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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 April 2007, 21:17 GMT 22:17 UK
Richards attacks Cup organisation
Sir Viv Richards
Richards' home ground in Antigua has seen low attendances
West Indies legend Sir Viv Richards has attacked organisers of the World Cup, accusing them of stifling the true spirit of the game in the Caribbean.

The event has been characterised by small crowds and a lack of atmosphere.

And the International Cricket Council has been criticised over ticket pricing and strict ground regulations.

Richards said: "Something is seriously missing. We have too many restrictions. Someone seems to have said, 'we want you to stop shouting'. I say, 'tough'."

Grounds in the Caribbean are famous for their vocal home fans, who use musical instruments and conch shells to create a cacophony of noise.

It is very disappointing, but I have not written them off yet. I'm just hoping we can find a miracle

Sir Viv Richards

There is also a tradition of other entertainment outside the boundary edge, particularly dancing.

But ICC security restrictions have all but eliminated such activities, much to the surprise and annoyance of many Caribbean fans.

New out-of-town stadiums, high ticket prices and a focus on foreign visitors also seem to have alienated the local fan base.

Meanwhile, warnings that tickets and accommodation would sell out quickly seem to have backfired, with many potential tourists simply deciding against the trip.

Antiguan great Richards said he has been especially upset at the small crowds at the new ground built in his name on his home island.

And he also made clear his frustration at the way the West Indies team have fared so far.

The hosts have lost their last three matches and must win against South Africa next Tuesday to have a chance of reaching the semi-finals.

"Our team have not shown us much interest yet," he said. "It is very disappointing, but I have not written them off yet. I'm just hoping we can find a miracle."



SEE ALSO
Cup chief pledges strong finish
02 Apr 07 |  West Indies
Cup bosses blamed for poor crowds
31 Mar 07 |  West Indies
Cricket World Cup 2007 schedule
20 Jul 05 |  Cricket


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