THE entire Caribbean must "unify and pull together" if the 2007 cricket World Cup is to be the organizational and financial success it can be, Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) president Stephen Alleyne has forewarned.
"We have to make sure that, in our individual territories, we do an excellent job so that the whole World Cup operation is of a consistently high quality," Alleyne said, following two weeks in South Africa as a member of a West Indies delegation of 17 observing the running of the current tournament.
"It's not going to help if Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, for instance, do an excellent job and Barbados and St.Lucia are second rate because the World Cup is going to be judged on the whole," he added.
Alleyne, also a director of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), said his experience in South Africa had reinforced his opinion that the Caribbean could not host the World Cup "without the full partnership of the governments of the region".
They would have to be involved in security, institute "ambush marketing" legislation, as the South African government did, and be consulted over the best way to deal with the movement of teams, officials, media and fans between territories.
"The kind of security requirements of a world championship such as this probably exceed the current capabilities of any of our territories," Alleyne said. "The traffic free and no fly zones, the bomb sweepers, the personal security officers for every VIP and team, all this will take careful thought and planning with our police and possibly armies."
Alleyne admitted he was struck by the "extensiveness and exhaustiveness" of measures to protect the official sponsors against competing products and services at the stadia here.
"Every electrical appliance in the stadium that was not of the main sponsors had to have its brand name masked out," he explained. "Spectators were not allowed entrance carrying any soft drink other than one of the sponsor."
This was one of the provisions in the contract between the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Global Cricket Corporation (GCC) that has bought the rights to all ICC events up to and including the 2007 World Cup.
On logistics, one suggestion was that each individual coming for the World Cup would be served at first point of entry with accreditation that would act as "a sort of temporary passport" to allow a freer flow for the duration of the event. Chartering of aircraft and cruise ships was also a possibility to be discussed.
"These are the kinds of measures that will be required," Alleyne added.
He conceded that outside help would be essential.
"It will need a significant import of expertise," he said. "Rather than us trying to run a World Cup on our own, having never done so before, it makes sense to use some of the techniques and some of the experiences that have been used in previous world (sporting) events."