World Cup is too long, says Hayden

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, April 11, 2007 (AFP) – Australia opener Matthew Hayden said Tuesday that the World Cup is too long and called for the marathon tournament to be trimmed. “It’s too long. It’s too long for everyone,” said Hayden with another 18 days still to play in the 47-day marathon competition.

World Cup holders Australia played their first match in the Caribbean, a warm-up game against Zimbabwe, back on March 5 in St Vincent.

Since that time, they have played three first round group games in St Kitts and three Super Eights matches in Antigua. But it’s the huge gaps in between which irk many players.

Australia’s seven-wicket win over England on Sunday was their first match in eight days; they won’t play again until Friday this week when they clash with debutants Ireland here.

“As a batter, it’s nice to be able to get that continuous sort of rhythm and once you get into that flow, you don’t want to stop,” added Hayden, the top run-scorer in the World Cup with 436.

International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Malcolm Speed has defended the length of the tournament which will not finish until the final at the Kensington Oval here on Ap