US could host World Cup cricket final
If Windies not up to scratch - media hear By Miranda La Rose
Stabroek News
June 27, 2002

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If the West Indies does not come up to scratch with facilities for accommodating the 2007 World Cup Cricket, the possibility exists that the finals may be held in the United States of Canada, Public Relations Officer at the CARICOM Secretariat, Leonard Robertson, said.

At a media clinic held at the CARICOM Secretariat on Tuesday in preparation for the upcoming 23rd Meeting of the Conference of CARICOM Heads of Government, Robertson said that recommendations for the preparation for the 2007 event would be on the agenda for discussions by the heads.

He noted that the World Cup 2007 organising sub-committee met the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) in April and a report from that meeting will be submitted to the Heads of Government next week. WICB President Wes Hall and Chief Executive of the World Cup Organising Inc, Chris Dehring, are among delegates listed to attend the Regional Encounter of Civil Society and the Conference of CARICOM Heads of Government.

Noting that while the heads will be looking at the preparations for the 2003 World Cup Cricket, he stressed that the focus will be on the regionís staging of the World Cup in 2007. Robertson said that the actual playing of the World Cup in South Africa next year would be a cricketing matter, but the issues surrounding the staging of the World Cup in the 2007 in the region called for serious planning, logistical work and capital intensive spending to provide accommodation.

So far, he said, the work that has been done, "in a sense has been patchy."

Noting that the issue of the Caribbean hosting the 2007 World Cup finals went beyond merely batting, bowling and fielding, Robertson said that in real terms the region was looking at "150,000 people descending on the region in 2007 because of the World Cup Cricket."

To this end, he said, Dehring has asked that anyone interested in providing accommodation submit their homes or means of accommodation to the World Cup Organising Inc for them to look at in order to house people.

He said that if facilities were not up to the required standard, it was quite possible that the World Cup Organising Committee would look elsewhere. As the granting of venue is done as per region and not by country, and the USA and Canada fall within the region, "it is quite possible that the World Cup cricket final may be played at Disneyland," he added.

Asked how much work has been done towards preparing countries in the region, Robertson said that St Lucia has built a new facility and Grenada also has a relatively new facility. He suggested the possibility of someone actually putting up a temporary 50,000-seater stadium on a waste piece of land and closing it down when the match was over and moving with it.

Guyana, for instance, he suggested, "has a lot of land so that if some smart entrepreneurs set up a facility that is removable but can meet the requirements of the World Cup Organising committee, itís not a problem." (Miranda La Rose)