World Cup huge success on all fronts: Pawar

Mumbai: A day before the summit clash of the World Cup, International Cricket Council president Sharad Pawar on Friday termed the tournament as a "huge success" and "incident free".

"In all respects the ICC World Cup is a huge success; in terms of spectators, TV viewership, the quality of cricket played so far," said Pawar, who is also the president of the Mumbai Cricket Association which is hosting the final of the mega-event at the Wankhede Stadium here tomorrow.

Pawar said but for the support of all the authorities of the three host countries — India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh — including their cricket boards, the tournament could not have been such a success.

He also pointed out the importance accorded to the tournament by the three nations` political leaderships.

"Thanks to the World Cup hosts` excellent organisation, the tournament has gone off well and has been incident free.

All three host nations` Prime Ministers have attended one or two matches. Their support and the administration`s support has been exceptional," he said.

Pawar said because of the need for tight security blanket around the stadia and the presence of VIP`s for the matches, spectators had to undergo some difficulties.

"The security has been excellent. With the VIPs and VVIPs coming the spectators had to face some difficulties," he said.

He also pointed out that because of the mega-event, cricket infrastructure had improved in all the three co-hosting nations- India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

"In all three nations the World Cup has helped to improve infrastructure for the convenience of the spectators," the ICC chief said.

Pawar brushed aside criticism that Mumbai`s Wankhede Stadium, with a capacity of 33,00, was not the right place to conduct the final, saying the Lord`s in England had even less capacity.

He also said that the Mumbai police has got no information about alleged black marketing of match tickets for the final which, according to reports, are hovering between Rs 50,000 and Rs one lakh.

"The police have no information on this," he said.

Pawar also dismissed talks of alleged fixing of matches during the tournament.

"It`s all humbug. We don`t believe them. All the games have been clean," he insisted.