Venue summit to set wheels in motion Across the Board from the West Indies Cricket Board
Stabroek News
September 14, 2003

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COUNTRIES around the Caribbean are beginning to get very serious about the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 to be hosted in the West Indies. We know and we can tell.

We are deep in the process of planning Venue Summit 1 in St. Lucia from September 26 to 27 and the response from some of the countries bears testimony to the seriousness that everyone has attached to the Caribbean hosting this huge event.

Many other countries are viewing the ICC CWC 2007 in a similar vein and will dispatch senior officials to VS1 to apprise them of what will be required for a country to host matches and key events during the cricket showpiece.

At VS1, countries will hear from a panel of experts, as well as ICC CWC 2007 officials what they will have to do to make the final cut. It is all part of the education, since the Caribbean has never hosted anything of this magnitude.

The purpose of VS1 is to establish a consistent message to all countries on how to become a World Cup venue by participating in the Venue Selection Tender later this year.

As we have pointed out previously, when we speak of venue, in this case, it means the entire country and not just the cricket stadium. It means roads, accommodation, air and seaports, food, telecommunications, everything that would come into play. We cannot stress this enough.

We intend to roll out the bid documents in November and VS1 will help the bidding countries to get prepared for what will be a competitive venue selection process. Anyone who has followed the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup will understand what we mean when we say competitive.

A few weeks ago, we advertised for a Venue Assessment Team that will consider all the bids and determine the best. The members of that unit will also be introduced to delegates attending VS1 and will present the latest information regarding venue selection and development.

The Venue Assessment Team comprises people who have worked on some of the world’s major events including FIFA World Cups, the Olympics, and other forms of world championships. These people are very knowledgeable and skilled at what they do and we are fortunate to have them work with the ICC CWC 2007.

As its name suggests, the ICC CWC 2007 is owned by the world governing body for cricket, but is being hosted by the West Indies. As such, the ICC will have its own views on what they want the participating countries to provide and they will be well represented at VS1.

If any of the countries bidding believe that they can do what they like and they will host ICC CWC 2007 events, the ICC representatives attending VS1 will let them know in no uncertain terms that quite a great deal is required of them and they cannot afford to take this event lightly.

The ICC representatives will update all of us about the mammoth undertaking to which we have committed the Caribbean and emphasise their requirements and standards for venues to be considered up to ICC CWC 2007 standards.

We believe that VS1 is a very important first step for all the countries hoping to be a part of the ICC CWC 2007 and we look forward to their participation. We are committed to producing a world-class event and have given assurances that it can be accomplished. It is now left for all to see that it’s “no problem”.

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