Sun | Aug 19, 2018

Lehmann: CWC too long

Published:Friday | February 20, 2015 | 12:01 AM
Australia's coach Darren Lehmann


Australia coach Darren Lehmann is saying what a lot of people often think during the Cricket World Cup (CWC). It needs to be shortened.

Lehmann's squad has a seven-day gap between their opening victory over England and their next Pool A match against Bangladesh in Brisbane tomorrow, cyclonic winds and torrential rain permitting. Australia's third group match - against co-hosts New Zealand in Auckland - isn't until February 28.

"I think we can condense the tournament a little bit to be honest," Lehmann told a Melbourne radio station. "A week in-between is a long time."

The logistics of conducting a World Cup in 14 cities across two countries make scheduling matches tricky.

In the only match Thursday, for instance, Zimbabwe played for the second time in four days and beat United Arab Emirates.

Lehmann's point about the schedule is well taken. The World Cup group phase involves 42 matches in a month, followed by quarter-finals and semi-finals before the March 29 final. All up, more than seven weeks.

a lot of criticism

Lehmann is by no means the first to question the length of the tournament. Then International Cricket Council chief executive Malcolm Speed said during the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean that seven weeks was too long.

"We listen to criticism, and there has been a lot of it ... so we'll look to make it shorter," Speed said then. "We'll seek to reduce this 47-day World Cup (including warm-up games) by seven or 10 days, and hopefully we'll get it down to somewhere between five and six weeks next time."

"Next time" has happened twice since, still with no shortening of the schedule. Although there are plans to cut the number of competing teams from 14 to 10 at the 2019 World Cup.