International Cricket Council (ICC) President David Morgan has given the recently-concluded Champions Trophy event, won by Australia for the second time, a huge thumbs-up, calling it a 'huge success'.
“I’m delighted with the quality of the tournament and the level of cricket that has been played throughout this competition. It has been a huge success,” he said.
“The cricket was enthralling and the feedback on the event from the players and followers of the game has been overwhelmingly positive. I believe the cricketing world thoroughly enjoyed this re-branded competition as I did.
“I think it’s fair to say that, we have been royally treated over the past 14 days in Johannesburg and Pretoria which provided five-star facilities for the players and spectators at The Wanderers and Centurion. The players brought this tournament alive with their passion, commitment and will to win,” he added.
The tournament has given him confidence that not only is the Champions Trophy a crucial part of the calendar, but that the 50-over format is also here to stay.
“The level of organisation and the praise the event has received from the all the top cricketers speaks volumes of the success of the event. I think most experts of the game and the opinion-makers are now convinced the ICC Champions Trophy definitely has a place in the cricket calendar," he said.
“It also gives me immense pleasure to say the quality of cricket we have seen in the last 14 days proves that 50-over format can comfortably co-exist with the traditional five-day Test and the short 20-over formats.
“In that light I would like to congratulate Ricky Ponting’s side for successfully defending the title. Congratulations are also due to New Zealand which played excellent cricket and despite missing top players due to injuries produced excellent performances to reach the final.
He went on to laud the spirit in which the games were played before also paying tribute to the organisors and ICC employees.
“The spirit in which the games were played was magnificent with no instances of players overstepping the mark of what is deemed acceptable behaviour in our great game. England captain Andrew Strauss recalling Angelo Mathews and New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori withdrawing the run-out appeal against Paul Collingwood reflect the spirit in which the matches were played.
“Cricket South Africa has been a great partner for the ICC in putting on this event in a short time. From the very start of this process it was clear that we were dealing with a committed group of people – led by our excellent tournament director Don McIntosh – who were determined to put on the best possible event and they were clearly successful.
“I also want to thank the dedicated staff and executive team at the ICC who have been working hard on this event for a long time. It is also important to recognize the positive contribution of our match officials whose excellent performances helped to make the event the success it was.
“The successful staging of the last three events – ICC World Twenty20 2007, ICC World Twenty20 and ICC Champions Trophy 2009 – has also proved that the ICC has learnt from previous programming experiences.
“Now with the ICC Champions Trophy 2009 over, the quest for putting up another world class event – the ICC World Twenty20 2010 in the West Indies – begins and I have no doubt that it will be another memorable event for the spectators and the players alike."
Morgan's comments came at the end of an ICC Board meeting, at which the governing body announced the groupings for the 2011 World Cup in South Asia.
© Cricket World 2009