Cape Town – The next major-sport World Cup in South Africa
suddenly looks increasingly more likely now to be the cricket one … quite
feasibly in 2027.
SA Rugby’s failure, for the fourth consecutive time after
failed cracks at 2011, 2015 and 2019 as well, to land RWC 2023 on Wednesday
after a controversial late French charge saw that country snatch it, may well
mean the country has blown its last chance for a very significant period to host
that particular jamboree.
Speculation is rife that RWC 2027 may well – a bit like
Japan 2019 – go again to a “developing” country in rugby terms like the United
States, or that Australia may leapfrog South Africa to a second hosting of the
It is also considered extremely likely to return, up the
line, to England – highly successful, record-profit hosts of 2015 – before we
have another opportunity to stage it for the first time since 1995.
Disappointed SA Rugby president Mark Alexander was quoted
after the crushing London verdict on Wednesday as saying: “It will be for the
next generation of SA Rugby leaders to decide whether to compete for 2027 or
“I am sure we will fulfil the dream of hosting (it) once
again some day … our hearts bleed that it will not be in 2023.”
While those hardly sounded the most reassuring words for a
swift SA bounce-back in RWC hosting, there is a bit of a silver lining for more
general sports-lovers in the country: South Africa should be forcefully in the
picture for a second cricket World Cup in 2027, having last staged it in 2003.
There is a limited pool of suitable nations to choose from
in cricket terms, and the bidding model is also different to World Rugby’s currently
fiercely-debated one (SA lost out despite being official, preferred 2023 candidate
on a technical basis) for RWCs.
It is known to Sport24 that former CSA chief executive
Haroon Lorgat, before his controversial departure from the role recently, had
been ready - in early 2018 - to place before the International Cricket
Council a document arguing strongly the case for the 2027 World Cup to return
to these shores after what would amount to a 24-year gap.
Lorgat believed it was a “no-brainer” for South Africa to
earn the staging rights again; the next CWC is earmarked for England in 2019
(their fifth tournament since its inception in 1975) and 2023 is already the
property of powerhouses India for a fourth time, although they have often
shared matches with other Subcontinental countries.
Not helped by a period a few years ago where the “Big Three”
of India, England and Australia assumed disproportionate control of the global
game – that has now been broken down – those countries grabbed a monopoly of
major tournaments (also including Champions Trophies and ICC World T20s) for
the period up to 2023.
South Africa earning CWC 2027 would provide healthy
confirmation of a redressing of the hotly-disputed, temporary imbalance.
CSA president Chris Nenzani did not wish to go on record
immediately on the subject when approached by Sport24.
But it is understood his own belief is unchanged: that South
Africa wants major ICC events and has both the capacity and prior track record
to back that up.
Shortly after assuming the presidency in 2013, at the ICC
Annual Conference in London when ICC events for the current rights cycle were
announced, Nenzani objected to the fact that South Africa was not pencilled in
for a major tournament and that the “big three” countries were allocated all
the marquee events.
England have had a particularly abundant supply of
multinational tournaments: both of the last two Champions Trophies, Women’s
World Cup earlier this year, and also next CWC in 2019.
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