Lessons learned from Korea/Japan 2002
Across the Board (from the West Indies Cricket Board)
July 19, 2002
Chris Dehring is Managing Director of Windies World Cup 2007. He recently returned from the football World Cup in Korea and Japan where as part of WICB's preparations for hosting the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2007, he held meetings with FIFA and the Local Organising Committees (LOCs) and observed their event management operations.
The much hailed success of the recently concluded 2002 World Cup in Korea& Japan is richly deserved. It was a first time experiment in co-hosting and the feared logistical nightmare never materialised.
The tournament from all observations ran for the most part smoothly and the expressed satisfaction of the teams and fans alike stand as testimony. It was particularly relevant to hear the concerns regarding the unprecedented co-hosting of a major tournament such as the football World Cup. Because unlike the simple task of coordinating two hosts in the FIFA World Cup 2002, there are 14 countries under the aegis of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) - designated hosts of the ICC Cricket World Cup. In hindsight, it was difficult to see what the fuss was all about and the mix of cultures I thought added a special flavour to the event.
For me, easily the most impressive feature of the 2002 World Cup was the mobilisation and motivation of the Korean and Japanese publics on their personal role as hosts. It was amazing to see the vast network of volunteers - doctors, lawyers and other professionals numbered among them, meeting and greeting people at the airports and train stations, showing fans to their seats at matches and generally playing the role of goodwill ambassadors.
That's what will make the difference between success and failure of the 2007 cricket World Cup in the Caribbean - the willingness of our people to give of themselves freely to the cause and showcase to the world what we are about.
FIFA was very keen to share their expertise on how things were organized and very informative meetings were held with all levels of officials, from the Chairman of the Korean LOC to various executives of FIFA including the General Secretary. All were extremely cooperative and shared their tremendous wealth of knowledge. It was extremely useful to learn even of mistakes that were made, just as much as the all too obvious success stories. The ICC and ourselves learned a great deal from the trip and much of that experience will be incorporated into our respective plans to make cricket events such as the World Cup just as exciting and well managed an operation.
Our master plan, which will design the macro-management parameters of the 2007 World Cup, is currently being fine-tuned by an interim World Cup committee established by the WICB to deal with the hosting of the World Cup. These plans, which will be constantly updated through until the event, will also have the input of the ICC who own the event and Caribbean Governments.
Our decision to start the planning process early has been extremely useful as it has allowed us the opportunity to learn from the best and develop a better understanding of what we are seeking to achieve with the hosting of the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2007. If there was one thing learned from the Korea/Japan experience, was the benefit of a competitive process. It was clear that there was even an element of competitiveness between Korea and Japan, each trying to 'out-hostö the other, all to the benefit of the fans, teams, and the football World Cup as a whole.
No country in the Caribbean will want to be left out of the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2007. It will be interesting to see over the coming months who comes forward, showing that same spirit and pride we know strongly exists.