CARICOM "unity" for 2007 World Cup competition By Rickey Singh
Guyana Chronicle
November 15, 2003

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CASTRIES -- Caribbean Community governments have pledged to have a united and "non-adversarial" approach in preparations for the region's hosting of the 2007 Cricket World Cup.

Towards this objective, all existing established centres for international Test cricket within CARICOM, including Guyana, as well as other interested countries with the necessary infrastructure, such as The Bahamas, have committed themselves to avoid conflicts in competing for various aspects of the coming historical cricket series.

In briefing the media on the outcome of deliberations by CARICOM leaders at their Special Summit which concluded yesterday, Prime Minister P.J. Patterson of Jamaica described the 2007 Cricket World Cup as "the most massive", high profile and costly single event ever to take place in the Caribbean whose population 'comprise peoples of the world associated with the tradition of cricket’."

Patterson, speaking as chairman of the 15-member Community at the media briefing he shared with the Prime Ministers of St Lucia (Kenny Anthony), The Bahamas (Perry Christie) and Antigua and Barbuda (Lester Bird), said that a special technical working group is being established by the region's governments to work closely with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).

The working group will fall under the supervision of a restructured Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on Cricket for which Prime Minister Lester Bird has lead responsibility among CARICOM heads.

Bird explained that while a number of CARICOM governments, that are party to the agreement for hosting of the 2007 Cricket World Cup, were anxious to share in the economic benefits to be generated from the historic occasion, they would be guided by the principle of what is in the best interest of the region and "not to contest each other adversarially" in competing for the venues.

For the series of some 16 Test matches, it has already been determined by the International Cricket Council (ICC) that there will be no less than six venues and no more than eight.

The intention, therefore, is to ensure a "broad spread" as feasible within the region, that would include considerations involving venues for "practice" as distinct from Test matches, as well as cultural activities that would be of interest to the many thousands of visitors expected for the World Cup event.

Prime Minister Christie said that while The Bahamas is not known for "its cricket" but well recognised as a major tourism destination of the Caribbean, it was considering the construction of a multi-million stadium specifically for the 2007 World Cup once it could be firmly established that his country would be linked to arrangements being made for the event.

The leaders held a briefing session with the President of the WICBC, Teddy Griffith, and Chris Dehring who represent the West Indies on the ICC when they deliberated on the 2007 Cricket World Cup.