CWC 2007 deal signed
Guyana Chronicle
November 5, 2003

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THE West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the International Cricket Council (ICC) Monday night signed the official agreement declaring the West Indies as hosts of Cricket World Cup 2007.

A light drizzle preceded the ceremony held at Jamaica House that saw a number of government ministers, led by Prime Minister PJ Patterson, representatives of regional and local cricket associations and officials of the ICC and WICB among those in attendance.

The Prime Minister, in his capacity of Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), delivered the main speech.

Said Patterson: "May the contract you signed here tonight be executed in the true spirit of the game and may it produce the best Cricket World Cup ever held.

"CARICOM heads welcome this event and from the very start have given the WICB our full backing in bringing the tournament to our Caribbean shores.

DEVELOPMENT
"This is an important development for West Indies cricket and the people of the West Indies in general. It is not immodest of me to assert that we are indeed a worthy choice. Our contribution to the legacy of the game has earned us this right."

He further stated: "I want as CARICOM Chairman to give the collective assurance on behalf of all Caribbean heads of government that we will not fail in our determination to host World Cup 2007 in accordance with the highest international standards."

The signing itself was overseen by the ICC's Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed and WICB CEO Roger Brathwaite.

ICC president Ehsan Mani said in his speech that hosting the next World Cup is a journey that will present great challenges for the region and is greatly anticipated.

MILESTONE EVENT
"Tonight is a milestone event. It is a tangible sign that the greatest show in cricket is on its way to the West Indies.

"Cricket in the Caribbean appears to be on the cusp of another golden age in its wonderful history. For anyone who loves the game, this is a prospect that is welcomed with unbridled excitement.

"The challenges will be unprecedented but by working together and overcoming the obstacles that are in front of us we will be able to give West Indian and world cricket a legacy that will sustain this wonderful sport long after all of us have gone."

Mani also pointed to the huge financial rewards that come from hosting the World Cup.

He said: "If we look back at the two World Cups prior to our current agreement with Global Cricket Corporation, our full members received just US$3 million in distributions from the ICC.

"From the agreement that the ICC negotiated on its members' behalf for this year's event and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007, the full members will receive in excess of US$20 million.

"The West Indies will receive over US$108 million for hosting the next World Cup."

A record 16 teams, up from 14, will participate in the limited overs world championship with matches being played between eight or nine venues in front of crowds expected to surpass 100,000, and be viewed by an estimated one billion people all over the world.

"It is this sound commercial footing that allows cricket to make the massive investments necessary in the game, to build the legacy that will sustain the sport for future generations," Mani said.

Also speaking at Monday night's ceremony was WICB president Teddy Griffith.

Griffith said: "With tonight's (last night's) signing of the Host agreement, we move from symbolism to reality. Now is the time for performance and delivery and that is all that really matters henceforth.

"The WICB is approaching the hosting of the Cricket World Cup with the utmost seriousness and resolve. (Jamaica Gleaner).