrest.

All in all a shambles. Although some of the matches have been brilliant cricket to watch, it still leaves the disappointment of wondering what it could have been.
Ian McCormick, England

Ridiculous that there were no reserve days for rain affected matches in the 1st Round. How can teams be penalised due to weather conditions which are totally beyond their control? Well done the ICC, you've ruined a great festival - I won't be watching another match! Farcical!
S. Murphy, England

How on earth can the Super Six be credible when two teams are there because of boycotts and the weather? The ICC decision to award points to Zimbabwe and Kenya and their failure to have reserve days have robbed the tournament of the best teams. We may as well hand the cup to the Aussies now!
Mark, UK

When teams decide to boycott games its their problem. If we condone it then everyone will start refusing for whatever reason. I think the one team that really lost out is the West Indies.

For those who say that New Zealand don't deserve to be in the Super Sixes they beat both West Indies and South Africa while SA lost to WI and NZ!!!

The World Cup may be boring for some because their teams are not there anymore but there's still plenty of exciting cricket to be played.
Nishan Perera, Sri Lanka

In the case of New Zealand and Kenya, it was most unfair to cricket-loving fans for them to boycott the match
David Apiyo, USA
To Philip from London. Your comment that NZ should not be in the Super 6 is absolute rubbish. We got there even after losing four points for not playing Kenya and have only lost one game. NZ thrashed India at home recently and also beat the Aussies 5 games to 1 in the 2001 / 2002 VB series in Australia. Get your facts right mate.
Anand Reddy, NZ

I agree to the extent that politics has played more of a part in this World Cup, and the ICC should be utterly to blame for allowing this ludicrous situation to remain untouched for nearly a year after the draw took place, but to say that Kenya and Zimbabwe have gained from all this is wholly wrong.

South Africa are out because they didn't beat Sri Lanka, New Zealand or the West Indies. England are out because they didn't beat Australia or India.

There were no bad umpiring decisions in key moments from key games and all the players and coaching staff are aware of the Duckworth/Lewis system, so no one at all can claim to be unfairly done by.
Russell, UK

There no doubt should have been another way to resolve the washed out matches. But to claim at this juncture that Kenya and Zimbabwe are not deserving of their Super Six qualifications is absurd to say the least.

One may sympathize with England for their political stand that made it impossible to play in Zimbabwe, but in the case of New Zealand and Kenya, it was most unfair to cricket-loving fans for them to boycott the match. Kenya is as secure as they come. I hope New Zealand do not make it further.
David Apiyo, USA

It's an utter shame and disgrace to see what has transpired during this World Cup thus far. Cricket is no longer a sport, but an international business where political events and sponsors have greater influences on the game rather than what the fans and players want.

It is absolute common sense to know that cricket and the wet season do not go together. If a team objects to playing in a certain host country, you do not give the hosts full points for doing nothing. You reschedule the game and move it to another location.

The ICC has demonstrated an award-winning performance in lack of planning. Congratulations on making this the World Cup the worst ever.
Theo, USA

Money and politics have once again ruined the spirit of the game. Cricket is no longer a "gentleman's game". The ultimate result is that the viewers/spectators were taken for ride by the ICC and politicians of the countries who did not play their respective games.
Seetharaman, USA

Can you imagine a tennis match ending in a draw due to rain?
Ricardo Molina, UK

It happened before, why are we complaining now; just because their favourite team didn't make to the second round. Last year, the ICC final was abandoned because of rain and both Sri Lanka and India was given trophies.

Australia and West Indies decided not to play in Sri Lanka during the 1987 World Cup because of security concerns. No one complained then. The rules have been the same all along.
Kamal Singh, USA

I'm not a huge cricket fan but I've always thought the World Cup is the one time when cricket is not only watchable but can actually get very exciting. However, this year all the headlines have been so negative that it has put me off the sport a bit.

OK, drug scandals happen in every sport, and the scoring system is complex but seems pretty fair. The politics issue is regrettable but it's more the fault of the (non-sports) media than the cricket board.

But what I just cannot understand is how can a match be cancelled due to rain and the points split. I mean, can you imagine a tennis match ending in a draw due to rain? For the casual cricket fan (like me) this seems just ridiculous. And if the reason is TV scheduling that's just plain wrong.
Ricardo Molina, UK

I remain proud of the English boys for refusing to play in Zimbabwe (where I was born). Their boycott was always more about the morality of playing in that country than a concern for their own safety.

I have nothing but contempt for Ali Bacher who has ruined this World Cup with the ridiculous rules. If Kenya hadn't been awarded points because of New Zealand's no-show, South Africa would have qualified! I bet Bacher didn't consider that scenario when he took such an inflexible view of players' concerns!

Shame, shame on the organizers of this World Cup and the ICC
Mohamed Z. Rahaman, USA

It's a sad irony for South Africa. The man should be sacked for ruining the World Cup for all of us.
Steve Andrews, UK

IF you think that by Zimbabwe and Kenya having qualified to the Super Sixes this World Cup has been undermined, then please look at the past World Cups and change your view about them too.

In 1983 India was no stronger then the present Zimbabwe, and thus we should say after winning the 1983 World Cup, India undermined it. Yes, on paper and because of their history England, Pakistan, South Africa and West Indians are stronger then some teams in this Super Sixes, but that doesn't mean that we should say it's undermined.
Zam, UK

There is a reason why South Africa was ostracized for several decades, so for the authorities to say that certain players have caused harm to the game for legitimate protests, and for them to penalize countries who, for legitimate security concerns, chose not to play at those sites, and furthermore, to not schedule make up days for rain or other delay, is clearly unpardonable. Shame, shame on the organizers of this World Cup and the ICC. Thank you.
Mohamed Z. Rahaman, USA

When the rules suit them, the big boys are OK with it; when the rules don't, they work on the small boys like Kenya. One day, the day will come when Kenya will be dominant; just ask the long distance runners in the world.
Ken Ogwang, Kenya

To see so many people bemoaning the qualification of Kenya and Zimbabwe is to be expected, but at the same time disappointing. To see them bemoan the presence of New Zealand, a team without stars but arguably the second-best one-day team in the world at present, is madness!

Hooray for a little controversy and upset, I say
James Crompton, Scotland

Who on earth would these people see in New Zealand's place? England have temperamental batting and an inpenetrative bowling attack, West Indies have been a fading team of journeymen cricketers for far too many years now, and South Africa have never done a thing to earn their self-appointed title of Australia's pretenders.

Sri Lanka and New Zealand were the most deserving teams in that group, and who could possibly deny Kenya after another great upset? Hooray for a little controversy and upset, I say.
James Crompton, Scotland

Well ICC, you've got what you deserved and we're all about to switch off, very little excitement left I fear. Roll on the next World Cup!
Bob, England

England only have themselves to blame for not playing in Harare and causing the ensuing media frenzy. Five other matches were played without incident! If England had made their protests to the ICC in private without splashing it all over the media, much less fuss would have been made of the whole fiasco.

With regard to Zimbabwe qualifying for the Super Sixes, there were no complaints in the last World Cup when Zim qualified. The fact is, they were not given a chance to beat either England or Pakistan, for reasons beyond their control. Zimbabwe has beaten both these teams before and it would not have been a total shock if they had done it again.

Kenya is in a slightly different predicament where any win against a Test-playing nation is a shock result. However, they did shock Sri Lanka fair and square and were not given the chance against New Zealand.

Day-night matches that were clearly unequal haven't helped
Ben, UK

Stop abusing the cricket status of Zimbabwe and Kenya and applaud them for achieving what South Africa and Pakistan were unable to do. Let England and New Zealand have it for not fulfilling their fixtures and the organisers for poor weather planning.
Gram, Zimbabwe

I have to agree with what most people have said here, this World Cup has been awful. Even before a ball was bowled, the ICC's intransigence cost New Zealand and England four points, which were duly given to weaker sides.

Day-night matches that were clearly unequal haven't helped, neither has the seasonal rain and the unbelievable lack of reserve days. We'll probably end up with deserving finalists (Australia and India), but it would have been nice if they'd had to fight stronger teams in the 'Super' Six for their places rather than just stroll through.

All that remains now is for sides in the Super Six to be seeded in the next World Cup, and it will mean the sport's governing body has not only made a mockery of this tournament, but will taint the next. Hats off to the ICC - does it stand for the Incompetent Cricket Council?
Ben, UK

It is no use bemoaning things that the ICC had no control over - namely the political situation, the ethical and moral values of some countries and the security demons of others.

What the ICC was in control of was its rules and regulations and it is evident it slipped up big time here. Evidently, they were so busy listening to the sponsors' demands that not enough time was spent on ensuring that the rules and regulations were logical and coherent.

The tournament has been ruined by the greedy ICC
Anand Aithal, Singapore

It would have been great if we had a few reserve days to play out the abandoned matches which helped shape the Super Six to such an extent. All in all, a pathetic show. Time for Speed to resign with speed.
Rama, India

I'm afraid this World Cup will go down as the least successful one to date. I think the ICC and the tournament organisers have to take their share of the blame.

Examples of the big blunders include the timing of the tournament in the wet season, and scheduling England to play in Zimbabwe, a fixture that was never going to be far from controversy. It's a shame, as the World Cup could have been fantastic in South Africa.
Jeremy, Manchester, UK.

The whole World Cup has been tainted due to the lack of clarity of the principal objective that it should be the greatest festival of cricket on earth on a quadrennial basis.

To hold the tournament in three countries in a period of the year in which two are in the midst of their rainy season smacks of pure lack of planning, compounded by not arranging for reserve days.

Furthermore, the ICC has stuck its head into the sand, ostrich-like, on the issue of the external political situation arising from staging the World Cup in those three countries.

As soon as they had realised that these issues were not likely to go away (certainly during 2002), they should have adopted a more pragmatic approach, shifting the tournament solely to South Africa.

The final result is that we arguably have three sides in the Super Sixes who are not the best sides in the tournament - namely NZ, Zimbabwe and Kenya. This surely has to devalue the overall quality of the tournament.
Philip, London, UK

The tournament has been ruined by the greedy ICC. They increased the quantity, but not the quality, of matches to satisfy TV companies and advertisers. They got rid of reserve days and extended hours for rain-affected matches because TV needs scheduling predictability.

The net result of all this commercialism: (1) a suspense-free Super Sixes and (2) a mediocre TV spectacle in which a small dose of cricket is shown between a relentless torrent of advertising.
Anand Aithal, Singapore

Everyone is to blame for the off-field issues that have marred an otherwise colourful and entertaining World Cup. When teams decide to boycott matches, they have only themselves to blame; when World Cups are given to hosts with an appalling human rights record, the ICC have only themselves to blame.

The ICC are naive (putting it politely) to think sport and politics can always be kept separate
Matthew Benton, UK

When teams start complaining about rain and other factors, it just proves how unprepared they were for the match in the first place. And until anyone else comes up with a new points system, the one used at present is the best everyone has!
Andy Gbinigie, United Kingdom

As the World Cup progresses to the Super Six stage I am not as enthusiastic as I was during the start of this tournament, simply because three good teams; England, West Indies and South Africa; who should have been in Super Six, are not there.

They are not there because of the weird rules, such as not keeping an extra day for a washed out game and because of interference of politics in sports.
Bobby Abraham, Switzerland

The ICC are naive (putting it politely) to think sport and politics can always be kept separate. But again putting it politely, they're really stupid not to allow for rain, and worse for allowing points to be carried through to the second stage.

One-day cricket is all about who plays best on the day and the Super Sixes should reflect that. All teams should have a clean slate.

I welcome Kenya's qualification for the second stage, and hope they'll become a Test team in years to come, but if they make it to the semi-finals on first round points it will be a one-sided contest that does nothing for the World Cup.
Matthew Benton, UK

I wouldn't say that the off-field antics have been any worse than at a football World Cup.
Mike Bailey, Austria

The ICC have made a mockery of what should have been cricket's biggest chance to appeal to the rest of the sporting world. They have put their own agenda ahead of the genuine fears over safety and security of both the England and New Zealand teams.
Chris Swift, England

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