SVG hoping for at least two World Cup matches
By Ezra Stuart
Guyana Chronicle
June 14, 2003

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KINGSTOWN - St Vincent and the Grenadines will be putting forward a strong bid to host at least two matches when the Cricket World Cup comes to the Caribbean in 2007.

Prime Minister, Ralph Gonsalves made this disclosure while watching the third and final Cable and Wireless One-Day International between West Indies and Sri Lanka from the Media Centre on Wednesday.

He said the Eastern Caribbean country would love to host a preliminary round match and another in the prestigious Super Six stage at its scenic Arnos Vale playing field, which he described as ‘the most picturesque in the world”.

The Prime Minister said it is also his wish for one of the World Cup teams to be based in St Vincent to do their preparations.

"We have a basic facility which is a good facility, but which will need upgrading. We will be allocating monies both for additional permanent stands and for temporary stands and other facilities have to be improved. We are committed to going that way,” Gonsalves said.

At present, the Arnos Vale, which has staged 13 One-Day Internationals with the West Indies winning 12, and a solitary Test against Sri Lanka during their last tour in 1997, can accommodate approximately 10 000 spectators.

But Gonsalves said they are waiting to hear from manager of the Windies World Cup 2007 Inc, Chris Dehring, what are the specific requirements for venues seeking to host matches, before expanding and refurbishing the Arnos Vale facility.

“We have already been doing some work on the ground. Last year, we did a good drainage system and we have also done a little sprucing up of the existing facility but that is essentially a holding operation. The real developments are to come after we have been properly advised on the requirements by the West Indies World Cup group,” noted Gonsalves.

“The World Cup in 2007 will be the most significant mass event this region has ever undertaken. The logistics for 20 teams with millions of people coming through are of a kind that is simply bewildering.

“We are on a learning curve but strategically, it is of great significance to the region,” said Gonsalves.

Gonsalves, however, warned that Caribbean countries face a conundrum, constructing facilities that will not be frequently used to their full capacity throughout the year.

"We have to be very careful in the region that while we put facilities in place to accommodate the World Cup, for each of these countries an expenditure beyond a certain limit is counter-productive.

"This is why I want to know where we will be putting the temporary stands as you have an overall development so that I can know where I will put permanent stands and how much money I will have to expend.

"There is a broad figure in my mind beyond which I would not want to go because when I am finished with the facility, it is going to be used, maybe once or twice a year to full capacity and the issue is whether it can be justified if you expend beyond certain sums. That is the conundrum which all these Caribbean countries face," Gonsalves said.

Gonsalves also revealed that his country has engaged the services of former West Indies wicketkeeper and immediate past chairman of selectors, Mike Findlay to be Consultant Project Manager of the St Vincent and the Grenadines 2007 World Cup committee.

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