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Ex-2006 Commonwealth Games chief to head 2015 cricket World Cup organizing body

November 17, 2011 - Adelaide

A major events veteran currently at the helm of South Australian cricket is poised to be given primary responsibility for organizing the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

John Harnden, best known in Melbourne as chief executive of the organising committee for the 2006 Commonwealth Games, is believed to have won the endorsement of Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket officials to become chief executive of cricket's biggest tournament, to be held in early 2015, The Age reports.

The only appointments made so far to the 2015 World Cup organising committee are a chairman, former Qantas chief executive James Strong, and a deputy chairman, prominent New Zealand businessmen Ralph Waters.

Following the appointments of Strong and Waters the chief executive's position was formally advertised, with both men charged with having a big influence on selecting who should run the day-to-day operations of the committee.

The yet-to-be-announced appointment is likely to require Harnden, a South Australian, to relocate to Melbourne. The 46-year-old did, however, live in Melbourne for an extended period until his appointment as South Australian Cricket Association chief executive in November 2009, following the acrimonious departure of predecessor Michael Deare.

During Harnden's tenure SACA won approval from its members for the contentious 535 million dollar redevelopment of Adelaide Oval, which will involve a significant increase in capacity in order to host AFL matches from 2014.

Harnden and his skeleton staff are likely to initially work out of the Cricket Australia headquarters in Jolimont but will eventually gain more autonomy and most likely move to new premises as the tournament organising demands increase.

Australia and New Zealand have not hosted the 50-over World Cup since 1992.


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