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Trophy or Sponsors' Plaything?
by Gulu Ezekiel
Mar 09, 2007
The way the ICC has been tossing their precious World Cup trophy all over the Indian countryside does little credit to them.

It is almost a form of poetic justice that the trophy priced at $80,000 should be damaged in Kolkata on one of its numerous publicity appearances—this time at a shopping mall if you please!

Of course it is so typical that the buck-passing should have started immediately with the sponsors in Kolkata claiming it was damaged in Delhi from where it had been flown the previous day while the Delhi hosts stated had they received it damaged from London!

One wonders how much it will cost and who will foot the bill of sending it back to London for repairs as the jewelers who crafted it are the only ones authorized to repair any damage done to it. Surely there should some degree of sanctity attached to such a glittering prize and its unveiling should have been reserved for a special event instead of being handed over to every sponsor in India to gain mileage out of.

The trophy should have been on its way from India to the West Indies for the opening ceremony in Kingston, Jamaica on Sunday night. Now one wonders if the prize that counts will be on display during that ceremony or if a dummy will be shown instead at the big bash. A sorry state of affairs indeed!

Of course the ICC has earned a reputation as perhaps one of the most bungling of all international sporting bodies. And another of its blunders came to light last week when it was spotted that they had already given the names of the teams for the Super 8 on their official website schedule.

Despite justifying it when questioned by Indian journalists, claiming it was only “indicative”—one wonders what the so-called minnow teams feel about this—the fact that the ICC promptly altered the schedule late at night—only to revert to the original hours later—just shows how knee-jerk they are.

Take my word for it, there are bound to be a couple of upsets in the group stage and maybe a shock or two among the Super 8 qualifiers. Certainly both Kenya and Bangladesh look like they could make things tough for the major sides. Zimbabwe and Bermuda on the other hand appear quite hopeless.

There is bound to be some great cricket over the 47 days of the event hopefully culminating in a fitting finale. But it is also certain that there will be plenty of road-bumps in the organization of the tournament.

It is simply logistically unfeasible to expect nine different island nations to function smoothly when hosting such a mega-sporting event. This is the first time the World Cup is being staged in the Caribbean. And no doubt the last as well!
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