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ICC shelve Super Series plans

By Julian Linden in Sydney
October 17, 2005 16:38 IST
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The International Cricket Council (ICC) has shelved plans to play another super series in four years time after a tame end to Australia's clash with the Rest of the World in the Super Test in Sydney on Monday.

The ICC had said it would stage the lucrative series as a regular feature of their calendar but chief executive Malcolm Speed said the concept had been scrapped after Australia thrashed the world combination in three one-dayers and a test.

Stuart MacGill and Shane Warne spun Australia to a 210-run victory on Monday as the six-day super series Test ended with two and a half days to spare.

"There's certainly no commitment to play this every four years... it's not something we need to put on a regular basis," Speed said.

"This was just an opportunity to fill the gap and have an ICC event this year."

However, Speed said the series might still be repeated in the future but only in special circumstances.

"For it to succeed it requires one team to stand out from the pack, to be better than the others, to be the best team in the world, to be the champion team, and we've seen with Australia in both one-day and Test cricket and so it was an opportunity to test that team against the Rest of the World," he said.

"It would have been great to go back in the 1980s and 1990s and see how the great West Indies teams of that era performed against the Rest of the World but we didn't do that and who knows who the next great team will be.

"It might be the England team that we're seeing at the moment, it may be India, it may be South Africa, it may be Australia again, we simply don't know."

The ICC had tried to spice up the series by agreeing that the Test would be counted on players records and offering in excess of US$2.5 million in prizemoney and appearance fees.

World XI captain Graeme Smith said he hoped the concept would continue, but believed a different format is needed. The South African suggested the top two countries could playoff in a winner-takes-all world final because of the difficulties trying to make a team of players from different countries.

"You grow up dreaming of playing for your country. It's instilled in you from day one," Smith said.

"But when you come here, you don't really know the guys you're playing with. You lose that 20 percent. Where your country is do-and-die, maybe this isn't do-or-die for everyone."

Perhaps not surprisingly, given how easily his team won the three one-dayers and one Test match, Australia captain Ricky Ponting said he thought the series was a great success.

"I think the concept is great," Ponting said.

"The idea of this series is fantastic and hopefully I'll get to play in a few more of these."


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Julian Linden in Sydney
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