Countries will be given chance to bid for matches By Ezra Stuart
Guyana Chronicle
June 20, 2002

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KINGSTOWN - Cricket territories in the Caribbean will be given a chance to bid for the hosting of matches in the 2007 World Cup, which is scheduled for the West Indies for the first time.

Chief Executive Officer of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Gregory Shillingford, made this disclosure in a wide-ranging interview ahead of the fifth and final Cable and Wireless One-Day International between West Indies and New Zealand at Arnos Vale on Sunday.

Shillingford said the Managing Director of Windies World Cup 2007, Chris Dehring, would shortly be presenting a Master plan to the WICB.

“At present, we have an interim committee that is prior to appointing a full Board to manage this World Cup 2007 company.

“What I can tell you without preempting what Mr. Dehring will do is that he has been saying to us that almost every country will have an opportunity to be able to bid for games and at this time, even if a country does not have facilities that doesn’t exclude it from the possibility of hosting a World Cup game,” Shillingford said.

Noting, the allocation of matches per territory will be the responsibility of the recently formed Windies World Cup 2007, which is an affiliate of the WICB, Shillingford said there would be a procedure to be followed before venues are selected.

“The process is going to be very transparent and every country will be able to indicate what level of match they would like to host,” Shillingford said.

“I know his (Dehring’s) plan is to divide the various games into categories like a preliminary game where teams will come out to the West Indies and you might have practice games, that will be the lowest category.

“Then you will have the first round games that will be category two; then you could go to quarter-final games which will be category three; then semifinal games, category four; and a final game could be a category five,” Shillingford remarked.

“Mr. Dehring has been saying to us and he will lay this out when he lays out his Master Plan that the World Cup company will contract a series of people, who will come to each country which indicates that it are interested in hosting some kind of category of the World Cup.

“And on the basis of this indicated interest, Mr. Dehring will send what is called a Venue Assessment team into each country that indicates interest where they will do a survey.

“So they will look at your airport, seaports, they will look at what land is available for cricket, your existing state here, they will look at your power generation facilities for electricity and so on,” Shillingford said.

“They will look at your water requirements, they will look at your infrastructure and so on and then they will produce a report for the country to indicate this is what you have, this is what you need to do if you are to host the category of game that you have indicated interest in,” added Shillingford.

“What it means therefore is that with the technology available in terms of hosting of events that it could be that a country which doesn’t have the suitable facilities right now but these facilities could be leased or contracted out,” Shillingford said.

“The scope is mind-boggling, it offers a whole host of opportunities for almost every country to possibly be selected…obviously the history of cricket in the country (would be considered),” Shillingford said.

He also said it was likely that the United States and Canada could host matches during the 2007 World Cup.

“There is a strong possibility from the political point of view. The USA, through their cricket association, and Canada, through their cricket association, were the ones through whom the West Indies made the bid to the ICC to be able to host and organise the World Cup in 2007,” Shillingford noted.

“The ICC, just like FIFA, they assign World Cups to regions so the World Cup is being assigned to the Americas region but we (WICB) being the full member of the ICC, we are the ones who will be responsible,” he said.

“But I think morally and politically, we would have to look at hosting a match or two in the USA and Canada and obviously their market size in terms of spectators that will come to matches, the scope for selling television will be useful to us and we would need to consider matches there also,” Shillingford said.