2007 Cup is half full -- Brancker
Guyana Chronicle
September 1, 2003

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KINGSTON, Jamaica, (CWC 2007) -- Rawle Brancker, Chairman of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 board of directors, believes that plans are well advanced for the hosting of the prestigious event in the Caribbean.

Brancker, a former Barbados left-arm spin all-rounder and West Indies selectee, gave the assurance to the media at a news conference following Wednesday’s first board meeting at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. Deputy Chairman Owen Melhado and Chris Dehring, Managing Director of the ICC CWC 2007, also attended the news conference.

“The entire Board was extremely excited and more positive than ever that we will have the best ICC Cricket World Cup ever,” Brancker told journalists following a report by Chris Dehring, the managing director of the ICC CWC 2007, at the meeting.

“I am a positive thinker. I always see the cup half full rather than half empty. We are the number one destination for cruise ship passengers, and if we accept that we happen to live in one of the nicest parts of the world, then when we add the ICC CWC, it is clear that we will have a very successful event.”

Praising Dehring for “excellent preparatory work”, Brancker said that the areas that may pose a challenge have already been identified and are being worked on.

“We have a unique situation in the Caribbean where we will have several sovereign countries involved,” he said.

“The most the ICC CWC has ever had in the past was three. So moving people for example will be a challenge. But, we have at our disposal, some of the finest tourism planners in the Caribbean and they are working on a plan to deal with it. Here we expect inter-airline collaboration will be necessary.

“Also, no one country in the region has the capacity to accommodate the 30 000 to 40 000 people that might follow the ICC CWC 2007. But again, we are working on a plan that includes the use of cruise ships.”

Brancker highlighted that the ICC CWC 2007 will benefit the entire region creating employment at various levels and earning foreign exchange.

“The impact will be felt well beyond 2007 with the development of infrastructure -- hotels, cricket grounds, roads, telecommunications,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dehring advised journalists that preparations are well ahead for an Olympic-style bidding process between the countries in the Caribbean, starting in November.

He said that a Venue Assessment Team will administer the process and the various islands will submit their official bids to be ICC CWC 2007 venues.

“Venue, I must remind everyone, means the entire country from airports to ground transportation, communication infrastructure, power and water supply and accommodation. The tender process will be similar to that used for the Olympics and Football World Cups,” Dehring remarked.

“The process will be completely transparent and we are taking an approach that will be clear to the people of the region every step of the way. Our Venue Assessment Team (VAT) will be visiting each country to explain the process, and ensure that everyone knows what is required.

“The VAT will accept and assess the bids and make the recommendation to the ICC CWC board on the allocation of matches based on the technical merit of each country’s bid.

Dehring noted that the Prime Ministers of the respective islands, in many instances, were leading their bid teams and were very keen on having this independent assessment of their venues and infrastructure.

“They have asked that the bid books come directly to them and that is an indication of how seriously they are taking it,” he revealed.

Apart from hosting matches, Dehring said there are several other opportunities for involvement including the hosting of warm-up matches and the opening gala.