Melbourne, March 30 (IANS) International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman Narayanaswami Srinivasan has hailed the cricket World Cup 2015 as “the most popular in history”, and said he believes the 50-over game is in good health following Australia’s triumph at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.
Commenting in the aftermath of Sunday’s game, which was played in front of over 93,000 spectators, Srinivasan said the ICC was delighted with the manner in which the game’s pinnacle 14-national One-Day International (ODI) event was hosted and delivered.
He also thanked all of the media, supporters and sponsors for their promotion of the tournament.
“On behalf of the ICC, I would like to firstly congratulate Australia on its fifth ICC Cricket World Cup win. Australia displayed great tenacity, skill levels and consistency throughout the tournament, and are worthy winners,” Srinivasan said in a release.
“It was a wonderful event with many thrilling highs and magic moments, which will live long in the memory. Australia has set a new benchmark for limited overs cricket and our congratulations to them, and indeed all of the competing teams, which produced excellent cricket over the past seven weeks.”
Srinivasan, former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), also praised the 2015 edition’s organisers.
“It is not an easy task hosting an event of this scale. I would like to extend my special thanks to the ICC staff as well as Local Organising Committee chairman Ralph Waters, CEO John Harnden, head of New Zealand Therese Walsh and the rest of the team who worked extremely hard across both host countries over the last three years to ensure the delivery of a truly world-class tournament,” Srinivasan said.
“I would also like to pay tribute to Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket for their support in the build-up to, and during the event.”
Srinivasan felt that the World Cup has delivered a fan-friendly event.
“The ICC had strived to deliver a fan-friendly spectacle, and it has achieved its target. Over one million spectators have passed through the turnstiles over the course of the last seven weeks and our thanks to them and, indeed, to all followers of the game globally for the support they have given the competing sides.”
“The ICC’s proactive digital enhancement has attracted an unprecedented 36 million unique visitors to its website to date and has accumulated over 300 million page views,” he added.
“This represents a 10-fold increase on any previous ICC event. A further positive development was the official tournament app, which has been downloaded more than 4.5 million times and has been the number-one sport app in no fewer than 48 countries.”
“I believe that the legacy of this tournament will extend across the world and the quality of cricket, enhanced by a strong sense of sportsmanship and fair play, can resonate for the next generation of cricket followers.”
Srinivasan also hailed the efforts put in by umpires, referees and pitch curators.
“Congratulations to our Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires and Match Referees, who have once again displayed a high level of officiating throughout the competition. The curators and ground-staff who produced quality pitches across all 14 also deserve special mention.
“Finally, a special word of thanks to the unsung heroes of ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 – the team of volunteers in each of the cities whose assistance, courtesy and hospitality added enormously to the feel-good factor around the event.”
“As we reflect on the success of the World Cup 2015, it has reinforced 50-over cricket as a hugely exhilarating format of the game, which attracts a large global following. It is with confidence that we look forward to World Cup 2019, which will be staged in the UK.”