Ian Chappell & Croft not wanted by ICC?

There, invariably are casualties after the World Cup, but this time around, things are happening even before the big event.

The presence of former Australian captain Ian Chappell, and former West Indian quick Colin Croft, as television commentators during the World Cup, has been `objected to' by the International Cricket Council (ICC), according to some reports.

The directives had apparently gone out at the instance of Malcolm Speed, ICC's Chief Executive. It is rumoured Speed was angered at a couple of newspaper columns criticising him and the ICC at the height of the controversy over player contracts and disputes.

Ian Chappell confirmed that he would not be attending the tournament for Channel Nine, for which he has been commentating since 1982, and instead would host the coverage from the network's studio in Sydney.

"All I know is that Speed was asked if there were any commentators he didn't want at the World Cup, not by Channel Nine, but probably by the host broadcaster. Apparently, his answer was Colin Croft and myself,'' revealed Ian Chappell. The former Australian captain added "I was told there were three different options, and one of them for Nine was to fight it, if that was the way I wanted to go about it. Obviously, it is a World Cup and I would like to see the World Cup. That is on one hand. But I'm not as keen on travelling as I used to be.''

Chappell, never the one to mince his words, said this about Speed's demand "I would have thought it was a pretty dangerous precedent to set.''

Croft expressed surprise at the ICC's opposition to his presence. A bold commentator and writer, Croft told Sunday Age of Melbourne, "I'm extremely surprised. I have had no contact with Malcolm Speed or the ICC. I focus only on West Indies cricket. I don't comment on international cricket or the ICC." The West Indian has worked with several international broadcasters on a freelance basis and is now the head of sport and physical facilities at the St. Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies.