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2011 World Cup could be reduced by a week: Speed

Melbourne: Taking note of the widespread criticism of the long drawn out schedule of the 2007 World Cup, International Cricket Council Chief Executive Malcolm Speed has said it could be reduced to 40 days in the next edition to be held in the sub-continent.

"I think next time we will stick with the 16-team format but I would hope we can shave a week from the tournament," Speed was quoted as saying by The Australian.

"This year, we lost two days because of Easter. The West Indian countries are strongly Christian and they did not want us to play on Good Friday. I can see the tournament coming back to 40 days, which is just about right," he added.

Speed, however, said the longer duration of the tournament was good for the publicity of the game.

"I think it is a positive for the game that cricket is on the back pages while the World Cup is on rather than have an abbreviated schedule," he said. Read moreread more

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The ICC Chief said he was disappointed with "far too much negative comment which is ill-informed".

"One of the other negatives is that we have not had a great number of memorable matches. Of the 20 I have been to, I can think of four of five really good games, five were not too bad and a lot of others were no-contests," he said.

Speed also admitted that the ouster of India and Pakistan was a big blow to the tournament.

"A huge blow... We have seen matches where we expected India to be playing Pakistan and they were not there, so it has taken some of the shine off the World Cup, without in any way denigrating the great efforts of Ireland and Bangladesh."

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