Cuttack, Feb 5 (IANS) International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Dave Richardson Tuesday praised the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) and the Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) for their hosting of the ongoing Women's World Cup.
Richardson, who is currently here to watch the final Group B matches between Australia and New Zealand at DRIEMS Cricket Ground and between South Africa and Pakistan at Barabati Stadium, said: "We are extremely grateful to the BCCI, MCA and OCA who have really pulled out all the stops to really enable the tournament to take place on the schedule dates as it would have been a real blow if we had had to move the event at such late notice."
Richardson also spoke of the logistical challenges presented by late changes in the tournament schedule to ensure that Pakistan could compete.
"We've always wanted to hold the Women's World Cup in India and we're thankful to the local associations who have worked with us to make it to happen. As far as ICC are concerned the security of all the teams is paramount and obviously with the unique circumstances special arrangements were put in place for Pakistan as well as making sure all the teams are well looked after."
"A special thanks has to go to the OCA which is hosting the Pakistan team at their academy facility, where I am also staying for a couple of days while I'm in Cuttack. I really couldn't wish to be more comfortable. It provides a secure environment and the players and we couldn't have wished for better under the circumstances."
The ICC chief executive added that the importance of growing participation in the women's game was paramount to the ICC and hosting the event in India will be beneficial for that goal.
He said: "I think one of the reasons we wanted to hold the World Cup in India was because of the potential that exists here for the women's game. I think a lot of women support and watch cricket in India but they don't necessarily play and so this is a marvellous opportunity for us to advertise the women's game."