CWC 2007 - No problem man
By Chris Dehring
Stabroek News
July 20, 2003

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FOLLOWING our presentations to the International Cricket Council in London and CARICOM leaders in Jamaica two weeks ago, the team at Cricket World Cup 2007 feels very confident that the West Indies can deliver the kind of event that the world expects when all eyes are transfixed onto our nations in four years time.

In fact, the eyes are transfixed on us as of now. The CWC 2007 is fully with us and there is no turning back from the challenges and the responsibilities that we face over the next four years in delivering on the above promise. The CWC 2003 in Africa is history and we all learnt quite a few valuable lessons from that experience.

Now, it is left up to all of us in the Caribbean to learn from and adapt these lessons to our unique set of circumstances to make this one of the most memorable events the world has ever seen.

We only need look at the example of our cricket to see and know that even though we are small once we unite we can rise above any challenge and conquer the world. We did it for nearly 20 years on the cricket field!

As far as the CWC 2007 team is concerned, we are right on target in our planning and scheduling. We have done extensive preparation since we won the bid to host the event and we have been doing a number of things behind the scenes to make sure that we hit the mark.

The consultation between the WICB, the CWC 2007 management and the CARICOM leaders has been ongoing since that time and we have received great collective support from the heads of Government. They too, recognise the unique opportunity that hosting the CWC 2007 presents, and they too, are willing to confront the challenges head-on.

Half the job was convincing them of the economic benefits and impact that hosting the CWC 2007 will have on the Caribbean as a whole and West Indies cricket in particular. Since they all are both financially minded and avid cricket lovers that turned out to be relatively easy.

Shortly the charge will be substantially driven by the national pride of individual countries as they participate in the tender process later this year to determine who will host matches in 2007. What an exciting process this promises to be, with an “Olympic-style” bid process allowing countries to express their creativity and determination to successfully host matches and key events in the CWC 2007.

I expect there will be a collective hush across the region just prior to the announcement in April next year, of where events like the Opening Ceremony or the CWC 2007 final will be!

Several Governments have already committed money and have established bid committees to drive their World Cup hopes and aspirations.

There is still much, much, more work ahead of all of us as we confront the many challenges that everyone seems all too eager to mention.

But the CWC 2007 team goes forward with an attitude that is embodied in our internal work motto: “No Problem Man”. That is a definitive statement of resolute certainty — it can and it will be done.

The WICB and the CWC 2007 team will do everything in our powers to make sure that the Caribbean successfully stages the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007. We will contract the best people in and outside of the Caribbean to help us deliver this event, and in style.

Already, we have appointed Don Lockerbie, who has worked on several world events, as our Venue Development Director and, by late August, we hope to have either an advisory firm or consortium in place to help form our Venue Assessment Team which will conduct the venue tender process.

The formation of the VAT started last week when we posted a request for proposal notice on the WICB’s website,, and bids are expected to be submitted by July 24.

One of the other wonderful things that happened at the CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in Jamaica was that South Africa President Thabo Mbeki spoke of the positive economic impact on South Africa from the CWC 2003 and promised technical assistance to us.

His inspiring mandate to us was to collectively make our event better than the last one held in his homeland. We will not let him down.

So there”s no turning back now. The WICB and the CWC 2007 team have plenty of work ahead over the next four years. We cannot, however, succeed without the help and the goodwill of all the people of the West Indies and it’s for this that we ask.

Congratulations must go to Africa for raising the bar so high in staging a wonderful event, but here comes the West Indies!

CHRIS DEHRING is the Managing Director of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007.