David Richardson, chief executive of the International Cricket Council (ICC), has praised Australia and New Zealand’s preparations for the 2015 World Cup but issued a warning over complacency ahead of next year’s national team tournament.
The event is scheduled to take place from February 14 to March 25 in venues across Australia and New Zealand. Richardson, who this week attended a number of meetings with organisers, said the ICC is satisfied with progress so far.
During the meetings, Richardson was updated on various aspects of event management, such as match and non-match day venue operations, safety and security, ticketing and marketing, hospitality, status of construction work at grounds, preparations by host cities, media and broadcast operations, event legacy programmes, and PR and community engagement.
“The updates I have received from these meetings give us great confidence that we are on track to deliver a really memorable event,” Richardson said. “There is tremendous enthusiasm and anticipation amongst the local organising committee (LOC) staff and no stone is being left unturned to ensure the teams, officials, sponsors and media are warmly received and enjoy a great experience during the ICC’s flagship one day international event.
“Whilst there is some work still to be done at a few venues to enhance the existing infrastructure and facilities, all these projects have the support and backing of the local states and councils and we are confident that the work will be completed before the start of their domestic international cricket seasons.
“With 169 days remaining before the first ball is bowled and the final rounds of meetings and inspections having taken place, the focus is now on delivery. We understand how important World Cups are to the players and the fans and both the ICC and the LOC remain committed to ensuring the event lives up to its very high standards and expectations.”
Richardson highlighted work done in the city of Christchurch, which is recovering from the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, and will be hosting three matches, including the tournament opener.
He added: “Christchurch is at the heart of sport activities in New Zealand. It has gone through some difficult times following the earthquakes but the city’s resilience and the developments at Hagley Oval are fantastic to see. We look forward to the return of international cricket to Christchurch for the opening match on February 14.”