`Patchy work’ as Caribbean prepare to host 2007 World Cup
Guyana Chronicle
June 26, 2002

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THE CARICOM Secretariat yesterday stated that work done in preparation for the West Indies hosting the World Cup cricket tournament in 2007 has been “patchy” and Caribbean countries might very well see Canada or the USA staging the final.

During yesterday’s media workshop on the upcoming heads of government summit here, Public Relations Officer in the Office of the Secretary General, Leonard Robertson, presented an overview of the Development of West Indies Cricket, an item on the agenda for the Heads of Government Conference from July 3-5.

Robertson disclosed that the Committee on Cricket met with the West Indies Cricket Board in April and a report from that meeting would be submitted to the heads of government next week.

“The issues surrounding the staging of the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007 are very serious and go well beyond merely batting, bowling and fielding,” Robertson said.

The official explained: “It has to do with the provision of facilities and accommodation.

These are very serious things because you’re looking at almost 150 000 people descending on the region in 2007 because of the cricket World Cup and that calls for serious planning and logistical works, and capital intensive spending and providing accommodation.”

In fact, Robertson disclosed, that Chris Dehring, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Windies World Cup 2007 Inc. said that interested persons could submit their houses and whatever accommodation they might have to the organising committee for them to have a look at, in order to house the people that are expected to come to this World Cup.

Cricketing facilities are also a serious issue, with St Lucia being the latest country to open one, while Grenada has had one over the last couple of years.

Robertson explained: “The World Cup is not granted by country, it is granted by region. And in our region, we include Canada and the United States. So it is quite possible that the World Cup cricket final will be played at Disney Land.”

He pointed out that the facility selected by the organising committee would be one that they feel could stage such an event with the minimum of logistical problems.

“So it is very real that either United States or Canada can stage the World Cup final unless we in the West Indies come up to scratch in a serious way to stage the World Cup final,” Robertson declared.

Asked how much work has been done in preparing countries for staging the World Cup, Robertson said some countries like St Lucia have put themselves on the table with their facility, while on the other hand, some countries might have to turn to removable facility as is possible with today’s technology.

“The work that has been done, in a sense, has been patchy, but they know what they have to do and they will get a clear idea, certainly next week, when the Committee presents its report,” Robertson said.

The official disclosed that WICB president Rev. Wes Hall has accepted the invitation to meet and discuss with the heads of government on what was happening and what they were required to do. (Isaiah Chappelle)