David Richards, chief executive of the ICC, said said they had commissioned reports on pitches from both West Indies and India, where recently a one-day international had to be called off because of the state of the wicket.
``In golf you rarely see greens and fairways falling below the very highest standard,'' said Richards. ``Cricket has to raise the profile of that aspect of the game. Otherwise it is difficult to present the sport as we would like.''
His comments came after Lord MacLaurin, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, in part attributed England's failure in the Caribbean to the poor standard of the wickets.
Lord MacLaurin, speaking at the unveiling ceremony for the 1999 World Cup to be played here, said: ``We played on a lot of sub-standard grounds out there. The pitches were not up to Test standard. Guyana was as bad a pitch as I have ever seen.
``We didn't have the rub of the green but we still could have done better. We thought we had a good chance of winning in the Caribbean, but for one reason or another it didn't happen and I'm not surprised Michael Atherton - a very proud man - has chosen this time to step down.''
A new trophy, worth more than £27,000 and weighing 27lbs, has been designed for the World Cup. Twelve countries will compete for prize money which totals $1 million, with the winner taking $300,000.